Do the Yankees have a manager problem?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
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The Yankees have been battered and bruised by injury over the past few weeks, but their supplements have done nothing to help support their aspirations of winning baseball games and making a push toward a World Series this year.

The Yankees’ Cold Streak in the American League East

Unfortunately, the Yankees are on an ice-cold stretch, losing five of their last six games and plummeting down the standings in the American League East. Despite a +101 run differential, the volatility and lack of hustle they’ve shown recently have certainly created negative narratives.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
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Managerial Perspective and Mid-Season Opportunities

The Yankees know they’ve been struggling, and manager Aaron Boone has been vocal in trying to calm the nerves and suggesting everything is still in front of them. He’s right; the season is long, and the All-Star break hasn’t been reached yet. The Yankees can reinforce the team at the trade deadline, get a few players back from injury, and potentially get back to their winning ways before they fully collapse.

Signs of Complacency Impacting Performance

However, there are signs of laziness from a team that needs to play at an elite level this season. Lack of hustle when running to first base, letting fly balls drop in the outfield, and not running home at full speed to get a run across the board are just a few recent lapses.

Boone has addressed some of these issues over the past few days, but the only player who was held accountable was second baseman Gleyber Torres, who was benched for two days before returning to the lineup.

“It feels terrible…but it’s all right there in front of us. This is not the time to feel sorry for yourself, it’s the time to try and get guys going.”

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
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Recent Games Highlight Ongoing Struggles

After a strong performance against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, the Yankees failed to score a run on Sunday, giving up two homers to Rafael Devers. This lack of effort is not what fans expect from a team with stars like Aaron Judge and Juan Soto at the top of the batting order.

Cultural Concerns and Management’s Role

Soto is getting a firsthand look at the Yankees’ recurring seasonal collapses, and if improvements aren’t made soon, he may perceive a culture that doesn’t prioritize winning.

DJ LeMahieu not hustling out a ground ball and Trent Grisham letting a flyball land unchallenged are outcomes Boone, known for his player-coach approach, has tolerated. While he has held discussions behind closed doors, a stronger message needs to be sent to the entire team instead of letting players get away with lackluster efforts despite earning millions and playing for one of the most storied franchises in sports.

Leadership and Accountability at a Critical Juncture

This is not the first time the Yankees have exhibited a lack of hustle and overall low confidence, even if players suggest the energy is still high. Boone needs to demonstrate leadership in these moments and not overlook signs of serious problems. General Manager Brian Cashman needs to find an impact player by the deadline to help spark the team since relying solely on Boone may not suffice.

Boone can’t be blamed entirely for the performance of his players, as he can’t personally bat for them or turn back the clock on their careers. However, ongoing issues like regression and persistent injuries won’t simply disappear with the return of players like Giancarlo Stanton or Clarke Schmidt. The Yankees need to show more fight and resilience through these challenging times.

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