- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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When Hal Steinbrenner looks in the mirror he doesn't see his dad. He knows he is a different man than his famous and, as he noted, sometimes infamous father.
"There were many years when fans and other people weren't too happy with my dad so the door swings both ways," Hal said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show." "I can't be concerned about that. Under no circumstances am I trying to be George because I'm not George. I'm just going to do the best I can for my family and for the fans. That's what we are going try and do every year."
Kay asked if he has that same "insatiable desire" to win like The Boss.
"I absolutely have a desire to win," Steinbrenner said. "Everyone in my family does. I'm just a little bit more quiet in terms of my demeanor. That doesn't mean I won't sit upstairs at my house and throw a shoe at the TV, believe me."
Hal reiterated his belief that the Yankees don't need a $200 million payroll to be the the World Champs. He said the question right now is how young players like David Phelps, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Dellin Betances and others are going to develop.
"Those guys continuing to develop are going to be key to this," Steinbrenner said.
He emphasized that nothing will be done at the expense of fielding a championship caliber team.
"What I am telling you is the $189M is absolutely a goal and it will continue to be a goal and it will continue to be a goal, but not at the expense of the other," Steinbrenner said. "If we are not convinced that we have a team that can win it all, then that is not going to happen."
With attendance potentially falling this season, Steinbrenner said Yankee ticket prices are fair.
"As far as tickets, there is a lot of talk about expensive tickets, but I don't hear any of the talk about the five dollar games that we have, the half-price days, the discount days and, quite frankly, not on those days, we have thousands and thousands of tickets in the twenty to thirty dollar range, good seats, so we want everybody to be able to attend the games," Steinbrenner said.
Steinbrenner grazed a few other topics. He said that he has no interest in selling the team, "Despite the stories that have come from different sources that are all inaccurate, there has never been any discussion within the family about selling the team and there has never been any discussion with outsiders about selling, absolutely not."
He declined to answer if Joe Girardi needed to make the playoffs to keep his job. Girardi is in the final season of his contract. Steinbrenner said that "things have been quiet" on the Robinson Cano contract negotiation front, but he thought they could pick up again during the season.
The owner said it is "sad" that this might be the beginning of the end for Derek Jeter.
"It is absolutely sad," Steinbrenner said. "The fans love him. We love him. He is part of the Yankee family, but every player unfortunately goes through this. I can only imagine when you have been playing baseball since you were four or five years old, what it must feel like. It is hard for many of us to understand."
QUESTION: Do you believe the Yankees can drop below $189M and maintain a championship level team?