Yankees players apparently have to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi

By , Audacy Sports

"George Steinbrenner wouldn't have stood for this," a WFAN Facebook commenter will say after reading this headline.

And you know what? Said commenter may have a point.

But apparently the current iteration of the New York Yankees -- owned by Steinbrenner's son, Hal -- doesn't cover in-flight Wi-Fi expenses for their players. This is according to reporting done by Stephanie Apstein, who spoke to Brian Cashman, Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole, Brett Gardner, Clay Holmes, Michael King and Jameson Taillon, among others, in an interesting piece for Sports Illustrated.

The MLB minimum salary in 2023 is $720,000, so it's not as though any players will have to skip a meal if they pay $9 to be able to watch Netflix on a flight from New York to Houston.

Regardless of that, it feels like an unnecessarily cheap move by the Yankees, who Forbes estimated to be worth $6 billion in 2022, making them the fourth most valuable sporting franchise on the planet. To put that in perspective, when the elder Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973, he paid $8.8 million. So it's not as though the Yankees are a mom-and-pop business, with the Steinbrenner's just trying to make end's meet. After all, this is the franchise that so many fans have accused of trying to buy championships over the years.

For what it's worth, this doesn't appear to be a standard practice around the league. According to Apstein's reporting, the Cincinnati Reds appear to be the only other team charging players if they want Wi-Fi on the team plane. And over the last half century, the Reds have gone from the gold standard in baseball to one of the game's most irrelevant franchises. So that's not a franchise you want to model yourself after, especially when you're literally the New York Yankees.

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