The turnaround in the New York Yankees’ fortunes, particularly over the last month, has been nothing short of miraculous. They entered August with a 55-48 record — seven games back of the the division-leading Rays, 6.5 behind the Red Sox, and trailing the Athletics by two games for the second Wild Card spot. Now as the month rolls into September, they are still eight back of the Rays, but more importantly, lead the AL Wild Card standings, two games ahead of the second-spot Red Sox and three in front of Oakland.
GM Brian Cashman deserves a large chunk of credit for this reversal of fortunes. He made a pair of blockbuster additions at the deadline, dealing for Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo without touching the blue-chip prospects in the system and all while remaining below Hal Steinbrenner’s feared Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) threshold. This gives the longtime GM a serious shot at topping his approval rating last month, which stood at a season-high 64 percent after a lowly 10-percent rating for June.
The Yankees started the month of August by locking down a series sweep of the Marlins. They returned home to take two of three from the Orioles, followed by three of four from Seattle. Following the homestand, they went on the road for a quick jaunt to the AL Central, winning a series against the Royals 2-1. They endured a heartbreaking loss to the White Sox in the Field of Dreams game, but rebounded to win the series taking the final two games in Chicago.
After winning a makeup game against the Angels back home, the Yankees completed perhaps their most important series so far this season, sweeping the Red Sox in the Bronx. They then swept the next two series against the Twins and Braves, all part of a historic 13-game winning streak — the team’s longest since 1961 — that spanned the second game of the White Sox series to the second game of the Athletics series.
For as loud of a bang as the Yankees made for most of the month, they ended it with a whimper. After taking the first two games of a four-game set at the dreaded Oakland Coliseum, the offense stalled out in the final two to only manage a split with the fellow AL Wild Card-contending A’s. They then extended their losing streak to four straight by dropping the first two in Anaheim to cap off an inauspicious conclusion to August.
The team would be unimpeachable if not for the most recent four-game losing skid, where their most concerning shortcomings came to the fore. Namely, the tenuous state of the rotation, the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the offense, and a shortage of unconditionally trustworthy high-leverage relievers. Still, the fact that these issues persist and yet the team rattled off 13 straight and put themselves back into playoff contention speaks to their resiliency and character.
Yes, he’s got his flaws — from questionable public comments about his players to the occasional over-valuation of his prospects — however, Brian Cashman holds the distinction as the longest-tenured current GM for a reason. His teams win games, and he is not afraid to make moves to give them a boost.
So now the ball is in your court. With August in the books, do you approve of Brian Cashman? We understand that there is a wide spectrum of opinion about the Yankees GM. You may approve of some aspects of his tenure and disagree with others. But for the purpose of this exercise, we’d appreciate a binary “yes” or “no” response. The more responses, the greater the sample size, which as we know is paramount when trying to achieve an accurate reflection of reality.
Vote in the poll below and let us know! We’ll revisit the results in a month.
Do you approve of Yankees GM Brian Cashman?
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