Good teams make swift changes when things have gone stale. Bad teams make hasty decisions before fully examining a less-than-ideal result. Mediocre teams? They ... hang out until everything runs its course, not realizing it's too late until years after the fact. Right now, that would be the New York Yankees.
Brian Cashman has been calling the shots in varying influential ways since 1998. Aaron Boone has been in the dugout since 2018. Both were awarded contract extensions after the team had a clean opportunity to move on and start anew.
That's not all, though. Michael Fishman, the Yankees' analytically-driven assistant GM, has been in New York since 2004. Damon Oppenheimer has been the organization's scouting director since 2005. The Yankees have also failed spectacularly in both of those aspects of the game.
We're not asking for a Red Sox-flavored way of running baseball operations, with five different regimes in tow in less than 20 years ... but how about some change? And subbing in Boone for Joe Girardi doesn't count.
One valid example here is the availability of manager Bob Melvin. Two offseasons ago, nobody thought he was available because of his contract with the Oakland A's, but the San Diego Padres figured out a way to bring him to town. This offseason featured more of the same. Melvin was still under contract with San Diego, but there were rumblings about his potential departure. Once again, the Yankees let the opportunity pass them by, as the division-rival Giants swooped in and took Melvin off the Padres' hands for a Bay Area homecoming.
Yankees will forever regret letting Bob Melvin slip through their fingertips twice
When this happened the first time (ahead of the 2022 season), the Yankees had the perfect opportunity to think outside the box and see if the A's were willing to bend to their demands. Boone's contract was up. Change was needed after a Wild Card Game elimination at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.
Instead, the Yankees extended Boone, who will now enter the final year of his contract in 2024 ... but if the team really wanted to have made a change, they could've parted one year early with Boone, who has only seen this team get worse under him, and made a move for Melvin after his relationship with the Padres deteriorated. The Padres were willing to let him stay within the division. A move across the country and in a different league was definitely possible.
Now, does Melvin solve all the Yankees' problems? Not at all. Not even close. But it's a step in a different direction. Ridding the dugout of Aaron Boone doesn't even begin to solve the Yankees' roster woes, but it could postively contribute to a culture change and/or expose Cashman's processes as more flawed than they already are. Melvin is an old-school mind and blends that approach with a deep understanding of analytics, which is why he was so successful in Oakland.
And the great part about Melvin? He has one year left on his contract, just like Boone. The Yankees could've seen after one year if the 61-year-old made a difference. If he didn't and the root of the problem was deeper, then they could send him packing and leave Hal Steinbrenner to the front office house cleaning.
The issue here is that there's an obvious, realistic upgrade, but the Yankees prefer to maintain a regressing and rotting status quo, which shows the audit is fraudulent and the desire to progress is nonexistent.