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So, How About Hal?

June 24, 2023


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So, how about Hal Steinbrenner?

Before the Yankees defeated the disappointing Mariners in a series for the second time in less than a month, Steinbrenner said something during an appearance on Michael Kay’s radio show in New York that angered even more than their embarrassing performance in the 10-2 series finale loss.

He was asked by Kay if he has heard the ever-growing disenchantment of the fan base regarding the state of this year’s team, and this is what the tone deaf Steinbrenner said: “They are upset. I’m a little confused, this year, being the third week of June, why they’re so upset, but they’re upset and that’s gonna get my attention, of course.”

I hope what he was watching Thursday night got his attention, and I sure hope he was at Yankee Stadium to hear more than 41,000 fans booing his team mercilessly.

He can’t be confused after that, can he? Like seriously, he’s not sure why the fan base is upset over the fact that the 41-34 Yankees are one of the worst hitting teams in all of baseball, are trailing the Rays by 9.5 games in the AL East (in June, mind you), and the lineup is carrying more weighty and expensive baggage than a Boeing 747?

I’m gonna guess the players are a little upset by how this season has gone, at least they better be. And I think Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman are upset, but with those two you never know. Obviously, Yankee Nation is furious by the product we’re watching on a nightly basis, especially since Aaron Judge got hurt nearly three weeks ago.

But somehow Steinbrenner - who just keeps raking in his millions as the owner of not only the richest team in MLB but one of the richest teams in any sport around the world - is nonplussed by his team’s lackluster look and the outrage it caused in the fan base. He doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by the fact that he’s forking out around $300 million in payroll this season for a team that probably has zero chance of ending its 14-year World Series drought and, in fact, is more likely to miss the playoffs entirely.

“Nobody is on the hot seat right now. Let’s get through the season. Let’s see what happens,” Steinbrenner added. “I would say that if we can march into the playoffs with 90 percent of our intended team that we expected to be on the field every day, 90 percent, and we don’t perform well in the playoffs, I’m going to start asking the questions even then.”

Dude, start asking questions now because the rest of us have plenty.

One of the biggest Yankees fans anywhere is actor Nick Turturro. For you NYPD Blue fans, he played young detective Martinez and he’s been in several movies and TV shows since then. I’ve communicated once in a while with Nick on Twitter and he is one of the greatest follows on Twitter there is because his meltdowns are legendary. He makes me seem like the calmest guy in the room. Here’s what he said after listening to the Kay show.

“I was listening to Hal Steinbrenner on the Michael Kay show and it’s just crazy how out of touch he is with the fan base and why are Yankee fans upset with this franchise the last 10 years or so because nothing has changed with philosophy. Home run or bust doesn't work and hasn't worked!” Incredibly, Nick didn’t rip off any of his patented F-bombs. This was as tame as he’s ever been.

Of course, he’s dead on. This owner has poured money into the team; no one will argue that. The problem is that for years and years he has spent it on the same type of players without ever learning his lesson: Big-name guys who were once great but no longer are, and he compounds the problem by giving them outlandish contracts that clog up the roster and the payroll.

And I’m telling you right now, the latest is the Judge contract. A few years from now, we’re going to be bemoaning that one just like we are the Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu deals because you can’t convince me that a 6–foot-7, 282-pound baseball player is going to age well.

It’s a never-ending cycle of poor decisions and unless the Yankees’ farm system starts producing position players who can hit better than .200, nothing is changing. Oh, by the way, I watched the Yankees’ Triple-A team a few times last week and outside of Oswald Peraza - who is still a pretty big maybe - there’s no help coming from Scranton in the near future.

The Yankees have almost always had terrific pitching staffs and that’s why they’ve been consistent postseason participants, but their offense almost always fails in October because they’re all a bunch of one-trick ponies. Forget October, this year it’s failing in June, and really, does anyone see things improving?

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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.)


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