Yankees: What Happens If They Fail To Capture That Elusive Number 28?

Aaron Judge - This is it! (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Yankees can only be thankful George Steinbrenner isn’t around cracking the whip on a team he is paying handsomely to win it all…

Yankees’ ownership these days in the image of Hal Steinbrenner is decidedly different than during the days his dad ruled the roost.

Whereas both father and son spent/spend liberally as a major-market team, the consequences today do not appear to be as robust or emotionally charged as when “The Boss” signed the checks.

In the twelve years since George Steinbrenner crowned the “new” Yankee Stadium with a World Championship, his son Hal has maintained the Yankees winning pedigree with multiple appearances in the postseason each year, but without “the cigar” to celebrate.

Cynics among Yankees fans and I am one of them, can only conclude what many critics have charged, they are a franchise devoted solely to the profits enabling dividend checks that land in the mail of their shareholders in December.

Yankees: If There’s No Fire – There’s Nothing

There’s no fire as we see, for instance, across town in Queens where a young and brash new owner of the New York Mets is putting himself “out there” with bold predictions and the resources to back it that the Mets are in it to win it.

Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, (Photo Credit) (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, (Photo Credit) (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Yankees have always been “corporate”, and that’s why most of us have given up on getting a decent seat at Yankee Stadium, lest we pay season-ticket holders a month’s mortgage payment to attend a game on StubHub or another Yankees partner in the cash grab.

But let’s assume the Yankees do what they typically have done the last few seasons – winning a ton of games in the regular season, only to get a kick in the ass in the postseason before reaching the World Series.

The first thing to realize is the Steinbrenner family won’t be going anywhere. They are as etched in stone as the Wilpons were with the Mets until their financial situation made it impossible for them to continue – a fate not likely for the Steinbrenners.

Yankees: It’s All On 2021

So, what happens in the 2021 offseason and beyond?

The low picking fruit will unceremoniously go first, meaning Aaron Boone will be fired and General Manager Brian Cashman, the Yankees longest-tenured GM, will be cast a soft-landing promotion into Yankee’s oblivion where Alex Rodriguez currently resides.

That’s the easy part, but what about the constitution of the Yankees roster next year, and more significantly the year after in 2023.

Giancarlo Stanton - The burden of his contract
Giancarlo Stanton – The burden of his contract

Players on the bubble of the free agency market during the 2022 season include Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Chad Green, and Gary Sanchez.

Giancarlo Stanton and his unloadable contract in a trade aside, plus the enigmatic Gleyber Torres, these players are the core of the Yankees team that will compete during the 2021 season, barring further injuries.

But has it been made clear to these players, Gerrit Cole and DJ LeMahieu excepted, by Hal Steinbrenner that no one on the team this year is assured of a job next year – unless…

Yankees: Can Someone Please Turn Up The Heat?

The heat on the Yankees has yet to be turned up – and enough is enough.

Making the playoffs for a team that reaches the upper echelon of MLB’s max payroll before a luxury tax kicks in is not an equal exchange when cast upon the Yankee’s legacy.

Aaron Judge has expressed his frustration on numerous occasions over the past few years, at one point though, stooping to an accusation the Houston Astros “stole” a World Series from the Yankees.

The Astros cheated, but so what, and where were the Yankees to meet that challenge?

Aaron Judge: The Face Of The Team – Or Not?

Adding to the bitching and moaning, Judge now feels it necessary to call attention to his 6’7″ stature at the plate as

Yankees Fans (Photo: NBC 10)
Yankees Fans (Photo: NBC 10)

a reason can’t adjust to his size at the plate, and so on as a reason – for what?

I’ll follow and root for the Yankees as I have for more than the last half-century, but unlike the Mets where I know, they have an owner who is involved and goes beyond the ritual of signing checks while the revenue dollars sweep in, here is a Yankees fan who needs something beyond a dominant regular season.

The heat on the Yankees needs to be turned up high – and no one needs be satisfied with another 100+ win season against inferior teams, and ended prematurely during the first or second week of October…

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Go get em next year?
they seem arrogant and not like a team with too much drama and not enough “good”moves-they need to put their heads down and come together as a team-must say I’d rather have Donny Baseball at the helm-if they don’t win this year Boone is done
Steinbrenner would have NEVER gone into a season letting other teams outspend him. Machado would have been a Yankee. Bauer would have been a Yankee. Sanchez would have been traded.
If The Boss was around they would not have a minor league in the 80’s he gutted top minors for over-the-hill players on their down years in baseball. Then if it was not for him being suspended from operations there would have never been the 96-2003 dynasty team.
We pull up our big boy pants and get after 28 again next year, there are no guarantees, the only guarantee is we will be Yankee fans for life!
He would have fired every trainer and strength and conditioning coach the past two years. And heads would have rolled after last year’s playoff fiasco when Garcia was lifted after one inning for Happ
I loved Steinbrenner’s passion but not his style. I don’t miss the constant chaos or stress he created and love our balanced approach these past 20+ years.
You don’t have to love analytically driven game management, but it works and increases the chances the team will succeed. So criticize Boone for a pitching change, that’s fair, but also know that most of the time those things make practical sense.


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Steve Contursi
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.