Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why weren't Steinbrenner sons at Derek Jeter's final farewell? Were they watching #TGIT? And where is Hal's statement about this disaster of a team?

Look -- I have criticized the Derek Jeter farewell tour repeatedly in this column. I found the hype and the kitsch over the top, and I thought it had become a flat-out money grab. But even I found Thursday's farewell game extremely touching, and, yes, I am not ashamed to admit cried at the end. Who wouldn't, after seeing Jeter's walkoff single in that game?

What moved me the most was seeing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Joe Torre, and the rest on the field, waiting for Jeter. When Michael Kay said that Jeter hadn't yet noticed that they were there, I just lost it, crying and crying. It was a really wonderful night that everyone enjoyed. Except, apparently, for two people. Unlike their sister Jenny, who was seen on camera, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner reportedly couldn't be bothered to attend the game. Nor were they at Jeter's final game at Fenway Park.

Give me a break. What in the world could possibly be more important to them than being at Thursday's game -- catching Shonda Rimes' #TGIT on ABC? Why didn't they show up? Are Hal and Hank ticked off that recently Jeter pointed out the obvious to New York magazine -- that they are not their fathers' sons when it comes to being around the team?

Hal has mostly maintained a monk's silence for most of the season, briefly emerging in August to say that the Yankees needed to "step it up." Spoiler alert: they didn't. So here we are, with the Bombers having their second season in a row without a playoff appearance. Over $210 million was spent for nothing. Yet Hal hasn't said a word. And why isn't the media wondering where Hal is, and why he literally has nothing to say after this disaster of a year?

Then there is the Brian Cashman issue. How can this clown get a contract extension, when two of the three teams since his previous contract didn't make the playoffs, and the one that did had an epic collapse in the postseason? And the thing is, Cashman still doesn't understand what he did wrong. He recently told John Harper that "I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times, you would not get this result," a statement Harper does not challenge. Hmmm, I think if this season were repeated 100 times, you could even get worse results. For example, Jeter, to my surprise, stayed healthy all year. Jacoby Ellsbury stayed mostly healthy -- he very well could have been injured and missed significant time. And the injuries that did happen most likely still would have happened.

Image courtesy of Nomaas.org
Cashman also said that "you’ll see the real Carlos Beltran next year" and that "Tex should be much better. His doctor says the first year after wrist surgery is difficult, and the next year is better." He also thought McCann would be better next year. I think that is possible with McCann, but the idea that Beltran and Teixeira, two injury-ridden, aging players, will be better one year older is delusional. To paraphrase Nomaas, what is Cashman smoking?

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