New York Yankees among just two MLB teams to charge players for in-flight Wi-Fi

Yankees among just two MLB teams to charge players for in-flight Wi-Fi
from Victor Barbosa, with

The New York Yankees are one of just two MLB teams not to cover in-flight Wi-Fi expenses for the players, according to a report by Sports Illustrated senior writer Stephanie Apstein.

The only other team is the Cincinnati Reds.

“Some teams provide free Wi-Fi on their usual jet but do not cover the cost when they fly a different plane,” per Apstein.

The Sports Illustrated scribe adds that while it’s technically Delta who’s charging the team members (at about $9 per flight), the historic baseball franchise doesn’t reimburse the fee. Apstein adds that Delta does offer free services for iMessage and WhatsApp.

The reports says that Forbes estimates the Bronx Bombers to be worth about $6 billion (fourth-most valuable sports franchise according to Apstein), which made the Wi-Fi charge a bit of a shock for ace Gerrit Cole when he signed a monster nine-year, $324 million contract with New York in December 2019.

“It’s your fault,” former longtime Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said to Cole, per Apstein. “Your contract is too big, so they can’t pay for the Wi-Fi.”

The Sports Illustrated report notes that according to “a person familiar with the prices of such things” a one-year in-flight Wi-Fi plan for one organization costs “approximately $40,000 — or about the price of four Cole pitches.”

Apparently, the lack of coverage from Yankees’ brass on the internet front doesn’t impact 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge. This isn’t just because of the massive contract extension he signed over the winter, but because he’s a T-Mobile customer (and T-Mobile spokesman at that). The carrier offers their customers free Wi-Fi on Delta flights.

Per Apstein’s report, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on the topic “I think most of our players can afford it.”

If there are any complainers out there on the team, there’s fortunately good news perhaps headed their way.

“Delta recently introduced free Wi-Fi on some flights for fliers who subscribe to its rewards program,” Apstein wrote. “As for the other flights: Manager Aaron Boone, who pays for and does not expense a monthly Gogo account, said he was unaware many other teams cover the Wi-Fi. He wondered gravely whether the Yankees’ policy might cost them free agents. ‘We’re gonna have to get on that,'” he said.