The New York Yankees’ hatred of the Boston Red Sox extends beyond the field of play. Even Yankees team owner Hal Steinbrenner can’t stand the team’s No. 1 rival. Steinbrenner told Joel Sherman of the New York Post he has “no love for the Red Sox on the field or in the division.”
It certainly didn’t help that the Yankees were eliminated by the Red Sox in the American League Division Series. Steinbrenner admitted thinking about that “certainly pisses me off.”
For the most part, Steinbrenner kept the focus on his own team. He said the Yankees didn’t play up to their ability against the Red Sox in the ALDS, and slammed almost every starting pitcher on the roster.
“I am frustrated we did not play up to our ability. Except for [Masahiro] Tanaka, the starting pitching was not good and the hitting was inconsistent. We are much better than we played in that series.”
Steinbrenner added that he doesn’t expect the team to utilize a different strategy during the offseason. The Yankees did everything possible to ensure the team would come in under the luxury tax in 2018. It appears they’ll try to do that again, as Steinbrenner believes a team can win with a payroll under $200 million, according to Sherman. Though Steinbrenner did admit that he would exceed that total if he felt the Yankees had a shot at winning it all.
If the Yankees are going to try and remain under the luxury tax in 2019, that would make it tough for the team to add Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado. Steinbrenner didn’t specifically comment on Harper, though the team’s deal with Brett Gardner complicates bringing Harper in. He did, however, hint at makeup issues potentially impacting how the Yankees will value Machado.
That doesn’t mean the Yankees will sit around and do nothing this winter. While the Yankees are still in good shape, there’s still work to do if they want to catch their biggest rival. Given Steinbrenner’s feelings toward the Red Sox, he should have plenty of motivation to make sure the Yankees give them an even harder time in 2019.
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