top of page
file.jpg
  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Say What?

by Paul Semendinger

October 13, 2023

***

It seems as though the Yankees' organizational meetings are over. Here is some feedback on the meetings via ESPN:


Hal Steinbrenner said:

"We're going to be making some changes. Some may be more subtle than others, but I think we've uncovered certainly things we can do better,"


When asked about the changes, Steinbrenner said:

"Possibly personnel, but not necessarily personnel."


In other words, Mr. Steinbrenner said a whole lot of nothing. "We might change some things, but the changes might be small. We might change some people, but maybe not."


As a fan, this talk does not inspire me. After hearing Mr. Steinbrenner's words, I'm not saying, "The Yankees have figured it out." No, not at all. Instead, I am saying that the Yankees seem as clueless as ever. What these comments mean to me is that the Yankees are stumbling in the dark. They don't seem to know which direction to go. Steinbrenner seems like a person who says after each person speaks in a meeting, "You know what, he's right!" even when the points contradict one another. If every person is right, then no one is, and nothing well get done to move the team in a positive direction. Let's remember, the problems the Yankees have been facing were building for years and the team is in a pretty bad spot right now.


The Yankees might be serious about getting better, but the comments from the owner do not give that impression at all. Each time I hear the Yankees' leaders talk, I feel as though they are losing touch with so much. What they don't seem to grasp is that the fans, more than any time in my life, are angry, frustrated, and fed up with so much. I feel that the Yankees spokespeople say words just to say them, but that they don't believe what they're saying. I think they also believe that statements like these will placate the fans. They won't.


What will make the fans happy will be seeing a quality team put on the field. The fans want to see winning. Unfortunately, I don't see 2024 being the year the Yankees start winning again.

***

Many fans have called for Hal Steinbrenner to sell the team. Don't count on that happening. In that same article, Mr. Steinbrenner noted:


"I've got a niece that helps my sister run the foundation. I've got three nephews that are involved, including Stephen, my oldest, who's a big part of a lot of decisions we make," he said. "So this truly is a family business. We have four or five of the grandchildren in it. So that is clearly the intent. I will not be doing this forever."


Hal Steinbrenner won't be doing this forever, but it seems his extended family has plans to.

***

Of note, we have heard from the Yankees, specifically Mr. Steinbrenner, a lot, over the last decade or so about the luxury taxes and the need for spending limits and the like, but, if the Yankees were struggling financially, do you really think the extended family would be rushing to get involved with a struggling or failing business or a business that wasn't making tons of money?


No, it's just the opposite. The Yankees are making tons of money. Tons and tons. They print money. They can afford any player they want. More, they can afford any players they want.


This idea that the Yankees, worth billions and billions of dollars need to contain costs is a ridiculous talking point. It's one the Yankees have used, though, to avoid putting the best possible team on the field year-after-year.


I wonder if that's a not-so-subtle change the Yankees will make for 2024. Is it possible that the Yankees will put a well-balanced team on the field?


Somehow, I doubt it.

***

I have heard from so many people, many on this site, who claim that the reason the Yankees haven't been able to reach a World Series is because baseball doesn't allow success over a long time. We're told that there are no dynasties, and that the playoffs are a crap shoot.


If all of that is true, how does any of it explain the Astros? Here's the Astros the last seven years:


2017 - World Series Champs

2018 - Reached Championship Series

2019 - Reached World Series

2020 - Reached Championship Series

2021 - Reached World Series

2022 - World Series Champs

2023 - Reached Championship Series (so far)


To me that looks like a dynasty of sorts. Seven consecutive years reaching the Championship Series. Four World Series appearances. Two World Championships.


In six of the last seven years, the Astros have finished in first place in their division.


If the Astros can do this, why can't the Yankees?

***

The great book leadership book Good to Great makes the point that good is the enemy of great. You can't have a great organization if you're content having a good one.


The Yankees of today celebrate the fact that they're always over .500. That's good. It's nice. It's not great. This is goodness being the enemy of great.


If the Yankees celebrate being slightly better than average, don't expect meaningful changes that will move this ballclub in the right direction.


The Yankees seem to feel that good enough is


It's not. At all.

***

I went over this a few days ago on the "Dr. Sem Yankees Show," but if you were to look at the Yankees as they stand right now, they have questions, big questions, at the following positions:


Catcher

First Base

Shortstop

Third Base

Left Field

Center Field

Designated Hitter

The Starting Rotation

The Bullpen


Right now, this is a shell of a team. There are a ton of holes to fill. A ton. Will the catchers hit? Is Rizzo healthy? Is Volpe a big league hitter? Who will play third base, or left field, or center field? Will Jasson Dominguez even play in 2024? Which pitchers are healthy?


For an owner and leadership team that can't even decide if there will be big changes or little changes, this seems like a task well beyond their abilities to solve.


I hope I'm wrong.

***

A note to other baseball writers, podcasters, talkers, and the like - if you borrow or use any of these ideas, do the right thing and give credit where credit is due - to the author and this site.

20 comentarios


Brad Scheller
Brad Scheller
13 oct 2023

I always enjoy your articles as they address entertaining topics that can lead to continued discussion and debate.


So, that leads me to address 2 points you made.


  1. Why is Hal so concerned with the salary level?

  2. How come the Astros can put out such a good team?

These 2 questions are tightly intertwined.


Look at how the Astros have built their team.


Correa, Bergman, and Tucker were high first round draft picks. The Yankees never get that opportunity if they Field contenders.


Altuve, Pena, Diaz, Valdez, Javier, Abreau, Neris,Nevis, and Garcia were all international signings. Alvarez was a trade from Dodgers right after the Dodgers signed him as an international FA.


Verlander, Pressly, Cole, and Graveman all came via…


Me gusta
Alan B.
Alan B.
14 oct 2023
Contestando a

Well, when you park the IFA kids in the DSL/FCL for at least 3 seasons, what do you expect? Augustin Ramirez, Jesus Rodriguez, & Jared Serna, are all Rule 5 eligible, only playing one season above the rookie level. 'Prospect' Henry Lalane has already been around for 3 seasons. Osiel Rodriguez just now, in 2023, in the system since 2018, finally out of rookie ball. Then you have how everyone, both the IFAs and the draft picks are coached. Trades? Look at what DET accepted for HOU for Verlander, and what they asked for from the Yankees. Prospects Jake Rogers, Daz Cameron, & Isaac Paredes vs. Chance Adams, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, & Tyler Wade. In 2017…

Me gusta

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
13 oct 2023

Meanwhile, we have the Dodgers, 101 wins, swept in NLDS by 84-win Diamondbacks. Braves, 104 wins, beaten 3-1 by 90-win Phillies. 101-win Orioles swept by 90-win Rangers. ALWC, 99-win Blue Jays swept at home by those same Rangers, who are now 5-0 in post-season play despite being the No. 4 team out of six in the AL. But naaaaah, short post-season series are entirely about skill and guts; luck and who gets hot or cold for a few days has NOTHING to do with it.

Me gusta
Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
13 oct 2023
Contestando a

Well, let's look at those years. 2017, lost 4 out of 7 to a team that cheated. 2018, lost 3 out of 4. 2019, lost 4 out of 6. 2020, lost 3 out of 5. 2021, lost 1 out of 1. 2022, lost 4 out of 4. Only the last is a real outlier that didn't have to do with the luck of who was hot and who was not. And that was because the Yankees snuck into the playoffs playing .500 ball after the All-Star break. We agree that the second-half '22 and all-year '23 teams were mediocrities.

Me gusta

Len
Len
13 oct 2023

As has been said numerous times, for Steinbrenner, "good enough is good enough", meaning he's satisfied with the team being profitable. I wish he would sell.

Me gusta

Andy Polizzi
Andy Polizzi
13 oct 2023

Just what we needed, MORE Steinbrenners.


Anyone know any baseball franchises successful into a THIRD generation? Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Me gusta

jjw49
13 oct 2023

Bad ownership results in a bad product on the field.... and Hal is a bad owner and since his family is getting more involved the times will not change anytime soon. I have said he is the 2nd worst owner in baseball and because the Yankee franchise is a perpetual ATM machine with resources beyond most of the baseball world so his word salad comments are not encouraging. You look at every bad sport team and the one constant is BAD OWNERSHIP! Yankees are near the top!

Me gusta
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
13 oct 2023
Contestando a

It is becoming more and more apparent that that is true.

Fact - the Yankees have never won a World Series under Hal's leadership.

Along with that, they've taken steps backwards the last few years.

Me gusta
dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

blog+image+2.jpeg

Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTNReaderMail@gmail.com

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg
583250.jpg
Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."

foco-yankees.png

We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page