Perhaps we're numb to the reality that the New York Yankees have no clear path to replicate the dynasty years anytime soon, but haven't we all had enough of the fans of yesteryear yelling at the clouds, exclaiming how George Steinbrenner would've fixed all of this?
And what would he have fixed, exactly? Do you think he would've nixed the Giancarlo Stanton or Josh Donaldson trades that have killed this team financially? Do you think he would've waved a magic wand or dumped the entire medical staff into the east river to solve the team's health issues? Would he be spending Steve Cohen money to right every wrong?
The Boss -- for as admirable, forthcoming and demanding as he was -- certainly didn't run a perfect operation. In fact, the dynasty team in the 1990s was built in part because of his suspension from Major League Baseball (he was unable to influence trades that would've gutted the farm system or hampered the MLB roster down the road, something he was famous for doing).
After purchasing the team in 1973, Steinbrenner revitalized the Bombers and led them to back-to-back World Series in 1977 and 1978 behind the massive free agent acquisiton of Reggie Jackson. After that, though? Just two playoff appearances across the following 16 seasons.
Then came the dynasty years. After that? Are we forgetting Steinbrenner oversaw the worst collapse in baseball playoff history in 2004? And then countless proceeding playoff chokes? Their next title in 2009 was guided by the team spending $500 million the previous offseason because Steinbrenner was sick of losing (and, well, sick in general).
All we're trying to say? Winning a World Series is hard. No owner can directly control that. For as good as Steinbrenner was, there's no telling how he would've handled the present day. For all we know, it could've been an unmitigated disaster had he made a couple of knee-jerk decisions. Aaron Judge and Luis Severino could be in Atlanta. So can we stop with these "George would've sent X person packing by now!" diatribes?
WFAN host Brandon Tierney unloads on Yankees during poor play
WFAN's Brandon Tierney is the latest to grace us with the stale (over a decade now!) assertion that Steinbrenner would've had this all figured out. And even if he didn't, he would've at least gotten rid of all the bums!
Now, we're not going to disagree that life would be better if guys Brian Cashman or Aaron Hicks were booted from the picture, but what's plaguing the Yankees right now are injuries. Sure, more momentous offseason upgrades the last two years could've had the depth situation in better standing, but how are we to seriously judge this team and continue to harp on the decision making when Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Harrison Bader, Carlos Rodón, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Scott Effross, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lou Trivino and others are all injured? That's at least 35% of the active roster.
Sure, maybe George would've fired Cashman years ago. But for as much as Cashman's decision making is infuriating and questionable at times, he's still regarded as one of the best baseball operations figures in the league. Who's to say the Yankees wouldn't have botched his replacement?
The front office does need a shakeup. It has for years. But on what planet would any team be able to withstand this many injuries with their depth/secondary options? The Yankees finished April 15-14. They weathered a good portion of the storm and were lucky it wasn't worse. There are plenty of healthier contending teams out there that are lagging much farther behind.
You want changes in the Bronx? Great. So do most fans. Just stop trying to conjure the ghost of George Steinbrenner at every turn. Stop trying to be Captain Hindsight. The Boss was a legend, but his success rate in handling and/or navigating complex baseball decisions was far from 100%.