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  • Lincoln Mitchell

The Problem Is Bigger than Cashman and Boone

The Problem Is Bigger than Cashman and Boone

by Lincoln Mitchell

August 10, 2023

***

Many Yankees fans want Brian Cashman to be fired. Even more fans think Aaron Boone should be fired. For me it is axiomatic that both Boone and Cashman need to go. That is the starting point what from which any serious discussion about building a better Yankees team needs to begin, but Boone and Cashman are not the root of the problem.


I have been a Yankees fan for a very long time. Growing up in San Francisco, I naturally became a Giants fan at a very young age. However, rooting for the Yankees was a way to stay connected to my New York City family and roots, and to keep that part of my identity strong. To give you a sense of how long I've been a Yankees fan, and yes how old I am, my first exciting baseball memory of the Yankees was watching the 1976 ALCS. The one moment from that series that I will always remember is Chris Chambliss's walk off home run in Game 5. That home run made an eight-year-old watching on a black and white television in San Francisco a Yankees fan for life.


Chambliss’s dramatic home run occurred a long time ago. To put it in perspective, there were fewer years between Babe Ruth's called shot in the 1932 World Series and that 1976 ALCS, then between that home run and the present. Most of the Yankees fans I know are roughly my age or younger. I have a couple of friends in their 70s who grew up rooting for the Mantle and Berra Yankees and are still fans, but those are exceptions. I know almost no Yankees fans who remember seeing Joe DiMaggio play and obviously none who saw Ruth or Gehrig.


Over the almost half century during which I rooted for the Yankees I've seen some great Yankees players including Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Aaron Judge, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Rickey Henderson, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles Ron Guidry, Andy Pettitte and more. Over the last 28 years the Yankees have only had three managers, Joe Torre, Joe Girardi, and now Aaron Boone. However, before 1996, the Yankees changed managers very frequently. Buck Showalter, Bob Lemon, Stump Merrill, Dick Howser and Billy Martin were hired and then rapidly fired. In Martin’s case, that happened several times. Brian Cashman has been the general manager long time, but before him there were many general managers who had brief or not so brief tenures with the Yankees.


That is the frame through which I understand the current Yankees team.


Over the last 45 years there have been great and not so great players, countless exciting moments, too many disappointments and indeed many eras for the Yankees, but there has been one constant. I have very few friends who can remember rooting for a Yankee team that was not owned by the Steinbrenner family.


Younger Yankees fans may not realize just what the George Steinbrenner years were like particularly in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He definitely built some winning teams and clearly wanted the Yankees to win, but he also had an approach that was destructive, even pathological. Steinbrenner was driven and willing to spend money, but he was also a bully who shouted down people, too frequently refused to listen to people who understood baseball better than he did, was impatient and always found a way to be at the center of attention.


My recollections of the Steinbrenner era make it impossible for me to look at the Yankees now and not see that the dysfunction begins with the Hal Steinbrenner, and the trauma associated with being George Steinbrenner’s son that he so clearly still carries. Building a good baseball team today requires not just an excellent front office and on the field manager, strong player development and a competent medical team-all things the Yankees lack, but it requires ownership that is willing to spend money, understands how baseball in this decade works, is knowledgeable and appropriately confident in their own judgment. Hal Steinbrenner simply does not meet any of those criteria. The amateur psychologist in me looks at him and sees a traumatized little boy still trying to please his father-and that is no recipe for a winning baseball team.


So, if you ask me should the Yankees fire Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman the answer is yes. If you ask me whether the Yankees need to revamp their player development, coach better during the season, and find a medical staff that knows how to diagnose and address injuries and other health issues, the answer to all those questions is also yes. However, I also fear that the Yankees will never be a winning team as long as Hal Steinbrenner is the owner, but I also know that the one thing the Hal Steinbrenner believes would disappoint his father more than anything else is if he ever sold the team.



9 Comments


Unknown member
Aug 11, 2023

Lincoln, maybe u recall that shortly after Steinbrenner bought the Yankees, the very popular New York magazine -when it was a “trendy-on-the-pulse-of-the-City weekly publication-ran a well-read feature article just dumping all over this rube Steinbrenner, basically saying send this hayseed back to Cleveland & put a treasure like the Yankees in better hands. it became common to see him as out of his depth, thank goodness he hired Gabe Paul…

Line u, i do see the Yankees thru a lens beginning way back, the great 60/61 teams and esp.seeing the late innings of the thriller in Candlestick as McCovey hit the ball as hard as anyone and it was just placed right at Richardson. You wrote about it in you…


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lenjack
Aug 10, 2023

Fully agree. Hal has to go. George would never allow this to happen.

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etbkarate
Aug 10, 2023

If you were around in the early 90s you will remember that George publicly stated that his son-in-law would eventually take over. That is a very telling statement because obviously he didn't want his sons to run the team. He must have known Hal didn't have it in him to be a leader. Now, one divorce later, we're stuck with Freddo.

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Unknown member
Aug 11, 2023
Replying to

Was this before or after he was suspended? Back then he would have said anything to save his own skin. I’ll look up for context,

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Aug 10, 2023

We don't need to go all George to get the Yankees back on track. I'm going to appeal to Hal's businessman thinking.


1) Are we better off today than they were once the officially fired Joe Girardi after 2017?

2) Does the Analytical process that Cashman has totally wrapped this organization in, both in the field & in the front office, have us closer to the goal of a WS Championship?

3) How many more bad moves can I let Cashman make?

4) WHY DIDN'T ANYONE, ON THE MEDICAL OR ANALYTICAL SIDE NOTICE THAT SOMETHING WAS WAY WRONG WITH RIZZO POST SPIKE BY AT THE LATEST, THE ASB?


These 4 above-mentioned questions are all he really needs to answer from…

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yankeesblog
Aug 10, 2023

My Yankee memories as a 8 year old are the Yankees being swept in the 1963 World Series by the Dodgers. So Hal is "traumatized" by being The Boss' son? He's a grown man now - grow up and grow a pair already. The problem with Hal is that he's just not that interested in baseball. And it shows in his haphazard and incompetent stewardship of the Yankees' franchise as well as his callous disregard for the fans.


Without the fans paying his extortionate prices for tickets, parking, merchandise, cable or app fees the money, clearly the top (only?) priority of Hal and his bondholders, will dry up. And the cash flow relies on the loyalty of fans to the Yankees'…


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yankeesblog
Aug 10, 2023
Replying to

From Wikipedia: Under the ownership of CBS in 1966, the Yankees finished tenth and last, their first time at the bottom of the standings since 1912 and after more than 40 years of dominating the American League. On September 22, a paid attendance of 413 was announced at the 65,000-seat Yankee Stadium.[7] Barber asked the TV cameras to pan the empty stands as he commented on the low attendance. WPIX refused to do so, on orders from the Yankees' head of media relations. Undeterred, Barber said, "I don't know what the paid attendance is today, but whatever it is, it is the smallest crowd in the history of Yankee Stadium, and this crowd is the story, not the…

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