After constructing a new $1.3 billion stadium and doling out another $423 million to three players, the New York Yankees have agreed to purchase the Ford Motor Co.
The financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, but insiders estimate the sale was priced at upwards of $9 billion.
In a statement released to the press, Yankees president Randy Levine confirmed the Bronx Bombers had purchased the ailing American carmaker, noting the shared history of these two organizations was key to the final sale.
"The New York Yankees were first established in 1901 and started playing ball in New York in 1903, the same year the Ford Motor Co. was born," said Levine.
"In the last 105 years, both the Yankees and Ford have become integral parts of the American experience and culture. We just managed our money a little better."
News of the sale came as a shock to Chrysler and GM, both automakers having to rely on a government handout in order to stay competitive in a tough automotive division. In recent years, the heavy hitters in the auto industry have been based in Japan.
"Had we known the Yankees were considering a foray into the automotive industry, we would have flown our private jets to New York instead of Washington," responded CEOs Robert Nardell and Richard Wagoner of Chrysler and GM, respectively.
A few short weeks ago, Ford was part of the Big Three contingent to beg for money from Congress or risk going under, putting tens of thousands of people out of work and throwing American institutions into the dumpster.
In mid-December, however, Ford backed out of the proposed bailout package, preventing government fingers from paging through the company's financial records and business plans.
Ford had still wanted a $9 billion line of credit from the feds, as well as an additional $5 billion from the Energy Department program. It's unknown if Ford has since pulled the plug on that proposition based on what the Yankees may have offered instead.
The Yankees have been playing fast and loose with the budget. It has all but completed construction on its new Yankee Stadium at a cost of $1.3 billion.
Since the beginning of December, the Yankees have secured the rights to heavyweight pitcher CC Sabathia for $161 million, pitcher A.J. Burnett for $82 million, and slugger Mark Teixeira for $180 million. The Yankees have committed more money to those three players than the other 29 teams have all offseason.
The Ford Motor Co. has been down on its luck for some time now, losing American drivers to Japanese carmakers Toyota and Honda. Ford also has an unfortunate number of acronyms associated with the brand, such as First Out Race Day, Found On Road Dead, and Fixed Or Repaired Daily.
The New York Yankees, by contrast, are the most celebrated and successful team in baseball despite being dubbed the "Evil Empire" by its critics, notably Boston Red Sox fans.
The statement by Levine did not address the negative associations with the Ford brand, instead focusing on the positives.
"Ford has a wonderful history of great cars, from the Mustang to the Focus. We welcome such names alongside the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio."
To celebrate the deal, Ford plans to release a 2009 Mustang "Pinstripe Edition," a white, two-door coupe with Yankee pinstripes that will retail for close to $250,000. The hefty price tag is to help the Yankees cover operating costs for what promises to be an expensive year in the Bronx.
The deal with Ford also means players, front office staff, and anyone else associated with the team will have to get rid of their Cadillac Escalades and other luxury vehicles not manufactured by Ford.
Following the announcement, rumors began to circulate out of Detroit that GM and Chrysler are reconsidering the government's $17.4 billion offer and are speaking to other teams about possible associations.