Yankees: Mike Ford’s hitting coach really thinks NYY cheated him
Maybe this is not the kind of stuff you go on record with one day after the Yankees demoted your client?
Maybe you simply want to … take an extra day or two formulating these thoughts?
For hundreds of different reasons, the Bronx Bombers offense has not functioned properly in 2021, despite the many big names that stock the roster. “How can this be?!” opposing fans ask. “Aren’t all these players talented?”
We thought so, too. At this point, though, two months is two months. Add 2020’s underperformance in for a few of the familiar faces, and you’ve got a longer list of failures.
That brings us to first baseman Mike Ford, who burst onto the scene in 2019 as a member of the “Next Man Up” Yankees after heading to the Mariners in DFA limbo. Unfortunately, the Jersey-born and incredibly root-able Ford has never been the same since that season, hitting in the .130s in extended opportunities in both 2020 and ’21.
Demoted Tuesday night, Ford might not get another shot at the big-league roster for a while — check the depth chart, and the Yankees have opted not to carry a first baseman at all rather than carry him.
According to Ford’s personal hitting instructor, this was another incredibly unfair move in a long line of ’em directed towards his client. With all due respect, though, we’re now at 51 games of struggling over two seasons, a larger sample than Ford’s 2019 streak (50). That’s … a good amount.
Yankees first baseman Mike Ford’s hitting coach thinks he got a raw deal.
Ask any Yankee fan and they’d say Ford, who’s about to turn 29, has gotten an ample shot, especially for a team that fancies itself to be a contender.
Mike Sutlovich, Ford’s personal guru, disagrees. That’s fine! We like that he believes in Ford — and we also like Ford!
So far, not so good, though, and there’s mounting evidence that the Yankees in fact have too long a leash on his informal client.
Before espousing that Ford would have Luke Voit numbers if deployed properly (we’re not really sure what’s been improper about his usage), Sutlovich went off a bit:
"“You can’t send a guy out there a couple times, play him, sit him, play him like he’s in a video game,” Sutlovich said. “There have been other guys who were 0-for-17 and playing, so it’s not just Mike that was struggling. But it always seems that they had him on a short leash. He hits a 450-foot home run one night, then is benched the next two games. How can you do that?”"
Sorry, is he complaining about Gio Urshela getting a longer leash to figure things out? Because he’s the only guy who went 0-for-17 recently.
We love what Ford could be, but he hasn’t been that for a long time. We love Sutlovich’s faith in his friend and client, but at a certain point, the best “opportunity” for the slugger might be in the middle of a rebuild.