New York Yankees Reflect on Disappointing Season and Discuss the Way Forward
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Following a disappointing season that saw the New York Yankees finish in fourth place in the American League East and miss the playoffs for the first time in seven years, the team’s top decision-makers gathered at their player development complex in early October. The mood was somber as they convened for three days of intense discussions, aiming to analyze what went wrong and find a path to future success.
The meetings began with owner Hal Steinbrenner delivering a clear message to the group. He emphasized that no one should believe everything is perfect and that self-reflection and open dialogue were crucial to moving forward. Steinbrenner then left the room, allowing the department leaders to speak freely without his presence.
With Steinbrenner absent, the team’s general manager, Brian Cashman, led the discussions. The focus was on separating fact from fiction and identifying the real reasons behind the team’s struggles. Cashman defended the Yankees’ analytics department, dismissing claims that their reliance on data had hindered their performance. He highlighted the department’s consistent success and pointed to the team’s strong performance in 2022, where they won 99 games and reached the American League Championship Series.
Cashman also addressed criticisms of the team’s player development apparatus. He questioned why the same players who had contributed to the team’s success in the past had struggled in the 2023 season. He emphasized the need to evaluate the development process and analyze the performance of both new and returning players.
When asked about what he believed was not to blame for the team’s struggles, Cashman pointed to injuries and unexpected underperformance. He highlighted several key injuries that significantly impacted the team’s performance. Aaron Judge’s absence for two months due to a wall collision, Nestor Cortes’ hamstring injury during offseason training, and multiple injuries suffered by Josh Donaldson, Harrison Bader, and Giancarlo Stanton were among the factors that affected the team’s performance.
Cashman also mentioned DJ LeMahieu’s slow recovery from a toe injury, Anthony Rizzo’s lingering concussion, and injuries to Luis Severino and Carlos Rodón. He likened the Yankees’ situation to the New York Jets losing star quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a freak Achilles injury early in the season, emphasizing the impact of such setbacks on team dynamics.
In conclusion, Cashman acknowledged that injuries and unexpected underperformance were significant factors in the team’s struggles. He emphasized that these challenges were not excuses but rather facts that affected the team’s performance. Moving forward, the Yankees will need to address these issues and make necessary adjustments to regain their winning form.