Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner: What's your preference... the future, or the past?

Dear Hal,

First, let me be among the first to wish you a happy 45th birthday (That's Dec. 3, everybody!) and warn you to bundle up in Tampa this weekend, because the polar vortex won't be kind to geezers in socks and sandals. Ha ha!

Which brings me to - ahem - the team...

Yesterday, four of your hired helpers scouted a 19-year-old Cuban middle infielder named Yoan Moncada. I'm sure they took stool samples and measured his beautistics. The claim is that Moncada is one of the great IF prospects in the game, which means he will cost a ton of money to sign.

Whoops. I hope I didn't lose you by mentioning money. The thing is - sir - the Yankees have a lot of money, more than almost everybody. I know hearing such things must make you angry - after all, it's your money, not mine - but when you tell people that the Yankees need to tighten their belts and cut costs - well - they laugh. Everybody. Even your employees. Behind your back, they slap their knees. Nobody buys it. They guffaw.

Sorry, but somebody needs to say this:

Nobody buys the idea of the Yankees pleading poverty. 

When you say such things, they say, "If he prefers money to winning, let him sell the damn team to somebody else."

I am not making this up. That is what they say.

As the bidding war begins for Yoan Moncada, the Yankees face another auction of sorts. From what we hear,  you are desperately trying to coax Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy, and Chris Capuano into returning.

Sir, I have nothing against Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano... well, actually, that's a lie... I do have one problem with them. They are all over 30. And if they return, they will join an old, graying team that wasn't good enough last year... and which will be one year older... and - damn - I dunno if I can take it. Next year, if we have to watch the same Yankee team offer the same shameful Yankee excuses - well, I won't want to be telling you the things that will be said behind your back.

Please, consider this: Take all that money you'll save from Derek Jeter retiring, from David Robertson maybe moving, from Hiroki Kuroda leaving, and from the nickel bottle deposits on the in-house commissary, and - instead of putting it toward Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano... sign somebody under 25! Shell out, and invest in the long term. Not the next nine months. The next nine years.

The Yankees need long term replacements for Derek Jeter and Robbie Cano. Yoan Moncada might be the guy. I dunno. But everybody knows this: It will not be Stephen Drew or Martin Prado. They are already too old.

Invest your money in players who will peak in the late stages of their contracts, rather than guys guaranteed to be deadwood at the end. Do that, and your fan base will feel hope, rather than despair.

Because right now, if you're thinking New York City wants to watch the same Yankee team from last year - well - here's some news:

If you don't turn this around soon, there won't be enough money in the world to salvage the Steinbrenner name, when the long-term history of the Yankees is written.

Either build a dynastic Yankee power... which is what the Yankees are supposed to be - or you will spend the rest of your life hearing people snicker - and always thinking... "Hey, what's so funny?"


Alphonso said...

I am glad that you refuse to give up.

Boston will sign him. Or the Mets.

The Yankees will take Drew, Prado and Headley twice on Sunday.

There is no future here.

M.C. Antil said...

Hart: As always, spot on insights and commentary with just enough attitude to make 'em fun. BTW, keep an eye this year on both Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. If they go in a deal elsewhere before they have a chance to make the Yanks younger, more athletic and, in the end, better, Yankee fans everywhere have a right to turn their backs en masse.