The New York Yankees Miss George Steinbrenner

Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

These don’t look like the New York Yankees you are so accustomed to seeing. The Core Four retired, the constant fear they instilled in opponents is gone, the winning seems like a distant memory and they are being passed over by teams like the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays. Most importantly, they are missing the one person who brought fire to the organization: George M. Steinbrenner. 

The Boss was feared by his team and opponents alike, which helped cultivate a winning mentality in New York. If the team was losing, he’d shake up management, call for a trade and most of the time, get his way.

He played around with his managers, constantly making changes he saw fit. Billy Martin is the obvious name, being fired and hired five times. Steinbrenner fought with his stars, most notably Reggie Jackson, but it led to championships.

Steinbrenner definitely made some crazy moves during his tenure, but it was that fire and passion that truly made him a great owner. Nothing against his sons Hank and Hal, but they are not George. It seems like that passion for winning isn’t there, or isn’t nearly as strong as it used to be.

George would not stand for this mediocre Yankees team. He would have found a way to get this team back on course.  They’re not hitting? He would go get a bat. The rotation is being hit hard? He’d bring in an ace. It wasn’t hands-off ownership he promised early on, but it got the job done.

Manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman have done a phenomenal job with the team, but something seems to be missing from the top of the organization.

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Cashman has done his best in making trades that seem to come out of nowhere. Starling Castro has been good so far with the Yankees, but with The Boss still around, Robinson Cano would have been re-signed. Cano would have come back to New York for a record deal, and the future icon of the Yankees wouldn’t be playing for Seattle.

That would have meant a smaller signing spree during the offseason, leaving two of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka not wearing pinstripes. They are always after pitching, so Tanaka would have probably been signed, leaving McCann and Ellsbury on the outside. McCann has been good, but Ellsbury has underachieved during his first two plus seasons.

The Yankees would have also made more of an effort to sign dominant players like Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke and David Price. If they had signed just one of these pitchers, there would be no reason to question the rotation. Scherzer followed by Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino or CC Sabathia is pretty good. Without Scherzer there isn’t much fear.

During the Steinbrenner years, they were notoriously known for trading young talent for proven stars. Cashman has taken a different approach by trying to keep the homegrown talent instead of moving them, but it hasn’t resulted in a World Series. Maybe in a few years, but not at this moment.

Aaron Judge should be up next season, Greg Bird should be healthy for 2017 and they have some pitching seasoning down in the minors, but they won’t be a win-now team at least for a few years.

Steinbrenner probably would have sensed this, and called for a trade for a veteran player. Maybe Troy Tulowitzki would be filling the shoes of his idol Derek Jeter, instead of Didi Gregorius? Yoenis Cespedes could be patrolling the outfield in the Bronx instead of Queens. Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto or Jon Lester could be the ace of the staff instead of Tanaka.

Unfortunately, Steinbrenner passed away nearly six years ago, and the team has dropped off slowly. They have made the playoffs once since 2013, with the only year being a Wild Card loss in just one game. The last time the Yankees missed the playoffs in back-to-back years was in the early 1990’s, when Steinbrenner was banned. He didn’t tolerate losing, and did what it took to win.

It makes you wonder how different the team would be if Steinbrenner was stilling running the show. He would have called for moves to frustrate and excite the fans, but with one thing in mind; winning. During his time as owner, the Yankees won seven World Series and appeared in another four. He loved the seven wins and apologized for the four losses.