You can't judge a book by its cover. So maybe Hank Steinbrenner isn't as big a fool as he appears to be. Maybe the sun will rise in the west, too.
About the only way Hank Steinbrenner can save himself now is to shut his mouth. Permanently. Or at least until Thanksgiving. That's Thanksgiving of 2010.
Each time he opens it, he just looks dumber. If New York Yankees fans wondered how their franchise would be different in the post-Joe Torre and Brian Cashman-about-to-be-gone era, they're learning more day by day.
Welcome back to the future. Hank Steinbrenner talks and talks and talks. Joba Chamberlain makes a fool of himself on the mound. Injuries mount. Losses mount. Nerves fray.
Instead of grinding on, which is what Torre's Yankees would have done, these Yankees seem close to coming undone.
After Tuesday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees are two games under .500 (19-21) and 4 1/2 games out of first place. This kind of record doesn't normally elicit panic. But these are the Yankees under Hank Steinbrenner.
They've made some mistakes. Cashman believed in Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, who are a combined 0-6. Kennedy is back in the minors, Hughes on the disabled list.
Cashman drew a line in the sand on the Johan Santana negotiations because he believed in Kennedy and Hughes. He may yet be proven right, but Hank Steinbrenner doesn't appear to be a man of great patience.
The Yankees have also been unlucky. Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are both on the disabled list. Along with Derek Jeter, the Yankees stars have missed a combined 44 games.
At this point, no one knows what the Yankees are going to be. If Hughes and Kennedy aren't productive, it's unlikely they'll be back in the postseason this year.
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images
Memo to Joba: You're going to get one of your teammates hurt. It's easy for you to act like a fool on the mound when you don't have to grab a bat and hit.
But Hank just can't help himself. When a reporter contacted him on Tuesday, he went on and on, just making things worse.
Steinbrenner couldn't look like a bigger fool if he walked down Madison Avenue wearing a "kick me" sign.
"We've got to forget about all the injuries and start playing our butts off," Steinbrenner told the New York Post.
Don't stop there, Hank.
"The bottom line is that the team is not playing the way it is capable of playing," he said. "These players are being paid a lot of money and they had better decide for themselves to earn that money."
His comments don't do anything to fix the problem. They only ratchet up the tension.
The Yankees need pitching, and they need to get Posada and A-Rod back on the field. It's comical to read the New York tabloids buying into Steinbrenner's bullfeathers that this thing goes "deeper than injuries."
Really? How does one know that? How do you quantify such things? Is there a computer that can calculate how the Yankees would be doing if they did not lose those key players?
"We have good professional hitters and I have a lot of faith in them," Steinbrenner said. "I'm not saying they are not giving the effort, but they need to be playing harder."
How does he know that? How do you measure effort? Who isn't playing hard? Jeter? Robby Cano?
Steinbrenner referred to the Rays, saying, "That's the kind of attitude and fire the players have to have."
If Steinbrenner wants to fix something, he might have a talk with Chamberlain, the young reliever with the 100-mph fastball with the penchant for fist-pumping and calling attention to himself.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
If you keep up the antics, a teammate is going to get plunked, and there will be one more distraction for the Yankees.
From the beginning of this season, it was clear the Yankees were going to be dramatically different with George Steinbrenner's son in charge.
They are. They're struggling on the field, which isn't unusual. The Yankees struggled under Torre sometimes, too.
The one thing they never did was lose their dignity and class. Torre simply wouldn't allow it. Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx Zoo has reopened for business.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.