Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner Discusses Issues Surrounding Team In Q&A
Yankees Managing General Partner & co-Chair Hal Steinbrenner is "entering his fifth season at the helm," and the N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Mark Feinsand conducted a Q&A with Steinbrenner to discuss rumors of a potential sale, injuries to star players, the need for young players to contribute and other issues. Below are excerpts from their conversation:
Q: Your father seemed to love the spotlight, the back pages and all that New York had to offer, yet you have taken a different approach, especially with the media. Are the two of you that different, or is it a conscious decision?
Steinbrenner: I’m sure it’s a difference of personalities, but it’s also a conscious decision. I don’t believe that the owner needs to be front and center and out there all the time. I don’t think that’s one of the most important things to the organization or to the team. But it’s also my personality; I’m a pretty introverted guy. It’s just not something that I’ve ever wanted, to be out there in the spotlight. That’s not me.
Q: Performance-enhancing drugs have been a hot topic in baseball for the past decade or so, and the Yankees have been right in the middle of it. What’s your take on the steroid era and its effect on the sport?
Steinbrenner: We’ll see how history judges this particular point in time. It’s a shame. There’s no upside. There’s nothing good about it.
Q: If those young guys don’t take that step forward, will the $189 million [luxury tax threshold] next year be that much more difficult to accomplish?
Steinbrenner: Let me say what I’ve been saying: 189 (million) is the goal. It’s absolutely the goal. How many teams the last 10 years have won the World Series with a $200 million payroll? One. One! I don’t believe it’s necessary if you’ve got a good mix of veterans and young talent.
Q: You’ve heard the rumors, most recently after the YES/News Corp. deal, that you’re setting yourself up to sell the team. Can you see any scenario in the near future where your family would sell the Yankees?
Steinbrenner: It’s never been talked about, never been considered, no offer even remotely entertained -- and I’m sure there are people out there that would jump all over it. It’s not in the cards. It’s just not something we’re looking at (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/7).
DOLLARS & SENSE: Steinbrenner has stayed true to his goal of reducing payroll to $189M by next season, and ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian said, “I don’t think they can keep up this austerity program that they’re on right now." Kurkjian: "These are the Yankees. They can’t just sit around and not be good." But ESPN’s Curt Schilling said, "These aren’t the George Steinbrenner Yankees. I think those days are gone” (“Baseball Tonight,” ESPN2, 3/6).