Earlier this offseason, we praised the New York Yankees for thinking outside the box and securing a coveted future manager when they hired Eric Chavez to be their assistant hitting coach alongside Dillon Lawson, securing a three-man weave.
Just two weeks later, we tried to reconcile with Chavez’s near-immediate departure to the Mets.
In an offseason full of inactivity and watchin’ the wheels go ’round and ’round, it seemed that the Yankees had made exactly one impressive addition, only to watch that addition walk outside the door and hop on the 7 train mere days afterward.
We were told, in the wake of Chavez’s move, that we had no right to be upset and that any MLB team has an unwritten code to allow any and all coaches to leave in favor of a promotion, no matter when they were hired. Then … we saw the Padres block the Mets from poaching their guy Ryan Flaherty for a promotion to bench coach so … so much for that! And then the Giants did the same.
So, what was it? Why was Chavez wooed by Steve Cohen within a two-week time frame of joining the Bronx Bombers? Cash? Fame? Love of the color orange?
Perhaps Chavez would’ve changed lives in the Bronx, but after hearing him interviewed on SNY this week, it seems more likely he would’ve clashed with the roster. Take a listen to Chavez explaining what he finds fault with in the game of baseball, then tell us he’s not describing the 2021 Yankees.
Eric Chavez hates rosters like … the Yankees roster. Not a fit.
We’re being tongue-in-cheek here, of course, but also … can’t you imagine Aaron Boone sitting across the desk from this, nodding … nodding … then calmly saying, “Eric, we have 100 of those players.”
The same Yankees who surrendered four top prospects for Joey Gallo at the 2021 trade deadline don’t sound like the most welcoming spot for a coach who hates working with players who sell out for power and shrug at sub-.200 batting averages.
Perhaps Chavez could’ve authored a turnaround in the Bronx, removing the one stathead obsession that doesn’t really jive with fans who’ve watched decades of winning baseball.
Accepting whiffs in the name of hitting for power is a reality now, though, for most championship-level baseball teams. Maybe Chavez planned to work with DJ LeMahieu and no one else? Because you can’t just take the swing-and-miss out of the Yankees. They were born into it.
Better luck in Flushing, with known contact bats like Pete Alonso and JD Davis.
Hope you enjoy their attempts to move the runners over, Eric.