The fawning was bad enough, but the failure to ask the simplest and most important questions surrounding the direction of the club and their plans was radio malpractice on the part of Francesa. It’s convenient that the interview was simulcast on the YES Network because it was somewhat near in scope to the type of interview that Michael Kay would’ve conducted had it been on CenterStage.
Let me amend that. Kay would’ve asked more in-depth questions than Francesa which, considering Kay is employed by the club, should make Francesa all the more embarrassed.
You can listen to the interview here.
Steinbrenner touched on all the hot button issues, but he didn’t say anything Yankees public relations egomaniac/gadfly Jason Zillo couldn’t say with a set of team-issued bullet points from which he could and wound not deviate.
- He was disappointed with the season’s result, but proud that the team fought the way it did.
- The Yankees want manager Joe Girardi back and want to get the deal done quickly.
- He couldn’t comment on Alex Rodriguez.
- He has concerns about the young players not panning out and they’re examining their strategies of procurement and development.
- He wants to keep Robinson Cano for a price that is “within reason.”
- The $189 million payroll for 2014 is a goal and not a mandate.
Francesa asked follow-up questions about A-Rod, but Steinbrenner understandably steered clear of saying anything about that situation. Regarding the $189 million “goal,” Francesa didn’t push Steinbrenner at all. He nearly slobbered all over him while accepting at face value the assertion that the team isn’t hell-bent on getting their payroll down to $189 million to enjoy the luxury tax incentives they’ll have for 2015 and beyond if they do so. Sounding more like a relieved fan than an aboveboard interviewer seeking logical and honest answers regarding the payroll, Francesa accepted Steinbrenner stating that the club won’t let the $189 million “goal” interfere with putting a championship-contending club on the field with amateurish naïveté. This in spite of the practical evidence that to the contrary.
Why didn’t that statement spur the obvious series of questions to which every rational Yankees fan would like to have an answer?