Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner had a grip on the team’s pulse on the 4th of July, and nothing he said landed on Aaron Boone.
While Yankees’ principal owner Hal Steinbrenner has rightfully taken his share of hits in this space, he accurately assessed the state of the Yankees on the 4th of July when the team was struggling to maintain a .500 record.
The team improved over the second half, eventually sneaking in as Wild Card team, but the words Steinbrenner spoke then echo a truth that was never resolved or accepted by a good portion of Yankees fans.
As reported by NorthJersey.com, he was quoted as saying: “….(While) we all can share the blame,” Steinbrenner concluded that “the majority of the blame lies with” the players. “They’re the ones on the field. They need to fix the problem because everyone, including our fan base, rightfully so has had enough, frankly.”
We can snicker, wondering if Steinbrenner has an understanding of the word “frankly,” but noticeably, he did not single Aaron Boone out for blame. At the same time, Steinbrenner did not provide Boone with a ringing endorsement.
Yankees: It’s About The Players – End Of Story
The salient point, however, is this. Even if he did not adopt his ways, Hal Steinbrenner learned during his mentorship with his dad during the Yankees run that ended in 2009.
The lesson learned is simple, and it states that a manager is only as good (or bad) as his players, and the fact is Mickey Mouse could have managed the teams the Yankees fielded in those days.
Steinbrenner also observed the strength of Joe Torre as a force that complemented but did not displace or overwhelm the Yankees players on those teams.
Torre saw his job as mainly staying out of the player’s way while making himself readily available to the media to deflect any controversy, something always just around the corner in New York.
If he had the same Yankee’s teams, Aaron Boone would be a clone of Joe Torre, and that’s why Steinbrenner likes Boone, and it’s also why, according to multiple sources, he is seriously considering a new contract for Boone.
“He likes [Boone], and I don’t think he blames him for what happened,” one source said.
Dump Cashman, Too – Forget It
A likely firestorm is likely to follow those reports, and I suspect the same will follow in the comments on this article.
Even more likely is that multiple comments will be to the effect of saying, “get rid of Boone and Cashman.
But for Hal Steinbrenner to go there is too much for him to take on. Unlike his dad as a hands-off owner, he relies on Cashman to do the job of filling the Yankees roster, albeit with payroll constrictions he forces on Cashman.
And with that, Steinbrenner places his players at the top of the accountability chart, and right or wrong, his manager below them.
Conservative by nature and again unlike his dad, Steinbrenner is resistant to change. To divorce himself from the comfort and congeniality of his relationship with Cashman is not within the realm of possibilities.
Accept that, or you are condemned to be a very disgruntled fan of the Yankees in 2022 and beyond until the Steinbrenner family decides to sell the team – and why would they do that?
Hal Steinbrenner had it right in July, and his philosophy hasn’t changed since then.
Not renewing Aaron Boone’s has nothing to do with the players in the Yankees clubhouse. Once they put on the pinstripes, it’s in their hands alone to create wins and a 28th World Title.
Like It Or Not – These Are Your Yankees
Having said that, it is incumbent on Cashman to rebuild the Yankees as a team that can compete in the 2020s. This requires a different formula than the one that made up the teams of the 1990s.
Steinbrenner trusts Cashman to make it happen, and to be fair, Cashman has at least as many hits as misses over the years on his resume.
In sum and as he sees it, Hal Steinbrenner has no reason to “fire” Aaron Boone, and he especially will not make that move merely to satisfy a good portion (but not, I believe, a majority) of Yankees fans who are making all the noise about Boone.
That makes more than good sense because, just like Torre’s teams, if the Yankees turn it around in 2022, it’ll be due to the players’ performance on the field, not Aaron Boone or a person who replaces him.
Steinbrenner “gets” that part of baseball, and while I cringe at saying it because I know what’s coming, it’s about time Boone naysayers get it as well.