Monday, September 6, 2021

In a year of false-bottoms, the Yankees find a new low.

Humiliation assumes many forms. But the worst-case scenarios usually come at the hands of lovers.

You put everything into a relationship - your heart, your soul, your mental presence - and you think, "At the very least, I'll get a wild card."

Then they dump you.

Essay question: Does anyone out there see the 2021 Yankees winning in October? Is there a way to picture this team riding down the Canyon of Heroes? Speak up. Lay it out. I can use a brainwashing. Because - yeesh - I sure don't see it. This weekend, all our foibles converged into a Cat-5 disappointment - against baseball's worst team, no less! Here's the reality: We were lucky to win one game.

We not only lost the series to Baltimore, but we lost our best reliever, Jonathan Loaisiga. Now hosting Toronto for four games, we can honestly say that the Yankees have no sure bet out of the bullpen. We can give the ball to El Chapo and see what happens. He might save one out of two. But by now, we should have a means to close games. We simply do not.

We should be past waiting for Gleyber Torres to evolve into a star SS. It just didn't happen. Yesterday, he botched a routine grounder, which led to two runs, which led to the humiliation. Torres joins a long list of disappointments - Frazier, Andujar, Britton, Voit, Gardy, even Deivi Garcia down in Scranton - whose failures have come to define 2021.   

We've reached a place Yankee fans know well: The final stretch of a dismal season, as a high-priced lineup scrambles to salvage its pride - and a few management jobs. (This we know: Brian Cashman will never be held accountable for this malaise. He might as well be a member of the Supreme Court. He has a lifetime appointment.) For two weeks, the Yankee-owned media congratulated Yankee management for its courage and genius. Basically, we traded our future for a 13-game streak, which is now correcting itself, as we should have known it would.

Today, Toronto - a team we have secretly feared all season. Another Tampa. So tell me, how can we sustain hope for this team? Did they bottom out against Baltimore? Well, a trademark of the 2021 Yankees has been their series of false-bottoms: You tell yourself that it can't get worse, it just can't... and then it does. Humiliation assumes many forms. Get ready for a rough ride, everybody. The 2021 Yankees aren't done with us yet.


ZacharyA said...

At this point, would you prefer to make the playoffs just to face an embarrassing elimination as the lineup goes flaccid and Chapman serves up meatballs? Or would you prefer to miss the playoffs and potentially force major organizational changes?

I lean toward the second option but Brian Cashman (or a new GM handpicked by Hank Steinbrenner) will be making those changes and I have zero confidence the changes will be for the better.

Platoni said...

The Yankees have hit such a rock bottom that they need an intervention

BTR999 said...

I never root against the team, but I have never loathed and despised a manger as much as I do Boone. I hatted his hiring, and he ha lived down to every fear I had about him. As the BB gods seek to punish me, he will undoubtedly be given a new contract over the winter.

ranger_lp said...

@ZacharyA...Brian is going nowhere. They are not replacing him. Next year, they can go over the luxury tax threshold because this year the Yanks reset that. Yes there will be changes and the Yanks will spend.

JM said...

Boone is an idiot.

And we are let down by pitching lately in our losses. Sure, if we could score 10 runs every game, we'd be on top of the pile, but we don't. Even when we do score a lot of runs, the pitching--or perhaps it's fairer to say, pitching choices--tends to let us down.

To Zach's point, yes, the pitching over the course of the year has been very good. If it hadn't, we'd be looking up at Toronto. But as astute critics of baseball-by-statistics point out, a particular game or stretch of games is not the long run over which the stats matter.

Really, it doesn't matter. The reflexive use of subpar guys who come off the IL, as in 2017, is maybe the most damaging nail in our coffin. And I've been smoking for 45 years, so I know me some coffin nails.

ranger_lp said...

Hank died in 2020, but I think it's a great idea to use a seance or Ouija board to summon Hank to make the GM choice.

TheWinWarblist said...

Toronto has something to play for. They are a fundamentally good team. They are going to dominate us.

Anonymous said...

Zach - I have long been firmly in the, "I'll take no playoffs if it gets rid of Boone (and Brain)" camp. Problem is, that's not a guaranteed outcome. If Hal would hold a press conference stating the above I would be delighted. Ain't happening.

Ranger - As I'm sure has been said several times here, Hank is Sonny Corleone to Hal's Michael. He's passionate about the team but, shall we say a bit on the impetuous side. Don't forget he was the one that forced the Yankees to re-sign A-rod. That said, even a dead Sonny on a Ouija board could give us a better GM than our current brain dead Brain.

Doug K.

Carl J. Weitz said...

The only way this team will change management and personnel is via a mid-air chartered plane accident. Speaking of Ouija boards, someone please contact Corey Lidle and ask him to mind-meld with the plane's captain to take over the controls. Other than that, does anyone know a Red Sox loving terrorist to help us out?

DickAllen said...

It’s gone from bad to worse.

The Yankees have gone from being an organization that aspired to greatness and have since fallen into the worst of all possible places: they’ve become irrelevant.

The Yankees are no longer feared. Living on a storied reputation is good for your bank account, but it does nothing for your fan base, the source of all revenue.

Better that Toronto sweep us out of the wild card altogether and leave the franchise wallowing in ignominy. Which where they are now. Except for that fantasy winning streak (which I’m still not sure actually occurred), this is a team created by fools, run by incompetents and deserves to be recognized for what it has been all year: mediocre.

DickAllen said...

The Yankees mediocrity is a collection of spare parts:


There is not a single “True Yankee” in this misfit collection. I can’t imagine how a GM with any brains could expect to assemble a group of cast-offs and has-been to perform as a cohesive unit. None of these faces belong wearing pinstripes. And worse? They are being led by an incompetent, wet-behind-the-ears neophyte who has no training.

And I expect greatness from this assemblage?

What was I thinking?

Anonymous said...

Dick Allen,
I generally agree with you, but Cole is a True Yankee.
Leutge is too. Anybody who fought as hard as he did to stay in the game, I admire. Maybe he is the last guy in the 2009 BP.
Urshela made in in NY when no one thought he could.
Rizzo, the jury is out.

The rest can pound salt. Literally and figuratively .

the Judgemental Archangel

Ironbow said...

The only answer is a total organizational revamp. The Yankees have become VERY hard to watch. Bloody awful.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Taillon also has an amazing comeback story. D.J., while having a bad year, has been terrific for us.

But yeah, there are way too many spare lugnuts, lost souls, slackers, etc., on this team.

Anonymous said...

@ranger_lp "Yes there will be changes and the Yanks will spend."

Yeah, but that (spending money) is precisely one of the things that I fear most. Their dubious ideas about spending money included bringing in Stanton and then refusing to move him, bringing back Chapman, hanging on to Gardner. Just to name a few of the stupid things that have happened. I wish they'd spend money where it really needs to be spent: on scouting and player development. But who am I kidding?

@TheWinWarblist "Toronto has something to play for. They are a fundamentally good team. They are going to dominate us."

I agree. The 13 game run was a nice reprieve, but it's back to reality now. With all the flaws back in place, and all the things that contributed to the 13 game run back on the shelf, we're going back to real Yankee baseball. The games with 18 strikeouts, 2 hits in eight or nine innings, everyone hitting .150 while swinging for the fences. Boone using Heaney every chance he gets because we all know Heaney is actually the most underrated, most talented pitcher in baseball, probably even better than Cole. And Gil will be sent back down because they don't want him to exceed his innings limit. Gotta protect the future. Brett Gardner will play every inning of every game the rest of the way because he plays hard and he's a winner. If he doesn't hit, then nothing matters anyway because he's the best player on the team. Torres will play shortstop every game because he'll start to hit home runs sooner or later, which will more than make up for his errors and lack of range.

The Hammer of God

Alphonso said...

The jury may be out on Rizzo, but most of the world knows " he has seen his best days."

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should sign this Rizzo instead.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

The jury is in on Rizzo. He's a mediocrity, a past without a future.