Category Archives: The Owner

JUDGE RETURNS! But more needs to be done and a LF option is off the market. What about Rodon for rotation?

He is back! Aaron Judge will be a lifetime Yankee. 9 yrs. $360 MM. No trade clause. Expect him to be named captain as well.

Until a few days ago, the Yanks were still at 8/300 then 8/320 but with the Giants offering a 9th year, Judge and Hal Steinbrenner had a conversation. Judge really wanted to stay a Yankee, Hal really needed him back and so he got the extra year and $$.

The Padres tried to sweep in and offer a bigger deal at the last minute. Some say 10 yrs/and $400-410MM. But Judge wanted to stay a Yankee and needed to see fair market value and then give the Yanks a chance to match which he thought was fair, which they did.

I think of things on a couple of ends. For Judge, it is a chance to cement his legacy. An iconic player like a DiMaggio, Mantle or Jeter who is great for only one team, and that team is the most iconic in baseball. To go into the HOF as a lifetime Yankee. To have #99 forever on the wall in Monument Park. To be mentioned in the same breath as those Yankees whose numbers are retired.

Not only that but think of the endorsements Judge gets in NY. No offense to San Francisco, but Madison Avenue is in NY. Commercials, magazine covers, advertisements. That is just to name a few outside ventures that could bring Judge more money.

For Hal, marketing as well. How do you sell your team without its franchise player? Not only the face of the Yankees, but one of the top 10 if not the #1 face in the game itself? The Yankees had about 3.14 million fans come to Yankee Stadium last year. Without Judge, what would 2023 be? Would they lose 600,000 in attendance? 1 Million? Parking money? What about the YES network’s rating? The price of commercials on the YES network? Souvenirs? EVERYTHING would go down. Far less revenue.

MLB network surmised that in the last few weeks of the season, in which the Yankees had the division wrapped up and were playing Pittsburgh and Baltimore, that the Yanks still got $40MM more than usual because the fans came out and filled the Stadium because of Judge’s HR chase.

They needed each other. The deal had to be done. Imagine if free agency were around in the old days. Imagine the Yankees losing Joe DiMaggio right after WWII or Mickey Mantle after his triple crown season of 1956.

Yes, the last few years could bite the Yankees in the ass. But they couldn’t let Judge go. Judge wanted to stay. The Yankees NEEDED him to.

I am happiest for the little kids who wear Judge’s number. Remember the little boy in Toronto gifted a Judge HR ball and who met Judge? Remember his reaction? Now think how heartbroken he would have been if Judge departed. We are so happy when we get a great free agent. We forget how heartbreaking it can be on the other end, especially for a youngster. I still remember how I felt in 1974 when Bobby Murcer was traded to SF for Bobby Bonds.

But there is still a lot of work to be done and I am eagerly awaiting the Yankees next move. They are heavily involved in trying to get Carlos Rodon. I have advocated getting Rodon (27 wins and ERAs of 2.37 and 2.88 in the last two years) to make the rotation top notch. Cole/Rodon/Severino/Cortes/Montas. And you still have Schmidt and German in long relief if not traded to fill another need.

Speaking of that other need, the Yanks still need a LF. If you sign Rodon (looking for six years at $30mm per) and are then able to trade Schmidt or German, then they could be included in a deal with Pittsburgh for Bryan Reynolds. Benintendi, Conforto and Nimmo are still out there.

One guy that could have filled LF is Masataka Yoshida. He was posted this morning by Japan but went quickly even though there was a window for him up to January 20. Boston got him for $90MM over 5 years with a $15.4MM posting fee.

What would my offer to Judge be?

Like most fans, I was surprised that Texas went to a five year/$185MM deal with Jacob deGrom. I wasn’t surprised that deGrom, the victim of no run support with the Mets for so long, departed. He won back-to-back CYA with a total record of 21-17 despite unreal ERAs. He doesn’t even have 100 wins in his CAREER due to lack of run support. Most predictions had him leaving. But 5 years for a 34-year-old who has been hurt the last couple of seasons seemed and seems too much. Most predictions were in the 3-year range. When healthy, deGrom is one of, if not the best, pitcher in baseball. But he hasn’t been healthy lately.

Which brings me to Aaron Judge. What is he looking for? I don’t like to deal in rumors, but rumors are the Yanks’ initial updated offer is 8 years and $300MM. That is $37.5 MM a year, which would made Judge, by AAV (average annual value) the highest paid position player by $2MM more than Mike Trout. That seems like a fair deal.

But does Judge want a ninth year? Judge turns 31 next spring. It is fair to assume that after 4 or 5 years that his production would decrease. Heck, it may decrease immediately. How does he replicate 2022? So how much $$ and how many years is he looking for?

If someone (looking at YOU, San Francisco) wants to give Judge 10 years, $400MM, the Yankees probably wish Judge well. They can’t go there, especially when you have the contracts of Cole and Stanton to deal with. (I won’t even get into trying to dump Donaldson’s deal).

So, what kind of compromise could be had to keep Judge in the Bronx? Something that would be fair to both sides but take declining ability into account?

Here is what I would propose.

He becomes Yankees’ captain. I don’t know how important that would be to Judge, but to his teammates, it is like he is captain already, so no biggie there.

With the captaincy, comes a no-trade clause. Simple enough, you don’t want to trade your captain, the face of the franchise.

Ok, to the money.

First 3 years. Ages 31-33. $45MM a year. My offer is front-loaded. This enormous amount makes Judge the highest paid player in the game, at least for now, anyway.

Next 3 years. Ages 34-36. $38MM a year. As of now, that would still have his AAV higher than any position player in the game. Things could change in the future, but still…

Last 3 years. Ages 37-39. $30 MM a year. This gives the Yankees some financial flexibility to get pieces around Judge, whose numbers are sure to be significantly lower as he nears the end of his career.

This adds up to 9 years and $339MM, beating out the 8 yr/$300MM offer supposedly on the table. It still has an AAV of $37.66MM over the nine years, still higher than Trout’s, still making Judge the highest paid position player by AAV and front-loaded to a) made Judge the highest paid player in the game as of now and b) give the Yanks some breathing room at the end of the contract.

If Judge doesn’t like that deal, then as much as I want Judge to stay in NY, I would have to move on. I don’t know what Judge wants in terms of ego, years or money. I sincerely hope he stays. Him leaving would be not only a baseball but a marketing blow for the Yankees. It would be like Joe DiMaggio leaving right after WWII or Mickey Mantle leaving around 1960. Devastating.

But how much is too much? There has to be a limit. If I were Hal Steinbrenner, the proposal above is what I would come up with. I think it would be more than fair.

What do you think?

After hopefully signing Judge for that amount, I offer Carlos Rodon a 5 yr deal at $140MM. $28MM a year. I don’t know if Rodon wants $30MM a year. You may need to go 5/$160MM? But a front four of Cole, Rodon, Severino and Cortes (and hope Montas comes around) is a very strong rotation. By the way, of that front four, guess which one of the four had the highest ERA last year? It was Cole.

I also am intrigued by Bryan Reynolds of Pittsburgh asking for a trade. The Yanks do have a CF in Harrison Bader, but I would look into this. Bader or Reynolds could be moved to LF. Although better in CF, I would move Reynolds to LF. Bader is just too good defensively in CF to move him. Reynolds is a switch-hitter. Turns 28 in January. Signed through 2023, arbitration eligible in 2024, free agent 2026. So, he’s locked in for a while. The Yanks have been interested in him in the past. His contract for 2023 is only $6.75MM, which is far less than the Yanks would have to pay to bring back Andrew Benintendi, or go out and get Matasaka Yoshida, Michael Conforto or Brandon Nimmo. What would it take to get Reynolds? I offer #5 prospect Everson Pereira (who would be without a future in NY if you have a Judge/Bader/Reynolds outfield), #6 prospect Trey Sweeney (the SS would be superfluous in NY since you have Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera) and because you are giving up your #5 and #6 prospects, and because by losing Reynolds, Pittsburgh needs an OF (besides the prospect in Pereira), I throw Hicks into the deal and eat some of Hicks’ contract. Reynolds, by the way, has a 162-game average of .281-24-79 with an OPS+ of 127. 28, switch-hitter, my only concern is how he’d handle moving to LF in order to keep Bader in CF. But cost-wise? Cheaper than Benintendi, Yoshida, Nimmo or Conforto.

Trevino wins Platinum Glove.

Besides his Gold Glove for best defensive catcher in the league, Jose Trevino has won the Platinum Glove as best defender in the AL period.

One thing I read that worries me a bit. Justin Verlander apparently was quoted as saying that the Yankees are dinosaurs when it comes to free agency. That they are behind the curve. I guess he means that there are new methods to it and that the Yanks are stuck in the 1977 or 2009 times? I don’t know. But a disturbing read nonetheless.

Notes from Boone/Cashman press conference




Since I’ve been out on disability for a while, I was able to watch the Boone/Cashman press conference yesterday. Here are a few takes from it.

Since everything revolves around Aaron Judge, they would like a deal sooner rather than later. Nothing would be as bad as being scorned and then having no backups to fall back on. Cashman denied any friction with Judge from this spring’s negotiations.

Neither thinks a drastic retool is necessary. They think the Yankees would have been far more competitive in the ALCS vs. Houston if LeMahieu, Benintendi and Carpenter were healthy. I can agree there. Judging by their comments about Benintendi’s and Carpenter’s injuries, it appears that they will be reaching out to both of them to see if they can get both back.

One thing that concerned me was their defense of Josh Donaldson. Now if anyone were on the trading block, neither Boone nor Cashman would be tipping their hand on that. But to state that Donaldson, 37 next month, underachieved offensively but still has something in the tank goes against everything we saw this year. He looked cooked. But with Donaldson’s contract being horrible, I guess they have to hope. They did think Donaldson deserved to be among the three Gold Glove finalists at 3B, though.

SS appears to be a competition next spring training. IKF could still be there but will be pushed by Peraza and possibly Volpe. Oswaldo Cabrera figures in here too. Peraza was described as impressive in his short 18 game stint at the end of the season. Other terms used for him was that he needed to improve and develop last year (done) hence not an earlier callup. Jack Curry, on the YES network, mentioned that IKF was a polarizing figure to the Yankees fanbase much as Sanchez was. Boone and Cashman were defending IKF at the presser, stating that IKF (as a bridge) did everything that was expected from him.

They would like Anthony Rizzo back. Rizzo will opt out of his $16MM deal, but the question is will he accept a qualifying offer of $19.65MM or go for more? Or accept more years at less than the qualifying offer? (2 yr/$18MM per). But the Yanks hope to work something out with him.

To no surprise, the Yanks WILL pick up Severino’s $15MM team option. One more rotation piece could be in play. It could be retaining Taillon (a free agent) or going elsewhere. After the front three of Cole, Cortes and Severino, there still is Schmidt, Montas and German even if Taillon goes, but you know what they say…. you NEVER have enough pitching.

The feeling is that Stanton was playing through something at the end of the year. I feel the same way. His batting average after June 1 was Gallo-like.

Cashman’s contract actually expired October 1. He wants to return, and Hal wants him back, so it is like Cashman is working pro bono as of now. But you figure something will be worked out soon there.

I wrote down notes haphazardly while the conferences were going on, but there is a quick synopsis for you.

UPDATE: One thing I didn’t like: From the NY Post: In other bits of info from Cashman’s press conference, he said he wouldn’t discuss trading players but noted that outfielder Aaron Hicks would be back and that the team felt he still had something to offer. Really? Ugh. But then, if he is on the market, they don’t want to say anything hurting Hicks’ trade value (which is probably low enough already).

Other things I came across:

A sad state of affairs. Graig Nettles states that the Yanks stopped inviting him to Old-Timer’s games and events some five years ago and he doesn’t know why. It’s a shame. Nettles should have a plaque in Monument Park (#9 is already retired for Roger Maris and I don’t think Nettles deserves that honor, but a plaque? Definitely). Apparently, someone in the front office has it in for Nettles, but who?

One tweet on Twitter accuses the Yanks of being more of a corporation than anything else, including a baseball organization. Looking at how they have the YES network, are involved with an Italian soccer team, have the Pinstripe Bowl, were in negotiations to play regular season games in France (and remember they played in England recently, also Japan) I have to wonder if that person is correct, and if so, that could be a scary thing. After all, I remember the CBS years, where the Yanks were not the priority of a corporation, but just part of it. You would like it to be 100% baseball. Does this explain the fan base’s exasperation with the owner and the front office? Or some of the postseason failures of recent times? After all, Hal is more corporate than the old man was as far as divesting his interests (or so it appears). And the last time the Yanks won, or even went to the WS, the old man was still alive (although much diminished in capacity). Hal’s track record does seem more corporate and bottom line than baseball oriented, and is that a problem and a cause of the postseason disappointments?

Finally, another Japanese player few have heard of to keep an eye on. Yesterday I mentioned RHP Koudai Senga.

Now, Masataka Yoshida. If the Yanks are not able to bring back Benintendi, Yoshida has many of the same skill sets as Benintendi. He is a lefty hitter. He turns 30 next July. He hit .336 with 21 HR and 89 RBI in Japan this season. His power would probably drop in the USA but then again, Benintendi only had five HR this season. Like Benintendi, a contact hitter. Benintendi had 52 walks and 77 strikeouts while hitting .304. Yoshida had 82 walks and only 42 strikeouts. Yoshida has hit .326 in Japan and has 427 walks to 307 strikeouts. He has had four seasons of 20 or more HR (which would be what here? 12-15?). If you take Yoshida’s career stats in Japan and divide by five, his average season in Japan comes out to something like .326-27-95 over 156 games. Taking into account the tougher MLB competition, could he hit .280-15-70 here? Be Benintendi-like for a cheaper price? Be a backup consideration if the Yanks can’t sign Benintendi? Just throwing his name out here because until recently, I hadn’t heard of Yoshida (or Senga) either. But most of us haven’t heard of these Japanese stars who could be MLB-bound. So just passing his name out there and informing you (and me).

Baseball Thoughts.

Game 3 of the WS was postponed last night and will be played tonight, weather permitting. The series is tied at a game apiece.

So, a few thoughts in the meantime.

First off, I won’t post anything regarding free agency until it happens or there is a great certainty that it will happen. Reading all this conjecture about Aaron Judge going to SF, the Dodgers, staying with the Yankees, is all bullshit. When you read predictions about who is going where and for how much each year, what percentage of those predictions is actually accurate? Answer: Not many. So, until something happens, I will do my best not to spread unfounded rumors.

Justin Turner of the Dodgers won the Roberto Clemente Award for community service. The Yankees’ nominee was Jose Trevino.

A couple of managerial decisions have been made, with the biggest surprise probably being Bruce Bochy (3 WS rings, future HOF) coming out of retirement to manage Texas.

The Yanks will be keeping Aaron Boone as manager, and most likely Brain Cashman as GM as well. I think the retention of Cashman (and by retaining him, he’d retain Boone) is tied into the Judge situation. You don’t want a novice GM trying to work out the details of trying to re-sign Judge, whose contract could be not only very expensive, but also very involved and intricate.

Reports are that Boone & Cashman will return.

Remember in the Godfather series that Tom, the character played by Robert Duvall, was an adopted son who was the Corleone family’s consigliore? As long as he didn’t go against the family (like Fredo) … he was in.

It seems like Brian Cashman is the Steinbrenner family’s “Tom”. Despite a long track record of playoff appearances but no WS appearances (can’t take the next step), it appears as if Cashman will be back. As for Aaron Boone, Hal Steinbrenner has indicated he will be returning also. Boone just finished the first year of a three-year extension.

We will see what kind of changes happen this offseason. What kind of changes there are start with whether Aaron Judge will be back or not.

But organizational changes? The way of thinking? Structure and organization? Things not reliant on whether a player stays or leaves? That doesn’t seem to be changing, and that is a problem. After an embarrassing sweep by Houston, in which the Yanks didn’t look competitive (and they didn’t look competitive all year vs Houston), you keep things the same? Ugh. You can look at other years in which the Yanks were swept. Some that come to mind are 1922, 1963, 1976, 2012 and how they looked outclassed in each one. In some (1922, 1976) the Yanks rebounded to win the WS the next year. In others, it was a sign of an aging, deteriorating team (1963, 2012) that soon wouldn’t make the postseason at all.

The Yanks have to look at which way they are going. Two Yankees’ legends, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, differed in their opinions. Rivera thought Boone should be let go. Jeter was happy Boone was returning. Of course, maybe Derek was just being nice. But then, Jeter never fired a manager, retaining Donnie Baseball during his whole tenure as Marlins’ CEO.

It has been written that if Boone were let go, other teams would jump at him. True. He has led all five of his teams to the postseason. But it seems that he is only the third best manager in his own division, maybe even worse than that. The postseason is a different breed than the regular season, and Boone’s postseason decisions have been questionable.

The Yanks started 2022 61-23. They finished 38-40, then were 3-6 in the postseason. So, after 61-23, including the postseason, they went 41-46. Under .500. Not for a month. But for 87 games. That is not a blip on the radar. That is the sign of a deeper problem.

Which makes people wary about the retention of Cashman and Boone. The gap between the Yanks and Houston has widened, but it appears that cosmetic, and not major (of course, if Judge departs, that would be major change) changes would occur because of retention. It also appears that Hal doesn’t want to take any risks necessary to make the Yanks better. We’ve known that he is more of a bottom-line kind of guy. Does he have the gravitas to go outside the box?

We are spoiled as Yankees fans, I admit that. Other teams would be happy with making the postseason some 90% of the time over the last twenty years with a WS title. Maybe Hal is content with just having a good team. We want titles.

But as mentioned on Michael Kay’s show, the Dodgers spend a lot but since 1988 have ONE title, and that was in the Covid-shortened 60-game season of 2020. 111 wins this year meant nothing to them. The postseason has become a crapshoot tournament, watered down by MLB.

One thing the Yanks can do is to cut BACK on the analytics. Paralysis by analysis, as was also said on Michael Kay’s show. Some is good, but is there too much? Based on some decisions made, yes. Go by what you see. Go by your experience and your gut. You are overanalyzing.

But this retention reeks of same old, same old. And we know what Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

One last note: A couple players declared free agency, but these were the AAAA types at SWB like Ron Guzman, Josh Bard, Tyler Wade and Jacob Barnes.

UPDATE: and whoever it was that came up with the bright idea of showing 2004 Red Sox clips to “motivate” the Yanks into coming back from an 0-3 hole needs to be fired. Members of that 2004 team were disgusted and sickened (like Jeter).

ALCS Game 3. Offensively challenged Yanks on the brink after 5-0 loss.

The fat lady isn’t singing, but she is warming up after a 5-0 loss to Houston yesterday put the Yanks down 3 games to none in the ALCS.

In all of MLB history, only one team has come back from an 0-3 deficit. As Yankees fans are too painfully aware, that was Boston against the Yanks in 2004.

I am one of many criticizing some of Aaron Boone’s moves. Twitter is full of them, and when Yankees’ broadcaster Michael Kay is LIVID at Boone’s moves …. well, Houston, we have a problem.

Yet ANOTHER lineup change for the Yankees before the game. Doesn’t it always seem, after five years, that Aaron Boone never can find the right formula and STICK WITH IT? It’s obvious that Matt Carpenter isn’t right (although he finally got a hit in the ninth inning), but Boone batted him FIFTH? (And remember last year in Boston, Boone batted Gallo cleanup!) Instead of sticking with Peraza’s glove at SS, he went back to Stanton in LF (LF in Yankee Stadium is no picnic) and put Cabrera at SS. The constant lineup changes appear to be clueless panic moves now, making it seem like Boone is grasping at straws.

Fans are now demanding a change. I hear it talking to them, feel it myself, and read it online. And some of it is from the broadcasters on your OWN NETWORK. The same old, same old. And just changing what seems to be a push-button manager taking orders from the front office, GM, analytics people won’t work if all you are going to do is to hire another push-button manager to take and make the wrong decisions from an inept front office. There needs to be a change from the top down. That would not only include Boone, but Cashman (been there some 25 years), Levine and maybe even Hal himself (that won’t happen, but Hal, can you show a little fire? Are you still alive?).

Otherwise, next year will be like all the others. The same old, same old. The Yanks are hitting .156 this postseason. They survived hitting .182 vs Cleveland. They are hitting .128 vs. Houston. The Yankees have had six or less hits in a game now for TEN STRAIGHT POSTSEASON GAMES. Think about that. They have hit .159 in that span. Their modus operandi for hitting isn’t working in the postseason.

The Yanks got 3 hits last night, two in the bottom of the ninth. Feeble. Some things you can’t control, like injuries to LeMahieu and Benintendi. But you don’t see any adjustments in batter’s approaches.

Meanwhile, and getting back to front office decisions, in the NLCS, the Phillies are up 3 games to one on the Padres. The Phils are pounding the baseball. Have you noticed something there? Kevin Long is the Phillies’ hitting coach. Does that name sound familiar? He was the Yankees’ hitting coach from 2007 to 2014. The last time the Yanks won a WS, in 2009, Long was the hitting coach. The Phils’ manager is Rob Thomson, who took over for Joe Girardi and who has done a masterful job. When the Yanks let Girardi go, they got rid of his coaches too. Hmmm. Maybe they are getting rid of the wrong people. Maybe they should start AT THE TOP.

Looking at the postseason here, and my grades from a few weeks ago, I had mentioned that the final grade for the front office and manager was still to be determined, based on a few things. I originally gave a C, with it being an F if they didn’t re-sign Judge. Forget that now. It’s an F, no matter what.

In the second inning, with two out, a flyball was called for by Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge. Replays showed Bader clearly calling for it, and the CF has the right of way. But neither heard the other and Bader dropped it after shying away from the 6’7″ Judge at the last moment. Who wants Judge running into you? Starter Gerrit Cole then gave up a 2-run HR that hit the top of the RF wall and bounced over. The way the Yanks have been hitting, 2-0 felt like 20-0.

In the sixth, Cole loaded the bases with no one out. Boone went to Lou Trivino. All three inherited runners scored. 5-0. Game over. For all intents and purposes, season over.

Boone has managed five seasons, one of which was the 60-game Covid season of 2020. He’s had years of 103, 100 and 99 wins. But it still seems like he is overwhelmed by the postseason, getting outmanaged by Kevin Cash, Alex Cora, and now Dusty Baker.

3 hits. 11 strikeouts (making it 41 for the 3 games so far in the ALCS). If there are more lineup changes, I don’t think I want to know. One thing I do see. Without D.J. or Benintendi, the Yanks don’t have a true leadoff hitter. You wonder if even those two are true leadoff hitters.

Cole (LOSS) 5+ IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 W, 7 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP
Trivino 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
German 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K.

Einstein’s theory of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Meanwhile, losses to Houston (I hate the Astros) in 2015, 2017, 2019 and it appears, 2022. If things don’t change, the same or worse will occur in 2023.

CHANGE. Not cosmetic change, but MAJOR CHANGE.

Game 132. Lead down to 5 after 9-0 loss.

You don’t know what to write anymore. A 15 1/2 game lead is now down to 5. Tom Petty’s song “Free Fallin'” keeps playing in your head. From 61-23 to 79-53. 18-30 in their last 48 games, and as much as you want it to stop, it isn’t.

Anthony Rizzo had an epidural for his back. He’s out for this whole Tampa Bay series. During the game, an embarrassing 9-0 loss, Andrew Benintendi hurt his wrist, saying he “felt something pop.” X-rays were negative, but an MRI is forthcoming. Don’t be surprised if he is out a while, maybe for the season.

Meanwhile you can’t win if you can’t score, and the Yankees’ offense right now looks like I’ve been transported back to the Horace Clarke/Gene Michael/Jake Gibbs days. Ugly. The Yankees got just five hits last night.

It’s hard to pitch when you have no margin for error.

For six innings, Domingo German was really good. The Rays got a run in the fourth because Josh Donaldson made two errors on back-to-back plays. The Rays would have had another run except that Oswaldo Cabrera (who replaced the injured Benintendi) threw out a runner at the plate.

It stayed 1-0 into the seventh. In the seventh, German made his only mistake, giving up a 2-run HR. 3-0, and you knew it was over then. The way this offense has collapsed, you knew they were not coming back.

Then the Rays got six runs in the eighth off of Greg Weissert and Anthony Banda (you are forgiven for saying “Who?”). Who’d have thought, on September 2, in the middle of a pennant race, that Weissert and Banda would be on the mound for you. That says a lot of where the Yanks are right now.

Then the ultimate ignominy last night. Marwin Gonzalez on the mound to get the last out in the eighth.

Embarrassing. And I’m trying to be nice about it.

Let’s face it. No matter what happens from here on in, heads should roll. Hal Steinbrenner has been far too quiet. Show a little anger at what is happening Hal! Instead, he’s been too busy buying an Italian soccer team.

Yankees’ fans on the Internet made themselves known yesterday. If you went on websites, blogs, Twitter, etc. they were all wondering why rookies Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza were not in the lineup. Bring them up only to sit? Keep guys like Hicks in the lineup? Yankees Universe was NOT happy when that lineup came out.

For the sake of integrity for this blog, some numbers that Michael Kay alluded to on last night’s broadcast. You can’t ignore this. We have been seeing this every day.

LeMahieu (toe problem) 10 for 69 since Aug. 8. .145. NO extra base hits.
Stanton by month: April .269; May .301; June .176, July .156, August .130. 0 for 3 last night, 3 strikeouts.
Since June 1, Stanton is hitting .159. That is Gallo-like bad. Achilles problem.
Torres .186 since July 13. 6 walks. 50 strikeouts.
Hicks starting with 2nd game of a DH on July 21. .155, NO extra base hits.
Donaldson has pretty much been in the .220s all year.
Higashioka is at .191.
Even Rizzo, despite 30 HR, is only at .225.
Marwin Gonzalez doesn’t play much. But he’s 0 for his last 29.

If a team hits, you can carry someone like Isiah Kiner-Falefa. This team is hitting .239. That makes IKF’s lack of power stand out more despite his .261 batting average.

Those numbers are one reason the fans were upset at the lineup last night. Granted Cabrera went 0 for 3, and Peraza, in his MLB debut, struck out, but give the kids a chance. They can’t do much worse than what has been going on.

I don’t know. Whatever the hitting coaches are telling these guys, it isn’t working, or some guys are stubborn and aren’t listening. Maybe some guys are hurt more than what is being let on.

One last thing before the recap. The MVP thing. When was the last time Ohtani played a meaningful game? One that had pennant race implications for his team? The Angels were out of the race by the end of June. Take Ohtani off the Angels and they are still a crappy fourth place team.

Since the All-Star Game, Aaron Judge is hitting .321 with 18 HR. Of course, other teams are and have been pitching around him based on what the rest of the lineup has NOT been doing. While the ship is sinking, the one lifeboat in the Yankees lineup has been Judge. The award is for the most VALUABLE player. Not Player of the Year, Decade or Century. Ohtani is great. Granted. But look at the numbers. Who right now is more VALUABLE?

Ok, enough.

Recap. The Yanks were shut out on five hits. They struck out 13x.

German (L, 2-3) 6 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 W, 1 K. 3.12
Weissert 1 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. 10.13
Banda 0 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 3 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 6.75
Marwin Gonzalez 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 0.00 POSITION PLAYER.






Game 116. Yanks blanked again, 4-0.

I was going to write that there are no words.

But there are words. Words I’ll try to keep to a minimum, but words of frustration, anger, sadness and disappointment at the way the Yankees (72-44) are playing right now.

The Yanks were shutout for the second time in a row, 4-0, by Tampa Bay last night. It’s the fourth time they have been shutout in their last nine games, and the tenth time this season. Aaron Judge must feel as if he has to HR every time up.

Gerrit Cole pitched well. He gave up a run in the fourth which wasn’t his fault. Aaron Hicks badly misplayed a ball in CF into a leadoff triple, the next batter singled, and Tampa Bay was up 1-0.

In the bottom of the same inning, Hicks came to bat with one out and the bases loaded. Unfortunately, Hicks is now 9 for 63 (.143) in his career with the bases loaded after bouncing into an inning-ending, rally-killing 1-2-3 DP. The boos for Hicks were loud afterward and deserved. He’s 6 for his last 57.

In the top of the ninth inning, Wandy Peralta got two outs, but he also walked two. As I’ve written a lot during this bad streak the Yanks are having, walks and two-out hits have been killing Yankees’ pitchers. Lou Trivino came in and his first three batters were single, HBP and single before he got the last out. 4-0 Tampa Bay. Ballgame over.

Amazingly, the Yankees still have a 10-game lead in the division despite going 20-26 in their last 46 games and losing 10 of their last 12. They are 11-21 since July 8.

Why the Yanks got Trivino (5.79 ERA) as well when they made the deal for Montas, who knows. Meanwhile Clarke Schmidt (2.40 ERA) and Ron Marinaccio (2.03) are at AAA. Yankees fans are shaking their head at that.

Yankees fans also are shaking their heads at the Jordan Montgomery trade. Since the Yanks traded Monty to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader (more on that in a moment), Monty has won both his starts (one against the Yankees) and has pitched 11 scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Bader is still in a walking boot.

Bader can’t come off the IL and replace Hicks in CF soon enough. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Hicks once Bader joins the Yankees. Meanwhile, Estevan Florial is still at AAA, and instead of bringing up Florial, who can play all OF positions, especially CF, the Yanks brought up Miguel Andujar, who can’t play CF or RF. (SMH). These kind of front office decisions anger and frustrate the fans. One thing noticeable the past few years in Yankee land is that the Yanks hang on to guys far past their expiration date. We’ve seen it with Sonny Gray, Gary Sanchez, Joey Gallo and now Aaron Hicks. Maybe they want to get the most they can out of a bad deal or contract, but it’s like holding on to milk after it has spoiled. You want guys to do well. But if they don’t, you can’t hold on to them forever.

Ok, I kept the words of frustration, anger, disappointment and sadness to a minimum. The integrity of this blog requires that something be written. Talk to Yankees fans, read their blogs or tweets and you will know and see that there is a lot more of that anger, frustration, disappointment and sadness right now.

This team, as written by Jon Heyman yesterday, needs a jolt. This can’t continue.



Torres 2 hits.

Cole (L, 9-5) 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 6 K. 3.30 (Tough, Hard-luck Loss).
Loaisiga 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 6.00
Peralta 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 2.53
Trivino 1/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 5.79 (Combined A’s/NYY ERA)







Jeter steps down as Marlins’ CEO; Yankees name new assistant hitting coach

Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter stepped down as CEO of the Marlins yesterday, effective immediately.

While talks to try and get a resolution to the labor deal went on throughout the night, the Yankees named a new assistant hitting coach. Hensley Meulens replaces Eric Chavez, who was named asst. hitting coach but then left to become the hitting coach for the Mets. Meulens was a Yankee OF (with some time at 3B and 1B) from 1989-1993, and was with Montreal in 1997 and Arizona in 1998. He won 3 WS rings as a coach with the SF Giants. He was one of those considered for the managerial job that went to Aaron Boone in 2017. Another person who interviewed for that job was Carlos Beltran, who is now with the YES broadcasting team.