Writing about a team, such as the New York Yankees, obviously gives me several hot topics to touch, however, after losing 2 of 3 to the woeful Nationals, I felt compelled to tackle a few issues with the Yankees.
The 2nd-year skipper, former Yankee, Joe Girardi, will tell you that the Yankees will be fine. Really? We're just about 40% into the season and when will the Yankees be fine Joe? After not making the playoffs last year for the first time since 1994, the GM built, yes by adding lots of dollars to the payroll (most in baseball, big shock), a team that should absolutely be a top contender and not a team that can't take care of business against the Nationals. Girardi has been quick to shout out excuses, whether it's A-Rod is really still in spring training, Joba really is a starter just wait and see, we're just being very patient with him to develop this young pitcher; AJ will come back to his potential and he will make his pitches; Swisher will be a better base runner, you name it, it's been addressed. The results = 7 runs scored in 27 innings against the worst pitching staff in the MLB. The Nats weren't scared, starstruck, intimidated, or at least they sure didn't play that way. They must have been playing for their manager, so he doesn't actually get fired. Yeah, that's the excuse this time!
A-Rod is hitting around 1.50 for the month of June and really is struggling, but he remains without a day off since he returned from the DL of his surgery to the hip, he remains in the #4 spot in the lineup and still continues to struggle. A-Rod was happy, no, I will say thrilled, when he walked with 2 men on base down by 2 runs! What? That's not a good sign, whether he knows the batter behind him is hot or not, A-Rod should be wanting to be hitting them home in the clutch, at least some of the time! Let's not even talk about his celebratory jog back from first base when he finally realized his sorry pop-up that should have ended the game in a loss for his team, was not caught. He celebrated as if he belted one to right field! Not a good sign for the highest paid player in baseball.
Girardi needs to take accountability as a manager for letting them mail in a win (which last time I checked, doesn't work anymore!), making them accountable for their lack of fire, or whatever you want to call it. Alex, if you can't hit, we're moving you to the 6 or 7 spot so you can work it out without all the pressure of hitting clean-up. Tito did that to Ortiz in Boston and look what's happened, Ortiz is hitting now! Alex is under an immense amount of pressure, understandably so, however, what's best for the team Joe? Jeter, TEX and CC can not carry the team, obviously, and the rest of these guys that are getting paid to Kingdom Come better get their heads out of their arses and get it together, and realize what uniform they are wearing and get it done, no excuses.
Phil Hughes needs innings and he's pitching out of the bullpen, very effectively, for maybe one inning and then Girardi goes to Phil Coke...Phil Coke? Why? Would love to hear a good answer to that question. I'm totally fine with Wang getting another shot as well, he absolutely deserves it and if the Yanks can't give him run support for how he pitched against the Nationals, that's not Wang losing the game, that's the offense not producing!
I understand NY is a tough place to play, manage, GM, and it's tough to be a fan as well, at least in recent times, the past 8 years. I also know that you can't win them all in baseball, I'm totally ok with losing to Lannan last night, the kid deserved it and the Yankees lost, even with the hottest hitter in baseball at the plate to win it, fine....that's baseball. But if it weren't for the blooper on the part of Castillo last Friday night, this would be a 2 out of last 7! I'm not critical necessarily of the wins/losses, more so of things like: how Wang is treated, how Joba is allowed to shake off so many pitches, how A-Rod is still in the cleanup spot, etc. If these things are handled, corrected, the wins will come more frequently.
If old George was getting around and had any idea what was going on now, he'd be in the clubhouse hootin and hollarin', and would not be able to stomach this sort of play. I do, obviously, realize that there's a reason that I'm not managing a baseball team, however, I do really wonder about some things that seem so common sense to me and I know I'm not alone!
Bottom line: we can't beat Boston so far this season, Boston leads our division, after their game tonite, probably by 4 games now ahead of the Yankees. How do you get to the World Series without going through Boston?