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The State of Things

Not great, Bob!

Well, damn.

After riding a relative high coming off the series with the Astros–despite the loss on Sunday–the Yankees had a shot (yet another) to right things in 2021, to get the season back on track. And then they reminded us that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. Jonathan Loaisiga, Wandy Peralta, (Nasty) Nestor Cortes, Aaron Judge, Kyle Higashioka, and Gio Urshela find themselves in COVID protocol, with manager Aaron Boone anticipating they’ll all miss the full ten days. Given the importance of the next two series, this could well tank the season.

Of course, we must remember that the health and safety of the players is the most important thing. I’d rather the Yankees lose every game and those six guys be completely fine than the Yankees win and one or more of them suffer greatly from COVID. Putting that aside, since it should be obvious, the ramifications of these losses were felt immediately on Friday night.

The Yankees ran out a lineup that was positively 2013-esque, one that would’ve been more in place in Tampa in February than the Bronx in July. Not surprisingly, they were shut out and mustered just three hits against Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox. That put them a full nine games back of the division-leading Red Sox and 5.5 back of the second wildcard leading A’s (with three teams in front of them in Cleveland, Toronto, and Seattle). Things aren’t over (talk to me, Yogi), but they’re feeling fairly bleak. Just a few days ago, we were talking about the Yankees as potential buyers at the trade deadline. Now…

As I’ve stated multiple times and multiple places–here, the Views’ Twitter account, my personal account–I don’t think the Yankees should sell at the trade deadline. There really isn’t anything to sell. This isn’t like 2016 when the Yankees had three expiring contracts attached to good players who could help out a stretch run. The most tradeable players on this roster with the best contracts–Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino–are injured. The guys who might be desirable–Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez–are players you should build around, not trade away, especially if you’re the Yankees. And, of course, they’re not trading Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, or DJ LeMahieu without taking considerable hits financially, reputationally, and on the field.

The entire organization is stuck in the middle. The team sports an incredibly talented roster…that also has easily exploitable flaws. The front office runs a tight ship and has been unarguably successful…yet there’s been no title in eleven-plus years and there seems to be rigidity in thought fomenting.

At this point, I’m almost at a loss for words. Almost. But one that certainly comes to mind is angry. I’m not necessarily angry at the play the Yankees have demonstrated on the field, however warranted. Sometimes, it’s just not your year and stuff happens. But I am angry that at least one player on the team has forgone getting vaccinated. Personal choice, blah, blah, blah. How a player on this team, from this city could watch how COVID ravaged the city and not get vaccinated is beyond me. Even on a baseball level, knowing that COVID could derail a season, like it’s doing right now, and not getting vaccinated seems selfish. This situation was completely avoidable, yet thanks to a selfish choice, here we are, potentially watching the last days of truly competitive Yankee baseball.

Maybe a funny thing will happen. Maybe baseball will be its unpredictable self and the Yankees will come out of this ten day stretch in better shape than they went into it. But, like many things related to this pandemic, it didn’t have to be this way. Yet it is.

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24 Comments

  1. MikeD

    Agreed. Don’t sell. Buy. This is a team still contending, and one who will certainly want to contend next season. Buster Olney last night suggesting the Yankees might sell and move Judge was comment without substance, ignoring the state of the Yankees and their history. It also ignores the business aspect of the game. Judge remains the teams main draw. Lazy comment from Buster. We all know Judge is not going anywhere.

    That aside, while they should buy, they need to be careful. This is a flawed team that will need additional work in the offseason. If they buy, they shouldn’t be trading valuable pieces to patchwork fix this edition. Traditionally, the Yankees could improve by simply using their financial advantage and pick up a good player that another team no longer wants to pay. Unfortunately, Hal has decided to give away that advantage.

  2. Mungo

    The vaccine police have arrived.

  3. dasit

    apart from hal saying the heck with the luxury tax, the only way to move the needle before it’s too late is to fire boone. his in-game management is awful and it’s justified to fire a manager when a team plays this sloppy, flat, and undisciplined

  4. Dani

    Who are you to judge people about getting vaccinated or not? Come on now, that’s none of your business.

    • Frankie Ho-Tep

      He can judge whomever he wants, however he wants. That’s none of your business. It works both ways. Hush now, simpleton.

      • Mikey

        You’re okay with judging people? For some reason I didn’t think you’d be okay with that. Interesting.

    • Someone not being vaccinated and catching COVID means that, unless they had a legitimate medical reason against vaccination, they made a decision that has impacted their ability to do their job. Any willingly unvaccinated player who catches COVID and misses time should be fined their game check for each game they miss. Not to talk about the risks they create for their teammates, including obviously that even vaxxed players can still test positive.

      It’s none of “our” business, but it sure is the team’s business. And we talk about the team all the time.

  5. Big Member

    look mike, the situation is dire. i disagree with you that this team should not sell. this team is straight up garbage and can only win if: (1) there is an actual flood on the field or (2) cole throws a complete game shut out. we need to trade away and punt so that we get a nice lottery pick in the draft maybe even top 5.

    now that we established that we need to sell the question is who should we sell. we have some good pisces that according to my sauces other teams would really like. what do you think about:

    yankees get: ronald acuna jr, ozzie albiez
    atlana get: giancarlo stanton, luke voit, chapman, jd lemahue.

    now before you get pitchforks out and say that this is an overpay for us here me out. acuna jr is donzo for the year and has no value for atlanta who is trying to get to the play offs but he’s usually a pretty good hitter. stanton according to my sauces is sick and tired of AL and wants to go back to NL where he can actually play the field so its a match made in heaven. ozzie is a throw in so the trade is not so lopsided.

    let me know your thoughts mike.

  6. DZB

    Speaking of angry. Can last night’s game please be the end of the personal catcher situation with Cole? He had 11 K’s and got the benefit of a Gary HR to go on to win. I realize Gary needs days off, but they don’t have to be part of a firm schedule with the personal catcher business.

    • Tim Loceddardstro

      Absolutely not. Home plate ump was calling strikes 6 inches off the plate. And Wade saved the day with his catch. Cole has a 2 ERA with Higgy and 4 without. Stanton will be playing OF so Gary can DH on Cole starts.

      • Frankie Ho-Tep

        Welp…guess that’s it. Can’t argue with that.

        Except for the fact that from June 3rd to July 4 Gerrit Cole had a 5.24 over six starts, ALL with Higashioka catching. He also threw to Sanchez just fine last season, when he was once again brilliant.

        Now, this isn’t meant to destroy your argument that Higgy absolutely MUST catch Cole, or to embarrass you, even though it does. It’s meant to prove that “catcher ERA” is one of, if not the most useless stat you could ever fixate on. And in an alternate universe where you’re anything more than a running joke on these sites, or had even the slightest clue about baseball, you’d understand that.

  7. Tim Loceddardstro

    The state of things ain’t good, Matt. I’m very disappointed in Judge for not getting the vaccine. He’s supposed to be the leader. He should have gotten it first in front of the whole team. And yes, the vaccine should be required for all MLB employees and if they refuse they’re fired and the players won’t play.

    If Cole could pitch every day we’d have a chance but Taillon will get bombed tonight. We only won last night with help from the umps and the rain. If it was a 9 inning game we lose. If Jeff Nelson’s strike zone wasn’t so bad we lose. Two Yankee Stadium cheapie gave us the W. But that joy will be shortlived. Watching these games is like watching the little league all stars vs the ’27 Yankees. Our 2nd ace Nestor is out for two weeks. And as if that wasn’t bad enough our little engine that could, Tim Locastro, is out for the season. That may be the death blow on the season.

    Of all the kids that have been brought up I like Greg Allen the best. He reminds me a lot of Grandy. He needs to be playing every day because he’s proven he can hit at this level. I don’t want to see Ambergy or Park unless it’s to replace the worthless Gardy. Call up Florial for Locastro and see what his talent can do.

    • DZB

      Do we know it was Judge? I haven’t seen any confirmation of that. I agree, if that is the case, it’s hugely disappointing.

      • Madrugador

        This season shouldn’t be a waste. Odor should not be part of the long term plans on this team. Park might not be either but give the kid a chance. Maybe his BaBip predicts a flop at the MLB level or maybe he transitions to MLB pitching and replaces Wade.

    • Mooooooose

      what about allen reminds you of granderson?

      as for florial, the kid has a .726 OPS in AAA… slugging .406 with a rocket ball. he’s still striking out at a 34% clip. love him and rooting for him, but he is not ready for the show.

      • CatskillKid

        Its a shame you even have to type that. CLEARLY Florial needs time at AAA folks. Enough with the call up Florial blah-blah!!

  8. Brian M

    The two thoughts seem disconnected. Yes I think everyone should have gotten vaccinated, but to say this was preventable if someone was vaccinated? That is totally flawed considering most of the players who are sitting out right now are vaccinated.

  9. Mikenyc2007

    Be careful with that line of thinking because “getting vaccinated” is not equivalent to having a Covid-force field around you as we have seen since we can still become infected yet not know it, and still pass it along as well….….the bigger issue is political, since Covid is never, ever going away and doesn’t appear to be seasonal…is this a “new normal” where our lives/jobs are forcibly interrupted when you find out your are sick but don’t know it/feel it….and we have “sick days” when we are feeling well just-in-case the person next to you will “test positive” but not feel/know it…Crazy times, but this isn’t the issue of the unvaccinated causing the interruption- this is a business/union making a decision unrelated to actual health of the employee being told to stay home.

  10. David Pieragostini

    Totally agree, no way any player should not get vaccine. Last year, in more difficult situation Yankees had determined disciplined mindset to avoid covid and push toward goal. In so many ways this year team lacks that discipline. Whether it’s this outbreak or their offense or base running , this team is a mess and shows no sign of improvement. Wondering if any of these players violated the MLB protocols.

  11. D-rone

    Well stated. One player rejected science and decided to not take one for the team.

  12. John Darwak

    Uhh…getting the vaccine does NOT prevent you from getting the virus. Or spreading it.

    • Based on over 100,000,000 vaccinations the chances are less than 10% that you will get Covid, most vaccines (particularly the flu) have far less effectiveness.

      97% of all current Covid infections are with non-vaccinated people.

      Those are the facts, not some bs from a talking head with no scientific background whatsoever.

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