Hal’s promised Yankees changes likely to betray expectations of Judge, Cole


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Hal Steinbrenner has confirmed that changes are on the horizon although the exact details are not yet disclosed. Also, it seems like the Yankees are not going to change a lot of stuff as expected by captain Aaron Judge. The latest team meeting at Tampa also was without any player representation as pushed by Gerrit Cole.

On the final day of the season, the team’s captain expressed his positive opinion about the Yankees’ analytics resources and the information they offer, noting that they were of great value. Judge suggested that there might be room for improvement in terms of how the Yankees utilize and prioritize analytics. He commended the team for their excellence in obtaining statistical information, stating that they were top-notch in that aspect. However, he believed that the focus should now shift towards effectively conveying and presenting these analytics to the players in a format that best supports their performance.

Judge had expressed earlier that he had suggestions for the Yankees to regain their footing, which included “some broader concepts and philosophies that might require adjustments.” The Yankees captain particularly mentioned the importance of better health, a heightened sense of urgency, and an opportunity for the Yankees to enhance their utilization of analytics.

According to the Associated Press, Judge met with Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Gerrit Cole was also expected to discuss matters with the Yankees managing partner. However, neither player was invited to three-day brainstorming at Tampa. Steinbrenner has himself admitted that the meetings were dicey with intense exchange of words.

To cap it, Steinbrenner didn’t participate in the main brainstorming sessions and left it to his nephews and Cashman. This indicates his willingness to let the Yankees run by those already at the helm without giving space to players in the decision-making process.

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

Yankees changes won’t be significant

Contrary to a lot of stuff Aaron Judge expects the Yankees to change, Steinbrenner hinted that the forthcoming adjustments might not be of a significant magnitude. At Sportico’s Invest in Sports conference, he announced that the Yankees would be implementing changes, which might vary in their level of subtlety. The Yankees owner acknowledged that the team had already identified areas where improvements could be made. This means the decision was taken without allowing Judge or Cole a say in the Yankees affairs.

When inquired about the nature of changes the Yankees were contemplating, Steinbrenner maintained a sense of ambiguity. He mentioned that the changes could pertain to various aspects, such as personnel, practices, and communication.

Surprisingly, the owner tried to divert attention from the Yankees’ troubles to communication across the farm board and coaching department. He questioned whether the major league coaches were effectively communicating with player development when promoting young minor leaguers to the major league level and vice versa. Additionally, he inquired about the extent to which the major league coaches engaged in reviewing research and notes pertaining to the development of young players as they progressed through different levels, considering their strengths and weaknesses.

Despite questioning this, he is going to allow manager Aaron Boone and his patron Brian Cashman to stay in the upcoming season. Both were part of discussions at Tampa.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Steinbrenner conveyed his desire for a culture of open critique and discussion, emphasizing the importance of challenging established philosophies and practices. He further encouraged the group to engage in respectful and constructive challenges, not only toward the organization’s principles but also toward each other. The Yankees owner also stressed the need to set aside ego and approach these discussions with humility and respect.

However, he had no specific change to offer and preferred to keep things as ambiguous as possible. Cashman secured a fresh four-year contract at the outset of this season. The exact nature of Steinbrenner’s reference to potential personnel alterations remains uncertain; it could pertain to Boone’s team, Cashman’s team, or the roster as a whole.

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