Interesting read, here it is:
If the Yankees sign Cliff Lee you can expect this from MLB pundits: New York has just bought another World Series. Even if the Yankees were to win the championship in 2011 that statement misses the big picture, which is this: There are several team owners with a lot more money than the Steinbrenner family who simply are not willing to invest in their teams like the Steinbrenners.
Start with the Atlanta Braves, who are owned by Liberty Media. Liberty has $2 billion in cash, which exceeds the total revenue generated by Yankee Global Enterprises, the Steinbrenner’s holding company for the baseball team, YES regional sports network and Legends Hospitality concession business. Lee would certainly help the Braves get serious about a title.
Than there are the Toronto Blue Jays, owned by Rogers Communications. Rogers profits exceed Yankee Global’s revenue. How about the Washington Nationals, who lost rookie pitching sensation Stephen Strasburg in August to a serious arm injury? Why doesn’t team owner Ted Lerner, worth a cool $3 billion, pony up for Lee?
Then there’s Michael Ilitch, who owns the Detroit Tigers and has a net worth of $1.5 billion, roughly 50% more than the Steinbrenner family. Ilitch, who also owns the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, is trying to buy the Detroit Pistons of the NBA for around $400 million, probably with the idea of starting a regional sports network similar to YES.
And of course there is Drayton McLane, who owns the Houston Astros and is worth $1.5 billion. It seems you only hear from McLane every three or four months when he publicly says his team is not for sale unless someone wants to pay him a rich premium.