Full disclosure: I saw Hank sitting in the lunch room today and could have waited around to talk to him. But the workout was over and the players were available in the clubhouse. I decided to go over there.
But the AP stuck around. Here is what Hank had to say:
On Brian Cashman getting a new contract: “I want to concentrate on the season, and he does, too. But during the course of the season, we will talk. It will just happen. Weâ€™ll be sitting together at the game, and weâ€™ll start talking about it. Itâ€™s just that simple. Iâ€™ve know Cash for a long time. Heâ€™s been with our family for a long, long time. I think the big thing is with Brian is the organization he put in place. You know, itâ€™s not based on just one decision as far as do a trade or donâ€™t do a trade, or sign a free agent or donâ€™t.”
On Joe Girardi: “I love what he does. I love what heâ€™s doing here, I mean I really do. Heâ€™s a rare combination of things. The players like him, they respect him and they even have a little bit of fear of him. He can be intimidating. Extremely smart. Tough guy. Fiery. But they really like him, too. Itâ€™s a tough thing to achieve as a leader.
On the young pitchers: “Theyâ€™re going to take it easy with them, build up their pitches. Weâ€™ll be careful with them, but obviously everybodyâ€™s going to be watching them. … I donâ€™t care if they have 10 bad starts in a row, which they wonâ€™t, but I donâ€™t care if they do. I know what they can do. We all know what they can do. It just takes patience. You donâ€™t throw them to the sharks, otherwise their arms fall off.â€
A few points: Keep in mind that Hank Steinbrenner shares power with Hal Steinbrenner. Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal is also a senior vice president. The decision whether to bring Cashman back will be made by the family, not one person. Then there’s the question of whether Cashman will even want to come back given the new structure of the organization.
As for Girardi, there is no sense whatsoever in camp that the players are afraid of him or are intimidated by him. I see it as respect for the new manager. These guys are well-paid professionals. They were told to work on their conditioning and that is what they are doing. If you’ve listened to any of the audio cuts of Girardi, he has made it a point to say how he wants to get to know the players as people, etc. But the Steinbrenners have always liked the idea of approaching baseball like football.