Hal Speaks: “Jobs are not riding on this”


(Mike Stobe/Getty)

The regular season ends tomorrow, so all across the league owners are spending the final series with their teams as they look forward to the postseason, search for answers, or just want to pal around with the fellas after being off-the-radar for the last six months. Maybe it’s all three in some cases.

Hal Steinbrenner was at Yankee Stadium yesterday, and he briefly spoke to the media prior to last night’s blowout win. Hal isn’t his father, so there wasn’t anything too exciting to come out of the media session. There is still some stuff to talk about, however. The following quotes come courtesy of George King and Bryan Hoch.

On whether jobs depend on how the Yankees finish the season…

“Are jobs riding on this? Not that I know of. Jobs are not riding on this and that’s not something I am concerned about right now. We look at everything in the off-season as we always do.”

In our recent polls, the majority of RAB readers said that neither Brian Cashman nor Joe Girardi should be fired or would have been fired had the Yankees failed to qualify for the postseason. A wildcard spot is clinched, but I suspect that sentiment will not change regardless of how the Yankees finish the season.

Cashman is under contract through 2014 and I never really thought/still don’t believe his job is in any kind of jeopardy. Girardi’s contract is up after next season and I was in the “he shouldn’t be fired but will be” camp with regards to his job security had the Yankees missed the postseason. He a fine manager, not great and not terrible, but five years is a pretty long time for stick around in this business. With Terry Francona available and waiting to be hired, my gut said Joe would have been the easy scapegoat.

On the tight race in the final month of the season…

“I am excited, I think we all would like a bit more breathing room, we have zero breathing room. But the guys have been playing tough and we have (Mark Teixeira) back Monday night and he will give us a boost so I am excited … I was concerned (about blowing the ten-game lead), I wouldn’t say I was worried. These guys know what is expected out of them. They are professionals. I had no doubt they were going to persevere the best they could. We kept getting a big guy back and another big guy goes out and it’s frustrating after a while. But we have everybody back now and we are at full strength and we will keep pressing on.”

Nothing really to add here, I just find it a little funny that he was “concerned” and not “worried.” I know there’s a difference, but I still got a nice chuckle out of this.

On the plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold by 2014…

“I’ve made it clear that it’s very important to me for several reasons. Again, you’re talking about a 10 percent reduction in payroll. I don’t see that as an outrageous concept. I never have.”

The 2014 payroll plan was just a well-sourced rumor until Steinbrenner (and Cashman) confirmed it back in Spring Training. I don’t know of any fans that actually like the plan since what the hell, if you have the money spent it. That said, I think we can all understand why they’re striving to get under the luxury tax considering the potentially enormous savings. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, but part of me is hoping that it will force the team to be smarter with their spending and decision making. A $189M payroll is still nothing to sneeze at anyway, if they can’t contend with that then the problems go well beyond the money.

Categories : News
  • CountryClub

    I’m really not bent out of shape over the 189 mil at all. I guess there’s a chance it could sting for a yr or two if CC and Teix both fall off a cliff. They’ll already be carrying Arod at that point, so the other two going completely south would suck. But, I think they’ll ultimately be fine.

    • jjyank

      I pretty much have the same feelings. It sucks that they’re undergoing the plan with the big contracts they already have, but I don’t have a problem with the concept.

      • Ro

        Yep. Cashman said it best, that a 10% reduction is not an outrageous concept. Quite frankly, this should be simple for the Yanks to do with Swisher, potentially Granderson, probably not Cano, Jeter reduced salary, likely Mo retirement (14 – after 13 season) Soriano likely gone (meaning they don’t resign him this offseason to more years lower AAV. Martin may or may not be around, but on a 2 year $14-$16mm ($7m-$8m per), and Arod having a reduced salary as well. With Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez (who absolutely feel should be with the team late next season, even to get some time with Pena at a minimum), hopefully Baneulos and Pineda come to terms with their talent and can produce.

        I understand they would need to replace Swisher and Granderson, perhaps the two biggest loses, but Williams can be a fine replacement hopefully (maybe not 40 homers or 20, but still).

        I’ll say it for the 100th time, if they can trade for a player like Anthony Rendon or someone of his equal talent, age, cost, then things will be just fine in the coming years and getting below $189m really isn’t that tough.

  • Steve

    Count me as a fan who likes the spending plan.

    • forensic

      Me too.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Why is that?

  • Bob Buttons the Cat

    Have to say even though it sounds so wrong for Francona to manage the Yankees I’m rather intrigued by that extremely remote possibility.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    If anyone was going to replace Giardi I would want La Russa.

    • AaronGuielWithASmile

      Not calling you out specifically, but let’s make a rule:

      No fans who complain about Girardi’s binder are allowed to lobby for Tony La Russa.

      • JMK


  • the Other Steve S.

    It just fries me that they sign Arod to that horrible contract and then come back later and say we need austerity or else. What were they thinking when they spent that $300 million? That Arod was going to be Barry Bonds and hit 40 homers until Social Security kicked in? Seriously?!?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Different times. The new CBA changed things.

      • Rich in NJ

        It didn’t change the probable reality that giving any player in his 30s a 10 year contract is a very dumb idea.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          Regardless, without the new CBA, there would be no $189 budget.

          • Rich in NJ

            But there would always be a budget (they haven’t really raised it in years while other teams have spent more), and allocating that kind of money to a player who was likely to decline during the term of the contract was almost certainly going to impact their spending, arguably significantly.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            They have been talking about lowering the payroll for yrs.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              But the CBA turned it into an essentially hard-cap of $189M. Point stands. I’m not defending the contract as a good one. I’m just saying that the deal wouldn’t have happened under the new rules. Hindsight is 20/20.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting

                The new CBA doesn’t force them to spend a dollar more in 2014 to keep the same payroll. It would actually save them money over what they currently pay if they kept the same payroll in 2014.

        • Slugger27

          but it wouldve just been a dumb idea they can afford and get away with. its only a problem now because of the new cba.

    • toad

      What were they thinking when they spent that $300 million?

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      • the Other Steve S.

        What facts? That they were thinking at all?

        • toad

          Exactly the fact I was referring to.

    • MannyGeee

      Yankees were bent over a barrel by his original deal. thank Texas for giving him the opt out clause. those fcking things are bad news for teams.

      • Rich in NJ

        Cashman, to his credit, thought otherwise.

        • Ro


  • Wayne

    Girardi is younger than francona plus I don’ t think francona will manage the Yankees he will probably end up in Chicago with cubs where boston’ s ex general manager is. Francona will feel more comfortable around him. Plus it would be an accomplishment to win world series with the two teams that historically have not or had not won in years.Just don’t think his fate is with the Yankees

  • Rich in NJ

    I would like the spending plan (which will cut more than 10%) if A-Rod and Teixeira were the impact hitters they are paid to be, and if the mL system had become the talent pipeline Cashman said it would be when he received more autonomy in 2006. Since neither is the case, I have no interest in seeing the Steinbrenners become any richer than they already are.

    Anyway, “not that I know of” are weasel words, which allows him freedom to act if he wants.

    • steves

      I focused on the “not that I know of” quote as well. I didn’t see it as being weasel words as much as I thought they were plain dumb and laughable; if Hal doesn’t know then who does!

      • Rich in NJ

        Alternatively, the words can be interpreted as enabling him, if indeed changes are made, to assign the responsibility for those changes to other people (e.g., Cashmman, if he stays and Girardi goes; or Levine, if Cashman goes).

        George did that at times.

  • Eddard reboot v.1.0

    They should be riding on this. If Girardi lets a 10 game lead slip away he should suffer the same fate as Tito Francona. A 2nd straight first round exit should also be the end of Joe. He at least needs to get to the ALCS to save his job. Rothschild hasn’t done much with our young pitchers and Kevin Long hasn’t done much better. Those two could go.

    Hal’s austerity budget means that we won’t be able to retain either Swisher or Granderson. One, not both.

    • thenamestsam

      So you’re saying flip a coin, and heads we keep him, tails we fire him. That seems reasonable.

    • pinchhitter

      Wasn’t Giardi the manager when they got the 10 game lead?

      • Better off Eddard/Syrio Forel/Occasional Troll

        Dude, that was so 2 months ago.

    • MannyGeee

      yup, good idea. fire the manager that got you to a 93 win season (possibly 95 if things break right). 93 wins with a team hobbled by injuries, which Farrell/Bobby V could not do.

      Shit, Tito couldnt sweep the leg with a full healthy team last season. He’s the answer???

    • Ro

      I think it’s time for you to download version 2.0 of yourself, because 1.0 seems to have glitches.

  • Nick_BD

    It’s going to be a very interesting winter. With the chance Soriano might opt out, Swish leaving, the contract situations with Cano and Granderson.

    With the luxury tax rule, you guys mentioned this on the RAB radio show about re working A-Rods deal, the deal is killing the Yankees. He’s owed $114 I think over 5 years, no team will want him so the Yanks are gonna have to pay him. Maybe buy out his contract $60m upfront then get Alex to sign a 5 year $55m, I don’t know if you can re work deals in MLB just a suggestion. The front office have to do something with this is will be very hard to stay under 189 and stay competitive with all those bad contracts.

    • Monty

      $22.5 AAV over the next 5 years for .270 115HR 75RBIs…. Could get David Wright for 75% of that… so bad.

    • toad

      How would that help? It’s the same money, same AAV, isn’t it?

      What you might be able to do is lengthen the contract. Say you add two years at $3 mil each. AAV drops to $17.1. Luxury tax savings might more than make up for the extra $6 million. Not sure if MLB would allow that.

      • Barbara Booey

        Sure. How about a 10 year extension at $100K per year.

        • Davud

          You mean a 1,000 year extension at $1000 per year.

          And backload it, if the FO is smart…

    • Steve

      ” I don’t know if you can re work deals in MLB,just a suggestion.”

      This is my question also — why can’t the Yanks simply re-negotiate some of the bigger contracts, to get under the $189M in 2014?

      Guys like A-Rod, Jeter, CC, Teixiera — can’t they make a little less ($5-6M per player?)in 2014 and get it added on to the remaining years of their contracts?

      Can the players union or MLB have a legal issue with that? Good gosh, it’s called “hardball” for a reason…..

  • toad

    The austerity plan will make things tough, but it saves a ton of money later on. You can’t think about it only in single-season terms. If spending less in 2014 means you can spend a lot more in following years then it makes a lot of sense.

    If we want the Yankees to think in terms of building for the long term then reducing future luxury bills will help a lot.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      You’re assuming they’d spend a lot more in later years.
      I think if anything, they’d just go back to spending at about the same level they’ve been spending at, and just be a lot richer in the process.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Eric Schultz

    Hal looks like he’s been spending some quality time with John Boehner.

  • Robert

    Congrats to Melky Mesa Yanks finally have a rookie AB and the Melk Man delivered a single.

    Lets get Younger and cheaper 2014 1b TEX
    2b Cano
    SS Jeter/Nunez
    3b AROD/David Adams
    RF Tyler Austin/Z.Amonte
    CF Mason Williams/Gardner
    LF Slade/Melky Mesa
    C Gary Sanchez
    DH Nunez/ AROD/JETER

    I am tired of overpaying for Guys in there 30″s who are on the back 9

    I would be excited if this was the Yankees in 2014

    • JMK

      How likely is it Sanchez, Slade, Williams, Austin would be ready by 2014? Probably about 5 percent. Maybe lower?

      Remember several years ago when we thought Banuelos and Betances could be two members of our starting rotation?

      I’m just saying prospects don’t just jump a level per year like there’s a structured, predetermined course of action. Development is much more nuanced. Look at Bichette. He was being penciled into the starting lineup in 2015 by a lot of people. Now? Not so much.

      Maybe, just maybe, one or two of the A-ball guys will be ready by 2014. But outside of Mike Trout, most rookies flat-out suck and don’t hit their stride until year 3.

      So in conclusion, this 2014 team you’ve dreamt up would likely be really shitty.

      • JMK

        Crap, double post. If someone could kindly remove the second one…

      • hornblower

        As always it depends on the pitching. Maybe some of the young guys are closer to Trout than suck.

    • JMK

      How likely is it Sanchez, Slade, Williams, Austin would be ready by 2014? Probably about 5 percent. Maybe lower?

      Remember several years ago when we thought Banuelos and Betances could be two members of our starting rotation?

      I’m just saying prospects don’t just jump a level per year like there’s a structured, predetermined course of action. Development is much more nuanced. Look at Bichette. He was being penciled into the starting lineup in 2015 by a lot of people. Now? Not so much.

      Maybe, just maybe, one or two of the A-ball guys will be ready by 2014. But outside of Mike Trout, most rookies flat-out suck and don’t hit their stride until year 3.

      So in conclusion, this 2014 team you’ve dreamt up would likely be really shitty.

      • Dela G

        dude is this JMK the overshare???

        Please say it is

        • JMK

          Indeed, indeed.

    • Squints

      If those guys were ready by then id love to watch that team of youngsters. even if it meant not winning big right away it would be a nice change. i agree im tired of the old guys lets get some young blood in there.

    • TomH

      The rest of the American League would also be thrilled.

  • Joey from Jersey

    I wholeheartedly agree with you of what you mean by excitement is watching a 93 loss season. Your lineup stinks.

    • Joey from Jersey

      Should have been a reply to Robert’s post.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Hal Speaks: “Jobs are not riding on this”

    …for those of you not in the business world, either yet or ‘per se,’ let me translate it for you:

    Hal: Jobs are riding on this!!!

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    “Jobs are not riding on this.”

    Nice way to get the guys to play loose rather than tight. Don’t need guys pressing in October. Sure, he meant Girardi and coaches, but I think in the clubhouse it’s all the same thing. His dad, obviously had a different POV and thought guys played better when you challenged them, call them out and light a fire under their asses. I think that might have been true with the ’76-’78 guys as every guy on those teams was tougher than Russel Martin. It jusn’t isn’t true with players today so glad Hal sees this.

    • TomH

      What exactly does this mean? That people (why restrict it to mere “players”) who are, today, in their mid-20s-late 30s, are a bunch of candy-assed softies who wilt when criticized?

      Or that they’re a far more “sophisticated” “demographic” (but still just a bit candy-assed around the edges)?