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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Updated: September 25, 10:21 AM ET
Life just isn't fair, according to Hank

By Page 2

New York Yankees' 2008 payroll: $207 million.

Cost of new Yankee Stadium: $1.3 billion.

Hank Steinbrenner writing for the Sporting News: Priceless.

In an upcoming edition of the magazine, the Baby Boss complains that the Yankees will miss the playoffs while the Dodgers -- managed by Joe Torre, playing in a weaker division, winning fewer games -- will likely make the postseason.

"It isn't fair," he writes. "You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we're not. … If L.A. were in the AL East, it wouldn't be in the playoff discussion. The AL East is never weak."

Well … sure, except for 2000 when the Yankees won just 87 games, fifth most in the American League, but went on to win the World Series.

And, of course, it's clearly unfair that a team with a $207 million payroll would lose out to a team with a $43 million payroll.

But Hank had much more to say. In an exclusive interview with Page 2 -- meaning, we've lost the audiotapes to verify the accuracy of these statements -- here's what else Hank says is unfair:

"The Dodgers left New York because they couldn't handle the pressure. And now they get to waltz into the playoffs? Ridiculous."

"Something's just not right in baseball when a pitcher I paid $40 million for gets me nine wins in three years and teams like the Dodgers are paying peanuts to guys putting up double-digit wins in a season."

"The Dodgers' lineup is so inept they actually put a pitcher in their batting order every game."

"Why do they play their games three hours after us? Laziness, that's why. Sometimes we get a whole game in before they even start."

"Teams that draw best should have more home games. Why should the Yankees and Rays play the same number of home games? So they won more games? We drew more fans! Furthermore, when my team is on the road, a big percentage of the people in the stands in many places are our fans. We should get 100 percent of the ticket revenue from any fan wearing our gear at away games. And teams should be paying us a luxury tax for all the revenue we bring them."

"The Yankees play in the greatest city in the world, at the greatest ballpark in the world and are the greatest franchise in the world so teams lucky enough to come and experience playing the Yankees should start the game down two runs as a gratuity to greatness."

"And furthermore, why do we have to share our city with another team? Here's what should happen: We take over the Mets and call them the Yankee B Team or something. They can play in old Yankee Stadium while we occupy the new place across the street. It's only fair. We were here first."

"Or that other team should just stay where it is and take New York out of its name since it plays in some place called Flushing."

"The draft is screwed up. We never get to draft first, even though some teams won't take the best player because they won't pay him what he's worth. We would pay him that and even more. Especially if he's a Scott Boras client. Or better yet, just get rid of the draft altogether. It's communist."

"We're at a disadvantage playing on the East Coast, making all those cross-country flights. They should make the West Coast teams play all their games against us at Yankee Stadium."

"It's not fair that we play half our games with a 10-foot fence in left and then we have to go face that damn green monstrosity in Boston."

"The National League -- doesn't sound very American to me."

"And what exactly are the Rays hiding under that dome?"

"The Yankees will make Alex Rodriguez available to the media -- that is, a hard-hitting one-on-one with Yogi Berra -- on our terms and timetable, and provided reporters and commentators show proper deference. Because Alex Rodriguez isn't going to the plate to seek their good opinion; he's going to the plate to serve the good people of New York City who would think nothing of bidding two grand for a genuine Yankee Stadium shower stall drain catch, now up for auction!"

DJ Gallo, Jim Baker, Kurt Snibbe, Patrick Hruby, Thomas Neumann and Jim Caple contributed to this interview.