If the standings stay the way they are, the Yankees will miss the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since the early 1990s. The days of Matt Nokes and Dion James and when Bernie Williams was just a new kid on the block. The blame will solely fall on the offense, as the team just hasn’t hit enough all year. If you want to blame Kevin Long for that, by all means do so. If someone else has to take the blame, it has to be Brian Cashman and not Joe Girardi.
Does Girardi do some things that make you scratch your head at times? Surely. Does he manage a little bit scared and too much by the binder? You could say that. Does he rest guys too much? Probably. But you can’t blame him for everything. According to Baseball Reference, the Yankees are 65-61. Based on their run differential, they should only have 59 wins. Last year, they won 85, when they should have won 79. Some of that you have to give Girardi credit for. He manages the bullpen much better than Joe Torre did.
Girardi can only work with the talent he’s been given. Not every manager can make lemonade from lemons. To me, Girardi has done the best job he can with what he’s had to work with and that blame goes to Cashman and the Steinbrenners.
This was the lineup the last time the Yankees made the playoffs in 2012:
1b- Mark Teixeira
2b- Robinson Cano
3b- Alex Rodriguez
SS- Derek Jeter
LF- Raul Ibanez
RF- Nick Swisher
DH- Eric Chavez
Tex is two years older and is always hurt. Cano is gone and been replaced with guys like Stephen Drew and Brian Roberts. Jeter is in his last year. Ichiro Suzuki is in right and has 15 RBI. Carlos Beltran can’t stay healthy. The only place you can say this year’s team is better is in left field with Brett Gardner. What in the world happened?
The Yankees haven’t drafted well either. Here is a list of players the Yankees have drafted from 2005-2010 who have appeared in the big leagues:
Since 2006, where have the impact draft picks been? It’s too early to judge what’s gone on in past drafts, but the Yankee dynasties have been built on core talent coming out of the system. Could Ian Clarkin and Gregory Bird and Aaron Judge change that? Maybe, but to me, the fact is that for years the Yankees acted like the guy in your fantasy football draft who picks a defense in the third round.
If you want to blame someone for the Yankees not making the playoffs, don’t look at the field, look to the front office. Cashman inherited the team from Bob Watson. It’s time for him to pass the baton.