The New York Yankees are the 4th most valuable sports franchise on planet earth, as of 2022. That includes NFL teams, NBA teams, global soccer teams like Real Madrid and Manchester United, and every other sport.
In their annual report, Forbes estimated the Yankees are worth $6 billion, a truly astronomical number. The Yankees also have the second-highest payroll in the MLB with $267,954,047 in player contracts in 2023 alone.
With all that money exchanging hands, it’s a bit shocking to learn that Yankees players are forced to pay for Wi-Fi on the team’s plane like the rest of us who fly commercial.
SI‘s Stephanie Apstein reported that the Yankees players are forced to pay for Wi-Fi every time they travel on the team’s plane, which can cost $9 per flight.
She wrote that some players are blaming each other for the minor charges. Brett Gardner joked that Gerrit Cole’s $324M contract is to blame, saying “it’s your fault. Your contract is too big, so they can’t pay for the Wi-Fi.”
According to Apstein, it is actually Delta charging the Yankees players for Wi-Fi use on the plane but they aren’t being reimbursed by the team.
If that sounds somewhat reasonable, she also found that of all 30 Major League Baseball teams the ONLY other team making players pay for Wi-Fi is the Cincinnati Reds.
Team captain Aaron Judge has found the loophole: T-Mobile. Subscribers on the T-Mobile network receive free Wi-Fi on Delta flights so he doesn’t get charged a dime out of his $360 million contract…
If I’m Aaron Judge and the first team captain since Jeter, I sort this out for my squad this season…
Baseball Fans Joke About Yankees Charging Players For Wi-Fi
I think we can all guess which Yankee executive is responsible for that policy pic.twitter.com/2CkDofAaf3
— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) March 15, 2023
I can’t express how much joy this article brought me.
— Jerry Blevins (@jerryblevins) March 15, 2023
This was 100% a George Costanza policy:
This is such a Costanza move
— Razzball (@Razzball) March 15, 2023
No free rides:
The Steinbrenners didn’t become filthy rich by just handing out free internet, ok?
— CMP (@CMPTosh) March 15, 2023
To that last point, the Yankees really do nothing for new players. I had a roommate who was called up from Scranton and later went on to have an incredible MLB career as a closer.
When he was called up the team basically said ‘show up, you’re getting paid more’ and started getting the league minimum checks. There was no person on the staff helping him find a place to live or aid in the transition.
He ended up sleeping in our guest room because he was childhood friends with another roommate of mine. He’d go from our post-college brownstone in the UES to Yankee Stadium. Being on the other side, it was hilarious to be a broke just-out-of-college kid with a roommate pitching for the Yankees.