Michael King stated that the Yanks’ clubhouse was thrown for a loop at the deadline last season. From acquiring Bader for Montgomery, which threw everyone off, to trading away some other key guys behind the scenes. Even trading away Joey Gallo, who was beloved by his teammates, likely led to some disgruntled attitudes. It’s tough playing a sport, as teammates are like family members, but at the end of the day, it’s a business. King stated that the deadline “threw off the locker room.”
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Baseball is a business, and sometimes moves are made that don’t take feelings into account:
It had already been revealed that Gleyber Torres was taken back by hearing that he was almost a Miami Marlin at the deadline. This comment from King certainly reinforces that fact and further proves that these players are human beings too. Though it seems like an excuse, I think King said this to shed light on what it’s like behind closed doors. The Yanks were on a historically elite pace and then put up one of the most dreadful team displays in August.
Another matter that could be taken into account was that the Yankees’ acquisitions of both Effross and Montas would end up getting injured, with Effross missing all of this upcoming season due to Tommy John recovery.
The Montas deal has been a tough one up to this point, with Lou Trivino being the most successful player in that piece so far. The Trade Deadline is always a crazy time for players, as their future can be up in the air at any given moment. However, it shouldn’t be the reason that the team fell off a cliff and came to a standstill in the postseason.
Harrison Bader is clearly a great guy to have around the team, and his skillset was on display during the postseason and brief period of the regular season he got to show out.
However, the Monty deal truly came out of nowhere — and he went on to perform exceptionally well with the Cardinals the remainder of the season. Montgomery was one of the more respected guys in the clubhouse, and his absence seemed to have taken the squad some time to come to terms with. It’s a tough situation, and these guys are all spending months at a time together, growing with each other.
Michael King also stated that the Astros remain the team’s kryptonite but that when they’re rolling, they feel unbeatable. It’s been that way for a few years now, and the team has got to clear that penultimate hump before getting to the grand stage.
This year will be a great year for the Yanks, and these next few weeks should provide further clarity about a variety of things. Whether that be the team moving on from certain pieces or position battles sorting themselves out, baseball is right around the corner.
I don’t take King’s comments as excuses, if anything, I think he and the squad are going to use it as motivation to do even better. It didn’t seem like he was saying, “we lost because of this,” but it seemed like he was simply talking about the struggles that come from a 162-game season. You play with the same guys for a vast majority of the year, and then over a few days’ worth, the team is different, and new pieces are coming in, with others going out. Baseball is a beautiful game, but it’s a business, and many decisions don’t take personal feelings and relationships into account.