I’d never heard of this week’s “honoree” until my online pal, Joe Casale, blasted him last week. I looked into it and found that he was indeed guilty of egregious and greedy malakatude. And that is why New York Yankees COO Lonn Trost is malaka of the week. He also has a helluva punworthy name even if he’s totally untrostworthy…
I don’t follow baseball as closely as I once did and I rarely pay attention to front office types: they don’t have baseball cards, after all. The only time I notice the baseball suits is when they do something arrogant, stupid, and self-defeating. Trost hit the trifecta last week after the Yankees announced a new ticketing policy. They will no longer accept online printout tickets from entities such as StubHub. It has nothing to do with technophobia and everything to do with money and downright snobbery. Here’s what Get Off My Lonn Trost said about this kerfuffle:
“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money. It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount.”
Trost then added a comment that raised eyebrows on social media because of its seemingly elitist undertones. “And quite frankly,” he said, “the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”
I guess he’s a Trostafarian who takes the old line about the great unwashed literally. He wants to keep that stinky rabble away from the well-heeled gentry who pay big bucks to watch grown men spit, scratch, and fart around. A season ticket holder can pay as much as $20K for the hoity toitiest tickets to see Trost’s team. That was a helluva lot of t’s, which is something I’d never tease y’all about…
The Yankees have violated the first rule of holes in dealing with this PR debacle: they keep digging. They’ve even gotten into a dispute with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. who wrote a scathing letter to the Yankees pompously plutocratic president, Randy Levine:
“Yankee fans have always been the best in baseball,” Diaz said in a statement. “The idea that some of us would recoil in horror because the person sitting next to them paid less than face value for their seat is absurd, and represents the very definition of elitism.”
“I have been a Yankee fan my entire life,” Diaz wrote. “Without the everyday, working class fans who make up the vast majority of their fan base, the New York Yankees would not be the successful franchise they are today.”
Ouch. The problem is that Trost and the other one-percenters who run the Yankees don’t give a shit about ordinary fans. They want those premium seats filled with wealthy rumps. It doesn’t matter that the premium seats in most ballparks are filled by fair-weather fans who don’t know a balk from a slider, they’ve got the do-re-mi. That’s baseball circa 2016 in an overpriced nutshell. As Randy Newman would surely say at this point, it’s money that matters:
Watching Trost and his arrogant cohorts drop the ball, reminds me of the Yankees in their 1950’s salad days; you know, the team that inspired the Broadway hit, Damn Yankees. In that era, the Yankees were run by a narrow-minded, bigoted, dreadful man named George Weiss. His ideal fan was a wealthy Republican from Westchester County or the leafier townships of Connecticut. Weiss was a notorious racist, which was one reason that the Yankees were among the last major league teams to integrate.
According to the book Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee, Weiss at a cocktail party stated loudly that “he would never allow a black man to wear a Yankee uniform.” The Yankees farm-system, which Weiss oversaw, had in place a policy preventing black players from reaching the major league club, according to the book.Elston Howard, eventually the first black Yankee, was switched from an outfielder to a catcher, the position at which it would be least likely to break into the major league club, given Yogi Berra’s presence.
When Elston Howard finally joined the ball club in 1955, it had been a Lonn time coming. For his part, Weiss thought that having Italian players was enlightened enough. While the other New York teams-the Dodgers and the Yankees-were beating the bushes for minority players, the Yankees were lily-white along with their arch-rivals the Boston Red Sox whose first black player was Pumpsie Green in 1959. I mention that detail because he had one of the greatest baseball names ever to go along with his .246 lifetime average in 5 seasons. Great name, bad player.
I took that detour to point out that the Yankee tradition of arrogance, condescension, and malakatude predated the house of Steinbrenner. Lonn Trost is merely the latest in a long line of asshats and douchebags to help run the Yankees. And that is why Lonn I don’t Trost the masses is malaka of the week,