Saturday, October 2, 2021

Nothing Comes Easy...


Photo Credit: Mary Altaffer, AP

The Yankees’ Rollercoaster continues…

Just when the Yankees start to give you some confidence, they take it away. Such has been the 2021 season for Yankee fans. Last night’s 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was disappointing despite the Yankees attempted comeback that fell short. Many fault Aaron Boone’s handling of the bullpen for the loss (true belief, in my opinion) but was clear to me that Rays manager Kevin Cash continues to out-manage Boone in their head-to-head matchups.

Photo Credit: Mary Altaffer, AP

With only a game lead in the Wild Card chase, anything can happen with just two games left. I see many predicting when the Yankees will clinch a playoff spot, but with all honesty, they could see themselves out of the playoffs as easily as grabbing one of the two Wild Card spots. It’s unfortunate the two primary Wild Card challengers, the Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays, drew losing teams for their final regular season series while the Yankees were handed a division champ that is one victory away from 100 wins.  I like the challenge of beating the best to be the best, but of course you must actually beat them. 

Since the start of the recent Red Sox series, every game has been must-win. The Yankees did very well against both Boston and Toronto, yes, but they need to step up and take care of business against the Rays. They can’t depend on the Washington Nationals or the Baltimore Orioles (Boston and Toronto opponents, respectively) to deliver a playoff spot for the Yankees. They need to control their own destiny…and they need to make a statement in doing so…to secure home field advantage for the single-game elimination if they do succeed in making the playoffs. I don’t think any team really fears the Yankees at this point.

I will never say ‘I wish Joe Girardi was the manager’…that ship sailed several years ago, and I refuse to look back. However, the Yankees, regardless of how this season plays out, need to revisit their current managerial choice. If they win the World Series, odds are Aaron Boone would be rewarded with an extension, but realistically, I do not see a World Series championship in the cards for us this year. The deck is stacked against the Yankees, and they haven’t proven they can beat the better teams ahead of them when the chips are on the line.  I so want to be proven wrong in this belief, trust me. The Yankees can do better than Boone at the helm. I always thought Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin would be a good choice and the Yankees have had interest in the past, but just like the Rays went with an unknown when they hired Kevin Cash to replace Joe Maddon, the Yankees can find the right guy. Not that I necessarily want a manager with no experience, but everybody must start somewhere. They’ve rebuilt and upgraded the level of pitching instruction and can use similar strategy to upgrade all facets of the organization. Bottom-line, Aaron Boone has shown enough to know that he is not the one to lead us to the promised land

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

Okay, enough beating up on Boone. I just hope the Yankees can win today and tomorrow to make anything less than the top Wild Card spot moot. 

Not great news to hear D.J. LeMahieu has a sports hernia. I suppose it is good news he plans to play through it and could potentially be back on the field on Sunday after receiving a cortisone injection. The only question is how effective he can be with the injury. It was nice to see the return of shortstop Andrew Velazquez (at the expense of Albert Abreu who optioned to the sidelines) earlier this morning.  While Gio Urshela has done a decent job at short, he’s obviously needed at third with the state of D.J.’s health, and I clearly have more trust in the Bronx native’s glove than I do Gio despite his strong defensive skills. You must accept less offense with Velazquez in the lineup (he’s starting at shortstop today), but it just means everyone else needs to step up and take care of business. Gary, yes, I am talking to you…among a few others. For Velazquez, he gets a chance against his former teammates, and I am sure he’d love to be celebrating this weekend on his truly home turf. 

Just win, Yankees, just win…

I will be going to a baseball game today. I wish I was in New York and going to Yankee Stadium, but living in Southern California, I’ll have to settle for the next best thing. Headed to Dodger Stadium later today for a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. By game time, the Dodgers should know if they’ve been eliminated from the NL West division championship or if they still have slight hope for at least a tie. The San Francisco Giants, up by 2 games with 2 games to go, are playing the disappointing San Diego Padres in the City by the Bay this afternoon. A win by the Giants and the best (or worst) the Dodgers can do is where they currently sit, top Wild Card team with an upcoming visit by backup first baseman Albert Pujols’ old team, the St Louis Cardinals, on Wednesday. 

Hey Daniel Burch, I will be wearing my Bat Flip Brotherhood t-shirt featuring Cody Bellinger. This hasn’t been the greatest of years for the son of former Yankee Clay Bellinger and who knows if he’ll even play but I’ll be pulling for bat flips by Mookie Betts, the Turners (Justin and Trea) or possible future Yank Corey Seager. Thanks for the shirt, Bro.

Bat Flip Brotherhood on Etsy, by Dan Burch

Not trying to turn this into a Dodgers post (sorry), however, it was sad to see Dodgers Great Clayton Kershaw walk off the mound due to injury last night. He is suffering from forearm discomfort. While he still needs to undergo further testing, it is possible this was the final start as a Dodger for Kershaw. The injury could rule him out of the playoffs if the Dodgers can advance past the Cardinals, and he’s an impending free agent. The Dodgers trade deadline acquisition of Max Scherzer looks so huge right now.  For Kershaw, as much as he has meant to the Dodgers, he is not the pitcher he once was even if he’s Cooperstown-bound. I could see him returning to his native Texas since he continues to make his home there. Regardless of what happens, I wish Clayton and his family the best. I hope he has a chance to pitch again this year in trying to look at this with glass half full. Kersh has been such a tremendous Dodger. 

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Joe Girardi, I thought it was interesting this week when his team hired the son of Yankees great Don Mattingly as their new director of player development. Preston Mattingly, 34, previously Major League advance scouting and game planning coordinator for the Padres, is viewed as an up-and-coming Major League executive. Rumor has it he came with a strong recommendation from the manager of the Miami Marlins. Seriously, this is a good hire by Phillies President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, a man who knows how to tear down a farm system or two. Not that I wish anything good for the Phillies, a team I don’t care for despite their Yankee connections on the team, but congrats to young Mattingly as he continues his rise among front office executives. 

As always, Go Yankees!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)