The mood in the Yankees' clubhouse can't be very jovial right now, but things appear to have taken on an even harsher turn two Fridays ago when Jameson Taillon and the Cubs came to town.
In what was supposed to be Carlos Rodón's night to shine, Taillon took the reins and delivered hiis best start of the season, as well as arguably his only good start of 2023. The former Yankees righty entered the outing with a 6.93 ERA and left the field with a 6.15 mark, shutting New York's slumbering offense out through eight innings on three hits.
In the weeks to come, everyone from Patrick Sandoval to Austin Gomber would do the very same thing. At the time, though, it felt like a new low, and according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, it represented the moment Hal Steinbrenner realized he'd had enough of Dillon Lawson.
Lawson's dismissal -- Brian Cashman's first ever in-season coaching change -- came two days later after another collapse against Chicago. And with Lawson's firing, the winds seem to have picked up a little bit around Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman, too.
Yankees fired Dillon Lawson after Jameson Taillon enraged Hal Steinbrenner
There's only so much losing one man can take, especially if that man is Hal Steinbrenner and losing kind of, sort of, earnestly affects his bottom line. We've long been wondering how much he truly cares about what the Yankees have become, as when he'll realize that Cashman is misusing his finances, which have been supposedly earmarked for "winning".
Taillon, a former Yankee the team declined to prioritize in free agency, pulling an Aaron Hicks the second he sees pinstripes might've sent him over the edge, making anything possible.
Of course, passing on Taillon was actually a correct decision from Cashman. But when every single former Yankee seems motivated to stick it to this current team, then it feels like a disproportionate number of grudges are being harbored. Taillon wanted to win, no matter the opponent. Obviously. He's desperate. But the Yankees bats were poor enough to lock him in, and he rode the wave from there. If that's enough to get a hitting coach scapegoated, what comes next?
Per Ken Rosenthal, Cashman and Boone aren't entirely safe or blameless. Boone's newfound terseness might be endemic of a shorter fuse and a hotter seat (even if Rosenthal believes the front office must be examined under the same microscope as the manager).
Whether we agree on the source of the stench, can we at least all agree something's gone rotten? Great.
Steinbrenner's eyes were opened too late, but at least they were opened by Taillon and the Cubs. Hopefully, if things continue to spiral out of control, he doesn't stop at one angered dismissal.