The Yankees are healthy, but will it result in a Championship run?
NYY Sports Talk threw out a great scenario on Twitter the other day. They asked the “Boone Hating Mob” faction of Yankee fans if they would trade a full Yankee collapse if it guaranteed Boone would get fired. There were 16% who responded said yes!!! My advice to you is go cheer for the team in Queens, read a few baseball books, then get back to me. For the billionth time Boone is not why this team won’t win the World Series this year. As you can tell from my previous pieces I am team Boone. The guy isn’t perfect but he is a fine manager. Direct your frustration somewhere else.
After last nights nail biting 3-2 win over the RedSox (coupled with the Angels beating Oakland) the Yanks have 2.5 game lead over those pesky A’s for homefield in the wildcard game. It is essentially 3.5 because New York holds the tiebreaker. As I mentioned in an earlier column this team continues to be quite unlikeable. The 1 baserunner(at most) the first time through the lineup, the starters getting blown out too often, the shoddy defense like that 9th inning last night, Gary Sanchez garbage at bats, the general malaise of the team. I get exhausted watching this team unless it’s the rare blowout like the 1st game of the Toronto series last Friday. My scenario to our readers and listeners is this. If the Yankees losing to the A’s in the WC Game guarantees you the Red Sox DON’T win the World Series would you sign up for it? My answer is yes and here’s why.
For starters I just feel like this isn’t their year. Bill Madden wrote this in the Daily News a few weeks back. Other than the insane run they went on in May when Gleyber Torres came up they have been decidedly mediocre. It is just never easy with this team. The Red Sox are having the season many of us thought the Yankees would after they acquired Giancarlo Stanton. They were coming off losing game 7 of the ALCS, and acquired the NL MVP. The Dawn of a new Yankee Dynasty was upon us because the roster was much better than last years! Since game 1 in Toronto weird stuff has continued to happen. These are the reasons why I kinda want the season to be over.
The roster has been an in-flux hodge podge. As I mentioned previously losing Jordan Montgomery to TJ surgery really set back the starting rotation. The guy was a young, up-and-coming lefty starter who was continuing to blossom.(Rare in the Rothschild regime) The patchwork of fill ins(German, Losaigna, Lynn) all showed flashes, but were gradually uninspiring. Now of course every team, in every sport in the history of the world has injuries. The Montgomery one is not talked about enough. Then of course Torres, Sanchez, Judge, Didi, Chapman, and CC all got hurt. The replacements were meh(Shout out to Shane Robinson). Judge finally returned last night after being out since getting hit on July 26. Chapman may be back tonight. This had team roles constantly changing based on the organizations reliance on sabermetrics. Something was just off on a daily basis. Brian Cashman has worked hard to piecemeal things acquiring JA Happ, Lance Lynn, Chris Britton, and Andrew McCutchen. Other than Happ these moves all reek of throwing something at the wall in the hopes it sticks.
Sonny Gray has been hot garbage. The prime aged, experienced starter Brian Cashman acquired last year(who pitched really well with little run support when he joined the team) has been a black hole this season especially pitching in New York. If you can’t pitch in your home ballpark you are with the wrong team. Gray is nice, southern gentleman, seems universally liked by his teammates, is accountable that he has stunk, but is not a fit for New York. It is painfully obvious. This guy was supposed to be the # 3 starter, and instead got demoted to the bullpen. You can bet your mortgage Brian Cashman will be finding him a new home this winter.
CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner look old. Gardner hit his annual August swoon. CC is struggling right now, especially with his inability to throw his cutter inside to righties. These 2 guys are the defacto captains of this team. In August and September when needed most with key guys on the DL they haven’t answered the call. My guess is neither one of these guys will be back in pinstripes next season, but that is for another column on another day.
Luis Severino went from looking like the 2nd coming of Pedro Martinez to start the season to pitching like we expected Gray to pitch all season. He is a solid # 3 starter right now. When he pitches now I start by rooting for a shutout 1st inning, then hope he doesn’t get lit up until the pen comes in. April through June I rooted for double digit strikeouts, and shutouts. I counted his starts as automatic wins. Now I just hope they win when he pitches. Where has that “Ace” Sevy gone?
Gary Sanchez has been a disaster. This guy should not be batting .187 with 16 homers, and 45 RBIS. Yes he missed a significant chunk of time, but c’mon. What we saw in 2016 he has way too much talent to be this bad. He gives away at bats, his defense is putrid, and he seems obsessed with pulling long homers. If he gets hot great. Recharge, reload and try to improve with a fresh start next season. If he doesn’t I am open to discuss trading him because this is level of play is unacceptable.
Larry Rothschild. I mentioned him in my column about finding a villain (besides the manager) with this team that made more sense. This guy was forced on Aaron Boone by Brian Cashman. His inability to help Gray, and Sevy’s slump alone show he stinks. This guy better be fired 48 hours after the Yankees are eliminated. I will pay for his Uber.
The 2018 Yankees simply don’t have a championship vibe in my opinion. I have watched a lot of baseball in my life. The team does not scream “dominant” in any manner, shape, or form since that white hot stretch. Last year’s team, especially after they acquired Todd Frazier(starting the whole thumbs down movement) had swagger. This team has sleepiness. Just look at the way Aaron Hicks went after that JD Martinez double last night in the 8th. He looked like my buddy Nate in his rec league softball games (Nate would be someone you consider “softball guy”). The guy looks great, is totally ripped, is super talented, but only busts it when the dimes are watching if you catch my drift. I hate the Red Sox with every fiber of my being. My goal every spring training is either the Yankees win the World Series or the Red Sox don’t. This team is on the cusp of greatness. They just aren’t great this year. If this makes me a “bad” fan so be it. I really want this team to get humbled by a postseason defeat, work their butts off in the offseason, mature, make the necessary roster improvements(column breaking down forthcoming), and show up in Tampa in February a buzz saw. But only IF there is no parade in Boston.