• Hank To N.L.: Grow-Up & Join The 21st Century

    Posted by on June 16th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Hank Stein reacts to Wang’s injury. Via the AP -

    “My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century,” [Hank] Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. “They need to grow up and join the 21st century.

    “Am I (mad) about it? Yes,” Steinbrenner added. “I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.”

    “This is always a concern of American League teams when their pitchers have to run the bases and they’re not used to doing it,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not just us. It’s everybody. It probably should be a concern for National League owners, general managers and managers when their pitchers run the bases. Pitchers have enough to do without having to do that.”

    Another instant classic from Hank.

    Hank Follows-Up On His Moose-Moyer Comments

    Posted by on June 16th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via Newsday -

    On April 20, Hank Steinbrenner was quoted as saying Mike Mussina “just needs to learn how to pitch like Jamie Moyer.”

    So, Hank, what do you think of Mussina’s turnaround? Do we score one for the Baby Boss’ motivational skills?

    “I’m not going to take credit for that,” Steinbrenner said in a telephone interview Sunday morning. “He’s smart enough to figure that stuff out himself. He’s been playing baseball a long time.”

    “I don’t think it was necessary for me to say anything, truthfully, at that point,” he said. “He was going to figure it out himself. He’s the ultimate pro veteran and a very smart guy. He made the changes he thought he had to make. He’s still him, though. It’s still his pitches. He’s throwing them differently, different speeds. He’s approaching it different, but he figured out what he had to do and he did it. He’s done it.”

    Said Steinbrenner: “Everybody was talking about, ‘Well, he didn’t realize he was a righty and Moyer’s a lefty.’ I realized. I’ve been watching both of them for freaking 15-20 years. The fact is that I was talking about a style of pitching and it doesn’t matter what hand you throw with.”

    I’m surprised that Newsday got through to Hank. I figured that, after the injury to Wang yesterday, David Wells could be calling Hank every other five minutes to remind him that he’d love to return to New York. Then again, sure, there’s always call waiting…

    Hank On Damon, Joba & Cole

    Posted by on June 7th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Via the Daily News -

    Do your own jobs, and stop worrying about Joba.

    That was Hank Steinbrenner’s strongly worded message Friday for Johnny Damon or any other veteran Yankee who wants to see Joba Chamberlain switched back to the bullpen.

    “I love Johnny Damon as a player and a person, and he’s really doing the job right now. But let’s be honest here, he’s not Branch Rickey,” Steinbrenner told the Daily News in a telephone interview before Friday night’s game against the Royals, referring to the legendary baseball executive. “Johnny is a player, and as players, they all need to let the brain trust do the thinking and do the talking.

    “The players just need to play and to worry about winning games.”

    “I think so much of the media and a lot of fans are really missing the point on Joba, I really do,” Steinbrenner said. “Everyone’s worried about the eighth inning, and I agree it’s important, but (shoot), we haven’t even been getting to the eighth inning most (games).

    “I think even (Chien-Ming) Wang’s slump shows how fragile starting pitching can be. We’ll get Wang straightened out and Joba will help us get our starting pitching in order, and then we’ll concentrate on doing something about the bullpen.”

    “Every baseball expert I’ve talked to or read (their quotes) agrees with us, that Joba was wasting away out there (in the pen),” Steinbrenner said. “The kid is 22 and he’s going to have a long and productive career. We believe, as do all the experts, that it’s going to be at the front of our rotation for the next 10 years or so. Pitching, that’s the only way to build.”

    To that end, Steinbrenner acknowledged he is “very happy” with the Yankees’ approach to this week’s entry draft, especially with the addition of high-school fireballer Gerrit Cole in the first round and college pitchers Jeremy Bleich and Joseph Bittle with their next two picks.

    “We’re building for the next 10-15 years to be a power, and the way you do that is with arms,” he said. “(Cole) was by far the best available pitcher where we were picking (28th), and we are happy to add him.”

    Asked if he expects the Yanks to have trouble signing Cole, Steinbrenner added: “Some people are a little scared away by (agent Scott) Boras, but I’m not. One thing you can say about Boras and his people, is they’re pretty damn good scouts, too. They always seem to come up with top talent to represent, every year.

    “We don’t shy away from his guys, because he usually signs and represents some of the best ones. … So we look forward to getting him in the fold with our other young pitchers as soon as we can.”

    For the record, the report in the News had no mention as to whether or not Hank was stripped to the waist and eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery when he made these comments.

    Hank Hearts Joba

    Posted by on May 24th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    From Kat O’Brien -

    [Hank] Steinbrenner said by phone: “I want to make this very clear, for anybody who hasn’t been paying attention – a top reliever, a great reliever, whether a setup man or a closer, does you absolutely no good if you can’t get to him. He’s doing you no good if you don’t have the lead.”

    “Obviously, I think he can be an ace starter,” Steinbrenner said. “That’s why he was drafted. That’s what they thought of him when he was drafted. He can also obviously be an ace closer, but we’ve got [Mariano] Rivera for that, and he’s having one of his best years.”

    The other concern is how to fill Chamberlain’s setup spot. Asked Steinbrenner: “Can we fill that other role? People seem to think so. We have some other capable arms. Not like Joba, obviously. There’s been no more dominant pitcher in baseball, really, except Rivera.”

    There’s been no more dominant pitcher in baseball, really, except Rivera.

    Betcha Joba wishes he had that quote from Hank before the Yankees renewed his contract for this season – at the big league minimum of $390,000.

    Hank: Yes To Bats, No To Stats

    Posted by on May 20th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Via Kevin Kernan

    The Yankees are dead last in the AL East and the Subway Series was a disaster, but Hank Steinbrenner said yesterday it would be a mistake to count out Joe Girardi’s club, especially with Alex Rodriguez due to come back to the lineup tonight against the Orioles.

    “A huge mistake, abso-freakin’-lutely,” Steinbrenner colorfully told The Post.

    “I think we’re just about ready to go on a tear. We’re too good a team. And getting A-Rod back is big. The hitters are going to start hitting soon.

    “This is a mirage,” he said of the hitting woes. “This team hasn’t forgotten how to hit. They’re going to start hitting at some point.”

    Boss Jr. also said the Yankees want to get back to more hands-on scouting, like they do in the amateur market, and get away from relying too much on computers.

    “Statistics are important to a degree,” he said, “but we have to get away from relying too much on that computer stuff, that’s gotten out of hand. We’ve got to get back to doing a little bit more of the old-fashioned scouting like the Yankees and Dodgers did.”

    Well, even if Hank doesn’t want to see the stats, I’ll share the current ones here – via the CBE:

    Player		PA	RCAA	OWP	RC/G	SEC
    Bobby Abreu	180	0	.499	4.7	.268
    Johnny Damon	179	3	.554	5.3	.353
    Robinson Cano	168	-12	.209	2.3	.172
    Derek Jeter	167	2	.549	5.2	.167
    Hideki Matsui	167	7	.650	6.6	.277
    Melky Cabrera	162	-1	.478	4.5	.276
    Jason Giambi	143	4	.588	5.7	.500
    Alex Rodriguez	99	3	.614	6.0	.286
    Jose Molina	87	-7	.158	1.9	.134
    Morgan Ensberg	76	-5	.229	2.4	.129
    Jorge Posada	66	0	.482	4.5	.222
    Alberto Gonzalez	44	-3	.235	2.5	.158
    Shelley Duncan	41	-2	.280	2.8	.194
    Chad Moeller	41	0	.513	4.8	.243
    Wilson Betemit	27	1	.589	5.7	.192
    Chris Stewart	3	-1	.000	0.0	.000
    

    Well, if anything, there’s a lot of room for improvement in there – for sure.

    Hank: Joe & I Making The Best Of Our Cards

    Posted by on May 20th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    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.

    Hank: I’m Going To Clean Up On 5 Years Of Mistakes

    Posted by on May 15th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    I would be remiss if I didn’t link to the latest Hank Stein quotes via Bill Madden. Here’s the big one for me:

    This is what the new “Hammerin’ Hank” had to say to me Wednesday when I reached him in Tampa with the greeting: “How ’bout those Rays!”:

    “They’re a great story down here right now,” he said, “although it’s terrible that they’re only drawing only 16,000 a game. They’re playing a lot better than us, that’s for sure. I know we’re gonna come on at some point in this season, but right now, other than (Chien-Ming) Wang, (Mariano) Rivera, (Derek) Jeter, (Hideki) Matsui, (Johnny) Damon and (Mike) Mussina, after I got on him a little, we’re not doing jack (bleep).

    “What bothers me is that these guys are all working for me and my brother and they’re all making more money than we are. That’s what makes me mad. But while I’m confident they’ll come around, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens this year. And if they don’t come around then changes will have to be made. I’ve just got to clean up the mistakes of the last five years and make us what we should be.”

    Hank has got to be kidding with the “they’re all making more money than we are” line. Please, dude, stop…really.

    In any event, what do you think of that last line: “I’ve just got to clean up the mistakes of the last five years and make us what we should be.

    As a Yankees fan, do you agree that the team has made mistakes since 2003? If so, what were those mistakes? Tony Womack? Jeff Weaver? Miguel Cairo? Esteban Loaiza? Enrique Wilson? Kevin Brown? Wil Nieves? Randy Johnson? Bubba Crosby? Jaret Wright? Doug Mientkiewicz? Javier Vazquez?

    Heck, they’re all gone already. What’s to clean-up? Kei Igawa? Carl Pavano? Jason Giambi?

    Well, agreed, these are current problems. But, the should be done soon too.

    Or, is Hank just saying, here, that the last five years have been, somewhat, wasted time in that the Yankees have been getting fooled with the Pavanos, Igawas, Weavers, etc.? And, now, it’s time to stop making bad decisions and time to start making smart ones?

    What do you think?

    Hank: Yanks Fat Cat Strut Act Needs To Go

    Posted by on May 14th, 2008 · Comments (12)

    Via Kevin Kernan -

    HANK Steinbrenner had a message yesterday for his Yankees: Gentlemen, it’s time to get your act together.

    “We’ve got to forget about all the injuries and start playing our butts off,” Steinbrenner told The Post. The Yankees were buried by the Rays on Monday. These are difficult days for Joe Girardi’s club.

    “The bottom line is that the team is not playing the way it is capable of playing,” Steinbrenner said. “These players are being paid a lot of money and they had better decide for themselves to earn that money.”

    “We have good professional hitters and I have a lot of faith in them,” Steinbrenner said from Tampa. As for the team in general, he noted, “I’m not saying they are not giving the effort, but they need to be playing harder.”

    He then paid the much-improved Rays a compliment, saying, the Yankees have “got to start playing the way the Rays are playing. (The Yankees) need to start treating it like when they were younger players and going after that big contract, like they’re in (Triple-A) and trying to make the majors. That’s the kind of attitude and fire the players have to have.

    “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,” Steinbrenner said. “If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have too.”

    …I’m not saying they are not giving the effort, but they need to be playing harder…

    …need to start treating it like when they were younger players and going after that big contract, like they’re in (Triple-A) and trying to make the majors. That’s the kind of attitude and fire the players have to have…

    What’s that line about this game of baseball being only one-half skill?

    Hank’s Tampa Tempest

    Posted by on May 3rd, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Hank Stein, before tonight’s game, via the AP -

    “I’m very disappointed with the way the season has gone, period,” Steinbrenner said at the team’s spring training complex.

    “We just can’t win one out of five games, every time Wang pitches,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not going to work. It’s not a good win percentage. Starting pitching is where it’s at, especially in the postseason. At this point, we’ll see if we even make the postseason.”

    Well, the Yankees actual record is right in line with their Pythagorean Winning Percentage. So, Hank, as Ye sow, so shall Ye reap. Or, as I like to say: “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poop.” If you wanted a better starting staff, you should have made sure that your front office had a proven and trusted one in place – or, at the least, that they had a “Plan B” above and beyond Rasner, Igawa and Kartsens.

    Hank Predicts A.L. East Big Battleground

    Posted by on April 29th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via the AP:

    Others, including New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, are taking notice of the increased competition in the division, where Tampa Bay has finished last nine of 10 seasons since beginning play in 1998.

    “I said that before the season started, the American League East is going to be great and it’s only going to get better,” said Steinbrenner, who lives in nearby Tampa.

    “The Rays are going to keep getting better. The Jays will always be tough. The Orioles will get better, they’re already getting better. It’s not just going to be us and the Red Sox in the future. It’s going to be the best division in baseball.”

    You want to know when the last time the A.L. East was really tight with a lot of teams in the action? That was probably 1988. And, that was probably the only time that the A.L. East had several teams in the mix during the same season. It will be interesting to see if Hank’s prediction – which many share – comes true.

    Hank’s Still Talking

    Posted by on April 22nd, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Via Pete Caldera -

    Hank Steinbrenner wants to make one thing perfectly clear: He isn’t creating a tempest in Tampa, Fla.

    “Everybody’s trying to make me sound [ticked] off, or panicking. And it’s just not the case,” Steinbrenner said. He’s still pleading patience with his young starters, and he’s not insisting upon Joba Chamberlain’s immediate insertion into the Yankees’ rotation.

    “For someone to suggest that I’m dumb enough to demand that happen [with Chamberlain] now … that really [ticks] me off,” the Yankees’ co-chairman said by phone Monday afternoon.

    “No, you can’t stick him in the starting rotation right now.”

    (more…)

    Hank & Cashman Continue The Joba Tango

    Posted by on April 21st, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Via the Daily News:

    “It’s all of our intention to try to get him back into the rotation by the end of the year,” [Hank] Steinbrenner told the Daily News by phone Monday afternoon. “I’ve addressed it many times, as did Joe (Girardi) and (GM Brian) Cashman. I’m just saying it would be nice to have him there right now. He’s going to be great anywhere we have him but, my preference is as a starter and that’s everybody else’s preference, too.

    “You see what a premium starting pitching is. The bullpen is important, but starting pitching is 70% of it. Your bullpen can’t do you any good if you’re down by five runs quickly every night. It’s logical.”

    Steinbrenner said he was “upset” over the Yanks making Chamberlain a reliever last season, though he acknowledged that the Yankees probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs without Chamberlain’s setup work.

    But, Steinbrenner said, that work delayed Chamberlain’s development as a starter for this season, something [Brian] Cashman says isn’t accurate. “Joba had 35 innings left on his starting limit last year, so he would’ve been shut down in August as a starter and gone to instructional league,” Cashman said. “We took him and transitioned him to the bullpen and he did 24 innings for us out of the major league bullpen.

    “Last year’s bullpen did not impair his ability to start for us now. That work was instrumental in us getting to the playoffs and also for him in pushing his development even further – he knows he can pitch in the big leagues and get big-league hitters out. If he can do that as a starter has to be determined.”

    Cashman insisted there is no disconnect between owner and GM. “I think Hank and everybody, we’re all on the same page,” Cashman said. “These are things we discuss internally all the time and we’ll continue to do so, it’s as simple as that.

    “I don’t believe Hank wants Joba in the rotation yesterday. I think he wants what we all want. Joba is a starter, but the time and place for him right now is to be in the bullpen.”

    Yeah, this is getting silly. But, hey, I bet that Hank and Brian even drink the same beer.

    Hanks Talks About Yankees Rotation

    Posted by on April 21st, 2008 · Comments (21)

    Via the Times:

    With the Yankees off to a 10-10 start, and with two of their young starters struggling, the Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said there was one thing in particular he would like to change: He wants Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees’ hard-throwing setup man, to move into the rotation.

    “I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now,” Steinbrenner said Sunday by telephone. “There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”

    “The mistake was already made last year switching him to the bullpen out of panic or whatever,” Steinbrenner said. “I had no say in it last year and I wouldn’t have allowed it. That was done last year, so now we have to catch up. It has to be done on a schedule so we don’t rush him.”

    “I think once Hughes and Kennedy get plenty of starts and get Joba back, and with Wang and Pettitte, we will be fine,” Steinbrenner said, referring to the Yankee starters Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte.

    He also said he thought Mike Mussina, who is 39, “just needs to learn how to pitch like Jamie Moyer,” the Phillies’ 45-year-old starter, suggesting that Mussina shouldn’t try to rely on his diminished fastball to get hitters out.

    “The starting rotation is not what I would have chosen at the beginning of the year, but that is not a big news flash to anyone,” Steinbrenner said.

    The mistake was already made last year switching him to the bullpen out of panic or whatever…

    The starting rotation is not what I would have chosen at the beginning of the year, but that is not a big news flash to anyone…

    Brian Cashman must feel great about seeing those quotes.

    And, it also sounds like Mike Mussina doesn’t have much rope left with Hank either.

    Off-day in Yankeeland? There’s no such thing.

    Hank On The Sox Series

    Posted by on April 11th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Via Bob Klapisch -

    “Honestly, I’m not reading too much into this series. We’re too banged up for that,” is what Hank Steinbrenner said by telephone on Thursday.

    Just how early is it? Not too early for Hank Steinbrenner to say before hanging up, “you always have concerns. That’s part of being a winning team, addressing any problems if there are any.”

    Via Kat O’Brien -

    “I think overall, the Yankees have dominated the AL East for a long time,” said Hank Steinbrenner, who was named co-chairperson of the Yankees on Thursday. “In the last 12 years, 13 years, we’ve got four (World Series titles), they’ve got two. As far as the last seven years … that’s what I aim to correct.”

    Steinbrenner said: “Injuries are frustrating. I’d rather get them out of the way now and have them healthy later. Beckett’s the best pitcher in baseball, and he got hurt. You never know. Of course, everybody’s disappointed with the slow start, but it’s a long season.”

    Steinbrenner said he enjoys the competition between the teams: “I always do. I think everybody does. I think the players do. I think the fans do. I think all of baseball does. Without the Yankees-Red Sox series, I don’t think baseball would be getting all the attention it does.”

    What may be more interesting is the quotes to come from Hank after this series…

    Hank Stein: Discount Canseco & A-Rod Is “Just Friggin’ Great”

    Posted by on March 26th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Pete Caldera has the scoop -

    Yanks GM Hank Steinbrenner urges fans to “consider the source” of steroid allegations against A-Rod. In his spirited defense of A-Rod on Wednesday, Steinbrenner told The Record: “Consider the source, that’s number one,” Steinbrenner said of Canseco. “He wouldn’t have been able to hit the ball out of the infield without steroids.”

    “There are certain naturals. There are guys who can just do it, and Alex is one of those guys,” Steinbrenner said, during the interview in Clearwater, Fla. “He’s just friggin’ great.”

    He’s just friggin’ great.

    You know, Jason Varitek wears a “C” on his jersey because the team wanted him to don it, as their captain. Maybe Hank should get A-Rod to wear a “JFG” for “Just Friggin’ Great” on his jersey now?

    Yes, I’m joking. But, “He’s just friggin’ great,” is an automatic classic. Thanks Hank.

    Double Hanker Day – Get Two Hanks For The Price Of One

    Posted by on March 15th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    The silence is over! Kevin Kernan has both reports.

    First, on Hank’s twister sister moment:

    That was Hank Steinbrenner’s no-nonsense message yesterday. Steinbrenner made it clear that he is firmly in Joe Girardi’s corner in the battle of aggressiveness with the Rays and that the 2008 Yankees will continue to play hard throughout the season and protect their players.

    “Girardi has his players’ back and I have his back and that’s never going to change,” Steinbrenner told the Post in the wake of suspensions and fines of Shelley Duncan and Melky Cabrera , and fines of Girardi and coaches Bobby Meacham and Kevin Long for the Shelley Spike Slide into second base Wednesday against the Rays and ensuing brawl.

    “There are going to be problems, especially if they go after our stars,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not going to be tolerated. We never have done it to them. It’s just not going to happen anymore.”

    As for the suspensions and fines, Steinbrenner said, “If I got any problems with any of that I’ll take care of that with Bud [Selig].”

    Steinbrenner said he does not want to interfere in Girardi’s handling of such matters.

    “All that is up to Joe,” Steinbrenner said. “All I can tell you is that I will support everything he does, and that will never change. Because this is the manager I wanted, and that’s not anything against Joe Torre. That’s the manager we wanted at that time. Times change.”

    Next, Hanks says that Private Pyle Papelbon has a case of the Sniffles:

    It’s one thing for owners to have a little back-and-forth like John Henry and Hank Steinbrenner did recently in regard to Red Sox Nation vs. Yankees Universe. It’s another for a young player to take a shot at an owner.

    That’s what Jonathan Papelbon, 27, did in criticizing Steinbrenner.

    “I don’t know if he’s trying to stir things up or not,” the Bosox closer said. “I sure as hell don’t care, because he sure as hell hasn’t stepped on a baseball field. He needs to just stick to pencil-pushing, I guess.”

    Hammerin’ Hank fired back yesterday.

    “Being insulted by Papelbon is like being attacked by a mouse,” Steinbrenner told The Post.

    “John Henry and I traded a couple of jabs good-naturedly,” he added. “So now, all of a sudden, this player, this 20-something kid who really doesn’t know his way in the world, comes out with a personal insult. There’s no excuse for that.”

    Who knew Hank was capable of such a jab-cross combination?

    The Silence Is Deafening II

    Posted by on March 13th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Hank Steinbrenner had nothing to say during the first 11 days of February. Then, he appeared again around mid-month. And, he really let loose at end of the month.

    But, now, he’s silent again – for the first 13 days of March, thereabouts. Not even a peep about the stuff with the Rays.

    Where, oh, where, has our Hankie boy gone? Oh, where, oh, where can he be?

    Or, is Hank only working the second half of each month this season?

    Hank: Igawa? Don’t Ask

    Posted by on March 1st, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via George King:

    Hank Steinbrenner was done talking about the wonderful pitching performance turned in by Generation Trey against USF yesterday at Legends Field when he was asked about Kei Igawa’s miserable outing against the Big East school.

    “Let’s not bring that up,” Steinbrenner said. “Hopefully we can straighten him out.”

    Ah, a year later, and things seem to be the same for the “Not So Fat Pussy Iguana.”

    The Big Hank Stein Quote

    Posted by on February 29th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Last night, I shared a link to Jonathan Mahler’s feature in the Times on the Brothers Stein. There was a pretty “big” quote therein from Hank Steinbrenner that I wanted to mull, to be sure that I thought about what I wanted to write on it, before sharing a knee-jerk reaction. Since then, the quote has received quite a bit of exposure. So, I thought I better get my two cents in, now, before it really becomes old news. Here’s the quote from Hank:

    “Red Sox Nation?” Hank says. “What a bunch of [expletive] that is. That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans. Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.”

    First, the term “Red Sox Nation” goes back to Nathan Cobb. Via Gordon Edes:

    [Q:] When was the term Red Sox Nation first used? I tell friends that it was years ago maybe the 60′s or 70′s in various newspaper articles to describe Red sox fans. My friends think it’s only in the last couple of years because NESN has used it as a marketing thing. I say it’s way back. Who’s right? Jack, Rutland, Vt.

    A: Jack, my colleague Dan Shaughnessy said it was first used by a Globe reporter not in sports, Nathan Cobb, back in 1986, but Shaughnessy gave it life and really was the person who made it part of our lexicon by his frequent use of the term from 1990 on. He even wrote a book with “Dispatches from Red Sox Nation” as part of the title.

    This ties into what Wikipedia has on the topic:

    Red Sox Nation refers to the fans of the Boston Red Sox. The phrase “Red Sox Nation” was first coined by Boston Globe feature writer Nathan Cobb in an October 20, 1986 article about split allegiances among fans in Connecticut during the 1986 World Series between Red Sox and the New York Mets. The phrase was popularized by the 1996 book At Fenway: Dispatches From Red Sox Nation (ISBN 0-517-70104-9) by Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy.

    Therefore, the “thought” of “Red Sox Nation” goes back to Cobb in 1986 and the “movement” of getting it out there was assisted by Shaughnessy in 1996. Sure, ESPN and the Red Sox have helped to continue the push of the term, but, they did not start it. Further, there is some fact behind this notion of the existence of a Red Sox Nation. Via Paul White, on August 22nd of last year:

    Red Sox Nation began growing in 2003, when the team reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999. It exploded after the Sox won the World Series in 2004 for the first time since 1918, after surprising the Yankees in the American League Championship Series by becoming the first baseball team to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games.

    The Red Sox returned to the playoffs in 2005 and led the majors in road attendance — topping the Yankees, baseball’s top road draw from 2001 to 2004. The Red Sox fell to third place in the AL East last year, missed the playoffs and saw the Yankees reclaim the road attendance crown.

    This year the Sox are surging again and averaging 39,136 in road attendance. That’s about 1,300 more than the Yankees draw in road games, and nearly 2,000 more than the Sox drew in road games in 2005, when they were the defending World Series champs.

    In the end, Hank is not 100% correct with his statement that “Red Sox Nation” was “a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN” and that it really doesn’t exist.

    In any event, the bigger fish in this pond is the fact that Hank made the comment in the first place. The Yankee fanboy in me is juiced by this battle cry from Hank. However, to be fair and objective, had Larry Lucchino (or some other Red Sox official) made this comment about the Yankees, I would be loading for bear right about now. So, in that sense, since there is a Red Sox Nation, perhaps giving them this chum to chew on was not the brightest idea in Hank’s bag of tricks?

    If Hank wants to “restore the universe to order,” his plan should be to (1) finish first in the A.L. East; and (2) win the ALDS – since the Yankees have not done the former since 2006 and the latter since 2004. After reaching these two goals, then it’s time to start worrying about the Red Sox, etc.

    Hank ala’ Donovan: “I’m Not My Dad.”

    Posted by on February 27th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via ESPN Magazine -

    [Hank] Steinbrenner on his managing style: “The fear, it’s not how I operate. The people here in the front office already know that. The people who know me know that. The Yankee fans have been very good to me so far, but I think it might take some time for people to get used to the fact that I’m not my dad.”

    Yeah, in the Yankees front office, I’m sure they call Hank “Mellow Fellow” – quite rightly.

    Hank on his relationship with A-Rod:

    I’m just mad about Thirteen.
    Thirteen’s mad about me.
    I’m just mad about Thirteen.
    He’s just mad about me.

    It’s electrical bananarama split time in Yankeeland! Long live Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky!

    Hank: Cash Part Of Yankees Cosa Nostra And Will Stay

    Posted by on February 25th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Just like Peter Parker getting all the good photos of Spiderman and Clark Kent getting all the scoops about Superman, once again, Kat O’Brien gets the goods from Hank Stein:

    “We’ll talk about [Cashman's contract] during the season,” Steinbrenner said. ” … It will just happen when it happens naturally. I think you guys are trying to create controversy here where it doesn’t exist.”

    …Steinbrenner said Monday: “I think the big thing with Brian is the organization he put in place. It’s not based on just one decision as far as, do a trade or don’t do a trade, or sign a free agent or don’t sign. He put Damon Oppenheimer in as the chief of scouting, which has obviously paid off huge. The way he works with Mark Newman, the way he works with (Joe) Girardi, the organization he’s put in place. All those things are factors.”

    …Steinbrenner said it “will just happen,” noting, “I’ve known Cash for a long time. Even back in the 80s when he first started out. He’s been with our family for a long, long time.”

    No matter what Hank says, if I’m Brian, I still get that contract down and done before Johan Santana goes on a roll for the Mets.

    And, if Hank is smart, he locks down Damon Oppenheimer at the same time he does Cashman. Because, if Oppenheimer walks, there goes a huge part of Cashman’s magic.

    Hanks Wants Sox To Be His Biotch

    Posted by on February 20th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Via Statesman.com

    Hank Steinbrenner isn’t happy the Boston Red Sox are world champs and the New York Yankees are chasing.

    “We’d rather be Darth Vader. Let them be the underdog,” the Yankees senior vice president said Wednesday.

    New York had won nine consecutive AL East titles before the Red Sox finished first last season. Boston then won its second World Series title in four years.

    “We want to be considered the dominant force, we want that pressure,” Steinbrenner said.

    Does this mean we have to start calling Hank “Darth Von Steingrabber”?

    Hank: NFL Has More PED Users Than Baseball

    Posted by on February 18th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Via Yankees.com:

    Hank Steinbrenner insists baseball is being picked on for its trouble with performance-enhancing drugs, and claims the problem is bigger in football.

    “I don’t like baseball being singled out,” the Yankees senior vice president said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Monday night.

    “Everybody that knows sports knows football is tailor-made for performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t know how they managed to skate by. It irritates me. Don’t tell me it’s not more prevalent. The number in football is at least twice as many. Look at the speed and size of those players.”

    Why am I starting to think that Hank is about one bottle of Boone’s Farm away from having a Jimmy the Greek or Al Campanis moment?

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Hank. He seems like a fun guy. But, we don’t need an opinion from him on other professional sports. At least not one like this one. (Even if he may be right.)

    Are Hank & Cash Working The Same Plan?

    Posted by on February 18th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Last night, I was watching Brian Cashman being interviewed by Ducis Rodgers on CBS’ Sports Sunday and Cashman was saying things like: “…We’re a work in progress…we’ll see…it’s about the next 5 to 10 years…” Clearly, Brian was sending the message that his plan for the Yankees is a long-term one rather than a concern on this season.

    But, it sounds like Hank Stein is in the win-now and all-or-nothing mode. Via Kat O’Brien -

    Hank Steinbrenner told Newsday yesterday that if the decision not to trade for Johan Santana comes back to haunt the Yankees this season, someone will have to answer for it.

    “It’s clear that if we don’t get the job done this year,” Steinbrenner said in a phone interview, “if Santana could have made the difference for us and the young pitchers aren’t ready, people have to be held accountable.”

    Steinbrenner isn’t concerned so much about the regular season; he believes the Yankees can reach the playoffs without Santana. He also believes they could win the World Series without Santana, but he knows the postseason is where Santana’s absence might be most sorely felt.

    Said Steinbrenner: “If we get to the playoffs and we’re missing that kind of pitcher and that could have made a difference, I’m not going to be happy about it, and neither is my dad.”

    Are these two reading from the same playbook? Doesn’t seem that way to me.

    Hank: With Santana, We’d Be Favorites Now

    Posted by on February 15th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    From the AP -

    Hank Steinbrenner on the AL pennant race: “We’re one of the five best, and no nobody really knows who’s better than who at this point. There’s Detroit, Boston, Cleveland, there’s Anaheim, and there might be a couple others as well. … With (Johan) Santana, we’d be the favorite right now. I’d like to win it this year. But we had a have a chance, and it will only get better.”

    With Santana, we’d be the favorite right now.

    I wonder who Hank is saying this to when he says it? Hmmm…

    Update, Feb. 16, 2008: More from Hank on this – from John Harper:

    You can tell it is eating at Hank Steinbrenner already that he didn’t turn a deaf ear to GM Brian Cashman and make the trade for Johan Santana that his gut was telling him to make.

    Just mention Santana to Hank and you can practically hear the gnashing of teeth. Friday, for example, after admitting to our Yankees beat writer, Mark Feinsand, that he was always in favor of making the trade, Hank issued what could be interpreted as a warning of sorts:

    “Hopefully,” he said, “that’s not a move we should have made that I’m going to be (ticked off) about.”

    …Hank issued what could be interpreted as a warning of sorts…

    Nice to see I’m not the only one seeing it this way.

    The Silence Is Deafening

    Posted by on February 11th, 2008 · Comments (20)

    Is it just me, or, has it been 11 days since we’ve last heard from Hank Steinbrenner?

    Man, is the boy due, or what?

    Hank On Santana To Mets

    Posted by on January 30th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Via the Star-Telegram:

    “I can’t really comment because it’s not done. All I can say is that the Twins did what they had to do,” New York Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. “I hope it works out well for them. The Mets made a good trade from their end. Hopefully it works out for both teams.”

    Valentine’s Day must be right around the corner – ’cause Hank is sending out the hugs and kisses in every direction on this one.

    Hank: If Plan Doesn’t Work, The Planners Will Pay

    Posted by on January 25th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Via the AP -

    Hank Steinbrenner sat behind his desk and looked out at empty Legends Field, where all was quiet and calm.

    Over and over again, he emphasized his philosophy – the New York Yankees’ new doctrine – of tolerance, of deliberation, of long-term planning. That, however, only goes so far.

    He is, after all, a Steinbrenner.

    “I will be patient with the young pitchers and players. There’s no question about that because I know how these players develop,” he said. “But as far as missing the playoffs – if we miss the playoffs by the end of this year, I don’t know how patient I’ll be. But it won’t be against the players. It won’t be a matter of that. It will be a matter of maybe certain people in the organization could have done something else.”

    …if we miss the playoffs by the end of this year, I don’t know how patient I’ll be. But it won’t be against the players. It won’t be a matter of that. It will be a matter of maybe certain people in the organization could have done something else…

    I read this to say: If we miss the post-season, because our young players struggled, the parties who talked me out of trading some of those young players for Johan Santana, will be the ones to pay the price for not making the playoffs.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. The Yankees will have a payroll over $200 million, most likely, this season. Sure, some of that is dead weight – like Giambi, Pavano, etc. But, for the most part, there are many players on this team being paid huge money to perform well.

    It’s one thing to be patient, take some bumps and lumps, while allowing kids to learn, and to look at the big picture and the whole journey. But, it’s easier to do that when your payroll is closer to $80 million or less. When you have a $200 million payroll, you still want to win it all. So, how can you be in that spot and be patient too?

    Hank can say that he’ll be patient – but, I don’t believe him. However, I do believe him when he says “certain people in the organization” are on the hook this season – especially those in the last year of their contract.

    Hank: Reports Of My Pull-Out Are Greatly Exaggerated

    Posted by on January 14th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    From the AP:

    New York Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner has not closed the door on a trade for Minnesota Twins left-hander Johan Santana.

    “It’s still in the deciding process,” Steinbrenner said Monday night outside Legends Field at the Yankees’ spring training complex. “We’re still discussing it. There’s still a little talk back and forth.”

    Steinbrenner said reports that the Yankees recently withdrew a formal offer to the Twins are not true.

    “There wasn’t an official offer anyway. You can’t withdraw something that wasn’t there,” Steinbrenner said. “There was no official offer on the table at this time.”

    There wasn’t an official offer anyway. You can’t withdraw something that wasn’t there…

    Attaboy Hank. I haven’t seen teflon logic applied in a manner like this since Pee-wee and Francis had the great debate back on Francis’ birthday:

    Pee-wee: I wouldn’t sell my bike for all the money in the world. Not for a hundred million, trillion, billion dollars!

    Francis: Then you’re crazy!

    Pee-wee: I know you are but what am I?

    Francis: You’re a nerd!

    Pee-wee: I know you are but what am I?

    Francis: You’re an idiot!

    Pee-wee: I know you are but what am I?

    Pee-wee & Francis: I know you are but what am I? I know you are but what am I? I know you are but what am I?

    Pee-wee: Infinity!

    Hank Stein: Cashman Is My Jiminy Cricket

    Posted by on January 4th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    From the Canadian Press -

    The New York Yankees are still discussing whether to pursue a trade for Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana, and senior vice-president Hank Steinbrenner would like to make a deal.

    “Nothing is really decided at this point,” Steinbrenner said Friday night outside Legends Field at the team’s spring training facility. “I’m still leaning towards doing it.

    “There’s others leaning not to do it. There are some others that are leaning to do it also. Disagreements within the organization. Nothing major, but just different opinions. I’ve changed my opinion a couple times.”

    Steinbrenner said ultimately the final decision will made by ownership, but the opinion of general manager Brian Cashman is important.

    “I always told him, ‘I’m going to make the final decisions because when you’re the owner you should,”‘ Steinbrenner said. “He is the general manager, and he has the right to talk me out of it and he has talked me out of some things.”

    I’m going to make the final decisions because when you’re the owner you should…

    He is the general manager, and he has the right to talk me out of it and he has talked me out of some things…

    Now, I get it. At some point, Brian Cashman must have been appointed by the Blue Fairy to serve as the official conscience for Hank Steinbrenner. Good for Brian. It’s nice to know he has a role in the organization.

    JiminyCashman.jpg

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