Yankees Thoughts: ‘It’s All Right There in Front of Us’

The Yankees lost another game and another series and their season is collapsing.

Here are 10 thoughts on the Yankees.

1. “We had chances to grab that game, take that game. We didn’t,” Aaron Boone said. “And that’s where we are right now, and it’s really difficult right now.”

“We gotta play better period,” Boone continued. “And the great thing is it’s right in front of us. It’s right here and we can fix it. It’s right here. It’s there and we can run away with this thing. And we got the dudes in there to do it.”

“If we don’t score,” Boone added, “tough to win.”

Boone said none of that after Sunday night’s 3-0 loss to the Red Sox. He did say all of that on Aug. 20, 2022 with the Yankees’ season in the type of free fall Tom Petty sang about. But you wouldn’t know Boone said that nearly two years ago and not this weekend because his summarization of the Yankees’ situation is the same today as it was then.

2. What Boone did say after losing yet another series was, “It’s all right there in front of us.” It was the same line he used in that Aug. 20, 2022 meltdown when he slammed the table with his right hand while saying it. It’s not the only other time he said it.

Aug. 20, 2022: “It’s right in front of us.”

July 15, 2023: “It’s all there right in front of us.”

July 7, 2024: “It’s all right there in front of us.”

For three straight seasons the Yankees have endured a mid-June collapse, and for three straight seasons, the man leading the team has regurgitated the same tired line.

The 2022 Yankees were 61-23 and then went 38-40.

The 2023 Yankees were 36-25 and then went 46-55.

The 2024 Yankees were 50-22. They are now 55-37, having gone 5-15 in their last 20 games.

When Brian Cashman gave up on Sonny Gray after 2018 and traded him away for nothing, he said, “I don’t feel like we can go through the same exercise and expect different results.” But when it comes to the person responsible for in-game management and creating a winning culture, Cashman is completely fine with living the same season over and over.

3. This week will be a month since the Yankees lost won a series. It’s now been more than a month since they won a home series. And after this 1-5 homestand against the Reds and Red Sox, Boone has added some more glowing accomplishments to his impressive resume:

– Only Yankees manager to get a fifth season on the job without a championship (and now a sixth and seventh season)

– Manager for the most lopsided home postseason loss in franchise history (Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS)

– Manager for the worst single-month record in 33 years

– Manager for the worst season record in 31 years

– Manager for the most steals allowed in a single game by franchise in 109 years

– Manager for the first three-plus-game-series sweep by NL team at Yankee Stadium in franchise history

– Manager for the first Yankees team to lose five straight home series in 34 years

– Manager for the first time in Yankees history the team allowed 35-plus home runs and had a losing record over any 16-game span

– Manager for the first Yankees team to not steal a base over 20 consecutive games in 61 years

4. This can’t go on. It couldn’t go on after Boone’s decision-making in the 2018 ALDS, but it did. It couldn’t go on after his decision-making in the 2020 ALDS, but it did. It couldn’t go on after the disgraceful 2021 season, but it did. It couldn’t go on after the second-half collapse, use of the 2004 ALCS at motivation and embarrassment in the ALCS in 2022, but it did. It couldn’t go on after the worst Yankees season in 30 years with the team missing the postseason in a format in which 40 percent of the league makes the postseason in 2023, but it did. It can’t continue for the rest of 2024. But it will.

5. It will because Cashman is in charge, and he’s invincible as general manager of the Yankees. He’s as close to being a member of the Steinbrenner family as one could be without having their last name. Cashman built a roster in which the Yankees are heavily relying on a 25-year-old rookie to be the third-most important bat in the lineup after Aaron Judge and Juan Soto. He’s the one who thought Anthony Rizzo coming off a lost season would stay healthy at almost 35 years of age. He’s the one who thought relying on Giancarlo Stanton to be available all season despite a lost tenure as a Yankee would suffice. He’s the one who thought DJ LeMahieu would turn back the clock five years. He’s the one who has held on to Gleyber Torres to the point where he has no value and will leave the Yankees for nothing in return in three months. He’s the one who thought Alex Verdugo’s contact ability would help a strikeout-heavy lineup, despite all of his contact being ground balls to second base. He’s the one who hung his hat on Anthony Volpe as the shortstop of the future and passed over every big-name free-agent shortstop available. He’s the one who gave Carlos Rodon $162 million to be a fifth starter at best. He’s the one who built this bullpen that has one trustworthy option in it (Luke Weaver), and it’s a stretch to call that one option trustworthy.

6. Unfortunately, Cashman isn’t going anywhere. Despite being unable to build a core of his own since being named general manager 26 years ago, there’s a better chance the Yankees remove the interlocking NY from their hat and stop wearing pinstripes than there is Cashman is removed from his position. He will remain in his position for as long as he wants, and when he no longer wants to be in the position, he will handpick the next person to do the job so Hal Steinbrenner doesn’t have to.

Cashman created this mess of a roster, though he likely doesn’t see it as that considering over the winter he said his team coming off an 82-win is “pretty fucking good.” But he also created this culture of losing by installing a manager who is accepting and comfortable with losing. A manager who calls extending losing streaks “bumps in the road” and refers to historic collapses as “the ebbs and flows of a baseball season” and considers catastrophic, avoidable losses to be “just part of 162” all while telling everyone at the end of each disappointing season how “sweet” it will be when the Yankees finally “climb the mountain” and win a championship under his watch.

7. It would take an incredible amount of good fortune and luck for the Yankees to win a championship with Boone as their manager. I’m not talking about a few bounces going their way or an unlikely bat getting hot in October. I’m talking about the kind of good fortune and luck needed to win the lottery and then win it again two days later.

If you’re one of the few lunatics who feels Boone is undeserving of losing his job, then you must be of the idea that no manager should ever lose their job because there’s no one more deserving of losing their managerial job than Boone. Boone isn’t the problem, but he is a problem, and he’s certainly not part of the solution.

8. If you listened to Anthony Volpe speak with the media after his lack of hustle led to the Yankees not scoring a run that would have won them the game on Friday night, it was as if Boone scripted Volpe’s responses for him. Judge frequently talks about “getting them tomorrow.” Last year, Rodon said, “It’s in front of us” as the season fell part, and a week after that, Harrison Bader responded, “No concern” when asked about the Yankees being 4 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. One of the reasons Joe Girardi was let go was because Cashman feared the young core of players would take on the tense characteristics of their manager. That young core under Boone didn’t grow up by taking on the characteristics of their happy-go-lucky, Pollyanna manager, they have become him.

9. With Gray, Cashman eventually said enough is enough. With tens of millions of dollars owed to pitchers and players like A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks, he thought paying them to not play or to play against the Yankees was better than paying them to play for the Yankees. When it came to his belief that winning with an all-right-handed lineup was possible while completely disregarding lineup balance, he finally gave in and traded for and signed left-handed bats. But for some reason, when it comes to Boone, he can’t make a change. He won’t make a change.

10. There’s 70 games left in the season. Seventy games to try to save a season that is taking on water at a faster rate than the previous two. Seventy games to not waste another season of the primes of Judge and Gerrit Cole, and not waste possibly the only season of Soto as a Yankee.

Coming off a season in which the Yankees were one win away from the World Series, Cashman handed the team over to someone with no managerial or coaching experience at any level. There’s no fixing or making up the last six lost seasons, but by finally ending this experiment Cashman can do something his manager has rarely ever done: put the team in the best possible position to succeed.