Heading into the 2017 season, the belief was that this would be a rebuilding year for the new-look Yankees. However, the Baby Bombers brought new life into the Bronx, as the Yankees over-exceeded everyone’s expectations.
The Yankees went on to win 91 regular season games, and clinched a spot in the American League Wild Card Game. After defeating the Minnesota Twins in a one-game playoff, the Yankees continued to make playoff noise.
In the American League Division Series, the Bronx Bombers upset the defending league champion Cleveland Indians, a team that won 102 regular season games. Down 2-0 in the series, the Yankees battled back to win three games in a row to clinch their ticket in the American League Championship Series.
The ALCS started in a similar way for the Yankees, as they once again lost the first two games of the series. They ultimately bounced back, winning the next three games at Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, the “Cinderella story” ended, as they lost the final two games of the series to end their season.
In an interview with Joel Sherman of the New York Post, owner Hal Steinbrenner expressed how happy he was with how the 2017 season turned out. Although they came up short of winning the World Series, Steinbrenner still considers the season to be a success.
“When you get to Game 7 of the ALCS, a number of people have done well and contributed,” Steinbrenner said. “It can be argued everyone did a good job this year.”
As the offseason approaches, there are a few big question marks surrounding this team. Manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman’s contracts are set to expire, and their futures with the organization continue to remain unknown.
Although Steinbrenner praised their efforts this season, he was not ready to make any guarantees:
“I really want to get into everyone’s performance over the last two, three, four years. The same process I always undertake at the end of the year. I am not going to get caught up in the moment. We are all proud, but we have to look at the overall pieces, not just one, two, three weeks. We are all very proud. It was a group effort. There were a lot of good things.”
After Game 2 of the American League Division Series, it appeared that Girardi’s time with the organization was running out.
Girardi arguably had his worst managerial game in his career, and a failure to challenge a hit-by-pitch call could have ultimately cost the Yankees their season. However, after battling back in not only the ALDS but the ALCS as well, Girardi proved that he should be brought back.
In his 10-years at the helm, Girardi has had a lot of success in the Bronx. His 910 regular season wins are sixth-most in Yankees history, and he has led the organization to six playoff appearances over that span.
However, there is some speculation that Girardi might not want to come back.
Girardi, 53, told reporters that he will sit down with his family to discuss his future. After the emotional roller coaster of the 2017 playoffs, Girardi might need some time to decide whether or not he wants to continue as the Yankees skipper.
In regards to Cashman, it would be rather shocking if the Yankees decide not to bring him back. Regarded as one of the best general managers in the game, Cashman quickly helped make the Yankees contenders once again.
To Steinbrenner’s approval, the team’s owner is happy that they stayed course and didn’t part ways with their best young talent.
“I am glad we stayed the course,” Steinbrenner said. “I am glad we didn’t trade young guys we believed in the past few Julys for veterans, when everyone was asking for the Severinos and the Sanchezes and the Birds and Judges. … It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t quick. But we progressed quite well.”
For now, the futures of Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi remain uncertain. We will have to wait and see just how these two situations will play out. Needless to say, both decisions will have a huge impact on the future of the franchise moving forward.