Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Great Moments in Tortured Metaphors

It's finance day here at ShysterBall. First it was hedge funds, and now it's municipal bonds:

Joe Torre is going to return to skipper the New York Yankees in 2008. The municipal bond market tells me so . . . [Bond analysis] often comes down to a couple of key numbers, perhaps a sentence or two located somewhere in the wilderness of a bond offering document, or official statement, as they call it. Regarding Joe Torre and the Yankees, there are three numbers that demand attention. They are 12; 4,271,083; and 942,555,000. This last number is in dollars.

The author of the article, Joe Mysak of Bloomberg.com, seems to think that the 12 seasons the Yanks have made the playoffs during Torre's tenure combined with the 4,271,083 fans they drew this year and the $942,555,000 in bonds the New York Industrial Development Agency sold to help build a new Yankee Stadium all but make it a lock for the Yankees to keep Torre on. Torre is critical to the success of the enterprise, Mysak is arguing, so they can't possibly dump him.

Look, I like Torre, but if anyone thinks that the business prospects of the New York Yankees are solely or even mostly attributable to him, they're crazy. He has been a excellent steward of the talent provided to him and has done a pretty good job of insulating the team from the inherent insantiy of the New York press, but given where the Yankees are today in both business and competitive terms, I am fairly certain that you could install the reanimated corpse of Johnny Keane in their dugout, still draw 4 million fans, and still make the playoffs.

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