Hal Steinbrenner Hasn’t Proved He Is Committed To Yankees Winning In 2015

by Nik Swartz | Posted on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
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New York Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner

New York Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner

The New York Yankees may have lost out on mega free agent Max Scherzer but the team has to make a move to bolster the starting staff before the season starts. Right now the Yankees do not have one starter who can be counted on, which gives the fan base little confidence the team will break a two year postseason drought.

It may be health, it may be consistency, but in most cases it’s been both that has hampered the Yankees starting staff the past two seasons. Neither of which bodes well for a Yankees lineup that has had a serious problem staying healthy, along with scoring runs as of late.

With the staff currently headed to Tampa, Yankees brass isn’t giving manager Joe Girardi a fighters chance to save his job this season. Anyone who doesn’t think Girardi will be the one falling on the sword this season if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs hasn’t been paying attention to how it goes in the Bronx when the team doesn’t make the playoffs, let alone if the team misses three straight postseasons under a manager.

Not even on paper, with all the pitchers staying healthy and pitching as good as they ever have in their careers, will the staff of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Capuano help the Yankees win anything this season.

Add in the probability of injury, which is extremely high with this group, and one would figure the Yankees would at least attempt to make a move for another starter before the seasons starts – yet the team has done very little to upgrade the starting pitching this offseason.

There have been rumors that the Yankees are interested in soon to be 36 year-old pitcher Johan Santana, who is attempting a comeback after tearing his Achilles in June, but there is nothing even close to a solid rumor yet that this will happen. Even if Santana is signed, is it really possible the Yankees could catch lighting in a bottle with him? Also, do the Yankees really need to add another older, often injured arm to a maxed out older, often injured rotation?

There are so many “what ifs” and “if he stays healthy we could…” with the entire roster, a bigger question than the rotation may be, what does Yankees management expect from the team this season?

Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner said last week that he’s happy with the progress the team has made so far this offseason and he wouldn’t dismiss making a more significant roster addition before Spring Training opened, though it is hard to believe he isn’t just blowing smoke. Steinbrenner went on to say, “It’s not over until it’s over. We still have a full month before Spring Training.” Of course it’s not over because it hasn’t begun, but the team does not look good and looks eerily similar to the teams the Yankees have put on the field the last two seasons; how did that work out?

Steinbrenner added during his talk with reporters at the quarterly Owners Meetings, “We’re always going to continue to improve. I’m not putting a cap on it. We’ve certainly filled some holes that we had. We’ll keep going for it for the next few weeks.”

After vowing to get the Yankees back to the postseason, Hal hasn’t put his money where his mouth is. It would be one thing if he came out and told everyone what so many already believe – the Yankees are in the process of rebuilding and are going to get young, and it may take a few seasons before the team gets back into the playoffs.

Instead, Hal says, “We’re still the New York Yankees, all you guys know that. We know what the fans expect. We know what the town expects. We’re not going to be afraid to spend money,” which contradicts every move the team has made this season.

Too many fans are waiting for a blockbuster move this offseason, but the chances of any happening are much closer to zero than they are a reality.

Yankees fans have been spoiled the past 20 years, and are the most intelligent group of fans in the game, so lying to them as Hal Steinbrenner sure seems to be, is a plan that will backfire on him. Most likely in his mind he is thinking he can sell this idea the Yankees are doing all they can to compete, “we are still the Yankees” thing, which makes it more obvious than ever he has absolutely no idea who the fans of his team are.

The Yankees should be better offensively this season, and chances are the team won’t have the injury bug hit them as hard as it has the past two seasons, but even with those two areas not being an issue, Yankees management needs to be true to their word and go out and get another pitcher to make the 2015 Yankees a true competitor this season.
If the Yankees go into the 2015 season with the starting staff they currently have, the team will miss the playoffs for the third time in three seasons and will be in more of a battle to stay out of the basement than they will be in a battle for the playoffs.

Follow Nik Swartz on Twitter @Sweetnesz13

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Nik Swartz
About the Author

Graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Psychology, currently a counselor in Philadelphia. I started writing professionally in 1999 as the Penn State beat writer for the Milton Standard/Lewisburg Daily Journal in Pa. I have worked at eight daily newspapers as a Sports Writer/Editor - covering all high school sports, the NFL, professional baseball and professional hockey. A few sites I've written and/or contributed articles for include Rant Sports, Bleacher Report, FanSided and Pro Football Spot. Follow Nik on Twitter @Sweetnesz13.

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