Monday, April 1, 2019

Out of the blocks, the Yankees look old, over-valued and poorly managed

Thus far, the 2019 season's most entertaining Yankee addition is the TV commercial where Aaron Boone tells the slimy Ameritrade therapist how to manage: Move your fingers around, act like you've done it before. I've seen it three times, each drawing a laugh. (Note: After the 50th, I may feel differently.

It shows Boone safe and secure in his well-feathered nest as Yankee manager - a concept that might not always apply. For the last four months, the Yankees have been hyped like a team of Olympian gods. But this weekend they played like circus dwarfs in prison pinstripes. If the clunkiness continues, it's only a matter of time before folks start questioning what Boone knows about managing, beyond fluttering his nubile fingers. 

Listen: Three games into a season, there's no point in shrieking about losses, unless you're attempting satire. The greatest Yankee teams in our lives - 1961, 1998, etc. - stumbled in April, and here's the reality of an opening weekend that pits rookie nobodies against veteran stars: The team that wants it more will win.

This weekend, let's face it: Baltimore wanted it more.


For that, I blame Boone. This weekend, his Yankees never attempted a stolen base. They never laid down a bunt. (Gardy tried once and failed.) They grounded into four DPs - a few that were soul-crushers. They made four errors, two by Gary Sanchez, who luxuriated throughout spring training in a hot bath of Boone's liquid admiration. And the greatest bullpen ever? It belonged in Trenton.  

Sunday evening, as it became clear that the mighty Yankees were going to lose the weekend, the YES Excuse SWAT Team turned to Aaron Judge's pre-game statement that the team faced a sense of urgency. Instead of pooh-poohing it, as they did in the early innings, they shifted to analytics: This was a strange thing for Judge - or anyone - to say so early in a season. Then they broke to the commercial where Boone celebrates his financial security in the exciting world of day-trades. 

Look: The Yankees are not in trouble. The season is not on the brink. Boone's job is not in jeopardy. Gary Sanchez is not finished, and Giancarlo Stanton will surely someday stop striking out in key situations. Who knows? Maybe everything will change tonight against lowly Detroit, another traveling tomato can that was meant to launch our season. 

But no matter what happens, the Yankees just squandered an opportunity to lead Boston by three games. They had the home field advantage and the worst team in baseball, while Boston had to start on the West Coast. We won't get those games back. We just lost two out of three, while the man in the dugout flapped his fingers, and nothing more.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

STANTON MIGHT STOP STRIKING OUT IN CRUCIAL SITUATIONS?

YES, HE MAY MAKE CONTACT TWICE OUT OF 10 TIMES, WHICH WOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT.

.....BUT I THINK HE WILL STILL REMAIN "PERFECT" IN HIS ABILITY TO NOT DRIVE IN ANY CRUCIAL RUNS 10 OUT OF 10 TIMES, EVEN IF HE DOES MAKE CONTACT.

BOY, THIS BRIAN CASHMAN SURE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE A "STEAL" OF A DEAL!

WOW.

Vampifella said...

I'm a Met Fan! I love the Mets! April Fools!

"Yankees never attempted a stolen base. They never laid down a bunt." <--- That sounds like typical Yankees to me. I've always wanted them to play smartly like what the Rays are mostly known for with their teams.

"They grounded into four DPs." <--- Now that's the Yanks we all know and love. Love those DPs!

But hey! The Red Sox are dead last and the Rays are in first place (O's in second). Wouldn't it be amazing if that was still the case a month from now? GO RAYS! I'd gladly root for the Rays to win the WS if it makes the Red Sox dead last. But then again they'd probably get the first draft pick and get the next Roger Clemens in 2020 to haunt us until we die. LOL

Anonymous said...

Same as 2018. Where's Harper? F**kin losers!

JM said...

Aaron Boone said: "I'm not in the projection business, first of all. I reject that all the way. We have no idea who people are. We have high expectations for ourselves, and the bottom line is we think we're going to be a really good team. We're going to have series where you don't put your best foot forward. I'm confident we're close to doing that [being a good team], and we plan on that starting tomorrow night."

What an asshole.

Anonymous said...

Stanton to the DL.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ah! In a way, Stanton being injured is a relief. Otherwise, he looked insane.

TheWinWarblist said...

Fuckers.

HoraceClarke66 said...

It's not just that the Yankees never do anything like steal or force the action. They are also totally unprepared when the other team does so—even an essentially minor-league squad like the Orioles, who have no other chance to win.

Never mind stealing—when was the last time the Yanks put on a pitchout, or even kept a runner close? Sweet Jesus, the Orioles' journeyman catcher, was making snap throws all over the place, nearly catching Yankees runners. Not our boy ICS.

As usual, the Yankees seemed absolutely shocked when the other team refused to oblige them by going station-to-station on the bases, or challenging their hitters with straight fastballs down the pike.

This Yankees team now ALWAYS plays expecting to win automatically, without taking a risk to do so. Good luck with that.

TheWinWarblist said...

And WOW! Stanton is really breaking out in the second year of the contract!

Yankee Daddy Roger said...

I was switching back and forth between the NCAAs and the Yankee Game on sunday, and I couldn't believe the incredibly slow and tedious pace of the game. Bundy took forever to throw the ball, and the lack of action between the strikeouts and foul balls was in serious contrast to the basketball game.Different sport, obviously, and not fair to compare. But I love baseball, and watching that game on Sunday on Yes was deadly. I love the Yankees (although I feel spurned as a lover with their cheapness and uncaring), but the sport has a real problem. It is not helped by the announcers, who blather away unknowledgeably and uncritically or with forced drama or enthusiasm. Michael Kaye truly does not understand the nuances of the sport. Not a critical word ever about Hal or Boone or Coops, or roster construction, or the fact that we have no truly functional left handed hitters. The lack of criticism is understandable of course, but the The announcers have so much dead air to fill that the commentary becomes dead. Most of the game is not spent watching batters make contact and fielder make plays (or not) but is spent watching the in game strike zone box, pitch after pitch after pitch. The only rational way to watch a Yes telecast now is to DVR it and speed through it at 4X speed and stop the viewer when something appears to happen.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that whole Sunday baseball experience was really a horrid ordeal - - and more than seven hours, from original start-time, to the sad denoument of the whole thing...but losing the opening series - - to the Bawl'More Glory Holes!!!! I still haven't gotten the pineapple shards out, from that.

and, duque - - I'm not certain that Stanton will stop striking out on bad pitches - - I fear his retirement may come before that happens. Let's face it: Swannie may have done him a favor.

My encapsulating comment for March 31's baseball event: ugh. Period. LB (No J)

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