About the Off-Season -Same Old Yankees?
About the Off-Season - Same Old Yankees?
By Tim Kabel
October 7, 2023
I think it's fair to say that we are all in agreement regarding the 2023 season for the New York Yankees. The kindest way to describe it would be "disappointing". Brian Cashman went as far as to say that it was a disaster. Unlike the Frankie Montas trade, I think Cashman got this one right; it was a disaster. Well, unlike Mr. Peabody and Sherman, I do not have a way-back machine. If I did, i must admit that my first course of action would not be to improve the Yankees. I would take care of other things. Regardless, all we can do is look ahead and move forward. None of us want to be sitting around in October of 2024, lamenting another failed season. We don't want to become Jets fans. Jets fans are notorious for repeating the same mantra, "Same Old Jets." We don't want to do that as Yankees fans
So, what needs to happen to avoid a repeat of 2023? Many of us would like to see a new general manager. Unfortunately, Hal Steinbrenner has made it abundantly clear that Brian Cashman will return as GM next year. Now, it is possible that Cashman could refuse to implement any changes Steinbrenner or others suggest. He could morph into Bartleby the Scrivener and say, "I would prefer not to." Then, things could change. However, Cashman has been the general manager for 25 years. He survived working for George Steinbrenner directly. He is willing to adapt, and he will have to. He will have to do things differently if we are to expect better results next year.
Cashman comes across as a bit of a smarty pants, to use an old, but fairly accurate expression. He acts as if he knows more than everyone else, and for years, he did not seem to be very tolerant of other opinions. It is a good sign that he hired Omar Minaya and Brian Sabean last year. It was also very good that Minaya accompanied Cashman to Japan to scout pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto recently. Cashman has been seemingly more open to admitting mistakes and listening to others recently. That's a good sign. When you can admit that you don't know everything, you are more likely to consider other options and opinions. That's what Cashman needs to do.
Another positive sign that occurred at the end of the season was Cashman's willingness to incorporate young players into the Yankees roster and lineup. That was not only refreshing, it garnered positive results. The team played better with the infusion of youth. At the same time, the team shed itself of one-dimensional, worn-out veterans such as Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson. In the past, the Yankees may have saddled themselves with a long-term contract for someone like Harrison Bader. This season, they placed him on waivers to make room for Jasson Dominguez.
That Cashman seems to be more open to listening to other opinions and is also allowing young players to reach the major leagues and contribute are two positive steps. toward rebuilding this franchise. It is rather likely that this team will receive major contributions from Austin Wells, Anthony Volpe, Oswald, Peraza, and Jasson Dominguez next year. Surrounding that group with veterans who are already on the roster and those the Yankees may acquire would make this a very well balanced and exciting team.
As noted, many of us would like to see a new general manager next year but, since that is unlikely to happen, the best we can hope for is for the old general manager to continue with the new approach he started at the end of last season. I have already made it clear that I think the Yankees need a new field manager so I will avoid that topic until an official decision is made. In the meantime, this team needs to be retooled. Since the Yankees will not be making a change in the person who is the general manager, that person needs to make changes in the way he does things. Perhaps you can't teach an old dog new tricks but, the Yankees are going to have to teach an old general manager new ways of doing things. There have been some encouraging signs lately and those need to continue in order for the team to improve.
I don't want to be writing an article a year from now, lamenting the fact that the "Same Old Yankees" are out of the playoffs again.