Hey Billy, you’re fired!…
Pescatore/New York Daily News
I have to admit that there’s a singe of disappointment when I hear the Steinbrenner Family has no intention of selling the team. I admire Hal Steinbrenner for his disciplined and calm leadership style, and I do not disagree with the approach to shed excessive dollars from the payroll. There is no need to pay the exorbitant luxury taxes on dollars exceeding the cap when having the highest payroll does not ensure the Commissioner’s Trophy.
But…I admittedly miss the excitement of the bold moves by former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. George would often do what the rest of us were thinking. He overreacted, he overvalued other teams’ stars while undervaluing his own, and he was incredibly impatient. Hal exhibits none of these characteristics, but there was something to living life on the edge. You always knew the Yankees were going to be entertaining. I remember the 1980’s and how the fans would boo Steinbrenner, but I never did. I didn’t like watching former Yankees prospects thrive elsewhere while aging former stars with bloated contracts came to the Bronx. But you knew that George was never satisfied. With Hal, you don’t really know where he stands unless GM Brian Cashman tells you. Occasionally, Hal will give an interview that gives a little more insight but he is never too revealing. The days of the Bronx Zoo are nothing but a distant memory.
Hal talks about a long term plan that will cede control of the team to the next generation of Steinbrenners. He clearly has no intention to ever see a Donald Trump like individual take control of the Yankees. We’ll see if his approach is successful. I am glad to see the core of the young prospects remain in the organization. There will be losses, such as the Rule 5 loss of OF Jake Cave (assuming he makes the Reds’ roster this year) or 3B Eric Jagielo (sent to Cincinnati in the Aroldis Chapman trade). But I am sure these players are carefully evaluated before being sent away. For whatever reason, they were deemed to be expendable. In Cave’s case, it is a plethora of young lefthanded outfielders.
The perfect Yankees owner, in my opinion, would lie somewhere between father George and son Hal. Cautious but aggressive. Long term vision but highly competitive. Supportive but with an inability to accept ineptitude. I know there’s more to Hal than meets the eye, but being a Yankees fan today involves much patience. For those of us who grew up with Yankees impatience, this is a difficult transition. Nevertheless, the Yankees are stronger today than they were a few years ago, so they’re on the right track it would seem. Hal deserves more time to see if his leadership style proves to be championship quality.
Still, there’s the part of me that yearns for immediate results. So that’s why I felt disappointment when Hal indicated no plans for the future sale of the team. Yet, I am supportive of the current ownership team, and obviously I will continue to be a Yankees fan for the rest of my life. Life is about change. You adapt…
Chapman’s extended vacation in Tampa…
I am glad Commissioner Rob Manfred finally handed down the penalty for closer Aroldis Chapman. The uncertainty was becoming a distraction. I was anticipating something in the neighborhood of 40 games, so the sentence of 30 games was a little lighter than expected. It sounds as though Chapman’s decision to not appeal led to the shorter sentence. It’s a tough loss, and the Yankees will need to find strong relief for the middle innings. But there’s comfort at the back end of the bullpen with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Miller proved he is a great closer last year, and his attitude is even better than his skills which is rather amazing.
It would be better knowing that Justin Wilson was still on board to assist, but that ship has obviously sailed. It will be up to the younger guys, like Chasen Shreve, Bryan Mitchell, James Pazos, and others, to step up their game. The talent is there to succeed.
As for the penalty for Chapman, I am supportive. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and a cry for no punishment would be a plea for its continuation. My only hope is that Chapman learns from this, and he takes the steps necessary to ensure that he never crosses this line again. I really don’t know if Chapman will be a long term Yankee or if he’ll just be a brief member of the team before departing via free agency in the fall. But whatever the future holds, I hope Chapman is able to become a better man.
The Enquirer/Sam Greene