The "This Wouldn't Have Happened if George Steinbrenner Were Alive!" crowd got another huge win Sunday night when former New York Yankees star Reggie Jackson took aim at the current regime when being asked questions by ... fellow Yankees legends Alex Rodrguez and Derek Jeter.
Would everything be better if George were still around? We wouldn't go that far. But we'd at least know for sure the Boss would've still kept some of the franchise's remaining former greats on speed dial when he needed some baseball insight.
The man might've been stubborn, but he knew who to consult on baseball matters when he really needed unparalleled intel. You know who famously doesn't do that? The current Yankees regime, especially with hands-off Hal letting everything slide since Brian Cashman is "his guy" for whatever reason.
Looking back ... maybe Goose Gossage's epic NSFW spring training rant wasn't that crazy after all? While it's not ideal to have those kinds of unfiltered, boisterous personalities dominating the team's inner circle, it's probably at least good to not completely exile them because there's some truth to their madness.
Jackson has certainly come across as a bit inflammatory ever since he defected for the enemy and now works with the Houston Astros and closely with reviled owner Jim Crane, but the Yankees seemingly pushed him there.
Reggie Jackson calling out Yankees magnifies Brian Cashman's biggest problem
A-Rod, on Fox Sports' pregame for Game 6 of the ALCS, asked Jackson what the biggest difference between the Yankees and Astros was, since Mr. October has now worked for both organizations. Here's what he had to say:
"I’d say the biggest difference between us, and really most other teams and especially with the Yankees... your voice isn’t heard. You didn’t participate. You know, I walked away because I wanted to be involved and leave my knowledge in the game. I certainly think that I know that Derek Jeter still loves the Yankees. Andy Pettitte still loves the Yankees. (Rodriguez) is still a Yankee and I’m still a Yankee, but we didn’t get a chance to be involved in some of the say-so in our opinions really didn’t get valued."- Reggie Jackson
Jackson was gradually exiled. A-Rod was fully exiled in unceremonious fashion. Ever wonder why Jeter hasn't had much involvement, but managed to run the Marlins for a brief period of time? It only seems like Hal's recent involvement has started to change that, with Andy Pettitte showing up in 2023 along with old-school executives Brian Sabean and Omar Minaya.
There's no way to unequivocally pinpoint Cashman systematically eliminating the input of former Yankees' greats, but Jackson's commentary, along with some context clues, like the heavy reliance on analytics, the lack of personalities in the locker room and dugout, and the constant misallocation of fiscal resources, can at least start to build a case. This is the worst stretch of Yankees baseball since the early 1990s. They've lost all feel and instinct. And while it can all be traced back to the organization losing its identity after the 2004 ALCS collapse against the Boston Red Sox, they won a World Series the one year they threw caution to the wind, spent fearlessly, and went after the right combination of talent and flair.
Yeah, so, does anyone know a good lawyer? Can we put together a dossier to drop off at Hal's office so he can make a change this offseason? Just make sure he isn't as loud as Jackson, we don't want to blow our cover.