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MLB owners meetings: Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner concerned about noncompetitive teams, centralized media rights

Jun 13, 2023

NEW YORK – New York Yankees chairman Hal Steinbrenner stopped short of explicitly calling out Oakland A’s owner John Fisher for dereliction of duty. But at the owners meetings Tuesday in New York, he levied a less specific critique about team owners who fail to invest to the extent of their ability, at the expense of the on-field product.

The A’s are running Major League Baseball’s lowest payroll this season, and it’s not especially close. Their sub-$60 million team is cheaper than the Yankees’ top two players: This year, Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole will out-earn the entire A’s roster. This is not working for Oakland, but it is by design.

Despite a nice run recently, the A’s have a sub-.300 winning percentage. If not for a brief win streak, they would be on pace to be the worst team in the history of the sport — an ignominy that is still very much within the realm of possibility. And that’s because Fisher is playing at a different game — not baseball as most viewers know it so much as baseball as a real estate-adjacent business. The ineptitude of the 2023 A’s is just one part of a long-running plan to relocate the franchise out of the Bay Area and into a partially publicly funded stadium in Las Vegas.

“I don’t know enough to know about the situation in Oakland, except to know that it’s not a good situation he’s in,” Steinbrenner said when asked if he would publicly decry Fisher’s lack of spending.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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