Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 11/14/14

One word which is never usually associated with the New York Yankees is "scrappy." Powerful, favored, high-priced and sometimes maybe even underachieving are words more apt to be used in describing the makeup of the team. That was until Hal Steinbrenner referred to his team with the S-word in describing the depleted Yankees' surprisingly success a quarter into the 2013 season and holding forth on his commitment to get the payroll below the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million for 2014. "I'm proud of them, my family's proud of them,"said Steinbrenner following an owner's meeting at Major League Baseball's Manhattan headquarters Thursday. "They've been fighting hard all year long, and despite significant adversity, they've persevered. It's fun to watch. They're scrappy. Coming from behind, it seems like certain times in the past, it's not something you had confidence in." The Yankees are 25-16 and in first place, a game ahead of the Red Sox, despite using a team with a current on-field payroll of about $140 million — and that includes the return of Curtis Granderson ($15 million) this week. With Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez watching from Tampa, that, amazingly, leaves still more than $70 million still on the DL. "I always believed it could work if ... the young players, which I've been saying all along, pan out and do their job," he said. "We still have [Michael] Pineda coming back, so we'll see how he does. I think he's going to do great. "But the key is going to be the young players stepping up and really making contributions like they're doing right now." Keeping the payroll under the threshold is going to be tricky for the Yankees if they plan on signing their best player Robinson Cano.   Steinbrenner sounded optimistic about keeping his All-Star, and not because Cano's firing of Scott Boras and signing with Jay-Z's Roc Nation.  "I still have faith that the player has a big say in it," Steinbrenner said. "I know that Robby wants to be there, and Robby knows that we want him to be here. We want him to end his career here. I think to me, whether I'm right or not, that plays a big part in it regardless of who the agent is. But we're going to continue to try and push ahead and get something done. We want him to be a Yankee." And as for recent speculation about the Yankees being put on the market in the near future, Steinbrenner channelled his inner George.  "Absolutely not selling the team," he said. "Have not been talking to anybody about selling the team. Have no intention of selling the team. What would I do?" For now, the Yankees will stay the course by trimming the payroll and lowering the average age of the roster — for now. "The math works to me if the young kids do their job," said Steinbrenner. "It has to happen. And I've been saying that for over a year now — that's the goal we're going to push for. But again, I'll reiterate what I always reiterate, which is we're always going to field a championship-caliber team." There's that other S-word — succeed.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

WATCH: Kenny Smith pushes Shaq into a Christmas tree

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.