#Hot Corner

Prince Hal's Plan B

So if this owning-the-world's-greatest-baseball-team thing doesn't work out, Hal Steinbrenner could probably get work as a TV weatherman. He's definitely got the looks and apparently he's got the mad skills too. From the Times:

It was not unusual that Steinbrenner was consulted — Yankees officials often seek his counsel when the weather threatens to delay or postpone a game. On numerous occasions, at home or in his Tampa office, he has been looking at radar and telling people hundreds of miles away at Yankee Stadium that they were failing to notice a front that would push the rain away, or a line of showers moving in from the south. His meteorological record is so good, Levine said, that on rainy days even the umpires ask, "What does Hal think?"

Ah, but this isn't just a cute story about Prince Hal's meteorological acumen. Watch out, here comes some baseball!

The Yankees have abdicated the crown as baseball’s biggest spenders. The Los Angeles Dodgers now have a bigger payroll than the Yankees, and Steinbrenner seems content to keep it that way, even if some would like the holes on the current roster to be filled with an expensive acquisition or two.

But as with his weather maps, Steinbrenner has significant statistical data at hand, particularly evidence showing that only once has a team with a $200 million payroll (the 2009 Yankees) won a World Series.

"My firmly held belief is that you don’t have to have a $200 million payroll to be world champion," he said last week in the team’s plush conference room at the spring training complex here. "And the historical data that led me to that conclusion is rock solid."

Well, yeah ... You don't have to have a $200 million payroll to win a championship. The data is exceptionally rock solid. I'm not sure about those datum's relevance to the Yankees, though. If there were more datum, it just might suggest that when you're blowing $30 million on Alex Rodriguez, spending $200 million is quite useful.

My guess is that Hal Steinbrenner is perfectly aware of the Yankees' effective payroll, which this season won't be anywhere near $200 million. My guess is also that he's decided to run the Yankees something like a real business, and that he and his co-owners simply enjoy watching their rooms filling up with gold.

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