Insider alleges Yankees losing to rivals for their failure to manage crisis

A scene from the Yankees vs. Guardians 2022 ALDS playoff.

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MLB insider Joel Sherman has accused the Yankees of crisis mismanagement and held it as the ultimate reason for their failure in the 2023 season. He highlighted how the Yankees’ failure to cope with the turmoil caused by Aaron Judge’s injury set off a chain reaction and it ultimately doomed their season.

It was June 4 that marked a significant day as one of the Yankees’ most memorable moments in 2023. This notable date followed what later became known as a particularly challenging moment. On June 3, in the eighth inning of a match against the Dodgers, Aaron Judge forcefully collided his right foot with a concrete slab at the base of the Dodger Stadium‘s right-field wall. Subsequently, he was added to the injured list, resulting in his absence for a significant portion of the season.

At the time, the full impact of Judge’s absence wasn’t fully grasped. However, on June 4, the Yankees managed to triumph over the Dodgers with a 4-1 victory during the nationally televised “Sunday Night Baseball.” This achievement, accomplished without Judge’s contribution, underscored the team’s resilience and determination, bolstering their confidence in their abilities.

The win not only lifted the Yankees to a season-high 11 games above a .500 winning percentage but also concluded a successful six-game road trip where they took two out of three games against both the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers. As they returned home with a record of 36-25, they were on par with the Los Angeles Dodgers (35-25) and tied with the Houston Astros (35-24).

This outcome held symbolic significance. In the years spanning from 2017 to 2022, the Dodgers held the highest winning percentage in the MLB at .645, followed by the Astros at .622, and the Yankees at .595. These were the teams that the Yankees aimed to compete against both in regular season standings and in the postseason. The Dodgers represented the benchmark of excellence on the West Coast, mirroring the aspirations of the Yankees on the East Coast. They combined the efficiency of a small-market approach with a high payroll. On the other hand, the Astros had been a recurring obstacle for the Yankees, having eliminated them from the ALCS in three of the last six years.

On June 4, the Yankees had the opportunity to affirm their competitive stance among the franchises they often measured themselves against. Despite significant challenges in terms of health and performance for all three teams, they failed to navigate through adversity and position themselves well for a successful season.

Two months later Yankees seem to be falling apart

Looking ahead two-plus months, this assessment still holds true for the Dodgers. Since their series against the Yankees, they have posted a 32-21 record, solidifying their dominance in the NL West. Their remarkable run places them in a prime position to secure their 11th consecutive postseason appearance and their 10th division title within that timeframe.

The Astros, while not as comfortably positioned, have also maintained a respectable record of 31-25 since that time. They are trailing by two games in the competitive AL West race and currently hold the second AL wild-card spot. With strong probabilities of securing their seventh straight postseason appearance and extending their streak of ALCS appearances to seven, the Astros remain in contention.

In contrast, the Yankees have faced a challenging period, going 23-31 since June 4th and accumulating a negative run differential of -42. Throughout this phase, numerous underlying issues that had been simmering over the past several years have been fully exposed. Should their struggles persist and lead to missing the playoffs, the Yankees’ leadership will not be able to attribute the outcome solely to injuries or unforeseen poor performance without facing questions about their credibility.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is playing against the Orioles at Camden Yards on July 28, 2023.

Judge’s absence from the field extended to 42 games during his time on the injured list. On the other hand, the Astros faced their own challenges, enduring the first 43 games of the season without the presence of Jose Altuve. Altuve then suffered another injury, aligning with Yordan Alvarez’s 48-game absence, akin to the scenario with Judge in Houston. The Astros also had their share of pitching setbacks, with Lance McCullers unavailable for an extended period and Luis Garcia undergoing Tommy John surgery early on. Notably, they operated without Jose Urquidy for over three months. Interestingly, Houston also allowed the 2022 AL Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander, to temporarily depart through free agency.

In the case of the Dodgers, pitching woes have been a theme. Walker Buehler has been absent throughout the entire year, and the team experienced the loss of Dustin May, who held an impressive 2.63 ERA for the entire season until mid-May. Additionally, Clayton Kershaw, who was having a season reminiscent of Cy Young-level performance, was sidelined for over six weeks.

Looking at underachievement? Look no further than Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias, who struggled for a significant portion of this season. The Astros’ significant offseason acquisitions, Jose Abreu and Rafael Montero, have turned in disappointing performances. The Yankees’ hopes resting on emerging pitchers like Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez is hardly a reliable solution. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have entrusted over 30 percent of their starts to rookie pitchers, including notable names like Michael Grove and Bobby Miller. Similarly, the Astros have relied on rookies for more than 38 percent of their starts, with notable contributions from Hunter Brown and J.P. France.

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Yankees fail to fall back

Lacking seasoned experience at shortstop with Anthony Volpe? The Dodgers have struggled to generate solid output in that position, to the extent that Mookie Betts has taken on some shortstop duties. Meanwhile, the Astros’ Jeremy Peña appears to be encountering more challenges in his second year than he did during his rookie season.

However, the Astros and Dodgers have managed to navigate their deficiencies more effectively than the Yankees so far. Their achievements can largely be attributed to the excellence of their talent pipelines, encompassing international scouting, drafting, and player development. The Astros have notably excelled in nurturing starting pitching, a domain where they outshine the Yankees, while the Dodgers exhibit an overall superior aptitude for developing various aspects of the game.

The Dodgers, boasting impressive standings, often end up with late-round selections, a situation akin to that of the Yankees. In such cases, uncovering a talent like Will Smith becomes a necessity rather than obtaining a player like Blake Rutherford. Since 2013, the Astros have excelled in unearthing pitching talents on the international stage, showcasing names such as Garcia, Urquidy, Abreu, Javier, and Valdez. In comparison, the Yankees’ international pitching discoveries during the same period include Brito, Vasquez, Deivi Garcia, Peguero, and Contreras.

Largely attributed to their development pipeline and substantially influenced by owner Jim Crane’s contractual approach, Houston is also inclined to permit even integral championship figures like Verlander, Cole, Correa, and Springer to depart in free agency. This strategy commonly enables the Astros to evade the decline often observed in position players, a scenario the Yankees are grappling with as they heavily invested in LeMahieu and Rizzo.

The slow running of Giancarlo Stanton deprived the Yankees of a run against the Astros on Aug 5, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
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In the realm of position players, the Dodgers have displayed a willingness to commit to lengthy contracts primarily for standout all-around athletes like Betts and Freeman. Judge fits within this classification, although his physical makeup significantly varies from that of Betts and Freeman. Conversely, the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton with a decade remaining on his contract bound the Yankees to a player of less comprehensive skillset well into his thirties.

Betts and Freeman have played a pivotal role in helping the Dodgers navigate their challenges successfully. On the other hand, Stanton, LeMahieu, and Rizzo have been instrumental in the Yankees losing ground in comparison to the Dodgers and Astros since the team’s most notable day of the current season.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Insider alleges Yankees losing to rivals for their failure to manage crisis

  1. John Flattery for GM
    Don Mattingly, manger
    David Cone pitcher Coach
    Paul O’Neil hitting coach
    Jeter consultant to the GM
    Need a new voice Cashman needs to ride off into
    the sunset. This team seems like it’s going back to the early 70s.

  2. What do Los Angeles and Houston have that the Yankees don’t have?
    Firstly, they both have owners who CARE how their teams do past dollars and cents. Hal would rather forget he inherited a MLB team. He isn’t interested in baseball, and it really, really, really shows.
    Secondly, both Los Angeles and Houston have contemporary GMs who haven’t had their positions guaranteed for life by their owner. Hal has pretty much indicated the GM job is Cashman’s as long as he wants it. Yankees’ fans can pretty much resign themselves to excruciatingly mediocre teams until Steinbrenner either sells the team, or Cashman dies of old age. Welcome to our nightmare.

  3. Big Stein likely asked Hal to run the team rather than sell to some crook like Charles Dolan. Hal trusts Cashman can run the club and keep the cash register ringing. Empty seats and unsold hats and t shirts may get his attention.

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