Perspectives: June 26, 2021
by Paul Semendinger
June 26, 2021
I know, I know… we should all be believing in the Yankees by this point. “Since they lost… they have won four out of five series…”, “The bats are coming alive,” etc…
I want to believe. I’m just not ready to. I just can’t.
I watch them. I root for them. I love them.
Do I think they’re going to win the pennant? No.
Am I ready to get my hopes up and invest emotionally in them in 2021? No.
I’m not ready to have my heart broken. I know the reasons that many believe again. I’m not ready to jump into that pool yet.
The team is too flawed. I don’t have confidence in the manager. I don’t believe the owner will spend the money to get the necessary players during the season.
I hope they all prove me wrong.
Some other thoughts:
Big moment last night… tying runners on, one out, ninth inning and up comes D.J. LeMahieu. In an instant we see a game-ending double play. That happens to everyone. But, boy has that been the story of his 2021 season thus far. Yes, he had the two-run single earlier, buy, by and large, 2021 has been a huge disappointment.
I took a lot of heat, and was one of the few, if only people, anywhere, to warn the Yankees and their fans that this was the D.J. LeMahieu they would be getting during the six-year contract. He is not the guy who hit .330. He’s not a 20 home run guy. Those were career years. Plus, second basemen do not age well. They have short peaks. They just do Time and again I was told how wrong I was on this.
D.J. is hitting .261 this year with six homers. Get used to this. This is who the Yankees have for the next six years into his late 30’s. I like D.J. I love that he is so versatile. He’s just not the player everyone thought he was and would be. This was so clear. I’d love D.J. to prove me wrong. But he won’t. He averaged nine homers a season before coming to New York. He hit over .310 once prior to coming to NY. He hit over .300 only three times in his whole career before coming to the Yanks. The season before he was a Yankee, D.J. batted .276/15/62. Again, get used to seeing this D.J. going forward. It is what it is. This isn’t a knock on him. It’s a reality statement. The Yankees or their fans counting on him being a .330/20 home run guy was just a pipe dream. It would have been nice, but it won’t happen. In a few weeks, he turns 33. He’s not a young guy.
He had his peak and the Yankees will now pay for his decline. I just wish he was looked at more realistically this off-season. He’s a nice player – a very good player. He plays great defense and hits well. He’s just not a superstar. Too many thought he’d be a super player going forward.
I don’t love that the Yankees are playing Aaron Judge in centerfield. This is a disaster waiting to happen. What happened to “load management?” BUT, I LOVE that Judge is playing centerfield. That sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not. I love that Judge is willing to do this. I love that Judge is doing what’s necessary for the team. That’s the spirit the Yankees need and have been lacking in so many ways. Good for Aaron Judge. Great for Aaron Judge. I want players who want to play and will do whatever is necessary for the team. Great for Judge. I’m just very fearful that we’re going to see this lead to a long trip to the Injured List.
I wish Giancarlo Stanton would force his way onto the field. Stop clogging the DH spot Mr. Stanton and get out there and play.
I have been so impressed with Gary Sanchez’s defense. I think everyone knew he’d hit for periods of time. He’s hot right now. (Can he sustain it?) His defense though, blocking pitches and such, has been tremendous. I did not see that coming.
Remember at the end of last season when all those big Yankees contracts were coming off the books and there was the belief that the Yankees would spend big on this year’s team?
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Yankees are spending $32,000,000 less on this year’s club than last year’s. That’s all one needs to know about the team’s true and absolute commitment to winning.
Dating back to 2012 (these are the only years on the chart), the Yankees are spending less this year (at least so far and projected) than every single season except 2018.
What could the Yankees have done with that $32M that would have helped this year’s club? (The list is endless.)
Would you ever have imagined a year when the Yankees, THE YANKEES, would be getting excited and anxious for a rookie who never played the outfield to come up and be the great new centerfielder? Hey, I hope Hoy Jun Park is great, but he’s played only a handful of games as an outfielder – in his entire professional career. I know he’s hitting over .300 in Triple-A, but his lifetime batting average as a professional is .253. I think we have to temper our expectations and hopes. This is not the next Mickey Mantle coming. Park has played in 1,965 minor league games dating back to 2015. He has a grand total of 30 lifetime homers.
Remember when the Yankees used to acquire the big stars mid-season?
The baseball “sticky stuff” nonsense is just another example of the people running baseball having no clue. Players taking their pants down on the field? Come on. It’s a joke. It’s a mockery of the game.
The caretakers of the game of baseball don’t care about the game. That becomes more and more clear every day.
Today and tomorrow are big games for the Yankees. They need to battle and find ways to win. Two losses would drop the Yankees to 40-37. Does that inspire visions of a championship? It’s getting late and it isn’t all that early. July comes next week.
Let’s Go Yankees!!!