Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tampa Tribune's Joe Henderson gives his thoughts on the Yankees

Stiles Points steps away from the NFL Draft today and looks at baseball...Tampa Tribune's Joe Henderson was kind enough to respond to some questions about the New York Yankees and Hank Steinbrenner....

Q1. First off, what are your thoughts about George Steinbrenner? He is often painted as the bad guy of sports. What are your views of The Boss?
A. I think it’s impossible to label George definitively. He certainly was given to excess with the Yankees and there’s no question his spending habits put extreme pressure on so-called small market teams. But his motive was simple: To win every time. We were allowed a view of him in Tampa that not everyone else got to see – that of civic benefactor whose checkbook was always open for those who needed it most. That trumps any of the baseball stuff in my opinion.

Q2. Real quick - was George Steinbrenner good for baseball? Why or why not?
A. Overall, I think he was good for the game and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Q3. What is your take of Hank Steinbrenner? Does he have the ability to be a good owner?
A. I like Hank’s style so far but it’s way too soon to tell how he’ll do. I thought he handed the Torre and A-Rod situations well and he listened to his advisors when they told him not to overpay for Johan Santana. That’s encouraging.

Q4. During your time at spring training, how do you think the Yankees players adapted to Joe Girardi as the manager instead of Joe Torre? What was the atmosphere like around camp without Torre?
A. The camp was significantly different, in my opinion – a little more urgency, a little less complacency. That won’t hurt, but the true test will come when the season starts. I mean, the Rays have the best Grapefruit League record and we know what that’s worth.

Thanks again to Joe for his time....

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