Friday, July 22, 2022

Last of the grades! Yes, management gets them, too!


Umm, did I hear someone say “doomsday rant”…?


Aaron Boone

Doug K. 

It’s hard to criticize a guy who manages a team that had a 13-game lead at the turn and the best record in baseball,  but I’m going to do it anyway. 

But before I do… 

I really like how pissed off he gets when Judge get called for the low strike. I also like the look of disgust he has on his face during Joey Gallo’s at bats.  I’m even starting to understand the mandatory day off thing.

All of that said…  Four things. 

1) His batting orders are bat shit insane. He always seems to base them on magical thinking.  It took him MONTHS to drop Gallo to ninth.

2) The last time the Yankees were great they had Joe Torre handling the clubhouse and Don Zimmer whispering in his ear during the games.  Boone, like the cheese, stands alone. Watching.  I don’t get game manager from him at all, and he doesn’t have a Zimmer. Not even Hans Zimmer, my personal favorite movie score composer. 

3) I HATE HATE HATE his robotic post game PR3000 responses to questions. I get it on one level. Don’t throw your guys under the bus but he’s just a little too positive. “He had good command of his stuff. Take away those two pitches (that were each hit for three run home runs) and he pitched well.”

I keep waiting for him to show a photo of right field and then pull out a sharpie and draw new fences to show that the ball that Donaldson hit to the track to end the game was actually a Home Run and they won.   

4)  Buck is doing great with the Mets. Buck is worth 3-5 wins a year. He’s a manager! Boone is a caretaker.  

Grade:  A-   (Because success is success)



Pretty funny, Doug!  And I completely agree with most of what you write. 

Ma Boone really does strike me as being a Torresque, good clubhouse manager/bad field manager type. Which is far from the worst thing you can be in New York.

It would be great to match him up with his own dugout whisperer (Though to be fair, it was Zimmer who advised Joe T. NOT to pitch Mendoza, who had been lights out, in the 8th inning of Game 7 vs. Arizona, but to try to push The Great One through yet another, two-inning save—thus beginning The Yankee Century of Horror.).

Still, point taken. I find Ma quite likable. I love his fiery crusade for his players’ strike zone—gee, if only somebody from the front office would join him in that!—and they seem to like him. I understand, too, that he must go along with the dictates from that Little Man Behind the Curtain, which might account for some of the weirder lineups.  

(Judge first and Stanton fourth in Game 2 yesterday? Why?)

On the other hand…

Boone never seems to force the action, never puts on a play, never manages with any sense of urgency. It shows in his team this year, increasingly given to styling at the plate—even on balls that don’t go out—and failing to hustle all the time, as with The Gleyber jaking it down the line in the 9th inning of Game 1 today.  

Right now, Boone has a .614 winning percentage as a Yankees manager, behind only Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel. With a little luck, he might manage to get to 100 wins for the 3rd time in the 4 seasons where it has been possible for him to win that many.

But I’ve yet to see Aaron Boone win a big game. The Yanks are only 11-11 in the posteason with him, and 3-4 in playoff series. 

I don’t see where he does anything for this team that any other major-league manager could not do.



Doug K.

It’s hard to criticize a guy who put together a team that had a 13-game lead at the turn and the best record in baseball, but I’m going to do it anyway. 

But before I do… 

Carpenter was a great get. Trevino was a great get. Nestor was a great sign. Holmes was a great get.  We had multiple All-Stars this year.  

Also… Getting rid of Sanchez was the greatest example of addition by subtraction in the history of sports. It was better than the Giants getting rid of Jeremy Shockey and hopefully better than the Knicks trading Julius Randle.  (But it will be close!) 

All of that said…  Six Things

1) $50 million for Donaldson?

2) IKF as our “defense first” shortstop? He was a Gold Glove THIRD BASEMAN and was below average at SS. 

3) Getting Joey Gallo! 

4) Keeping Joey Gallo! 

5) Trading four guys for Joey Gallo! 

6) Joey Gallo. 

Grade:  INCOMPLETE (Because he’s going to earn his grade in the next four weeks. We need Soto and a frontline pitcher.)



Who sez it’s hard to criticize? We’re New Yorkers, ain’t we?!

Again, I agree on most of this. Brian Cashman has done what he always does this year, only more so. His dumpster diving has retrieved some real pearls. And even some of the players he always has faith in when nobody else does—looking at you, Aaron Hicks—have contributed.


—He STILL won’t give up on his flops, even when they are hurting the team.  As many here have said, July was the month to sit Joey, and see if Andujar and Estevan had anything. Coops would not. Now it’s too late.  

And news flash: don’t be surprised if, despite all you hear, Joey is around to the bitter end of this season. Hey, the man who kept Stephen Drew for a year-and-a-half will keep anybody. 

— Where Brain was right and I was wrong, was in believing that this starting staff could carry the team. It has—but now it’s not. And it’s begun to pull the pen down with it.

Cooperstown Cashie was engaged in his usual, magical, Stakhanovite thinking: Well, if they pitch like all-stars for half-a-season—or a month—or two weeks, then, dammit, they must BE all-stars!

They’re not.

—Just as Boone can’t win a big game, Cashman can’t make a big trade. Gary Sanchez is gone—3 years too late? The deal to remake the left side of the infield was still a disaster, one that will only look worse as Crusty Donaldson continues to crumble.

Don’t expect any deadline deals to bring a Luis Castillo, much less a Juan Soto. Judging by his past, Cashman is much, much more likely to blow the cream of the farm system on the second or third best pitcher on Pittsburgh or Oakland.

Judging by how players developed in Cashman farm systems actually play in the majors, this won’t be so great a loss. But it won’t bring us the help to save this season.

—Most frustrating of all, Coops refuses to EVER focus on the Yankees’ leading rival in the AL. This started long before Houston began to beat us like a rented donkey, and has gone on for years, with one team after another. 

But the Astros are a case in point. Houston’s almost complete dearth of lefties cries out for another effective, lefty hitter. Which we don’t got, and which Cashie has no intention of trying to acquire.

But then, what kind of GM moves his team into a new stadium with a custom-made, rightfield short porch…and then insists that lefties don’t matter? 

Brian Cashman, that’s who.

His grade is incomplete? Just look at almost any Yankees playoff outcome for the last 20 years, and you can see the chronicle of a death foretold (Hey, only steal from the best!).



Hal and The Back Office

Doug K. 

It’s hard to criticize a guy who paid for a team that has a 13-game lead at the turn and the best record in baseball, but I’m going to do it anyway. 

But before I do…

He does spend a lot of money on salaries. Always top three. A lot of it is wasted, but that’s on Brain. 

That said…

1) He spends the lowest percentage of revenue in MLB. 

2) He rarely adds a key piece at the deadline because of “the luxury tax.” 

3) He doesn’t have the will to win. This year will be a true test of that because there are some pieces we really should add.  (Soto and a frontline pitcher.)

Grade: C 

But if you want to know how I really feel about Hal, I refer you back to something I wrote in 2018. It pretty much sums it up.



Brilliant, Doug!

But my feeling is, just as we can’t blame Boone for what Cooperstown makes him do, we can’t blame Cashman for everything that Hal WON’T do.

Yes, the Yankees have one of the largest payrolls of the game. So why would you NOT fire the GM for losing the same way, year after year?

The reason is that HAL thinks he has found the sweet spot for making money in NYC. Contend every year, but don’t win it all. To get over the top would require (some slight) financial risk—and afterwards, everyone will just want to be paid more!

Every year, the list grows longer and longer of players who—if your New York Yankees had just acquired one of them, and no one else—would have led to multiple championships.

Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, J.T. Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Carlos Correa…the beat goes on. Soto and Castillo will join that list this year.

The reason is that HAL just will not take those risks. 

Which…would be his call, if Hal Steinbrenner and his family were independent business people.

They are not. 

The ENORMOUS subsidies that the Steinbrenner family has received for half-a-century from the City of New York—including subsidies paid out when this city has been in desperate straits, and that bailed out The Family’s own abject failures in both baseball and shipbuilding—SHOULD have made us their business partners.

At the very least, Hal and folks should feel some obligation to actually try to win it all. For us.

But they don’t. 

All our largesse has got us is constantly rising prices for seats, concessions, and broadcasts—and constantly diminishing opportunities to see the Yankees, as Hal has seat after seat pulled out for more luxury boxes. Not to mention the collateral damage that was a beloved, old neighborhood park.

ENOUGH! Hal is not going to go for it all again, at such a time in the city? He ought to be ashamed.


Oh, and we didn’t forget:


The Hammer of God said...

Amen, Hoss. Prince Hal is not really trying to win because he doesn't really want to win. Status Quo is what he's shooting for.

P.S. Who's the chick washing the school bus? I didn't get that last part. But if you have her #....

The Hammer of God said...

And grades btw:

Ba-Boone: Z for ZERO

Cashman: N for NEGATIVE ZERO


HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Hammer.

The chick in question is the delectable Cameron Diaz, all clips from the movie, "Bad Teacher." Because, you know, Doug and I were doing a "good teacher/bad teacher" thing here.

By the by, do NOT waste time seeing the movie. Even drunk, late at night, for free on your TV machinery. Believe me: it ain't worth it.

The Hammer of God said...

Ah, I thought she looked familiar! I liked Diaz in the Tom Cruise movie "Vanilla Sky". A crazed hottie girlfriend who wants to die with you/for you? What's not to like?

Wezil1 said...

I thought it was Marjorie Taylor Green ! I wondered what the buckets were for.
I should probably get my eyes checked

AboveAverage said...

Vanilla Sky - as a movie - is not to like :)

Doug K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug K. said...


Thanks for getting this up. It's been a blast doing this with you. And I agree with what you wrote with three caveats.

1) I was doing THIS year so far, not an overall take on Boone, Hal, and Brain. All three of which I'd prefer to see gone.

That's why Boone gets an A- as opposed to a lower grade, especially after yesterday's debacle what with HIS RIDICULOUS USE OF GERMAN AFTER HE CLEARLY DID NOT HAVE IT AND PROBABLY COST US A CHANCE AT A LATE INNING COMEBACK!!! ARRRGGHHH!)

2) Same thing with Brain - Do I like him? No. Do I think he did a good job this year? Well they do have the best record so far. I didn't want to give him a grade though because the next two week will go a long way in determining if we have championship asperations. Same thing with Hal.

3) I liked Bad Teacher. I like her. I like Jason Segal (BTW his series, "Dispatches From Elsewhere" was really interesting television. If you get a chance check it out.) So we're going to have to agree to disagree there.

Doug K. said...

Hammer -

If you're only going to watch one Cameron Diaz movie it's got to be "There's Something About Mary" just sayin'

AboveAverage said...

Doug speaks wisely - - -

HoraceClarke66 said...

You're right, Doug. I was just anticipating, in that it's the same old, same old that will bring this year crashing down in the usual way.

The Hammer of God said...

@Wezil1, yeah, maybe she was a bit older in that movie. I don't know. As a man gets older, they all start looking better and better.

@AboveAverage, oh I agree, Vanilla Sky was not a particularly good movie. I wouldn't pay to see it again. But Diaz was hot!

@Doug K., thanks I'll have to check that one out. Never saw it, although I've heard of it.

13bit said...

I think it's easy to criticize a guy who had us up that much at the break. It's the "broken clock is right twice a day" syndrome.

Cash is going to make the occasional good move, but IT'S ALWAYS GOING TO BE DESPITE HIMSELF.

Boone will occasionally have success, but that doesn't mean he knows shit from shinola.

And Hal will just keep on keeping on, re-investing his dividends in soccer and polo ponies while the ATM known as "The Yankees" keeps spitting out change.

Let me be delicate here: They are all assholes. They have always been assholes. They will always BE assholes.

Management - more than most - you can't grade at the midterm. The real test of management is whether a team lasts on that long road to Mandalay, that trek to Canossa, that summer sail with Shackleton down the Suwanee Frozen river. We will only know if they built a good team when it's over. Right now, nothing plus nothing equals nothing. We know nothing.

It's hot here and we're all drooling in old Greenwich Village.

Here's one for the boys upstate!
Here's one for Randy, who's getting greased like a pig over at the playground!
Here's one for Cash as he contemplates his Spidey climb this year.

God Bless Babe Ruth and Whitey Ford and Yogi.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Mr. Bit,

You are the wise sage of this this neighborhood.


Fuck you HAL.