While the Yankees have underachieved as a franchise this year, it’s always all about the players. Here’s a shortlist of the few who shined…
The Yankees have always been a franchise that measures success by counting World Series titles. To players like Hank Bauer, Gil McDougald, Clete Boyer, and Bill Skowron, World Series “bonus” checks meant the difference between driving a beer truck to pay the bills or relaxing with their family during the winter.
Later, when salaries rose, and World Series money meant the chance of being raised to a higher tax bracket, players like Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neill, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte still kept that inner drive to win ever so present.
The 2021 Yankees have failed to carry on the tradition of winning, as defined by the legacy of the franchise, and for that, this team can only be judged as underachievers – even if they squeak out a playoff appearance as a Wild Card team.
There’ll be plenty of time during the winter for finger-pointing at the underachieving players who vastly outnumber the Yankees players, of whom we can safely say – Where would the team have been without them?
Not to be mistaken, though, is that the Yankees failed as a team, including the front office and the coaching staff.
The premium placed on the home run and the inability or unwillingness to engage in situational hitting remains the downfall of this and every Yankees team since 2009.
The missing contributions were Melky Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Shelley Duncan, and Jerry Hairston. For the 2009 team, they seemed to have the knack of getting a base hit, making a productive out, or getting a sac fly when the Yankees needed it.
Nevertheless, a few excelled in 2021 – and here is a profile of each player – beginning with the Yankees’ MVP…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
T.J. Roberts It is a short list indeed.
Bruce Sadler IF they do not make the World Series this will be the second-longest drought since 1903-1920. The franchise has not been to a world series since 2009.
Ryan Ventura They were expected to finish 95 and 67 by some experts. They were not expected to win 100 games. My Yankees underachieving is with some players. They are 84 and 67. Go Yankees
Jan Jacobi It is a remarkable and striking fact
Hubie Mercado Great article. Yes, it is definitely a disappointing year. Staring from the lack of front office leadership. Yes, the team got a spark after the All-Star break, but other than that, nothing but injuries throughout the year. The team is missing the spunk and spark of the younger Gardner and those utility players who could get that base hit; when needed. The team will probably squeak into the wildcard and probably not make it to the next round. Many questions to be answered during the off-season. But no matter what, I will always root for the team.
Anthony Paul Rock They underachieve a lot during the playoffs every year
Vincent Barrelli Maybe management overrated the players and regressed to the mean?