The New York Yankees’ owner gave his manager his full support while making very clear it was on the players to right the ship.
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner was brutally honest in a Thursday morning Zoom with local media, covering everything from team payroll to the Bronx Bombers’ abysmal 2021 season.
However, as several sources reported, Steinbrenner did not give in to Yankees Twitter’s most popular request: firing Aaron Boone. In fact, he gave the beleaguered manager his full support.
Hal Steinbrenner: Aaron Boone and the #Yankees coaches are “absolutely” the right people to lead this team.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 1, 2021
Steinbrenner expanded on this and added that while his father George fired multiple people in-season “a lot, what people forget is that a lot of times, it didn’t work.”
Hal Steinbrenner also didn’t rule out making a trade that would put the Yankees above the $210 million luxury tax threshold. As to the Yankees’ being 41-39 on July 1, he said he was indeed “aggravated,” while also being “frustrated” and “angry.”
And yet, Aaron Boone still has his full support. This isn’t exactly a surprise. Boone won 100 or more games his first two seasons with the team, and the roster still has plenty of key members of the 2019 team which won 103. The pandemic-shortened 2020 season is also not a fair indicator of Boone’s time on the job.
This brings us to Hal Steinbrenner and the most poignant comment of his press conference. Jack Curry of YES Network covered it best:
Hal S said he, Cashman, Boone and the coaches all deserve some of the responsibility for how the Yankees have underperformed. But he said the Yankee players need to “fix” this problem. He said “the majority” of the blame lies with the players.
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 1, 2021
This is jarring to hear from an owner, except Steinbrenner is exactly right. Past performance has shown this New York Yankees team can contend for a World Series. This season has been a grave disappointment and both Boone and his coaches, and maybe even general manager Brian Cashman are easy targets to blame.
Yet, coaches can offer pointers six ways to Sunday. At the end of the day, it’s on the players to heed the advice and improve.
These New York Yankees have failed in that, and now Hal Steinbrenner has noticed.
Stay tuned for more news from the Bronx.