Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hal Steinbrenner finally speaks, and shows that he couldn't manage a one-car funeral

So Hal (Rip Van Winkle) Steinbrenner has finally woken from his summer slumber and spoken to the media for the first time in two months. He talked to Michael Kay on the Yankee broadcaster's ESPN New York radio show yesterday, a day after I wondered where the heck Hal was. But I think Hal would have made a much better impression by doing the interview in person, given that Kay's show is simulcast on Hal's TV network. Heck, even A-Rod figured that out his fireside chats with Mike Francsesa came across much better when he was in the studio!

Here are some of the noteworthy subjects that Hal the Dilettante touched on during his phone call:

His apology to Yankee fans

He said "I apologize" when asked to explain this year's disastrous season, saying "We did not do the job this year. We know what you expect of us and we expect the same thing of ourselves." No, Hal, you don't expect anything of anybody, except not to be bothered with making any actual decisions. That's the problem! You said in August that Yankee hitters needed to "step it up," yet when the hitters didn't, nothing happened. Heck, even teams like the Mets fire hitting coaches now and then. Yet you have kept Kevin Long on since 2007!

On him bringing Brian Cashman back and his firing philosophy

He said Cashman "does a good job" (yeah, Hal, that Kevin Youkilis deal was awesome! So was trading for Stephen Drew!) and that they would be negotiating a new contract with Cashman. Hal told Kay the following:
"I don't think it is a news flash that I am different than George in a lot of ways," Steinbrenner said. "He was better in many things than me, but I do tend to be a little less rash when it comes to firing people. I want to make sure that what went wrong was for a reason. It was wrong because of that one individual or two individuals or whatever, I will get through that process before anything like that as opposed to any kind of knee jerk reactions."
Let's review. Hal has been in charge of the team for seven years now. George Steinbrenner has been dead for four years already. Brian Cashman got a three-year contract after the 2008 season, and then after the 2011 season. You might have been able to justify the 2011 deal, given the 2009 World Series win. But how in the world is it "rash" to think that another GM could have done a better job with the team, or to think about going in a new direction in the future? Cashman's day has come and gone, and everybody knows it except for Hal.

During this last Cashman contract, the Yankees were absolutely humiliated by the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, and then didn't make the playoffs the next two seasons, even with the extra wild card spot. Cashman also did some embarrassing shenanigans in his personal life. In those three years, Cash also outspent everybody in the league bat least $50 million each year, made a slew of personnel mistakes, and got outwitted over and over. The farm system is a mess, and the team has a dismal future. But Hal still thinks it is "knee jerk" to consider finding a new GM? Good grief.

I think Hal is one of the laziest people ever. If he weren't born on third base and thought he hit a triple, he would be hanging out in his mom's basement, or living off some girlfriend's money, instead of doing something for himself. He would literally rather accept failure, year after year, than get off his duff and fire Cashman. After all, hiring and firing is sooooo hard!

George Steinbrenner spent his entire life trying to impress his father, Henry, which is part of the reason why he bought the Yankees and turned a down-at-its-heels franchise into a new dynasty, ultimately resulting in the team becoming in a multi-billion-dollar team. Hal Steinbrenner has spent his entire life not trying to be his father, avoiding responsibility and putting up with not just mediocrity but flat-out incompetence, year after year, and avoiding firing anybody for fear that somebody might compare him to The Boss. And the so-called tough New York media gives him a pass.

He said Beltran and McCann and Teixeira would be better next year

Hal sounded like Brian Cashman's ventriloquist's dummy in insisting that Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Mark Teixeira would all be better next year. As I wrote yesterday, maybe McCann might, but expecting injury-prone, old players to improve without PEDs is absolutely delusional. 

Why he didn't attend Derek Jeter's final home game

Hal rationalized why he wasn't at Derek Jeter's home farewell, saying that "The 'Thank You Day' was the 7th [of September], and that day"was my family, that was the organization saying thank you to Jeter, which is exactly what I told him for everything that he has done for the organization." He said that "The last day really, in my opinion, was for the players." Too bad Kay did not ask Hal this followup question: So why was your sister Jenny front and center at that game, and you weren't?

Hal also told Michael that he was in Tampa that day, and said "I'm not going to get into why I couldn't be there, but I couldn't. I watched every bit of it." Note: I still think Hal was watching #TGIT instead of attending Derek Jeter's final home game!

He also said "It is perfectly understandable for people to be upset" about him not attending Jeter's home farewell, although he claimed to have been in Boston for the final weekend. How does the person running a billion-dollar business not realize that his job description entails being in Yankee Stadium when his team's No. 1 marketing choice of the year reaches his apex?

Here's what I would like to know. What could Hal have possibly had going on that day that was more important than being at Yankee Stadium that day? As my readers know, I think this Jeter farewell tour was a monstrosity, but even I get that Jeter's last home game was kind of a big deal.

He said the same blather about having a championship-caliber team

It shows the pathetic state of the New York media in that, a fan/fun Yankee site, had a better analysis of how Hal keeps on with the same nonsense about having a "championship-caliber team" than the press did. (Check it out here.)

Here is what Hal told Kay:
“I don’t think you can teach us old dogs new tricks – we expect to win every year. Our fans do, too. I am disappointed by all of this. We will be back next year with a championship-caliber team.”
Um, Hal, your old dog Brian Cashman just pooped on your interlocking NY rug, and it's time for you to clean it up. And if you won't do it, then, please, sell the team already and go back to spending all of your time being a dilettante, flying planes and doing weather reports. If you can't seem to care enough about the Yankees to clean up this mess, then why should the fans care about the team?


Jonathan Stulberg said...

The irony is there's truth to what Hal says. That it's not one person's fault that the Yankees haven't been successful. You can point fingers at many people from Girardi to Long to Beltran, Teixeira, etc. But here's the rub Hally boy. Cashman is the one who brought in and kept all these mistakes. He's the guy at the apex of the poor decision making. When you run a company, the bottleneck is what kills your production. Companies get rid of the bottleneck. Hal, get rid of the effing bottleneck!!!

danny said...

These kids need to sell the team. They are inept and incapable of putting winning in front of money. The house needs to be cleaned to rebuild to win in a few years.

Steven said...

Well, Lisa, what can I say, when you are right, you are right!

I'm not a change for change sake kind of guy, but at this point, a fresh approach is needed.

If nothing else, Cashman's signings of Beltranesque players needs to stop.

Lisa Swan said...

Thanks, Jonathan, Danny and Steven, for your comments! It frosts me that Hal Steinbrenner still won't make the changes that need to be made. Oy. And three years from now, Brian Cashman will get yet another contract extension for failures, just because. Good grief.

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