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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

About Last Night: Yanks Sink Lower

by Paul Semendinger

August 17, 2023


Atlanta Braves 2, New York Yankees 0

Last night the Yankees reached their longest losing streak of the season.

Last night the Yankees fell below .500 on the 2023 season.

It's over. It's been over. It's been over for a long time. A very long time. The problem is that the front office didn't see this coming. So many of us saw this months, if not years, ago.

It's ironic, the front office dives into analytics and yet the numbers they turn to failed to tell them that they were on a sinking ship.

First Mate: "Captain, we hit an iceberg. It's bad."

Captain: "I've run the numbers. Most ships that cross here make it across the Atlantic."

First Mate: "But we're taking in water. Tons. Tons and tons of water..."

Captain: "Give it a rest. I don't care what you see. The numbers don't lie."

First Mate: "Numbers? We are sinking."

Captain: "Ramp up the motors, this ship has powerful engines."

First Mate: "Powerful.... engines?"

Captain: "You don't even know what you don't know."

First Mate: "We are taking in water and sinking."

Captain: "No ship, in the entire ocean has our exit velocity. It's all about exit velocity!"

(A short time later)

Captain: (speaking to an empty cabin) :"Why are my shoes getting so wet?"

Quick Stats:

  • The Yankees have now been shutout in two consecutive games.

  • The Yankees are 60-61 on the season

  • The Yankees had four hits last night

  • The night before the Yankees had one hit.

  • The Yankees have not had an extra base hit since Monday

  • The Yankees struck out 13 times last night

The Big Story:

The big story is the only story with this team. There is no other story. They keep losing. They were a bad team and they keep getting worse. Since June 4, the Yankees are 25-36. They don't have any answers. They don't have a solution. They don't have a set lineup. The owner and the general manager and all of the analytics team didn't see what was (painfully) obvious to so many - the Yankees are in trouble.

The Yankees had a chance to address this at the trade deadline. They didn't. The stuck with what they had. Like so many decisions this team makes, it was the absolute wrong decision to make.

Since August 1, the Yankees are 5-10. They are losing two out of every three games.

And there are no answers.

This is what the manager said:

"We have nothing but ourselves to fix it and get going and that's what we're going to continue to try to do. We're going to continue to come to work and work our butts off and try to get it rolling and hopefully get a streak going..." (or something like that...)

Here's the post game interview:

I do have to wonder... are they really working that hard? Are they?

The Yankees have a day off tomorrow. Will there be a full team workout? Or is that asking too much? I know, the players need their rest. But, then, logically, you can't say how hard you're working.

Imagine, just imagine, if Mr. Boone said, "You know what. I'm more than frustrated. I'm angry. This simply isn't good enough. I already discussed this with the players... who feel the same way. We'll be at the stadium tomorrow working on a lot of things. We're running out of time to get this thing right, but we're not going to stop trying until we give it every effort we have."

But, no, the best we get is, "Yeah, we're frustrated." The whole act is old and tired.

Player of the Game:

Michael King pitched 3.2 innings and allowed one hit.

Notable Performances:

Notable? Not in a positive way, but the last twelve Yankees who batted, in a close game, all got out. The Braves retired the last 12 Yankees batters in order. Five of those last 12 outs were by strikeout. Only one of the outs (a fly out to center by Jake Bauers) left the infield. That is, sadly, notable.

Better to Forget:

Rather than forgetting, the Yankees need to remember the bad years in their history - the early 1990s and the late 1960s - because they are on the fast track to join those teams as the worst in the team's history since the arrival of Babe Ruth.

The problem isn't just that 2023 is going so badly. The problem is that the second half of 2022 went badly. Then the off-season went badly. Then Spring Training went badly. And then the trade deadline went badly...

The problem isn't just 2023, it's the entire system seems to be in disarray. Much of the core of this team will be back next year - players who are clearly on the downsides of their careers. Many of these players are the core of the team for next year.

It's not just that 2023 is a disaster, it's that 2024 looks to be a continuation of this trend. There is not sunshine on the horizon, it's only clouds and rain. And icebergs.

My Take:

I have said this before, but when leaders don't act, they're still acting. A leader can't run away from a problem. He can ignore it, but that doesn't make the problem go away.

By not demanding accountability for the disaster that his franchise has become, Hal Steinbrenner is stating that there is no accountability. His inaction says, clearly, and loudly, that he is fine with the losing.

There is a strong perception among the fans that they care more about the Yankees than the stewards in charge. That's not a good thing. Feelings like this can destroy organizations.

It's time to change it all. It's time to get new leadership. The current plan didn't work. It's not okay - at all. The organization can't keep saying, "Yeah, we're frustrated, but we'll go get 'em tomorrow." Last year, after a very frustrating second half of the season, that exposed, clearly, where this team was headed, we were told that the process was sound. It wasn't. It isn't.

The leaders of the Yankees seem indifferent to where this team has been going and currently is.

Take note - right now, one game under .500, might be the team's high water mark going forward and through next year. This might not be the bottom, this might actually be the best record we'll see the team having for a long long time.

It's bad. It's been bad. It's getting worse and there is little hope that the players or decision makers are in place to turn this thing around.

Another Take On A Different Topic:

From time to time, we see our original ideas, conclusions, thoughts, and perspectives repeated on other sites and in the "big" media. I'm glad people feel we're doing a good job. I'm glad that people notice and repeat some of what we're saying. But, when people borrow our ideas, it would be nice (and it is only right) to credit the original source.

Next Up:

The Yankees all get a day off to rest their tired (but little used) bats. The Red Sox come to town on Friday.

If all of the MLB was in one big division, the Yankees would be in 18th place. Baseball Reference gives the Yankees a 1.1% chance to make the post season. The Yankees are 14 games behind the division leading Orioles.

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