You know, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic can get you a much better view of a sinking ship, actually.
Shame on me for getting minimally excited when I learned at the end of August that Hal Steinbrenner planned to follow in the successful footsteps of organizations like the Astros and Orioles by inviting an outside organization in to audit the team's failing processes.
Firms like McKinsey -- who knows which one Steinbrenner was supposedly using, but they're all governed by the same principals -- seek out weak links and inefficiencies and recommend clearing them out of broken food chains. The worst Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and Co. could do, it would seem, was ignore their recommendations and stick with the status quo.
Turns out, the Yankees' real plan is even more feckless than the nay-sayers among us gave them credit for.
According to Andy Martino, the popular narrative that the media ran with regarding the Yankees' top-to-bottom evaluation of their broken development system and misguided implementation of analytics is, in fact, a self-evaluation. Hal Steinbrenner hasn't authorized an outside force to poke and prod at the inner workings of his billion-dollar, weak-kneed behemoth. Instead, he's paying for someone to show them how their analytics process works, at which point he can either try to implement changes himself or just ball up the report and toss it in the trash.
New information reveals Yankees audit will be terrible and Hal Steinbrenner is a tired toddler
Solid use of money. Martino, in the article, reveals the Yankees "have been considering this opportunity for several years, and has now received clearance to spend the money." Oh! So glad they got clearance! I can't think of a better use of their profits than a self-funded affirmation session.
Just 24 hours ago, it seemed likely that assistant GM/analytics head honcho (who doesn't understand analytics) Michael Fishman would be on his way out. After all, how could an impartial firm possibly give tacit approval to the man who pushed for the acquisitions of Joey Gallo, Sonny Gray, Frankie Montas, Andrew Benintendi and Carlos Rodón? How could a ruthless team of investigators read over that laundry list of offenses and decide that the men who believe they're the smartest in the room, and never acknowledge their own fallibility, should be allowed to stay in charge?
Nope. Instead, it seems like Fishman will be given a list of proposed changes and a "final warning". Considering he has never believed himself to be in the wrong before, why would he change course now? He'll simply be provided with a list of demands that will be hucked out the window. After all, all he needs is more time. It's the fans who are wrong. His process was flawless.
Perhaps a miracle will still happen. Maybe Aaron Judge, who believes Yankees players have long been given the "wrong" numbers, will get through to Steinbrenner and Cashman. Maybe the Yankees will finally decide to flex their financial muscles and bring in the league's smartest minds, rather than the league's thickest contracts for injured players. Maybe the Yankees just need a kick in the pants to seek truth internally.
But probably not. Considering this team has been a nepotism-fueled, inward-looking stale sham for over a half-decade, I'm betting on a "thanks, but no thanks" reply to the auditors and a 78-win 2024 campaign. You know. Another season that leaves Steinbrenner "silently fuming" about massive change on the horizon ... until the rubber actually hits the road and choices must be made.