You watch the way the Yankees went about their business today – even after a long pre-game meeting – and then you watch the way the Red Sox looked in the highlights of their game today, and you can see the difference between the having a losing and winning attitude.
Sure, maybe it’s a chicken and the egg thing – meaning that your attitude is better when you win and terrible when you’re playing like the Yankees now. But, bottom line, regardless of the root cause, you have to change your attitude when it is like the one the Yankees have now. (And, that’s why Torre called the failed meeting today – to try and address their attitude issue.)
After all, the Yankees need to do something. It’s not like they can take some players out of the starting line-up…because they have no bench whatsoever and there’s no one at Triple-A (or even Double-A) who can join this team and be a spark for them. There are no trades to be made at this point of the season.
Basically, the Yankees are in a terrible losing funk now…and it’s become a losing state of mind. And, when someone has a mental situation like this, the only way to stop it is to break the pattern. It’s the same as when someone starts to go down a mental path that’s not good for them, but one that they’ve been down before and have been repeating (as a response to their situation). Maybe they have to get up and go for a walk. Or, maybe they need to get control of their breathing. Or, maybe someone has to slap them or throw cold water in their face. But, there has to be some shock to the system to get their attention away from repeating that bad mental state.
You’ve seen this pattern-breaker happen for baseball teams in the past. Maybe it’s an on-the-field brawl that will wake up a team. Or, maybe it’s a big trade – moving someone who they team never thought would be traded. But, most of the time, it’s a matter of firing the manager.
At this point in Yankeeland, it’s time to strongly consider letting Joe Torre go – in an attempt to shock the team and break the pattern that this unit has formed this season.
It might work – or, it might do nothing. In any event, it’s the only thing left for the Yankees to try now. Perhaps someone “new” (read not someone on the current staff) can be a spark for this team to start winning some games and get back into the wildcard chase?
Put it this way: How much worse could things get with a change? There’s probably little downside to letting Joe go, and, maybe, you might get lucky with the move.
The Yankees are not a great team. But, they have some talent. It’s not like they’re the Devil Rays, Royals or Rangers. Even with their flaws, they should at least be a few games over .500 at this point. The fact that they’re playing this poorly, when they need (in the worst way) to show some life, is a sign that they have flatlined.
It’s time for team management to break out the defibrillator. Again, maybe it’s too late? But, you have to at least try now. Inaction will only lead to no change in the Yankees current state. Taking some action, in an attempt to break the pattern, albeit not a guarantee of solution, at least shows that the Yankees don’t want this state to continue and are willing to try and stop it.
It’s time for Big Stein and Cashman to huddle up between now and May 31st and get a new, fresh, guy at the wheel to start the month of June.
Four months should be enough time to make a run at the wildcard – if the Yankees can get back to a better state now. But, that’s not going to happen without a change. It’s time for the only change possible at this point: Let Joe go.