"Under no circumstances am I trying to be George because I'm not George," Steinbrenner said Tuesday with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio. "I'm just going to do the best I can for my family and for the fans. That's what we are going to try and do every year."
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Yankees fans have been critical of this Steinbrenner because the spigot has been turned off from what used to be free-flowing pinstriped spending. The Yankees will have a payroll of more than $200 million this season, but they expect to be under the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million in 2014 and to stay under it in the future.
Steinbrenner said getting the payroll under $189 million doesn't mean the Yankees aren't interested in fielding a championship-caliber team.
"The $189 million is absolutely a goal and it will continue to be a goal, but not at the expense of the other," Steinbrenner said. "If we are not convinced that we have a team that can win it all, then that is not going to happen."
Steinbrenner also defended the perception that he is not as ultracompetitive as his father.
"There were many years when fans and other people weren't too happy with my dad, so the door swings both ways," he said. "I absolutely have a desire to win. Everyone in my family does. I'm just a little bit more quiet in terms of my demeanor. That doesn't mean I won't sit upstairs at my house and throw a shoe at the TV, believe me."
In an interview with WFAN's Mike Francesa earlier in the day, Steinbrenner said the Yankees "did the best we could" this offseason in building a team that many consider less than championship-caliber, even before all the team's injuries. Steinbrenner also once again shot down rumors that his family has considered selling the Yankees.