Hal Steinbrenner speaking to the media is second only to Randy Levine speaking to the media in the advanced statistical metric of Cringe Per Second.
Unfortunately for Yankees fans, Bossman Jr. got on the mic on Tuesday ahead of the Subway Series and unleashed a few more whoppers.
He attempted to diagnose the offense's woes and motivate DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo and the team's other stars in the process. It worked on Tuesday. It did not work on Wednesday. So it goes.
Steinbrenner's worst response by far, though, came to a question about the injury bug this team faces annually. It's more an injury feature than an injury bug at this point.
Despite putting an older team on the field every single year, Steinbrenner didn't seem to see any benefit to getting younger, even going as far as to place the onus for the team's age on the fans themselves. Yankees too old and injured? Hmm. You should complain more to yourself because you did this.
Hal Steinbrenner wants Yankees to sign older stars, not younger stars?
Hear us out, Hal: You can sign young players who ... are stars? It's not necessarily a tradeoff?
The best use of the Yankees' money over the past several years (non-Judge extension department) would've been to sign either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado during the 2019 offseason, both of whom firmly qualified as stars at the time. They were also both 26 years old. Both their contracts, on top of everything else, look like relative discounts compared to the behemoth sums offered this past winter ($280 million and 11 years for Xander Bogaerts, $300 million and 11 years for Trea Turner).
On the flip side, Harper makes just $25.38 million annually (less than Turner), and Machado recently opted out and extended himself into the wild new market, but would've helped the Yankees pursue a championship more doggedly from 2019-2022. Forget the recent developments in the free agent market; those were the guys that fans of this franchise long coveted. They were young. They were stars. They were even relatively cheap. What the hell are you talking about?
Most precisely, the fans don't want "stars." They want to win. Stars typically help that process along, but if 26 local delicatessen owners could band together to win a World Series, fans would appreciate that, too.
Younger free agents are more expensive than older free agents because they are more effective at playing baseball. If you want to play in the free agent pool at all, you might as well prepare your pockets to sign the players who will get you closer to the fans' end goal, rather than the players who wound up without a team at the wrong time later in their careers, but will gladly take your money anyway.
Steinbrenner's comment, which sounds increasingly AI-generated the more times you roll it around in your brain, doesn't accurately describe the wants and needs of New Yorkers, nor does it describe the best way to use the free agency process. Signing stars with the highest Q score and not the most powerful projections means you're paying for 2017 performance. For someone as concerned with cash as Steinbrenner seems to be, you'd think he'd be better educated in which types of dollars go a longer way.