Hal Steinbrenner admits Boone made wrong decisions, offers captaincy to Judge

Hal Steinbrenner at a Yankees' training session.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
John Allen
Tuesday November 15, 2022

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Hal Steinbrenner admitted that some of the criticism of Aaron Boone’s decisions during games this postseason was fair. However, he defended the Yankees manager for making “a lot of good decisions” overall. The owner also expressed his faith in young Yankees Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Peraza, and Oswaldo Cabrera.

During his interview aired Monday night on the YES Network, Hal Steinbrenner talked about a number of other things, including Aaron Boone. When asked why he thinks Boone is the right manager after giving him a vote of confidence a few days after the Yankees were eliminated and a year after re-signing him to a three-year deal, the Yankees owner replied:

“Because the players respect him and they want to play for him and they want to win for him. If I didn’t think that was the case, as in years past, I would have made a change. But Aaron Boone wasn’t responsible for our offense, the slide they experienced the last couple months of the season rolling into the postseason. That was not his responsibility. And we had a lot of injuries.”

The Yankees haven’t won the World Series since 2009, and the Astros just ended their season for the third time in the last six years by beating them in the ALCS. But Hal Steinbrenner disagrees with the idea that his team is stuck in its ways. He is bringing back Aaron Boone as manager for a sixth year and is likely to do the same with general manager Brian Cashman for the 26th year.

“Sometimes people say that our organization doesn’t change; we change all the time, and Cash is very good at that,” told Hal Steinbrenner, “It’s just not true; if that were true, we’d change things here.”

Hal Steinbrenner wouldn’t talk about his talks with Cashman, whose last contract ended on October 31, but he did say, “We don’t have an agreement right now.”

After the Yankees were swept by the Astros in the ALCS, the Yankees’ managing general partner said that what happened was “unacceptable,” but he mostly blamed injuries. During their playoff run, the Yankees were without DJ LeMahieu, Andrew Benintendi, Chad Green, Michael King, Scott Effross, and Ron Marinaccio, all of whom were contact hitters. He spoke:

“I think we all have to realize that the team we fielded Opening Day that Cash put together was one of the most dominant teams in all of baseball for months — not weeks, months. Then we got hit by a lot of significant injuries. … Had we rolled into the postseason relatively healthy, particularly with a couple players like Benintendi and LeMahieu, a couple good contact hitters, I think we would have done better in the playoffs. I think we would have scored more runs.”

Aaron Judge‘s free agency hangs over the Yankees’ entire offseason. Hal Steinbrenner said he had talked to the power hitter several times since the season ended and “made it clear to him we’re going to do everything we can to make [him re-signing] happen.”

Hal Steinbrenner said, “If it doesn’t happen, we’ll move on as best we can.” However, he assured that “there’s no question that he’s important to the team and to the fans.” Steinbrenner said that if Judge re-signs with the Yankees, the team might “think about” making him captain.

Steinbrenner talked about the young Yankees players Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Peraza, and Oswaldo Cabrera several times. This season, Peraza and Cabrera played in the Major Leagues for the first time, while Volpe finished the year in Triple-A. All three players could be in the running for the shortstop position in the spring.

“We’ll see how they do in spring training and how everything shakes out,” Steinbrenner added, “But like I said in March, it’s certainly my intent to see those two guys [Volpe and Peraza] in the middle of the infield and now we have Cabrera as well who came up this year when we needed him and did a great job overall.”

Hal Steinbrenner said of the Astros, “I’m not making excuses, but they did come into the playoffs a little bit healthier than we did; but, as I said before, they are a great team; I don’t think they do anything different from what we do.

What do you think about what the Yankees owner said? Leave your comment below.

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