Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
End of An Era
2008-09-08 08:29
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Over at New York magazine, Chris Smith profiles the Yankees at the start of the post-George Era (I caught the link from Steve Lombardi at Was Watching):

In his prime he was an imperious bully. But George Steinbrenner was also a bully with a vision, and his impatience and his money revived a moribund franchise and propelled the team to six world championships. Steinbrenner did a lot of mean-spirited and dumb things, but his sense of urgency permeated the organization. And not coincidentally, Steinbrenner took the Yankees from a threadbare castoff valued at $10 million to a thriving behemoth worth more than a billion dollars. The TV network he created, called YES, has become a bonanza, and next year, another Steinbrenner dream will come true—a state-of-the-art, cash-minting, $1.3 billion new stadium.

The official line is that George Steinbrenner remains deeply involved in decision-making. But he had become a less forceful presence even before he got sick. And now that he's almost completely offstage, his children have been forced into running the show. The two sons, Hank and Hal, are divided by their twelve years and their very different personalities. More threatening to the long-term success of the team, however, is the heirs' ambivalence about actually taking charge of the franchise. So a question that for 30 years had a laughably simple answer—who's running the Yankees?— is instead more complicated than it was seven months ago, at the start of the season. What's clear is that life after George is going to be very different for the Yankees—and, in some ways, far more difficult.

Torre's gone, the Stadium is going, George no longer runs the team. It's a brand new era for the Yanks.

2008-09-08 09:32:13
1.   pistolpete
0 >>It's a brand new era for the Yanks >>

One that would be a lot less painful to transition to if they weren't playing so lousy.

Losing 2 out of 3 to Seattle was basically the team's way of telling its fans, "Alright, stop with the playoff talk. We've given up, now so should you..."


2008-09-08 09:53:56
2.   3rd gen yankee fan
Man, I thought we hit bottom when Pavano came back. Fourth place is really mf'in bottom. I know, I know, "remember the 80s," but in the 2000s, yeah, I sure didn't expect this, not this year.
2008-09-08 10:09:59
3.   Alex Belth
Yeah, fourth place isn't pretty but they are only a half game behind Toronto and heck it's not like they are playing in the NL East. The division is tough.
2008-09-08 10:21:25
4.   scareduck
Looking at the outside-in (I'm an Angels fan who may have the opportunity to see the Halos clinch against the Yanks at home), I have to wonder: even if the Yankees do get Teixeira, Sabathia, and all the quality free agents that will hit the market this offseason, they're still awfully wobbly up the middle, yeah? No way they get rid of Jeter (at least another year on his deal, IIRC), Posada will be back but likely infirm (again one more year there), Melky Cabrera has regressed, Robinson Cano doesn't seem to be producing as his contract would imply ... am I missing something here? The Yanks are awfully weak up the middle and there aren't a whole lot of options, even in free agency, to fix that. You could argue that Cano and Cabrera are just having off years, okay, but Posada and Jeter aren't. Good teams are strong up the middle, and the Yanks' long run appears to be over. Is there a case to be made where they could contend after 2009 on free agency alone?
2008-09-08 10:41:42
5.   tommyl
3 Yeah, the east is tough. Look at the breakdown of records, the splits for the central and west teams against the AL East. The only team with a winning record is the Angels. Every single other team in the AL is a sub .500 team when playing against the teams from the east. The Jays and Yankees would likely have much better records (as would the rest of the east teams) if they were playing the majority of their games in a different division. Look at the Angels, they have a zillion games against Oakland, Texas and Seattle. The unbalanced schedule really creams the East teams, its really unfair at this point.
2008-09-08 10:44:24
6.   Shaun P
1 Every loss, lousy or otherwise, leads them closer to the 15th worst record and a protected 1st round pick - so lose on, I say!

I just wish they could have lost Saturday's Ponson start and won yesterday for Moose. Sigh.

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