New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner addressed the fact his big-money squad entered Thursday sitting in fourth place in the American League East standings.
“I don’t like being in fourth place, but … this is a very tough division,” Steinbrenner said during an appearance on “The Show with Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman” podcast, per Kevin Manahan of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. “Every team is above .500. But having said all that … given the fact that we have been playing with two-thirds of our intended team pretty much the whole year, I think the guys have done a good job at hanging in there. This could have gotten away from us quickly on more than one occasion. And it didn’t.”
The Yankees began Thursday’s MLB action at 25-20 and trailing the first-place Tampa Bay Rays by seven-and-a-half games. As Steinbrenner alluded to, New York has dealt with a myriad of injury woes and recently was without reigning AL Most Valuable Player Aaron Judge for more than a week due to a right hip strain. Since Judge’s return, the Yankees have gone 6-3.
Steinbrenner indicated he has no intentions of parting ways with manager Aaron Boone or general manager Brian Cashman anytime soon. It was learned in March that Steinbrenner consulted with Judge “about various team-related issues” leading up to the start of the season, and Steinbrenner said on the podcast he’s been holding monthly closed-door meetings involving both the team’s captain and ace Gerrit Cole.
“I thought it would be a healthy exercise to … have the leader of the position players and a leader of the pitchers in the room with [Cashman] and just hear what concerns they have and, you know, what their thoughts are on everything and what we could be doing better,” Steinbrenner explained.
While Steinbrenner may not love that the AL’s most expensive roster is closer to the basement of the division standings than to first place, he sounds optimistic the Bronx Bombers are on the verge of silencing critics.
“…They’re starting to hit — a lot of them,” Steinbrenner added. “They’re starting to believe that they’re never out of a game no matter what the score is. … We need to limit the injuries from here on out, get healthy and we’re going to have a great team. We’ve got a great team now. It’s only going to get better.”