TAMPA, Fla. – Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner shares Red Sox owner John Henry’s view that something needs to be done about revenue sharing in baseball.
Steinbrenner revealed the team contributed about $130 million between revenue sharing and luxury tax, the most of any team in the league and the most, according to Steinbrenner that the team has ever had to contribute. A few days ago, Sox CEO Larry Lucchino indicated the team contributed $86 million. This is obviously a sore subject for the Yankees and Red Sox.
“We’ve got to do a little something about that and I know Bud (Selig) wants to,” Steinbrenner said. “There’s a way. Obviously we’re very much allied with the Red Sox, and Mets and Dodgers and Cubs, in that area. At some point if you don’t want to worry about teams in minor markets, don’t put teams in minor markets or don’t leave teams in minor markets. Socialism, communism is never the answer.”
When asked about Boston’s spiraling payroll and spending spree this offseason, Steinbrenner said, “John (Henry) is committed to winning as we are. He’ll do what he has to do.”
He added, “The Red Sox are always gonna be there with the Yankees along with five or six other teams who can win the World Series. This year it’s the Phillies. The AL East is an SOB.”
Concerning his own team, Steinbrenner said that he sees a hunger returning to the team, the same hunger he saw in 2009.
“In 09 I saw it,” he said. “… Sometimes they celebrated a little too much last year. Some of the players too busy building mansions and concentrating on other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problems saying that. They’ve come into this spring with a new hunger and that’s what it takes to win.”
The one player who built a “mansion” was Derek Jeter.
“I’m not singling anybody out,” Steinbrenner said. “This year, from what I’ve seen by our coaches they’ve come in with a real new drive and determination, the kind they had in ’09. I think they felt embarrassed last year. It bothers them.”
Concerning the team’s inability to acquire a starting pitcher, Steinbrenner said, “We did. We got Soriano. Everybody’s missing the point. We didn’t get Lee, but we got the second-best relief pitcher in the American League and now he’s the set-up guy.”