Yankees managing general partner and co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner was a guest on ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show on Tuesday afternoon, touching on a wide variety of topics following the team’s bouncing from the playoffs at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Among the topics discussed by Steinbrenner was where things stand with Aaron Boone following a third straight season without a World Series appearance, let alone a win.
Boone has been criticized for his handle of the pitching staff in the Game 2 ALDS loss to the Rays, in which Deivi Garcia pitching just one inning as an opener for J.A. Happ, who allowed four earned runs in 2.2 innings.
But Steinbrenner said that Boone was “on board” with the pitching plan for that game, and despite any outside criticism, Boone will be back in pinstripes for the 2021 season.
“If you’re talking about Aaron Boone, Aaron Boone is a good baseball man, he’s a good leader, he has the respect of the players,” Steinbrenner said. “Aaron Boone will be back next year. That’s just a fact.”
He also gave an evaluation for the job that general manager Brian Cashman has been doing, saying that Cashman has been taking a collaborative approach when it comes to listening to those around him.
“Obviously, I’ve known Brian forever, and the way he goes about doing things is in a very objective way,” Steinbrenner said. “He listens to everybody: pro scouting and analytics and anybody else that wants to get into his ear. I know the people that work under him respect him and Boone respects him. It’s been good and we’re just going to have to keep plugging away.”
Here are four other key takeaways from Steinbrenner’s interview…
On whether the Yankees’ 2020 season was a failure
“First of all, obviously, it was such an unusual season, but the reality is I look at the success of any season, and the failures of any season. Overall, our objective was to win a world championship. We failed in that endeavor. Does that mean the entire season was a failure? No, I don’t think winning 10 in a row was a failure and last year I don’t think winning 100 games was a failure. I know people disagree with me on that, but I look at the season on a whole. We failed at our objective, but there were positives and there were successes along the way.”
On if re-signing DJ LeMahieu is a top priority this offseason
“Well I think I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t recognize what a contribution he made to the club and how good of a player he is. I recognize both of those things, and I’ll leave it at that.”
On Gerrit Cole’s first season as a Yankee
“As advertised … Highly intelligent, which we knew going in, an incredibly hard worker and he instill other people to work harder than they might otherwise do. He’s hardcore. We got exactly what we wanted in Gerrit.”
On what went wrong for Gary Sanchez and whether the team believes he can bounce back
“It is surprising. I guess we’ll just have to see about next year, obviously, going forward, but it’s an incredible amount of talent and he’s going to keep working his backside off and we’re going to keep helping him in every way that we can, and if all goes well, I believe we’ll get him back.”