Yesterday, we heard that Hank Steinbrenner wants to set up an advisory board to determine how the team will handle this off-season. He evoked the late 90s dynasty, essentially saying that it worked then, so it should work now. Put aside for a moment the implications this has for Brian Cashman’s job. If Hank is serious about creating this board, and if Hal will actually let him go through with it, then I have a suggestion to make regarding its members.
Place Ben K., Mike A., and Joseph P. on the board.
Yeah, well, no duh; everyone wants to be on the committee. Why us? What we’re proposing is a fresh perspective — and not in some cheap politician way.
Surely the board will comprise the team’s most trusted scouts and baseball people. Those are the ones, after all, who are most capable of making the best decisions. However, there’s a problem here. All of them have been entrenched in the bureaucracy of baseball. Traditional knowledge abounds. Not that traditional knowledge doesn’t work — clearly, we understand the value of scouting and subjective analysis. But it seems that the team could use a different way of looking at things moving forward.
We wouldn’t be at the center of the board. Rather, we’d be at the fringes. We’d take in every bit of knowledge the board has. We’d process scouting reports and opinions from across the spectrum. Then we’d evaluate and submit our own opinions. The advantage is that these perspectives don’t come from years within the game. They come from years of closely observing the game.
What’s the difference? It might be nothing. The board might hear our opinions and decide not to use them in determining the final decisions. The point is, though, that they’ll be out there for the board to consider. Plus, we’ll know the job is temporary. We won’t have inhibitions about contradicting the boss, as many of those present might, in the name of job security. So when Hank says “If I want somebody, I’m going to go after him,” and wants to pull a Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner, we can tell him that it’s a terrible idea. Whereas some in the room might not be so inclined to do so.
It boils down to lack of experience in a major league setting, and our collective ability to process new information and form an opinion. Hey, it could prove invaluable to the future of the Yankees*.
*Yeah, I know, it’s not realistic at all. But hey, if Hank’s going to deal with things in this manner, he might as well have a group of reasonably sane fans to talk him off the ledge.