clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is there too much negativity surrounding the Yankees?

New, comments

We’re just a week into the season and there’s already too much negativity surrounding the team. What gives?

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Exactly a week ago today, the Yankees opened up their most anticipated season in recent memory. The expectations for this team were through the roof after they made it one game from the World Series and then added literally Giancarlo Stanton. Fans were ready and raring to go. Then the season started. Fast forward one week later and there’s already so much negativity around the team.

Aaron Boone’s managerial experience started the rain on the 2018 parade after some questionable decisions in back-to-back days led to the Yankees dropping the final two games of the series in Toronto. On Sunday, he gave David Robertson a choice to face the definitely-not-injured-but-has-a-dead-shoulder Josh Donaldson or the red-hot Justin Smoak.

Now I know that on paper Donaldson is the more dangerous hitter, but no one will ever convince me that facing the healthy guy over the injured guy is the smart choice. Boone has also faced criticism for leaning a bit heavily on his bullpen in the early days of the season.

After a roaring 2016 campaign in which the Rookie of the Year award was robbed from him for no good reason, Gary Sanchez established himself as one of the premiere catchers in baseball in 2017. The only “flaw” in his game was his inability to block balls and allowed passed balls.

He has also received some flack in the past because he doesn’t “hustle” out of the box to run out ground balls. That is something that will only amount to about four extra singles per year, not to mention the unnecessary injury risk. I’d rather have Sanchez actually playing in games instead of on the disabled list, but that’s just me. That surfaced again in Tuesday’s home opener when Sanchez struck out. The Rays’ catcher Jesus Sucre lost the ball and Sanchez didn’t run down the baseline. Ignoring that Sanchez didn’t know Sucre lost the ball, the field was wet, and the Yankees were up by seven.

The way some people reacted to Tuesday’s home opener, one wouldn’t be faulted for thinking it was actually a 2-1 grinding loss instead of an 11-4 laugher. Giancarlo Stanton made his home debut and ended up getting booed in his last two at-bats after striking out five times in the game.

How is it that just one week into the season, there’s this much negativity? The Yankees have a 4-2 record and are firing on all cylinders. I’d understand if it was the middle of the summer and the team was stumbling and bumbling in the playoff race, but this early in the season, it’s too soon to react to anything. Especially the few bad things in a pool of good. We should just be happy that baseball is back.

Remember that Boone is just a rookie manager, he’s going to learn. Sure, he might be leaning a little too heavily on the bullpen, but maybe that’s because it was the first time through the rotation and starters are still building their arm strength. Just look at yesterday’s game, Severino was cruising and Boone let him pitch into the eighth.

Gary Sanchez has been trying to shed the “lazy” label ever since the minor leagues. His work behind the plate this season speaks for itself. Sanchez put in the effort this offseason and worked on his receiving. It’s unfair to call him lazy for not running out a ball that he didn’t even notice the catcher lost, especially when he’s one of the hardest workers in the clubhouse.

Per Brian Cashman:

“I have no questions about Gary’s commitment. I know he cares. … He is much better than most people believe.”

Per Aaron Boone:

“I feel like I am being overly hyperbolic,” Boone said. “But his commitment, his buy-in, the work he has put in behind the scenes. We have asked a lot of him. We have been demanding of him. I think we have set a high bar for him — on both sides of the ball. And I feel like behind the scenes he has committed himself to live up to all of that. I think we are going to see a great all-around player.”

After Giancarlo Stanton left two baseballs without families in his Yankee debut, he’s getting booed because he struck out? It’s not even that people are upset he’s making outs. It’s because for some reason, they care about strikeouts more than other outs. Outs are outs. I’d rather Stanton strike out than hit a ball weakly on the ground that causes two outs instead of one. Plus, the boos look more foolish when he does something like this:

This team is fun. Plain and simple. The Yankees are young, exciting, and good. Enjoy that!

Their lineup will strike fear in opposing pitchers and the pitching staff can go up against any lineup. The team doesn’t have many flaws, but when there are a few blips that show up, they don’t need to be magnified. Instead of focusing on the few negatives, it’s more fun to focus on the positives:

I can get used to that.