Via Tyler Kepner -
Hank Steinbrenner, who is co-chairman of the Yankees with his brother, Hal, praised Manager Joe Girardi in a wide-ranging telephone interview on Monday. But with the last-place Yankees sputtering along at 20-24, the architect of the team, General Manager Brian Cashman, received only measured support.
Speaking of Girardi, Steinbrenner said: “I think he’s doing fine. It’s pretty simple — he’s playing the hand that he was dealt, just like I am. He’s doing the best job he can. I have complete confidence in Joe.”
The way the season plays out from here could determine Cashman’s future.
“If Brian wants to be the G.M. next year, there’s a chance he will be,” Steinbrenner said. “If he doesn’t want to, he won’t be. At this point, do I still want him to be the G.M.? Yeah, I do.”
[Hank] made several references on Monday to the next off-season, stressing that he was determined to make any moves necessary.
“My job is to win, and I’m going to do everything I can to win,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not like I just came in off the farm, like some people claim. I’ve been around the game for 35 years, but this is my first year, along with my brother, in running the team, and I have to play with the cards I was dealt, just like Joe does.
“Whether those cards work or not will determine what happens in the off-season, and I’m going to do whatever I have to do to win,” he continued. “There’s been a lot of mistakes the last five to seven years that I had nothing to do with and Joe had nothing to do with — and quite a few things Brian had nothing to do with.”
That last part is interesting. “Quite a few” implies that there are, still, some things that Hank views as being Cashman’s fault. I’m growing more and more convinced that, if the Yankees don’t make the post-season this year, Cashman will not be back in 2009.