Yankees fans at the Stadium last night couldn’t hold back the frustration, spraying the field with balls during another listless performance.
Vocal and frustrated Yankees fans in attendance last night at Yankee Stadium lost it as the team dropped another game to the Tampa Bay Rays in what can only be described as embarrassing.
Managing only three base hits, the Yankees committed three errors while the pitching staff walked seven batters, taking 184 pitches to surrender eight runs.
Giancarlo Stanton added his second home run of the season, a meaningless two-run shot to account for both Yankees’ runs.
Yankees First Earn The Boos
It began with a constant torrent of boos that seemed to echo throughout the cavernous ballpark in the fifth inning when separate fielding errors by Gio Urshela and Rougned Odor led to two runs as the Rays padded their lead to 6-0.
Things got more serious (and dangerous) in the eighth inning when it became clear the Yankees had left their fight in the clubhouse, and baseballs thrown by fans began appearing on the field.
Adopting his usual avoidance of the truth that could have been summed up, “We suck, and I can understand the frustration of our fans” – instead, Aaron Boone whined to The Athletic.
“You kind of hate seeing that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Unfortunately, a handful of people end up doing it, and it looks bad for everyone.”
Yankees Derail The Train
No, what looks bad, Aaron, is your team.
Somewhere along the line, it dawned on Boone that he is losing his team, and therefore it might be a good idea to conduct a team meeting following the game.
Apparently, Boone took ten minutes to read the Yankees his version of the riot act, which not surprisingly brought this reaction from Clint Frazier:
“Boonie is so chill that when he gets angry, you know at that moment that when he does get upset, like, ‘Hey, we aren’t doing it the right way right now,’” Frazier said. “He recognizes — and anyone — recognizes that we aren’t playing well; it should be addressed. And it was needed.”
Sorry, Clint, you are far too nice, but you’ve got it all wrong.
Boone’s speech was not needed – strike that – Boone’s speech to the Yankees should not have been needed.
It’s time the players recognize and accept accountability for their performance(s), good and bad.
It begins and ends in the Yankees clubhouse where Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, and hopefully soon, Gerrit Cole throw their weight around, challenging and confronting their peers (behind closed doors) when needed.
Aaron Boone is Aaron Boone. In last night’s situation, he’s like the big bad wolf who huffs and puffs, saying he’ll blow your house down, but in the next minute, Boone is out there feeding the Yankees talking points to the media, selling tickets to the next game.
Yankees: It’s Deeper Than Aaron Boone
Let me put it another way. Aaron Boone, like a double agent, is a double-scapegoat. Though the Yankees players like him as a person, they’re tired of Boone’s genuflecting at the altar of Brian Cashman and his ever-expanding analytics-based staff.
Aaron Boone oozes baseball acumen and knowledge. He showed that in his brief but fan informative career as a commentator for ESPN.
Let the guy manage!
Certain teams are more amenable to being driven by analytics. The Tampa Bay Rays are one of them – but do you know why?
It’s because their payroll is as low as the experience and know-how their players bring to the field. They’ll go along to get along.
Not so with a team like the Yankees, though. The Baby Bombers are all grown up now, and they’ve been through the wars of a baseball season.
Instead, you get the feeling many of the Yankees players realize (for too long) they are being puppeteered, inadvertently maybe but just as effectively by Aaron Boone – and his puppeteer upstairs.
Yankees Fans: Define The Real Culprit
But, you know what? The Yankees will never fire Aaron Boone because, unlike Joe Girardi, who made the mistake of standing up to Gary Sanchez‘s nonchalance, Boone is the perfect foil for the Yankees.
The Yankees’ front office will gladly let the rage of their fans, and eventually, their players, turn to Boone as the source of “the problem” as the next step after usually coveted baseballs are thrown onto the field.
Anything to keep fans away from the source of the problem at the top, though, because if they allowed us a glimpse, we’d see that’s where the current staid nature of the Yankees stems from.
Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have used the past 25 years to become well-oiled machines that deflect adversity and criticism.
By letting the Yankees fan base “take charge” as they did like grade-schoolers last night hurling “spitballs” in the classroom to express their misguided frustration, the Yankees’ front office wins.
I hesitate to use this expression but mark my words. There will soon come a time when Steinbrenner is as vilified a name as Wilpon in the baseball capital of the world, New York City.
But for that to happen, Yankees fans must take their eyes off the cup with the pea under it in a Three Card Monte scam game, saying instead – “We’re not playing your game anymore.”
It’s not, for example, Aaron Boone’s fault he had to insert Gio Urshela into a game at shortstop, a position he’s only played thirteen games before – and then to be surprised when Urshela makes a throwing error leading to a costly run.
A more pertinent point should be asking Brian Cashman why both Andrelton Simmons and Didi Gregorius were not pursued aggressively this winter when there were serious and admitted reservations about Gleyber Torres being out of position at shortstop.
Yankees: La Di Da Di Da, Or…
There’s a segment of the Yankees fan base that doesn’t want to hear what they frame as “negativity.” These fans disperse their form of frustration whenever they come across an article like this one – “Hey, what kind of fan are you?”
It’s a good and honest question and one I grapple with as I suppose other writers do as well.
I could have chosen, for example, to concentrate on Michael King‘s three-inning, no runs allowed, four K’s effort in yesterday’s loss, issuing the pablum to feed the masses?
But that’s not why I’m here, and hopefully, you can say the same because here was the scene at Yankee Stadium last night…
Some of the comments I receive have the Yankees finishing in the last place in the American League East. I won’t go that far, but rest assured, Championship Number 28, as of today, is as far as you can reach.
Let the players play, the manager manages, and if the frustration continues to increase, make sure it’s directed where it belongs at the hands and pockets of Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman.
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