Insider blasts Steinbrenner over his delusional Yankees talks

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is during a Zoom talk with reporters on Nov 7, 2023.

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Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner of the New York Yankees, acknowledged that his team had a disappointing season during a conversation with the press on Tuesday. He admits the blow, stating, “It was awful, and we accomplished nothing.” However, Steinbrenner sent enough indications that there wouldn’t be. He defended analytics, Cashman, and Aaron Boone, all of whom are set to return next season.

Joel Sherman of The Post criticized Hal Steinbrenner for what he saw as a tone-deaf response, questioning whether the owner really waited more than a month after a season he would later describe as “awful” and in which the Yankees “accomplished nothing” to deliver this message.

He slammed Steinbrenner for saying that the Yankees are planning to focus on bunting more in the minor leagues. The insider sarcastically suggested that, with such strategies, it might be time to start planning a ticker-tape parade in The Canyon of Heroes for the following November and even called for having a fresh coat of paint at the Yankee Stadium clubhouse.

“Oh wait, he also said on recommendation from Aaron Boone the Yankees are going to work on bunting more in the minors. I guess we should just book The Canyon of Heroes for next November now. Why not say there also is going to be a fresh coat of paint in the home Yankee Stadium clubhouse too?”

As per Sherman, five weeks after the regular season’s conclusion, the Yankees owner is indicating that everyone responsible for the team’s 82 wins will retain their current positions. This decision signifies a strong commitment to a group that has primarily contributed to the Yankees’ success during Steinbrenner’s tenure, despite not achieving any World Series appearances and witnessing a downward trend in their recent performance.

Steinbrenner’s Boone theory difficult to accept

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner
AP

Steinbrenner’s top priority on Tuesday was to defend his decision regarding Aaron Boone. He tried to take shelter behind Any Pettitte’s backing of the manager. The owner mentioned that he sought the opinions of players, former players, and two of Brian Cashman’s special advisers, Brian Sabean and Omar Minaya, to make this decision. All of them unanimously concluded that Aaron is a good manager and should continue as the manager in 2024.

Sherman, however, raised questions about Steinbrenner’s approach to retaining Aaron Boone, especially mentioning Nick Swisher’s involvement. Sherman asked, “Nick Swisher was among those with a vote on whether Boone should remain as manager or not. Nick Swisher? Why not just give Nick Jonas or Nick Nolte a vote – it is likely to be as insightful.”

Feeble defense of Cashman

Cashman has had his share of challenges when it comes to roster decisions in recent years. Notably, the trades for Joey Gallo, Frankie Montas, and Josh Donaldson, and last winter’s signing of free agent pitcher Carlos Rodon for $162 million have faced scrutiny.

Steinbrenner’s initial reaction to the mild criticism aimed at Cashman was to highlight the positive contributions made by the Yankees’ long-standing general manager in strengthening the bullpen in recent years. These include successful moves like acquiring Wandy Peralta and Clay Holme via trades, along with the signing of Ian Hamilton on a minor-league contract last offseason. Additionally, he pointed out the trade for Jose Trevino, who not only earned All-Star honors but also secured a Gold Glove award during his inaugural season as a Yankee in 2022, following his role as a platoon catcher with Texas the previous season.

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Steinbrenner discussed the acquisition of Joey Gallo and mentioned that it wasn’t solely based on analytics but that everyone in the room supported bringing him in. While there may have been some discussion about the trade’s details, it was a unanimous decision to acquire Joey Gallo, and ultimately, it was his decision. They conducted thorough homework, speaking to people who knew him and consulting various coaches to assess whether Gallo could thrive in New York. In the end, it didn’t work out, but they acknowledged the inherent risk-reward aspect of such decisions.

Steinbrenner discussed some of the recent signings and trades and mentioned that it’s too early to provide a definitive evaluation of the Carlos Rodon signing due to his injury. As for Frankie Montas, they were aware of the potential risks, but they were aiming to win a World Series at the time, which led to the trade. However, he acknowledged that there have been successful trades that tend to be overlooked.

Sherman questioned Steinbrenner about the Yankees’ streak of unsuccessful decisions over the past three years, which had negative impacts on the team. In response, Steinbrenner mentioned some positive moves, including the acquisitions of Wandy Peralta, Clay Holmes, Ian Hamilton, and Jose Trevino. Sherman likened this response to saying, “Yes, the Titanic sunk, but wasn’t the music lovely until then?”

Many passionate Yankees fans are unlikely to find much satisfaction in Steinbrenner’s statements, particularly those who have been clamoring for substantial alterations after an 82-80 season that marked their first absence from the postseason since 2016 and extended their World Series drought for the 14th consecutive season.

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