As the 2019 season has reached its conclusion, I figured it was time to revive my It’s Not What You Want guide. You may remember it my last post at River Avenue Blues before it went to the great blog in the sky.
If you’re unfamiliar, the concept is simple. Remember that catchphrase for Joe Girardi, It’s not what you want? The one he said at countless pressers and has continued in his time as a broadcaster? Well, it can be used to describe anything in life or baseball.
So with the Yankees bowing out in the ALCS, it’s time to rank parts of their season and the surrounding accouterments on a scale of 1-5 Girardis. One Girardi means It Actually Is What You Want, Five Girardis means It’s ABSOLUTELY NOT What You Want. Let’s get to it.
The Yankees’ Absence from the Fall Classic: Five Girardis
Like many of you, I haven’t quite been able to process Saturday’s defeat. I’m writing this during early stages of World Series Game 1, but I have Pelicans-Raptors on instead (Side Note: Go Pelicans!). I’ll put the Fall Classic on eventually, but I can’t quite bear to watch the Astros go for their second ring right now. There’s a silent force preventing me from changing the channel.
Houston was the better team in the ALCS, but the Yankees had a real opportunity to win that series. Games 2, 3 and 6 were all within reach, and even Game 4 featured early opportunities to seize control. The Bombers were outscored by just one run over six games and won just two.
The Offseason Outlook: 3.5 Girardis
If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to the season, then buddy, I have a heck of a painful time in store for you. CC Sabathia has retired. Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Dellin Betances are all among the Yankees’ free agents, and none of that trio have a certain future in the Bronx.
You can talk yourself into this being a chance for the Yankees to get Gerrit Cole — Believe me, we’re gonna write about that a ton — but 29 other fanbases want Cole, too. A couple of handfuls have realistic hopes, but there’s no clear favorite. Not even the Bombers.
If this winter is anything like the 2018-19 edition, it could be slow and painful. The Yankees could make shrewd acquisitions without adding Cole — DJ LeMahieu, James Paxton and Adam Ottavino come to mind from last year — but it’s most likely going to be a slow burn.
The Hicks Homer and the Good Memories: One Girardi
This postseason wasn’t all bad just because the ending was the Sudden Departure mixed with taking a Louisville Slugger to the skull.
I’m going to choose to remember some other things even as Altuve’s homer is burned into my retinas. Gleyber’s go-ahead double in ALDS Game 1. Didi’s grand slam. Gleyber and Tanaka dominating to start the ALCS.
Even towards the end, the Yankees provided two near iconic moments: Aaron Hicks hitting one off the foul pole to finally hand Justin Verlander a loss to the Yankees in October, and DJ LeMahieu’s tying blast in Game 6. I already wrote about the LeMahieu dinger, so here’s the Hicks video for the fun of it.
Joe Girardi the favorite for managerial gigs: One Girardi
This IS What You Want.
Look, Aaron Boone was a Manager of the Year candidate and was uniquely equipped to deal with the Yankees’ rash of injuries this season. He’s an improved manager from Year 1 and overall rates out well in my book.
But if you follow my Twitter account, you’ll notice some clear Girardi affinity. His catchphrase truly stuck with me, plus he was a legitimately good manager in the Bronx. Sure, he was too rigid with certain issues, but he kept the Bombers going through some rough stretches just like Boone.
Whether he joins the Phillies, Cubs or crosstown rivals, it would be nice to see the manager back in action. It’ll be a shame to lose him from broadcasts, where he brought plenty of fun to the booth with AJ Pierzynski in the Division Series.
But yes, I am looking forward to some more #INWYW.
The 155 Days until Opening Day: Three Girardis
Would I love to watch some live Yankees baseball today? Of course. The offseason always features the notable absence of baseball, which is what we set out calendars to from March through October. Waiting five months for regular season games means getting through the aforementioned offseason and hopefully a healthier Spring Training.
But we could also use some distance from the end of 2019. Some time to process the devastating ALCS. A chance to find renewed hope in a championship and further remove from what some might consider a failure. Enjoy the next five months. Get reacquainted with family members you’ve ignored. It’s a chance for us all to make new hobbies that we’ll promptly give up come the spring.