Don’t worry, New York Yankees fans. The new year is almost here and it’ll hopefully make us forget about the disastrous 2021 season we experienced just a few short months ago. Rival fans might say “complaining about 92 wins … cry more!” but if you watched a lick of Bomber baseball, you’d understand why the never-ending criticism was warranted.
One more win gets the Yankees out of playing the AL Wild Card Game in Boston. That means one more home run, one fewer error, one fewer mental lapse, one more clutch hit — one more of anything positive gets the job done.
The most glaring “what the hell” aspect of 2021, though, was the Yankees’ lack of power — or at least the lack of consistent power. You’d look at New York’s 222 home runs, which was good for sixth in MLB, but you’d then scratch your head when you realize they finally got fully healthy seasons from Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, added Joey Gallo at the trade deadline, and pretty much had the same roster that’s been bopping since 2019.
How did the Blue Jays, Giants, Braves, and Twins have more homers than New York? How did 12 other teams have a better OPS? How did 16 other teams have a better slugging percentage?!
One explanation is the extended absence of Luke Voit, who dealt with knee and oblique injuries for much of the season. Gleyber Torres’ power disappeared again, and DJ LeMahieu experienced an unforeseen backslide.
Think those stats/explanations are bad? How about the fact both MIKE FORD and MIGUEL ANDÚJAR had two of the team’s 10 farthest homers in 2021?
Why did Mike Ford and Miguel Andújar make any meaningful Yankees list?
Ford hit a 447-foot blast against the White Sox and Andújar added a 449-foot rocket against the Twins … but how? Ford was designated for assignment and then traded to the Tampa Bay Rays after just 22 games. Andújar saw just 45 games before the team realized he was all-around bad.
These guys played no meaningful role with the team and probably won’t ever again … but they somehow managed to make this list the same amount of times as Judge and more times than Torres, Gallo, Voit and Gary Sánchez COMBINED.
This lineup either needs to rediscover itself in a big way or make an impact signing. It’d also help if MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t mix in dead/juiced balls every game. Would be cool.
Or, at the very least, they can’t have guys like Ford, Andújar, Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor or Jay Bruce eating meaningful innings that. should be going to better players.
That’s perhaps the moral of the 2021 story. Talent mismanagement and a lack of motivation. Let’s not do this again, yeah?