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.
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 8: New York Yankees Managing General Partner/Co-Chairperson Hal Steinbrenner speaks during the announcement of the 2019 London Series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in London, England on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 8: (L-R) Boston Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry, Linda Pizzuti Henry, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr., Christina Steinbrenner, and New York Yankees Managing General Partner/Co-Chairperson Hal Steinbrenner pose for a photo at Tower Bridge ahead of the announcement of the 2019 London Series in London, England on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: (L-R) Managing General Partner, Co-Chairperson Hal Steinbrenner, Senior Vice President, General Manager Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone pose for a photo at Yankee Stadium on December 6, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Derek Jeter holds his plaque with Hal Steinbrenner and Wife Elizabeth Steinbrenner during the retirement ceremony of his number 2 jersey at Yankee Stadium on May 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
New York Yankees joint owner Hal Steinbrenner during the press conference at Regent Street Cinema, London. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Hal Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees presents Lindo and Zondwa Mandela a copy of the plaque honoring Zondwa's grandfather, Nelson Mandela, during a press conference to announce a plaque honoring the late South African President Nelson Mandela will be in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Managing general partner and co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees looks on during a news conference introducing Masahiro Tanaka (not pictured) to the media on February 11, 2014 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: Hal Steinbrenner, Managing General Partner of the New York Yankees is seen during a press conference to announce the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's eight-year partnership with the Big Ten Conference at Yankees Stadium on June 3, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: (L-R) Christina Steinbrenner and Hal Steinbrenner attend the Citymeals-On-Wheels 27th annual Power Lunch for Women at The Plaza Hotel on November 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
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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.