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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Quick Thoughts

June 9, 2024

***

Here are some quick thoughts from the weekend, thus far...


  • One of the biggest fears of many Yankees fans is that in the biggest moments, the Yankees come up small. This has been their pattern for many years. The big bats fall silent. The manager makes the wrong moves. The Yankees fall short. It's happening again...


  • The concern is that the Yankees won't be able to beat the very best teams - the ones they'll face in the playoffs. So far, in 2024, that's 100% true. Against the two best teams the Yankees have faced, the Yankees are 1-5 in six games. They lost 3 of 4 games to the Orioles and both games, thus far, against the Dodgers.


  • After last season, amid all the angst and upset with the Yankees' poor performance, and the promise that they would do a deep dive into what ails them, the big takeaway the Yankees shared with the fans was that they were going to... bunt more! They haven't. But, in the biggest moment of the year, the one time when a bunt would have given them the biggest chance to win the game, on Friday night, the team's worst hitter couldn't bunt. That is a problem. If you're going to claim to have a brand new strategy, when that strategy needs to work... it needs to work. It didn't.


  • It is clear that Juan Soto has been the difference maker on the Yankees. Without him, it simply isn't the same team. At all. If Juan Soto is out for any extended time, the Yankees could be in huge trouble.


  • I have said this for years, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton should never hit back-to-back. Good right-handed pitchers, especially good relief pitchers, can get them both out with the same type of stuff. Having them hitting back-to-back makes things too easy for opposing managers.


  • The Yankees bullpen is shallow and a weak spot on the team. Against the best teams (again) the weak bullpen is exposed. This needs to be addressed or the playoffs (which the Yankees should make) will be a quick stop for the Yankees (again).


  • When Aaron Boone used Clay Holmes for only 10 pitches on Friday night, it was an example of how he makes the wrong decisions. If given the chance to win a game, you win that game. The idea that Holmes was being overworked in that spot just isn't accurate considering two undeniable truths: (1) He had thrown only 10 pitches (2) he doesn't pitch three consecutive games (so he would have the next day off anyway). As it turned out, the Yankees got clobbered yesterday, even if there was the potential temptation before the game (in theory) to use him, it would have never come. In a big spot, with a shallow bullpen, Aaron Boone took out the best pitcher he had.


  • In the biggest games, Aaron Boone has never demonstrated the ability to think on the fly and to make decisions that put the Yankees in the best chance to win. In fact, the bigger the moment, the more tense the situation, the more he seems to rely on hope. Hoping that Giancarlo Stanotn would get a big hit, or Anthony Rizzo, or DJ LeMahieu, on Friday nightm when all three can (easily) be overmatched, is an example of this. I can't recall when Aaron Boone has made a bold decision in a big spot that helped the Yankees win a big game. Ever. (I am open to readers sharing examples of when this has happened.)


  • For the Yankees to be a playoff powerhouse, they're going to need to address the many weaknesses on the team. First, they have to hope Juan Soto is healthy. Next, they have to hope that Jasson Dominguez can come up and be not just an okay MLB player, but a very good one. Then they also need to address first base, third base, and the bullpen - not to mention second base, which is also a concern.


  • I feel badly for Gleyber Torres, this season was his chance to shine and get a huge payday. He has failed miserably in that regard. He's making fielding errors. His bat has not been there for most of the season. He hasn't done anything to make a team say, "Yes, there is a player who deserves a big time long term contract."

  • This is a make-or-break season for the Yankees. If Hal Steinbrenner complains about costs and the Yankees come up small, after showing so much promise, it will be clear what the team's priorities are - and it is not winning a championship. The Yankees can't continually talk big and then come up small. It is going to require some big time trades to address the team's weaknesses. This could be a special year, but if the Yankees start counting dollars, they won't win.


  • On a very positive note, Apple-TV deserves credit for making Friday night's game available to the fans in New York and Los Angeles. That was a bold move. It was the correct move. It was a move that considered the fans' needs. We don't see that a lot, if ever. Good for Apple-TV.


  • Regarding Soto's injury, let's not forget the following - Aaron Boone said he's been playing hurt for weeks. Last year the Yankees played Jose Trevino for months knowing he had a bad wrist. He needed surgery. Last year the Yankees played Anthony Rizzo for months - after he had a concussion. Once he finally sat, he never returned to the lineup. Jasson Dominguez complained of arm pain the first series he played in once he was called-up. He needed Tommy John Surgery. That's not a good track record - in fact, it's horrible. Remember, from above, the big take-away from the organization as they looked back at 2023 was, "We are going to bunt more."

  • There is still a lot of 2024 to go. This is a talented, but flawed team. A great owner would allow his general manger to make the moves needed to win. A great General Manager would be able to make the moves that makes the team demonstratively better. A great manager would be able to make the line-up, pitching, and in-game decisions to put his team in the best possibility to win games. Unfortunately, for the entire Aaron Boone Era, we haven't seen those three things coming together. Again, they can. They should. A championship cab be there for the Yankees in 2024, if they have the guts, the willingness, and the brains.


  • Let's Go Yankees! *** A note to bloggers, writers, media types, of all kinds, fans, talk-show callers, everyone... I LOVE that you read Start Spreading the News. Thank you! Please, if you use our ideas and content, please give credit to the site and the authors of the articles. It's only fair. Thank you!

20 Comments


Mike Whiteman
3 days ago

I better say this whole I can :) Boone did a pretty decent job last night. Good lineup, with Grisham batting fifth (!), swapping out Rizzo basically for Cabrera who homered. Pulled Gil at the right time and and replaced with the right pitcher (Ferguson), who got out of the inning. Pulled Ferguson at the right time and replaced with the right pitcher (Weaver), who held the lead. Turned over the game to Holmes for the save. He's not Casey Stengel, but did the job last night. Maybe we need to add "Boone watch" to our game summaries :)

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jeff
4 days ago

No team should be dependent on one player. Baseball is a TEAM sport. Last year's team shouldn't have been dependent on Judge being in the lineup and this year's team shouldn't be dependent on Soto being in the lineup. The teams that finish in first place at the end of the season are not necessarily the teams with the best starting lineups on paper, and are not the teams with the best 5-man starting rotation. It's the teams with the best DEPTH, it's the teams with the best ability to make up for the inevitable injuries that unfortunately WILL occur to key players over the course of a long 162 game season. The Yankees did not have that last …


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fantasyfb3313
4 days ago

no game thread yet and i have to get it out

WHY is Grisham batting 5th???? come on!! i am sorry but this is a move that screams we are not trying. it says to the opponent we are waving a white flag


WHOEVER made this call this is trying way too hard to get way too cute. FWIW i do believe this is Boone and THIS IS one of the moves that he makes that make it harder for his team to win


also FWIW, my lineup is

Volpe

DJ

Judge

Verdugo

Torres

Stanton

Cabrera

Grisham

Trevino

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fantasyfb3313
4 days ago

in truth the yankees actually have a VERY GOOD record against winning teams. YES they did lose 3 of 4 to Baltimore. lets remember those games were in Baltimore for one. two, those games were in the midst of the Yanks worst stretch of the year. they have found a much better rhythm since then!! Volpe had not readjusted to hitting leadoff. Judge was not yet hitting. much different team now. we won series vs Cleveland and Milwaukee who were both playing VERY well at the time. when we went to Minn they had just completed a LONG winning streak (yes i know we own Minn, but they had been ON FIRE)


so I disagree with you on this one.…


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fantasyfb3313
4 days ago
Replying to

yes i felt like i heard you correctly and i definitely was not trying to scream YOU ARE WRONG!!


but I Do BELEIVE if we have both Judge and Soto, without other injuries or changes, this team will DEFINITELY hold their own with the orioles or dodgers or phillies


i would like another quality / reliable bat (has to be in the infield so dominguez is gonna be limited in how much he could help unless there is an injury. that is if he is ready to help, but so far he looks like he could at least be a dangerous bat off the bench. i really wish they would have let him get a taste of some higher intensi…


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
4 days ago

For all the talk and the hope that Stanton is "back," his OPS+ is 111. This is his worst, ever, beside last year. It's basically his 2022 season (OPS+ - 112). NO ONE was happy with 2022 Stanton.


Again, I like Stanton. I'm a big fan, but he just does not get the job done - and for years and years and years, he bats behind Judge. He shouldn't be there. He should be anywhere near the #4 spot.

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jeff
4 days ago
Replying to

I am thinking maybe they can bring up Jasson Dominguez and have him PLATOON with Giancarlo Stanton at the DH spot. After homering in a two-hit game Saturday, "The Martian" upped the ante on Sunday with another jack and four knocks in the Triple-A RailRiders' 12-11 extra-inning win over the Norfolk Tides at PNC Field.

The game marked the third straight multi-hit contest for Domínguez, matching his career high in hits. So I think he may be ready.

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