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  • Tim Kabel

About Yesterday Morning: The Yankees Beat the Reds 4-1 for the Sweep

By Tim Kabel

May 22, 2023

***

The Yankees wrapped up the three-game series against the Reds at Wimbledon yesterday. Oh, sorry, the early start confused me. They played in Cincinnati. The game was on Peacock, which means that three people in the entire country were able to watch it. Amazingly, unlike when it is on other services, I was one of those people. It seems like the Yankees go out of their way to try to hide their games from their fans. I realize it's all about making money but, when they use so many different avenues to get the games to the fans, it can become frustrating and confusing to many of us. I recall when all the games used to be on WPIX. It was simple. Turn the game on and listen to the Scooter and Bill White.


This was a very good game for the Yankees. Aaron Judge was given the day off for no apparent reason, but the team won anyway to sweep the series. The Yankees are now 29-20 on the season and have won two series in a row, and six out of their last seven games. They look very good right now. However, this needs to be more than just one of their annual hot streaks that quickly disappears like an ice cream cone on an August day.

Quick Stats:

  • Jake Bauers is 0-23 on the road this season. As Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home.”

  • The Yankees are 11-3 in their last 14 games.

  • Aaron Boone was ejected for the third time this season. It was probably the first time in MLB history that a manager was ejected before noon.

  • The Yankees won their fourth straight game for the first time this season.

  • Luis Severino looked great over 4 2/3 innings yesterday. He couldn't finish the 5th inning? Oh, that's right, he could only throw exactly 75 pitches.

  • On May 21, 1930, Babe Ruth hit three home runs in a game against the Philadelphia A’s. Babe even tried batting from the right side of the plate in the ninth inning. After falling behind 0-2, he switched back to the left side but still struck out. Despite four team home runs, the Yankees lost the game 15-7.

The Big Story:

Luis Severino returned to the starting rotation for the New York Yankees yesterday. He looked very good, although he was only allowed to throw 75 pitches. That will improve as he progresses. This game was very important because Luis Severino is an important part of this team. Their overall success this year will hinge upon his ability to pitch and to pitch effectively. If he returns to being the dominant pitcher he has been when he is healthy, that will go very far toward solidifying the Yankees’ starting rotation. If Carlos Rodon can join him in a few weeks, this will be a very tough team to beat.

Players of the Game:

Harrison Bader and Gleyber Torres had big home runs.


Notable Performances:

Luis Severino and all the relief pitchers, Albert Abreu, Jimmy Cordero, Wandy Peralta, and Clay Holmes, were solid. Holmes made things a little interesting in the 9th inning but was able to shut the Reds down for the save.


Better to Forget:

Jake Bauers misplayed a ball in right field that led to the Reds’ only run. He is demonstrating that he is not a very good outfielder and may be best suited to the role of a left-handed bat off the bench

My Take:

Well, I'm finally able to write those words that I never thought I would be able to write. The Yankees designated Aaron Hicks for assignment on Saturday. They replaced him with Greg Allen, who was toiling in relative obscurity in the minor leagues for the Red Sox. Allen will essentially be a pinch runner and defensive replacement for the Yankees. He is a massive upgrade over Hicks. I have been writing for what seems to be years that the Yankees needed to cut ties with Hicks. They finally did so. However, the timing of it makes me wonder.


The Yankees now have seven days to trade Hicks. If they are unable to do so, they will simply release him. It is doubtful that they will be able to trade him because why would another team be willing to take on that contract? I believe he will be released. I certainly do not think the Yankees will bring him back and send him to the minors. That would be a colossal mistake. I think his days as a Major League player may be over. We do not have to feel too sorry for him, as he will continue to be paid for the next 2 1/2 years. Don't forget, he makes about $10 million a year.


Although I have been calling for Hicks to be cut from the team for quite a while, the timing of it makes me a little curious. He actually had a good week and had three hits in one game. I think there may be more to it than we know. I am not trying to be a conspiracy theorist but during the broadcast on Saturday, Paul O'Neill spoke about the situation to Ryan Ruocco. O'Neill stated that although he was not in the clubhouse, and did not know the exact details, that there are many cases of players who were once starters having trouble adjusting to being part-time role players. He stated that in many cases, they would mope, and their attitudes would become problematic. O'Neill said this on two separate occasions during the game, which leads me to believe that Hicks may have said or done something during the week that became the final straw for the team. Regardless, he is gone, and the team can move on.


The removal of Hicks is one way of Boone-proofing this team. For some reason, Aaron Boone was fascinated with Hicks and still tried to play him as often as possible. Boone has similar fixations with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Albert Abreu. Albert Abreu has been relatively effective for the most part this season but there have been occasions where he imploded. He needs to be used very judiciously. That is not an area where Boone excels. The same can be said for IKF. Initially, after he lost the starting shortstop role, I assumed we would see very little of him. Yet, he plays with great regularity. He is not very good and the likelihood of him improving is very slim. He is not a rookie or a player at the beginning stages of his career.


In the 9th inning yesterday, IKF and Harrison Bader bumped into each other on a play in the outfield. IKF did manage to catch the ball but, it was clear that Bader, as the centerfielder, had the play. It also looked as if Bader was shouting that he had the ball. The announcers made a point of saying that sometimes inexperienced outfielders or utility players can be a bit overzealous in the outfield. After the play, it appeared that IKF was exchanging words of some kind with Bader. At the end of the game, Bader ran in and hugged IKF and appeared to say something. IKF, who still did not look happy, appeared to respond. I have no idea what was said but, it didn’t look great. Bader is the starting centerfielder and a sparkplug for the team. IKF is a marginal role player, yet it is obvious that Boone will try to get IKF into the lineup as frequently as possible.


Oswaldo Cabrera seems to be coming around and has been hitting better of late. He is a young player who is essentially a rookie. He needs to be shown patience and given the opportunity to play and to improve. That is what the Yankees are doing Anthony Volpe. They need to do the same with Cabrera and also with Oswald Peraza when he eventually returns to the Major Leagues. I've written many times that I don't believe Aaron Boone is particularly good with young players. Boone seems to relate better to veteran players. I believe that is because he views himself as someone who was a very good Major League ballplayer. He was adequate at best. However, he was able to parlay that one playoff home run in 2003 into a six-year managerial career, so give him credit for that.


It was interesting that in the postgame interview, Harrison Bader was asked about the team coming to Cincinnati, where Aaron Boone had played the bulk of his career. Bader said that Boone showed them a highlight reel of his career in Cincinnati. That is a bit odd. It's not as if Boone is Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, or Pete Rose. Paul O'Neill had a much better career and actually won a World Series with the Reds. The fact that there was even such a highlight reel is astonishing. I would imagine that if you blinked while watching it, you would miss the bulk of it.


I found it interesting that during spring training, Boone focused a lot of time, energy, and attention on his own efforts to hit a home run in batting practice on his 50th birthday. If you combine that with his viewing his return to Cincinnati as sort of a modern-day version of Caesar returning to Rome, it helps clarify some things. Boone views himself as a great player and most likely as a great manager. Neither one of those things is true but, it may explain why he has trouble relating to young players who are trying to get their footing. He most likely doesn't have the patience for that and appears to be more concerned with his own interests, activities, and exploits.


Removing Hicks from the team was a very good move but, it is just one part of the Boone-proofing that needs to continue. Josh Donaldson needs to remain in whatever limbo he is in so that he does not interfere with the progress this team is making. The Yankees are better off without him and if a continuous stint on the IL for a myriad of bizarre injuries and illnesses is what it takes, then so be it. IKF needs to be relegated to more of a true utility player role. Albert Abreu needs to be kept away from high-leverage situations. If those two things don't happen, then IKF and Abreu may need to be pushed off the roster to avoid providing Boone with the temptation to overuse them. It is yet another necessary part of Boone-proofing this team.

Next Up -

Tuesday night, the third-place Yankees open a three-game series against the second-place Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 PM at Yankee Stadium. Gerrit Cole (5-0 2.01 ERA) will face Baltimore's Kyle Bradish (2-1 3,90 ERA). Hopefully, the Yankees can leapfrog the Orioles into second place

27 Comments


Philip Cashier
Philip Cashier
May 22, 2023

Rose's gambling had nothing to do with his career -- unlike the folks who used steroids. Rose should be given a place in the HOF -- plaque and all, even if he is banned from participating in any activities associated with baseball.

Like
cpogo0502
May 22, 2023
Replying to

I agree. He's kept out of the Hall for being known as a lowlife.

Like

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
May 22, 2023

Selected Yankee Manager Winning Percentages: Joe Torre, .605; Miller Huggins, .597; Billy Martin, .591; Joe Girardi, .562; Aaron Boone, .602.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
May 23, 2023
Replying to

Dave Roberts is first in winning percentage (.618)

McCarthy is 2nd.

Boone is third.


Can an argument be made that Roberts and Boone are two of the three best managers in the history of the game or is this a statistical blip based on other factors like competitive imbalance?

Like

yankeerudy
May 22, 2023

It was a beautiful day in the GAB. A few observations:

  1. It's so cute that the Reds put their 5 World Series winning years on their dugout. We'd need a much smaller font.

  2. Ditto their 4 league champ years on the visitor dugout.

  3. The Yanks and Reds are 2-2 in WS matches.

  4. I spent just under $10 for a hotdogs, Pickles, chips, and a drink. Can you even get just a hotdog for that at the stadium?

  5. It's an outrage that the #1 Reds player of all time is banned for life for mixing baseball and gambling while the Reds collect revenue for putting a gambling company's logo on their field.

Like
yankeerudy
May 22, 2023
Replying to

I stand corrected. The wikipedia list has too many columns.

Like
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