Derek Jeter has much reason to be joyous after the birth of his latest child and much reason to lament over the lack of a playoff berth for the New York Yankees in 2023.
Yankees Never Found Their Rhythm in 2023
The Yankees Hall-of-Famer had a lengthy conversation with New York Post reporter Steve Derby and gave his two cents on where the team fell short this season, saying:
“It all boils down to consistency. It seems like they never really got on a roll. They played in a tough division. Baltimore surprised a lot of people,” Jeter said. “You go through a 162-game schedule when everyone’s gunning for you, which they always are when you play for the Yankees, there was not a level of consistency there that’s needed to get to the postseason.”
It was hard for the Yankees to build consistency with the plethora of injuries they sustained. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Rizzo were all banged up for 50 or more games. Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodon, and Luis Severino were all robbed of considerable time on the mound. And that’s just at the surface among their best players.
The Yankees hovered around .500 for much of the early portion of the season before reaching their apex at 36-25 in early June. Their slight ascent in the win column was short-lived. The injury bug, coupled with subpar play, caused them to go 10-14 in the month of July, spilling over into a nightmarish 10-17 month of August.
A 16-11 finish down the stretch was not enough to catch the 89-73 Toronto Blue Jays, who squeezed into the playoffs with the worst record among the qualifying American League teams.
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A Vital Offseason Will Determine Yankees’ Turnaround in 2024
The good news is that the Yankees are being proactive in their approach to return to winning. Owner Hal Steinbrenner announced that personnel changes are likely on the way. Aaron Judge has put pressure on management to up their game in the analytics department.
Several notable free agents are closely tied to the franchise, and management is one day closer to pulling off a deal for San Diego Padres star OF Juan Soto. The Yankees’ prospects are thriving in the minor leagues, and best of all, the roster has from now until March to recuperate from their ailments.
Jeter is best remembered for winning on the field, but even he knows what it’s like to watch from home in October, having missed the postseason three times in his 20-year journey. He understands what it takes to put a bad season behind him and return to playoff excellence. His analysis serves as a building block for the Yankees to do the same.