New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Yankee blame game is in overdrive, fans want answers

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge
USA Today

The New York Yankees have lost in the postseason, again! That in itself is not horrific, but the operative word is again. It’s become again and again, and Yankee fans want to know why.  After all, it’s the New York Yankees; expectations are high. The Yankees are supposed to win the division, go to the ALDS and ALCS, and go on to a World Championship in the World Series. For Yankee fans, that hasn’t happened since 2009.

Now that the Yankees have lost again, the blame game’s wheels are rolling at full speed, as fans try to nail down what happened and what went wrong and who or what to blame. The most significant question fans have; is how does a team with one of the lowest payrolls beat the Yankees at every stage of the season.

  • Injuries:  Injuries have played a big part in the New York Yankees’ recent woes. In 2019 they had 38 injuries to 30 players. In this coronavirus shorted season, it was almost as bad, with several key players going on the IL for short periods. In the case of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton long periods make them miss substantial field time.  Add to that the team went the whole season without co-ace Luis Severino and last year’s winningness pitcher Domingo German who was out all season on a domestic violence suspension.
  • Gleyber Torres: After the 2019 season, the Yankees failed to re-sign free agent Didi Gregorius. They instead, decided to go with the young Gleyber Torres, knowing that his defense at short was suspect. That turned out to be true, as Torres committed the second-most errors in baseball. Add to that the 2019 home run leader just didn’t perform at the plate.
  • Aaron Judge: Slugger Aaron Judge is the most recognizable star on the team and for the most part was a no show, particularly late in the season and in the postseason. This is not the first year that the big hulking body of Judge just can’t stay free of injuries. He started out the season, okay hitting 9 home runs. But when he came back from injury, he never hit another home run from August 11 to the end of the season. In the postseason ALDS, he hit .143 in the ALDS, even worse in the ALCS at .111, not exactly superstar numbers. If you really wanted to blame Judge, you could say he was useless, which wouldn’t be far from wrong.
  • Gary Sanchez: Gary Sanchez was another player that was a waste of space in the lineup, and his defense at backstop wasn’t stellar either. Unfortunately for Sanchez, he has taken most of the flack for the team’s poor performance. He did hit 10 home runs, most early in the season, but his play was so bad he ended up getting sat several times as the postseason ended.  The front office brass is now questioning if he will be the New York Yankee catcher next year.
  • Aaron Boone: When you have the highest payroll in baseball, do you hire a manager with absolutely no managerial experience at any level in baseball.  Yes, if you are the Yankees, you do. Although Aaron Boone brought the Yankees to the postseason every year, he has failed in each of those postseason contests. Many fans wonder what Joe Girardi or a Buck Showalter could have done with this team full of stars. There is no question that Boone has made some questionable decisions, especially in the postseason. Is he to blame? The Yankees have made it known that they have no plans on replacing Boone.
  • Brian Cashman: Everyone likes to blame Brian Cashman because he, for the most part, put this team together. The only problem with blaming Cashman is, yes, he hires, but he doesn’t hit or pitch for the team; the players do.
  • Hal Steinbrenner: The final person to blame is the owner; after all, he is responsible for everything. You can’t say he doesn’t spend money to make the team better.  The Yankees have the highest payroll in all of baseball. This past offseason, he put out for the highest-paid baseball pitcher in history.  Yesterday he addressed the Yankee fans.
  • “I’m very disappointed, obviously,” Steinbrenner said during a radio interview. “We invested a lot of time, energy, money into the team last offseason, and we all felt that we had a team that could win a championship, and we failed to do that. We didn’t even come close. So right now, at this point in time, all I can do is apologize to our fans. They deserved a better outcome than they got. Period. I mean, they just did.”

  • Team philosophy: Everyone knows that the New York Yankee is a team built on the home run. The only problem with that is that when they don’t hit home runs, they usually lose.  That is what happened in the ALCS. The Yankees only had 10 home runs in the five-game series, four of them in the first game that they won. But the Tampa Bay Rays, one of the teams with the lowest payroll in baseball, manufactured runs all season long. The Rays beat the pants off the Yankees in the regular season, then took the division from them and, ultimately, the postseason as well.

It’s tough to dissect what is wrong with the Yankees. They spend the money to win a championship. So is it the players, the coaches, or the management? Like most things, it’s probably a combination of flaws. For a team with probably the best lineup in baseball, maybe the team needs a new hitting coach. As far as the players’ health, the Yankees completely revamped that department, hopefully, they will see the fruits of that change this coming season. Probably, the biggest issue that must be addressed in this offseason is that the Yankees must fix their pitching.

The Yankees want no more of this blame game, they just want a 28th World Championship for their club and fans. They will work diligently this offseason, to make that a reality.