Rizzo’s message, the state of Yankees’ locker room hint at awful morale

Gleyber Torres reacts after the Yankees lost in Boston in 2021.
Sara Molnick
Wednesday July 19, 2023

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ANAHEIM, Calif. – The 5-1 defeat against the Angels pushed the Yankees to a new low. With the team losing series after series in July and hitting their lowest ebb since 1990, their morale is awful. The state of the locker room and Anthony Rizzo’s statement only corroborated it.

The loss on Tuesday night marked the Yankees’ third consecutive defeat and fifth in the last six games. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, , who is viewed as one of the leaders in the clubhouse, commented that the mood among the team was down. He shared that each Yankees player, both individually and as a collective, held higher expectations and knew that the ongoing situation was disappointing.

“The mood’s down, for sure,” he told to YES Network. “It’s hard to have fun when you’re getting your teeth kicked in.”

Rizzo acknowledged that feeling down is acceptable at this point and conveyed that the Yankees were close-knit, supporting each other through this challenging period. He recognized it as a low point in their journey but emphasized that facing such difficulties is a part of the game.

“I think we all expect — we definitely all expect — better of ourselves, individually and as a team. And it’s OK to be down right now. It’s a close group. This is a low point. We’ve been battling, but this is part of it.”

The somber state of affairs in Yankees’ locker room

Aaron Judge, unable to partake in baseball activities due to his injured toe, changed into casual attire and briefly rested on a folding chair in front of his locker. More than four hours had passed since the game ended, adding to the somber atmosphere in the subdued New York Yankees clubhouse. Teammates struggled to publicly articulate the ongoing challenge of winning games in the absence of their best player.

As the second half commenced, the Yankees faced a tough start by losing two out of three games to the Colorado Rockies, a team projected to record its first 100-loss season in franchise history. Subsequently, they traveled from Denver to Orange County, California, to take on the Los Angeles Angels, who had struggled recently, dropping 11 of their last 13 games, and the Yankees experienced consecutive losses against them. On Sunday, they were unable to score against Chase Anderson, despite his high 6.89 ERA. In the following matches, they managed to score only three runs over a combined 13 innings against Griffin Canning and Patrick Sandoval, both members of an Angels rotation that had been facing significant challenges throughout July.

Ever since Judge sustained a sprained right big toe while colliding with the concrete portion of the right-field fence at Dodger Stadium on June 3, the Yankees’ offensive performance has notably declined. Their OPS, measuring the team’s on-base plus slugging percentage, ranks third-lowest across all major league teams (.658), and they have averaged the third-fewest runs per game (3.78). On a Monday night, they faced back-to-back walk-off losses in extra innings for the first time in 22 years, striking out 17 times and going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The following day, their offensive struggles persisted as they managed just one hit during the initial seven innings of the game.

Before Judge’s injury, the Yankees maintained a solid 10-game lead above a .500 winning percentage. However, following his absence, their performance declined, and they have recorded a 15-21 record since then.

Boone bragged about potential recovery

Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated that they had the ability to address the challenges they are facing. According to him, the Yankees possess players with a proven track record who can make a difference. Boone acknowledged that the prevailing narrative revolved around their struggles this year, which was understandable given the absence of the game’s best player, Judge. However, he believed that the team was still capable of turning things around. Boone acknowledged that it might sound repetitive, but the bottom line was that they had to rediscover their form and improve their performance.

With a record of 50-46, the Yankees currently maintain a stronger record than all teams in the American League Central. However, they find themselves in last place within their own division, the AL East, which is a position they have not been in this far into a season since 1990, a year that concluded with a total of 95 losses.

Rizzo, Stanton, LeMahieu, and Donaldson (who is currently sidelined with a substantial calf strain) hold a total of 14 All-Star appearances. However, their performance this season has been lackluster, with a combined slash line of .220/.298/.394, resulting in a .692 OPS that falls 39 points below the league average. When questioned about whether the team should accept that this is their current state, Boone showed skepticism and dismissed the idea, indicating that they are not willing to settle for such subpar performance.

He firmly responded, “No,” when asked about the possibility of quitting. Boone emphasized that there is no room for giving up; instead, they must persevere and continue fighting. He acknowledged that the team comprises talented players who are currently enduring a challenging phase, possibly one of the toughest periods in their careers. However, Boone stressed that they are not backing down or walking away from the challenge. Instead, they are fully committed to putting in the effort and determination to overcome these struggles. Boone asserted that everyone is working diligently, staying focused, and engaging in open communication to address the team’s situation.

In July, the Yankees have suffered defeats in four series, including matchups against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, both teams from the National League Central that are expected to make trades involving veteran players before the August 1 trade deadline. Despite recently appointing Sean Casey as their new hitting coach, the Yankees see themselves as buyers leading up to the deadline. However, their performance doesn’t give the impression that they are just one or two acquisitions away from being strong contenders for a championship.

The Yankees are relying on the near return of Judge, who has been participating in batting practice and light defensive drills before games. Additionally, they anticipate the upcoming comebacks of starting pitcher Nestor Cortes and relief pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga.

However, the current players must find a way to resolve the situation independently. Rizzo acknowledged that this is all part of the journey, with the team trailing nine games behind the first-place position but remaining only 2 1/2 games away from the final wild-card spot. He stated that this is the narrative of the 2023 season, and they must face the circumstances they have been given and continue to play.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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25 thoughts on “Rizzo’s message, the state of Yankees’ locker room hint at awful morale

  1. Go yankees, you’re still the number one, we’ll still trusted you, put your self together put your head up, put everything aside, focus, focus and focus and remember, you’re yankees.

  2. Bunt,bunt, bunt! 32 strikeouts in two consecutive games tells it all! Very sad situation considering it’s a professional team with a glorious past.

  3. Brian Cashman has made egregious errors over the past 6-7 years including the Stanton trade, Hicks contract extension, trading away Gio Urshela for Josh Donaldson, trading for an unhealthy Frankie Montas, trading away Jordan Montgomery without having a replacement, trading for Kiner-Falefa and Bader when there were better options available for SS & CF, not resolving the left field problem. This roster construction is a train wreck.
    Fire Cashman!

    1. Situation is somewhat similar to 1978. Current players are not responding to Boone. Change is needed. Team needs a manager who will throw out some tough love.

    2. Bring in Paul O’Neil as hitting coach and Don Mattingly as Boones replacement. Hopefully Cashman will do what’s best for the team regardless of whether a guy took the vax or not. BTW Cashman responded to my tweet about O’Neil. He said he wasn’t eligible because he hasn’t been vaccinated. Are you F**king serious? My hats off to O’Neil for being smart enough to avoid it.

  4. I’ve been defending Boone for some time now. But I think it’s time for him to go. He has lost the team.

    We need someone who will light a fire in the locker room.

    #Yankees4Life

  5. Yankees are a bunch of high priced crybabies. You Frankie montez won’t pitch sore shoulder.Rodan has not won a game,and as much as I love judge give me a break sore toe??? I mean I have bowled and worked 8 hour shifts tending bar with a broken. That is the thing they get all this money from Cashman and then they are hurt please every free agent big signing same crap. And arron Boone just keeps playing musical pitchers. He lost at least 10 games taking pitchers out who have pitched brilliant like coles last game cole struck out 11 took him out Peralta pitched 2 great innings took him out . Him and Cashman need to go. I am sorry but I am 75 I remember micky,yogi,reggie,Roger guys that played.the game for the fans and because.they loved baseball. Today’s guy are all about the money and honestly nobody deserves the money they get for playing a game don’t care how good you are

    1. I agree I’m 70, I remember when ball players were men not a bunch of high priced prima donnas. 35 / 40 million a year, if it wasn’t for baseball, they would be selling used cars. The Boss had the right idea fire the bums out bring in someone before it’s to late. Boone and Cashman gone. Never would’ve traded a Donaldson, don’t give up on CR, should have picked up Bellinger let DJ walk question mark on Badder injury prone trade for a broke down pitcher in reality hasn’t made a positive move in years but increases in payroll. Then you hear trading Torres, the only player who is showing any offense you keep maybe it’s not a bad idea be a seller and build the around Judge and shit can the season and the team

  6. Cashman and Boone need to go. The team needs to be ripped up. Everyone but Judge and Cole should be on the block.

    1. Lay off Judge dude. Toe injuries are serious. This injury could be a career changing injury. I think the obvious choice for hitting coach was overlooked. Paul O’Neil should have gotten the job. He is familiar with all the players and he critiques their swings daily. Why did Cashman not hire him? Because he didn’t take the damn idiotic cv19 vaccine! Haven’t we all come to see the whole vax thing was a contrived hoax. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is effecting a lot of players. O’Neil was smart not taking it. He would bring some much needed help.

      1. Unless you’re a noted epidemiologist or immunological professional, please refrain from commenting on medical issues.
        Having an opinion about the Yankees front office and players is fine: there’s no advanced degree required for that.
        You felt the need to post the same erroneous information twice. Give it a rest, and comment on the Yankees’ woes to your heart’s content. Thank you.

  7. Whoever had the mindset to sign Stanton made a Big mistake. He does not help the team. He only hits a home run when the Yanks are way behind or way ahead. Not when the team needs it. I would love to see the stats on wins and losses when he sits and when he plays. He is a very weak spot in the lineup.

    1. Stanton swing has always looked bad. When he takes a swing it almost looks like he’s hitting chicken handed. I mean who’s gonna try messing with his swing when he occasionally hits one over 115 mph? But seriously with his power using his swing? I mean with the right help he could be a great hitter.

  8. My feelings are that Cashman and Boone need to go along with Stanton , Donaldson and Severino. When will the front office wise up and stop giving out these millions of dollars and long contracts. I’m 79 years old and I have been a Yankee fan for 75 years and I am so disgusted with the Yankees I do not even watch them anymore. What a shame.

  9. What do I think about the Yankees is that they suck and I don’t know y in the hell Cashman and the entire organization is waiting to make trades to improve the team there r a bunch of idiots don’t they say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it well the team is broke fix the m f team asap

  10. No hope as long as Cashman has any say in player decisions. He has been wrong so often he needs to go and take everyone he hired with him .

  11. The guy that put this team together and made bad trades doesn’t wear a uniform, cannot hit a watermelon or throw a single pitch over the plate. This is on Cashman and Hal. One is grossly incompetent and the other is grossly ignorant of what a winning team is.

  12. Its time for Hal and his pals to sell the yankees,..find some investors who put winning first,and their pockets second..tired of this,..we aint got the money crap!!!

  13. Boone and Crashman has to go, this team has no soul, there is no leadership on Boone and he can’t motivate the playing just saying the same trash night after night, list after lost. He have lost about 10 extra innings games were he hasn’t been able to score the ghost runners and the other teams did. Boone has no clue on how to manufacture a run and how to play small baseball. The Yankees have the best bullpen on the league and Boone hasn’t been able to manage it well and he’s been comiting fundamental errors that cost the team loses like in Tuesday, why he pitched to Othani. This is happening day after day and it seems that nobody from front office cares about it. The other big problem that Boone has is that he argued to much with the Umps. that will backfire on you 99 out of 100 times since you established this fame.
    To much bad things happening to this team right now, I think they’re done.
    Until next year, SEE YAAAAA!

  14. This is the worst team in baseball. George must be spinning in his grave. I’ve been an avid fan for almost 70 years. I decided last Sunday to stop watching their games. It would serve the organization right if attendance fell through the floor.

  15. I have been a fan since Mazz hit that fatal shot in the bottom of the 10th in 1960 series,I even watched when we had that great double play combo of Horace Clark & Jerry Kenny,but, this team just plain sucks,their base running ,their lack of moving runners over just smells.The ghost runner never crosses the plate,this is on Boone and the instucters in the minors.
    You are right,it would be nice if the team were sold and Cashman was sent home.But sadly you would still Stanton &$120 million left behind &4 years.

    1. that is a great comment on the state and foul stench of this current yankee team. both boone and cash man have to go along with horrible signings of past their prime players who are injured and barely hitting 200.. this is an embarrassment to yankee tradition. get with the program yankee brass. 😡

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