Growing Frustration

On Thursday night, the Yankees made folks across the fandom happy by calling up infielder Oswald Peraza, a move many felt was long overdue. People were abuzz and excited about seeing another youngster get his turn, following Oswaldo Cabrera who’s impressed with his versatility in the field since joining the Yankees. Then, Friday evening, the Yankees announced their lineup; notably absent was Oswald Peraza. Immediately, fans were once again abuzz, but not excited this time.

The immediate question this move prompted was why call up Peraza if he wasn’t going to start playing right away? It also makes me wonder why he was playing on Thursday evening before being called up, but that doesn’t matter as much anymore. Close to game time, Bryan Hoch relayed a quote from Aaron Boone (this is going to be a running theme in this post, so thanks to Bryan Hoch for helping me here):

Sure, no one wants to put undue expectations on a young player on a floundering team. But, again, what’s the point of calling him up if he’s not going to play? If it’s just “a great opportunity for him to get up here and be in this environment,” that’s a waste of a roster spot for the club and a waste of time for the player, who’d be better served playing every day. “Some opportunities” is absurd to say. He should be getting the opportunities. Hoch had something similar from Boone earlier in the evening:

Reading this made my eyes bug out and my head spin. It was paired with this:

I get that Boone–like any manager–isn’t going to throw one of his players under the bus. But it is clear that Isiah Kiner-Falefa is not a player the Yankees should be trotting out every day. By almost any measure, he’s one of the worst shortstops in baseball. “Everything [the Yankees are] doing right now” is losing a lot and blowing their division lead over the Rays and, yes, IKF is right in the middle of that, and is, frankly, one of the causes. The organization is either unwilling or unable to face the reality that IKF is not worthy of a starting spot on a team with playoff and championship aspirations; neither of those is a good thing. But the thing that got me the most, the thing that made me the most incensed?

No set plan? NO SET PLAN?! You called up one of your top infield prospects and don’t have a plan for how and when and where he’s going to play? This reflects so incredibly poorly on Boone, on Brian Cashman, and the organization as a whole. The thinking and decision-making processes of this team are mind-boggling and, at the very least, need some deep, deep examination in this offseason, if not completely overhauled.

By calling up a player, you’re signalling that you think he can help your team. Peraza was prized enough that he wasn’t dealt for Major League help at the trade deadline, yet he’s not good enough to take the place of one of the worst regulars in MLB this year?

This is remarkably confusing, as this entire season has been for the Yankees. But one thing is clear: I’m moving closer and closer to embracing the idea that the Yankees need wholesale changes in the front office and most of the dugout (Matt Blake seems fine).

On the VF314 twitter account, I’ve cautioned about the possible post-Cashman front office. Such a front office would likely be even more beholden to Hal Steinbrenner’s self-imposed and self-defeating austerity plan than Brian Cashman is. However, after more than 20 years in charge, it is probably time to move on. Something is flawed, maybe many things, in the way the Yankees go about their business now and a new process may be needed. Whatever it is now, it isn’t working the way it should. In the past, I’ve been very willing to the give Yankees–generally a smart and well-run organization–the benefit of the doubt. But I’m not nearly as willing to do that anymore when that benefit has been squandered over much of the last year or so.

I won’t go as far to say the Yankees don’t try to win, but there’s a difference between trying to win and trying to win a championship. The Yankees do the former, but they no longer seem to do the latter. That’s likely more an ownership problem than a front office problem. But at the end of the day, the Yankees haven’t won a championship since 2009 and have stagnated in their pursuit of one over and over again. Perhaps it’s time to let someone else try under ownership’s constraints instead of Brian Cashman.


The Series Where Everything Goes Wrong


On Process and Results


  1. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    Well they shocked me, Matt. They actually won 2/3 vs Tampa and scored 20 runs the last two games. Stanton and Donaldson came back at just the right time to save the season. Tallion, German and the pen pitched brilliantly. They’re finally playing like a ballclub again. With the lead now at 5 and TB and Tampa beating each other up, we just might hold on. Sevy and Rizzo should be back soon. Let’s hope Bader can contribute something to make that Monty trade seem a little better. Though Oswaldo has shown himself quite capable and needs to keep playing every day. They still need DJ, Benintendi and Carpy back for the playoffs but they now don’t need to push it. If they can get everyone healthy for October they’ll have quite the deep lineup. Keep the wrecking balls Judge and Stanton 1-2 in the order even with everyone healthy. If forces clubs to pitch to Judge and the #1 hitter often comes up with men on base later in the game. This is a good scrappy bunch that finally has the right approach. I’d much rather see 8 singles to lead off a game than 600 foot homers. Gleyber is finally going the other way. Josh too, though he did the same damn thing again where he admired the home run and got a single. What’s wrong with following Judge and just putting your head down and running to 1st base?

  2. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    I still don’t think they hold on, Matt. The team is in shambles. Rocco finally figured out that you can just walk Aaron Judge and the other guys won’t do a damn thing. I suspect Cash will be a lot smarter this weekend. Their only hope is to steal one of the three games so Tampa only gains one game and hope Tampa falters with their tough schedule down the stretch. Tampa has 9 games vs Toronto, 6 vs Houston and 3 vs Cleveland. That’s about the only hope because the lineups they’ve been running out there are little league lineups. And every time they say they don’t think a player will go on the IL he sits for a week taking up a roster spot and then is put on the IL. Stanton looked awful PH yesterday in a big spot. I’d rather have Oswaldo up there. At least he’s clutch and can put the ball in play. Stanton will probably sit all the games this weekend and then be put on the IL on Monday. And I like how Boone gets cute with the lineup and has Hicks leading off. Time and time again that lead off hitter comes up in a big spot late in the game with 2 outs, lead of hitter makes an out and Judge hits with nobody on next inning. Why not just lead off Judge? Then it’s more likely they’ll pitch to him leading off the game and he gets more AB’s. Hicks actually has had a couple big hits the last couple games. But this is a little league lineup. DJ’s out for the year, Benintendi is out for the year, Carpenter is out for the year, Rizzo can’t play because of a little head ache. Billy woulda sprinted over to his house and thrown some asprin in his face. Come on Rizzo. Donaldson on the paternity list has actually improved the lineup. Pitching is fine and will need to be relied upon heavily again. I just worry they’ll run out of gas. Boone has been running Weisert into the ground. And can the fans please stop with the “cheater” chants? It’s dumb and just lights a fire under Altuve and Correa. We get it already. Not to mention we have former Astros on our current club.

  3. CantStandYa2022

    The additions of IKF and Donaldson were head-scratchers at the time they were made. You can first-guess that move. I had zero reservations about letting Sanchez go, and Trevino has more than held his one. Kudos there. But the additions of IKF plus Donaldson, with his baggage, his attitude and contract made no sense. Remember, JD is your third baseman next season, folks, and for the low low price of only $25M. It was a bad move then. And you’re seeing it play out. It’s inexcusable, in my opinion, considering massive amount of infield talent available. The Yankees raced out ahead of the pack IN SPITE of the additions of Donaldson and IKF.

    Then you trade one of the two pitchers in your rotation that doesn’t have any innings limitations or injury concerns for a player that likely won’t contribute in any way this season. All while “trying to win a championship.” You can first-guess that move.

    And don’t forget Gallo. Who honestly thought that would end in any other way than it did?

    I love Brian Cashman. I think he’s an excellent GM, overall. His time is over. The last couple seasons have made that crystal clear. The roster construction isn’t working. This organization does not produce top minor league talent relative to other top organizations in the game. Their young players, overall, continuously regress. They can’t keep their players healthy and on the field, relative to the league. This is a problem every single season. When you can first-guess a GM’s moves. Your time is up.

    When the Yankees inevitably don’t advance in the postseason this year, I don’t see how Boone and Cashman can stay. Boone should have been gone last season, honestly. But this post is already too long

  4. Mister D

    I feel you. When the Yankees were pulling off the Dynasty in the 90s, they were doing “analytics” before it was being called that. Getting players with high OBP, sacrificing defense for offense in premium defensive positions (catcher, short, center), and using a stellar bullpen (underrated – it was more than just Mo) to shorten games. Cashman may have taken over from Stick and Watson, but he was a part of that decision making team. But time moves on, other teams have caught up, and Cash is an older dog that doesn’t seem to be learning new tricks. The Monty trade especially is such a disaster.

    It is fair to say how much of this is Hal and how much is Cash and how much is shared, but one way to find out is by getting rid of one of them. Alas we can’t get rid of Hal, so let’s bring in a new GM. At worst they reveal this is all on Hal’s shoulders, happy to keep racking up regular season wins on a budget (for the Yankees resources). At best we get new blood that tries something other than recruiting off the scrap heap.

  5. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    The Twins sure came at the right time, Matt. No matter how bad the Yankees are they always beat the Twins. Might save them for now. But Stanton is out for the year now. That guy is made of peanut brittle. Benintendi is out for the year. And Gary hit a 500 foot dinger to remind us what a mistake it was to let him go. And the very next AB he slowly jogged to first on a gb Stanton coulda beat out reminding us how fat and lazy he is. Speaking of lazy, can Donaldson please go away? I’m so sick of him pimping his home runs that end up in outs at 2nd base. Judge just puts his head down and runs. Act like you’ve been there before. I hope Donaldson is gone next year but that salary is an albatross. Thamks, Cash. He just doesn’t play the Yankee way like Judge does. Jameson looked good. Oswaldo looks like a natural in RF. The pen was great. Even Marwin and IKF flexed some power but it’s still pretty much Aaron Judge and the seven dwarves and whatever Hicks is.

  6. Anthony Rizzeddardo

    This is a bad bad team, Matt. Rotten to its core. I’d stick a fork in this team but I already used it to poke out my eyes so I don’t have to watch another minute of this crap. The division lead will be down to 3 after tomorrow. Peraza is playing tonight and doing nothing. Ain’t nothing saving this sorry bunch of lovers. I hope they don’t even hold on for the wild card. They don’t deserve it. I said over a hundred times last year to hire Buck, he’ll give us discipline and instead they stuck with the feckless Boone. And look what Buck is doing with an owner who cares and spends money and a GM that knows what he’s going and doesn’t trade for decrepit Donaldson and limp noodle IKF and sign Hicks to 8 years replacing the Ellsbury albatross with another. Its over. This is a week now with zero runs. They’ve given up. And Boone couldn’t motivate water to be wet. I’ll be rooting for Buck and the Mets from here on out.

    • Anthony Rizzeddardo

      I meant losers not lovers. And I forgot to mention this epic collapse means Judge won’t come back to this dumpster fire. Why would he? They don’t win any more than other clubs out west. And Cash slapped him in the face with the low contract offer. Hal won’t spend a penny to keep him. Judge is gone and he couldn’t be happier.

  7. Vin F

    This year reminds me of 1978 Pennant race, where Red Sox lost a big lead to the Yanks… Yanks will be on the receiving end this year…. I am predicting now they don’t even make the playoffs…. I hope I’m wrong…. Time to clean house !……….

  8. Jack Helmuth

    This is perfectly said. While not everything that Cashman has done has worked, he has, by and large, been incredibly successful. He’s pulled off some incredible buy low trades and has run a Yankees organization that hasn’t had a losing season in 30 years.

    But the mistakes are piling up, the near universal regression of high-ceiling offensive players (other than Judge) is debilitating, and the roster construction has been poor. So I say this without impulsiveness or typical fan anger – it’s time for Cash to go.

    P.S. – I miss this blog very much! Hope you’re all doing well.

  9. Kalman Heller

    I agree that the organization needs fresh blood. In the meantime I would put IFK at 3rd (Donaldson is chasing outside pitches and swinging so hard he loses his balance), Peraza at SS , Cabrera at 2b (Torres is totally lost), and DJLM at first until Rizzo’s back is actually ok. We’ve lost Benny for the rest of the season which creates a real challenge in the outfielder since our presumed CF is on the IL. So put Flores back in CF since his defense is good, Judge back in RF, and Miggy in LF. Nobody else has earned playing time. The biggest issue with Boone(besides mismanaging the bullpen) is that he doesn’t make players earn playing time.

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