If Hal Steinbrenner is "tired of being runner-up," as Bob Klapisch wrote in a column this week, then he must really hate it when the Yankees don't even come close to qualifying for that title, like in 2023.
According to Klapisch, a long-time Yankees insider, "massive" change is on the horizon for this team's processes, music to the ears of any fan forced to endure the past three seasons' stumblings.
The 2022 Yankees' rocket-powered first half briefly obscured genuine organizational issues, but rest assured they were laid bare by a 29-29 record down the stretch that season, as well as the .500 muck and mire that followed in 2023. It's fair to doubt Steinbrenner's understanding of the mess, considering it was only a few months ago that he stated (out loud, for real!) that he didn't understand why fans were so upset by being 10+ games out and treading water in late June. But, to the owner's credit, Klapisch believes he's become increasingly frustrated behind the scenes, and the impartial outside audit he ordered this offseason is likely to result in a shifting of responsibility.
The analytics team, as currently constructed, is highly likely to get slammed by an emotionless, all-business rebuke:
"The final report will be data-driven and purely objective. None of it bodes well for the Yankees’ analytics department, which is obsessed with exit velocity and spin rates, and has advised GM Brian Cashman to make disastrous trades for Joey Gallo, Josh Donaldson and Frankie Montas, among others."- Bob Klapisch
Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner will likely take aim at analytics team after audit
No, the Yankees will not cease to use analytics. Nobody does that. Absorbing advanced data in order to make calculated decisions is the lifeblood of the game. That was true long before the process of learning and growing had a catch-all name that made it the bogeyman.
But the Yankees' analytics team has recommended poor fit after poor fit, ignoring personality (Gallo) and injury (Montas) concerns. Someone must be held accountable for three consecutive botched deadlines, and even Brian Cashman -- without the safety net he's long relied upon -- will be under some pressure in this brave new Yankees world, despite retaining his job.
There's a good chance that this thorough review of processes results in responsibility and final say being plopped in the laps of experienced GMs like Brian Sabean and Omar Minaya, rather than Cashman's long-term lieutenant Michael Fishman. Perhaps Fishman will even be dismissed from the organization entirely midway through the Blame Game.
That would certainly qualify as "massive," even if the most prominent Yankees names remain the same. And in just a few weeks, we should learn just how broken the Yankees' processes really are, from a fleet of observers who have no skin in the game.