Tag Archives: Cashman

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.

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.

ALDS Game 3. Yanks blow 9th inning lead, lose 6-5.

The Yankees took a 2-run lead into the ninth inning last night. In 167 previous instances in postseason play, the Yankees had never blown that lead. Meanwhile Cleveland was 0 for 41 when trailing by two or more entering the ninth in their postseason history.

Unfortunately for the Yankees last night, there is a first time for everything. The Yankees blew a 5-3 lead, giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and lost 6-5. They were ONE STRIKE away from winning the game. They are down two games to one in the series and must win tonight to stay alive. Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees. The odds aren’t good for the Yanks. The winner of Game 3 in a series that was tied at one each has won the series 72% of the time. The Yanks did beat the odds in 1977.

If Cleveland is to slay the dragon, so to speak, they aren’t doing it by chopping its head off. They are doing it with pinpricks. Little bleeders and dinkers that find a hole. Cue Roberta Flack. They are killing you softly.

The Yanks roster usage and bullpen usage is coming into question. Here is a link

https://www.mlb.com/news/yankees-lose-alds-game-3-2022

taking you to that. Clay Holmes wasn’t used, much to the surprise of Holmes and teammate Luis Severino. Holmes said he was available. Manager Aaron Boone said he didn’t want to use Holmes back-to-back games because of soreness. Fine good that does you, to have relievers compromised come playoff time. Of course, the Yankees are already shorthanded in the bullpen with King, Green, Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, Montas (even though he’s a starter), and Effross all down. That lack of bullpen depth is hurting them right now. A 10-inning loss followed by blowing a 2-run ninth inning lead.

With Holmes down, the way Boone handled the bullpen the rest of the game comes into question. See the article. It’s not just Bryan Hoch of mlb asking the questions about Trivino or Loaisiga’s usage. The YES postgame broadcasting team, like Michael Kay and John Flaherty (and, should Boone need to be replaced, Flaherty would be my choice to replace him) asked the same questions.

The article I referenced above also alludes to some communication problems it seems the Yankees have in the clubhouse. If so, there is a major problem with the front office or manager, or BOTH.

In five seasons as Yankees manager, Boone has had two seasons of 100 or more wins and another of 99. Of course, one season was the 60-game Covid shortened season. Success there. But you now have to wonder if he is a “push-button” manager, who can take a team to the playoffs, but can’t go further because he gets outmanaged by a Kevin Cash, Alex Cora or Terry Francona come playoff time. Just my opinion, but I think it is a fair question, and has Brian Cashman run his course?

Put it this way. When your own broadcasting team second guesses you…

The game didn’t start out well. Luis Severino struggled in the first and second innings, giving up a run in both innings and the Yanks were down 2-0 after two innings. They were lucky it wasn’t worse. A couple balls looked like they would leave the yard, but Aaron Judge caught them on the warning track.

In the top of the third, Oswaldo Cabrera doubled, and Aaron Judge later hit a 2-run HR to tie the game. Judge was 0 for 9 with 8 strikeouts before finally coming through.

In the fifth, Harrison Bader singled and one out later, Cabrera homered to put the Yanks up 4-2.

Cleveland got a run in the sixth, all after Severino got the first two outs. Isiah Kiner Falefa’s defense has been shaky this series and I would not be surprised if Oswald Peraza is the Yanks’ starting SS next year. One play to start the rally was ruled a hit, but you wonder if Peraza would have made the play. Heck, you could make a good case that Peraza should be on THIS postseason roster. It could have been worse. A line drive caught by Gleyber Torres was the third out. That would have tied the game. Instead, the Yanks still led 4-3.

Bader, impressive in his short time with the Yanks so far after the trade, homered in the seventh to make it 5-3 Yanks. The Yanks’ runs were on the HR. They only got five hits all game to Cleveland’s 15. Cleveland strung hits. The Yankees did not.

Then to the ninth. Boone wanted to stretch out Wandy Peralta, who had pitched well, and have him close it out. A one-out blooper to left for a double. Just like in Game 2, Cabrera could not get to it. On the postgame show, Paul O’Neill, the Yankees legend, stated that Cabrera is a good fielder, but the converted infielder is great laterally but still has to learn more coming in or out. My question is, with Tim Locastro being a more experienced outfielder, and with more speed than that of Cabrera, should Boone have replaced Cabrera with Locastro for defensive purposes late in Game 2 and Game 3? Could Locastro have made those plays? And what is Aaron Hicks doing on the roster for if you aren’t going to use him for defensive purposes there? Or Marwin Gonzalez? You have to use the WHOLE roster come playoff time, not just have guys on there to fill out the roster. Hicks and Gonzalez are two guys I don’t expect to be on the team in 2023. If your confidence in them is that low where you can’t use an experienced outfielder for a rookie with 9 games of LF experience under his belt (he had 27 in RF), then why are you carrying them?

Steven Kwan, who had three hits in this game and who is killing the Yanks in this series, served a ball to left to move the runner, Myles Straw, to third, and I do mean served. Looked like a tennis backhand. In came Clarke Schmidt, not Holmes. A single to score the runner and make it 5-4. Then, another blooper. Had the infield not been in a shift, it would have been an easy popup to SS. Instead, bases loaded. Schmidt got a strikeout for the second out, then got two strikes on Oscar Gonzalez. But on a 1-2 pitch, Gonzalez singled up the middle for two runs and the ballgame. 6-5, Cleveland.

Judge 2-run HR
Bader 2 hits, solo HR. I’d consider leading him off. He’s hot, has speed …
Cabrera 2 hits, 2-run HR.

The Yanks in three games, are hitting .172. Of the 11 runs they have scored, 10 are by the HR. Trevino’s SF in Game 1 is the only run not via HR. They have to start stringing hits together.

Severino 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 0 W, 6 K. Settled in after rocky start.
Trivino (H) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Could have been stretched out more?
Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. See Trivino.
Peralta (H) 1 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Two bleeping bleeding bloopers.
Schmidt (LOSS, BLOWN SAVE) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 1 K.

Concerning: Severino: 10 postseason games, ERA 5.17. He needs to be dominating. He hasn’t done so.

If the Yanks advance, they will face their nemesis, Houston, in the ALCS. Houston swept Seattle by winning Game 3, 1-0, in 18 innings.

A shocker in the NL. #5 and #6 will meet each other (Padres vs Phillies) for the NL pennant. Gone are 111-win LA, 101-win Atlanta, 101-win Mets. Even the 92-win Cardinals. Instead, it is an 89-win vs an 87-win matchup.

UPDATE: One more thing. Aroldis Chapman gave up HR that sent the Yanks home in 2019 and 2020. This year, his own selfishness may doom the Yanks. It is becoming apparent that losing his closer spot affected him, and that the possibility of being left off the playoff roster made him mope so that he missed a mandatory workout. So that selfishness may wind up costing the Yanks again. He is a free agent. Good riddance. May he never wear a Yankees uniform again, not even to an Old-Timer’s game.










ALDS GAME 1: Cole, Bader, Rizzo lead Yanks to 4-1 win.

Sorry if this arrives a bit late. I had to get sprung from Facebook (or do I call it Meta now?) prison again, so I couldn’t copy or post anything for a while.

An Aside: Fight for your First Amendment rights. Fight censorship. What they do is B.S. as far as restricting those rights.

The Yanks set their ALDS roster, and there may be a few surprises. First who is on.

Trevino, Higashioka, Rizzo, Torres, Kiner-Falefa, Donaldson, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Hicks, Bader, Judge, Carpenter (a surprise), Stanton, Locastro.

Who is not on: LeMahieu, who apparently has a foot fracture, Benintendi, and rookie Oswald Peraza.

As for the pitchers. On: Cole, Cortes, Severino, Taillon, German, Schmidt, Trivino, Loaisiga, Luetge, Peralta, Holmes, Castro.

Not on: Effross (needs TJ surgery), Montas, Chapman (we will get to that in a bit), Marinaccio, Abreu, Britton, King (went down a few months ago), Green (lost at beginning of the year), Weissert.

The Yankees’ bullpen is a concern. Chapman was inconsistent, and not reliable. There was no certainty he would be on the roster. But then, since he wasn’t sure, Chapman blew off a mandatory workout, his excuse was unacceptable, and the Yanks told him to stay home. With Effross’ surprising diagnosis, Chapman would have made the roster. Instead, he is replaced by Castro. Chapman is a free agent, and it is certain he won’t be back with the Yankees. Who would want him after this selfish incident, who knows. But that would be their problem.

GM Brian Cashman’s moves at the trade deadline do not look good. There is nothing he can do about the injuries, but Benintendi, Montas, and Effross aren’t on the ALDS roster, and Bader barely made it after the Yankees had to wait on his injury to heal.

But anyway, the Yankees did take Game 1 of the ALDS (best-of-five) Tuesday night, 4-1.

Gerrit Cole pitched into the seventh and ran into trouble in the third inning. Cole, who gave up 33 HR in the regular season, gave up a one-out HR to Steven Kwan. We’ve seen Cole fall apart when something throws him off, and it appeared that would happen again. Cleveland loaded the bases after Kwan’s HR, and you were afraid they would break things open with a big inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Cole got a force at home. A bad call by the umpire didn’t let Cole get the strike three he wanted, but he held it together and got the strike three a bit later to get out of the inning surrendering only the one run.

In the bottom of the third, Harrison Bader homered for the Yankees to tie the game at one.

In the bottom of the fifth, Josh Donaldson led off the inning by hitting a ball that looked like a HR. It hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play. Donaldson was into his HR trot and got thrown out. Had he been running all the way it would have been an easy double. Lesson: Run them out!

Isiah Kiner-Falefa picked Donaldson up by singling to right, then advancing all the way to third on a 2-base error by RF Oscar Gonzalez. Jose Trevino made Cleveland pay for the error by hitting a SF to put the Yanks up 2-1.

In the sixth, the Yanks got some insurance runs. Aaron Judge led off with a walk and stole second. Judge went to third when catcher Austin Hedge’s throw went for an error. Anthony Rizzo followed with a 2-run HR to make it 4-1, which wound up as the final score.

Rizzo 2-run HR.
Donaldson 2 for 2, walk.
Bader solo HR.

Cole (WIN) 6 1/3 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 W, 8 K. 1 HBP. Gave up 1 HR.
Loaisiga (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Peralta (H) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Holmes 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP.

Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night, with Nestor Cortes on the mound. Friday is supposed to be another off day. However, the weather forecast is not good and Game 2 could be postponed to Friday, which would mean havoc to the pitching rotation. If you play Game 2 on Thursday, Cole could come back for Game 4 on regular rest on Sunday, with Cortes on 3 days rest for a Game 5.

But if Game 2 is postponed until Friday, Cortes won’t be able to do that. Now if Cole goes in Game 4 you cannot bring Cortes back for Game 5 on two days’ rest. Instead, the Yanks would probably use Cole in Game 4 only if down 2 games to 1, then figure out later who goes in Game 5 (Taillon or German). If the Yanks are UP 2 games to 1, then they save Cole for Game 5 if necessary and go with Taillon or German in Game 4.

Of course, no matter what the weather does, the easiest way to avoid that headache is just to win in a 3-game sweep.

Recently, Tyler Wade, who was picked back up by the Yanks and sent to SWB after being DFA’d by the Angels, declared free agency.

In other game ones, the Phillies held on beat the Braves, 7-6. The Dodgers won Game 1 over the Padres 5-3, and those hated Astros got a 3-run walk off HR by Yordan Alvarez to win 8-7. Seattle blew a 7-3 lead they had after 7.

Game 139. Lead down to 3 1/2 after 4-2 loss to Rays.

Before the game, news regarding C Jose Trevino. He was put on paternity leave. Ben Rortvedt was called up from AAA.

Trevino also is the team nominee for the Roberto Clemente award, given for community service.

With Trevino joining the list of unavailable Yankees due to injury or paternity leave, the lineup was further depleted, and the Yankees (83-56) lost to Tampa Bay 4-2 Friday night. Their lead in the AL East, once 15 1/2, is now 3 1/2.

Even the return of Derek Jeter to Yankee Stadium for the first time in a while didn’t bring any luck.

Some reinforcements back from the IL can’t arrive quickly enough (more on that in a bit), but how good will they be? How rusty?

Yankees’ starter Frankie Montas gave up back-to-back, one out doubles in the first inning, and the Rays were up 1-0.

The Rays got three runs in the fourth, thanks to a couple of misplays by Aaron Hicks, who was then booed mightily and pulled from the game. Harrison Bader can’t arrive soon enough, it seems. I had to laugh and pull a “show me” attitude when Hicks said his goal in spring training was to be a 30/30 guy. Not even close and right now his goal should be just to remain on the team in 2023, which I don’t believe will happen. Hicks contract, with 3 more years to go, is one of the worst in Cashman’s GM history. The Yanks, like they did with Joey Gallo and Sonny Gray, need to know when to cut the cord. As with Gallo and Gray, they’ve stuck with Hicks too long. Once the fans turn on you, you got to go.

With one out in that fourth inning, Ji-Man Choi walked. Montas got the second out, then gave up a single. Wander Franco, just off the IL, and who doubled in the Rays’ first inning rally, doubled again, driving in two runs. Hicks had the ball in his glove at the foul line, but with the side wall approaching, appeared to shy off and dropped it. He thought it was a foul ball and took his time getting the ball back in while two runs scored. Very bad look. Then he misplayed the next drive into another double and the Rays lead went from 1-0 to 4-0. If he makes the first play, the game remains at 1-0. He basically gave away three runs. With the Yankees’ offense compromised, that was like giving away the game. The fans then gave Hicks the “Gallo” treatment, not only booing him but actually chanting “Joey Gallo” at him. It was a bad look and made manager Aaron Boone pull Hicks after the inning.

On top of that, Hicks to that point was 0 for 2, 2 strikeouts, and his batting average dropped to .211.

You can’t have this. The Yanks need to find a taker for him or eat his contract. Like I wrote, when the fans turn on you as they have, you got to go.

This isn’t to be mean at Hicks. It’s just reporting the reality of what happened and what must happen.

The Yanks scored a run in the seventh, thanks to who else? Aaron Judge. Oswald Peraza walked, and with one out, moved to second on a groundout. Judge singled to make the score 4-1.

Kyle Higashioka homered (8) in the bottom of the ninth to make it 4-2. Judge walked with two out in the ninth, but Gleyber Torres, the potential tying run, flied to right to end the game. The ball was caught at the fence.

Judge 2 hits, RBI
Andujar 2 hits
Higashioka 3 hits, solo HR (8)

Montas (L, 5-12) 5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 4 W, 4 K. 1 HBP 3.89 (Combined A’s/NYY record)
Luetge 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.49
Weber 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 0.84


Game 127. Lack of offense (1 hit in 11 innings) dooms Yanks in 3-2 loss. Chapman to IL.

Before the game, the Yankees’ depleted bullpen took another hit, and in one of the strangest ways possible. Aroldis Chapman had to go on the IL due to an infected wound from a recent tattoo he got. Sheesh.

He joins King, Green, Castro, Abreu, Effross and Holmes on the IL. (Did I miss anyone?) Holmes should be coming off of it soon. As for Schmidt, he has to start today because of Cortes being on the IL. Way to trade pitching depth at the trade deadline, Cashman. No corresponding move yet. I’d guess maybe Ryan Weber again?

The Yanks’ (78-49) offense was practically non-existent in this game, wasting an excellent outing by Domingo German. German pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings but received no support. The only hit the Yankees had in the 3-2, 11-inning loss to Oakland came on a double by Oswaldo Cabrera in the top of the sixth inning.

The scoreless duel went into extra innings and to that (Ugh) ghost runner on second base. In the top of the tenth, Kyle Higashioka was the ghost runner. Andrew Benintendi tried to bunt him to third, but Higashioka was thrown out. Benintendi stole second while Aaron Judge struck out. Josh Donaldson was intentionally walked to set up a DP but Anthony Rizzo was HBP to load the bases. A WP and error on the play scored two runs. The Yanks couldn’t do anything after that, much as they didn’t do anything all game long. Two gift runs. But the Yanks would eventually lose by gifting one back.

But in the bottom of the tenth, the A’s started with their ghost runner, and Ron Marinaccio (see above about the depleted bullpen) got the first out but then gave up a game-tying 2-run HR to Stephen Vogt. He then got a groundout, and on a strikeout, the pitch got away for a WP and the batter reached. A single followed, but Lou Trivino came in to get a strikeout and send the game into the eleventh.

The Yanks did nothing in the top of the eleventh. In the bottom half, a walk put runners on first and second with no one out. Trivino got a fly out, then a ground ball appeared to be an inning-ending DP. The Yanks got the force at second, but D.J. LeMahieu threw the ball away in going to first trying for the DP and the winning run scored. The Yanks challenged the slide into second, but the call stood. 3-2 A’s. 11 innings. The Yanks only managed one hit.

German 7 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0W, 5 K. 1 HBP. 3.19
Loaisiga 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.52
Marinaccio 1 1/3 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1.93
Trivino (L, 2-8) 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 5.14 (Combined stats A’s/NYY)









Game 113. Holmes’ struggles cost Yanks. Lose 3-2 in 10. 8th loss in last 9 games.

I hate current managerial trends. Instead of thinking outside of the box, managers—not just Aaron Boone—go by analytics and formula instead of by gut, feel and what they see. And it cost them games.

I remember when relief pitchers like Sparky Lyle or Goose Gossage would go two or three innings for the save. Not these one-inning guys. One guy has the seventh, another the eighth, another the ninth. You brought in your best to face the heart of the lineup. If a guy did well, you left them out there until you saw they were losing it.

You didn’t change just for the sake of change. You didn’t stubbornly keep going to one guy “because he’s our closer” despite the fact that the guy has been struggling for weeks and it may be best to put him in lower leverage spots for a while until he gets straightened out. Let someone else who is hot take over for a while. Not everyone is a Rivera.

Go with the hot hand instead of playing pat and trite all the time. That goes for the lineup, too.

These problems hurt the Yanks (71-42) in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to Boston last night. The loss was the Yankees 8th in their last 9 games. Since a 52-18 start, the Yanks are 19-24. That is too long of a stretch of disappointing baseball. It has to be turned around. The postseason is seven weeks away. You don’t want to be playing like this going into the postseason (granted, the 2000 Yankees finished the season 3-14 and won the WS, but that’s an outlier).

In losing 8 of their last 9 games, 5 losses are by one run. 39 of the Yanks 113 games have been one-run games, and the Yanks are 21-18 in those games. Since the All-Star break, the bullpen has lost 9 games for the Yankees. The wheels are falling off and must be put back on, and now. The Yanks still have a 10-game lead in the division with 49 games to play, but they have lost best record in the AL to Houston (the Yanks are 1 1/2 games behind the Astros). After Boston this weekend, the Yanks have Tampa Bay, Toronto and the Mets. Unless they turn things around, this bad stretch could get really bad. And in this bad stretch, bullpen management has been questionable, as have been other front office decisions (like Schmidt and Marinaccio in AAA instead of with the Yankees).

Also, the Yankees offense needs to be more than just Aaron Judge, who scored both Yankees’ runs last night.

The Yanks jumped on one-time Yankee Nathan Eovaldi for a run in the first inning when Judge walked and scored on a double by Anthony Rizzo.

Judge hit a HR (46) in the third to make it 2-0. It was Judge’s 100th RBI of the season. The Yanks didn’t score after that. It cost them. For example, Gleyber Torres is 7 for his last 50.

Domingo German pitched well, giving up only one run in six innings. His first start of the season wasn’t good, but in the four starts since, his ERA is 2.61. Nice.

So, the Yanks had a 2-1 lead going into the seventh. You are coming off an off day. Scott Effross pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Only 10 pitches. Why not leave him out there for the eighth? Change for change’s sake is NOT good.

Aroldis Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. 11 pitches. Once again, if a guy is doing well, why not leave him out there? Repeating. Change for change’s sake isn’t good.

So, Boone went “formula” bringing in Clay Holmes even though we all know Holmes has been struggling. In his first 38 appearances this season, he was phenomenal, with an ERA of 0.46. However, in his last 11 games, his ERA is 10.24. Like a poker player, a manager has to play the hot hand and not stand pat. Holmes is not the hot hand right now. Effross and Chapman were. As soon as Holmes came in, I held my breath.

Holmes’ problems are of command and control, and sure enough, he walked two batters before giving up the game-tying single.

To the 10th and the ghost runner that I hate. Tim Locastro PR for D.J. LeMahieu. Judge walked. Two on and no one out and the Yanks didn’t score. Rizzo got unlucky on a line drive that was caught. A couple of feet higher and it’s probably an RBI double that scores one, maybe two runs. Josh Donaldson and Gleyber Torres both struck out. The Yanks miss Stanton and Carpenter immensely. Donaldson and Torres hitting 4/5 isn’t the answer. The Yanks were 1 for 10 w/RISP.

Boston got the hits they needed off of Luis Trivino in the bottom of the tenth and won 3-2.

Frustrating. You could see some of it coming, though. Boone, and the front office, need to be more flexible and better regarding in-game and especially bullpen decisions (Boone) and personnel decisions (Cashman). For if this collapse continues for a couple of more weeks, heads could roll at season’s end. Granted they can’t control injuries. But for things they CAN control…

We remember the great Yankees’ comeback of 1978. We don’t want a reversal of fortune.

When you are in a funk this long (19-24 in last 43 games) something needs to be said…and done. Boone can’t just sit there with rose-colored glasses on and spin things better than a White House press secretary. The Yanks need to turn it around, and now.

Judge solo HR (46). 100th RBI
Trevino 2 hits.

German 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 4 K. 4.18
Effross (H, 15) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W. 2.94 (Cubs/NYY ERA)
Chapman (H, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 4.13
Holmes (BS, 5) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K. 2.39
Peralta 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.20
Trivino (L, 1-7) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 5.70 (A’s/NYY record)


Game 104. Yanks hit 4 HR in 7-2 win. Trade deadline is today. What more moves are coming?

Today is the trade deadline. We’ll see what other moves will be made (like the Yanks unloading Joey Gallo. It would be a shock if it doesn’t happen). We also have to see what moves will be made to squeeze yesterday’s Yankee acquisitions onto the roster.

A few moves were made already. Miguel Castro and Luis Severino were moved to the 60-day IL, meaning neither would be available until mid-September, if at all. Clarke Schmidt was sent back to AAA. I really feel badly for Schmidt, who has a 4-2, 2.40 ERA (ERA+ 161) this season. Carlos Espinal was brought up but will most likely be sent back when Scott Effross arrives.

As for who goes down when Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino get here, that I need to see. Last night’s starter, Domingo German, may be set down. As far as who goes down for Trivino, that is a tough call. I don’t see Marinaccio going down, but it could happen. He has options, and that would be tough. Marinaccio is 1-0, 2.16, ERA+ 180. Maybe Abreu is DFA’d? But Abreu has done well since the Yanks have picked him up (2-0, 1.06 ERA as a Yankee). It will be a tough call. Maybe someone gets dealt to make room. And when Stanton gets healthy, that is another move to be made (and I think dumping Gallo is that move). GM Brian Cashman has some “chess moves” to make.

The Yanks became the first team to 70 wins (70-34) by beating Seattle last night, 7-2. The Yanks hit four HR in the game, two by (wait for it…) Jose Trevino (you thought I’d say Aaron Judge, didn’t you? Judge did hit one).

The Yanks wasted no time in getting on the board. D.J. LeMahieu led off the bottom of the first with a single, then Judge doubled. Anthony Rizzo followed with a 3-run HR (26) and the Yanks were up 3-0.

German went five innings and got the win, but it wasn’t pretty. He put nine runners on base in his five innings, an average of almost two an inning. In the top of the second, he gave up a HR to Kyle Lewis and the score was 3-1.

The Yanks got two more runs in the bottom of the second. LeMahieu walked with two out, and Judge followed with his 43rd HR of the season to put the Yanks up 5-1.

German got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third but gave up a run in the fourth that cut the Yankees’ lead to 5-2. He would get the first two outs of an inning, then put a few runners on before getting that elusive third out.

Jose Trevino homered in the bottom of the fourth (8) then homered again in the bottom of the eighth (9) for the final score of 7-2. Four Yankees’ relievers combined for four shutout innings.

LeMahieu 3 hits
Judge 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2-run HR (43)
Rizzo 3-run HR (26)
Trevino 2 hits, both solo HR, (9)

German (W, 1-1) 5 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 W, 1 K. Gave up 1 HR. 6.39
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 2.16
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 4.81
Loaisiga 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 6.46
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 2.29

The minor league prospect list has been updated again, especially after yesterday’s moves erased five players from that top 30.

Yanks get Benintendi for 3 minor leaguers.

I’ve been wanting the Yanks to upgrade their outfield for a while now, and my #1 target was KC outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

Last night the Yanks made it happen, acquiring Benintendi for 3 minor leaguers.

Benintendi is hitting .320-3-39 for KC, was on the All-Star team and has an OPS+ of 123. Although the power isn’t there, the high average should help, and Yankee Stadium should help his power numbers. Not only that, but he also won a Gold Glove last year, and has postseason experience, winning a WS ring with the 2018 Red Sox.

Benintendi was with Boston 2016-2020 and with the Royals 2021-2022. The 28-year-old lefty hitter was runner-up to Aaron Judge for ROY in 2017 when he hit .271-20-90 with 20 SB for Boston. He is a .280 career hitter. HIs 162-game average is .280-16-85, 15 SB, OPS+ 109.

With Benintendi in LF, Joey Gallo’s time with the Yankees should be ending soon. If the Yanks keep Judge in CF, RF appears to be a platoon between Aaron Hicks and Matt Carpenter, with Giancarlo Stanton DHing and playing some RF once he comes off of the IL.

Going to KC are:

#19 Yankees prospect T.J. Sikkema. 24, LHP. 1-1, 2.48 at High A Hudson Valley in 11 games, 10 starts.
54 K in 36 1/3 IP. Only 9 walks.

#21 Yankees prospect Beck Way. Turns 23 next week. RHP. He was also at High A Hudson Valley this year. 15 starts. 5-5, 3.73. 80 K in 72 1/3 IP.

Chandler Champlain. 23. RHP. 16 games at Low A Tampa, 15 starts. 2-5, 4.30. 94 K in 73 1/3 IP.

So the Yanks give up no prospect in the top 15, no prospect above High A. Benintendi may turn out to only be a rental. He is a free agent at the end of the year.

But no prospect in the top 15 means they can now turn their attention to getting a Luis Castillo, and the Reds would demand a couple of top 15 prospects for him. Also, maybe a reliever to help offset the loss of Michael King. I’m thinking of the Cubs here. Could David Robertson be a Yankee once again?

Anyway, step one is done. A couple of more moves need to be made. Make it happen, Cashman.