In recent weeks, Sabathia’s been as perturbed as any one of us, pulling no punches about the team’s underperformance on his R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco. Something’s got to give … unless it just doesn’t.
We’re glad Sabathia opted against joining the Yankees’ pre- and postgame crew, as well as YES Network’s in-game booth (mostly because he has no interest in wearing a suit), but that’s mostly because we don’t want him subjected to three-plus hours of this nonsense on a nightly basis.
Sabathia is a sainted team legend. He’s earned the right to pick and choose when he watches this drivel. Of course, much like the rest of us, he’s addicted.
So, what’s the issue? Does Sabathia know something we don’t about the makeup of this team?
Well … duh, of course he does, and he’s letting a bit of his worry leak out amid another losing jag.
Sabathia loves these guys. He battled with these guys. But he readily admitted this week that, yeah, sometimes it appears they don’t try as hard as the group he joined New York to play with from 2009-2012. Why? Partially a mystery, partially all the righties.
CC Sabathia sees a clear problem with the 2021 Yankees.
And that construction mess, folks, is on Brian Cashman.
"It’s just the way the lineup is constructed, it’s just a streaky lineup. The only really consistent guys you have in there are Judge, DJ, and Gio, that you can really count to hit near .300. And the way the lineup is constructed, it’s all right-handed, and it can be pitched to. And there’s just gonna be times when we’re not gonna score a lot of runs."
It … it really is, isn’t it, C?
Here’s the bummer about Sabathia’s words: for years, he was a veteran leader who did a fantastic job being a bridge across eras, leading the Baby Bombers past the finish line and deep into the ALCS in 2017. The loss of Joe Girardi that offseason stands as … well, an inflection point at the very least for this group of players. So does Sabathia’s retirement, Masahiro Tanaka’s recent departure, and even Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle leaving.
Cashman tripped into a righties-only roster that has led to a bizarre streakiness across the board, and he deserves some blame for that. But dammit, the fun is gone, too. Magic is hard to collect and quantify, but each year for the past several years, someone (or several someones) have departed who once contributed to making this team feel special.
If the voices are getting stale, it’s unbelievable the team hasn’t tried to address that.
Sabathia knows as well as we do that the righty-heavy lineup batting in front of a short porch is a fairly odd oversight. So is the all-or-nothing offensive approach this team may or may not have.
But don’t ask Sabathia about the voices staying stagnant in the locker room. He’s not there to help anymore.