Yankees' Steinbrenner Bullish On Team's Start, Payroll Flexibility
Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner "expressed pleasure with his team's stellar start" to the '18 season, but he knows "more arms will be needed to lift the Yankees to where they want to go," according to Ken Davidoff of the N.Y. POST. Steinbrenner said, "We've got some flexibility payroll-wise." Steinbrenner's "long-desired goal of getting under the luxury tax, which the Yankees have never accomplished since the penalty went into effect" in '97, is "extremely attainable." Steinbrenner said, "We purposely left a decent amount of money for just this. ... If we decide to go get a pitcher and if a pitcher's available, I think we definitely have the flexibility to allow me to (stay under the luxury-tax threshold)." The Yankees have about $12M to spend "without surpassing" the $197M threshold (N.Y. POST, 6/14).
WANNA GET AWAY? On Long Island, David Lennon notes after the team's recent string of plane problems, Steinbrenner got "assurances from Delta, the club's airline, that the issues would be ironed out." Steinbrenner is "satisfied with that." The Yankees were "forced to spend the night" at Dulles Int'l Airport in Virginia, with some players "sleeping on the plane and other in the terminal because of a bad-luck combination of engine trouble, weather problems and crew schedules." That was followed by "more mechanical issues" in Dallas -- where the plane was "forced to return to the airport and wait for a part, delaying the team's takeoff until the early morning." A week later, the Yankees "got stuck in Baltimore because of radar problems in Detroit, causing substantial delays." Steinbrenner was asked if he could "solve the Yankee's flying issues by simply buying the team its own plane," but he indicated it "wasn't feasible from a maintenance perspective" (NEWSDAY, 6/14).