Do the New York Yankees practice enough radical accountability to bench or punish Gleyber Torres when his botched double play ball in the seventh inning of the final game before the All-Star break directly leads to an unraveling and an embarrassing ending to the half? No.
But do the New York Yankees see enough writing on the wall to know that their platitude-spewing hitting coach probably can't survive a half as the steward of a league-worst offense without its Aaron Judge wallpaper? Apparently.
Though the Yankees have never dismissed a coach midseason before, and though Dillon "Hit Strikes Hard" Lawson can't be blamed entirely for DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson dissolving into dust (those are professionals, and they should all know how to hit), enough was apparently enough for Brian Cashman on Sunday evening, after a 4-1 lead became a 7-4 loss prior to Gerrit Cole's charter to Seattle.
Joel Sherman theorized such a move might actually be possible on Sunday morning, and Jon Heyman confirmed the news several hours and one debilitating loss later.
Yankees fire hitting coach Dillon Lawson
It's genuinely sort of shocking to see the Yankees admit defeat on a hire like this, mainly because Lawson wasn't just a shot in the dark. He was supposedly the man who'd implemented and executed a successful hitting plan across all levels of the minors. He was touted as the figurehead of a strategy that had already borne fruit. Firing him would mean admitting that something might be rotten all the way down the food chain, even though Lawson and Co's system seems to be resonating just fine at Hudson Valley and Somerset.
Numbers do not lie, however. Entering Sunday's game, the Yankees' .230 collective average (including Judge) was the second-worst in MLB, ahead of only the Royals. The Yankees' team .299 OBP is hard to believe. Even last season's Yankees, supposedly a "success" for Lawson, were a Judge Machine; the rest of the offense's second-half OPS was a wimpy .652.
It shouldn't be this shocking that Lawson was scapegoated. Cashman cannot fire himself, meaning both he and Aaron Boone are exempt from discipline. Still, the dismissal of Lawson means the dissatisfaction fans felt and Hal Steinbrenner couldn't perceive just a few short weeks ago is starting to boil over.
And, crazily enough, Anthony Volpe going public with the whimsical story of how a chicken parm dinner, and not Lawson's instruction, saved his season might've been the nail in the coffin.