For a long time now, we've surmised something was "rotten" in the New York Yankees' clubhouse. Something that was "off" but couldn't necessarily be identified with hard evidence. As the kids would say, it was more "vibes" than anything.
That's continued to be the case since the start of 2020. The first half of 2022 was the only stretch where this theory was potentially debunked. Outside of that run, fans have been subjected to terrible postgame interviews (or really any situation with a player/coach/executive facing the media), bizarre body language, and inexplicable performance regressions.
Wednesday night in Anaheim provided evidence in favor of this belief, if manager Aaron Boone's postgame interviews and chat with Talkin' Yanks didn't already do it for you.
While getting booed by Yankees fans in the visiting park, Carlos Rodón, after a rough inning, blew a kiss to those who were coming after him. Why? We don't know, but it's certainly not what you're supposed to do. It's done and it's not really a big deal, but it made for all the wrong headlines and social media discourse -- not to mention the back page of the tabloids.
How is Rodón, after three starts, already seemingly embracing some sort of villain role with his own fans? Does that already not tell you something is wrong? Think about the incessant criticism guys like Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sánchez, Joey Gallo and others have been hit with in recent years. Never saw anything like this from them.
Carlos Rodón, Tommy Kahnle situations show Yankees' chemistry is off
Boone's response to it? "I mean, I would like him not to do that. He's frustrated. It's obviously been tough for him." He had more to say, as you can see in the video above, but that pretty much encapsulates the incident. Rodón finished the game with six earned runs on four hits and five walks in just 4.1 innings. The Yankees lost 7-3.
Then came Tommy Kahnle, who pitched a meaningless eighth inning, but gave up a run in his third straight appearance after not giving up a single run in his first 16 outings. The Yankees were already dead in the water, but Kahnle, frustrated with his individual output (one earned run on one hit and two walks in one inning) went beserk and destroyed a fan (the inanimate object, not the person) in the dugout.
Hey, it's nice to see somebody care! A single player! Especially after the cameras cut to Anthony Rizzo and Anthony Volpe having a grand old time in the dugout with the team down 4-0 early in the game. Or Gleyber Torres having so so much fun chasing Eduardo Escobar with a cat before Tuesday's game. Have your fun! Definitely don't dial in and try to take things seriously.
Boone, however, felt the need to sit down with Kahnle in the dugout before the game ended. He claimed he talked to the right-hander about his performance, but does this look like two guys discussing a one-inning appearance that had no effect on a game that eventually ended in the Yankees getting swept?
This is where Boone is seemingly going to draw the line? The second somebody shows passion and fury because of unacceptable performances? The second somebody shows some accountability? We know Rizzo got a bit animated recently amid his disastrous slump, but does anybody else want to step up? Punt a bucket of seeds? Break a bat over their knee? Say something motivational in the postgame?
Is playing .500 baseball for the last 162 games not enough to light a fire under somebody? It seems like it's not, and that's why there's something very, very wrong with the energy surrounding the Yankees since the start of 2020.