Yankees’ financial losses clarified after Phillies reports emerge

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 06: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park on August 6, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Yankees 5-4. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 06: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies bats against the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park on August 6, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Yankees 5-4. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Hal Steinbrenner claims the Yankees lost the most money out of any team during the pandemic. Based on what the Phillies claimed on Saturday, that’s SO much money!

Baseball fans of all shapes and sizes went on a wild ride early on Saturday, when the first stated reports of any team’s 2020 financial losses emerged and they sounded…insane. After all, if the Phillies could lose that much money during a 60-game season, the Yankees’ books must be gruesome, right?

Luckily, a Daily News error was responsible for the mass hysteria and angry tweeting, but after the smoke cleared, we did have a more complete picture of what the Yankees’ financial losses might’ve looked like in 2020.

It all began when the Daily News quoted Philadelphia Phillies managing partner and principal owner John Middleton in his sob story about being unable to afford JT Realmuto (come on, man) as stating that his team had lost $2 billion during the pandemic season. Two. Billion.

It’s an impossible-to-believe number that clanged off our heads repeatedly until we tried to reconcile that total with the idea that Hal Steinbrenner claimed the Yankees had lost more than any other MLB team. So…yeah, if that were true, where would the Bombers find the cash to do anything at all this offseason?

Only one thing: It wasn’t $2 billion at all, as any reasonable person probably could’ve guessed. Big exhale, of course, but why that was published (other than to cover for the Phillies’ inaction), we have no idea.

According to Philly insider John Clark, he’s heard $145 million — still a massive number which the Yankees apparently believe they’ve eclipsed, but that’s more like “beluga caviar” big and not “national debt” big.

After much grousing the Daily News corrected their original report — with a tiny parenthetical that reads, “CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the Phillies had a $2 billion deficit in the 2020 season.” Hell of a correction!

It seems likely that Phillies management wanted to go unchecked, which could’ve led to public support for shaving 30-40 games off the 2021 season to help prevent further league-wide losses. But questions still abound: Why are MLB owners the only ones complaining about this and dropping numbers? Didn’t the NBA and NHL also get massacred? Those sports are rushing into new seasons, still without fans in the stands.

It seems likely the Yankees did lose a good amount of money, and if we believe Hal Steinbrenner and the Phillies, the team’s deficit is nothing to sneeze at.

But hey, at least it’s not several billion. We don’t think.