Hal Steinbrenner stopped to talk with reporters today following the Yankees’ first full-day of spring training workouts, and addressed the current state of the organization as well as the future.
“Expectations are great, as they always are,” Steinbrenner said. “This is a time of new hope — spring training and a whole new season.”
While the dawning of a new baseball season is always exciting, especially after the doldrums of winter, Yankees fans can sense a new era in the Bronx. Steinbrenner agrees.”This feels different,” he said.
The Yankees are currently undergoing their biggest youth movement in nearly two-and-a-half decades. With many of their top prospects invited to big league camp this spring, Steinbrenner said it’s time for the kids to step up and deliver.
“They’ve got to prove themselves, a number of these guys,” Steinbrenner said of the team’s top prospects. “This is their big chance, and they’re going to get it this year.”
Steinbrenner believes there’s a good mix between the veterans and young players, which is something Joe Girardi mentioned on Tuesday as being reminiscent of 1996. Veteran leadership plus youthful exuberance is something that the Yankees hope can equal prolonged success on the field.
“I think the veterans are going to be great dealing with the kids, mentoring them. We’ve seen that in the past,” Steinbrenner said.
It was, of course, ultimately up to Steinbrenner to pull the plug on 2016 and trade away assets in order to restock the farm system. Now with one of the top systems in the game, Steinbrenner and Yankees fans are eager to see recent draft picks and last year’s deals bear fruit.
Hope springs eternal. In Yankee-land, that saying couldn’t be more true these days.