Steinbrenner reveals about stormy Yankees debates at Tampa

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is speaking at Sportico’s “Invest in Sports” conference in midtown Manhattan on Oct. 11, 2023.

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Tempers flare leading to blunt exchanges between the Yankees top brass during their meeting in Tampa last week. This was revealed by franchise owner Hal Steinbrenner while talking at Sportico’s “Invest in Sports” conference in midtown Manhattan. However, he confirmed that the meeting went smoothly despite such intense moments.

“At times it got a little dicey, but it was respectful the entire time,” the Yankees managing partner disclosed. “And there wasn’t one stone we left unturned, from health of the team, what we’re doing in the clubhouse, clubhouse culture, what we do in the weight room, analytics, pro scouting, biomechanics, is there enough communication between everybody.”

“So it was a great three days. It was a very honest conversation. Many more to come in the months to come.”

Steinbrenner also tried to present such candid exchanges at the meeting in a positive light and claimed that he encouraged those at the meetings to question everything in the organization.

Yankees dicey meeting, heated exchanges

Last week, the Yankees’ baseball operations staff held three days of extensive eight-hour meetings in Tampa.

According to Steinbrenner, he told the participants while addressing them before the start of the meetings to engage in open and respectful dialogue, urging them to analyze, criticize, and challenge each other’s ideas without letting their ego get in the way. He emphasized the importance of being prepared for constructive critique regarding their actions or inactions.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner with GM Brian Cashman at spring training center in Tampa in 2023.
Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

The Yankees owner noted that these discussions, while sometimes intense, were a positive sign, provided that they led to constructive outcomes. Steinbrenner expressed confidence that such discussions would ultimately yield productive results.

The managing general described the discussions as occasionally becoming intense. He informed about his decision to stay away from the Yankees meetings after establishing the initial atmosphere. He did so to ensure that participants felt free to express themselves fully. Steinbrenner believed it was the correct choice and felt confident that all important Yankees points were indeed addressed.

The Yankees owner described it as an intense debate, clarifying that when he used the term “dicey,” he meant there were raised voices. However, he emphasized that this kind of passionate Yankees discussion was a healthy and positive aspect of their interactions, as long as it was conducted with respect.

Who were at Yankees Tampa brainstorming

Steinbrenner revealed that approximately 15 individuals took part in the Yankees meetings. This included general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. He noted that two of his nephews, who are also involved in Yankees management, attended, ensuring that the family was well represented.

The meetings were comprehensive, addressing numerous topics, with around “a hundred” different subjects discussed. By Friday afternoon, the group had expended a considerable amount of energy. The agenda spanned a wide range of areas, including analytics, weight room protocols, clubhouse culture, and more. A significant focus was placed on improving communication between the Yankees’ major league coaches and the player development group.

Steinbrenner acknowledged the importance of ensuring effective communication as young players advance to the major leagues. He mentioned that significant amounts of reports and documentation were generated as prospects went through the system, and he stressed the necessity for coaches to be well-informed about this information.

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

The Yankees managing partner pointed out that while there is an existing level of communication, they are currently scrutinizing the matter seriously and acknowledging the potential for improvement. According to him, strong and efficient communication is an area they are actively examining, acknowledging that it can always be enhanced, even in any organization.

Hal admits changes are coming

Steinbrenner indicated that there would be changes implemented, with some being less conspicuous than others. In a panel conversation involving team president Randy Levine, he revealed that he had a meeting with team captain Aaron Judge at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. They discussed various subjects that had arisen from the meetings in Tampa.

The Yankees owner expressed the value of having a captain with whom he can engage in meaningful conversations, someone who is a genuine leader of the team and commands respect from both the younger players and the veterans. He mentioned that having such a figure is advantageous because it allows them to gain insight from different perspectives. Steinbrenner also noted that Gerrit Cole serves a similar purpose as a sounding board, emphasizing the importance of having these key individuals in the team.

“To have a captain that I can really talk to that is a true leader of the team and respected by young players, veterans, everybody, it’s a benefit, because you have to get their perspective,” he said. “It’s good to have that sounding board. Gerrit Cole, same thing.”

Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees
Dom

The Yankees captain had expressed his desire to participate in these meetings last month. Aaron Judge stated that he had some ideas for improvement. He emphasized that it would require a collective effort, involving discussions with everyone in the Yankees organization, extending from the minor-league levels to the highest echelons. The slugger acknowledged the need to address various areas for improvement but also highlighted the positive aspects, particularly the promising young talent emerging within the organization. According to Judge, this was the opportune time to build upon these strengths and establish a solid foundation for the future.

The owner reiterated that the Steinbrenner family has no intentions of selling the Yankees, as three of his nephews and a niece are now involved in the organization. Steinbrenner expressed his support for the use of electronic umpiring for balls and strikes, a system currently being tested in the minor leagues.

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4 thoughts on “Steinbrenner reveals about stormy Yankees debates at Tampa

  1. No other business on earth could possibly claim to be successful with the dismal results we’ve witnessed as fans. If they were a pharmacutical business and they’re drug had the lack of results touted you would stop using it. This ideology used over the past decade DOESN’T work. So, change the leadership starting with Cashman. He’s had plenty of time to make a difference. If the front office is in order the players will feed off of that and the quality of play will improve. No different than any other business.

    1. Getting a bunch of people in a room pointing fingers at each other isn’t the answer…. “ACCOUNTABILITY” and “CONSEQUENCES” is the answer

  2. I never played professional ball and so I’m not going to pontificate on the ills of this team other than to say that from what I’ve heard from the Yankee broadcasters is that the young players are being taught an uppercut swing which according to the analytics department results in more home runs. This fits with Cashman’s theory that strike outs are OK if you are hitting homeruns. See Gallo, Stanton, Volpe(?). I’ve followed the Yankees from the early 50’s and the teams were built around lefties and guys who hit in the clutch. Cashman has built a team of right handed position players and therefore has given away our one great advantage, the short porch in right. My last point is that it is a mistake to give Cashman credit for the number of WS championships because he inherited the great teams from someone else. 2009 was essentially his team but the Yankees have not been to the WS since then and the reason is simple, you face good/great pitching in the playoffs. Those pitchers exploit the holes in Yankee hitting. At some point Hal has to look very hard at Cashman’s tenure and realize he is the problem. Yes, Hal, it’s October and I’m watching hockey instead of Yankee baseball so the fans’ anger in June WAS justified.

  3. Google injury free baseball season. Its been done- and the guy that did it now runs an Ai company! Find Him!

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