When Hal Steinbrenner attends a Yankees game, his presence doesn’t set flares around a 10-mile radius, as was the case with his late father. He flashed a smile Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, even as his ballclub continued the sort of meltdown we haven’t seen in this franchise’s rich history.So here the Yankees sit, a frustrated owner, a frustrated fan base, and a tie with the freaking Orioles atop the AL East. Not a great time for us Yankees fans.
But don’t confuse Hal Steinbrenner’s relatively easygoing nature with a lack of competitive spirit, or with a lack of a desire to see a strong return on his family’s massive investment.
“We’re all frustrated,” Steinbrenner repeated. “The fans are frustrated. I know that. We all expect great things out of these guys. We’ve had injuries all year long. We’re not the only team, but we’ve had our share. Each time, they push through.
“The fans and my family, we expect them to push through now. I’m sure they will. But it’s a little frustrating, no doubt.”
Given that the worst-case scenario — missing the playoffs altogether — becomes a greater reality with each passing day, I asked Steinbrenner whether the jobs of general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi were at stake.
“No, not at all,” he said. “Look, you start to get back into it, and someone else gets hurt. [Aug. 27], when Tex [Mark Teixeira] goes down [with a left calf injury], look, that’s got to be hard. They’re looking forward to Alex [Rodriguez] coming back, and then boom, Teixeira goes down.
“And then a few days ago, [Curtis] Granderson, we were worried [about his right hamstring]. He’s back. They’ve got to keep grinding. They’ve got to keep pushing. They will. They know what’s expected of them.”
Still, with plenty of games left on the schedule, a handful against the Orioles and Rays, the Yankees will have every chance they need to put this ugly stretch behind them and win their division. If they can't, than I think we can all agree that they don't deserve to be in the playoffs anyway.