The Tuesday Discussion: Biggest Disappointment
September 26, 2023
As the season winds down, this week we asked our writers to respond to the following:
For you, what was the biggest disappointment of the 2023 Yankees season?
Here are their replies:
Paul Semendinger - In a word, apathy. When the 2022 season ended, Brian Cashman praised the team's process. We all saw that it was flawed. Cashman said the process was sound. The Yankees then failed to address many concerns over the winter and throughout the season. When it was clear that the team was going nowhere and that it was time to sell at the deadline, the team did nothing. When players were mishandled (most notably Anthony Rizzo who played for nine weeks after suffering a concussion that was so bad that once they took him out of the lineup, he never returned, but he wasn't the only one, by far) there was no accountability. As other teams worked to address the mistakes they made, the Yankees said that they'd wait until after the season to look into the issues. This season, the Yankees put more games on more streaming services - in essence taking the team away from countless fans time and again. This was the year that the Yankees added an advertising patch to their iconic uniform. It became abundantly clear in the 2023 season that the Yankees are out of touch with so much. It also became clear that they do not understand the fans are frustrated, not just by the poor product they put on the field, but by the fact that the responses from all involved with the club, seems to say, loudly, "We don't really care." And that's a shame, because we, as the fans, and the people that support the team, actually do care. This off-season will be an opportunity for the Yankees to change this perception. I hope they do.
Lincoln Mitchell - Identifying the biggest disappointment of this very disappointing season is tough. I am tempted to say my biggest disappointment was the inaction at the trade deadline, but I have come to expect little from this front office. A thoughtful Yankees fan cannot be too disappointed or surprised by Aaron Boone continuing to be a terrible manager, Aaron Judge losing much of the season to injury, the left field plans not working out, DJ LeMahieu being no better than ok, Giancarlo Stanton continuing his decline or Luis Severino being injured and then pitching poorly because of an unreported injury for much of the year. However, I am disappointed by just how poorly all the young players hit. The exception is Jason Dominguez, but he got injured after only a few games. Anthony Volpe proved himself a valuable player, but not an impact hitter. The rest of the young players hit terribly. It is possible that Austin Wells, Everson Pereira or Oswald Peraza will one day become good league hitters, but they gave little evidence of that in 2023. An old team that cannot develop young big league hitters is in pretty bad shape and that is what the Yankees look like right now.
Ed Botti - We can look at player stats, and single out guys that played below the back of their baseball cards, and rightfully so be disappointed. We all know the names, the injuries and the performances; no need to go through all of that here.
As disappointing as that was, what disappointed me the most is that after getting swept by the Astros in the 2022 ALCS, during his annual and somber end of season press conference, Hal Steinbrenner look at the camera and stated “We get accused of being a stagnant organization sometimes. We’re not. We’re constantly evolving.’’ And then the 2023 Yankee ownership and management went off and continued with their famous “process”. You know, that infamous intangible and invisible process we are all supposed to trust!
They then played a diminished version of a 2022 repeat performance. Showing us all that they are in fact stagnant and behind the curve by extending the GM and Manager, and then throwing us a proverbial free agent bone, by signing an oft inured starting pitcher, and calling it a day.
So many holes were left unaddressed. So many players were retained that are and will always be underperforming assets, instead of showing them the door and evolving.
It was all nicely package and sold to us at a premium.
So what disappoints me the most is that the ownership and senior management continued in 2023 to insult our intelligence by putting a product out on field and happily collecting our money, knowing full well that the 2023 team had a very low probability of providing what Yankee fans wanted; Yankee Baseball. Winning Baseball. Not some Ivy League version of batting practice.
They continue to play us all for fools. We pay for steak and get a hamburger served on a silver platter with a fancy napkin.
Patrick Gunn - The Yankees' decision-making has been agonizing at the Major League Level. Boone is a factor in this from fundamentals to decisions, but the way they went about the roster construction and addressing this team puzzled me. No big swings or major changes throughout the season at, say, left field - which the team never addressed this season - or in the rotation when they had injuries or at the trade deadline when they were in the middle aside from adding two relievers. New York didn't make a bold move until late August when they finally decided to bring up the young players and by then it was too late. No, calling up Jasson Dominguez in July wouldn't have saved their season, but the Yankees could've been more decisive and assertive in making moves this season and they just kept it in neutral. The win drive just wasn't there after Aaron Judge got injured and I hope it comes back next season.
Cary Greene - My biggest disappointment happened before a single pitch was thrown. I didn't like Cashman's offseason plan in the least..
I felt like too much was riding on a few star players and one of them was Giancarlo Stanton.. It turns out he was a complete lemon as was Carlos Rodon and of course, Aaron Judge was also a bit of a lemon because you couldn't stay healthy for the bulk of the season.
Hal Steinbrenner clearly put a cap on spending, that may have been for the best.. I'm not sure Brian Cashman is equipped to really build a championship roster. If he were, he would have done so in the past 14 years but he hasn't.
Poor leadership from the top down in this organization, that was my initial feelings regarding this year's Yankees. I felt the same way last year and the year before that even. I'm not sure what else to say.
Ethan Semendinger - The biggest disappointment of the 2023 season was the Yankees lack of moves at the trade deadline. (No, I am not counting getting Keynan Middleton and Spencer Howard as moves.)
The Yankees were in a position to do one of two things to reignite the fanbase: either admit they were a failed product OR double-down and make a blockbuster. Instead they did neither. It showed- yet again- that the front office has questionable decision making and was a major (lack of) move that has really united the fanbase against the front office.