Yankees Thoughts: A Lot of Losses

Yankees' focus is now on a wild-card berth after an awful two weeks

The Yankees have lost four straight and 10 of 13. They are in fourth place in the AL East, 2 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot, have the second-worst offense in the AL and just got swept at home by the Red Sox. They suck.

Here are 10 thoughts on the Yankees.

1. The first question to Aaron Boone at the next postgame press conference (though it should have already been asked) should be: Why do you think you should keep your job as manager of the Yankees?

What would Boone say? I really need to know. I need to know why he thinks he should continue in his current role. Because there’s no one outside of his immediate family who can possibly think he deserves to be Yankees manager.

2. He does nothing well, whether it’s speaking with the media, creating the best possible lineup or managing his bullpen. The one thing he was heralded for when hired was his communication skills, and it’s clear he lacks whatever communication skills the front office thought he had. Just look at Luis Severino not knowing the start time of Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS or the disconnect with Gary Sanchez last season or his inability to understand the severity of inserting Scumbag Domingo German into the clubhouse without addressing his suspension.

3. My breaking point with Boone was the 2018 ALDS. It was clear for nearly all of the 2018 regular season that he was in over his head as Yankees manager with zero managerial or coaching experience. But in the 2018 ALDS it was obvious when his pitching decisions ended the Yankees’ season.

This past weekend seems like it was the breaking point for a lot of Yankees fans who were indifferent to Boone before. Watching him sit in the dugout while his coaches went wild on the incorrect strike call to Rougned Odor was too much for some Yankees fans. Those fans who now want the Yankees to have a new manager are three years late to the movement, but hey, better late than never.  

4. A few weeks ago, I wrote (mostly in jest) that I would sign up for the second wild-card spot right now for the Yankees. Well, there’s no more sarcasm in that declaration, and it’s certainly no longer a joke. A wild-card berth is the Yankees’ only way into the postseason.

Can a 6 1/2-game deficit in the division be erased over 102 games? Sure. The problem is the team that holds the 6 1/2-game lead (the Rays) has too good of a pitching staff to experience an extended losing streak, or to play even close to .500 baseball. And it’s not like the Yankees are only competing with the Rays for the division, they would have to pass both the Blue Jays and Red Sox as well. What exactly have they done over 60 games and 37 percent of the season that would make anyone think they are capable of doing so?

5. If the Rays were to play essentially .500 baseball over their remaining 101 games (51-50), the Yankees would have to go 58-44 (.569) to tie them, and hope it’s enough to be better than both the Blue Jays and Red Sox. There’s no way the Rays are playing .500 baseball for 101 games. They are a .623 team in 2021. They were a .667 in 2020. They were a .636 team in 2019 and a .556 team in 2018. If the Rays were to continue to play .623 baseball for the rest of this season, they would finish 101-61, and the Yankees would have to go 70-32 (.686) to tie them. So yeah, the division is lost.

6. When the Yankees were 12-14 at the end of April, the Rays gave them a second life by going 13-14 in the first month. I said on the Keefe To The City Podcast that the Yankees wouldn’t get a third opportunity if they were to continue to play poorly, and that’s exactly what they have done. Since May 1, the Yankees have gone 19-15, while the Rays have gone 25-9. The Yankees pissed away April and now they have pissed away the AL East.

It’s not like obtaining a wild-card berth is going to be easy either. The Yankees are currently 2 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot being held by the Astros. (The Red Sox have the first wild-card spot.) The Yankees would need to jump the Blue Jays and Indians before getting to the Astros, and then outlast either the Astros or Red Sox.

7. If the Yankees were to earn a wild-card berth, it would be their fourth in seven seasons, and fourth in the last six full seasons. (They wouldn’t have earned any postseason berth if the standard format was used in 2020.) Since their last World Series win and appearance, the Yankees have gone 28-30 in the postseason, losing one wild-card game (2015), three ALDS (2011, 2018, 2020), four ALCS (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019) and have missed the postseason three times (2013, 2014, 2016). I don’t see how their championship drought ends if they are forced to use Gerrit Cole in a one-game playoff and then be without him for the first two or three games of the division series.

8. The Yankees’ schedule between now and July 4 is:

@ MIN (3)
@ PHI (2)
@ TOR (3)
vs. OAK (3)
vs. KC (3)
@ BOS (3)
vs. LAA (4)
vs. NYM (3)

After these 24 games the Yankees’ season will be 52 percent over. In order for me to change my opinion on the team, they will need to go at least 16-8 over these 24 games, which would have them at 47-37 going into the July 5 day off. That’s a lofty goal for a team that has a minus-4 run differential and the only team they have scored more runs than in the AL is the Tigers, but for the Yankees to turn their season around they are going to have to start achieving lofty goals and stacking wins.

9. Here is an update on how Giancarlo Stanton’s days have gone since coming off the injured list on May 28:

May 28: 0-for-5, 4 K
May 29: Personal day off
May 30: 0-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K
May 31: 0-for-4, 2 K
June 1: Personal day off (0-for-1 as pinch hitter)
June 2: 1-for-3, BB, K
June 3: Personal day off
June 4: 1-for-3, BB
June 5: 0-for-4, 2 K
June 6: Personal day off (0-for-1 with a strikeout as a pinch hitter)

10. I remember when the season got off to a bad start and the comparisons to the 1998 Yankees started. “Well, the ’98 Yankees started out 1-4” is what idiots said. The 1998 Yankees won 114 games. The 2021 Yankees would have to go 83-19 to accomplish that feat.

Anyone still think a slow start for the 2021 Yankees should be compared to the greatest team in baseball history?

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