The Game of (AL East) Throne…

Feeling like Ned Stark as head of the kingdom…

The Yankees have lost the first two games of a very important divisional series with the Toronto Blue Jays, and batting practice is underway for the third and final game of the series.  I read a post that said it felt like the Yankees were chasing the Blue Jays even though the Yankees had held a 5 1/2 game lead at the start of the series.  I immediately knew what the writer was trying to say.  It simply “feels” like the Blue Jays have a powerhouse after their deadline deals which brought shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and ace pitcher David Price to Toronto.

David Price

Nathan Denette / The Canadien Press

Meanwhile, the Yankees did nothing despite their shortcomings.  No attempt was made to strengthen weaknesses and in the end, it may very well cost them a cost at making the play-offs.  Their philosophy may prove fruitful for 2016 or 2017 but this is a win now league and you have to go for it when you have the opportunity.  If the Yankees do lose out, it will feel like the let the opportunity slip through their fingers without trying (the front office, not the existing players on the team).

It’s very possible that Luis Severino brings the team as much as a frontline pitcher would have, but to continue to roll out Stephen Drew or a backup every day at second base is clearly a mistake.  With as much stress as the starting staff is putting on the bullpen, a trade for a proven reliever like Craig Kimbrel or Carter Capps made so much sense but the Yankees couldn’t pull it off.

We’ll most likely see Aaron Judge and Rob Refsnyder in September but can they help?  It may be too little, too late.  At a time like this, proven play-off experience is invaluable.  I’ve seen a few articles mention Chase Utley’s name and they usually draw the conclusion that he would not be an upgrade since his batting average and production is comparable to Drew’s.  But I’d say it would be a huge advantage given Utley’s role as a leader on championship clubs.

chase-utley-topsy

Twitter.com/ashncrash217 (via Busted Coverage)

It’s been difficult watching so many teams make little moves here and there to improve their clubs while the Yankees do nothing.  Their only deadline acquisition (second baseman/outfielder Dustin Ackley) won’t play until September at the earliest after he landed on the DL.  I guess riding the pine was too much for him.

The Texas Rangers made the move for pitcher Cole Hamels saying they were playing for 2016 when they can pair Hamels with Yu Darvish.  But now, after a recent hot streak and the acquisition of Mike Napoli, they’re showing they are in it this year and could catch and pass the Yankees for a play-off spot if the Yankees lost the division.

The Yankees players have done their part to energize the fan base, but I cannot say the front office has.  Instead of putting blind faith in a flawed group of players, the ownership and front office need to show they are trying to make this team better.

hal-steinbrenner

Still, the Yankees are in a better place than I thought they would be.  I am thankful that they’ve provided excitement this year.  In the pre-season, everyone was forecasting a division championship for the Boston Red Sox.  So all things considered, it could be worse.

—Scott

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: Discover: Monday Around the Horn « MLB.com Blogs

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