Of all the Yankees disappointments we’ve been prepared for by the past decade-plus of coming up short, here’s one we earnestly didn’t see coming.
Laugh all you want. We did not know this was possible.
Just two weeks ago, the Yankees did the One Good Thing they’d accomplished this offseason, announcing a stacked new coaching staff featuring three collaborative hitting coaches, the way baseball’s elite offenses tend to do.
Alongside Dillon Lawson, who’d been their minor-league coordinator and would serve as their main hitting coach, were young assistant Casey Dykes, as well as former Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez.
We didn’t see it coming, but Chavez had made a strong impression in the Angels’ managerial race several years ago, and has been on New York’s radar for quite a while. Reportedly, he absolutely blew Aaron Boone away during the hiring process, leading us to gush about the irony of Boone heaping praise on someone who’d be a “Swiss Army knife” on his forthcoming staff … you know, the type of job usually held by a future manager.
It happened. Chavez was hired. It was written in ink, announced by the team in prepared graphics, written about and chatted about.
Yankees hitting assistant coach Eric Chavez has left for the Mets.
Except … no, not exactly.
In a move that can only be described as “Steve Cohen finding a contract loophole, and/or paying through the nose to embarrass the Yankees without caring about potential punishment,” that is exactly what has somehow happened.
And it worked! We’re very, very embarrassed.
Two weeks after he joined the Yankees — which, again, did happen — Chavez has reportedly bounced and taken the solo hitting coach job with the New York Mets.
Again, we’ve come to expect things will somehow fall apart in this modern Yankees generation, but … finalized coaching hires? Across a two-week holiday? How?!
Does this officially make Steve Cohen’s Mets the new Evil Empire? Hal Steinbrenner hasn’t done anything evil in his life, outside of some probable financial crimes.
Hell, he hasn’t even done anything interesting.
Can any coach leave one organization for another for a promotion in professional sports, too, or is that just a collegiate rule? Is there no breach of contract? Did the Yankees forget to sign a contract?
Oh wait … it actually might be even dumber than that.
You let an assistant you just hired … interview elsewhere for a better job?
Certainly, this failure is magnified in an offseason with player moves legally banned (Hal Steinbrenner’s dream). But the Mets waltzing in two weeks after the Yankees heaped praise on their favorite external hire of the offseason, only for Steve Cohen to take Christmas off, then say, “We’ll take that” in the dead of night, is worth of scorn.
Just another day in the life of the pushover Yankees.