This one hurt. It hurt a lot.
I’m not just talking about losing in the ALDS, or the Red Sox clinching the win at Yankee stadium, or the fact we had multiple chances to win this series.
I’m talking about the season in general.
2017 was magical. Many predicted the Yankees to be very, very bad. However, the Yankees came out of nowhere to get within one game of the World Series. Aaron Judge became a superstar, Luis Severino turned into an ace, Gary Sanchez cemented himself as the best hitting catcher in baseball, and we had a bullpen for the ages. The Wild Card game was magical. I still get chills every time I hear, “and that pitch rocked to right field! TIE GAME!” Then we came back, down 2 games to none, to win in 5 games against a 102-win Indians team, including a game 5 win against the Cy Young winner. Then we went into Houston, took the series to game 7, and the magic ended. And then, things started changing for 2018.
Joe Girardi was fired, and replaced by Aaron Boone. The Yankees acquired 59 homer hitter, 1.000+ OPS reigning MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Expectations became sky-high, and the evil empire was back.
And yet, somehow, a 100-win team didn’t meet the expectations. How this team won 100 games I will never know.
Stanton was a disappointment. Judge missed a month and a half of another MVP caliber season because some no-name pitcher hit him in the wrist. Sanchez was terrible. Bird looks to be a flop. Severino forgot how to pitch in the second half. Injuries, regression, bad management, bad luck, inability to hit in clutch moments, pitching staff inconsistency. Yankees had all of it.
Losing Judge was absolutely soul crushing. Aside from the fact we had to start Shane Robinson in right field for a month straight, it showed how valuable his presence in the lineup is. He wasn’t great when he came back, but his presence in the lineup just gave this Yankee team a different feel and a different vibe. He is our next captain, and if he isn’t named captain this off-season, I’m gonna get very mad.
I was a Boone apologist all season long. Not anymore. I read a rumor the Indians might get rid of Terry Francona, and if that’s the case Boone better have his office packed up immediately. What Boone did in game 4 with CC is unforgivable. How could you let CC keep pitching when it was obvious he needed to be removed? I don’t care it was the 3rd inning, there’s no tomorrow if you lose. You need to use every weapon available. He made this mistake all season long, and I always assumed he’d learn. Guess not.
I don’t know what to make of Stanton. It was his first season away from the Marlins organization since he was 17, his first time not in warm weather consistently, his first time in the postseason. Really it was his first time playing in any meaningful games at all. He struck out too much, he was too streaky, and yet he was still worth 4.2 fWAR. That’s not enough of a contribution to justify his $30 million/year salary, but if his floor is a 38 homer, 127 wRC+ and 4 win player, then he’s worth the “risk”.
It’s weird to be this disappointed about a 100 win team, but that’s how it is. This team never lived to it’s hype. They won a lot of games, sure. But they never became the true juggernaut we expected from them. They rarely had any dominant wins, and many games were shaky from start to finish. The offense was inconsistent, the defense was extremely lazy at times, and the pitching was hit or miss depending on the day. We piled up runs when we didn’t need them which made offensive numbers look better, we couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position, and we couldn’t find any sense of consistency.
100 wins, and I don’t know how. Any team that had to start Shane Robinson for a month straight shouldn’t win 100 games.
2019 is shrouded in mystery. Who do we add this offseason? Do we keep Boone? What changes get made to the coaching staff?
Rothschild should be gone. The fact that a pitcher of Severino’s caliber struggled for as long as he did is unacceptable. Marcus Thames should be gone. The Yankees three-true outcome approach (home run, walk or strikeout) doesn’t survive a full season and is just a terrible approach. Boone should be gone, contingent on a viable replacement option. He makes too many mistakes as a manager, he has no feel for in-game decisions, and he just doesn’t seem to know how to manage a bullpen. However, if there’s no good options, then keep him. The last thing we should have is another situation where we majorly downgrade at manager, which amazingly is still a possibility.
I’m not worried about the future. Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar are special. Aaron Judge is one of the best players in baseball. Luis Severino is a God. Giancarlo Stanton is still Giancarlo Stanton. This team is only on the rise, and with money to play with, they could add the pieces to become even scarier.
To make everything even sadder, this may have been the end of CC and Gardy’s time in pinstripes. If it is, it was truly an honor to watch these two all throughout the years. CC is a hall of fame pitcher. Gardner had an incredible career. I’m gonna miss Gardy Parties. I’m gonna miss watching CC call out umpires and protect his teammates. These guys are both Yankees for life, whether they retire or end up in another uniform. I love both these guys, and I truly thank them for all they’ve done for this club and this franchise.
This season sucked, plain and simple. The 100 wins are worthless. The home run records don’t mean anything. We laid down and died, and worst of all to the Boston Red Sox.
This season was a 100-win nightmare.
This is heart-breaking, and I’m gonna be legitimately depressed all off-season. But the only thing we can do is look towards the future.
The Yankee season is over. Now it’s just time to get over the loss and pray the Sox don’t win it all.
Here’s to 2019. Let’s go Yankees. But most importantly:
Fuck the Boston Red Sox