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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reagan and the Yankees

The New York Yankees, and the company that manages the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees held a major news conference Friday afternoon.

The big Yankees and Mandalay both said they are committed to staying in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

That's all well and good.

A wise public relations professor at Marywood College once taught me "It's not what you say.  It's what you do."  So far, Mandalay hasn't done much to inspire public trust.  The company's mis-steps have been noted here and in other places.  Proof is the dismal and embarrassing attendance numbers coming from the stadium in Moosic.

By the way, attendance at Saturday's playoff game was 1,448.  There were high school football teams that drew bigger crowds.  That's sad, and it makes me wonder if people around here really want minor league baseball.  There's considerable evidence to suggest very few tears would be shed if baseball went bye-bye.

At times like this, I'm remnided of President Ronald Reagan.  He often used the phrase "trust, but verify" when talking nuclear arms controls with the Soviet Union.  Reagan wasn't the first to use the phrase, but he did make it famous.

If Mandalay and the NY Yankees are serious about making this work, negotiate an agreement we all can live with-- one that doesn't leave the taxpayers holding the bag, one that doesn't allow the Mandalay to move the team, one that protects all parties involved, one that inspires Mandalay to attract fans to the ballpark.

Trust, but verify.