Where were you when the New York Yankees became the biggest joke in professional sports?
Where were you when the New York Yankees entered a must-win rubber match against the first-place team in the AL East on Sunday Night Baseball and opted to rest their singular run producer, just two days after he dramatically returned from injury to save their chances?
Where were you when the New York Yankees started Luis Severino and his high-6.00 ERA yet again in a crucial game against a team that had just roughed him up for nine runs in 3.1 innings pitched at home in one of the worst spectacles we've seen (spoiler: it got worse)?
Where were you when the game meandered to completion, with the Baltimore Orioles dropping a seven-run firebomb on the Yankees in the first? The Yankees struck out 18 times. Anthony Rizzo was 0-for-5 with five of those strikeouts. From the cleanup spot.
After the game, manager Aaron Boone was asked (for one of the final times, maybe?) about his offense's blithering performance, another in a long line of representative stinkers. They didn't play very well. They had a few opportunities, and worked extremely hard not to cash in any of them. They're 29th in the league in batting average -- that's a season-long stat that encompasses all the ebbs and flows of a lengthy campaign. Boone said he thought that, outside of the strikeouts, his team's at-bats were "building off last night."
"Last night" was an 8-3 win where Aaron Judge wasn't benched. Then, an Orioles record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game followed. But other than that, yeah, good work.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone thinks his lineup grinded out really well while getting blown over by Dean Kremer
Everyone knows the goal of an individual Major League Baseball game is not to win, but rather to "make it really tough on Kremer" (who, again, did beat you in a game that never really got very sweaty/closer than 7-2).
After the game, Severino called himself "the worst pitcher in the league," locked in a depressed haze. This is the man the Yankees decided to start on purpose in a swing game.
Boone's cheerleading has become so robotically delivered in recent months and years that it's hard to even get angry at it. His postgame candor only becomes notable during the rare exceptions where he lets his emotions bleed through and occasionally hits the table. The platitudes have to be especially egregious to warrant anger, once you become familiar with his process. Sunday night's comments were especially egregious.
Remember when Joe Torre warned Boone not to lie to his team? Just thinking about that again for no reason.