Not even close.
Because what followed was an impromptu press conference to re-introduce Boone and talk about the team’s 2021 performance and offseason plans. Were you looking for any reassuring information or sentiments? We really hope not!
As expected, it was a lot of bloviating, demanding more from the players, not pinning any of the blame on Boone, backing Gary Sanchez’s defense (???) and hailing Hal Steinbrenner.
You go to sleep every night, you wake up, and you simply cannot believe this is the team you root for. It’s now a full decade-long nightmare, and until we see overarching roster changes, there’s really no need to even pay attention as religiously as we normally would.
Because insulting the fans’ intelligence or, once again, telling them that what they’re seeing is, in fact, not what they’re seeing, is a tired act from this organization.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s press conference was a disastrous mix of information.
Boone, with three-and-a-half years of experience, would’ve been the No. 1 managerial candidate in baseball had he hit free agency? In this scenario, is nobody else in the history of baseball being considered for a manager job? Did former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt escape to a remote island? Is Buck Showalter banned from leaving the YES Network studios?
We’ll be rooting for Boone, but you just can’t tell us there was definitively nobody who would be a better fit to manage this Yankees team.
Now, for the roster! Gary Sánchez is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility, with his price tag nearing $8 million. Is that something the Yankees want to pay for a totally average catcher who’s yet to put it all together offensively for a full season post-2017, hasn’t made necessary improvements on defense, and will never be the team’s starter when their best pitcher’s on the mound, presumably in the most important games? Remember, he was nowhere to be found in last year’s playoffs and this year’s Wild Card Game.
We got the classic “we’ll have to evaluate every position” response, and then Cashman said Sánchez has “come a long way defensively.” Again, what are they seeing that we aren’t?
He led the league in passed balls during the shortened season. He just logged his lowest caught-stealing percentage (17%) of his career. His fielding percentage improved, but he also made egregious errors with dropped pop-ups. The cracks were very much still there. How much longer of a leash does he need in the form of these disingenuous votes of confidence?
On the pitching side of things, remember when Jameson Taillon couldn’t possibly injure his ankle any worse (per doctors) had he continued to pitch on it? Well, turns out that was true, but the “worst-case” scenario has him missing the start of the 2022 season!
Taillon went on the IL back in the beginning of September. Instead of the Yankees opting for surgery then (we guess in favor of leaning on a postseason run that was never going to happen?) they now waited nearly two full months and yet ANOTHER start of a season will be affected due to what feels like injury situations that could’ve been totally avoided.
That brings us to the offseason plan. The Yankees need rotation help, especially if Taillon won’t be ready and could potentially need more time should the recovery time not go as smoothly as possible (which happens often with injured Yankees players). What will Hal Steinbrenner do?
Wait, before you answer that question, just know Cashman has a message for you:
The Yankees are the richest organization in the sport. They have not had the highest payroll in MLB since 2013. That’s nearly 10 years ago. The Dodgers and Red Sox have claimed that top spot since. In fact, since George Steinbrenner passed away during the 2010 season, the Yankees have spent the most money in the league on an annual basis just three times. Hal did take over for his father on a day-to-day basis in 2008, but George’s influence certainly played a role.
Nobody can question a $5 billion franchise trying to save a few million dollars against the luxury tax to comprise a World Series window? OK. Then what’s the point of attending games, buying merch, and spending $15 on beer?
You could’ve just replayed the press conference from April when the Yankees had an embarrassingly slow start to the season and we would’ve have felt any different.