That would be appropriate for NY Yankees fans. After all, the Yankees from the Steinbrenner brass on down to the announcers are guilty of deceiving their devoted fan base.
Why? Because they assured the fans that everything was all right in Yankeedom, that the franchise had once again done everything possible to compete for the World Series title. And that was simply propaganda to rake in some extra bucks. And now , moving into 2022, it is set to happen yet again.
The Yankees have been selling this concept of themselves as the most ardent pursuers of World series titles since the days of the Jeter-Bernie-Mariano dynasty. They ignore the fact that there is an entire generation of fans that cannot recall that dynasty except through video clips and Yankeeography.
Overachieving? In 2021 Brian Cashman built a team that overachieved. How can that be? Because they were a team .500 talent-wise and won 91 games.
Making the Move: Now, why keep Cashman? Keep in mind that no GM in the history of the game has had more to work with in his career than Brian Cashman. Money, rabid fan support and up until Hal Steinbrenner took over, strong, if often misguided, ownership.
Retaining the wrong players: Cashman had a bad year in 2021…the same results he has had every year in this century except 2009…falling short of his stated goal of the World Series title. And yet he survives.
Now he is guaranteeing another dismal, half-hearted finish and deceitful “full throttle pursuit” of the World Series title in 2022 by retaining backstop Gary Sanchez, the worst starting catcher in MLB (led league both in errors and passed balls in 2017,2019,2020) with a .989 fielding percentage. This means the Yankees spotted the opposing team 24 runs with Sanchez as a catcher. His WAR was 0.7 in 2021. But Cashman is keeping him for 2022. Why, because of his bat of course? He hit .204 last year! He has averaged exactly one point above the Mendoza line (.201) over the last 4 seasons. He is a terrible baserunner aside from not having even remotely average footspeed. He has a very strong arm but cannot be trusted behind the plate, one of the worst backstops in the majors. Forget about the missed tag on Jonathan Villar and leading the league in passed balls. They will happen again. You can’t even play this guy in a playoff game. Dump him now, Brian, let him hamstring another team.
No Lefties: In 2021 Cashman started the season with virtually no lefthanded offense unless you consider the much loved 38-year old Brett Gardner a scary threat at the plate. And no lefties in Yankee Stadium, the lefty’s Promised Land? It’s not that the 2021 offense was bad. It’s not that they didn’t hit in the clutch or with RISP. Excluding Judge and Stanton, an offense never even materialized. A Yankee rally was basically 12 K’s and a Hr. Mr. Cashman’s Yankees were unwatchable and they didn’t have to be. Every other team in the majors took advantage of that lineup. The Yankees’ best threats were ghost runners at second in the 10th inning.
Mid-Season Pickups: More mistakes. Rougned Odor was the first desperation lefty bat pickup and the first crack in Cashman’s know-it-all-but-achieve-nothing composure. He hit .202 with 100 K’s in 102 games and an OBP of .286. Not anyone’s idea of the answer. But at least Cashman could defend himself that he got a lefthanded hitter, one whose salary was paid by Texas so eager were they to dump the guy, who unfortunately for the Bronx Bombers faithful, did not understand what a base hit is, let alone a double.
Cashman finally admitted his mistake (“I take the responsibility but not the blame”) and went out and got Joey Gallo who impressed in left field with his glove and arm. He was also true to his past successes. The man is a .206 lifetime hitter who makes contact twice a week if you play him regularly. But the Yankees are full of those type of hitters. Gallo hit .160 as a Yankee. That’s 1 for 6, boiling down to 4 hits a week. He also struck out 125 times as a Yank and though he belted 13 homers…he had exactly 17 other hits…for grand total of 30 hits in 228 plate appearances. He led the league in walks, but walks rarely push runs across the plate. They save outs but rarely produce runs, and of course strikeouts crush a batting order. Gallo’s OBP for the Yankees was .303, 33 points below his lifetime. You can always justify performance (as Michael Kay consistently does) by saying the player “worked a walk” but anyone who played the game knows it’s more often a pitcher’s inability to throw strike three than anything the batter has to do with it. And Gallo was the best Cashman acquisition.
Adding Anthony Rizzo seemed like a no-brainer for Cashman, a 3-time all-star with 4 gold gloves. He added a spark for at least a week, and even hit .249 with a lofty .340 OBP for the Bombers. He had some moments, as did Gallo, but not nearly enough and rarely when it counted after in the late and post season.
Luke Voit was injured early and often. Remember, this season started with Jay Bruce and Mike Ford at first base! The GM missed his chance to trade Voit for meaningful players after the 2020 season, which he will never repeat. Now what do you do with a hobbled, poor fielding, righthanded hitting first baseman with no speed? Fits right in with the rest of the club.
Pitching Staff: Forget the pitching. Cashman did. Yankees fans better pray that Severino come back big time.
Retaining Boone: More important question than why did they resign him for 2022, is exactly what were they thinking when he was hired in the first place? That his lack of managing experience would propel the Yankees to the World Series? Or by telling players it was OK when they underperformed and continuing to insist that Gleber Torres could actually play shortstop? What exactly does Boone bring to the table? His in-game strategy is mediocre at best. So, he is good in front of a microphone unlike his predecessor Joe Girardi, who incidentally did win a World Series for the Yankees.
Torres at SS: Brian Cashman sold the fans down the East River when he opened the season with Gleyber Torres at shortstop. Considering that this is the most important defensive position of all, how can you assign it to a guy who has ever demonstrated that he can be a major shortstop? Yes she hit 38 homers in 2019, but you can’t play the Baltimore Orioles every day.
LaMahieu: Sorry to say, the biggest disappointment in 2021 was DJ LaMahieu, the best player on the team the last two years. He average tumbled nearly 100 points from 2020 when he led the majors and his OPS went from 1.011 to .711. No one expected this, he played hurt or so they say, and he never got going. Next year at 33 what can Cashman expect from him? And you have him for 5 more years. Ditto Gio Urshela at 29. He was obtained in 2019 as a great glove and somehow he learned to hit. Can he get back anywhere close to 2019-2020? He is worth waiting and seeing.
Judge: There’s no question about Aaron Judge, one of the best in the Bronx this century, one of the best all-around players in the game today, except do you break the bank to pay him? He does it all, he’s your poster boy. If you pay him the way he deserves to be paid and still hold the Stanton and Cole contracts, what will you have left especially if Hal Steinbrenner insists on staying under the luxury tax?
There are all kinds of excuses for their mediocrity but none for the hypocrisy of the Steinbrenner, Cashman, Boone and even the Yankees announcing staff. So back the bus up and let’s throw the people under it who deserve that treatment.
When did Michael Kay become such a rabid homer of an announcer and Yankee apologist? Where is Ryan Ruocco? Paul O’Neill and David Cone didn’t used to be boring at the mic, but they are now, largely due to the insipid performance of the many so called ‘stars’. And John Sterling and Susan Waldman should be given their day in recognition of their services and a nice retirement package. New blood will energize things there too.
Credits? Give Cashman some credit. He had the chops to go with Clint Frazier until Frazier proved he didn’t belong. Now he’s gone. Give Cashman credit that he stuck with Kyle Higashioka and his .181 batting average. Otherwise, you would have had to concede the wild card game before by the Star Spangled Banner by starting Sanchez.
Give Cashman credit for signing Corey Kluber who can still be a valuable asset and Gerrit Cole who despite the outlandish size of his contract does not seem to be the same pitcher without sticky stuff. And he spit the bit in the playoffs. Giancarlo Stanton has finally won a lot of Yankees fan over with some big late season and post season performances the last two years, but he’s not Mickey Mantle. He even played the outfield a bit this year!
Injuries: Injuries? All teams have injuries. Payroll budgets? All teams have limits. It’s just that the Yankees have lowered their budget limits and sacrificed their identity as viable winners.
You can say Aaron Hicks went down after 100 at bats, but he was always an iffy hitter at best despite his ability to walk. The real question is what do you do with him in 2022 when he is 32 and recovering from injuries? You gave him a lengthy contract when he had his only good year in pinstripes. Now what? He will never be the player that only the Yankees thought he could be.
Miguel Andujar, who, lest we forget, had such a brilliant rookie year appears to be only a DH, a man without a position and that never works in the Yankee scheme of things. Too many of their teams have had a roster full of DHs, and I’m not talking about Hideki Matsui. Besides, Andujar has to be healthy, something he has never been.
All in all, 2021 was a regrettable season due to appallingly bad decisions by important people up the organization. It was predictable from day one. And if you go by the record, Brian Cashman doesn’t deserve another chance, nor does Boone, but they are getting it. Maybe they have photos of Hal Steinbrenner in compromising poses?
Shop Wisely: Don’t be making nice with Correia, Mr. Cashman, even when the Braves Beat The Cheats. How can you trust this guy? What might he do to get himself suspended for a season or two? Maybe the Yank’s verbal attraction is a ploy to hold down lefty swinging Corey Seager’s price, because he’s the guy they should pursue? You better hope so. Having Correia on the Yankees is like rubbing salt into a nasty wound.
Invest: Invest in your team, Mr. Cashman or do you know already that 2022 can’t produce a flag in the Bronx? Find out if Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez Oswald Peraza can actually play major league ball. Or get a shortstop and a centerfielder who don’t strike out 350 times between them to match Gallo and the rest. Someone on the team has to know how to advance a runner, right? Well, maybe not.
Don’t Lie: And don’t be hypocritical Mr. Cashman and yes man Mr. Boone. Stop telling the Yankee fan base about a glorious history that is long gone. Don’t tell the Yankee fan base that you are doing everything possible to win the World Series. It simply not true. World Series win or bust? Guess what Mr. Cashman, you are 1 for 21 in the 21st century, a 0.0476 batting average. (That’s even lower that Sanchez.) And still ,you maintain that you are the leader of a championship team. Fess up to your failure, Mr. Cashman and your lack of initiative, and do the right thing in 2022. Resign.