Perspectives: Lots of Thoughts
By Paul Semendinger
July 31, 2023
Aaron Boone was supposedly hired, in part, for his communication skills, so when he speaks, we have to assume that he knows what he is saying.
But, when people talk, sometimes they tell more than they really wanted to...
This was Aaron Boone on the status of Aaron Judge on Sunday:
Aaron Boone, the great communicator, and the man hired to bring the Yankees to a World Series (all those years ago), said, "We've got to be smart a little bit."
That's an amazing statement from the team's manager in regard to their superstar player.
"We've got to be smart a little bit."
Or said differently, "Sometimes we're not so smart," or, even more in the way Boone talks, "A lot a bit of the time, at least in regard to Aaron Judge, we're not smart."
Well, I'd agree.
With Aaron Judge, the Yankees aren't being smart. They rushed him back, and then in what was supposedly a big game, they sat him.
I really don't think the Yankees know, from minute to minute, what they're doing. They make it all up as they go and then they give inane and insane answers that further cement their incompetence.
The Mets are selling. They can see that their plan for 2023 didn't work, so they are making moves to make next year better.
The Yankees are standing pat. This means 2024 will be like 2023. That's a bad approach.
One team (the Mets) seem to have a clue. The other team (the Yankees) seem (or at least act) clueless.
This from a comment I wrote yesterday:
Mets fans are angry that their team isn't good.
Yankees fans are angry that their team isn't good.
I think Mets fans believe their owner wants to win.
I don't think the Yankees fans believe that about their owner.
Hal Steinbrenner said the following, in June:
"“I understand (the fans are) upset. I’m a little confused this year, being the third week of June, why they’re upset, but they’re upset and that’s going to get my attention."
“Everybody just needs to know that we’re working hard on all fronts to get this back on the rails and start playing the way we were for a couple weeks in May.”
What, exactly, did the Yankees do since then to get the team back on the rails? It seems they fallen further off them.
The trade deadline is tomorrow. The Yankees squandered weeks when they could have been making deals. They might do a lot over the next day or so, but that doesn't take away the fact that they did nothing for far too long.
On top of this, imagine having a surplus of products that have some value especially because what you have is a commodity that isn't readily available anywhere else. And then doing nothing with that commodity.
That's the Yankees.
See this Tweet:
Teams don't seem to be able to acquire hitting. There are "no bats" at all available for trade.
The Yankees have a hot of batters that should have been available for a long time. A well run team would have seen that the industry needed the very thing they themselves have.
The Yankees should be selling Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, D.J. LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Harrison Bader...
And, if there is a GM out there that actually believes that Billy McKinney or Jake Bauers has value... the Yankees should sell them too.
The 2023 Yankees are bad.
Imagine how bad they'll be next year with all the players I just listed one year older and one year slower. And one more year past their prime.
I read this a lot...
"Giancarlo Stanton is untradeable. He makes too much money. He had a no trade clause. And he's old."
Max Scherzer makes a ton of money. He's old. And he had a no trade clause.
He was traded.
August 2022 - "Jordan Montgomery isn't good. The Yankees don't even think he's good enough to pitch in a playoff game."
July 2023 - The FIRST PLACE Rangers just acquired lefty pitcher Jordan Montgomery...
Or remember this:
August 2022- "Harrison Bader is going to be a player that hits on the Yankees. This was a great move for the Yankees."
July 2023 - Harrison Bader's OPS+ is 91. (Yes, below league average)
For the record, Jordan Montgomery's ERA+ is 126. (Yes, well above league average.)
Quick Question - Would the Rangers, right now, trade Jordan Montgomery for Harrison Bader?
Quicker Answer - Not in a million years.
The Yankees should have a conversation with Gerrit Cole. Seriously. He has an opt-out after next year. There is a possibility that as the team crumbles that he might not wish to spend his last good years playing for a team that is falling apart around him. If the 2024 Yankees perform like the 2023 Yankees, Gerrit Cole just might opt out.
If he's thinking that way, the time to trade him might be... now. He'll never be more valuable than he is right now.
I like bubble gum as much as the next guy, but when all you see from the Yankees' manager is him blowing bubbles and spitting seeds, you have to wonder.
It tough to be taken seriously as a leader when you are seen consistently blowing bubbles with bubble gum.
That's just a fact.
Also, after last night's game, a game where the Yankees struck out 18 times, Aaron Boone said, "Outside of the strikeouts, I thought at-bats were building off of last night. I thought we grinded out really well."
Look, when the manager is that out of touch, it's an embarrassment. This is humiliating. It's time for Aaron Boone to be shown the door.
Remember in the beginning of the off-season when so many of us said the Yankees needed a left fielder (and a leadoff hitter, and lefty bats, and...)?
We were told, "It's early."
December came and we were told, "It's not even the new year."
January came and we were told, "It's not even Spring Training."
Spring Training came and we were told, "There is tons of time before Opening Day."
Opening Day came and we were told, "Just wait until the trade deadline."
The trade deadline has come and... now it's far too late.
The Yankees, from top to bottom have shown that they are incapable of fixing the disaster they created. Worse, they didn't even see that this is what they built. They didn't see it. That's a problem.
Here's another question (I'll be the first to ask it).
Right now who regrets the Aaron Judge deal more, him or the Yankees? Judge might be making a ton of money, but, he also might be looking at nine long years without winning. There isn't a championship on the near horizon. And by the time the Yankees are good again, Aaron Judge might be past his prime.
On the other hand, the Yankees didn't get their value in 2023 on him, and he's only going to get older and slow down more as the years go on.
But, even if Judge hits 63 homers in 2024, based on the framework of this team and how they operate, will that lead to a pennant next year? The sad reality is that the Yankees are more than a great Aaron Judge season away from being a legitimate contender.
I know he's pitched well in the second half with three excellent starts, but, Gerrit Cole has not won any of those starts. He has a 1.40 ERA in those three starts, and the Yankees are just 1-2. I really have to wonder what he's thinking.
"I signed on for this?"
I have said, for a long time, that when the window closes, it closes quickly.
The Yankees' window closed. It's going to take a lot of work and smart deals and excellent management to turn this franchise around. There is no quick fix. And, as I have been saying, these, right now, were the years that were supposed to be the good ones. This is when Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge are in their prime. The Yankees signed them to win now, not at the end of their long expensive contracts.
Instead, the Yankees punted on 2023 thinking that their brilliant moves of finding cast-offs from other franchises would allow them to compete.
The Yankees, who could never figure out a lineup, have tried the following players as their leadoff hitter this year: D.J. LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Anthony Volpe, Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun, Anthony Rizzo, Oswald Peraza, Billy McKinney, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Anthony Volpe is batting .209 on the season. He had a 15-for-30 "Post Chicken Parm" surge. Without those at bats, he is hitting .181 on the season.
He has struck out 111 times in 350 at bats.
He has batted in the following spots in the batting order: First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth.
He swings from the heels at bat after at bat and swing after swing.
He's hitting .198 in July.
As the leadoff batter in the lineup, he has batted .148 to begin a game. Leading off an inning at any point in the game, he has batted .186.
Oswald Peraza, the other great shortstop prospect, is batting .173 this year.
Is there anyone that believes the Yankees have done a good job developing these players?
The Yankees are at a crossroads. There are now 15 teams in the big leagues with better records than the 2023 Yankees. This means the Yankees are in the bottom half of all MLB teams.
I'll repeat for emphasis - The Yankees are now in the bottom half of all the MLB teams.
The saddest thing is that so many fans and writers and bloggers saw this coming for a long time - and the Yankees did not.
This is the state of the 2023 New York Yankees franchise.