I think you're confusing "playoffs" with "contention". That's why I said your 92 win/90 win team analogy was off. Teams that contend keep their fan base interested. Baseball has a long season. And, as I said, there are a lot of factors beyond winning and favorite players. Weather and scheduling are important. The Sux on a T/W/T at YS will draw just as well as a KC on F/S/S. Swap those around and the Yanks draw less on the week. Give me 37 degrees in April and I'll show you people saying "**** this. I'm staying home."
She'll root for the Yankees. She won't have a jersey. When I said "Jeter will start the season on the DL", she said "That makes me sad for him. I don't think that's how he expected to finish his career." So, if you ask me, she'll care less about the Yankees than she did when he retires. I think there are plenty of people who identify players with teams.