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  • Tim Kabel

About Last Night: The Yankees Lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4.

The Yankees entered last night's game with a 17-15 record and were mired in last place in the American League East. They trailed the Tampa Bay Rays by 9 games. It's a little dramatic to refer to these games as “must win games” because it's so early in the season.

However, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, “it could get late early around here.” Including last night, the Yankees will play the Rays seven times in the next ten days. Considering how poorly the Yankees are playing right now, they could conceivably fall into such a deep hole that it would be extremely difficult for them to gain ground on the Rays and the rest of the division.

Besides, after this stretch of games, they will only play the Rays six more times all year. Well, although the Yankees did fight back, they lost again. It looks like the Yankees may be headed down a slippery slope with a giant piano strapped to their backs.

Quick Stats -

  • Gerrit Cole is 5-0 so far this season. The rest of the Yankees' pitching staff is 12-16. That looks good if you're trying to have Cole win the Cy Young Award but not so good if you want the Yankees to win the World Series.

  • Carlos Rodon, who has yet to throw a pitch for the Yankees this season, has been diagnosed with a “chronic back issue.” That is something you would expect to hear about your Grandpa Lou but, not about the team's star free agent acquisition. How come he developed this condition after he signed his huge contract? Rodon will receive a cortisone injection this week. Perhaps he will be able to beat Grandpa Lou in the shuffleboard competition at the rest home.

  • After the game, Aaron Boone said “I like the way we are competing.” He said that not once but. twice. Here is a news flash, losing is not competing. Remember, Eddie the Eagle competed in the 1988 Olympics and Walter Mondale competed in the 1984 presidential election. How did that work out for them?

  • I hate to sound like one of those old fellows who talks about how great things were years ago, and I do like Jose Trevino but, Trevino has to make that tag on Yandy Diaz in the 7th inning. Thurman Munson would have made that tag.

  • Matt Harvey, The Dark Knight, officially retired from baseball yesterday. Remember when he was the hottest thing in New York City. His career record was 50-66 with a 4.42 era.

  • On May 5, 1922, construction began on the original Yankee Stadium. It opened less than a year later. Imagine that. The entire stadium was built and ready for baseball in less than a year. I have been waiting nine months for the town to fill a pothole in front of my house. I guess that's progress.

Big Story -

Last year, the Yankees got off to a tremendous start and then faded in the second half of the season and almost lost the division. This year, they are playing mediocre baseball and right now, are in last place in the division and 10 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. Are they going to catch fire and dominate the division in the second half? It's possible; anything is possible. I don't think it's very likely, though. We are almost 1/4 of the way into the season. It would be hard to characterize what we have seen from the Yankees so far as anything other than a major disappointment. At this point, there is really no choice other than to be patient, wait things out, and hope for the best. That doesn't always work out. I'm sure Sonny Corleone hoped for the best at the toll booth and Captain Quint hoped for the best in Jaws. Hoping for the best didn't work out very well for them, did it?

Player of the Game -

Harrison Bader hit a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning, temporarily tying the game for the Yankees.

Notable Performance -

Anthony Volpe had two hits and a stolen base. He now has 11 stolen bases this season without being caught.

Better to Forget-

Jhony Britto struggled again, giving up four earned runs in four innings. Oswaldo Cabrera continued to struggle offensively, going 0-4. The statistics indicate that he is hitting the ball hard, even harder than last year but, the majority of his batted balls are ground balls, which become outs. I'm not ready to give up on him.

My Take -

The Yankees built up a tremendous lead at the beginning of last season and then faded in the second half. They became a mediocre team and barely hung on to win the division. They were humiliated in the playoffs by the Houston Astros. This season, they are barely above .500. It looks as if they picked up right where they left off at the end of last year.

Yes, the team does have a lot of injuries, but a lot of other teams do as well. Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game. They are just not playing well as a team right now. In the past few years, they have demonstrated a propensity to do so for long stretches. They also have demonstrated the ability to win games with great frequency. The alarming thing about this is that the manager, Aaron Boone, does not seem to know what causes either one of these things. He stares blankly and mumbles inanities in either situation.

I have heard it said many times that even with a great manager, eventually the team needs a new voice. We saw this with Casey Stengel and Joe Torre. If that is the case with a great manager, what is the rule for a manager who is barely competent? I am not wholly blaming the current situation on Boone but he doesn't have any answers and he can't do anything to improve things. He has proven that time and time again over the past few years. It may be time to try someone else. It may be time to try anyone else.

Changing the manager might not be the perfect thing to do but Boone has been here a long time now and the team has won nothing with him at the helm. They frequently go into prolonged slumps, which seem to end on their own, independent of anything and everything the manager does. Therefore, I think it is reasonable to at least consider replacing the manager.

We have seen several questionable moves, particularly involving the bullpen and pinch hitters this season. That is nothing new. We have seen that throughout Boone's tenure. What is concerning is that there seems to be no improvement with him. It's as if he plateaued. Unfortunately, his plateau is at ground level. I believe that before it gets too late, the Yankees need to try a new voice in the dugout. I know many readers will say that I am being rash but let's face the facts. Boone has been a disappointment the entire time he has managed the Yankees. The only thing you can give him credit for is finding creative ways to be a disappointment. Last year, he built up a tremendous lead and almost gave it away. This year, the team struggled right out of the gate. No matter which way you slice it, the team needs more from the manager than what Boone has given them in the past and is giving them right now.

Next Up -

Today, the Yankees play the second game of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:10 PM at Tropicana Field. Domingo German (2-2, 4.46 ERA) will face Tampa Bay's Drew Rasmussen (3-2 3.66 ERA).


May 06, 2023

It’s looks like this will be a long, long season for Yankees.


May 06, 2023

I guess its true, you do need to actually have a major leaguer in left field. No matter how you slice it, the Rays are making the entire organization looks feeble and foolish with 1/3 of the payroll. Trust the process, folks!


May 06, 2023

firing the manager is useful when the players have lost confidence in the manager.... or in themselves.

for better results on the field, have better players.

perhaps better players are soon to be at hand.

if not.... then people will be put upon planks and told to get stepping


May 06, 2023

How about not using IKF as a pinch-hitter? I get the righty-lefty thing but IKF can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag.


May 06, 2023

I believe you are not rash and 100% right that the Yanks need a new manager (and GM)- However, after just signing a new 4 year contract, I am 100% certain it will not happen

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