Hal Steinbrenner is unable to rescue the Yankees

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is talking to reporters at Yankee Stadium in 2013.

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The New York Yankees are currently in the midst of a comprehensive evaluation phase after failing to reach the postseason for the first time since 2016 and recording their poorest season since 1992. The organization’s performance has been on a downward trajectory since 2019, following their loss to the Astros in the ALCS. This decline reached its climax with an 82-80 record and a fourth-place standing in the East Division.

Despite a modest late-September resurgence that prevented the Yankees from ending the season with a sub-.500 record, one high-ranking team executive reports that George Steinbrenner was far from impressed with the team’s performance, particularly the fact that they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

It is clear that Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t consider the team’s “winning record” a success. By the Yankees’ standards, finishing at 82-80 is seen as a losing season and falls below the acceptable level.

Yankees owner' Hal Steibrenner, the general manager Brian Cashman, and the manager Aaron Boone

Yankees fighting contradictions

In contrast to his father, Hal Steinbrenner appears resolute in retaining the current leadership. The general manager, Brian Cashman, who has three more years on his contract, will continue in his role through ’24. Additionally, manager Aaron Boone, who has one year remaining on his contract, will also be returning.

Consequently, the onus is now on Steinbrenner to persuade a skeptical public that simply leading the American League in attendance, achieving high ratings on the YES Network, maintaining profitability, and upholding the Yankees’ overall reputation is insufficient.

Hal Steinbrenner’s alternatives encompass urging Brian Cashman to revamp the analytics department. He might also consider a comprehensive reorganization of the player development and scouting departments. The strength and conditioning specialists, who have struggled to prevent injuries leading to players on the Injured List, could face changes as well.

Yankees captain Aaron Judge is with GM Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner.
Charles Wenzelberg / NYP

Money is not enough to rebuild the Yankees

Alternatively, Steinbrenner may choose to embrace a more lavish approach, akin to that of his father, George. This could involve pursuing high-profile free agents such as Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, and Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Securing all three of these star players seems financially implausible for the Yankees, and the acquisition of even Ohtani may be a stretch. Nonetheless, an enthusiastic and wholehearted sales pitch can, at the very least, demonstrate Steinbrenner’s commitment to doing whatever it takes.

Steinbrenner displayed his willingness to invest when he signed free agent Gerrit Cole in 2020. He further committed to the team’s success by re-signing Aaron Judge last winter, and he trusted the advice of his advisors, agreeing to a $162 million, six-year contract for Carlos Rodon, who they believed would be the essential missing piece in the pitching rotation.

Repetitively, Steinbrenner has heard the claim that the Yankees were merely one superstar away from the World Series. This sentiment has persisted, with a continual search for that one missing piece. Despite investing billions into the team, the Yankees haven’t clinched a championship since 2009.

It’s no wonder that Steinbrenner is frustrated; if he isn’t, he certainly should be. The ticket-buying fans have undoubtedly reached their limits as well.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Hal Steinbrenner is unable to rescue the Yankees

  1. Monty, Sunny and Nate… Not getting Harper. Getting Stanton! Loading line up with non contact right-handed hitters. All reasons to fire Cashman and the entire analytics department. Boone is the least of their problems. Plus, end the 1950’s grooming codes!! Look at Phillies or Rangers or any other team in the Playoffs and WS.

  2. Hal won’t do anything until he sees empty seats and that may take a while. He should have fired Cashman after last season. Now, with 3 years left on his current contract, we’re stuck with him and his anticuated approach to trades and FA signings. He’s been here too long and his ways of doing business are past their shelf life. Personally, with leadership status quo, I’m done with this team and I’ve been a fan since the 60s.

  3. I’m just curious what Cashman would have to do to get fired. He’s made so many bad decisions in his tenure and in truth he’s really never been a good GM. He’s always been excused from his failures for one reason or another. In the 2000’s the excuse was George being to meddlesome and not allowing Cashman to make the moves he wanted to make, so he was given a pass. But then he was given all the credit in the world for the 2009 championship even though all he did was employ the same strategy of buying all the best players available. It just happened to work that one time. Then when the core of the 90’s teams started to retire and he actually had to start building a core it was one disaster after another. Jacoby Ellsbury over resigning Cano? Pissing off Jeter in the twilight of his career for no good reason? Trading for Sonny Gray? Aaron Hicks extension? Cashman had always been terrible right up to the point he had the fire sale trading away Chapman and Miller for prospects. And for one very brief moment it looked like he’d actually made some successful moves. But outside of Gleyber which of those players he traded for is still a valuable part of the team? Why? Because Cashman decided he should also basically be the manager, so he hired a puppet manager in the form of Aaron Boone to do his bidding, cutting bait with Girardi who wouldn’t just do what Cashman wanted. Then in came the complete reliance on exit velocity and launch angle and analytics in general. In came Stanton because of his legendary bat speed and exit velocity despite atrocious bat to ball skills. That led to disinterest in Harper because Stanton satisfied the analytics that Cashman valued better. This despite the fact that Stanton barely had an athletic bone in his body. Then every young hitter was forced to employ the same strategy regardless of their individual strengths and weaknesses. Gleyber would’ve been so much better without the reliance on the ridiculous analytics. Maybe Clint Frazier would have succeeded. The bad decisions continued in perpetuity from that point on. Not getting Verlander, deciding to sign DJ LeMahieu at the expense of signing better more established players. Trading for Frankie Montas instead of Luis Castillo. Trading away Montgomery for an injured outfielder. And the worst part of Cashman is the arrogance with which he does everything. You can tell he always thinks he’s the smartest person on the planet. He goes and plays hardball with Judge lowballing him on an extension and allowing him to become a free agent, then Hal has to come in and clean up the mess and pay him a ton more money to keep him. He whines and complains that he has a world series stolen from him by the Astros, completely ignoring the fact that even if you beat the Astros you still only won the pennant at that point and needed to win another series. Its just dumbfounding that you could look at his body of work and think that he is good at his job. Apologists always love to point out that he’s never had a losing season. Really? Thats what you call success? With one of the highest payrolls in the league every single year and basically unlimited resources you consider not having a sub .500 record an accomplishment? Any loser who says that has no idea what they’re talking about.

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