I sat down for my first meeting of 2018 with New York Yankees President, Randy Levine. It was nice to see how enthusiastic Randy is about the 2018 Yankees. It’s great to feel the incredible loyalty that exists in this storied organization with the officials that run the Yankees.
I remember that after the great George Stienbrenner passed away there were whispers that the Yankees would be sold within 5 years. That could not be further from the truth. Also, the loyalty that the Yankee organization gives to the fans are at an all-time high. Hal Steinbrenner, the Steinbrenner family and the Yankee organization have taken the Boss’ dream to another level. It takes all the blood sweat and tears from Hal, Randy, Cash, Lonn Trost and, of course, the rest of the front office to keep the brand what it is, the greatest in all of sports.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Randy Levine about a shared love between an organization, their fans and the upcoming Yankee season.
RN: Im sitting here with Randy Levine at the start of 2018, Happy New Year how are you feeling?
RL: Happy, Healthy New Year to you, it’s a new year and I’m feeling good.
RN: Fans in New York are very excited–I mean the Yankees have made some pretty nice moves- the significant one is with Stanton, Giancarlo Stanton, what are your feelings?
RL: I think that we have a really great team, we came a game away from the World Series last year. I think Cash and the baseball operations people did a great job in getting Giancarlo Stanton and some of the other moves that they made. I am excited to have CC Sabathia back. They are still working to improve the team –Hal is always about improving the team. This is a young, exciting, very likable team and it’s going to be fun for a couple months to be down in spring training and start to make the quest for Championship number 28.
RN: Brian Cashman, Executive of the Year? I mean what can’t he do?
RL: He’s done a great job, really done a great job. We turned this franchise around in two years, he has made some great trades along with Damon Oppenheimer and the people down in Tampa. They get lots of kudos–they really really devoleloped great young players. Our farm system is one of the strongest, if not the strongest in baseball so they’ve done an incredible job. He’s made obviously some really great trades and it’s exciting–we just need good health and a little luck and hopefully it will be a great year for us.
RN: Hal Steinbrenner– I remember being his babysitter when he was seven years old, now he is the man in charge. How tough is it for a guy like that, once you guys give him recommendations on baseball and other related matters, to have to press that trigger?
RL: I think Hal has just become a great great owner, he’s got phenomenal, phenomenal qualities. He’s extraordinarily analytical. He is very, very smart but like his dad, he knows when it’s the time to pull the trigger–he always has in his mind what’s good for this franchise, what’s good for this city and New York, what’s good for Yankee fans everywhere. He understands how important the Yankees are to the city and to all the fans all over the world and he understands that you constantly need to reinvest in this team. He’s had a plan and he’s executed it. We had a very good financial year. We had a great year on the baseball field and all of our other businesses have done very very well. The YES Network had record ratings, Legends Hospitality has done great, the New York City Football Club, on and on… Hal has really come to his own as a really strong leader, he’s on the executive committee of Major League Baseball and he’s very respected there as well.
RN: Well, I’m sure Hal is happy to have soldiers like you and Lon Trost, and Brian Cashman to help support him at difficult times.
RL: Well, any great organization is about team work, it’s about checking your ego at the door and doing what’s right for the organization. It’s about leadership. We all have a great relationship, we work well together, we support each other because we all have one end goal and it’s to win championships for the Yankees, to make our fans proud and to continue the proud history of this franchise, which there is no other professional organization in the world like the New York Yankees with its heritage, its tradition or history so it is a great responsibility that we all take seriously everyday and that’s what we wake up to and try to improve every day,
RN: Finally, for the fans of the Bronx, fans from all over, the Yankee fans all over the world–will the Yankees win this year?
RL: I hope so. I don’t want to jinx it but i think we will be very competitive. I think we have a great, great team. We have the talent to play with anybody but baseball is a long season, and a lot of things happen. As a man once said, “You have to prepare yourself to be lucky.” That’s really what we have – the talent and we need a little luck and hopefully at the end we will be standing. I hope so.
RN: Thank you Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees.