Yankees’ Aaron Judge has some harsh but true words for 2023 collapse

yankees, aaron judge

The New York Yankees‘ 2023 season can be aptly described as a perfect storm leading to a total collapse. Under the guidance of General Manager Brian Cashman and his advisory board, the Yankees built a roster that struggled to measure up against baseball’s elite.

Depth and Decision Dilemmas

A glaring lack of depth and an unsettling dependence on injury-prone players painted the narrative for a less-than-stellar campaign. While the Yankees boast vast resources and deep pockets, the key lies in not repeating past mistakes.

Steinbrenner’s Promise

When Hal Steinbrenner extended a nine-year, $360 million deal to the iconic Aaron Judge, it was more than just a contract; it was a commitment. Judge’s return was underpinned by the belief that the Yankees would pull all stops to amplify their roster.

While the acquisition of 37-year-old Josh Donaldson might not have been Judge’s vision of bolstering the squad, the Yankees didn’t shy away from flashing cash.

Judge succinctly summed up the year, branding it as “a failure,” a sentiment hard to contest.

“If I’m not standing here talking to you guys after a championship, it’s a failure,” Judge said. “After all of the work you’ve put in the offseason, training, preparation, coming out here on a daily basis, rain or shine, to play a game — it’s about bringing a championship back. That’s why we play. That’s why I’m here.

In the 2023 season leading up to the home finale, Judge played in only 102 games. Yet, he posted impressive numbers: a .266 average, .402 OBP, 35 home runs, 71 RBIs, and a 172 wRC+. To make the most of Judge in 2024, the Yankees’ batting order, especially when it comes to scoring, needs reinforcement.

Yankees Balancing Experience and Youth

Next season might see several Yankee prospects stepping up. Yet, the importance of blending youth with experience cannot be understated. They require reliable, seasoned players, especially when the game’s momentum hangs in the balance. Prioritizing offensive firepower is a must as the off-season approaches.

Judge’s vision when he inked his long-term deal with the Yankees was filled with championship dreams. Yet, the prevailing sentiment suggests the front office is unintentionally suppressing that aspiration. It’s been over a decade since Cashman sculpted a World Series-worthy team. Now, the Yankees find themselves on the cusp of a rebuild, aiming to realign their strategy.

“That’s why I came back to New York with this group of guys, to build something and get New York back to where it’s supposed to be. When you don’t show up and produce and get kicked out like this in the regular season, that’s a big failure right there. We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of internal talks, a lot of stuff we’ve got to get figured out.”

A Glimmer of Hope

At the heart of it, the Yankees possess both the financial muscle and the will to turn things around. The focus should remain on the well-being of their star players and ensuring that their high-profile signings deliver. With an external entity set to scrutinize the front office’s recent choices, fans are hopeful that the off-season will bring a much-needed directional change.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: