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Hal Steinbrenner Apologizes to Yankee Fans

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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner channeled his infamous father, George, and issues an apology to Yankee fans for the team’s shortcomings, struggles, and failure to reach their championship potential this past season.

“I’m very disappointed, obviously,” Steinbrenner said during an appearance on ESPN New York radio. “We invested a lot of time, energy, money into the team last offseason, and we all felt that we had a team that could win a championship, and we failed to do that. We didn’t even come close. So right now, at this point in time, all I can do is apologize to our fans. They deserved a better outcome than they got. Period. I mean, they just did.”

The statement is similar to George’s message following the 1982 season, when the Yankees lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I want to sincerely apologize to the people of New York and to the fans of the New York Yankees everywhere for the performance of the Yankee team in the World Series,” Steinbrenner said, at the time. “I also want to assure you that we will be at work immediately to prepare for 1982.”

“I guess I should be most disappointed with me. I’m responsible for all this in the end,” Hal Steinbrenner said. “It’s disappointing because the expectations, of course, were so high.”

“Our offense was just inconsistent at playing up to their potential to me,” Steinbrenner said. “So many downs with the ups and highs with the lows, and the lows were every bit as extreme as the highs. And the highs were pretty good. When they were on, they were on. But it just seems like every game, including some of the postseason games, you just couldn’t tell which offense was going to show up.”

Steinbrenner defended the curious tactic employed in Game 2 of the ALDS in which the Yankees started Deivi Garcia for one inning before bringing in JA Happ.

“I thought the logic was sound,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re not the only team that employed that plan in this postseason. But the bottom line is in order for a plan to be successful, the different components of the plan have to be well executed, and that didn’t happen here. Happ struggled and he struggled significantly and eventually the plan failed.”

Steinbrenner also expressed confidence in manager Aaron Boone, and stated that he would be returning for another season.

“Aaron Boone is a good baseball man. He’s a good leader,” Steinbrenner said. “He has the respect of the players. Aaron Boone will be back next year. That’s just a fact.”

Steinbrenner offered the same for general manager Brian Cashman.

“Obviously, I’ve known Brian forever, and the way he goes about doing things is in a very objective way,” Steinbrenner said. “He listens to everybody — pro scouting and analytics and anybody else that wants to get into his ear. I know the people that work under him respect him, and Boone respects him, and it’s been good. We’re just going to have to keep plugging away.”

Steinbrenner went on to address the constant struggles of catcher Gary Sanchez, as well as the upcoming free agency of DJ LaMahieu.

“It is surprising” Steinbrenner said of Sanchez’s struggles. “I guess we’ll just have to see about that next year, obviously, going forward. But it’s an incredible amount of talent. And he’s going to keep working his backside off, and we’re going to keep helping him in every way we can. And if all goes well, I believe we’ll get him back.”

LaMahieu, a key component of the Yankee offense, will be a top priority this offseason.

“I think I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t recognize what a contribution he made to the club and how good of a player he is. So I recognize both those things. I’ll leave it at that.”

Steinbrenner stressed caution when it comes to the return of pitcher Domingo German, who served an 81-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. German was also investigated for an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child.

“I have to absolutely feel comfortable that he deeply, deeply regrets and is sorry for what he did,” Steinbrenner said. “And I absolutely have to be comfortable with the fact that he’s turned his life around. Those two things are for sure. As far as where we go with him, I don’t know. Again, that’s another discussion that I have to have with not just Brian Cashman but my family, and we will see. But there’s no doubt he needs to prove that he’s turned his life around and that he absolutely realizes how horrific that was.”

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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