Heading into this last weekend, the New York Yankees were feeling pretty good. They had a dominant win on Friday night while the Blue Jays lost which put them a half game ahead for the second wild card spot.
The Yankees had Luis Gil and Gerrit Cole scheduled to start over the weekend so you felt pretty good as a fan that they’d win the series. Well, The Indians, who have been no-hit three times in 2021 alone, scored 22 runs in two games.
The powerful Yankees offense which flexed it’s muscles on Friday once again went cold and only mustered four runs total in those two games. Yes, that means that an under 500 club who has been no-hit three times outscored the Yankees 22-4 in two games over the weekend in the middle of a playoff race.
This series with Cleveland was this season wrapped up in one series for New York. One big step forward on Friday and two giant steps back over the weekend. Now, the Yankees have a less than 30% chance to make the playoffs according to the latest odds. Keep in mind, they were near 95% just a few weeks ago.
Yankees Need Change
Aaron Boone looked visibly frustrated after the game and called the two-games, “Terrible.” Outside of that response, we got the same cookie-cutter speech that we’ve seen all year. It was, ‘The players tried hard, the effort was good, the execution just wasn’t there.’
This Yankees team has all the talent in the world, but half the time, they play like they don’t have a care in the world. There is no fire with this team and they play like a team that’s massively up in the division race opposed to a team that’s fighting for their lives.
At the mid-way point in the season, Hal Steinbrenner blamed the players for the inconsistency. Yes, it is the players that are the ones who go out there every single day and play. However, it’s the little things that fall back on the manager and the coaches. The little things are what have killed them this year.
I hate to break it to Aaron Boone, but the effort has not been good with this team. The players don’t look like they try hard all the time. The only player you could say that gives it all in every single game and plate appearance is Brett Gardner.
There is no fire or motivation with this team and that falls back on Aaron Boone. Yes, the Yankees have dealt with injuries and Covid throughout the season. However, when you look at the players that have still taken the field, they shouldn’t be in the position they’re in.
Time to Refresh
A few years ago, the Yankees didn’t bring Joe Girardi back and brought in Aaron Boone. With Boone, you had a completely different managerial philosophy. You had an analytically driven team with a manager that cared more about protecting players feelings than saying it like it is.
Say what you want about Joe Girardi, but if he was managing the Yankees this year, you wouldn’t have had those cookie-cutter press conference responses and I guarantee you that players would be held accountable.
There is no accountability and that’s a massive issue. When there’s no accountability, the players have no reason to worry which has been a big problem for the Yankees. Gary Sanchez is the perfect example of this.
In the last couple of weeks, Sanchez made one of the worst plays I’ve ever seen as a catcher in a game against the Mets. I’m not exaggerating in saying that it might’ve been the worst play I’ve ever seen. Then over the weekend, he drops a crucial pop-up that leads to a seven run inning for Cleveland.
Think the Yankees catcher felt like he was going to get in trouble or benched for that? Absolutely not. When there’s no accountability, players let things like that roll off their shoulders. They know they will be given another chance.
Boone would rather give a million chances to Sanchez than bench him to send the message that this team needed. I’ll say this about Brian Cashman, he did his job this year at the deadline. He gave the Yankees more tools (Outside of the human garbage can Andrew Heaney) to win and they still couldn’t do it.
Boone might be the nicest guy in the world, but it’s time for a new look. They need someone with fire and not occasional fire towards the umpires. They need someone who will lay into his team if they are not playing up to their standards. It’s clear that Aaron Boone isn’t that guy.
Will they do anything?
My biggest fear is that Hal Steinbrenner will not do anything after this season. I have a great fear that they will come out and blame the players and not change anything with the Yankees staff.
Assuming they go on to miss the playoffs, there is no reason to keep Boone as the manager. Could it be slightly unfair considering the fact that he’s not playing? Maybe, but in professional sports, when the players don’t play up to their abilities consistently, the manager/coach is on the hook.
It’s time to send a message. The Yankees are now going to be 12 years removed from their last World Series championship. What they’ve done has clearly not worked and it’s time for some accountability. Enough is enough.