Friday, August 17, 2018

For All Those Fans Who Say George > Hal Steinbrenner

Good morning, afternoon, or evening wherever you are when you are reading this. Hopefully your day is going well, you left your blinders at home and your rose-colored glasses did not match your favorite shirt and pants combination today because I am going to make a statement that is not only going to be an unpopular one, but it’s going to be true as well. I have grown increasingly impatient with the Yankees fan base as a whole recently and, for what it’s worth, a lot of you out there have completely gone off the reservation here. The fans that I am speaking of know what I mean, and they know who you are. These fans are ready to fire Aaron Boone, a rookie manager who is managing the second-best team (record wise) in Major League Baseball, Larry Rothschild, a great and well-respected pitching coach, and Brian Cashman, an amazing General Manager that has not only rebuilt this team but rebuilt a decimated farm system as well. These fans also want to demote (FYI, so-called fans, you can’t) Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Luis Severino and others (Giancarlo Stanton not too long ago) because they are failing seven or eight times out of every ten at-bats in a game that says you are great, not just good, for doing exactly that. These fans are also extremely quick to mention the fact that this situation would not be going on if George Steinbrenner, the Boss, were still alive. Um, excuse me? If anything, the situation is the way it is today BECAUSE of the Boss.

No disrespect to George Steinbrenner, I fully respect the man and what he did not only for the New York Yankees, but for the game of Major League Baseball as a whole. Let’s be real though, depending on how long on this timeline you want to go back on, the reason the New York Yankees are even in the situation they are in right now is because of the Boss, not because of Hal Steinbrenner “the coupon clipper.”

The luxury tax threshold came about because of teams and owners who heavily spent on free agents and on the international market. There once was a time where the New York Yankees owned everything, some may remember, and some may not. If there was a free agent on the market that the Yankees wanted, they got him. If that free agent didn’t work out instantly and there was an upgrade on the trade market that July, the Yankees got him too. If there was an international phenom coming over named Jose Contreras or Hideki Irabu, the Yankees got them too. Who was the man at the helm making all these decisions and signing off on all these paychecks? George Michael Steinbrenner III.

What was the league to do in order to counteract this? What was the Players Association to do? The only thing that they could to in order to not only curtail the dominance and the spending by the Yankees (who, if you remember, had their own television network in an era where this was virtually unheard of, unlike today) was to somehow implement a way to cap spending and bring some sort of normalcy and parity back into the game. Enter the original “competitive balance tax” and how it started way before it was implemented before the 1997 season. Let’s go back to the strike of 1994 that ended the season prematurely and ultimately cancelled the World Series. Much of what caused the strike was the disagreement between the league, the players and the owners over the control and power the teams had over their players in the salary department. Small market teams felt handcuffed by fiscal budgets while the larger market teams, like the Yankees (George Steinbrenner was still suspended from baseball at this time), refused to accept a salary cap. What did it result in? A strike. The players and the league agreed to return to the sport, albeit late, in 1995, before the two sides agreed upon a collective bargaining agreement in 1996 that would include Major League Baseball’s first ever luxury tax. The agreement states that the top five teams in terms of salaries paid would each have to pay a 34% fine on each dollar spent beyond halfway between the salaries of the 5th and 6th teams’ salaries. For example, if the 5th highest payroll in MLB that season was $100 million and the 6th highest payroll that season was $98 million the top five spending teams in the league would have to pay a 34% tax on every dollar they spent over $99 million, or whatever that median was.

Before the Yankees “Dynasty” success of the mid-90’s and into the early 2000’s the Yankees only spent a total of $9,919,651 in luxury tax dollars, although that was the second highest mark to only the Baltimore Orioles who spent $10,643,897 from 1996-1999. The luxury tax was working for the most part until George began dipping his feet into the deep end of the free agent pool again starting in the early 2000’s. While the luxury tax was eliminated from 2000-2002, which led to presumably a lot of the heavy spending from the Yankees, the luxury tax was back in a new CBA signed during the 2002 season that placed a flat, albeit soft, cap on spending that teams could not go over without being penalized. Here is the history of the luxury tax threshold and what those marks were from the 2003 season to what we will see in the 2021 season when the latest CBA expires.

Source: wikipedia

The luxury tax basics changed some over the years, but the basic premise remained the same, if teams went over the cap they were hit with fiscal penalties. Under the CBA that stretched from 2002 – 2006 teams that were going over the cap for the first time had to pay a fee of 17.5% on every dollar over the luxury tax threshold (later increased to 22.5% with the 2006 CBA), while second time offenders would pay 30% on every dollar. Third time offenders, like the New York Yankees, were paying 40%, or 40 cents on every dollar that they spent over the luxury tax threshold. To put this in an example that many Yankees fans can understand, before the 2001 season the Yankees signed first baseman Jason Giambi to a seven-year deal worth $120 million. While there wasn’t a luxury tax threshold in 2001 when he signed, there was for the final five seasons of the contract. To make it simple, Giambi’s seven-year deal was worth roughly $17 million per season, with 40% of that being $6.857 million. Multiply $6.857 million five times and you have $34.285 million dollars in taxes alone and on the Jason Giambi contract alone. FYI just to put this into perspective of how much $34 million in payroll was back in the early-to-mid 2000’s, the entire payroll of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003 when the tax came back to the game was $19,630,000.  

During the first CBA that stretched from 2002-2006 the Yankees spent $152,749,814 (2003), $182,835,513 (2004), $205,938,439 (2005), and $194,663,079 (2006) in overall payroll, tops in Major League Baseball each season by a long shot. This did not factor in what the team spent in luxury tax dollars. Obviously, the luxury tax threshold was not deterring anyone, but especially the New York Yankees and George Steinbrenner during that time (although George passed away in 2010 before these changes were implemented), from spending so things were switched up before the 2012 season with a new CBA. With the new CBA came a new penalty for going over the luxury tax, this time for offenders that have gone over the luxury tax threshold four or more times, hitting them with a 50% tax on every dollar spent over the luxury tax threshold. Since the inception of the luxury tax threshold in MLB the Yankees have spent a whopping $319.6 million just in luxury tax penalties alone, “closely” followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and their $149.7 million in penalties spent for second place. It wasn’t until the current CBA that was agreed upon in 2016 that we saw the ability to stay under the threshold for one year to reset the penalty to “first offense” spending on dollar spent over the threshold.

So, why does Major League Baseball even have a luxury tax threshold, and the subsequent penalties that followed which now include international spending limits and draft pick compensation limitations? Because of people like George Steinbrenner, God rest his soul. With this information it seems not only silly, but also irresponsible to say that George Steinbrenner was a better owner than Hal Steinbrenner when you can’t really compare the two. George Steinbrenner was apples, and his son Hal is oranges. Th difference is that George was ahead of his time and had the ability to pay whatever for whomever and dominate the league, Hal is just being forced to play in a league that finally caught up to what his father was doing and getting away with all along. The only reason there is a luxury tax threshold, due in large part anyway, is because of George Steinbrenner… and the only reason that Hal needs to get under it is because of his father.

It isn’t just sacrificing money anymore, because yes I do realize that the Yankees make $500 billion a season or whatever number those irrational and uninformed fans on social media love to gloat about when bitching about not signing a player for financial reasons, but it is also about sacrificing prospects, draft picks, international money, and lord knows what else they will come up with when the current CBA expires in 2021. The league has caught up to the Yankees, both in terms of players and in terms of money, and the game just isn’t the same anymore. Add Hal Steinbrenner to the helm of the Yankees empire in the mid-90’s through the 2000’s and the Yankees may have won a lot more World Series than just five World Series Championships, but put George Steinbrenner at the helm of the Yankees from 2009 to present… and the Yankees may not have a single ring, or prospect, or draft pick, or anything else BUT THEIR MONEY to gloat about or talk about.

Think about that before simply declaring that this “wouldn’t happen if The Boss were alive.”


  1. That saying drives me crazy because it's another example of people not remembering the way things actually were.

  2. A team that started the year with a payroll less than $66 million is within striking distance (three games) of knocking the Yankees out of the Wild Card Pole Position. I agree with Hal that you don't need a $200 million payroll to win a World Series, but as someone who lived through both eras, I find it hard to compare the two men. Two different eras. As a kid, I loved the 'spare no expense, field an All-Star at every position' attitude of the Boss, but I've grown through the years, as has the game, and I realize today that the importance of wise investments supplemented by cost-controlled players is the name of the game. Maybe the Boss wouldn't have changed with the times, but then again, maybe he would have. We'll never know. I'd like to think that even if the Boss was alive today and running the Yankees, Hal would be a huge voice in his ear and the team's philosophy would not be too much unlike it currently is. Of course, that could be pipe dream and the Boss would be forking over record sums of luxury tax penalties. I always felt that the Boss learned from his time away during the suspension in the early 90's and he saw that his old approach was not the best way to form a championship club. 1985 Boss was a hell of a lot worse than 1995 Boss. Times change and I think the Yankees would have evolved regardless of who was steering the ship.

  3. Thanks for the great explanation. I understand and am not arguing that George was the catalyst for many changes, but I think what most people are talking about is that George put a fear into the players that if you don't produce, you lose your job. For instance, Sanchez...although his numbers are better than other mere mortals, he has not played up to HIS potential since fall 2016, when he was brought up as the backup catcher to McCann. He fought hard for the starting position and got it. Once he got the job, he changed. He's not hurt right now, he's being disciplined. We all watched him turn up the gas when he realized what the play was jogging to first base. He did NOT limp off the field. Boone was asked about disciplining a player, if we would know about it and he responded saying, "No, that's something we'd probably take care of in house." Right, Sanchez, has been benched. Players are too coddled nowadays. People talk about how much players that have worked under Ron Washington respect him because he pushes them and gets in their face. This Yankee team is a bunch of wimps, with the exception of Gardner, Didi, Judge, and a few pitchers. There is no fire. They chat it up and laugh it up with whomever is near the base they are on or playing. It should be war when they are on the field! Off the field, different story.

    It's articles like this that, although it provides a lot of fact based information, misses the point of why people are upset.

    2nd best record in baseball and we lose against teams like the Orioles, Royals, and Mets, but can steam roll the Sox, Astros, Mariners, and Oakland earlier in the season! Really? It's psychological and they need a wake up call. It ain't about the money, it's about coddling.

    1. The point of the post was that many think the Yankees would not be in this situation if George were here... trying to get under the luxury tax, etc. My point was the only reason that we have a luxury tax for Hal to try and get under is BECAUSE of his father. There wouldn't be one if it weren't for George and his excessive spending. And sure, he wasn't the only one... but when he outspent 85% of the league by himself, he was the poster child for the campaign for the luxury tax, profit sharing, etc.

  4. Very well written Daniel, and true.
    "The Boss" had NO Farm System at all, he traded everyone away for the next bright star.
    When "Stick" and Watson ran the Yankees (for two years) they drafted well and didn't trade them away. "Stick" Stayed on and later named Cashman as GM but he also asked him to continue building the Farm System. Until he convinced Hal it is cheaper to build from within he was stymied by Hal and the Tampa leaders that had Hals' ear.
    It is nice to know someone around here reads the history of the Yankees...even though he is a young "Wiper Snapper". LOL

    1. After one month / 30 days...this line-up needs an iron pill. Now.

      No one on earth is better than Shane Robinson ? Now, Walker ?

      An above average hitter, with decline, is not
      someone who could not have helped this team since mid-July ?

      A $3 billion team with a .191 hitter in right field can ?

    2. I want to address the comments made about people calling out Boone and how dare we as he is not part of the problem. First let's jump into his managerial experience....None Second let's look at why he is really there... Cashman wants to play G_d and be able to not only make the moves on the roster, he wants to control the lineups. Tell me why a player who is young and on a hitting streaks needs time off? Yet there are many cases where either the elf or Daniel Boone in his skunk skin hat decides to sit a player. The elf who you all wanted to make a bronze statue of before the all-star break has been unable to get better players to replace a Shane Robinson or Higi at catcher. What about the prospects he gave up for Sonny I can't pitch in NY Gray. He makes Ed Whitson look like Cy Young.

      If you guys can't see that Boone is part of the problem then you don't know baseball. It is said that the team takes the personality of its manager, so you have a guy who has no fire to get his players pumped up to play. This managerial move was purely an elf play to allow himself to run the team. The elf was a flunky little league player who couldn't crack the mandatory lineup that everyone kid plays at least two innings. This is where the desire to show the fathers running the teams that he can not only bring in players, he too could manage. This is like Torre getting all the credit on the 98 team. I'm calling bullshit as every single one of us could've managed that team to the WS. Sleepy Joe was always taking a nap in the dugout.

      Hiring Boone a broadcaster to manage a baseball team such as the Yankees is like asking a Med student to perform brain surgery while still in Med school. I don't want to hear about well when Sanchez comes back and when Judge comes back that we will see the real Yanks because last I looked Sanchez was hitting below his body weight and Judge will not get back to the player he was before the broken wrist until next year. Stop looking through the roses color glasses some of you look through and face the genuine facts. Elf didn't get us the best fill ins to take the place of Robinson and Bird and Boone is nothing more than a chess piece the elf controls and Gardner still sucks, that's for your Levin

    3. Hansel....Three paragraphs of throwing gasoline on a fire.
      Not all valid points. Although done with humor, but I think you are way off point.

      This team has the second best record of all of baseball. Fact.
      I say, if they could take away the sorry starts of Germain, Gray,
      and Cessa, they could be in first place. (Especially Germain.)

      Injuries happen. They are no ones fault.

      All of the above, under the watch of Arron Boone. No, he is not
      Billy Martin. But Boone is a good man, and smart. Very few mistakes.

      Six more weeks. Things can be adjusted / added.
      Shane Robinson ? Batting .114. No hope.

    4. Interaction at the Greedy Pinstripes?
      Seems like...don't hold your breath.

      Just a series of self serving posts. Some idiotic.
      Hans / Hansel, is the only one that tries to mix it up with others.
      He tries so hard, but no one responds to him.
      The fool poster, 'Unknown', gets more print than Hans.

      Appears to me that most posters here attend an embalming school,
      somewhere in New Jersey, and will only post in between corpses.

    5. Come on patrick, if I had more time I would reply to Hans but anyhow we both know he gets upset when I don't agree with him.
      The Yankees went out and brought in one of those "stat guys", everything is based on numbers with this team now.
      Take Severino and his slider and fastball, people thought he pitched to many innings. What they found out was, he a lost a rotation or more off the slider and lost command of his fastball.
      Cashman has no interest in being the manager, that would be a step-down.

      "The Catholic University of America offered Cashman the opportunity to play college baseball for the Catholic Cardinals, competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III, guaranteeing him playing time as a freshman.[4] He was a four-year starter at second base and the team's leadoff hitter. He set a school record for most hits in a season, which has since been broken. He earned a bachelor's degree with a major in history in 1989."

    6. Whether Boone has been a great manager, an average manager, or a terrible manager is a moot point in my opinion. Why? Because the Yankees have the second best record behind the Red Sox, who are playing out of their minds. If the Yankees had Girardi would they be better than the Red Sox? I think not. If they had a Buck Showalter would they be better than Boston? Nope. Joe Torre in his prime? Probably not.

      There have been so many instances and researches done that show that the day-to-day decisions by a manager have a minuscule effect on the game itself. Factor in that Boone is presumably not making all the pitching change decisions on his own, Larry Rothschild has a say I'm sure and some speculate that Cashman himself does too, and your reason to complain about Boone and the 2nd best record in his rookie season become a moot point and conversation.

      Is he perfect? Hell no. He is frustrating as hell, but so was Girardi... and so was Torre... and I am too young to remember Showalter.

    7. Kenneth....You were not the intended target for my broadside.
      You were never an embalmer. Confusing at times, but never a
      corpse preparer / poster.

  5. Just for Hans...
    "The Catholic University of America offered Cashman the opportunity to play college baseball for the Catholic Cardinals, competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III, guaranteeing him playing time as a freshman.[4] He was a four-year starter at second base and the team's leadoff hitter. He set a school record for most hits in a season, which has since been broken. He earned a bachelor's degree with a major in history in 1989."


    1. Reed first off I never get mad for you disagreeing with me because you've been disagreeing with me since my inception here so I have become numb to it. Second the great baseball school know as Catholic University hmmmm, how many professionals have come out of that baseball factory. I will say this, just because you played doesn't mean you can coach or be a GM. Many great players in the Majors bombed as managers or GM's in their post playing day times. You don't take a manager from the TV and give him the reigns of the NY Yankees. The elf has done a decent job, not a great job this year. I don't care what any of you say...Boone sucks as a manager and I do believe Girardi would have this team closer to first place then this clown

    2. Hansel & Gretal....What is wrong with you ?
      Manager Boone has not finished out the year yet. As for Joe Girardi,
      whom I really liked, I can not tell you what he may have achieved.
      Jumping Joe did not have Cessa, Gray, or Germain to deal with.

      Catholic University, home to 'Jake the Snake Roberts.'

    3. Hans, we do disagree a lot but, I do respect your opinion. We are from a different time in the history of baseball and see things from the first day we ever saw a game (40s') for me.
      I see a hard slide into a second baseman...with injury...and say someone didn't teach him the right footwork. Others, did say...dirty play, we need another rule change!
      Joe T came from the TV box to the Yankees and lost more games himself then any manager I ever saw.

      We haven't had this many injuries to so many key players in a long add Didi. All on Boones first year, that is called a FUBAR...right patrick?

    4. FUBAR ?...Could not have said it better myself.
      Kenneth, Hans is a big fan of yourself. Just a touch of Twasp,
      nothing more.
      Good morning.

    5. Hans is an honest guy and one always knows where one stands with him. He rants a bit to much about that which he has NO control know, just like every Yankee fan (you and I included, right patrick)!
      Keep Hans smiling patrick......

    6. Reed I want know control over anyone. I stat facts, what you do with facts is entirely up to you. I have always said look at the back of ones baseball card and numbers don't lie. Look at your man Gardner, career 260-263 hitter and now in the 240 range. Terrible baserunner, can't steal bases, weak arm and good defender. Is that not an accurate assessment on the guy? Facts is all I care about. Boone is overmatched, pulls SP when he needs not to, or keeps pitchers in too long and can't run a bullpen. Has no fire in his belly in which his team plays the way the manager is. Is that not an accurate description Reed?

    7. Ken H...
      More or less! The only thing is, Brett is a center fielder playing out of position.
      Boone is a rookie, they make mistakes.
      These are facts also! Not that we could't do better, like Clint Frazier in LF!

  6. Hilarious Patrick. You keep me smiling and that’s a good thing

  7. Catholic University....home to 'Jake the Snake' Roberts.
    Mention the term snake around those campus priests, and you
    have a new home coming queen.

    Hansel...Time for you to put up some quality postings, and show
    the embalmers how it is done.

  8. Maxine Waters (D) Congress Woman / Representing the California 29th.
    Congressional District.

    As taught to me, while in the New York State school system, Ms. Waters
    was then known to me as a negro. Gov. Nelson Rockefeller said so.
    He should know, he died during sex, on a conference table, with a
    girl friend half his age.

    As time has moved on, the term negro has taken on all new meanings.
    A most confusing word that it is, most all of us have moved on.

    Not Congress Woman Waters, she is still a negro.

  9. Yankees are having a great season, no argument. But they are 2-2 vs. Marlins 3-3 vs. Mets and 6-6 vs. Orioles, who are a combined 93 games under .500 so people tell me who’s fault that is? Come on Reed give me one of patented excuses for why this is happening? Freaking Pedro is right. No fire on this team. I said the same thing the other day yet all you guys came running to Boone’s farm wines aid. You are wrong Patrick about this Daniel Boone character. Even with a decimated lineup they are still better than the Triple A Marlins, in fact they should’ve been swept. How about playing some small ball and shove this saber metrics shit away. Watching this team play is like having root canal surgery. This clown has no clue how to manage a bullpen. Why is Chance Adams even brought up if you need bullpen help? Hey Elf get us another outfielder with our alleged top flight farm system. I know Robinson didn’t play tonight but still being on this roster is a joke. When will this insanity stop?

  10. Send Bird down please and stop with this injury shit that he missed so many games. The guy sucks

    1. I have a general rule that I don't dismiss or give up on a guy below 1000 at-bats/plate appearances. No one has to agree with me, but that's why I haven't jumped on the "Greg Bird Sucks" train yet.

    2. Well all rules are meant to be broken and this is one of them

  11. Bird has not had the uninterrupted time (at bats) to get himself going again. Some only need 35/45 AB too get up to game speed...others, to each his own!
    As for Gray, he has the stuff but...this will sound as an excuse, it's not! There is a fine line between having the talent and knowing how to use it. And sometimes it is the old, "big fish in a big pond" as to the way it always was, "big fish in a small pond."
    Just something to think about!

    Stay well, guys!

    1. Reed stop already with the excuses with Bird. He has played over 70 games this year. Enough of this bullshit already. The guy is a triple A player just like Tyler Wade is.

    2. Ken H...
      There have been many players that have been sent down even cut from baseball that have come back and play in the Majors again.
      A player came up in the a SS and Casy changed him into an out fielder. He was sent back down came back and became the backbone of the team...Mickey!
      Will Bird become the player the Yankees think he can????

    3. Pretty unrelated I guess, but Bird was drafted as a catcher too if memory serves.

  12. QUESTION : In 1915, who finished third in the American League voting
    for the Cy Young Award ? Sure you knew it..Sonny "Pickles" Gray.

    Great performance tonight. Who cares if it was Baltimore.
    Always liked this pitcher / person.

    1. Not one post in the last 24 hours....Not one.
      To me, amazing.
      This is a team site. Not some dead end street on the net.

      The management here, puts in hours of effort to entice us to comment.
      Boston is coming back to the pack. The Yankees may sweep tonight, and silence.
      Those who can give five minutes, and do not, should be ashamed.

      I was joking when I called you people embalmers. You people are
      proving I was right.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)