Perspectives: The Day Before
by Paul Semendinger
October 10, 2022
The big games begin tomorrow. Oh boy! Here we go!
The big news out of yesterday was that the Yankees have left Aroldis Chapman off the roster for the ALDS. I suspect this means that his Yankees' career is over. I applaud the Yankees, especially Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman, for making this gutsy move. Chapman missed a mandatory practice and they said, "See ya." That's the right thing to do. This sends a huge message that the Yankees are serious about winning.
I had written over the summer that it did not seem that the Chapman was focusing on baseball when he elected to get a tattoo and then , as a result, got an infection. I asked where the seriousness of purpose was. The Yankees were floundering. Chapman was pitching poorly, and that was the time, he thought, to get a tattoo? I wouldn't have been upset then if the Yankees had suspended him right then and there. He seemed to have lost his focus. Again, I applaud the Yankees for this tough stance. This is the kind of decision making I have been looking for for a long time. I want players focusing on the games and on the team. It seems that Aaron Boone is really promoting that. I like it.
I am inspired by Matt Carpenter's determination to be able to play in the ALDS. I love when players give it all they have. This is what I want to see from the players on the team I root for. I want them to be all-in.
Giancarlo Stanton has said that he can play the outfield. YES! That's also the right attitude. I wouldn't put him out there to start. Oswaldo Cabrera has earned the right to start in left field, but Stanton's willingness to get into the field is also a good sign.
These Yankees are showing heart. These are great signs. The Yankees are starting to show, on many levels, some heart and determination. I LIKE IT!
The Mets fell short by losing in the Wild Card round. The idea for this new round, a best of three, was for the better team (by record) to get home field advantage. That "advantage" didn't seem to work out all that well:
The Cardinals had home field advantage, they lost
The Mets had home field advantage, they lost
The Blue Jays had home field advantage, they lost!
This is the problem that baseball, and all sports have. They come up with new gimmicks. "This year we'll do this!" They explain how this new change is going to help the game and the competition. "Trust us, this will make the game better." Except it often doesn't. For this new format (which was exciting, to be fair), it was, "The away team will be at a huge disadvantage." Except that's not what happened.
Of course, this is a small sample size and we'll have to see how this plays out over a number of years, but the initial "disadvantage" did not, by any means, seem to be that... at all.
As for Buck Showalter, he got the Mets closer, but he didn't get them all the way there. For a first season, winning 101 games was a step in the right direction. But, in the end, the Mets came up short. For Showalter, he remains a manager in search of the ultimate championship. As they said back in Brooklyn... "Wait 'till next year." But, of course, I hope this year, and next year, and every year Buck will still be waiting if the choice is him or the Yankees and a World Series. I'd like Buck to be successful, but I want the Yankees to be successful more. Much more.
One last Buck note. He has not won a championship. That's true. He has never been able to get his team to the end goal. But, his record of success, as I noted yesterday, is undeniable. He has brought success to each team he has managed. Many of the teams he managed were in bad shape. He turned the teams around. See the following chart:
I hope Aaron Boone can bring the Yankees to the World Series and then he wins it. If he does, he will accomplish something that Buck Showalter never did. But, it also must be noted that Boone inherited a very good team. Boone did not have to do any of the heavy lifting Buck Showalter has done numerous times. Aaron Boone has kept a good team winning. That cannot be denied. He has had success. Lots of it. But Aaron Boone has not gotten the good team he inherited any closer to the World Series than they were the moment he was hired.
I'm not thrilled that Gerrit Cole is getting the Game 1 start for the Yankees, but I won't quibble about it. If he didn't get Game 1, he'd get Game 2. IN the end, it's no big difference. I just don't believe he is the first or even the second best Yankees' starter this year. I'd rather the Yankees go with their best. Here's a chart. You can decide who is the best among the four starting candidates:
I am getting excited about the game tomorrow night. This should be a great series. The Guardians have been playing great ball in the season's second half. They won more games than the Yankees in the second half and they had a better September. They are not pushovers.
For tomorrow's Tuesday Discussion, our writers will make their predictions for the ALDS. Of course, no one knows what'll happen. As they say, "That's why they play the games!"
Let's Go Yankees!!!