Posts Tagged ‘Hal Steinbrenner’

Another Win And A Visit From Hal

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Photo: Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports

Hal looks like a hilarious guy, doesn’t he? Seriously stiff, but maybe he loosens up at home.

Anyhow, he showed up to greet fans and talk to the media before today’s win over the Jays, and he said, as if it were obvious, “Of course the Yankees are in first place. I knew all along that Travis Hafner would lead us to a world championship.”

No, he didn’t really say that, but he did express early confidence in this Yankees team.

And why not? They just keep beating up on the Blue Jays and I wish we played them every game. They looked pathetic on defense, really dreadful. As Paul O’Neill said during the YES broadcast, “Somebody – the manager or one of their players – needs to get angry in the clubhouse.”

As for our side, what a day for Cano. Hal can sound all business-as-usual about the contract talks with Cano’s agent, but how do you not pay this guy.

Phelps did a great job for the second game in a row.

Either this team of oldsters and youngsters is really gelling or the other teams we’ve been playing aren’t very good.



Do We Miss The Big-Bucks Yankees?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Illustration by Dan Goldman/

I meant to post this article when it ran in New York Magazine last week, but I was reminded of it over the weekend when someone asked, “Aren’t you mad that the Yankees didn’t go after any big free agents over the winter?”

Was I mad? At first. It was out of habit. We always get big name players – at least in the latter part of the George Steinbrenner era.

But as the spring has gone along and I’ve read about Gardner hitting .500+ and kids like Ramirez and Warren pitching well and Cervelli throwing out baserunners and Ichiro not only escaping from car crashes but stealing bases, I’m thinking maybe we’ll be fine after all.

Anyhow, here’s the article. Does anyone want to weigh in?

Yankee Fans Chafe Against Tightened Belt

by Will Leitch

The New York Yankees, for the first time in decades, have a branding problem. The team is known for many things: Winning. Pinstripes. Derek Jeter. A facial-hair ban. Ten-dollar beers. None of which are changing. But perhaps the most powerful aspect of the franchise’s identity over the past 25 years is how much it loves to spend money. The Yankees’ profligacy has been woven into the very fabric of rooting for the team: When we lose, fans think, it’s not that bad, because the other side’s best player will end up playing for us someday. Yankees fans don’t mind if the team overpays to make that possible. To a degree unique in sports, they expect it. Which is why this offseason has been so jarring for them.

Determined at last to maintain some fiscal discipline, the team has not been pursuing any marquee free agents and is waving good-bye to catcher Russell Martin and outfielder Nick Swisher. These are, to be clear, objectively smart moves. The Yankees payroll for this year is around $206 million, exceeding the $189 million limit imposed by Major League Baseball and subjecting the team to the league’s escalating luxury tax; if the Yankees break the payroll cap four years in a row, they’ll face a luxury tax of 50 percent, a hit that could work out to $50 million or more. But as soon as a team gets back under the limit, the tax resets. The Yankees have been maneuvering to do just that in 2014—when nearly $120 million is due to come off their books—in order to be able to go after really big fish like Bryce Harper and Giancarlo Stanton when they become available later this decade. It’s smart management and the way baseball works now. You save today so you can pay later.

But most Yankees fans don’t want to hear about strategies for gaming the luxury tax. They want to win now. That is to say: Yankees fans are all little George Steinbrenners. And fittingly, the team’s flirtation with austerity looks like it’s going to be undone by an actual little Steinbrenner. Last week, word leaked that the Yankees may end their longtime practice of not negotiating early with pending free agents and are instead planning to try to lock up second baseman Robinson Cano, whose contract expires next year, rather than let him hit the open market. The edict reportedly came directly from Hal Steinbrenner himself. Since taking over from his father, he has mostly allowed the baseball men to make the major personnel decisions. But not this time, according to ESPN’s Wallace Matthews. “This is the first time since George died that it appears a Steinbrenner is actually running the Yankees,” a source told him. Steinbrenner was said to be “freaked out” by the perception that the Yankees were no longer big spenders; season-ticket renewals, reportedly sagging, may have reflected some supporters’ distaste for the shift.

Now, the emergence of Hal Steinbrenner as a new George is a beat reporter’s Shakespearean fever dream; it’s unlikely that he’ll go as far as his father was willing to. Even throwing a little money around this season, though, could derail the front office’s plan; signing Cano to a massive contract that exposes the Yankees to the luxury tax indefinitely is not the best long-term play. But we may be learning that the Yankees are too powerful a brand to be run in a frugal, efficient, shrewd fashion. They are too big to be cheap.


Boo Hiss (With a P.S.)

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Yes, I’m mad at the above network. I tuned in tonight to hear about the latest news from the meetings in Nashville and what do I get? A cascade of criticisms about the Yankees from Tom Verducci and the rest of them.

  • “The Yankees are an embarrassment.”
  • “They can’t sign anybody.”
  • “They don’t have any money to spend.”
  • “They don’t have a farm system to use in trades.”
  • “They’ll never fill the seats at the Stadium with a team that’s worse than last year’s.”

Okay, I get that we have problems – big problems – but talk about piling on. I do agree with the last point on the list. If the season starts and we’re putting guys like Mark Reynolds at third and Nate Schierholtz in right and Chris Stewart at catcher? Those Legends suites will look awfully lonely. I think Cashman needs to go back to Uncle Hal and say, “How about a bigger allowance?”

P.S. Never mind about Schierholtz. He signed with the Cubs. Maybe Verducci was right: we can’t sign anybody!


Off-Day Goings On

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

1. To Sell Or Not To Sell

First we had the Daily News report that the Steinbrenners were putting out feelers about selling the Yankees. Then we had vigorous denials from Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine and Lonn Trost, plus a comment from MLB. Probably much ado about nothing but it made for good copy on an otherwise blah news day.

2. Chad Curtis Emerges From Obscurity (And Not In A Good Way)

According to the AP, the former Yankee has been accused of sexual misconduct by two teenage girls who are students at the Michigan high school where he’s supposed to become the football coach. My most vivid memory of him is when he and Jeter got into a fight about fraternizing with opposing players (Chad was not in favor of it) and the next thing I knew he was gone. Which is what happens when you mess with Jeter.

3. Another Player Testifies In The Clemens Case

Former Oriole David Segue corroborated McNamee’s claims about the Rocket in today’s installment of a trial I don’t much care about. I can’t imagine the prosecutors getting a conviction out of this case so it’s a waste of everybody’s time and money. I’m just glad Pettitte didn’t have to hang around in DC and get dragged down by it all.

In other news, I went shopping instead of watched a baseball game this afternoon, which was dangerous for my bank account. It’s much safer when I’m home in front of the TV.

Here’s to a great series in Oakland.





Just To Show I Have A Pulse…

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

…I figured I’d better write something.

But seriously, am I supposed to get excited that the Yankees re-signed Cory Wade? Or that Don Mattingly’s son will be in the minor league system? Or that Hal Steinbrenner met with Scott Boras and may have discussed Edwin Jackson?

I didn’t think so.

I guess I’d better get used to the fact that our 2012 team will look exactly like our 2011 team (except for Colon). Not that being a division-winning club is anything to sneeze at.

We have a great group of guys and (with an exception or two) I love them all. It’s just that I hoped Cashman would tweak the rotation.

There’s still time for him to make a move. I’m just not expecting one at this point.




What, Exactly, Is A “Performance Bonus?”

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Along with the news that Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon are reuniting to join the Rays comes word that Damon will be paid a $750,000 performance bonus. I’m not even going to attempt to make a bad joke about performance.

(Okay, I just did. Sorry about that.) Anyhow, I’m wondering how the Rays will determine whether or not Johnny earns his $750,000 in 2011. Will the bonus be based on the number of tickets sold throughout the course of the season or the number of bodies that actually show up at the Trop? If so, how would they attribute the totals to Damon, as opposed to any other player? Or maybe it has to do with how many Damon jerseys they move? How many bobble head dolls? I don’t mean to be deliberately obtuse. I just don’t get it. Can someone explain?

As for the Angels’ acquisition of Vernon Wells, I’m glad he’s out of the AL East. He may be a streaky player for whom Anaheim overpaid, but he always seemed to do damage against the Yankees and I’m not sorry to see him go west.

Meanwhile, we head into another weekend without answers for our rotation. I remain mystified by this. Yes, Yankee fans are spoiled, used to having our pick of the best guys available, blah blah blah. So what. We’ve long moved past the years when Andy Hawkins and Dave LaPoint were our aces. We deserve better. Right, Hal? Look at me. I’m talking to you.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)