Haven't the New York Yankees learned by now? In fact, haven't most MLB teams learned by now? If the shortened 2020 season taught us anything, it's that making shiesty financial decisions and encouraging remote broadcasts are looked down upon by fans.
Yankees fans have been at the forefront of that discussion with New York refusing to go the extra mile from 2020-2022, seemingly because of luxury tax concerns. Additionally, they "cut costs" by having radio broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman call games remotely, which continued through the 2021 season.
Add in the fact Paul O'Neill was forced to do broadcasts remotely through the 2022 season because he's not vaccinated (we're still doing this??) and the viewer/listener experience has been compromised.
Though Spring Training isn't the pinnacle of the baseball season, this year figures to be perhaps the most entertaining in recent Yankees history. There's no starting left fielder. There will be a competition for shortstop, the No. 5 starter role, the closer role, and a number of top prospects, most notably Anthony Volpe, will be vying for an Opening Day roster spot. Fans will be watching.
But that didn't stop the Yankees from forcing the YES Network broadcasters to call the games remotely (about half of this year's spring training contests will be on YES).
YES Network broadcasters will be remote for spring training. Why, Yankees?
Do we need to reiterate that the Yankees are a $6 billion organization? While it's important to note the business operates at an annual loss of $40 million just so you have all the facts, keeping a few broadcasters at home in the name of saving a few thousand bucks certainly isn't going to move the needle in terms of bringing that number closer to zero. That's why this comes off as unnecessarily frugal.
But perhaps most importantly, it's an insult to the fans, many of whom religiously follow the team through any means possible, whether it's offseason content, spring training games, regular-season games in the middle of August, and then the customary disappointing showings in the playoffs. They are there for every page turn.
Maybe the Yankees don't realize such a decision impacts the fans as much as they might think ... but that's yet another part of the problem. There's hardly ever a human touch with this team's brass.
Sometimes, it's the little things that can appease or set off a dedicated fan base. For a team as omnipresent as the Yankees, every decision is debated in a public forum.
That's why their decision to cut such a minute cost is going to catch heat, especially when you consider all of the circumstances surrounding it.