New York Yankees: The Translator

The Translator: Hal Steinbrenner

November, 13, 2013
11/13/13
10:46
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Hal SteinbrennerGetty Images, AP PhotoWe know what Hal Steinbrenner said. But what did he really mean. Break out The Translator!
Hal Steinbrenner gave his State of the Offseason comments on Tuesday night in Orlando. His words backed up the reporting Wally Matthews and I have done here, but there is no better way to find the deep meaning in what he said than to dust off our old friend, the Translator.




Hal on money: "Even with [Alex Rodriguez] as our third baseman, we will have a fair amount of money to spend to try to fill the holes, and that's what we're going to do."

Translation: Yes, there has been a lot of frugal talk, but we are going to put pricey Yankees gifts under the tree by Christmas. Even if A-Rod's suspension is upheld and we have to budget more than $30 million for Rodriguez, we still will be serious players for Robinson Cano, Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and possibly Shin-Soo Choo. Eggnog for everybody!




On $189 million: "We know what the fans expect of us. We're going to field the best team we can every year."

Translation: I'm here to win. Plus, if I appear cheap, everyone will hate me. I don't want to freak out. So we have the budget all set up so we can spend large while cutting payroll. It actually is quite a plan, if I do say so myself.




On Cano: "We're going to be talking to him and talking to some other guys, too."

Translation: If you combine this quote with Brian Cashman saying of Cano, "I think he loves the money, but I think we're going to have a substantial offer, but somebody might come in and have a much more substantial offer," our message is clear: Robbie, we want you, but not at all costs.

Randy Levine said a similar thing during the season. We are united. If Robbie finds more dough elsewhere, we will move on. We could do a lot with that spare $200 million over the next couple of seasons.




On Tanaka: "He’ll be a great, great catch for anybody."

Translation: We badly want Tanaka. I've read Spend Hal's Money and, as usual, Marchand makes a lot of sense. (Author's note: Well, that's how I took it.)

Plus, more than 17,000 have voted in ESPN New York's poll, and 89 percent of the fans want him. He would give us great buzz, allow me to justify the $189 million goal, and he might he be able to pitch, too.




On not making major changes to player development: "We're teaching our scouts to look for different things, things that maybe they hadn't looked for before, things Cashman thinks are important."

Translation: I'm buying all our scouts binoculars.

The Translator: Joe Girardi

August, 17, 2012
8/17/12
6:23
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The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog in which we examine a quote from a Yankee, run it through our state-of-the-art translation software, and try to determine what the speaker really means to say.

Today's edition of The Translator comes from Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who got a bit testy when asked about the possibility of moving the semi-hot Ichiro Suzuki up in his lineup.

Girardi: "Our lineup, it’s not like we’re not scoring runs. I get so many questions about our lineup, you’d think we scored one run a night around here. What did we score yesterday, six? And someone had problems with the lineup yesterday. I’ll probably keep it the same.''

Translation: Don't blame my hitters, blame the pitchers. That's Larry's department.

Footnote: The Yankees did, indeed, score six runs on Thursday. The problem is, the Texas Rangers scored 10. So Girardi has a point, I guess.

Return of The Translator

June, 30, 2012
6/30/12
12:21
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The Translator is an occasional feature of the blog in which we take what someone actually said and feed it into our state-of-the-art translation machine, which spits out what (we think) they really meant.

After a long absence, The Translator makes a guest appearance, thanks to manager Joe Girardi, who this morning provided us with two opportunities to put it to use.

No. 1
Question: "Joe, Kuroda has looked better lately. Why do you think that is?"
Answer: "To me, he's just pitched."
Translation: "How should I know? Ask the pitching coach. Larry!"

No. 2
Question: "Joe, to what do you attribute Robinson Cano's recent surge?"
Answer: "To me, it's just Robbie being Robbie."
Translation: "How should I know? Ask the hitting coach. Kevin!"
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog in which we take what someone actually said and feed it into our state-of-the-art translation machine, which spits out what (we think) they really meant.

Ten minutes of Alex Rodriguez generally produces a wealth of material for The Translator, and today was no exception.

Much of A-Rod's news conference before today's game concerned his childhood in Miami, which he called "our 'hood.''

But asked how far away he actually lived from the site of the new Marlins Park, this is what he said: "I took four buses to get here. Miami is a lot like New York so not too far in miles but a little complicated because it's very dense. I would probably say 15 miles. It's a place called West Kendall.''

Translation: "I lived nowhere near 'the hood.' I was a daytripper from suburbia.''

A little later, he said he was "A little emotional because (I live) right down the street,'' but when asked how close his house is now and how close his high school, Westminster Christian, was from the park, he said: "I know you guys are all going to Google map this, so, about 10 miles from here and my high school was about another 14 or 15 miles south of that.''

Translation: "Before you guys use high-tech surveillance tools to catch me saying something that might be untrue, let me admit I that I don't live anywhere near this part of town and I went to school about 25 miles away from here.''

The Translator: Joe Girardi

March, 31, 2012
3/31/12
2:12
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The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

Today we present a verbatim exhange between yours truly and Mr. Joe Girardi, the manager of the New York Yankees, on the subject of Michael Pineda's shoulder tendinitis.

Me: "Is this the same or similar to Phil Hughes' injury?''

Girardi: "No. This is tendinitis in the shoulder. Phil had tendinitis.''

Me: "Where?''

Girardi: "In the shoulder.''

Translation: "Who's on first? What's on second? I don't know. He's on third . . . ''

The Translator: Nick Swisher

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
3:36
PM ET
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

No question today, just an (almost) verbatim quote from Nick Swisher as he came into the clubhouse after being removed from today's game against the Phillies: "$#%@!*! First shinburger of the spring.''

TRANSLATION: "I fouled the ball off my lower leg and it hurts like $#@^%!&!!''

The Translator: Hal Steinbrenner

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
3:00
PM ET
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

THE QUESTION: "Why is cutting the payroll to $189M your budget approach?"


THE ANSWER: "I'm a finance geek. I guess I always have been," Hal Steinbrenner said. "That's my background; budgets matter and balance sheets matter. I just feel that if you do well on the player development side and you have a good farm system, you don't need a $220 million payroll. You can field every bit as good a team with young talent."


THE TRANSLATION: "I'm not like my father. Nope. But this is more like the approach that built the Core Four Dynasty years of the '90s. So I may get a Commissioner's Trophy -- and I can still stare at my spreadsheets. Does life get better than that?"

The Translator: Joba Chamberlain

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
11:30
AM ET
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

Special guest Joba Chamberlain joins us today.

THE QUESTION: "Were you nervous for your first throwing session off a mound?'
THE ANSWER: "Nah. Let it eat.''
TRANSLATION: This one stumped The Translator, which burst into flames trying to figure it out.

The Translator: Derek Jeter

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
12:30
PM ET
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

THE QUESTION: Mariano Rivera said he only wants to leave on top, do you feel the same way?

THE ANSWER: "For me, the thing is, the question is I was asked, 'Do I think I can still do something?'" Derek Jeter said. "If I ever think I wasn't capable of doing something, then I wouldn't be playing. If I didn't think I was capable of playing the game at a high level, then I would go home. If I wasn't enjoying myself, enjoying the competition, then it would be time to go home. Right now, I think I'm capable and I'm going to enjoy myself. I can't comment on what would force me to retire or go home or stop playing. I have a lot of confidence and I have always had a lot of confidence. If that starts to waver then I wouldn't do it."


THE TRANSLATION: "First and foremost, I'm going to avoid your question and pretend you asked me a different one. Then I'm going to only focus on if I 'think' I can play at a high level and not, in fact, if I do play at a high level. All in all, I'm going to enjoy myself. I'm Derek Jeter, buddy."

The Translator: Joe Girardi

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
5:00
PM ET
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

THE QUESTION: "How closely will you watch Phil Hughes' velocity?"

THE ANSWER: "I think you watch it a little more carefully as we get closer to the end because the arm strength at that point is starting to build up," Joe Girardi said. "I don't make too much of it right now. It probably will be a focus for some early on, saying he's going through what he went through last year if [lower velocity] is the case. Or if the velocity is there right away, then it will be a moot point."

THE TRANSLATION: "What can I say to you [reporters], so you won't ask me about Hughes' velocity ever again!?!''

The Translator: Joe Girardi on Mo Rivera

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
2:13
PM ET
The Translator is a recurring feature of the blog where we will present what someone said and what (we think) they mean by running his words through our high-tech Truth Detector.

THE QUESTION: "What is your reaction to what Mariano Rivera said on Monday?''

THE ANSWER: "Yeah, I saw it. I'm not sure how it came out. That's his prerogative. By not sharing it with anyone, that gives him the option to change his mind ... You know that obviously one day it’s going to come to an end. Do I necessarily feel in my mind this is going to be his last year? No I don’t.''

THE TRANSLATION: "Mo, please don't go. Oh, please, oh please, oh pretty please don't go!!!''

The Translator: Joe Girardi

February, 20, 2012
2/20/12
4:30
PM ET
The Translator is a feature of the blog where we will present what someone said and what they mean.

THE QUESTION: Does this team have any weaknesses?

THE ANSWER: "I hope not," Joe Girardi said. "A lot of teams always look good on paper and it's what you experience during the course of the year, whether it's some injuries or things you go through, whether a player has a down year. You can go through that. But I like the team that's coming into spring training a lot. I think we have depth in a lot of areas. You look at our bullpen and I think there's a lot of depth there, and obviously we're going to get Joba back, who I thought threw the ball very well out of the bullpen last year. I like our club. Things that I have to aware of: Giving some guys some days sometimes, making sure they're rested. Giving them some DH days, managing that a little bit, and just keeping guys healthy. That's an important part."

THE TRANSLATION: We're awesome, but old.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146