“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.”I can't say that this was the smartest thing for Hank to do, but it is funny -- and true.
There was also an article about Hank in this week's ESPN The Magazine. In which Hank explains that he is not a clone of his father, and hopes to avoid making the same mistakes.
"I think my breeding background has absolutely had a bearing on my approach to baseball. Building through scouting and the draft, then having the patience to see it through, to see the young talent reach its potential, without panicking. While I was at Kinsman going over all of that data about the horses, I was also getting the scouting reports about minor league stats for the Yankees. Way back in the 1970's, I can remember seeing LaMarr Hoyt's number in Double-A and thinking, Wow! Then Dad traded him to the White Sox for a quick fix. He also traded Scott McGregor, Jose Rijo and Doug Drabek, and he wanted to trade Ron Guidry before they stopped him. We basically provided most of baseball's Cy Young Award winners, and it drove me nuts. I was sitting at the farm thinking, If I ever run the team, I won't be doing things that way."
He stands on the low-rise bullpen bleachers packed with Yankees coaches and scouts. He loves to mingle among those he calls "the real baseball people," alway has. ... While his father blustered and chased free agents, young Hank sat and listened to the scouts and coaches, the baseball people. "You can't learn enough from the guys who understand the game on such an intricate level," he says.
"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."But the apple didn't fall that far from the tree:
"I do, on occasion, reveal my father's from-the-hip-mouth," Hank says. "But unlike Dad, there's a plan. When I said what I did about football, I was simply saying out loud what I know a lot of baseball people believe. I opened the door. Now it's their turn to back me up."
Reaction to Hank's ascension will continue to be painted with different brushes, depending on the artist. Some stand with longtime Hank confidant Reggie Jackson, who says, "It's about time," while others, preferring to remain nameless, worry that Hank is a wild card, full of Gerogian bluster, and that it's impossible to predict how he'll react to being battered by the Red Sox -- or the media.Here's what Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon had to say:
"I think it's exciting. Fans, other teams, everyone's in the process of sizing Hank up. And guess what? He's sizing them up too."