A Perfect Ending

Before we get into the post itself, I wanted to take a moment and recognize Ken Singleton, YES broadcaster, who’s retiring after today’s telecast. Ken’s professionalism, passion, and love for the game of baseball have all been a joy and a privilege to hear over my many years of baseball fandom. Without a doubt, he is my favorite play-by-play announcer in the game and his color commentary is also near flawless. He knows baseball inside and out from a life well-lived in the game. He appreciates the players of today. He is knowledgeable without being a know it all. He is informative without being condescending. He is funny and witty without trying too hard. And, let’s be honest, his voice is a perfect voice for baseball. He will be sorely missed in the YES booth and we here at Views wish him well in all his future endeavors and time with his family. Thank you, Kenny, for sharing your love of baseball with us for so many years. We love you.

One way or another, the Yankees’ regular season will come to a close today with the playoffs on the line. Given their two losses on Friday and yesterday, they brought this stressful end onto themselves. We learned post-game yesterday that Jameson Taillon will be getting the ball for the Yankees and that seems appropriate.

Taillon was the latest in a long line of acquisitions by the Yankee front office aimed at catching lightning in a bottle or tapping some heretofore untapped potential. Michael Pineda. Nathan Eovaldi. Sonny Gray. James Paxton Those moves did not work out. This one….sort of has.

Like the Yankees themselves, Taillon has had an up and down season. There have been rough patches and stretches of brilliance, including a Pitcher of the Month award. But, for the most part, Taillon stayed healthy and adapted to pitching full time for the first time in a long time. And he did it while altering his mechanics as well as both his pitch selection and strategy; that is no easy feat. It’s also why it’s so fitting that he’s the one pitching with the season quite literally on the line today.

However unfair it is, because it is one game, etc., this moment is now a referendum on the Yankee organization itself. Always eager to prove how smart they are, they acquired Taillon (and Corey Kluber in this mold) to show they could unlock something, they could turn him around. To an extent, they have, but to paraphrase Mr. Quint, it hasn’t always been pleasant. The same goes for the season itself. Winning streaks, losing streaks. Looking unbeatable, looking like a high school team. Now, their decision is on the line, and not just the one to acquire Taillon.

The Yankees have shown near unwavering faith in Aaron Boone despite almost all evidence to the contrary that they shouldn’t. Friday night’s bullpen debacle speaks both for itself and to a common pattern throughout this year and Boone’s tenure. This year more than any I can remember well, the manager has legitimately cost the Yankees games with baffling decisions and wishy-washy justifications. It’s true, of course, that managing is much more a collaborative effort with the front office now than it ever has been, but that speaks ill on the Yankees, too. Perhaps his calmness is a strength over the course of 162 games, but with the season on the line, it looks like a lack of urgency.

There is, quite clearly, a system in place, a plan for making decisions. It’s virtually a script. At times this year, that plan, that strategy, that script, has been lacking. Hopefully, no matter what happens today, the Yankees use the offseason to look inward and revise some of their practices.

None of this is to say that I don’t think the Yankees can win today or whatever game(s) they end up playing beyond today. They’re still a good team that can outpitch or outhit poor managing. And, let’s be real, until their final out is recorded, I’m going to believe they’re going to win the World Series. This is to say, though, that the team has made things hard on itself in so many ways and now it’s up to one of their big physical and intellectual investments to pay off and push them through.

Let’s go, Jameson. We believe in you and that high fastball.

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Game 162: Finally

10 Comments

  1. Elton Cod

    This was a real victory for the team and Judge, especially because they won. I’m not sure if, at the end of the day, this is what Mr. 189 (Hal) wanted, but I know it’s what the fans and the players wanted: the team in the playoffs. Now they just need to win one more to make it to the real playoffs.

  2. MG309

    Gio made one of the gotsiest, greatest plays I’ve ever seen, it’s a miracle he didn’t get seriously hurt.

    Boone is a f**king moron, did he really need to think about Loaisiga replacing Green or was he taking a nap?

  3. Smurfy

    Gio, Gio, Gio!!! (just took the dive after catching) That a boy! That’s the spirit!

  4. dasit

    the way this season has gone:

    the yankees will get blown out today and go into a three-way tie with seattle and toronto, and we will hate them and demand a tear-down of the entire organization

    the yankees will show incredible fortitude and grit by getting through the 3-way (TWSS) and beating the red sox at fenway, and we will love them and dream of winning the pennant

    the yankees will get swept by the rays in embarrassing fashion, and we will hate them and demand a tear-down of the entire organization

    • Frankie Ho-Tep

      Haha you nailed it! I would put money on all three of those outcomes.

  5. I’ll miss Ken Singleton. His voice, his analysis, his love for the game, his humor, his home-run call… he’s definitely the best color commentator the Yankees have had.

    It’s been a disappointing season, and I’m sure it will end in disappointment.

  6. H. Avis

    Winter’s coming …

  7. Jack H.

    Perfectly stated!

    Go Yanks! And thank you, Kenny…

  8. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    $200 million payroll and the season comes down to Jameson Tallion. He won’t do anything so the question is will Boone manage with urgency and have a quick hook or will he let Tallion give up 5 runs before warming up Abreu. He has the arms in Sevy, Homes, Green, Peralta and Chappy to get through the game. Shoulda had King but he burned him in a 12-2 game. My guess is we see plenty of German and Abreu while Green and Chappy collect dust. But I like not using 6 ERA Cole on short rest. Only problem is if we lose today and face the Jays in Toronto we know Cole can’t beat em and we’ve never been able to beat the Jays in Canada.

    • UnnamedSource

      I would agree that Boone would deserve to be fired if he tries to pitch Abreu in game 162 as one commenter has predicted in comments posted to this and the previous blog entry. That is something of a strawman argument. In reality, Abreu was optioned to AAA between game 160 and 161, and he was not on the Yankees 28 man roster for game 161, and he is not on the 28 man roster for game 162.

      As for one commenter’s declaration that “we’ve never been able to beat the Jays in Canada,” perhaps it is worth noting that, as of 3:06 p.m. (EDT) on 10/03/2021, the last two wins the Yankees have had were in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada on 9/28/2021 and 9/30/2021. On 9/28, they defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 7 to 2. On 9/30, they defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 6 to 2.

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