Mike Francesa slams Yankees owners for fleecing fans for money

Mike Francesa is with Yankees fans during a fanfest in 2019.

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The New York Yankees boast the largest and most vocal fanbase in baseball. However, their attitude toward fans treating them as contributors to their revenue and wealth came under sharp criticism from Mike Francesa.

The ex-WFAN radio personality is not convinced with the Yankees raising prices for tickets, food, parking, and other expenses that now put a hole in the pockets of their fans. Francesa took the owners head-on for doing business at the cost of fans, especially at a time when the first priority should be to ensure the Yankees return to winning ways.

“It starts with ownership and the incredible inherited complacency,” he told on Mike Francesa Podcast. “They are very happy to fill the ballpark, which they do. Only the Dodgers draw more per game. The Yankees are averaging 41,000 fans per game — from a very expensive ticket to $40 parking and outrageous prices throughout the ballpark. They are trying to steal a dollar wherever they can. They are trying to claw every dollar from their audience and their fanbase.”

Francesa’s anger against the Yankees is justified

In professional sports, fans often found themselves at the reaming end and the Yankees fans are no exception. They cheer for their favorite team when they win a championship. However, the Yankees organization seldom cares for the fanbase, as they have to deal with costly tickets to watch their games.

Francesa is peeved at such a business by the Yankees owners. According to him, they have discovered a unique way of doing business despite the fans feeling the pain of seeing their team struggling at the bottom of the competition and going through one of the worst seasons they’ve had in a while. He accused them of trying to get small amounts of money from their fans through TV and streaming deals and charging really high prices for everything in Yankee Stadium.

Sportscaster and radio host Mike Francesa

The radio host and sports analyst reached out to fans who are feeling down and struggling financially, telling them they had his support.

According to the radio host, the team is striving to obtain money wherever possible and is aiming to get every possible dollar from their audience and fanbase. Francesa traces such attempts to fleece fans to the Yankees’ ownership and a strong sense of inherited complacency. He pointed out that the team seems content with filling up the stadium, achieving an average of 41,000 fans per game and winning wasn’t their main focus.

Francesa alleged that the Yankees had disrespected their dedicated fans. He cited how various deals with YES, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple Plus for streaming and TV have affected fans, especially those who are homebound, older, or others who really look forward to spending a few hours each day getting lost in watching the Yankees play.

Francesa mentioned that nobody really minds if a team earns money. He also pointed out that even in this really bad season, he wasn’t advising people to avoid going to the stadium and it was up to fans to decide on how to use their money. However, he also mentioned that it was not fair to see the team’s games appearing on Apple Plus one day, then on YES the next, and on Prime the day after that. There’s a group of people who don’t get this, especially the younger generation. Additionally, there are many individuals who can’t afford all of these options. Francesa calls this situation not just right for the Yankees fans.

“What also isn’t right, is when you put them on Apple Plus on Friday and YES on Saturday and Prime on Sunday, he said. “There’s a generation who doesn’t understand that. And there’s also a lot of people out there who can’t afford that. It’s just wrong.”

Radio host attacks the Yankees citing mismanagement

Mike Francesa is with Brian Cashman

According to Francesa, the Yankees have “thumbed their nose at their very loyal fan base” while paying for a roster that’s being managed really poorly and can’t be fixed overnight. He suggested that things began to go downhill when the Yankees traded for Giancarlo Stanton in 2017. That move made the team slower, overly focused on right-handed players, and less athletic. After that, they put together a team of older players like Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rizzo, along with a bunch of players who hadn’t been performing well.

Francesa said, “Some of it is unlucky, some of it just incompetence — a shelf full of pitches that don’t help in any way and don’t even get on the mound.”

Francesa commented that the roster has been filled with players who shouldn’t be wearing pinstripes. He also mentioned that he wouldn’t go into detail about the issues with the pitchers they have signed. According to him, some of it is bad luck, and some of it is just not being capable enough. He explained that the team has acquired pitchers who don’t contribute positively and don’t even get to play on the field. However, Francesa made it clear that this shouldn’t be blamed on Aaron Boone alone.

The podcast host mentioned that people tend to point fingers at the manager. He clarified that he’s not saying Boone has been performing well. However, Francesa emphasized that the main issue is that no one can achieve victory with this team. Therefore, the problem isn’t with the manager. He expressed that the simplest solution would be the most straightforward action to take. According to him, letting go of Boone wouldn’t cause any significant harm. Francesa also pointed out that this change would create an impression of a substantial transformation, even though it might not actually be that substantial.

Francesa noted that there’s often a tendency to place blame on the manager. He clarified that he wasn’t asserting that Boone had been effective in his role. However, he stressed that the core problem lies in the fact that the team is difficult to succeed with. Hence, the focus shouldn’t be solely on the manager. He suggested that the simplest remedy would be the most straightforward action to take. In his opinion, parting ways with Boone wouldn’t have significant negative consequences. He also highlighted that this change would give off the impression of substantial transformation, even though the actual impact might not be as significant.

“The easiest fix is the easiest move to make. [Firing Boone is] a harmless move to me. And it brings forth the aura of enormous change when really is not.”

He pointed out that the team had managed to reach the playoffs due to a system that provided increased chances for making it to the playoffs. However, he noted that despite reaching that stage, the team hadn’t achieved the anticipated result, which was advancing to the World Series.

Francesa also mentioned that winning the series every year is not a realistic expectation. He provided historical examples, stating that they didn’t win the series every year, even during the times when they had Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. However, he emphasized the organization is in a rot.

“The Yankees don’t have a good organization anymore,” he claimed. “They don’t think the right way. They don’t play the right way. They don’t act the right way. And that’s why they’re in the predicament that they’re in right now. And it’s not going to take a day to get out of it. It’s not like you snap your fingers and this is a 100-win team. It’s not.”

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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7 thoughts on “Mike Francesa slams Yankees owners for fleecing fans for money

  1. All valid points but why won’t he use the name Cashman? He is solely responsible for this flawed roster.
    If you want to tell it like it is then name Cashman!

  2. Could not agree more with this opinion. I have been a fan since 1960, can still see Mazeroski’s homer flying over the left field wall and Yogi looking up helplessly. Their streaming charges are outrageous and so uncalled for. The entire management of the Yankees and their insistence in analytics have brought the team to this present sad state.

  3. I bought my elderly parents mlb to watch yankees. Not only are home games blocked but so are away games. My folks live in watkins glen. …..i told my folks to pick another team and watch them on mlb. Yankees disrespect the fans even after selling ads on the uniform

  4. Absolutely right. Everybody expects to get fleeced when they go to the ballpark. The real FU is being a yes subscriber and not getting all the games. Time to clean out all the sleazy greedy management in the front office that’s making these deals Thanks, hal steinbrenner, your father would be ashamed of you!

    1. So very true. All games should be on YES! How many pay for channels do the owners feel is enough? For me it is YES only. Period! The Mets are starting to look better and better. That from a 70+ Year old Yankee fan. Enough all ready!

  5. In my 70’s Pay for MLB package. Which takes a big bite out of my social security check . Can’t pay for the other apps. Lifetime Yankees fan. Since childhood. Give us Yankees a break put some games back on WPIX.. instead of apple etc.

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