Thursday, July 19, 2018

Performance Review for Management, Too! Part I

Don't think we're letting the usual suspects off the hook!  Time to grade management.

Unfortunately, the Steinbrenner family and its notorious "baseball people" have grown too opaque to really judge from the outside.  So we'll confine ourselves to manager and general manager:


As we hoped, Ma has lowered the temperature in the locker room by about twenty degrees.  No more worrying that our manager was going to pop a thromboembolism during a presser following a midweek win over the Blue Jays.  This has probably been good for team unity and concentration in general, and it's hard to argue with the results.

The Yankees are 62-33 after 95 games, as opposed to 50-45 last year, a 12-game improvement.  Should they finish the same way they did in 2017—41-26—they will have 103 wins.  Still probably not enough to catch the Red Sox, but the most victories the team has run up since that championship season of 2009.  Considering the number of injuries—big injuries—in the first half, they might do even better.

What's not to like?  Some have pointed out that, according to baseball reference's "Pythagorean record," the Yankees underperformed badly last year, with a team that "should" have won 9 more games than it did.  This year?  The club has OVER-Pythagored by 1 win—something that should reflect well on the manager.

And yet...

Things are maybe a little TOO cool around the Yankees.

Too often this season, the Yanks have seemed to mail it in, particularly after a day off.  This might have been due to how the incessant rainouts have hurt the pace of the season.  But isn't it a key job of the manager to keep guys motivated, as well as contented?

For all that Boone has ceased the public torture and humiliation of Sanchez, for instance, the results seem worse than ever.  This might just be due to Sancho's injuries, but there sure isn't any extra effort evident.

The Pythagorean record, for that matter, is a rather crude measurement, one based solely on run differential.  If you win a lot of blowouts, for instance, but lose a lot of close games, then you're seen as potentially all the better a team.  But these days, especially, the final score can be decided by so many things:  a tired pen on the other side, a lack of days off, opponents tanking, etc.

The record for Boone would seem to indicate that his team is winning the close ones, but that certainly doesn't seem to be very true of late.  Nor does he seem to be doing the little things that are how a manager contributes to play on the field.

When was the last time, for instance, the Yankees started a runner?  Or put on any kind of play?  When was the last time Ma jumped out of the dugout and got all over an umpire for the ludicrous ways in which they continue to call Judge's strike zone?

What's with all the silly lineups, insisting on batting our best power hitter second, then backing him up not with our next best power hitter, but a badly slumping Didi?

To be sure, much of this might be attributed to "the Presidential Factor"—the way in which Boone is, in the end, hostage to the whims of an infinitely more ruthless and Machiavellian force.

Hence his witless, muddled repetitions of the party line about how Yankees hitters need to "dare to take a close third strike" and how "you can't beat Verlander with singles."  Hence writing Neil Walker into the lineup.  Over and over again.

Hey, we longtime Yankees fans understand Stockholm Syndrome.  But it's time for Ma to be his own,  nurturing, highly evolved man.


Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

The local paper here in New Hampshire is talking up a Yankees pitching prospect I’ve never even heard of:

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

I guess I should add that Suzyn loves saying “Fisher Cats”.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Mike King came over in the deal for Caleb Smith and Gerrit Cooper, apparently. Be nice if he were worth something.

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