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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

About Yesterday and Last Night: FAILURE

by Paul Semendinger

August 2, 2023


About Yesterday - On Sunday, the Yankees' batters struck out 18 times in one game. On Monday, the Yankees' batters struck out 12 times. And yesterday, the Yankees, in what was their final hope to save 2023 or build for 2024 struck out again and again and again at the trade deadline.

The Yankees stood pat. They held. They did nothing. (No, I do not count getting two back of the bullpen arms at the very last minutes as doing something.)

Mr. Steinbrenner owes the fans an explanation. He needs to explain to the fans why they should care, at all, about his team.

For well over a year, the Yankees have not been a good team. They had two choices these last few week: (1) Go big and try to build the team to be a contender this year or (s) Sell off the assets to begin building for the future. They did neither. They stood pat.

Brian Cashman did talk to the media and he essentially said nothing. I'll paraphrase: "We were in different lanes..." "We looked at a lot." "Teams that might have sold, didn't" "It wasn't a deep pool." Blah, blah, blah.

What he didn't explain was how the team got so bad. He didn't explain why the Yankees never got a left fielder. He never explained why the Yankees seem to abhor left-handed hitters. He never explained why the Yankees have a minor league system that has not (outside of Aaron Judge) produced the stars it has promised for decades. No, he just said meaningless sentences and, in the end, said nothing at all.

Brian Cashman asked for control of the team. He said that he knew what he was doing. He got control. He has not demonstrated that he knows what he is doing. The only direction the Yankees ar going is backwards.

The Yankees have a bad team build around bad players who are performing poorly. They have a bad manager who has no answers. They have a bad general manager who built this fiasco. All of this falls on the General Manager. Mr. Cashman, how did it all come apart like this? What are you doing to fix it? Can you? What is your strategy?

It seems that Brian Cashman has no strategy. As he seems to do a lot now, all he did was make excuses. "We're too close to sell." "We're not close enough to buy." "The players we thought we wanted, we couldn't get - those other teams changed their minds!"

It's embarrassing. The mighty Yankees can only do one thing - make excuses for their ineptitude. This is where the Yankees are today.

We have seen the demise of the Yankees for a long time. I have been writing about it for a long time. None of this was difficult to see. At all. Did Brian Cashman not see it? If not, why not? If he didn't see how bad this is, it's very fair to say that he should not be running the team.

The Yankees had a chance to do something. They did nothing. They punted. This was exactly what they did last winter. They punted.

I'll have an article coming (no date yet) where I will explain where it all began to go wrong. The earliest date I can think of is 2012. I remember that year because my oldest son was heading off to college. I was about to embark on many years of huge tuition bills. I remember Hal Steinbrenner at the time talking about the payroll and noting that in regard to the Yankees that he needed to watch his expenses. I remember thinking, "He has to watch his money? The Yankees can't afford to get players?" That was one of the first times I remember this excuse making starting to take place. "I know we have a brand new stadium and are the most valuable team in the sport, but..." The writing was on the wall.

In 2012, I still owned a partial season ticket package. In the years I owned my ticket package, the Yankees kept asking for more and more money and delivering less and less. The plan went from a weekday night package of eight games to a weekday night package of eleven games (with the price for each ticket for each game increased) to a package that included more and more day (rather than night) games. I asked my ticket manager why this was happening, why the Yankees kept changing my plan, and he told me, honestly, "The Yankees want you to buy a bigger package and they're making yours less and less appealing." (Nice.)

This is the way the Yankees operate. It just is. They seem to care less and less each year and they expect the fans to continue to support them. The Yankees take their fan base for granted. They shouldn't. The team is unwatchable.

I cancelled my ticket package after the 2012 season. I rationalized that if the Yankees had to watch their dollars, than I did as well. (Up to that point, I accepted the high costs with attending a bunch of games and all that goes with that. I always said that if the Yankees were going big, then as a fan, I would too. I wanted to do my part to help the Yankees be great. When the Yankees went small, I followed.)

It was in that period of time that the fans were told that the Yankees were transitioning. We were told that there was a dynamic group of young stars coming. In was in that time that the Yankees used their financial might (they said) to "win" the international pool system by signing tons of great young kids. We were told that by the end of that decade the Yankees would be back. We were promised a "fully operational death star."

The kids who were supposed to be great flamed out. The Yankees also never went all in. There was no death star. The era of greatness never came. The next stars still haven't arrived. The Yankees never reached a World Series. The team has been going backwards. And today, there is less optimism around the Yankees than at any time since the early 1990s.

The 2023 Yankees are a true second division club. They went into last night's game with only 13 teams in all of Major League Baseball having worse records. At the trade deadline they did nothing to help the 2023 Yankees. And they did nothing to begin the process of building for the future.

Bluntly, this is what the Yankees have right now:

  • An over-the-hill washed-up first baseman in Anthony Rizzo. (If he's not washed-up, he's hurt, but the Yankees have difficulty facing the reality of injuries.)

  • A second baseman who was supposed to be the star shortstop of today and simply is not. Gleyber Torres is a good player, not a great one. He seems to lose focus often. He's not a player a great team would build around.

  • A shortstop who is supposed to be a future star but who has struggled all year, and rather than improving, is getting worse.

  • An over-the-hill, oft-injured third baseman in D.J. LeMahieu. He is a player who is a shadow of his former self.

  • The Yankees still do not have a left fielder.

  • The centerfielder, Harrison Bader, has under-performed and is also often injured

  • Aaron Judge is a superstar in right field, but he is also playing with an injury rather than letting it heal properly over time and after rushing him back, the manager seems confused that he is still in pain.

  • A designated hitter, in Giancarlo Stanton, who is also injured a lot, and who has completely lost it. He is washed-up.

  • Two catchers who have not proven that they can hit in the Major Leagues

  • A starting staff with one pitcher who is better than league average (Gerrit Cole) who has an opt-out after the 2024 season

  • A bullpen that is overworked, over-taxed, and that has lost effectiveness basically every season as the season has worn on.

Where is there hope?

The owner talks about saving money and luxury tax thresholds.

The general manager built this mess.

The field manager has never seemed to have a good command of the game. He never has answers. He talks in platitudes. He says, "We know what we have to do." but he never says, "We know how to do those things."

The Yankees are on the precipice, not of greatness, but of becoming irrelevant. They're very close to that point.

Worse, no one in authority seems to care or notice any of this. The trade deadline fiasco of 2023 following the roster construction fiasco of 2022-23 proves this absolutely and unconditionally.

There is one thing worse than a bad team - and that's a bad team being led by people who, fairly or not, do not seem to care one bit about any of this and who have no solutions to give. They only give excuses.

If you think 2023 has been bad, buckle up. Most of those players above will be back next year - but they'll be a year older and for most, their decline phase will only continue.

Welcome to the Yankees of today. The once proud franchise is no longer.

About Last Night:

Carlos Rodon got the start. He didn't do well. He hasn't pitched well as a Yankee. Overall he is 1-4, 6.29. He lasted only four innings. I have such little faith in the Yankees decision makers that I have to wonder if he is still hurt. If he is, it wouldn't be the first time the Yankees sent an injured player out time and time again. If he's not hurt, why is he so bad?

The Yankees went into the bottom of the ninth down 5-0. They had a late rally that scored two runs, created very little excitement, and came to a crashing halt when Giancarlo Stanton pinch hit and struck out.

Quick Hit:

  • The Yankees are 10-16 in July

  • Since June 1, the Yankees are 21-28

  • The Yankees have had one full month this season (May) with a winning record

  • Anthony Volpe 0-for-3, he's at .208 on the season

  • As a pinch-hitter, Giancarlo Stanton is batting .075 for his career. He is 3 for 40.

  • For the 2023 season, Giancarlo Stanton is batting .197. He hit .211 last season.

The Big Story:

There is no denying it. The Yankees are not a good team. They have not been good for a long time. There is no reason to believe (or even hope) that they'll be good for the remainder of 2023. Because most of the current players will be back next year, there is very little reason to hope for next year.

Change is needed from the top down. It's time to clean house. It is clear that the people in charge have no ideas, no plan, no vision, and no ability to get the Yankees out of this mess.

The other big story was looking at the faces of the Yankees players themselves. There was no happiness. No fun. They're done emotionally.

Player of the Game:


Better To Forget:

The fact that the 2023 Yankees are a disaster, and when the opportunity was there to use a lifeboat or start a different process as a way to be rescued, they decided, instead, to drown.

My Take:

It's over. Complete change is necessary. This is a bad club with bad leadership and bad players. This team is worse than the sum total of the parts.

Up Next:

The Yankees play Tampa Bay again tonight. 7:00 start. Gerrit Cole gets the start.


Gomer Pyle
Gomer Pyle
Aug 02, 2023

As a Yankee fan of 40 years, I have lived in the Midwest, surrounded by Cub fans since I was a kid. I have also had to fend off scornful accusations that the Yankees just "buy" their championships, and defend players like A-Rod, who I don’t particularly care for, and defend players that I do like such as Jeter from idiotic criticisms. Despite the recent drought of championships, I still have to engage in such arguments. As such, I am probably more sensitive to the issue of Yankee success based solely on spending, and find much pleasure when a homegrown player rises to the big-league level. Subsequently, I follow the Yankees minor league system closely.

Over the years the Yankees…

Alan B.
Alan B.
Aug 02, 2023
Replying to

Too many of these prospects couldn't stay healthy or even were healthy when brought in. Many were never given a chance, turned into organizational depth. Bradley Subtle, Mason Williams, Eric Jargues, Clarkin, Heathcott, JB Cox, Denny Walling, Dustin Fowler. Others petered out at various levels: Eric Duncan, among others who just made it to a level and some even had cups of coffee in other places, like OF Sardinha with the Reds. Gene Michael said it best years ago, for every 5 prospects, one will never cut it, one will be traded, one is a toss up, and you hope that the other 2 will make it. But under Cashman, he refuses to trade them when they are prospects, an…


Aug 02, 2023

The silver lining in the trade deadline inactivity is at least Cashman didn't bring in any more useless and washed up retreads the billy beanes of the league were looking to unload. For that, I am grateful. Your points above are dead on accurate. This is a rudderless ship. Its gotten to the point of looking for something else to do instead of watching my NYY. A first in my lifetime.

Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Aug 03, 2023
Replying to

That's exactly what I was thinking! The fact that they didn't make a move prevented bad moves from being made.


Aug 02, 2023

Hire this guy


Aug 02, 2023

The Yankees have lost their way under Brian Cashman..... they are stuck in the past and the modern game like it or not has past him by and until he is replaced nothing changes!


Alan B.
Alan B.
Aug 02, 2023

To me, it starts with the Trading deadline 2016. But MLb has not exactly done their part in helping to make this mess. They have openly targeted the Yankees on the field for discipline, starting with the Judge strike zone. Brian Cashman was allowed to go all in on analytics after 2016. Boone is doing exactly what Cashman is paying for. Cashman said as much again back in May. How Cashman has handled the prospects is enough to get him fired. There are certain prospects that Cashman & Co. don't like, but he refuses to trade them when they are prospects, and refuses to give them a chance, and as we all know injuries galore have given guys a chance.…

Aug 02, 2023
Replying to

There is no one who posts who thinks Cashman is the everyone notes he is the problem!

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