How can anyone take Hank seriously?

Yanks fall to first-place Rays in extras
Kepner rebuts Hank

Via PeteAbe, Hank’s not too happy with the Yankee play lately. Well, join the club, Hank. The only difference between Hank and the rest of Yankee fans the world over is that we’re not in a position to get our stupid rants in the paper. Unfortunately for Hank, he’s not the sole decision-maker atop the Yankees management hierarchy. “This is going to get turned around. If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have to,” he said. What does that even mean?

Update: At the urgings of a commenter, here is Hank’s entire quote: “There’s no question we need to turn it around and we have the talent to turn it around. We’ve got the team in place, and now they just have to go out and do it. This is going to get turned around. If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have to.” Even when we consider the whole thing, he still sounds rather blustery and ridiculous. His point — that the Yanks are playing poorly — can be seen for miles, and I doubt the players are going to feel motivated just because Hank sort of threatened them. Their contracts are, after all, guaranteed.

Yanks fall to first-place Rays in extras
Kepner rebuts Hank
  • swo

    Next time, use the entire quote. Don’t fall victim to the same tricks that Pete Abraham uses to increase the traffic to his site. The media tends to try way too hard to make Hank seem like a wannabe George who would create the Bronx Zoo 2.0 just because he can. In fact, they desperately want it to happen so they can have something fun to write about, because they were too young to cover the 70s. Kind of sad, if you think about it.

    Everything Steinbrenner said was warranted, and they could use some fire under their asses, because they look flat-out bad out there. There is no sugar-coating it, the Yankees offense just plain sucks. And considering they (especially Moose) always do well after Steinbrenner speaks, I can hardly fault him.

    I hate to cite payroll, because that’s a cheap ESPN tactic, but you have to look at it from Hank’s perspective: he’s shelling out 200 million dollars, and a substantial portion of it is going to waste. We’d be hard-pressed to have all of that 200 million being “earned” by the players and their performance, clearly. But even with the injuries you’d expect more than 2 runs in the last 18 innings, or 1 run in Chien-Ming Wang’s last 14 innings.

    As for “by force”, come on. It’s just hyperbole. There would be changes, that’s all he’s saying. The offseason after 2008 would look much different than the one after 2007.

    • r.w.g.

      You could stand to take his criticism a little more seriously. Blogs are a bit of a different animal.. there are no hard and fast rules for what’s acceptable, to what extent stories should be fleshed out, etc.. especially on a blog like this, which as far as I can tell, is sort of a personal project of love that’s hit the big time a little bit.

      You get a lot of hits from hardcore baseball/NYY fans and I don’t know if it would be the end of the world to try and be as accurate and thorough in your quoting as possible, especially if you’re going to use those same quotes to form opinions.

    • Relaunch

      No need to be a wise guy. swo is correct. Many times just exerpts are posted, not everything people say. Things are then taken out of context.
      Hank can say whatever he wants. He is part owner of the team, pays a lot of money for results, and he knows his customers (the fans) pay alot of money in one way or another for the Yankees. I agree with most of what he is saying anyway. This team is pathetic when repeatedly they can’t score runs or come up with a hit with RISP.

      • Ben K.

        Alright, points taken, as you can see. I’ve adjusted the wording of the post. I don’t think the entire quote really adds much to what Hank is saying though. He’s blustery, and he can’t really do anything about it by himself. Reporters are talking to him because they know it makes for good copy, and that’s about it. Hank takes after his dad quite well.

        • r.w.g.

          Yeah I pretty much agree with you. I actually made my post after you did the update, and had I seen it I wouldn’t have chimed in with my double team there.

          The “by force” comment is a bit over the top and it sort of distorts what was an otherwise pretty level-headed message from an owner that wants better performance.

          At the same time, however, he’s got to make it known that this same group isn’t going to keep getting chances to dig itself out of holes and get bounced in the first round. And that has to be a message to Cashman and some players who have been here a little while and are not beating the teams we need to beat when we need to beat them — and in no uncertain terms, their performance has warranted the message.

        • Pete

          Wholeheartedly agree. Hank is a quote machine, but it’s not like George in the 80’s where the next day you’d see a player sent to Columbus or a manager reading a prepared statement on their way out the door.

          It’s an information-driven world right now, and heaven forbid we don’t all have something to chew on for the 8 hours in the day before a *game* actually starts.

    • Ben K.

      He’s shelling out 200 million dollars, and a substantial portion of it is going to waste.

      That’s been the problem with the Yankees for more than a few years now, no? That’s why NoMaas says that if you gave them $200, the Yanks would never lose. Of course, you’ll end up wasting some money no matter how much or how little you’re paying the team.

      • Pete

        First thing I’d cut back on? The 9 zillion YES shows hosted by Michael Kay.

        Unless they’re actually *saving* money by having him do everything. If that’s the case, have Kay do ‘Yankeeography’, ‘Yogi and a Movie’, Steiner Sports, Yankees Hot Stove and the Nets games as well.

    • Phil McCracken

      Its not even Abraham’s interview. It was Kernan’s from the Post. Why is Abraham Lincoln getting credit for this story?

  • Geno

    Hank’s going to hire a team of goons. They’ll sit in the stands, looking just like Joe fan. When a Yankee makes an error, or strikes out in a critical situation, a goon will emerge from the stands and pummel the underachiever with a lead sap.

    They’re men, Hank, not horses. You can’t just send the sub-par ones away to be made into glue. Well, maybe Pavano.

  • Bo

    Why do I get the bad feeling that this clown is going to ruin everything that has been built in the Bronx?

    At first I thought he was just a boob who had no power. Hopefully that is right.

  • Bo

    BTW, Swo is right. Pete sites is pretty much a disaster this year. Hes alsmost desperate for Hank quotes. Also his anti Girardi views are getting tough to take. And I dont think he’d have a good word to say about Farnsworth if he saved a family of 6 from a burning building. Hes a beat writer and hes lost his objectivity. Hes supposed to be a little impartial because thats what he would say he was.

  • gxpanos

    Oh, sweet Jesus! I love Hank! I’m in love with Hank Steinbrenner. He is the funniest man alive. Seriously, is there anything better than an employer threatening his employees with physical harm–in public?

    Hank is the best. I want Hank to have reality show. He needs to have one. I mean, here I am, down because the Yankees are playing so poorly that the Wanger can’t get them out of it, and Hanky-Panky just makes it all inconsequential, because I spent the entire morning laughing my ass off.

    Oh Hank…never get old! Never die! You’re better than George!

    • TurnTwo

      agreed… i think everyone needs to chill out with the Hank quotes and how he’ll be the demise of the franchise.

      he’s trying to light a fire under their asses to kick it into gear a little, and he’s entertaining.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Pete Abe has definitely gone tabloid this year. He’s really trying to pull in the readership and what he’s managed to do is turn off those of us who were reading when no one else was.

    The Hank quote basically means nothing. They’re not playing well. We need to turn it around. By force if necessary.

    Does that mean trade a bunch of guys? Fire Girardi? Bribe the umps? What does that MEAN? no one knows.

    My big issue with this team is how some guys can play so well and their efforts are wasted because the other guys don’t pull through or they can’t get a TRIPLE home.


    Why don’t we get off the Hank quotes and off the anti-Girardi sentiment and look at why they’re not pulling together as a team? Too much focus on fist pumping and numbers of jerseys perhaps.

  • A.D.

    I think Hank’s quotes were fine, he’s said some redic stuff in the past, but he’s just coming out saying it unaccepable, of course it is, but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.

    The “by force” comment probably means they’ll be very open to many ideas next year and won’t go status quo, so maybe trading young arms, moving people around, a general shake-up & cleaning of house.

    I thought Hank’s comments were fine, gave credit where credit was due

  • Bo

    Hank does realize you cannot take a teams temperature every game, right? This isnt football.

  • RustyJohn

    I await Al Nieri’s appearance in the Yankee clubhouse as Cano gets whacked.

    Let me see- the position players consist of a bunch of 30-somethings (minus Cano and Melky) and the complaint is a lack of energy. I’m the same age as these guys and I have a hard enough time getting out of bed everyday for a desk job. A couple of years ago I pulled a back muscle waking up. This is a surprise that the team plays dead? Bring back the greenies!

    Poll: In February if someone predicted Mussina would be pitching lights out, IPK and Hughes would be dogshit, the bullpen would be one of the better ones in the league and the offensewould suck, would that person not bedeclared criminally insane?

  • Brian

    “Shake it up” is a forceful analogy, right? Can’t see this as much different.

  • zack

    Where are greenies when you need them? :)

  • Rich

    I wonder if Hal is laughing or crying after reading that quote. As long as he isn’t nodding in agreement, anything Hank says doesn’t matter all that much.

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  • yanks99

    I love Hank. He’s the only one who says what really needs to be said. I hate managers who refuse to call out their team in front of the media. Why is that a problem? Are their feelings going to be hurt? They should be embarassed that they make $20 million dollars and could care less if they win or lose.

    • Ben K.

      I would love to know why or how you think the Yanks “could care less if they win or less.” That’s an unfounded statement that, to be blunt, has little basis in reality.

      • yanks99

        Unless they react completely differently behind closed doors, I don’t think they care. In postgame interviews they just seemed so relaxed about losing. I really hope behind closed doors everyone in the yankee lineup is personally apologizing to Wang for not being able to up more than 1 run in nine innings. It just seems like I have seen little leaguers get more pissed about losing than they have.

    • steve (different one)

      how do you know that they don’t care?

      let me guess, you can “just tell” from looking at their faces.

      • steve (different one)

        beaten to the punch…

  • LC

    Obviously Hank has the right to say whatever he wants to the media, but I really don’t understand what he’s trying to accomplish. Everyone knows the Yankees are struggling right now, so I see no need to rehash the obvious. Does he really think that he’s motivating his players or the front office by constantly making his displeasure public? I’d have to say he’s delusional if he thinks his bluster is going to have a direct effect on making the team play better. I think all he’s really trying to do is absolve himself of any responsibility for the struggles of the team. He wants everyone to know that the team isn’t constructed the way that he wants, so if the Yankees struggle it’s not his fault, and if they do turn it around and play well he can try to attribute it to his “motivational” speeches and willingness to have “patience” with the young players.

    I know he’s just saying what a lot of fans are thinking, but he’s not a fan, he’s the owner, and it really irritates me the way he tries to distance himself from failure and take credit for success. I guess it’s just in his genes.

  • Count Zero

    I think you all need to take a step back and realize that Hank is not the moron you think he is.

    Consider: When Hank makes a comment like that to a reporter, he isn’t talking to the players. If he wanted to talk to the players, or to Girardi, he could do so by picking up his cell phone or showing up in the locker room. Why would the owner of a business talk to his employees via a third party that will spin the message in three different ways, and lose the nuances of his voice and body language when he could deliver the message in person? When George did this to Billy in the 70s there was a reason for it — it was because Billy was so popular with players and fans that George had lost control over him. He needed to upstage Billy in the press before he could get back in charge.

    Hank has no such reason at the moment. His message was purely for the fans — team’s playing like shit, fans are bitching and moaning, TV ratings are sinking, merchandise sales are down. He’s doing damage control on the Yankees revenue by assuring the paying customers that the product is going to improve.

    The players don’t even read the paper — why would you send them a message through a channel they aren’t even tuning in to? You wouldn’t.

    • Ben K.

      I think the players — at least some of ’em — do indeed read the papers. And anyway, the fact that Hank went off again is sure to filter down through the locker room to the players.

      • Count Zero

        Let me give you an example…

        I had a President of a company where I was a VP who used to do his presentations for internal people in a certain way. He talked like he was a down-home country boy. He would use these hick metaphors like, “that dog won’t hunt,” or “they’ll be lining up ten to a mule” when he was talking to the company employees on a stage. One time I was talking to him about how I thought one was funny, and he started laughing and told me how he would look for them in Mark Twain books, Google, wherever.

        In short — it was a “shtick” he had developed on the way to the top. It made him seem approachable and genuine instead of distant and intellectual. The guy was unbelievably smart.

        Whenever you meet a person who is in charge of a lot of money, the safest course of action is to always assume they are running game on you. Dubya has probably proven that he actually is that stupid — but 95% of the time, you are being duped for purposes that you may not even be aware of.

        Hank is not a big-mouth, non-thinking imbecile who thinks Jennifer Love Hewitt is the best actress in the world — that’s the persona he built and put out there for you to see. Trust me on this. :-) He was not talking to the players except in the most roundabout way.

  • The Bronx Stop

    wow. i’m really finding this whole thing hard to believe. let me get it straight…hank is the one with the problem? lol. comical.