There’s no reason for this rant. I’ll come right out and admit that in case anybody wants to skip it. There was nothing in last night’s game that was new for the 2014 Yankees. They didn’t hit when they needed to, their pitching was inconsistent and not able to make up for the lack of timely hitting, and when it came to doing the little things in the game, the Yankees simply didn’t do enough of them to win.
And that’s what’s absolutely killing me right now. The little things. All the little things. I was following the MLB.com gamecast last night and when Carter hit that home run I felt a wave of unhappiness and anger settle over me. I stayed up through the predictable 1-2-3 bottom half of the 9th so I could finish the game recap, because that’s the kind of caring, all heart, team-first blogger I am, but what I really wanted to do was slam my laptop shut and heave it through my sliding glass door in my apartment.
My girlfriend could sense my frustration and immediately started getting ready to go to bed, and by the time I joined her I had so many things from the game running through my head that I couldn’t fall asleep for over an hour and couldn’t stay asleep all night. All the little things that conspired to help lose that game and which one of them I was going to write about this morning. That’s where I’m at with this team right now. Lying awake at night in bed agonizing over which of the bad things I want to write about 8 hours before I even have to write about them.
And there were plenty to choose from last night. Like the top 2 guys in the order going 0-8. Or the starting pitcher falling apart quickly and not being able to finish an inning after a pretty good start (not an isolated incident BTW). Or Joe going to somebody in relief of that starting pitcher who shouldn’t be pitching in an important situation. Or that reliever not being able to limit the damage and giving up the go-ahead runs. Or the lineup not being able to get a runner in from second base with 1 out. Or the team going 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Or Ichiro flubbing a ball in the outfield and giving the runner a free base. Or only drawing 1 walk against a team that ranks 23rd in BB rate. Or 2 guys being responsible for 2/3 of the team’s hits. Or guys being used in LOOGY roles not being able to get left-handed hitters out.
It’s all those little things that added up to the eventual loss last night. D-Rob’s 9th-inning meltdown was just the culmination. Same old bad baseball, same old results, and the same old nothingness in response from everybody after the game. “We didn’t get it done.” “We need to be better.” “We’ve got to come through there.” “We’ve got to hit more.” No sh*t, guys. That’s the same thing you were saying last week, last month, and 2 months before that. When is that tired talk going to turn into some action? When is something going to change in the way you manage and play the game to eliminate those little things and turn them into positive little things that lead to wins. It’s like a real baseball team with hearts and attitudes and emotions has been replaced by an army of robot clones and clothed in Yankee uniforms.
And this is not my way of saying I think Joe needs to go on a tirade in the clubhouse and start screaming at guys or whatever. They’re all professionals and they’re all grown men. They don’t need to be yelled at to do their jobs. But as professionals, stop repeating the same cycle of mediocrity and regurgitating the same cliche pseudo-explanations that don’t really mean anything. Don’t tell us what we already know, go out and play the same bad game, lose, and reiterate the same cookie cutter, loser mindset talking points. It gives off the air of complacency and that’s not how I want to perceive the team that I love. Not when they’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars to supposedly improve. Not when their highest levels of leadership constantly try to beat me and every other fan over the head with the same old “our goal is to win a title” tagline. Not when they’re losing to the 3rd worst team in baseball.
This rant is starting to fall apart and veer into incoherence, so I’ll take a page out of the Jon Taffer playbook and shut it down for now. But I’m officially on my last nerve with this team this year. They’ve had plenty of legitimate things come up that have hurt their postseason chances and none of those facts are lost on me. I’m going to be upset if and when they don’t make the postseason because as a fan I want them to make it and win it every year. What will be and is more upsetting, though, is the feeling I have that they don’t seem to care about making it as much as I do. I try to not question things like effort and attitude because I know I have no way of knowing how guys really feel, but that’s what it feels like with this group. Just going through the motions and riding the 162 games out.