Catching up with Hal
If you were sitting in the press dining room this morning, your meal would have been interrupted by eight reporters charging through to try and catch Hal Steinbrenner on his way up to the elevators. Luckily for us, Hal slowed down and spent five minutes discussing various issues around the team, fresh from spending an hour with Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi.
Steinbrenner visits Girardi’s office every other week to touch on matters, but with July 31st right around the corner, you’d better believe trades were discussed behind closed doors. Here’s some of the highlights:
On current plans: “Right now we’re trying to get everybody healthy. We’re trying to get the guys that aren’t healthy back into the lineup, and we’re trying to win a championship. We’re analyzing trades and not getting into that [the offseason] yet. … I want a good mix, and Hank wants a good mix, of youth and veterans to mentor the youth. That’s the way it has to be.”
Disappointing season so far?: “There’s been times that the hitting has been disappointing to all of us. There’s been times that the starting pitching has been disappointing. There’s no doubt that the young pitchers at the beginning of the year, it was upsetting at times. It wasn’t what we thought and it didn’t go the way we thought it would go. That’s the way it is – we’re highly confident in (Ian) Kennedy and (Phil) Hughes and that they’re going to come back strong when they do come back.”
On plans for ’09: “This is New York and the fans deserve a team with marquee players. We all understand that. I think where we want to end up is a tremendous mix of young talent and veterans. The veterans, the free agents, they cost money, and we realize that. We are going to have a lot of money coming off the payroll, and that’s going to give us some options. Believe me, we’re going to use a good portion of it to get this city the team it deserves and to try to improve in the areas that we need.”
And on those pesky upstart Rays: “I’m hearing my fair share of all that. They’re just a great team. They’re going to be tough and they’re going to be in there until the end, I’m sure, and for many years to come. We’ve got another good rival to worry about in the division.”