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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: More On The Yankees...

by Paul Semendinger

October 4, 2023

***

Thanks to everyone for a great discussion yesterday here on SSTN. The discussions in the comments were excellent.


I have a few more big ideas to touch upon briefly this morning...


* This is not 20/20 hindsight. I said this at the time. I said this a million times at the time. Trading away Jordan Montgomery was a bad move for the Yankees. It made no sense. The Yankees needed pitching. The Yankees always need quality left-handed pitching. Jordan Montgomery was (and is) a quality left-handed starter. Yet, the Yankees traded Monty for Harrison Bader - a guy who was injured, who wouldn't play for weeks and weeks, and who had a history of breaking down. Worse, the Yankees' excuse at the time, this ludicrous talking point that Jordan Montgomery had no role in the playoffs, was absurd on its face. No one knows in August which pitchers will be available in October. It made no sense. It was baloney. I was surprised and amazed that so many bought into the Yankees' spin on that. Again, it was clearly absurd. Since the trade, Harrison Bader spent time on the Injured List and was released by the Yankees. Since the trade, Bader has put up, in a season and a half 0.5 bWAR. Jordan Montgomery, over that same period has put up 5.0 bWAR.


* Last night, Jordan Montgomery, who the Yankees felt couldn't, wouldn't, or shouldn't pitch in the playoffs... pitched... in the playoffs. He went 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, and no runs. Imagine that.


* The Montgomery trade wasn't just a miss by Brian Cashman, it was a colossal failure. And this is one of the big problems with the Yankees - very bad decision-making and no accountability. Brian Cashman should have to explain, today, to Hal Steinbrenner, how he could be so wrong about Montgomery's ability to pitch this well and his ability to pitch this well in a playoff game. "Brian, what didn't you see there? What didn't the manager see? What didn't the coaches see?" If the excuse is that he improved after leaving the Yankees, the obvious follow-up is, "Why couldn't he do this for us?" Montgomery was a Yankee. They drafted him. He came up through the system. How did an entire organization get this so wrong?


* Brian Cashman has gotten a lot wrong, a ton wrong, these last many years, and yet, he keeps his job. When people make comments like, "The Yankees don't care about winning," or "All Hal Steinbrenner cares about is making money - not having a quality team" it is understandable. It is completely understandable because the people he employs are not doing good work, their decisions have hurt the team, and yet they keep their jobs.


* Aaron Boone has been the Yankees manager for six seasons. He has never gotten the Yankees to a World Series. All indications are that he is returning to manage the Yankees for a seventh season in 2024. No manager, in the history of the Yankees, ever, was given this much time to reach a World Series. No manager... ever - for whatever reasons. When the Yankees keep bringing back a manager who hasn't brought them to the World Series year-after-year, giving him chance after chance, especially as the team goes backwards, again, true or not, it gives the indication that they are not serious about winning. One cannot draw any other conclusion.


* We are judged by the decisions we make. That's a fact of life. The Yankees' decisions in regard to Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone do not (in any way) say, "Our number one goal is to win." The Yankees' actions say, "Good enough... is." And for many Yankees fans, I'd argue most fans, good enough is not good enough. It is not. Period. Exclamation point.


* We are living through one of the least successful long, sustained eras in Yankees history. This is clear and obvious and supported by the cold hard facts. The Yankees have won one World Series in the last 22 years. Let's count down back in 22-year increments and see how the franchise has done:


2001-2023 = 1 World Series Championship

1978-2000 = 5 World Series Championships

1955-1977 = 5 World Series Championships

1932-1954 = 13 World Championships

1909-1931 = 3 World Championships


This is not just a few years without success. This is more than two decades of the Yankees consistently falling short. Year-after-year-after-year.


* The Yankees' lack of success, in today's era, right now, is a longer period of time than the Horace Clarke years or the 1980s. It is. Facts are facts.


* I have often criticized the Yankees for not being fan friendly. I have made many suggestions over the years on ways the Yankees can be more welcoming and appreciative of their fans. This year, the Atlanta Braves have opened their stadium to the fans, for free, to watch the team workout in preparation of their first round in the playoffs. This is an example of a franchise that considers and appreciates their fans. Often times it is the little things that make a big difference.


* There is a talking point that "teams today just cannot win on a year-to-year basis." We're told that baseball is designed to thwart long-term success and that "there are no dynasties." Hummmm.....


  • The Atlanta Braves have finished in first place in the N.L. East six consecutive seasons.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have finished in first place in the N.L. West in ten of the last eleven seasons (the other year, they finished in second place with 106 wins).

  • The Houston Astros have finished in first place in six of the last seven seasons.

Over the last eleven seasons, the Yankees have finished in first place just twice. It's not like the Yankees are consistently good and just fail in the playoffs (when they get there). The Yankees are not even consistently the best team in their division.


Other teams have figured out how to finish at the top year-after-year consistently. They're doing that in today's game. Not the Yankees. Not in any way. The Yankees don't win enough. Period. And because all of the decision-makers seem to be coming back to try the same failed approach again in 2024, the message to the fans does seem abundantly clear, "The Yankees do not care about being the best or winning championships."


If that's not the message they are sending, what is?

***

A note to other baseball writers, podcasters, talkers, and the like - if you borrow or use any of these ideas, do the right thing and give credit where credit is due - to the author and this site.

24 Comments


Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Oct 05, 2023

Cashman needs to go. Trading a stubborn, mostly effective and controllable lefty for Bader was a terrible move, one flushed to fruitiion by the Yankees analyitics department in fact. The Yankees gave up on Monty, rumors were that they didn't intend to give him a start in the playoffs.


I don't know which was worse these past few days, watching Sonny Gray, Nathon Eovaldi (yet again) and Jordan Montgomery start playoffs games or watching Aroldis Chapman pitch effectively in the postseason. Ugggh! Cashman hasn't been able to build a sustainable concept.


One last point - playing a fielder with a ++ arm and good speed in right field, in Yankee stadium, makes ZERO sense. The Yankees didn't need Harrison Bader.…


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Mike Whiteman
Oct 05, 2023

My Monty deal thoughts: 1. I was for the deal. I thought it was a risk willing to take. The Yankee outfield was terrible (aside from Judge).

2. The big reason was why was on August 2, 2022 Monty had a career 3.94 ERA/109 ERA+. This put him at about 5/6 in the rotation after Cole, Cortes, Severino, Montas and along Taillon, with German about #7.

3. I don't know that I ever heard the Yanks say definitively that Monty wouldn't pitch in the playoffs, but when you have seven capable starters in likely a four-man postseason rotation there's a surplus to upgrade elsewhere.

4. The Monty deal didn't cost the Yanks in 2022. Domingo German essentially replaced him in the…


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Len
Len
Oct 04, 2023

Team needs:

1- new manafer

2- new general manager

4 new OWNER!!!

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etbkarate
Oct 04, 2023

Not only did they trade Monty for Bader, they waived Bader after 334 at bats, where he hit .236 for a lefty starter that went 16-14 with a 3.00 ERA during that same time frame. Monty yesterday went 7 innings, 0 BB and 5K's. Results speak for themselves.

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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Oct 05, 2023
Replying to

One thing we probably have to acknowledge though Paul is that attendance was up this year, compared to last season. Sharpies, the faithful, many here in fact may not want to hear excuses. But Corporate sponsors are buying up tickets and things seem to be going great in terms of making $$. Personally, my interest in the Yankees was at a lifetime low coming into the season. I didn't care for many of the decisions that have been made since 2018. However, three months into last season, Cashman was looking pretty smart. This season, not so much.

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fuster
Oct 04, 2023

far as yesterdays Texas-Tampa game went.... it was mostly Tampa beating Tampa


and less a great game thrown by Montgomery.


i have a fondness for lefty junkballers. the Yankee coaching staff prefers that their pitchers amass strike-outs.


we might also bear in mind that Monty's 5 full seasons with the Yankees saw only 2 of those seasons

of full availability


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Oct 04, 2023
Replying to

It is revisionist to say the Yankees let Monty go because they knew Rodon would replace him. They could not have known that. They could have hoped for that, but you don't trade a player away because you might get a player later. To my way of thinking, that's a bad approach. It makes no sense - not for a team with designs to win a World Series that year. "We'll make ourselves weaker but we hope, after the season and playoffs are over, that we might get stronger." It is illogical on its face.


Also, they said they were letting Monty go because he had no role in the post season. They could not have known that in August…


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