gerrit cole yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is an interesting guy, almost the polar opposite of his bombastic father George. However, the younger Steinbrenner is far from absent, as he said on “The Show” podcast with Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman, both of the Post.

In fact, Steinbrenner is pretty focused from the start of the season. Better yet, he’s a whole new owner.

How? Well, it’s simple. He values input from his players. As Steinbrenner told Sherman and Heyman, he has monthly “closed-door meetings” with Judge and pitching ace Gerrit Cole.

“I thought it would be a healthy exercise,” Steinbrenner said. “To have the leader of the position players and the leader of the pitchers in the room with [general manager Brian Cashman], with me. With Aaron. And just hear what concerns they have, and what their thoughts are on everything and what we could be doing better.”

He didn’t get into specifics, but did say it was a “new” occurrence and that it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. Judge and Cole sit with Steinbrenner and Cashman in what amounts to a suggestion box meeting.

“One of the things that we agreed on is that whatever was spoken in that meeting would say in that room,” he continued. “Everybody in the room understood that because of that parameter, that they were to say whatever’s on their mind. And really wanted to have a healthy once a month or so dialogue.”

Perhaps Steinbrenner is more like his father than we realize. The late George Steinbrenner was very hands-on, especially in the clubhouse. He had regular meetings with Joe Torre and we all remember his love-hate relationship with Billy Martin.

For an owner to have regular meetings with a GM and manager is one thing, but players? That’s a big deal considering how little Steinbrenner speaks to the media. For added context, he even acknowledged to Sherman and Heyman that this was his first podcast interview.

As to the meetings, Cole and Judge are both conscientious guys with a good feel for their clubhouse. Monthly closed door meetings with the owner, no matter how you spin it, are a blessing in disguise.

The Yankees will look to win this four-game series with the Blue Jays Wednesday when Cole takes the mound at 7:07 p.m. ET.

You can reach Josh Benjamin at You can follow him on Twitter: @JoshBESNY

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.