Perhaps Hal Steinbrenner spoke too soon when he called his players out for the Yankees slow start to the season.
He certainly put the onus on Mark Teixeira and Michael Pineda. One could easily translate Steinbrenner's comments to mean that at this point in time, Teixeira does not deserve a contract extension, despite the fact that the Yankees have only the injured Greg Bird (who is lost for the entire season due to shoulder surgery) plus utility man Dustin Ackley as realistic options to replace him in 2017. As for Pineda, one might surmise Steinbrenner is wondering why should he bother tendering him a contract for 2017. Despite showing flashes of dominance, Pineda has either been injured or ineffective most of the time since being acquired for Jesus Montero in 2012.
Based on Thursday night's win at Oakland, Steinbrenner could have called out a few more players if he had waited a couple more nights to speak his mind. Base running blunders cost the Yankees some runs in this game. Carlos Beltran forgot how many outs there were and couldn't score when the ball was lost in the lights. But not to be outdone, the next inning became like an episode of the "Keystone Cops." The Yankees were bad running the bases when it could have been the difference in the outcome. The culprits this time were Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius.
Steinbrenner might be right. Good players are making bad mistakes and that makes for bad play and bad results. Thursday night was different, as the Yankees won and base running blunderer Carlos Beltran was a big reason, with three runs batted in, including a big 9th inning home run. Ivan Nova was sharp and efficient through six innings of solid work and the three headed bullpen monster of Betances, Miller and Chapman did their stuff over the final three innings.
But back to Steinbrenner, who does not meddle in day to day activities but speaks his mind only on occasion. As he said, it is up to the players ultimately. Of course, enjoy the win, but fundamental baseball, which includes running the bases, must be observed at all times. Hopefully, that was a topic discussed among the players following the game.