Following the Yankees in the offseason — and the media which covers the Yankees in the offseason — reminds me of the Cold War. No, not the threat of nuclear annihilation or any of that fun stuff, but there is definitely some fun Kremlinology to it all.
Like political reporters who covered the Soviet Union, those who cover the Yankees spend an awful lot of time attempting to understand a secretive organization’s plans and intentions by interpreting indirect clues and, often, reading a whole hell of a lot into the smallest thing.
Which, to be fair, the Yankees have justified by fairly frequently (a) lowering expectations as the offseason begins; only to (b) make some big splash later, with little or no warning. Which makes some sense because the Yankees general manager is, like the Soviet Premier, nominally in charge but answers to an ownership/party hierarchy that can trump his intentions if it so chooses.
Today the New York Daily News thinks the party hierarchy is so choosing. With the headline “Hal Steinbrenner won’t rule out Max Scherzer,” which is only missing an exclamation point because newspapers only do that when countries win World Wars. From the story:
Maybe it’s just his DNA talking, but while Hal Steinbrenner added his voice to the chorus of Yankee bigwigs sounding doubtful about adding a pricey player such as Max Scherzer, the Boss Jr. didn’t slam the door on an expensive upgrade, either.
All from Hal Steinbrenner saying “look, it’s not over till it’s over” in response to questions about the Yankees’ payroll and need to add some starting pitching. Which, sure, because this is the Yankees could mean that they give Scherzer crazy money just after lunch today. Or could mean absolutely nothing and the press is reading too much into an innocuous comment.
Which is what the Yankees’ offseasons have come to look like. Their prerogative, of course. But man, I’d hate to have to cover that team.