Dodgers dislodge Yankees to become new ‘Evil Empire,’ claims radio host

A billboard drawing on Juan Soto joining the Yankees and the Dodgers presenting big signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani.
John Allen
Saturday December 30, 2023

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After reigning as baseball’s ‘Evil Empire,’ the Yankees have lost their throne to the Dodgers, according to Marc Malusis, the sports anchor at WPIX11 and host on WFAN. He cited the recent episode of Yoshinobu Yamamoto opting for Los Angeles as the symbolic moment signaling the gradual decline of the Yankees as the MLB’s top financial powerhouse.

Malusis perceived Yamamoto’s departure as the ultimate blow to the metaphorical demise of the Yankees. A franchise that had built a reputation for an unwavering commitment to winning at any cost was now seemingly losing top-tier talent, indicating, according to Malusis, a decline in their once-dominant empire.

The Yankees’ status as ‘Evil Empire’ faces scrutiny

George Steinbrenner's big splashing changed the game.

Money talks in baseball, and the New York Yankees have always spoken loudly. When Red Sox president Larry Lucchino dubbed them “The Evil Empire” in 2002, it wasn’t just envy, it was a rallying cry against the financial imbalance threatening the game’s soul. While other teams relied on Moneyball-style ingenuity, the Yankees built their empire on an endless checkbook, attracting top talent like moths to a supernova. Though some fans revel in the grandeur, others see a villain wielding unfair might, forever blurring the line between ruthless ambition and pure dominance.

Malusis conveyed on WFAN, via Audacy, that he mentioned the Yankees used to be referred to as the ‘Evil Empire’ in Major League Baseball. He explained that, in the past, there was a perception that the team would surpass expectations and prioritize bringing in top talent. George Steinbrenner, he noted, valued having stars in the Bronx, and there was a belief in the organization’s commitment to going the extra mile to secure victories. However, Malusis remarked that this trust in the Yankees’ willingness to go above and beyond for success is no longer applicable.

On December 7, Juan Soto, renowned as baseball’s premier slugger, arrived in the Bronx alongside his teammate Trent Grisham. This significant move by the Yankees involved parting ways with Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Kyle Higashioka, Michael King, and Randy Vásquez, emphasizing their commitment to securing top talent. Not stopping at this initial blockbuster, the Yankees continued their aggressive pursuit of championship success by acquiring Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo in a trade that involved Richard Fitts, Nicholas Judice, and Greg Weissert. This series of moves underlined the team’s determined approach to building a roster capable of contending for a championship.

Boasting a leading payroll of $268.6 million and an alleged offer of $300 million, the Yankees appeared to be the frontrunners in securing the services of ace pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. However, the irresistible appeal of Dodger Stadium ultimately proved too compelling to ignore. The 25-year-old Japanese standout finalized a groundbreaking 12-year, $325 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a candid admission, he acknowledged that the allure of joining the Dodgers, whether Ohtani was present or not, might have played a decisive role in his decision-making process.

The rationale behind this is that the Dodgers are better positioned for immediate success. According to Malusis, this is a quality he thinks the Yankees currently lack.

He stated that the ultimate goal, when considering the pennants and championships won at Yankee Stadium, is what individuals are judged on. The radio host further commented on the Dodgers, mentioning they have a multitude of stars, going up and down the lineup with one star following another. He also noted that the Dodgers, with their substantial spending and assertiveness, have become the new ‘Evil Empire.’

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