Yankees Perspectives – An Honest Look At The Current Yankees and Their Immediate Future
I am not enjoying the sequel to 2019’s Yankees injury fest. This is a story that gets old – real fast. Real fast.
I’m over it.
I’m over “Next Man Up.” I like the idea. I’m glad when it works. But I’m over it.
You know what I’d like to see with the Yankees?
“First Man Up.”
“Starting Guy Up.”
“The Player Who Is Supposed To Be The Starter Being The Starter”
Yeah, something like that.
I just don’t think it’ll happen. I think, with this squad of players, we are doomed to watching the same show year-after-year-after-year. Is there anyone that has any confidence that these players will somehow play a full season next year? Or the year after? Or ever?
I do not believe that a bunch of injury-prone players will somehow become less injury-prone as they enter and progress through their 30’s.
I’ll be blunt. It ain’t happening.
This is what we’ve got.
And it isn’t good.
It seems crazy to say this, absolutely crazy, but what the Yankees need to do going forward is start to rebuild for their next championship core. It’s time to begin to move on from this team. Yes, right now.
But, wait, slow down… don’t go crazy yet. Hear me out.
The 2020 Yankees (and the 2021 team), with the core talent they have, and the depth they have (which is what makes them able to “next man up”) have a team that can compete and possibly win a championship or two. The talent is there. The depth is there. I’m not saying, at all, that this is a second-division club.
I’m not saying that, at all.
We might still have some exciting Octobers in our immediate future.
This team, though, was constructed to be a long-term dominating force. That isn’t happening. While the Yankees might get fortunate and win a championship with this squad, the possibility of another dynasty is remote. It is unlikely. Or, dare I say, impossible.
The Aaron Judge Yankees will not win multiple championships. And while they might win, this year or next, without a radical change in personnel, they will not be a championship caliber team in 2022 or beyond.
The current Yankees are not on the precipice of a dynasty. They are on the precipice of being a second-rate ball club. Teams just don’t win regularly when their starters are out for extended periods. Back-up players are back-ups for a reason. It’s great to catch lighting in a bottle. It’s fun when it happens. And with the Yankees, it’s happened a lot due to their depth, but no matter how good a player like Mike Tauchman is, he’s not Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge. Teams don’t build championships around players like Mike Tauchman.
“Next Man Up” can be fun, but fans want to see the superstars. People stay in their seats to watch the future Hall-of-Famer. They are not riveted to see the .265 hitter who is over-performing for a short period. Kevin Maas was fun for a period. Shane Spencer too. Guys like that, though, were not long-term answers.
And, I am afraid, based upon their injury history, neither are Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, and, etc… The superstar core of this current Yankees team is fragile. That fragility is what will cost them any long-term success. It’s also what will make any short-term success also less likely.
That isn’t to say that these players are not trying, that they don’t care, or any of that. Some of the greatest talents never reached the heights of greatness because their bodies just wouldn’t let them perform at those highest levels for sustained periods. This is a knock on those players. At all. It’s just what it is. History states, clearly, that this core cannot stay healthy for extended periods. That has nothing to do with heart, desire, passion, or commitment. (In fact, one could argue that the sustained intense training these guys put themselves through might be what is causing them to break down.)
It just is what it is. These players, the core of the Yankees of today, are not players who can sustain the rigor of a full season. The 2020 Yankees, just like the 2019 Yankees were, and the 2021 Yankees will be, are composed of players that simply are not durable.
The current squad’s fragility is what will keep them for achieving any long-term success.
As much as we don’t want to admit it, the Yankees we are watching will never achieve the heights of greatness we all envisioned just a few years ago.
They might find a way to get a championship flag, but they won’t gather multiple ones. And because of that, it’s time to begin looking to the future.
In my next post, tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., I will demonstrate why the 1996-2000 Yankees were so successful. Then, next, on Monday at 4:00 p.m., I’ll outline the one critical factor the Yankees have to look at when making all of their personnel decisions going forward.
By – Paul Semendinger
Date Published – August 22, 2020