Yankees' Hank Steinbrenner, Girardi and the New Brew, Bronx Zoo Crue. Get Smart.

Patrick ReadSenior Writer IMay 15, 2008

Washington D.C.

May 15, 2008

 There is a new Bronx Zoo brewing in New York, complete with a large beaked Goose, a mighty  Moose,  Joba “The Heat”,  A Rod, a Dunc-animal, a bull pen, a Lil Joe, a Big G, lots of kids, some real angry fans, and and even, Godzilla!


It's a family thing...

 The Steinbrenner Family has been running a multi-billion dollar organization since the development of the Yes Network, securing the Yankee future; and more than likely averting the 1980's from ever happening again.  Fear not young ones, fans should not have to endure that  much of a drought ever again.

 Mr. George Steinbrenner has given New York 6 rings in 37 years.  Hank has been right about most everything to date including Santana, Joba starting (not staying in the pen merely setting up the closer), and his teams' "leave policy."  The Yankees will benefit, as much as Cashman’s wallet has, off of the multi-billion dollar YES Network, thanks to George.  

 While some in competing markets, likened to school kids, with their ever so clever sayings like, “Shut Up,” (Sporting News) enjoy slamming Hank (as they did his father), I would suggest they take their own advice.  Duh.  Steve Phillips is broadcasting, offering highlight coverage, and not managing for good reason.  Color commentators are a dime a dozen.


 The New Leadership 

 Hank Steinbrenner “opened the hatch to the Yankee Front office once more”, so I expect more improvements, again.  The last time Steinbrenner talked to us he called out Mike Mussina, the Yankees won the next game; and Mighty Mike has yet to stop winning.  If Hank is like his dad, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then Yankee Fans can expect success in the near future, and writers can expect to have fodder for the circulation as well. 

Hank issued an employee warning, saying, “if there are not improvements, then next year we will be forced to make improvements.”

Who is Hank referring to in this statement?  Let’s look at the employees in their last contracted year in jeopardy of losing the Yankee job, and Yankee money.  Is it Giambi?  No, Jason is leading the Yankees in run production, plain and simple, though his market is more than likely diminished.  Is it Abreu?  It could be, his defense is sorely lacking, but one would think the Yanks would like to keep the bat.  Is it Pettitte, or Moose?  No way, we haven’t won a series without “Lefty”, and the Moose has 3 all Yankee low ERA out of the last 6 seasons.  Who else is in the last year of their contract?


Brian Cashman went against Hank in the off season in not pursuing Johan aggressively enough.  Yes, the Yankees made the best offer out there during the Nashville Meetings.  On the table were Hughes, Kennedy and Cabrera.  The Yankees were turned down by the Twins, what else did they want, Joba?

Yankee fans cried foul over selling out the farm to get another hired mercenary in an attempt to buy the World Series.  Hank reiterated his interest towards the end of negotiations by saying. "I have the money for Santana, and just need to make a decision."  He was referring to whether to trade up to 4 players (3 were turned down),  for one player. 

The philosophy was Santana can only pitch once every 5 days, as opposed to 2 rotation pitchers, and a regular centerfielder; plus who knows who else.  Jim Kaat agreed to not entering long term contracts with the likes of Santana, who has had his elbow scoped for tendinitis; especially not at the cost of building a stock pile.  A "Ratt pack."   

If fans were tired of the off season back and forth over Santana, well hold onto your seats.  CC Sabathia's trade deadline is approaching in late July, and if the Tribe holds onto him, then they only get compensatory picks in return when he becomes a Free Agent in October.  Enter the "unproven rookie argument" versus a "Cy Young winning ace" debate.

The Yankees have:  Cano, and Cabrera, Duncan and Gonzalez, Joba, Hughes and Kennedy, plus Ramirez, Ohlendorf, Albaladejo, Rasner, and Britton, or Bruney.  The Yankees have a minor league team, it is the Ratt-Pack re-visited, and all are kids.  Kennedy was to face off against Santana this Friday, with many readying their “Toldcha’ So’s” in anticipation. 


Smarter, AND Harder


Today Hank said, “We have to play smarter, and harder.”  One would think that if the Yankee’s offense is ailing, that they might do well to play the best defense available, which are not necessarily the highest paid players.  Girardi changed the line up last night (May 14, 2008)  moving Abreu to the 2 spot, he hits into too many double plays, and opting for Jeter’s bat third.  

 Girardi then replaced Abreu in right with a one run lead, opting for Shelley “I’m Hungry” Duncan.  This is a move that Big Joe would have never made, and I agree with it.  Girardi showed fans his displeasure for Abreu’s defense, he improvised, and made a good change. One would hope for better, but both moves are improvements.

 Matsui sure doesn’t shy away from walls like Abreu does.  He certainly is not going to give a 'story' about missing a JD Drew home run, see the video here, costing Wang a no hitter, and then after the game blame the wall; with a wink, and a smile.  Matsui, Godzilla, will not pull up on fly balls either.  He broke his wrist last year ensuring the ball didn’t drop in front of him.  He took one for the team, and then apologized to the Yankees, and the fans for getting hurt!   Abreu is Jackson minus the candy bar, swagger, and bat.  Bobby Abreu should be the permanent DH.  Yankees could get the best defense, and the best offense simultaneously. 

You take out the weak right field, saving runs, but you keep his bat in the game as a DH.  Yet against the Rays today (Kennedy vs. Kazmir),  Ensberg is playing first forcing the run producer, Giambi, to DH.  Matsui is out.  Abreu, leading the team in RBI, is out too.  Not smart, Mr. Girardi. 


One Big Beak.


If there was not enough to worry about, then there is Richard Goose Gossage.  Richard told Joba to take cue from Mariano Rivera, who smiled, and waived as he was cheered by Boston Fans in 2005, and be more “mute.”  If Hank really wants to be hands on then he might do well to keep the ex players away from the now Yankee Aces. 

 Joba shrugged Goose off saying, “…whatever…”  Perfect, he didn’t have to put a legend down, and said he wouldn’t change his emotion one bit.  Goose has turned his back on the likes of his coach, see Billy Martin video here, his team mate, Sweet Lou Piniella, see Lou here, and his captain, Munson who all showed emotion. All great videos by the way, but if you like that Yanks do NOT read the classless comments, especially on the Munson video.  None were very soft spoken, all are REAL Yankees. 

 So Mr. Goose if you need to slam anybody whom is playing, take a cue from your old coach (Billy) and have a talk with Bobby.  Kick him in the pants, not Joba.  The Yanks wanted the fire, they asked for it, and now they have it.  Or explain to the fans your emotional outbreak on this one.  Warning, cussing; a lot of cussing, and one very ticked off Goose. Not exactly Joe DiMaggio-esque.

 The real line up has yet to even play on the same field yet.  Joba is not starting, Rasner, and either Hughes or Kennedy (some combination To Be Determined) is not in the bull pen.  A-Rod is coming back  after being out a month, as is Posada.  Ohlendorf and Farns are lights out in the last month, both of whom could replace Joba.  The Yankees are enduring the same exact start as last year, and made it to post season play.

So fear not Yankee Universe, it takes time for all the proper systems to align.  In the mean time, I like Joba’s walk on song, by Motley Crue, “Shout at the Devil.” No Goose, I am not talking about you.  I liked you as a player.  The song is fitting of the new Bronx Zoo Crue.