Hal Steinbrenner jameson taillon yankees
Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports

Last month, on the back nine of an awful season, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner offered a rare in-season quote and promised sweeping changes. So sweeping, as a matter of fact, that he mentioned possibly bringing in an outside company to do an audit of the team.

And what’s the state of that? Well, if you’re a disgruntled Yankees fan, don’t expect that to change.

The Daily News reported that the “audit” was simply the Yankees observing another analytics company and comparing notes. No “efficiency experts” or what have you observing the front office. Just watching how another company operates and compare/contrasting.

All leading to Steinbrenner speaking at Sportico’s Invest in Sports conference on Wednesday. Sitting alongside him, in a cruel twist of fate, was longtime team president Randy Levine. Per usual, the laconic owner offered his usual vague answer when asked about what changes the Yankees would make.

“We’re going to make some changes. Some may be more subtle than others,” Steinbrenner said. When pressed for more, he waffled about “Possibly personnel but not necessarily personnel,” plus the usual word salad about communications between all departments.

Luckily, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch was able to get some more specifics from Steinbrenner:

Upgrades to what’s already a very nice home clubhouse and changes that might not even be reported in the press. Real inspiring, Hal.

Who knows? Maybe during three days of meetings in Tampa that Hal Steinbrenner described as sometimes “dicey,” everyone came to the simplest conclusion about 2023. It was a high-potential season derailed by injuries and poor-fitting players. Not to mention comically bad underperformance.

And yet, for all of Steinbrenner’s talk of changes, what will actually change? Levine still has his job despite his lack of baseball experience. There is no can’t-miss offseason trade or free agency signing.

Thus, the 2024 season really could be a make or break of sorts for the Yankees. If they play well and make the playoffs, then 2023 was what it looked like: An outlier.

But if it’s more of the same, then maybe Hal Steinbrenner’s brand of ownership isn’t what the Yankees need.

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.