Tuesday certainly was, well, a day for the New York Yankees.
It was supposed to be just a regular day early in the offseason. The laconic, almost reclusive Hal Steinbrenner had a scheduled Zoom call with the media. Word got around that familiar face James Rowson was likely the new hitting coach. GM Brian Cashman was doing GM things at the GM Meetings down in Scottsdale.
Somewhere along the way, it all went wrong. Steinbrenner gave his usual end-of-season platitudes, lamenting the disappointing season in which his team “accomplished nothing.”
The owner then did his spiel about big changes coming, but played the privacy card when pressed. Instead, he rambled about the team needing to bunt more and how “everything is on the table” in free agency, but that a $300 million payroll isn’t necessary.
Somewhere in the middle of it, he announced Aaron Boone would return to manage next year.
Cashman’s media scrum was no better later in the afternoon. Except rather than the usual monotone talking points, the veteran GM was fiery, defensive, and even profane at points. He railed against “bulls**t” thrown in the Yankees’ direction and defended his record.
“I think we’re pretty f****ng good, personally,” he said, pointing out that the Yankees have the smallest analytics staff in the AL East compared to the largest pro scouting department. Even so, it was undone by Cashman’s pathetic defense of his recent bad trades, saying his beloved Yankees are “victimized.”
Brian Cashman says he believes one of the things the Yankees are "victimized" with trades that don't work out is that they're "trying to go for it" pic.twitter.com/t54gIgpZyL
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) November 7, 2023
Hal and Cashman’s awkward pressers aside, the Yankees have no magic cure for next season. The team needs to be better and healthier. That’s it.
This means possibly spending big in free agency or making an offseason trade. There is indeed a path where the Yankees enter spring training as World Series favorites (again).
Except that all needs to be an afterthought. Two separate ramblings of two separate madmen have said the quiet part out loud. You might want to be sitting down for this part.
The New York Yankees are an organization in disarray. Brian Cashman being an objectively good GM doesn’t mean his front office is rife with communication issues. The Zelus Analytics audit that wasn’t really an audit confirms that. No one is on the same page.
And even so, it’s not crisis time for the Yankees. One bad day won’t make baseball’s most storied franchise an overnight pariah. If anything, it’s probably motivated Cashman to meet all of his offseason goals for the team.
But one thing is certain, and it’s that the poor communication chickens have finally come home to roost in Yankee Stadium’s rafters. The Yankees aren’t building any consistent World Series contenders until the front office is united.