Principal owner and co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner put to bed any thought of dismantling the 2016 New York Yankees with his most recent statement.
The last time owner Hal Steinbrenner put forth a notable comment regarding his team, the New York Yankees were reeling at 17-22 having lost two straight to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Despite being the softer son of the often fierce George Steinbrenner, he was critical of the team’s underperformance. Since that point, they have worked their way to a much more formidable 17-13 clip yet still sit in a tough gray area.
Currently sitting at 34-35, six and a half games off the pace in the AL East, and four games out of a playoff spot, the question of buying or selling has reached a new paramount.
Right from the start of the campaign, there were questions as to whether the Yanks would remain in contention. From there came much speculation on the state of the franchise.
Will they tear it all apart and rebuild? Will they trade any valuable chips at the deadline? Both of those overused conversation sparkers have been frequently discussed amongst fans and media throughout the first half of the season.
The common answer remains, “They should, but they won’t”.
They are the Yankees. The pride and excellence the franchise possesses outweighs any desire to follow a general trend in today’s game. Management and the front office desperately wants to work towards turning 27 titles into 28, 29, 30, and so on regardless of how realistic it is at the moment.
With that said, the team being anywhere in the mix, as they are now, completely turns down the hope of a fresh start and a state of addition by subtraction. However, fans still need assurance.
Hal Steinbrenner’s latest comment provided that assurance. Not only assurance, but it portrayed that he is content with the strides the club has made and has the utmost confidence in it moving forward.
Hal Steinbrenner: "I believe we’re going to be right smack in the middle of it at the end of July.”
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) June 21, 2016
The evolution of baseball today provides chance. The addition of the second wild card prior to the 2012 season creates gray hairs when the deadline approaches. Teams simply fool themselves into thinking they are true contenders when they may just not have the firepower. That is the exact situation the Yankees are in now.
Combine the typical false belief with the pride ownership possesses and you have an organization in no position to sell, tear apart, start over, or however you want to phrase it. In fact, it may even lead them into becoming buyers.
Steinbrenner’s expectation of the team being in the thick of the race will likely hold true, but ultimately shows that he is thinking that far down the line and views a general upturn as an eventual guide into contention.
When Brian Cashman, Steinbrenner, and Joe Girardi helped generate this team, they most certainly expected it to contend. After a horrific start, any signs of the club heading in the right direction will be viewed as a reason to stick to their chips.
That sign has already been delivered and an owner filled with optimism filled in the dots for any curious minds.
If you were someone who wanted the Yankees to dismantle and rebuild, your answer has been conveyed. Take the route of buoyancy or forever be miserable.