The Yankees have now gone 19-25 since about a week after the All-Star break and have completely lost a 10-game lead in the American League East. It is enough to get owner Hal Steinbrenner’s attention.
“We’re all frustrated,” Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the NY Post.
“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.”
“No, not at all,” he said when asked if manager Joe Girardi or general manager Brian Cashman’s jobs were on the line. “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.”
Injuries are obviously a big part of this free fall, probably the biggest part, but this is an old team, prone to breaking down, so the Yankees probably could have used some extra help at the trade deadline. They certainly could have used a bigger upgrade than Ichiro Suzuki in left, a DH, catcher, and a piece or two in the bullpen as well.
It seems like this falls on Cashman’s head, but since we are on the subject of Hal Steinbrenner, it very well have come from the top that he was not to spend, or overspend, on players either monetarily or through prospects and was hamstrung at the deadline. Looking back on it and he whiffed big time. And this could continue to be a problem as long as the Yankees are determined to cut payroll to $189 million by 2014 because contracts are going to come off the books and they won’t necessarily use that money in other places.