Thursday, September 9, 2021

Soon, the question echoing across the Yankiverse will be a simple one: Will management be held accountable for the debacle of 2021?

Back in March, (what was it, a billion years ago?), when the Yankees pretended to be the swinging dicks of the AL East, a few isolated voices questioned the righty-imbalanced lineup and aging bullpen. Nobody wanted to hear it. 

Back in July, when the floundering Yankees desperately sought lefty bats and a fortified bullpen, a few voices questioned the wisdom of draining the farm system for salary dumps and short-term rentals. Nobody wanted to hear it. 

When you own the primary media outlet in charge of measuring your success, there can be no such thing as accountability. And that, my friends, is the sad story of the hubris-choked New York Yankees.

Aside from a 13-game stretch in August, an outlier on the season, 2021 has brought us the most frustrating Yankee team in modern history. 

It will be remembered for its injuries, its strikeouts, its rally-killing double plays, its failed experiments, its disastrous trades, its catastrophic meltdowns in the final innings and its underperforming stars.

This team will be remembered in the way that we now recall the 14-year barf of the late 1980s and early 1990s - the Danny Tartabulls and Mel Halls, who live in our memories the way Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar will haunt future Yankee trivia contests.

We have watched Tampa - at a fraction of the Yankee payroll - dominate us on a regular basis. We have watched Boston rise, fall and rebuild - to win multiple championships. We are now watching Toronto crush us in a dress-rehearsal for October. Next year, it will be Baltimore. Every other franchise builds with youth. The Yankees seek to buy success. The famous "Core Four" used to be homegrown Yankees. Now, if such a thing existed, it would consist of imports. 

Soon, the question once again will be upon us: Will the front office skate? Will the Yankees scapegoat their puppet manager and a few targeted players, while the architect of this calamity - Brian Cashman - remains in charge?

I pose this with a grudging respect for Cashman. He has built some decent teams, albeit also-rans. But the Yankees are suffering through the worst world series drought in their history, while spending $200 million a year, a figure their owner thinks is enough. But it's not. 

Cashman cannot face a true reckoning from sportswriters whose jobs depend on getting their phone calls returned, or from the YES Network, which is owned by the Yankees. Nor will Hal Steinbrenner ever fire him. 

But when this season ends - in the way we all know it will - Cashman must do the right thing. 

He must resign.


13bit said...


It won’t happen, of course. His highly elevated bad judgment applies to his own skills, as well. All we can pray for is a precision guided meteor fragment taking out the stadium when he is visiting it.

Ironbow said...

The entire Yankees organization is an unmitigated disaster. Next year may be even worse than 2021.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Nothing is going to change. The payroll will basically remain the same. Kulber & Gardner I suppose will be gone, but arbitration eligible guys will eat up that money. The only players that other teams might want are Cole & Judge. Torres, Sanchez, Voit, Andujar, Frazier, Chapman have no value. Hal will blame COVID and injuries and Cashman will be back. Boone will probably be the fall guy, as Chris Carter would say. They will sign some more pitchers who are coming off injuries but who have big upside. They'll get some more guys who strikeout 150 times and hit 25HRs. It's been the same song for 10yrs and until someone else buys this mess, it's not going to change.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

It feels like wanting CBS to sell the team to someone that actually wants to win.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Rufus, exactly. Or the like 1990's Hal & Cashman need to be suspended by MLB for something.

JM said...

If only CBS would buy us. Or should I say Viacom, or whoever the hell owns CBS now.

I watched some of the game last night. The only enjoyable part was Gardy going yardy. Good to see the old guy come through.

The rest was dreck. I still cannot remember a team that looks so good for a stretch and then, like a light switch is flipped, just looks so terrible you wonder how these guys are in the majors. It's inexplicable.

My wife, who's from Germany but who I introduced to the Yankees in the heady days of the late 90s, looked up once last night from her laptop during the game. She said, the team is bad, but the manager is terrible and Cashman is a disaster. A German-born woman who never saw a baseball game until 20-odd years ago. It's that obvious.

Getting knocked out of even the second wild card may shake this organization up. But I doubt it. They just don't get it.

Dantes said...

Given the analogy to the bad old days does that mean Frazier and Andujar are this generation’s Roberto Kelly and Hensley Muelens?

TheWinWarblist said...

Good morning Commentariat. After reading Duque's post about our, ahem, "problem" I have resolved to only respond to those who post with a name or pseudonym. Which will be a challenge what with my general lack of self control, anger, logorrhea and drunkenness. Please know that if an unattributed post appears that i will excoriate in my heart and head. You will be able to the dulcet tones on my fuming rage for real if we ever pull off the Zoom game hang out.

That out of the way, back to baseball: These Yankees suck. Fuckers.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Dantes, Roberto Kelly got us Paul O'Neill. I don't think Andujar or Frazier will get a similar player

TheWinWarblist said...

Dropped to third in the AL East and second for the wild card. Three teams with something to play for are within 3 games us.

Come on losing streak. Come on low gate receipts. Come on falling revenue. That's the only thing that will get CashMoney fired.

Well at 5 a.m. oil pressure's sinking fast
I make a pit stop, wipe the windshield, check the gas
Gotta call my baby on the telephone
Let her know that her daddy's coming on home
Sit tight, little mama, I'm a-coming around
I got three more hours but I'm covering ground

Your eyes get itchy in the wee wee hours
Sun's just a red ball rising over them refinery towers
Radio's jammed up with gospel stations
Lost souls calling long distance salvation
Hey mister deejay won't you hear my last prayer
Hey ho rock 'n roll deliver me from nowhere

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Hard to believe they traded Roberto Kelly for Paul O'Neill.

Until I looked him up in baseball reference, I completely forgot Kelly returned to the Yankees for a flash before retiring.

The best thing about Bam-Bam was his nickname. Another in a long list of uber-hyped prospects that either never materialized or rapidly fizzled.

ZacharyA said...

On August 28, the Yankees were 9.5 games up on the Blue Jays.

Less than two weeks later that lead is down to 1.5 games.

BOS 80 W
NYY 78 W
TOR 76 W
SEA 76 W
OAK 75 W

With 23 to play, I see little hope that we stay in a playoff spot.

TheWinWarblist said...

The numbers in the All Important Loss Column are piling up quite quickly, aren't they?

Bam-Bam has had a good career as a hitting coach.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Zachary, It all comes down to how many starts they can get out of Heaney down the stretch.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees should finish ahead of either Seattle or Oakland since those two play each other a lot. Both Boston and Toronto have easier schedules than NY so it looks like fourth place.

As others have posted, nothing will change in 2022. After the season we'll get a reprise of the covid/injuries/bad luck excuse. Also, there will be hints dropped that certain players (DJ, Chapman?) were playing through pain but too proud to admit it but not above having others do it for them. The hot stove will be a stream of good news and hope as our aging sluggers (Judge, Sanchez, Voit, Gallo) are re-upped in arbitration and we're told that players like Urshela, Sevy, and Hicks "feel great" and expect to be ready for the start of the season. Another old standard will be a prediction that anyone who performed well (Monty, Nestor, Loaisiga) can be assumed to do even better in the future thus precluding the need for free-agent upgrades. The only way Boone will be gone is if he demands too much of a raise in his next contract.

- Melquíades

TheWinWarblist said...

Melquíades, it is as if you have an advance screening copy oy the off season. But yeah, that's it.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Hicks! You know, I had forgotten all about him!

Yeah, Melquiades, it's as if you have a crystal ball.

Anonymous said...

@Celerino Sanchez, Gardner gone? In your sweet dreams. They will bring back Gardner next year, I'm 99.99% sure.

@Duque, Cashman resign? Only if Prince Hal were to make him a minority partner of the ball club. No way that guy ever resigns. The only way he's going out is when my brother, The Grim Reaper, pays him a visit.

Yeah, unfortunately for us Yankee fans, next year looks to be the exact same kind of garbage that we've seen for most of the last decade.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke67 said...

I remember that Roberto Kelly trade. At the time, I thought it was a bad one!

Kelly seemed like a five-tool, budding star. And indeed, he was having a terrific first half with Cincinnati in his first year...when he got hurt. He battled back, returned to the Yanks...but then got hurt again.

Too bad—he was a likable player.

But this was where the genius of the old Holy Trinity came in, Stick, Buck, and Bob. Somehow, they saw the potential in Paulie O'Neill. It's like they really knew about baseball or something.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Bam-Bam would make a much better manager than we have now.

And Roberto Kelly would be a top 5 player for us right now .

Our only faint hope is that two or three of our high level young pitching prospect pan out, as well as 2 of our ton of high ceiling middle inflated prospects. Volpe may only be a season or two away.

The Ridiculously Pollyanna Archangel

Anonymous said...

They must've liked O'Neill's smooth mechanics. And him being a lefty hitter must've figured into their thinking. And Bernie Williams up and coming. At the time, I was kind of shocked by that trade too. We need people like Gene Michael to make the decisions.

Can anyone imagine Cashman making that kind of trade today? Even if Cashman trades a Roberto Kelly, he probably gets back "an unknown star" pitcher from Seattle, who comes here and promptly blows out his arm.

The Hammer of God

Celerino Sanchez said...

Cashman makes trades like these: Mike Lowell for 3 stiff pitchers, Javier Vasquez, Joey Gallo (A lifetime .200 hitter who when he get here, people wonder why he can't hit), Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Denny Neagle, Jeff Weaver, Esteban Loaiza, Jaime Garcia, Sonny Gray, Michael Pineda the hits just keep on coming.

Dantes said...

Could go with Pat Kelly then. Was trying to come up with an outfield prospect from back then.

Unknown said...

Your points are well raised. Cash is good a building good teams , not champions.

Scottiewallabeanie said...

Let me answer that question by posing another: What is No?