Last Updated on October 14, 2023 at 9:42 am by dopse
Hal Steinbrenner has adopted a somewhat mysterious stance when discussing the Yankees’ plans for overhauling before the upcoming offseason. This indicates his reluctance to enforce any major changes that Yankees fans want to see. To make things more difficult, he may not be willing to override his influential nephew, who backs Cashman and the analytics group.
During a conference on Wednesday, he opted for a rather vague approach. While the Yankees owner admitted to have identified areas for improvement, he mentioned the intent to implement some modifications and emphasized that certain changes may be less conspicuous than others, yet we have certainly identified areas for improvement. When addressing potential reorganization, Steinbrenner alluded to potential adjustments in personnel, although not exclusively personnel changes.
The Yankees manager partner threw everything behind the cloak of ambiguity. Steinbrenner chose not to reply to an email seeking further clarification. On the other hand, Brian Cashman, when contacted by the post, declined to comment on the Yankees’ course of action at this time. This is only giving rise to uncertainty over the promise of Yankees changes that was given a miss by Steinbrenner for years.
Steinbrenner is unlikely to overrule his nephew
There seems to be a sense of dissatisfaction regarding how decisions are made across different aspects of the team and who wields the most influence in these matters. Brian Cashman has consistently asserted that he values input from all areas of the organization, including what is thought to be the largest professional scouting department in Major League Baseball.
However, a prevailing external perception has emerged, suggesting that Cashman strongly aligns with his analytical team, with the head of that faction, assistant GM Mike Fishman, wielding significant influence. Steinbrenner also alluded to the involvement of his eldest nephew, Steve Swindal Jr., in playing a substantial role in many of the decisions made by the organization. Notably, Swindal has a strong association with the analytical group.
Steinbrenner is already facing resistance as he stands firm on retaining Cashman despite vocal opposition from some of the team’s most passionate fans. It appears that Aaron Boone will also be retained, based on current indications.
The fear of Steinbrenner avoiding major Yankees changes
Steinbrenner is a master in the art of ambiguity, much like his father was known for his outspokenness and bold and grandiose public actions. He possesses a more reserved demeanor, which is another way of saying he differs significantly from his father. This distinction has become apparent to anyone who has observed his leadership of the Yankees over the past 15 years.
His preference to avoid media glare and discuss team affairs openly allows him to renegade his promises in a subtle manner. Steinbrenner is reluctant to terminate employees, it appears that he may be inclined to make minor adjustments rather than major overhauls.
The Yankees managing partner recently highlighted several areas, including clubhouse culture, which were examined during meetings held in Tampa by the organization’s top 15 baseball officials. This resonated with fans because it is understood that some players had concerns about the access certain team employees had to the clubhouse, the information shared with them, and how it was communicated.
Fans are aware that Steinbrenner values Aaron Judge‘s input, and it’s no secret that Judge had his share of grievances during the Yankees’ 2023 season. They feel it safe to assume that Judge would have conveyed all these to Steinbrenner. However, his hint at tensions and disagreements in the Yankees’ Tampa brainstorming made it clear that not everyone within the organization shares the same views and opinions.
This provides an unpretentious indication that not all are agreeing to changes that Yankees fans expect and the owners may not be eager to force their decisions on them. Steinbrenner doesn’t have the appetite to face a more delicate situation within the organization following a significant overhaul.
At best, Steinbrenner’s promised change will involve making changes like letting go of a coach or two, altering the leadership structure in areas such as the international department, and establishing a weekly meeting with experienced baseball personnel like Omar Minaya and Brian Sabean to ensure that the team maintains a balanced approach between analytics and traditional baseball wisdom. This could serve as a response to a season that saw the Yankees finish with an 82-80 record, an underperforming offense reminiscent of the 1968 season, ongoing issues with injuries, and a series of questionable transactions.
Such a change is likely to betray the expectations of Yankees fans and players.
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