The New York Yankees are an arrogant franchise. But not in the way they should be. I don't mean the Yankees are arrogant in the sense of, "We're the best team in sports! 27 rings! Pinstripes! Gabagool!" That's the way the Yankees should be arrogant. It's in our blood. But the Yankees have become arrogant in a much worse way. It's not the fans being arrogant. It's the organization being arrogant and stuck in their failing ways.
If there's a quote that can best exemplify my argument, it's this now infamous one from Aaron Boone after their loss on Friday.
The fact that he's out of touch enough to say that quote out loud is one thing. The fact that he's arrogant enough to believe it is another. But it sums up their organizational attitude perfectly. The logic is that double plays are the sign of a "good team" since it involves getting people on base and hitting the ball hard. Allegedly. Well guess what?
You don't win baseball games by having a higher exit velocity than the other team. You win baseball games by scoring more runs than the other team.
Also, there are plenty of good teams that are not league leaders in double plays, but that's not even the point. The point is the Yankees are so stuck in their analytical ways that they refuse to acknowledge reality.
The reality is the following:
-The Yankees have not won the World Series in 12 years
-The Yankees have not been to the World Series in 12 years
-The Yankees have reached the ALCS just 5 times in the last 15 seasons
-Over their last 120 games, the Yankees are a middling 64-56
I don't want to hear "it's early" anymore. This is a sustained stretch of mediocre baseball. How any Yankee fan can be content with what's happened recently and continue to make excuses for the franchise baffles me. As I wrote last week, you are allowed to be critical of your favorite team. That doesn't make you less of a fan.
And the problem is that analytics have become the ultimate excuse. They think it shields them off from any criticism. "Well the numbers said this was the right lineup." "The numbers said we should have pulled this pitcher then." "The numbers said we should have signed this guy." "The numbers say we should actually be better than we are."
I'm tired of it. Show some accountability. Make a change. Their current ways obviously aren't working and refusing to acknowledge that is arrogant and a total slap in the face to Yankee fans everywhere who live and die with every pitch. Now the obvious question is: well what changes can they make?
Firing Aaron Boone is a start. It's certainly not an end-all-be-all solution that will magically fix the team overnight, but it's something. I actually don't think Boone is the biggest problem with this team. I think their organizational philosophy from the top down is flawed. I wrote that way back in October and stand by it. That starts at the top with Brian Cashman and the baseball operations department. There needs to be a drastic overhaul there, but that likely has to wait until the offseason. In the meantime, Boone obviously isn't helping to make things better, so I don't see any downside to letting him go. As Hubbs blogged this morning, his refusal to get ejected last night was pathetic. Terrible leadership to not stand up for his players and coaches. He's a puppet for the organization and has no backbone. I'd like someone to come in and not be afraid to criticize his players and get in their faces when they play like shit. But Brian Cashman basically fired Joe Girardi because he was too mean to Gary Sanchez one time. And that, along with trading for Giancarlo Stanton, will prove to be the downfall of a once promising Yankee core.
You can replace Boone with Phil Nevin if you're looking in-house. Honestly, I'd like to drag Buck Showalter out of the YES studios and have him manage the rest of the season. No way he has anything better to do. In the offseason, you can look for a more long term managerial solution. And that's when you can also overhaul the front office and perhaps fire Cashman. Because it does ultimately start with him, and there won't be significant changes until it comes from the top. I half-jokingly said on today's that Short Porch that I want Derek Jeter as the Yankees GM next season. He gets his ultimate revenge on Cashman and steals his job. Comes home to return this team to glory. Would be kind of an unreal storyline. But let's cross that bridge another time.
So the Yankees need to change. Something. Anything. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results (or some shit like that). The Yankees run the same team out there year after year and continue to fail. Big righty power hitters who strike out a lot and get hurt. The Yankees need more high-average, contact hitters. They need more lefties. They need more passion. They need a lot of changes.
At this point, I don't know what it will take for the Yankees to finally make a change. Is it not winning a pennant in over a decade? Is it being a mediocre team for a 120 game stretch? Is it getting bounced in the ALDS by the Rays? Is it being a fourth place team more than a third of the way through the season? Is it getting swept in embarrassing fashion by their rival Red Sox? Because all those things have fucking happened already. If they still refuse to change, it proves how arrogant this organization is, how little they care about winning, and how little they respect us fans.
If you're an angry Yankee fan and want some therapy, listen to today's Short Porch. We channelled all that frustration and basically just yelled for an hour straight. It felt good.