New York Yankees: Stubbornness Is Destroying Them


You’d think after two seasons with no October baseball, the New York Yankees would change their ways. If you thought this, you’d be very wrong.

The Boston Red Sox entered the 2012 Major League Baseball season with expectations as high as they usually are around Fenway Park.

After reloading a year earlier, seeing the likes of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford come aboard, Boston was primed for their third World Series title. Although, something interesting happened along the way.

They stunk.

The powers that be in the front office recognized this, and with a little help from new and eager ownership in Los Angeles, traded off high-priced superstars. In doing this, they mastered the “big-market one-year turnaround” method.

2013 saw manager John Farrell lead a new Red Sox team to the greatest single-season turnaround in Major League Baseball history resulting in a championship (from 69-93 in 2012 to 97-65 in 2013).

Boston has kept a plentiful crop of youngsters stocked in the farm through all the transactions. They contributed in 2013 and are considered a Top 5 organization by Baseball America heading into 2015.

In fact, they’re ranked No. 2 overall, trailing only their former boss, Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs.

This is exactly what Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees need to do, but aren’t afforded the opportunity.

This is exactly what Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees need to do, but aren’t afforded the opportunity.

Sure the Yanks struggled on Opening Day against the Toronto Blue Jays, but that’s not where this pessimism comes from. As it stands, New York fields possibly the stalest, oldest squad in the game.

Look around the diamond and the outfield. Aside from Didi Gregorius, which regular is actually under the age of 30? Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are especially ancient.

Age could sneak by if the player is abnormal, but these guys are just like any other aging veteran we see pass through the majors. They all get hurt because father-time always wins.

Furthermore, take a gander at the starting rotation. Who in the world are you confident in?

Masahiro Tanaka’s velocity is down and is so scared to death about going under the knife that he’s willing to pitch poorly in 2015. Michael Pineda never stays on the field, and forget about C.C. Sabathia.

The one positive about Spring Training was the fact that a few trending topics surrounded Yankee youngsters. Greg Bird, Aaron Judge and Rob Refsnyder have especially garnered some attention.

Mar 25, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman prior to the game against the New York Mets at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The problem? There is nowhere for these guys to play.

Because the Yankees are filled with high-priced big names in the everyday lineup, each spot is plugged in with another disappointment. There are few opportunities for these possible burgeoning stars to come up and impress.

The right move is to clean house as much as possible and transparently struggle through a terrible season. This would allow youngsters to feel their way around the majors and eventually assume cornerstone spots. Continuing to add “bad money” on top of already bad money is a horrible strategy which leads to dying a very slow death.

Instead, their arch-rivals in the Sox, realize a year of house cleaning is necessary to come back the next season stronger.

Principal owner Hal Steinbrenner simply won’t allow Cashman to go ahead with this strategy. He just doesn’t believe the historic Yankees should ever go through a season with no hope. An empty Yankee Stadium scares him to death.

It’s awful, especially considering the stadium will be empty later this year anyway.

Look around baseball these days. The buzzword in the majors has now been “development.”

In 2008 the small-market Tampa Bay Rays amazed us with their franchise turnaround. After never enjoying a winning season in their 10-year career, they took the AL East crown and won the AL Pennant.

We have also recently watched the same transformations with the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. All three organizations are now considered model franchises.

Where is the Yankees development?

Today’s landscape is different. No longer can money guarantee playoffs the way it used to. It sure helps, there’s no question about that, but making sure talent is being churned through the system is of the utmost importance.

You don’t have to look any further than the latest Yankees dynasty for evidence of this sentiment.

It wasn’t their money that won them four-titles in five-seasons, it was the core of the farm – Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. Once they started to spend like drunken sailors – i.e. Jason Giambi – they started to find less success.

The problem the Yankees face right now is their short-sided attempt to “feed the beast” is destroying them.

This beast is the one they’ve created from so much success the past two-decades. It is phenomenal Yankees history that has led to YES Network and a usually packed Yankee Stadium.

By chasing that beast, they are slowing crippling the personnel. Until Steinbrenner realizes this, the Yankees will suffer.

Pretty soon, New York City will be a Mets town, it’s as simple as that. Sandy Alderson has done it the right way over in Flushing and 2015 will finally be the first for Mets fans to feel a little giddy about the future.

Maybe Half won’t truly understand the error of his ways until the Mets take over.

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