Amidst their month-long ride, fans booed owner Hal Steinbrenner, ripped general manager Brian Cashman and chanted for Aaron Boone to be fired. On Monday, before the Yankees faced the Mets in Game 1 of the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium, Cashman gave Boone and his coaches a vote of confidence.
“Being the manager of the New York Yankees is a very difficult job. It becomes easier when everything is perfect and obvious, but you play an imperfect game every day,” the longtime Yankees GM said. “So I think he’s done a great job. I think he manages the work extremely well. I think he knows his players very well. I think he manages the daily interaction before and after the game, which I think is very difficult. You have to be a unique person to be able to handle this type of interaction, to keep calm and composed on an ongoing basis.
“He is equal. It’s important for our players to see that, because if he can keep his temperament mostly unchanged, they don’t see panic … that doesn’t mean he can’t lose his composure, that he will from time to time, if necessary, in he’s got the equipment you can turn to, you’ve seen that,” Cashman continued. “I think his behavior is very important. Especially in such a market.”
The Yankees had lost five of their last 20 games and six straight entering the final against their cross-town rivals. In the last month, an offense that seemed insurmountable in the first half of the season has slowed down. Their run production, which was more than five runs per game before the slide, was just over three runs per game — thanks to three blowouts. They have been shut out four times in their last 12 games after being shut out just three times in the first half. Their OPS has dropped from .755 overall to .679 over their last 30 games, tied for 10th in the American League.
The offense’s inconsistency in the 2021 season caused the Yankees to let go of longtime hitting coaches Marcus Thames and P.J. Pillittere and replace them with hitting coordinator Dylan Lawson.
“I commend them for having good robust processes with everyone as a group and everything with each individual player profile. They are consistent and committed to the way they do what they do, and that hasn’t changed,” Cashman said. “Now, even though the results of the last 50 games have changed, but in terms of how they’ve gone about their business and how they still show up every day with the mindset that today we’re going to be good and today we’re going to hit that opposing pitcher , and it doesn’t matter who’s on the mound, it’s the same, you know, temperament.”
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The Yankees are 4-14 since the trade deadline, when Cashman decided to use his pitching depth with Jordan Montgomery and in the minors to add to the big league club by acquiring Frankie Montas, Lou Trivino, Scott Efras, Andrew Benintendi and Harrison Bader.
Cashman said it’s too early to gauge his timing changes.
“Right now, I would say let’s just wait until that question is answered when it’s all said and done,” Cashman said. “Let’s go through our season and see where we finish as long as we’ve earned a place in October, which hasn’t happened yet. So I’m not going to Jinx myself by guaranteeing anything, but once we get into October and see how we play in October, then I’ll be in a better position to answer that question period. So it’s too early for me to figure it out.”
Giancarlo Stanton said he made it through both of his rehab games pain-free and believes he can be activated before the Yankees begin a four-game series in Oakland on Thursday. First, Stanton will face Luis Severino in live batting practice on Tuesday.
Stanton said it’s annoying that he might be “grinding with the guys” through that slide, but he’s looking forward to getting back into the lineup.
“I’m just going to come in and do what I’ve been doing all year,” Stanton said. “So he tries to help us every day.”
In 80 games this season, Stanton is hitting .228/.309/.498 with an .807 OPS, 24 home runs and 61 RBI. Stanton will not play on the field during his rehab assignment and will be reinstated when he returns.