Aside from consistent/encouraging play, good defense, sound fundamentals, and a winning attitude, the New York Yankees have lacked candor in 2021.
Maybe it’s all the Zoom calls that have taken away from the intimate, personal aspect of sports journalism, but this group of ballplayers and coaches are also just … mush. Regardless of the question, you get the same, uninspiring vague answer preceded by 14 “ya knows.”
Actually, no, I do not “know,” so can you tell me something worthwhile. Anything? Please?
Manager Aaron Boone, ahead of Game No. 78, finally did it. He said what every fan has been wanting to hear for weeks now.
Do we know the main symptom of all the Yankees’ problems? Not really. Some would chalk it up to lack of productivity and unforeseen/inexplicable regressions. Others would say we live and die by the home run. More might believe it’s poor leadership, both from a player and managerial standpoint. Those are a few of many that come to mind.
As for the latter concern, perhaps we can turn a corner, because Boone may have just lit a fire under the entire roster.
Aaron Boone proclaimed the Yankees’ 2021 season is on the line.
AND there have been talks about roster changes?! What kind?! Yankees fans have been speculating everything, from a full teardown to a partial teardown and then, of course, to a full-scale buy mode at the trade deadline. But it’s complicated.
Does the front office believe this core can win a World Series with a few more marquee additions? Do the Yankees want to mortgage the future and bet on that after all the time they’ve taken to bolster their farm system?
Or do they think they can pull off a successful re-tool like they did in 2016? Because let’s face it, we’re probably not looking at a fire sale. Ship off a couple of high-leverage relievers (Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton) for top prospects and trim the fat elsewhere (Clint Frazer, Miguel Andújar, Domingo German, etc.) to clear spots and begin filling them with capable/more consistent players.
The Yankees are too talented to be enduring this type of a rollercoaster season, in addition to the struggles that have characterized them thus far. But at some point the front office needs to look in the mirror. It was general manager Brian Cashman who made this a right-handed heavy lineup. It was Brian Cashman who passed on signing a wave of top starting pitchers over the last five years. It was Brian Cashman who made this offense one-dimensional. It was Brian Cashman who traded for the wrong Marlins outfielder.
But in a perfect world, at least half of the players would be doing their jobs admirably. Sadly, almost nobody is, and we’re staring at a 40-37 record with just 13 games before the All-Star break, and big changes could be on the way.
We’re just not sure what they might be. But Boone at least was candid enough to kickstart the difficult reality.