Yankees: Bruce Leaves Voluntarily – Others May Not Be So Lucky

Yankees Jay Bruce: Built for the short porch

Typically, the Yankees use April and May to evaluate their roster with an eye to the Trade Deadline to make moves. That luxury is fading fast.

The Yankees watched silently as Jay Bruce took it upon him to call it quits.

Perhaps realizing Bruce can no longer perform at this level, together with asking himself, even if I could, at this stage of my life and career, do I really need to be involved with the mess this team is in?

Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees Oft-injured Centerfielder Photo Credit: Pinstripe Alley
Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees Oft-injured Centerfielder Photo Credit: Pinstripe Alley

Typically now, too, the Yankees do not have a replacement for Bruce, and they don’t seem to be in any particular rush to find one.

Losers of two of every three games they have played (5-10), only two teams have a record worse than the Yankees.

But it’s not merely a matter of wins and losses; it’s the way the Yankees are playing, both individually and as a team.

Yankees: Oh, Those Gosh Darn Facts…

If report cards were due today, Gerrit Cole, Aroldis Chapman both get A’s while Chad Green and Jordan Montgomery both get a B+. No position player has earned anything above a C+, and a few like Aaron Hicks, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres deserve an “F” for their effort thus far.

Here are a few undisputed facts about the Yankees:

  • The Yankees team batting average is .210, 26th in the league.
  • The Yankees are 25th in league with 51 runs scored over 15 games.
  • The Yankees are 25th in the league in hits (103).
  • Only two teams are worse in fielding percentage than the Yankees.
  • Only four teams have made more errors than the Yankees.
  • Only two teams are hitting into double-plays more than the Yankees.

Pitching is not the reason (they’re ninth overall in ERA) why the Yankees have come out of the game so poorly, so let’s leave that alone.

Brian Cashman Longest Tenured Yankees GM And Tired? (NY Daily News)
Brian Cashman Longest Tenured Yankees GM And Tired? (NY Daily News)

So, using reason and with this myriad of distinctive team issues, where do Brian Cashman and his team begin? He’s not the magician he once was, as teams have caught up to his sleight of hand in making trades.

For once, he will not be dealing from a position of strength unless he rolls the dice so that by Mid-June, the likes of Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, and Aaron Hicks are performing at a level that makes them attractive to partner with the Yankees.

Or, should Cashman say to himself, “I’ve seen enough, and this ain’t getting any better”, so let’s go for broke…

Yankees: Las Vegas Reaps The Rewards Again

Anyone can point to past Yankees teams who have gotten off to season starts equal to or worse than this one, arguing it’s only April, and they would be correct.

Except for one thing, which is that none of those teams are this Yankees team.

Yankees Fans Money Pit - Las Vegas
Yankees Fans Money Pit – Las Vegas

I keep saying it because I believe it to be a fact.

Las Vegas collects on the Yankees every year by installing them as a favorite to win (at least) an appearance in the World Series whether or not its endorsement is merited or not.

They win, bettors lose, and many of those bettors are also fans of the Yankees, which in turn becomes the source of their inability to grasp reality, calling articles such as this one “panicking.”

Yankees: Look Out Below, Aaron Boone

Because the Yankees and Cashman can’t do much to “make their players better” overnight or trade some of them, the next step in baseball’s judicial process is the manager and his coaching staff.

Brian Cashman hired Aaron Boone as the great communicator coming from the ESPN TV booth. He (imagined Cashman) could be the Yankees spin-control doctor when he didn’t wish to be.

Aaron Boone - Media Manager (Photo: USA Today Post)
Aaron Boone – Media Manager (Photo: USA Today Post)

Boone would take the daily analytics reports handed to him, digest them, and administer them religiously during a game without deviances.

This raises the question then – why would Brian Cashman want to dismiss the foil between himself and Hal Steinbrenner – and if he did, who would he replace Boone with?

Always playing defense of late, Cashman is not likely to replace Boone because he can’t arrange for trades that improve the team.

Better to let the status quo persist, go to church every Sunday, and praying for a miracle on 161st Street.

We’ve discussed this before. All entities of the Yankees franchise are dug in deeply, and everything they do is solely to protect their stake in the action – meaning $$.

Yankees Built Tp Maintain The Status Quo

Hal Steinbrenner takes no prisoners when it comes to going over the luxury tax limit, Cashman obediently follows orders, Boone falls in line. Even the players do as well with limp excuses and promises things’ll be getting better – just wait – as they watch their bank account grow with bi-weekly deposits.

Preceding Aaron Boone was Joe Girardi, and before that, Joe Torre. Neither the fiery and in-your-face direct challenge to authority Billy Martin was.

But both Girardi and Torre were able to find the middle point where the strength of the voice (i.e., knowledge of baseball) was heard.

Eventually, Joe Girardi committed a mortal sin when he called out the lack of hustle by Gary Sanchez. That singular statement of truth brought about his dismissal in favor of Boone.

Boone still has a chance to go that route, even if it means his fate is thrust in the hands of Brian Cashman and likely to be disposed of in the same way Girardi was.

You May Not Like It, But…

Yankees fans – I’m not here to be another mouthpiece of the Yankees.

And if you want, I’ll post all three of Giancarlo Stanton‘s meaningless home runs this season, and we can all ooh and aah. Ditto, Gary Sanchez.

But if you want to be “real” without the blinders on, there is a need to improve this Yankees team now – and at the trade deadline.

I see malaise on and off the field, but most in the front office of the Yankees that has become a wilting image of what their brand represents.

Strike it as “negativity,” if you will, because I see it as a lifelong dedication to a team I no longer recognize – and I don’t like it one bit.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Highest Payroll!
This team is in denial that their strategy is flawed.
Andrea Lupiano
Yes, I know. My question was about the piece, which assumes there is no possibility Gleyber can be a good shortstop going forward.
Daniel McCourt I do not agree at all with the author of that article.
Trust me. They have a plan.
I feel like Cashman waits till the night before the deadline. Lol‼️ But, that may be because I’m a little impatient😲
Let’s face it. If Sanchez hits 240 with 30 plus home runs he’s an in-demand catcher. He’s not killing the team. Stanton is doing what he is supposed to do. Hit home runs. The fact that he is not on base much is Cashman’s fault. He picked him. Judge has got to become a bitter hitter. His on-base percentage is horrific for a supposed top player. Clint Frazier is getting his chance and blowing it as is Tauchman. Gardner is at best a fifth outfielder and he starts way too much. Gleaner Torres big disappointment. He may need a change in scenery. He needs to be moved back to 2b and it might not be a great idea to demote him in a New York environment. I hate to trade him but go for Trevor story Rockies get an extra yr out of Torres who can quietly work his way back. You can wait for free agency but that just might 2021 an irrelevant yr

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Steve Contursi
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.