About Last Night: The Yankees Edged the Royals 5-4
About Last Night: The Yankees Edged the Royals 5-4
By Tim Kabel
July 22, 2023
The last-place Yankees opened a three-game series against the last-place Royals last night, after going 1-5 on the first road trip after the All-Star game. The fact that the Yankees were pinning their hopes for rebuilding the season on beating up on the abysmal Royals speaks for itself. The Yankees should have no aspirations at this point. They should not be thinking about making the playoffs. They should be thinking about winning one game at a time. It is great that they won last night, but let's not make too much of it.
A lot has been said and written about Carlos Rodan blowing a kiss at a fan who was booing him after his dreadful performance against the Angels. I look at it as a foolish. decision made in the heat of the moment. Clearly, Rodon is frustrated. He wants to do well. His comments after the game showed that he was taking responsibility for his performance and blowing the kiss. Let's face the facts, Rodon will be here for six years. So, if fans are going to choose to despise him over this incident, it's going to be a problem for everybody.
Quick Stats -
Prior to the game last night, Jose Trevino was placed on the IL with a season-ending wrist injury that will require surgery. Ben Rortvedt was recalled from Scranton. Although I hate to see Trevino injured, I had been advocating for Rortvedt to be summoned from the minors for a while. Now is a great time to see what he can do. At this point, he should be given the bulk of the catching duties. We already know what Higashioka can do. Perhaps the best part about Rortvedt being called up to the majors is that the Yankees' top catching prospect, Austin Wells, is now in Scranton.
The Yankees team batting average of .230 before last night is the team's worst since 1969 and the 4th lowest in team history.
The Yankees had five wins in July, headed into last night's game. In 1978, Ron Guidry won five games in a month, three times.
The Yankees are 33-10 in games in which they hit two or more home runs.
In his last 11 starts before last night, Clarke Schmidt's ERA of 2.83 is the 8th best in the American League.
The Yankees placed Josh Donaldson on the 60 Day IL, which means that the earliest he can play is September 14th. This effectively ends his season. To take his spot on the 40-man roster, The Yankees selected 32-year-old right-handed pitcher Matt Bowman and optioned him to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Bowman last pitched in the major leagues with Cincinnati in 2019. Why would the Yankees waste a roster spot on him? As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “is a puzzlement."
Anthony Rizzo is 7-57 in July. That is .122.
On July 21st, 1988, the Yankees traded Jay Buhner to the Seattle Mariners for Ken Phelps. It still hurts. Hopefully, they don't do something like that this year.
Big Story -
The Yankees are now 51 and 47. That's a .520 winning percentage. They have 64 games left in the season. Realistically, they would need to win 90 games to make the playoffs. That means they would need to go 39-25, which is a .609 winning percentage for the rest of the season. They have given us no indication that they are capable of doing that. They have been losing to mediocre or very bad teams with great regularity. The caliber of their opponents will increase greatly over the next two months.
The reality is the Yankees have virtually no chance of winning the division, and a very slim chance of even making playoffs. They need to begin looking toward the future. That means they should play younger players like Rortvedt, Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, and perhaps others with great frequency. Despite the fact that he hit a home run last night, Franchy Cordero is not the future for this team, and should be off the roster. Willie Calhoun doesn't need to be reinstated from the IL. Rather than putting Matt Bowman on the roster, the Yankees should have added a younger player who will be part of their plans moving forward. Matt Bowman will not be. The Yankees won last night and could very well win this series against Kansas City. But Kansas City is even worse than the Yankees right now, and last night's game was a nail biter. That victory should not be interpreted as a sign that they are on their way to a parade in October. They are not.
Player of the Day -
Billy McKinney hit a three-run home run and made two exceptional defensive plays.
Gleyber Torres hit a home run and has an 11-game hitting streak. Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe made outstanding defensive plays.
Better to Forget-
Tommy Kahnle struggled again in relief.
My Take -
When I was young, there were not a lot of entertainment options. We didn't have cable TV. There were certainly no streaming services. The radio was just for listening to music. There were no sports talk radio stations. All we had was television, regular, old network television with about six channels that came in clearly
One of the things about network television was that whether you were watching Gilligan's Island, cartoons or even the Merv Griffin Show, there were commercials. You don't really see a lot of commercials today on TV, unless it's during the Yankees' game or other sports programs. With cable TV, you just watch your program and that's it. Sadly. I sometimes miss commercials.
Some of the commercials were ridiculous, tedious, or just annoying. Some were funny or memorable. Then, you had the ones that were legendary. For a period of time in the 70's and 80's, a few musicians or singers saturated the airwaves with their commercials. You couldn't turn around without seeing a commercial for Slim Whitman, Boxcar Willie, Zamfir, King of the pan flute, or Peter Lemongello. These were all people with very little talent or ability. who rose to fame and fortune to some degree, solely because of their exposure on television. Slim Whitman was a mediocre country singer. He yodeled and used a falsetto voice in his songs in addition to his regular voice. He was sort of the Tiny Tim of country music. However, by playing his commercials constantly, he gained a following and sold a lot of albums. Television made Slim Whitman, Boxcar Willie and Zamfir. However, television did not give them improved talent.
Aaron Boone acquired his job as the Yankees' manager by virtue of two things. The home run he hit in the playoffs in 2003 against the Red Sox and his career on television as an analyst. The Yankees believed that based on his performance on television, he had a tremendous knowledge of the game and was an excellent communicator. His exposure on television caused the Yankees to hire him. Unfortunately, he is not a great communicator, and he has very little managerial ability.
Aaron Boone is the baseball equivalent of Slim Whitman, Boxcar, Willie, and Zamfir, King of the pan flute. Instead of blowing on a pan flute, he blows bubbles. Instead of yodeling, he yammers. Much like those performers in the commercials, Aaron Boone lacks substance and depth. He is an illusion created by and on television. He is all sizzle, and no steak. As was the case with the people who purchased Slim Whitman albums or Love 76 by Peter Lemongello, Yankees' fans have been duped. Unfortunately, we have been duped for six years. It's time to place Aaron Boone on the shelf alongside Boxcar Willie and Slim Whitman.
Next Up -
This afternoon, the Yankees play the second game of the three-game series against the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. Gerrit Cole (9-2 2.78 ERA) will face the Royals' Brady Singer, (6-8 5.70 ERA).