Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Long Wait for Yankees News...


The Quiet Pinstripes…

I got excited when Jeff Passan tweeted the other day that the Phillies’ Ryan Thompson “yanks a slider” (that Arizona catcher Gabriel Moreno could not handle which allowed Bryce Harper to score) because it was the first time that I got to hear the word “Yanks” in a postseason game this season. Okay, I know, he was not referring to the greatest franchise in MLB history, but it just shows how much I miss the Yankees. 

Since the end of the regular season, the New York Yankees have been extremely quiet. I know, they are waiting for the end of the postseason before making any public comments or moves. I guess we can call this season THE BIG VOID. A void filled only by ex-Yankees playing in the postseason. 

I would like to think Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner is effectively using this time to take his deep dive into the organization although there are reports the self-conducted internal audit will not occur until after the World Series champion is crowned. Who knows what Hal is doing other than counting his money.

Moves we know for sure will NOT happen. Manager Aaron Boone and General Manager Brian Cashman will not be fired. Whatever scenario we craft for the offseason in our speculative moves we feel the Yankees should make, the chances Hal removes his key leaders is about as good as George Steinbrenner rising from the grave to take control of his beloved franchise. It remains to be seen if the Yankees make any adjustments to their analytics division. If there is anyone who should be fired, it is Assistant GM Michael Fishman. I do not care that he has been in the organization for years. Results are more important than tenure. The Yankees have screwed the pooch in how they have analyzed players for the last decade. They may uncover an occasional gem, but the duds are far more frequent.

As far as players, we will have to wait until the Hot Stove League starts next month before we start hearing any real rumors. Although there is no certainty the San Diego Padres will trade Juan Soto, he is clearly the latest number-one target for Yankees fans. I try not to get too wrapped up in Soto speculation. I would be excited if it happened, but why think about it if it may never happen. I wanted Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, and they were there for the Yankees to grab for only money, and Team Steinbrenner let us down by not even joining the chase. Soto will cost quality prospects, in addition to money if they want to retain him. There is nothing about Hal Steinbrenner that leads me to believe he will be an aggressive pursuer of Soto. He should, but will he? I do not like the odds. 

I am even trying to temper any expectations the Yankees will sign Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Although the Yankees have shown public interest in the pitcher, it is not like the Yankees are the only MLB team in search of quality pitching. Hal Steinbrenner may have authorized big money for baseball’s greatest starting pitcher, but I am sure the Carlos Rodón contract is enough to give anyone heartburn about handing out a Brink’s truck to another pitcher. I may be more optimistic about Yamamoto than Soto, but with either one, I am trying to keep expectations low. 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Photo Credit: Eric Espada/Getty Images)

I am not in favor of bringing Jordan Montgomery back. He has done well since he left the Yankees, but honestly, I would be surprised if Monty wanted to come back to the Yankees after being dealt at the trade deadline a couple of years ago amidst speculation that he did not figure into the Yankees’ postseason plans. He has proven the Yankees were wrong and perhaps he would not have discovered who he could be if he had stayed in New York. Monty will be 31 before the 2024 season. It may not mean that he is over the hill yet, but I think there are better, younger options. I would not be disappointed if Monty returned, but I just do not think it will happen. So, saying I am not in favor of it is probably not accurate, however, I am not going to push for something I think will never happen. Monty should enjoy his post-Yankees renaissance and grab the life-changing money from another team for his next contract. The Texas Rangers would be foolish to let him get away. 

Although the Houston Astros seem to have momentum in the ALCS, I am ready to get the World Series over regardless of which teams are in it or who wins it. 2023 will always be a lost year in my mind. The year the Yankees could have been contenders if Brian Cashman’s moves had not thwarted it. It's time to move on to the 2024 MLB season or at least the preparation for it. Hal Steinbrenner gets to show if his heart is really in it. We shall see. Until then, there is just talk with no action. 

Retiring A-Rod’s Number

The short answer…NO. I am not a fan of Alex Rodriguez. While I appreciate his accomplishments in helping bring a World Series championship to New York in 2009, his desecration of the game far outweighed any positives he made. He is a cheater. He is a liar. He crossed an ethical line of his own volition. 

While I recognize Rodriguez has recaptured some fans with his post-playing career on TV, it does not atone for the damage he did to the game or to the Yankees. 

I think the Yankees have too many retired numbers as it is. There are players with retired numbers who should not be there. Reggie Jackson is one. He may have had big moments as a Yankee, but his stay was brief. He only played five of his twenty-one seasons in New York. Billy Martin is another one. I was not born during his playing days, but I loved every minute of his time(s) as the Yankees manager. I was so excited with every hiring and devastated with every firing. As much as I loved Billy, I do not consider his time worthy of a retired number. He will always remain one of my favorite Yankees managers. On the other side of the coin, Roy White is more deserving of a retired “Yankees” number than A-Rod. His number (6) is retired for Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre. It should be co-retired with White, much like how number 8 is retired for Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra.

Roy White

I do not feel A-Rod should be in the Hall of Fame, and I do not believe his Yankees number should be retired. You may not agree but that is okay. This is not something we need to agree on. You have your opinion and I have mine. 

Speaking of retired numbers, Fresno State will retire Aaron Judge’s number 29 on November 18. A worthy retired number while we wait for the future enshrinement of number 99 in Monument Park. 

Aaron Judge

Looking forward to when we have real Yankees news again.

As always, Go Yankees!