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#pounditMonday, April 15, 2024

Unreal detail about Yankees is going viral

Brian Cashman at a press conference

Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with media during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, but there is at least one perk that is not enjoyed by those who work for them — free airplane WiFi.

Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated learned arguably the most shocking fact of all time about the Yankees while covering the team at spring training this week. She spoke with several players who confirmed that they have to pay for WiFi access while aboard their team plane, which is operated by Delta Airlines.

Gerrit Cole says he was surprised when he learned of the strange expense after he signed a nine-year, $324 million deal with New York prior to the 2020 season. Outfielder Brett Gardner joked that Cole’s “contract is too big” so the Yankees can’t afford to treat their players to free WiFi.

The WiFi fee, which is roughly $9 per passenger, is technically paid to Delta. Apstein was told it would cost about $40,000 per year for the Yankees to pick up the tab. For whatever reason, they and only one other team — the Cincinnati Reds — have decided not to.

When asked about the WiFi fee, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, “I think most of our players can afford it.” That is true, but you would think the franchise that is valued at an estimated $6 billion could, too.

Between the cost of WiFi and their strict policy on physical appearance, the Yankees had better win some more championships if they want to keep attracting top talent.

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