Just a Bunch of Thoughts on the Yankees…
This list comes as a collection of random thoughts on the Yankees:
I was at the game with some great friends last night. These two friends are both long time Mets fans. It’s interesting to share honest perspectives with fellow baseball fans who love their team, love baseball, and don’t automatically just hate the Yankees. It was also interesting to see that things that annoyed me (a dropped ball at second on a potential fielder’s choice) didn’t phase the Mets fan. “Oh, I see that every day,” he chuckled.
Sometimes we can be too hard on our own team. That is certainly true.
Even though the Yankees lost, it’s still great to go to a game at the stadium. I loved the old Yankee Stadium more than the new one, but it’s hard not to love being in Yankee Stadium. The hot dogs last night (300 section behind home plate) were exceptionally delicious. As was the pretzel.
When we visited the Yankees Museum before the game, my friend who loves the Mets admired the display of Yankees World Series rings. He said, “We have two of those…”
Last night I did see a lot of what drives me crazy about this Yankees team. There was the dropped ball. Later, in the top of the fourth, Niko Goodrum beat out an infield single. He stole second. He then went to third on a wild pitch. The Yankees had no answer for him. When do the Yankees do stuff like this? Live by the homer, die by the homer. I get it. But, boy just a bit of good fundamentals and good base running makes for some exciting ball. (Getting thrown out on the bases when Giancarlo Stanton is batting is not good base running. We’ve seen that a few times this year including the other night.)
Also, early in the game (I didn’t keep a scorecard), I believe it was the top of the 4th, with the Yankees up 2-1, the Tigers had a runner on third (It may have been Goodrum), and Aaron Boone played the infield in. Early in the game, the Yankees were playing the infield in against the Tigers? They were playing to prevent a run. Against the Tigers? To me, that’s over managing. A manager has to feel the Yankees can score a few runs over many innings against a team like the Tigers. Having the infield in, in this instance, didn’t impact on the game. (To be fair, the same thing happened an inning or two later and the batter grounded out to second and the run didn’t score. The play worked and prevented a run. Even so, I’d never play to prevent a run with a lead in these situations against a team as bad as the Tigers.)
Typical Yankee fan (me) speaking (most of this in jest, but still…):
“Luke Voit is batting clean-up? What?!”
(As Luke Voit grounds out to start the 2nd…) “See, he doesn’t belong there.”
(As Luke Voit singles to begin the 4th…) “Ok, not bad.”
(As Luke Voit grounds into a double play to end the 5th…) “That guy should NOT be hitting clean-up.”
Later, Luke Voit homered… “Brilliant move batting Voit number four in the lineup.”
The Yankees have now lost three of four to the White Sox and the Tigers when they should be making their move and winning. I know that’s easier said than done, but this is the White Sox and Tigers… It’s play like this that has made this season frustrating. A writer on another Yankees site said that this was the most criticized excellent team ever. He might be right. But it’s play like this that drives so many fans crazy. The Yankees play good enough to get the fan’s hopes up, then they drop three games that they most certainly should win to go from five back in the loss column to eight back. A team batting for a pennant has to beat the White Sox and the Tigers.
The Yankees finally got Andrew McCutchen. Finally. They waited too long. If this was only about staying under the luxury tax, as a fan, that is very frustrating. Is the mission statement to win or to save money? I hope if the mission was to save money that is because the Yankees plan to spend like crazy this winter on Bryce Harper and other talent. If the purpose of resetting the tax was to line ownership’s pockets even more, that’s upsetting. The mission statement for the Yankees should be to win. Period. Get the players.
If the reason the Yankees waited so long to get McCutchen was because they thought Aaron Judge would come back quicker, then that’s just a bad job on everyone. A team in a pennant race shouldn’t be making their decisions to improve the team based upon “hope.” It is obvious (now) that the injury is worse than they originally suspected. The three week timeline seemed much too optimistic from the start. It’s now been six or seven weeks and Judge isn’t close to coming back. There has to be more urgency.
Having McCutchen weeks ago would have prevented the Yankees from giving Shane Robinson so much playing time. That would have obviously helped. But, having a quality outfielder, would have also allowed the Yankees to rest Stanton and Gardner who have been pushed extremely hard. All of these factors could have resulted in a few wins. In any case, the objective should always be to put the best team available on the field. These are the Yankees.
Since the Yanks are now eight out again (in the loss column), they should not rush any player back. They are now just playing for the Wild Card game and (I’m in the minority here) I don’t think home field advantage means all that much in a one game “winner-takes-all” game. (I don’t have time to do the research, maybe someone will, but often times home field matters little. In 1978, when Bucky Dent hit the homer in the one-game playoff, the Yankees were in Fenway Park… When Houston won the World Series last year, Game 7 was played in Los Angeles. When the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, they were…in Cleveland. Home field would be nice, I just don’t think it matters as much as we tend to think it does. It makes for a great story, but not much more.
Let’s Go Yankees!