New York Yankees fans were experiencing some mixed emotions before their weekend tussle against the Toronto Blue Jays. On one hand, fans will get to see the much-revered No. 21 worn by Paul O’Neill formally retired by the club and enshrined into that much-hallowed pantheon of Yankee greatness.
On the other, this is a team who has lost 14 of their last 18 games in August and is watching their division lead spiral out of control. Owner Hal Steinbrenner has started to come under fire, as some fans are getting irritated with season after season of competition without any silverware to show for it.
This last stretch of baseball has been so pathetic that just about everyone on this roster is responsible to some degree. As the man in charge of the whole operation and the one who has been hesitant to enact change in the organization, Steinbrenner is firmly in the crosshairs of this fanbase.
When Steinbrenner went out to present O’Neill with a replica of his Monument Park plaque, he was cascaded with boos from fans as he left and returned to the dugout. Even when fans are celebrating one of the most beloved Yankees ever, they’ve found the time to boo Hal.
New York Yankees fans are mad with Hal Steinbrenner.
Some Yankee fans have their mind set on some form of regime change. Some think Brian Cashman, who conducted a horrid trade deadline predicated around trading Jordan Montgomery and acquiring underperformers Frankie Montas and Andrew Benintendi, needs to be gone.
Others think Aaron Boone, who has largely failed to change the day-to-day operations on the field, needs to be axed. Both of those decisions trace back to Steinbrenner, who has been pretty loyal to those in positions of power over the last few years. With no rings to show for it, some fans are getting restless.
The combination of that hardheadedness with the inability to get Aaron Judge locked in with the Yankees prior to free agency is all contributing to the deteriorating relations between the owner and his fanbase. Winning might fix that but wins have been few and far between lately.
Steinbrenner has been around the game long enough, so he should not be surprised that fans are this salty when it’s been over a decade since their last pennant win. Not even the most powerful late 90s nostalgia trip was able to save him from the wrath of his constituents.