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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/6/21

Yankees eliminated by their archrivals; shorthanded lineup ineffective at best; pondering what will wind up changing for the 2022 team; Gerrit Cole’s clunker will be tough for him to swallow; Eddie Robinson passes away at 100.

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American League Wild Card Game: New York Yankees v. Boston Red Sox Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

ESPN | AP: The Yankees’ season ended on a low note, fading away without much of a fight in Fenway Park. Giancarlo Stanton belted the ball around, but other than a couple solo shots, nothing much else went New York’s way — while the Red Sox pounced on Gerrit Cole and outlasted the Yankee ‘pen. It was a fitting ending for a wildly inconsistent season, one where the Yankees inexplicably were silent with the bats for long stretches before igniting for a month or so only to fall back into a lull.

NY Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees were walking into the Wild Card Game shorthanded, with DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit on the IL and Gio Urshela banged up after making a spectacular play in the regular season finale. Because of this, Brett Gardner and Andrew Velazquez were two of the names penciled into the starting lineup, alongside Cole’s personal catcher in Kyle Higashioka — which made for a severely underwhelming bottom of the order. To be fair, Gardner had a strong enough second half to deserve the start with Voit out and Gary Sánchez had a rough stretch to end the year, so the options were quite limited, but the 2022 Yankees need someone other than Stanton or Aaron Judge producing consistently.

The Ringer | Zach Kram: Speaking of 2022, there’s a whole slew of questions about that team and the work begins now on answering them. The pitching staff surprised many this year and should retain most of their talents, so finding additions there may not be a priority, but a retooling of the lineup is almost certain to happen. Beyond that, the future of manager Aaron Boone hangs in the balance with his contract up for renewal — something that everyone is bound to have an opinion on.

The Athletic | Lindsey Adler: Gerrit Cole strives for excellence every time he takes the mound. It was apparent on the day the Yankees signed him, the day they introduced him to the media, and every outing he’s taken since. He wasn’t excellent on Tuesday — far from it. It was Cole’s worst start of his Yankees tenure, and it came at the worst possible time, whether that was due to lingering effects from his hamstring injury, general wear-and-tear from returning to a 162-game season, or just poorly-timed ineffectiveness. Regardless, you know this outing is going to eat at Cole all offseason, and hopefully fuel a stronger 2022 campaign. If you’ve got an Athletic subscription, give Adler one more read as the season closes and the offseason approaches. | Matt Kelly: MLB lost a member of its prestigious alumni on Monday, when Eddie Robinson passed away at the age of 100. Robinson was MLB’s oldest living player and enjoyed a 13-year career that featured a World Series championship in Cleveland, as well as a stint with the Yankees from 1954-56. Robinson got involved with the front office side of the game after his retirement, including stints as the Braves and Rangers GM, and was an active participant in covering the modern game through podcasting.