NEW YORK—Dukes, barons, viscounts, and earls are applauding the Yankees' recent decision to cut prices on dugout and foul-line field-level seats in half, from as much as $2,500 per game down to an amount the minor houses consider far more reasonable.
"Naturally I am quite pleased to attend my very first Yankees game, a spectacle that my merely adequate standing had until now denied me," said His Lordship the Duke-Chancellor of Arkengarth-upon-Settle, who often listens to Yankees games on satellite radio while tending to his 683-square-mile estate in Wales. "Until now, I have had to satisfy my sporting curiosity in less costly arenas, often hosting three-day fox hunts or airplane races upon the grounds of our family estate. But by mortgaging only half my landholdings, I am finally able to see the Yankees play the Red Sox."
"It is truly magnificent," said His Serenity the Archduke of Lesser Saxony, watching Joba Chamberlain struggle against energized Boston hitters. "Though the Duchess and I would often speak of seeing a Yankees game one day, somehow our ticket money was always being spent to build a cathedral or launch a fleet of ships. When we were given this opportunity, we thought, 'Well, what's one less cask of jewels in the treasury?'"
Though they are one of the most legendary teams in sports, the Yankees have often struggled with the perception among the landed gentry that they are unfriendly to those who fall beneath the rank of Prince-Consort, are further back than 15th in line to the throne, or cannot trace their lineage back to Queen Boudicca.
"They certainly are caught up in their history," said Her Preeminence the Contessa Lady Persephone-Fontlesbury du Wadicourt, whose 19-times-great uncle was given his lands, coat of arms, and title by King Philip VI for his role as a footman at the Battle of Crécy, and whose castle doubles as a national museum. "Witness the monument garden and those retired numbers. And the statuary! Really, it's all a bit ostentatious, if I'm honest."
Lady du Wadicourt's peers agreed. "I know that part of what I'm paying for is the Yankee mystique, but seriously, even at half-off, this is a bit ridiculous," said Raja Nuur Perak Ismaramudsa, who by tradition is descended from the ancient god of fire whose ribs formed the Indonesian islands that he governs from an alabaster and onyx palace. "There's a limit to how much your mythology lets you ask of a person, and the Yankees are really pushing it."
"Especially with A-Rod and [Jorge] Posada on the DL," the Raja added. "Between the ticket prices and the awful baseball, I'm surprised these peasants don't take up arms and overthrow the front office."
Yankees management would not comment on the price cuts, but said it was glad to see people in the seats even if they were in fact merely lesser nobility.
"The Yankees, much like the city they play in, have never cared about the size of your fortune, so long as you have one," said Hal Steinbrenner, the team's managing general partner. "Sure, we'd prefer to have the Queen Herself in the dugout seats, but if that's not possible, we'll take whoever we can get until the economy gets back on its feet."
Her Britannic Majesty the Queen of England Elizabeth II, Duchess of Lancaster and of Normandy, Lord High Commander of the United Kingdom and Defender of the Faith, has not held Yankees tickets since the spring of 1982, when they were sold to pay for the Falklands War.