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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: More Thoughts

By Paul Semendinger

August 9, 2023

***

I mentioned this the other day, but the tired trope that "The Yankees would be in first place in the American League Central" is no longer true. The Twins (60-55) have a better record than the Yankees (59-55).

***

The Yankees won last night, and the Red Sox lost, so the Yankees are now a half-game out of last place in the AL East.


I did some research and found only six other seasons, in the entire history of the New York Yankees, where they were in last place in August or later in a season. This year is the first since 1990.


I'll have a short article on that at 2:00 today.

***

Well, I have to give the Yankees credit, they really do, in fact, care deeply about the fans. As they flounder and fall and play mediocre and often unwatchable baseball, they will be putting many of their games on streaming services which effectively shields so many of their fans from having to watch the games.


See here, just for the Prime Schedule:

***

I know a lot of people liked it, but for me, the Aaron Boone tirade the other night was not good theater or even entertaining. It was embarrassing. I see a man tilting at windmills. HIs team is bad. He's doing a bad job - and suddenly, it's the umpire's fault.


For years we have watched Boone calmly accept players not hustling, making mental errors on the field, playing poorly, and under-performing, but the only time he seems to get angry is when he believes the umpires are hurting the team. It would be nice if Boone showed this much fire when his players play poorly, but when that happens... he quietly and calmly blows a bubble and then often makes excuses for them.


The yelling at umpires is another of Boone's tired acts. It's gotten old. Very old. It's just one more reason change is needed.


When you keep looking for scapegoats, the answer is usually looking at you from the other side of the mirror.

***

Now another day removed from the theatrics, it seems that even Aaron Boone is admitting that he made a fool of himself:


***

I am very surprised that Aaron Boone, after mocking an umpire, did not get suspended.


Is MLB saying that his actions were appropriate and acceptable?

***

I have to wonder that as he watches all of this if Brian Cashman wonders to himself if he blew it by hiring Aaron Boone. It was a risky decision to hire a person who never managed or coached to lead the Yankees to the next level. It didn't work.


That decision was one of Brian Cashman's worst mistakes and it just might cost him his job. Said differently, it should be one of the reasons he's fired.

***

On 2017, the Yankees were one win (and, if you'd like, a cheating team) away from the World Series.


It was at that moment that Brian Cashman felt the team needed to go in a new direction.


Maybe Joe Girardi wasn't the right man for the job at that point.


But, the right man was certainly not Aaron Boone. I will never understand the logic there - except if the purpose was to hire someone who would just agree to whatever management said. Boone had never coached on a team. He had never managed. No other teams ever interviewed him for a managerial spot.


And then, there he was - the manager of the Yankees.

***

Aaron Boone has won his share of regular season games, but along the way, now for six years, he has never developed any minor leaguer position player into a quality big league ball player. Never. Not once. (I'm sorry, Anthony Volpe has not had a good year and has not proven to be that guy.)


And, please no comments that he didn't have the talent to work with.


The Yankees build up their prospects time and again, until they fail and then they move on and basically say, "Pay no attention to those guys, they weren't good - the players coming, now they are the ones who are going to be something special." (That is, until they aren't.)


The manager has to own some of that. He has to.

***

The 2023 Yankees are 59-55.


Since June 30 of 2022, they are 102-98. That's now a 200 game stretch where the Yankees have played at just a .510 winning percentage. (And, they should be very thankful for the Kansas City Royals who they are 6-1 against in that time. In other words, in games not played against the Royals, the Yankees are 96-97 since June 30, 2022.)


The Yankees are 4.5 games behind the Mariners for the last playoff spot. If the Mariners play just .500 ball the rest of the way (they have 49 games left, so assuming they go 25-24), they'll end the season with 86 wins.


For the Yankees to get to 86 wins, they'd have to go 27-21 (.562).


In other words, the Yankees would have to play at a level they have not attained in well over a season. Can it be done? Sure. Is it likely? I don't think so. At all.


If the Mariners play even slightly better than .500, the Yankees' task would be that much more difficult.

***

I advocated for the Yankees to be big sellers at the trade deadline. That didn't happen.


It's now time for the Yankees to begin to infuse youth into their lineup. Oswald Peraza needs to play regularly. Estevan Florial needs to get a legitimate shot. Other young players need to get extended experiences at the big league level.


There is no good reason to stick with the aging veterans at this time. At all. The next Yankees dynasty (if one is to come) will not include any of the older players. There is an opportunity here to see what the Yankees have in some of their youth. They wasted that opportunity last year. They should not make that same mistake again.

10 comentários


Andy Singer
Andy Singer
09 de ago. de 2023

I agree with a lot of what you wrote, Paul. I was right there with you when Boone was named manager, and we've been proven correct, sadly. Frankly, I think his best managing job was in his first two seasons, as he helped keep the clubhouse loose and guided the team through some tough injury situations. Whatever positive impact he had wore off after 2019, and I've seen no growth since.


I've always defended Cashman, but there are deep organizational issues going on here that lead me to believe that the team is better off with a different group leading the team. I still can't help but think that Hal is largely to blame here, and now that the dus…


Curtir
Cary Greene
Cary Greene
09 de ago. de 2023
Respondendo a

I agree with you here Andy, 100% and I've been sayting this exact thing for a LONG time too. Last season, when the Yankees ripped through the first swath of games on the schedule, we saw a glimpse of all that is good about Cashman, Boone and even Steinbrenner. Then they collapsed with the usual slew of injuries.


This season however, the narrative is very different. The decline of the Yankees has been a steady process and Cashman's offseason, hindered by his own poor decisions in seasons past and also by Steinbrenner's strange payroll management in which he splurges on a few stars and does little else has ultimately sunk the Yankees this season.


We're looking at the net effect…

Curtir

jjw49
09 de ago. de 2023

Your stats should be a red flag for Hal but the money keeps rolling in the valuation keeps going higher on Yankees and that's what he cares most about! Boone looks like a manager who know what's coming at the end of the season.

Curtir

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
09 de ago. de 2023

I wonder if what saved Boone from a suspension is that Laz Diaz is one of the worst umpires in baseball, so Manfredo is willing to cut Boone slack.

Curtir
Andy Singer
Andy Singer
09 de ago. de 2023
Respondendo a

Bingo. I think that Boone's tirade went too far, absolutely, and it was odd that the pitch that sent him over the edge was a perfectly placed strike. Boone should have been out of the dugout way earlier to argue.


However, Laz Diaz's performance was the most embarrassing aspect of that game, as it has been consistently for years. MLB should be ashamed about the way it manages its umpires.


The Yankees are not losing games because of umpires, generally speaking, but that game specifically was lost partly because of the umpire behind home plate.

Curtir

etbkarate
09 de ago. de 2023

Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio!

Curtir
Cary Greene
Cary Greene
09 de ago. de 2023
Respondendo a

The man was a part of 9 World Series teams. Gee. Maybe it's important to have a good center fielder? I'll shoot Cashman a memo - it may help.

Curtir
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