The Yankees, with two-thirds of the season gone, are fighting not for first place, but for second in the AL East. And injuries are no excuse.
Updated Below 4:10 pm EST 9/6/20
Yankees fans, forget about what the team looks like on paper because this Yankees team is not even a shadow of that team – you know – the one that was universally picked to challenge and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
The Yankees team we see today is the team that found a way to lose eight of ten games to the Tampa Bay Rays, now known as the Yankees “Daddy”, recalling days when Pedro Martinez ruled the earth.
Yankees: False Starts Leave Empty Hearts
This is the same Yankees team that continues to write the name Gary Sanchez in its lineup as though it was permanently etched in gold.
Yes, Gary Sanchez (right), the one who is on the verge of wiping out the Mendoza Line, creating a new standard of non-production via a .130 BA, while connecting for only five hits that are not a home run (7), and striking out 48 of his 100 at-bats this season.
These are the Bombers who count the ghosts of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton as part of the team that is perennially “on their way back” from injury, or so says Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman every day and with a straight face.
Activated yesterday, and rushed into the lineup to face his patsy team, is Gleyber Torres, who was thought to be on the same trajectory as Didi Gregorius as a player who gets better and better each year.
Well, Gregorius is still on that upward climb, only this year he’s doing it with Joe Girardi‘s Phillies, and not with the Yankees, who shunned Gregorius and refused to sign him as a free agent.
Meanwhile, Torres is stumbling along with a batting average of .235 and a mere four extra-base hits on the season. Moreover, it’s becoming ever so clear Torres is not a major league shortstop, and perhaps not even a second baseman.
What of the “White Whale” Brian Cashman wined and dined since he first drafted him, only to see Cole accept a draft offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Gerrit Cole, still the Yankees ace, is now 4-3 with a losing streak of three decisions when the Yankees were down and they needed him most.
The Yankees And A Dose Of Reality
Brett Gardner (.188 with seven extra-base hits) is looking every bit of his 37 years on this planet, and who the hell can explain why the Yankees still see Aaron Hicks (.200 with ten extra-base hits in 130 tries) as their center fielder? Note: Hicks does get on base (.354).
And what of the Yankees’ renowned bullpen? Aaron Boone believes that Aroldis Chapman is still working his way back from an abbreviated “Spring Training” and that Chapman will “eventually” come around. (New York Daily News)
Yankees: If Not Now, Then When?
Look, I know it’s easy to beat on a team when it’s down, but these Yankees deserve a good spanking.
Brian Cashman waltzed through the trade deadline, and while he always speaks convincingly with a logical tongue, he’s quickly finding out there are teams playing far above where the Yankees are at.
It’s not complacency, either. The players are showing up. The Yankees are simply getting beat by teams that look very good, and certainly better than they are.
At the moment, the Yankees are in a tie for second place with the Buffalo Blue Jays, a team that continues to play through a season in which they were displaced from their home city due to COVID-related border-crossing restrictions.
The Yankees schedule lays it out for them. Six of their next ten games are against the Blue Jays, with the Orioles patched in-between.
But as Mike Lupica put in his Sunday column, “If not now for the Yankees, when?”
Yankees Fall To Orioles Again
The Yankees left their bats at the hotel in Baltimore again today as the Orioles cruised to a 5-1 win over the 21-19 Bronx bombers. Managing only three hits, an error by Miguel Andujar to the leadoff batter in the sixth against Masahiro Tanaka led to two runs, enough to put the game away for Baltimore.