• When Was The Last Time The Yankees Woke Up On July 1st And Found Themselves In 4th Place?

    Posted by on June 30th, 2013 · Comments (45)

    Besides 2013?  According to my research, you would have to go back to 1992 to find the last time this happened.

    And, as I wrote this morning:  The Yankees are on pace to win 85 games this season. The last time the Yankees won 85 games or less in a 162-game season was 1992.

    For the record, in December of last year, I wrote:

    For the record, the last time the Yankees finished lower than 3rd in the A.L. East was 1992. For those scoring at home, that was 20 years ago. Could it happen in 2013? Maybe…

    That “maybe” is looking more and more possible each day…

    Comments on When Was The Last Time The Yankees Woke Up On July 1st And Found Themselves In 4th Place?

    1. July 1st, 2013 | 7:16 am

      Team has no fight?

      The Yankees haven’t come back from a deficit of more than three all season.

    2. JeremyM
      July 1st, 2013 | 7:45 am

      They have no offense. They also have no bench, so they’re easy to match bullpens up with, for what that is worth.

      Just an absolute shame.

    3. July 1st, 2013 | 8:45 am

      On the bright side, if you want to see a Yankees game cheap, I would imagine it would be a buyers paradise on the secondary market after August 15th.

    4. Garcia
      July 1st, 2013 | 9:54 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      On the bright side, if you want to see a Yankees game cheap, I would imagine it would be a buyers paradise on the secondary market after August 15th.

      I love that!!!

    5. Evan3457
      July 1st, 2013 | 10:16 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Team has no fight?
      The Yankees haven’t come back from a deficit of more than three all season.

      It isn’t fight.
      It isn’t guts.
      It isn’t effort.
      It isn’t, ahem, “cajones”.
      It isn’t even Kevin Long.
      It’s most of the players in the lineup shouldn’t be starting in the major leagues on a regular basis, because they’re not good enough hitters.

    6. July 1st, 2013 | 11:29 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s most of the players in the lineup shouldn’t be starting in the major leagues on a regular basis, because they’re not good enough hitters.

      Remind me again, who built this roster?

    7. Evan3457
      July 1st, 2013 | 12:36 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      It’s most of the players in the lineup shouldn’t be starting in the major leagues on a regular basis, because they’re not good enough hitters.
      Remind me again, who built this roster?

      Injuries destroyed the team that was built, just as they did with the Red Sox last year.

    8. July 1st, 2013 | 12:39 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Injuries destroyed the team that was built, just as they did with the Red Sox last year.

      Injuries are an excuse. Losers have excuses. Winners don’t need them.

    9. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:04 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Injuries destroyed the team that was built, just as they did with the Red Sox last year.

      While I can acknowledge that injuries have played a major role in the team’s demise, should we really be giving Cashman a total pass?

    10. MJ Recanati
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:09 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Injuries are an excuse. Losers have excuses. Winners don’t need them.

      Oy vey, that’s the corniest and most unrealistic thing ever.

      Platitudes and mottos don’t account for real life.

    11. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:15 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      It’s most of the players in the lineup shouldn’t be starting in the major leagues on a regular basis, because they’re not good enough hitters.
      Remind me again, who built this roster?

      Is there any reason to expect that next year will be any better even if our players are healthy? Cashman’s strategic plan has always been to squeeze one more year out of his aging roster. We all knew it would eventually come to this.

    12. MJ Recanati
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:24 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Cashman’s strategic plan has always been to squeeze one more year out of his aging roster.

      I would say that’s been the entire franchise’s strategic plan from top down.

    13. MJ Recanati
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:25 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Is there any reason to expect that next year will be any better even if our players are healthy?

      Of course, unless you think the Yankees offense wouldn’t be improved by having their regular players taking at bats in the place of guys that are merely of replacement-level caliber.

    14. Ricketson
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:27 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Is there any reason to expect that next year will be any better even if our players are healthy?

      The greatest closer of all time will not be in the bullpen, but one of the worst G.M.s in baseball will be in an office at Yankee Stadium and ownership is intent on trying to reduce spending to more reasonable limits; the forecast for 2014 and beyond is a beautiful thing…

    15. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:30 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      LMJ229 wrote:
      Is there any reason to expect that next year will be any better even if our players are healthy?
      Of course, unless you think the Yankees offense wouldn’t be improved by having their regular players taking at bats in the place of guys that are merely of replacement-level caliber.

      I meant better in terms of the standings. Of course our line-up should be more productive, I doubt it could get any more unproductive. But in terms of the standings, I don’t see us being much better.

    16. MJ Recanati
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:33 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Of course our line-up should be more productive, I doubt it could get any more unproductive. But in terms of the standings, I don’t see us being much better.

      Wouldn’t having a better offense translate to more wins and thus a better placement in the divisional standings?

    17. Ricketson
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:40 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Wouldn’t having a better offense translate to more wins and thus a better placement in the divisional standings?

      What is the starting rotation for 2014, again?

    18. MJ Recanati
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:43 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      What is the starting rotation for 2014, again?

      It’s July 1st. The rotation for 2014 doesn’t need to be set today, tomorrow, or anytime before next April.

    19. Ricketson
      July 1st, 2013 | 1:45 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      It’s July 1st. The rotation for 2014 doesn’t need to be set today, tomorrow, or anytime before next April.

      LOL! I’ll remember that…

    20. Evan3457
      July 1st, 2013 | 3:30 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Injuries destroyed the team that was built, just as they did with the Red Sox last year.
      Injuries are an excuse. Losers have excuses. Winners don’t need them.

      So, were the Red Sox losers last year, and winners this year?

      Of course, injuries are an excuse. Jeez.

    21. July 1st, 2013 | 3:32 pm

      If luck is the residue of design, then bad luck is the result of a bad plan. Injuries are bad luck. Therefore, the fault lies in the Yankees plan rather than anything else.

    22. Evan3457
      July 1st, 2013 | 3:32 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Injuries destroyed the team that was built, just as they did with the Red Sox last year.
      While I can acknowledge that injuries have played a major role in the team’s demise, should we really be giving Cashman a total pass?

      I don’t think he should be given a “total pass”. As I’ve said before.

      Part of it is the new Basic Agreement and Hal Steinbrenner’s change of policy. Part of it is old contracts biting them in the ass hard. Part of it the current failure to have much of anything ready in AAA. Part of it is multiple long-lasting injuries to more than half the starting lineup at the same time.

      How much of each should be assigned to Cashman…I don’t know. Some certainly, but not all.

    23. Evan3457
      July 1st, 2013 | 3:36 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      If luck is the residue of design, then bad luck is the result of a bad plan. Injuries are bad luck. Therefore, the fault lies in the Yankees plan rather than anything else.

      Luck is sometimes the residue of design. The man who said that had no luck turning around the last team he was in charge of. He acquired some talent for the 1950’s Pirates, but it was 3 more years after he retired until they were competive, and 5 years after until they won anything.

      Sometimes good luck is good luck. See the 1969 Mets.
      Sometimes bad luck is bad luck.

    24. Garcia
      July 1st, 2013 | 4:46 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      If luck is the residue of design, then bad luck is the result of a bad plan. Injuries are bad luck. Therefore, the fault lies in the Yankees plan rather than anything else.

      Here is how I interpret that, you lose your ace and your best pitching prospect gets called up and helps ease the burden of losing your ace. I do not think that’s a blanket statement that can be used when you lose a major portion of your roster.

      That would be like teaching a child to always stand on the sidewalk when waiting to cross the street, good design, but then a city bus loses control and crashes onto the sidewalk thereby killing said kid. You had a good design, but you had awful luck.

      Did the Yanks have a bad design or awful luck? I think that’s like getting into a philosophical debate. I think it’s both. I think Cash is to blame for the roster construction, but the injuries have not helped either so you have to adjust for that too.

    25. July 1st, 2013 | 4:52 pm

      In the HR arena, there’s an expression: You pay peanuts and you get monkeys.

      In baseball, it’s: You count on a bunch of guys on the wrong side of 30, you’re going to get injuries.

      Cashman should know this by now…

    26. July 1st, 2013 | 7:48 pm

      Anyone who couldn’t see this coming wasn’t paying attention. You can’t keep watching guys grow older and not realize what comes next. The most disturbing part of all this is the lack of answers in the minor leagues. The only major league ready infielder is Nunez. And keep in mind, most of us want to let Cano walk (especially at the 200 million mark).

      I think the Yankee “management” needs to be honest about the current state of this club as the month goes on, trading Hughes, Joba (if there is any interest) and Cano should be on the table.

    27. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 11:36 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Wouldn’t having a better offense translate to more wins and thus a better placement in the divisional standings?

      Only if you assume that our pitching next year will be just as good as it is this year which I don’t see happening. Our pitching has been superb this year. Plus, no Mo next year. I don’t see our improved offense making up for that.

    28. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 11:43 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Part of it is the new Basic Agreement and Hal Steinbrenner’s change of policy.

      I’m not sure what you mean by this. Cashman still had the authority to outspend every other MLB team since Hal has taken over. The Yankees have always outspent every other team and still do, that policy has not changed.

    29. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 11:47 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Anyone who couldn’t see this coming wasn’t paying attention. You can’t keep watching guys grow older and not realize what comes next. The most disturbing part of all this is the lack of answers in the minor leagues.

      Both parts of the equation are equally disturbing to me.

    30. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 11:49 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I think the Yankee “management” needs to be honest about the current state of this club as the month goes on, trading Hughes, Joba (if there is any interest) and Cano should be on the table.

      And don’t forget Granderson.

    31. LMJ229
      July 1st, 2013 | 11:49 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I think the Yankee “management” needs to be honest about the current state of this club as the month goes on, trading Hughes, Joba (if there is any interest) and Cano should be on the table.

      And don’t forget Granderson.

    32. Evan3457
      July 2nd, 2013 | 12:42 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Part of it is the new Basic Agreement and Hal Steinbrenner’s change of policy.
      I’m not sure what you mean by this. Cashman still had the authority to outspend every other MLB team since Hal has taken over. The Yankees have always outspent every other team and still do, that policy has not changed.

      Yes, it has. The $189 million payroll cap for 2014 is still in effect, which has precluded Cashman from signing any more long term deal at big bucks for next year and beyond. At least for now, it has.

    33. Mr. October
      July 2nd, 2013 | 1:47 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The $189 million payroll cap for 2014 is still in effect, which has precluded Cashman from signing any more long term deal at big bucks for next year and beyond

      “[T]he Yankees have [admitted] to other executives and agents that staying beneath the $189 million threshold is unlikely and impractical.

      ‘They’re going to be over 189,’ one source familiar with the Yankees’ plans said. ‘They know it. Everyone knows it. You can’t run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars.'”

      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/yankees-appear-to-be-scrapping-plan-of-staying-below–189m-payroll-235433974.html

    34. MJ Recanati
      July 2nd, 2013 | 2:17 pm

      @ Mr. October:
      That article you linked to came out on April 25th. Over two months have passed and the Yankees haven’t added payroll, even as they’ve now slid into fourth place.

      When do you expect the Yankees to add payroll that this “one source familiar with the Yankees’ plans” says will happen?

    35. Mr. October
      July 2nd, 2013 | 2:43 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Over two months have passed and the Yankees haven’t added payroll, even as they’ve now slid into fourth place.

      Well… If the organization has not added to its payroll from Apr. 25 – Jul. 1, 2013, then certainly all related articles must be inaccurate or incorrect.

      What particular opportunity or opportunities have they passed up in the last 2 months while they have awaited the returns of A-Rod, K-Gran, and Teixeira that would indicate a continued adherence to this plan through 2014?

      What transaction should have been made from Apr. 25 – Jul. 1 that would have addressed the team’s immediate needs and increased the team’s pay-roll obligations for a period of time beyond 2013?

    36. Evan3457
      July 2nd, 2013 | 10:56 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The $189 million payroll cap for 2014 is still in effect, which has precluded Cashman from signing any more long term deal at big bucks for next year and beyond
      “[T]he Yankees have [admitted] to other executives and agents that staying beneath the $189 million threshold is unlikely and impractical.
      ‘They’re going to be over 189,’ one source familiar with the Yankees’ plans said. ‘They know it. Everyone knows it. You can’t run a $3 billion team with the intentions of saving a few million dollars.’”
      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/yankees-appear-to-be-scrapping-plan-of-staying-below–189m-payroll-235433974.html

      You keep quoting those articles, and they keep avoiding acquiring players who’d add to the 2014 payroll.

    37. Evan3457
      July 2nd, 2013 | 10:58 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      Over two months have passed and the Yankees haven’t added payroll, even as they’ve now slid into fourth place.
      Well… If the organization has not added to its payroll from Apr. 25 – Jul. 1, 2013, then certainly all related articles must be inaccurate or incorrect.
      What particular opportunity or opportunities have they passed up in the last 2 months while they have awaited the returns of A-Rod, K-Gran, and Teixeira that would indicate a continued adherence to this plan through 2014?
      What transaction should have been made from Apr. 25 – Jul. 1 that would have addressed the team’s immediate needs and increased the team’s pay-roll obligations for a period of time beyond 2013?

      Uh uh; sorry, we don’t have to prove a negative.
      Until they actually add payroll for 2014 such that they’re over $189 million, I’m going keep on believing they’re not doing it.

    38. LMJ229
      July 3rd, 2013 | 10:20 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Part of it is the new Basic Agreement and Hal Steinbrenner’s change of policy.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I’m not sure what you mean by this. Cashman still had the authority to outspend every other MLB team since Hal has taken over. The Yankees have always outspent every other team and still do, that policy has not changed.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Yes, it has. The $189 million payroll cap for 2014 is still in effect, which has precluded Cashman from signing any more long term deal at big bucks for next year and beyond. At least for now, it has.

      Excuse me if I am misinterpreting your statement but it sounds as if you are excusing Cashman’s failures because his hands are tied financially. How can his hands be tied when the team is spending over $200M this year and will likely spend at least $189M next year? He will have nearly $100M to spend next year. I would think the GMs of Tampa and Houston would love to have their hands tied like that.

    39. Mr. October
      July 3rd, 2013 | 11:57 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      It’s July 1st. The rotation for 2014 doesn’t need to be set today, tomorrow, or anytime before next April.

      That’s right. In fact, there is no rule that a team even has to have a starting rotation at all.

    40. Mr. October
      July 3rd, 2013 | 12:01 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You keep quoting those articles, and they keep avoiding acquiring players who’d add to the 2014 payroll.

      What player(s) have they avoided acquiring?
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Uh uh; sorry, we don’t have to prove a negative.

      What player has been reported to have been available over the last 2 months that would have addressed the team’s current multitudinous needs and added to the 2014 payroll? You’re not being asked to prove a negative.

    41. Ricketson
      July 3rd, 2013 | 12:30 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Yes, it has. The $189 million payroll cap for 2014 is still in effect, which has precluded Cashman from signing any more long term deal at big bucks for next year and beyond. At least for now, it has.

      I thought $84 million was “a lot” of money?

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Excuse me if I am misinterpreting your statement but it sounds as if you are excusing Cashman’s failures because his hands are tied financially. How can his hands be tied when the team is spending over $200M this year and will likely spend at least $189M next year?

      Certain people often say “money or spending doesn’t guarantee success.” And when the team is not successful, the same people seem to point to a team not being able to spend money as the reason, or a “return to free-spending ways” after the luxury tax rate is reset in 2014.

    42. Evan3457
      July 3rd, 2013 | 4:49 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:
      Excuse me if I am misinterpreting your statement but it sounds as if you are excusing Cashman’s failures because his hands are tied financially. How can his hands be tied when the team is spending over $200M this year and will likely spend at least $189M next year? He will have nearly $100M to spend next year. I would think the GMs of Tampa and Houston would love to have their hands tied like that.

      I had assumed that the Yanks would maintain their corporate strategy of spending big to win big every year. As such, even with multiple very big $$$ very long deals, a certain amount of money, $20-40 million, came free just about every year, and was available to deal with team needs. They could fill 2-3 holes a year that way, in perpetuity.

      With that resource cutoff, it was natural that holes would appear, and not be filled short and medium-term with solid players. This past off-season, for example, it was Swisher, Martin, Pettite and Kuroda. They did re-sign Pettitte and Kuroda, but to one year deals. Swisher they had to let go, and take the offensive downgrade from Swisher to Ichiro, (though that gap may wind up smaller than expected).

      But the albatross contracts remain on the roster. If you want these big money free agents, you have to give them the years, or they go elsewhere. The downside is that you’re paying the same money for less production as the years go by. If the team then cuts itself off from signing solid players for the short and near term, then, that’s where the budget restriction hurt the team in the short and near term.

    43. Evan3457
      July 3rd, 2013 | 4:56 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      You keep quoting those articles, and they keep avoiding acquiring players who’d add to the 2014 payroll.
      What player(s) have they avoided acquiring?

      Alfonso Soriano whom Theo would dearly like to unload, would be one of them.

      What player has been reported to have been available over the last 2 months that would have addressed the team’s current multitudinous needs and added to the 2014 payroll? You’re not being asked to prove a negative.

      The 1st part of your question is absurd; no one player would’ve done that. Too many injuries for a single player to overcome.

      And, yes, I am being asked to prove a negative, to wit: prove that there are player or players on the market that could have helped the Yankees fill all the holes that the Yankees DID NOT acquire that they could have acquired.

      I can’t prove that, because I don’t know the totality of all players available, or of all players available on multi-year deals that could’ve been acquired but weren’t because of the impact on the $189 million payroll cap for 2014.

      One such player is Soriano, mentioned above. There are others, such Aramis Ramirez, who are rumored to be available. Whether they are or not, I can’t say.

    44. Evan3457
      July 3rd, 2013 | 5:07 pm

      Ricketson wrote:

      I thought $84 million was “a lot” of money?

      It is, but it’s not available. Yet.

      Certain people often say “money or spending doesn’t guarantee success.”

      When I’ve said that, it is to respond to other people making the case that spending at the level the Yankees have spent doesn’t guarantee World Series Championships, and it doesn’t.

      And when the team is not successful, the same people seem to point to a team not being able to spend money as the reason, or a “return to free-spending ways” after the luxury tax rate is reset in 2014.

      Because that will allow them to resume filling whatever holes that they cannot otherwise fill as they did every year for the last, what, 15 years? 20 years? Which is one of the reasons why they’ve made the playoffs every season but one in the last 18.

    45. Ricketson
      July 5th, 2013 | 1:50 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      When I’ve said that, it is to respond to other people making the case that spending at the level the Yankees have spent doesn’t guarantee World Series Championships, and it doesn’t.

      Right. In other words, spending at that level does or should guarantee postseason appearances, which is what I’ve said repeatedly.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Which is one of the reasons why they’ve made the playoffs every season but one in the last 18.

      The least significant reason.

      With more competence in the executive management ranks, more would have been won with those postseason appearances than 5/11 series wins and 1 pennant since 2005.

      “Filling holes,” as in the starting rotation? Why not. What the hell – it’s just the starting rotation… A hole at the no. 2 starter position (or no. 3 starter position, for that matter) is no different from any other “hole,” a need for a right-handed bat, etc.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But the albatross contracts remain on the roster.

      You lose the right to call them “albatross” contracts when you have not won a pennant since 2005 without them…

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