The 2019 Yankees It’s Not What You Want Meter, Revisited

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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

No.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

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.

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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.

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5 Comments

  1. RetroRob

    Aaron Hicks having TJS: 4 Girardi’s.

    It should be five, but frankly I’m thankful it’s being done now. Once I heard TJS was recommended, my fear was he’d blow his arm out in March, or June, and miss all of 2020. Get it out of the way. They also know they’ll need to cover the first three months of the season in CF.

  2. James Dunston Buggah

    Chapman (or rather Boone) should have walked Altuve. You all know that the strike zone is differently placed for a 5’5″ tall batter, right? How may 5’5″ tall batters did the Yankees in the season?

  3. DJ Lemeddardhieu

    I actually think we need to rehire Girardi this offseason, Steven. Everybody was saying before the ALCS how much better this 2019 club was than the 2017 club. Girardi took that rag tag bunch of Ellsburys and Headleys and took the Astros to the brink. Boone failed to even get to a game 7 with a team of All Stars. To me Girardi is the better manager and some team is going to get real lucky scooping him up this offseason. Hopefully it’s not the Mets because they would become an instant WS contender with either Joe or Buck as their manager. And I hope we don’t lose Buck’s voice in the YES studios. He has such an eye for the game and is a joy to listen to but these teams would be crazy to pass on him.

    Yes Girardi relied too much on the binder but he didn’t have an analytics dept whispering in his ear like Boone does. Girardi actually watched the games and managed based on how his players looked. He never would have taken out a dominating Tanaka in Game 1 or a dominating Green for a struggling Ottavino in Game 2. “Well the analytics dept says Ottavino’s slider is better against Springer than Green who is mowing down the Astros lineup.” Girardi and Buck would have thrown that in the trash and we’d still be playing.

    Nationals NL lineup with a pitcher hitting had no problems hitting Cole. These guys are hittable if you don’t have a lineup that strikes out 50 times a game. Cashman has never figured this out that you need more DJ’s in your lineup and less Encarnacions. Cashman didn’t even want DJ and had to be talked into it and he thought that Encarnacion would be the equalizer against the Astros pitching. That sure worked out. The 40 year old corpse of Ryan Zimmerman had no problems hitting Cole. And the 20 year old Soto hit one. Why couldn’t our guys do that?

  4. The Original Drew

    F**k the Astros sideways with a cactus. Mostly for the absolutely reprehensible actions by their assistant GM, and their statement right after the fact, and for their statement backtracking their original statement. An absolute clusterf**k.

    Never mind that I don’t think that they were the significantly better team in the series against the Yankees. There were one or two key plays in Game 2,3 and 6 that could have turned the tide in the Yankees favor.

    • DJ Lemeddardhieu

      They’re definitely an easy bunch to root against and I hope the Nationals sweep in 4. They cheat every game. Bregman whispers in everybody’s ear what the secret cameras and sign stealers are telling him. Nationals seemed to have a plan for that last night where Boone and Kevin Cash did not. And the Nationals with Max and Patrick and Strasburg and Anibal show you that the blueprint to winning the WS is not having 50 elite relievers, it’s having 4 reliable starters who can shut down the opponent on any given night. The pen is there to be their backup in case they have an off night. Just because it worked one year for the KC Royals doesn’t mean it works every year. When we had a rotation of Coney, Andy, El Duque and Wells we won every year.

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