Hank Steinbrenner is turning into his father before our very own eyes.
"We just have to [bleeping] win," Hank Steinbrenner stated emphatically to the New York Post about the 2010 season.
"We will do what we have to do to win," Steinbrenner said. "We have the highest payroll and the reason is we are committed to our fans to win.
The Yankees have $196.5 million guaranteed in 2010 contracts and should crack the $200 million barrier by Opening Day. Par for the course for a team coming off three-straight $200 million payrolls, reaching $213 in 2010. However, competition for the Yankees is stiffer: the club is getting old and most of its dollars are invested in those on the wrong side of 30 and showing signs of wear and tear, such as Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. In addition, other teams are catching up to New York's massive payroll edge: the Red Sox played 2010 at $168 million and will have a similar payroll again in 2011.
That's not all. The AL East is home to some of the brightest minds in all of baseball. Andy MacPhail is engineering a turnaround in Baltimore; the Rays have been among baseball's best the last three years and have made some savvy moves to compensate for losing Carl Crawford and others; and the Blue Jays just churn out one good move after another and won 85 games.
"It's going to be typical American League East," he said. "It's the best division in baseball. With division play certain things are fair, some things are unfair. You wear each other out."
Steinbrenner feels the Yankees have one of the four-best teams in baseball. You could find a lot of people who would disagree with Hank, but he is looking at the season optimistically by predicting good years from the likes of Ivan Nova, Joba Chamberlain and A.J. Burnett.
Only time will tell if Hank's Yanks are one of the four best.
-- Evan Brunell