Thoughts following the Yankees 2018 ALDS Flameout against the Sox:
1. Looks like only Aaron Judge and Tanaka came out to play. Aaron Judge mashed this postseason and Tanaka continues to be a big game pitcher. I can think of no current starter who I’d rather have take the ball in a must win game in the postseason. He just turns it up another level and keeps the Yankees in the game.
2. Much is being said about Judge’s trolling of the Red Sox with “New York, New York” and how it came back to bite us. I don’t really buy that it “awoke a sleeping giant” as the Red Sox are a 108 win team and threw out 2 pitchers who wrecked us all year. In fact I like this NBA style level of gamesmanship. For years we’ve heard about how the rivalry isn’t what it used to be and we need some fire to bring it back to the days of Munson and Fisk or A-Rod and Varitek. This is a great inciting incident and will be in the back of fan’s minds for years to come. If the Yankees and Red Sox face each other next year in the postseason you can sure bet this will be brought up and hopefully avenged by the Bronx Bombers. Judge’s trolling is the type of thing that makes baseball more accessible and fun and not this super duper serious game where we never show emotion and god forbid you celebrate. We’re a country that celebrates everything! Get with the times baseball, show some fire and emotion, and pettiness – the water’s fine. So kudos to you Aaron Judge for throwing some gasoline into the rivalry fire and kudos to Boston for letting it burn into the night. I can’t wait for more silly antics like this to rev up the fans and keep this great rivalry strong.
3. Aaron Boone got out-managed by a mile. Not even close. I was fine on Boone during the regular season but man did he make some pitching mistakes. You got the best bullpen in the game and you choose to go with Lance Lynn and then nobody at all? Insanity. His quick hook in Game 1 saved the team and allowed the near comeback to commence. He was asleep at the wheel for sure in Games 3 and 4, especially with the Yankees offense being as dormant as it was. Guy brought no urgency to a 5 game playoff set unlike Cora who, aside from game 2, made masterful moves. Chris Sale in the 8th inning – shades of Randy Johnson striking out the side in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Now I was quick to say let’s fire Boone (I’m all for bringing in Carlos Beltran, AROD, or Hensley Muelens) but I’m feeling more lenient and would like to see how he progresses in his second year. I don’t mind his laid back attitude because we don’t know what happens in the clubhouse behind closed doors. He could scream and yell, who knows. Also this attitude that the only good managers are the fiery Billy Martin types is crazy to me. First Billy Martin only won one championship and two pennants at the helm and was constantly in fights with everyone becoming a major distraction. Compare that to Joe Torre or Bob Lemon who were cool as cucumbers and led the bombers to equal or greater success. You need the right manager for the right team. Screaming and yelling at people just doesn’t do it anymore, if it ever did, and you need managers that can read and prepare their team correctly.
4. Whereas I’m all about giving Boone a second chance, it’s time to fire Larry Rothschild and Marcus Thames. We need new blood in the coaching organization. Fresh faces!
5. How do you get outscored 20-4 at Yankee Stadium with that home field advantage? Just insane. Also who knows if Sevy got the proper amount of warm up time but yikes did that look bad. Guy is just not a big game pitcher. The fact that our starters only averaged 3 innings (other than Tanaka) is inexcusable. We need to revamp the starting rotation and fix what’s wrong with Sevy to get him back to his all-star status.
6. Stanton was a huge dud this postseason. Guy just looked awful against Kimbrel who was throwing nonsense up there. Hopefully he uses this season and comes back strong and can shed being this generation’s Mr. May. Also I’ve never seen a 38 home run 100 rbi season feel less dominant. Come back strong big guy!
7. If Sanchez hits that out all is forgiven! Despite his average I will say he showed up in the postseason and even played some good defense. Let’s hope next season is a return to 2017 Sanchez rather than the 2018. And another thing, this whole why didn’t Boone call Sanchez out in public like Girardi nonsense needs to end. Does calling players out to the New York media help their performance? I have no idea but I bet it drives a real wedge between player and manager. Plus again we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I imagine Boone had some talks with Sanchez but he had the decency to not call him out in public harshly. Again, this isn’t the 70’s or 80’s people. Nobody needs to have a struggling player fighting in the hotel lobby with their manager. That proves nothing.
8. I’d say we don’t resign C.C. or Gardner or Britton or even McCutchen. Let’s see what Clint Frazier can do and see if we can get a pitcher like Corbin or work some magic for Bumgarner. Also I’m down for resigning Robertson – love seeing him in pinstripes. I don’t say we go for Harper as I don’t want another 240 hitter who strikes out a million times but I’m not opposed to Machado at third. I don’t know what it means for Andujar but I like having a high average, high power, great defender at the hot corner.
9. It was a disappointing end to an interesting 100 win season. Here’s to the Astros sweeping and then one of the NL teams winning the World Series. One hopes the Yanks come out with a vengeance next season and rolls through the league and destroys Boston in a playoff series. Oh how sweet it would be! As for now, we’ll always have the wild card win.