NEW YORK (AP) — In what amounted to a concession speech with the New York Yankees on the verge of their longest losing streak in a century, general manager Brian Cashman proclaimed the season “a disaster” and “an embarrassment" that will lead to job assessments of himself and manager Aaron Boone.
New York (61-65), which began the season with baseball's second-highest payroll at $275 million, ended its first nine-game losing streak in 41 years by beating Washington 9-1 Wednesday night on the strength of Aaron Judge's first three-homer game. Still, the Yankees are on track for their first losing season since 1992.
“It’s been a disaster this season. Yes, definitely a shock,” Cashman said during a 22-minute pregame news conference. “We’re embarrassed by it."
New York hit .176 during the slide with 21 runs but avoided what would have been its first 10-game skid since May 21 to June 6, 1913, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“We're really obviously disappointed, frustrated, angered,” Cashman said. “And that’s representative from every aspect of this franchise from top to bottom. And that includes our players, too. They care. They're fighting. I know it doesn’t look like that, but I would say if you try to put yourself in their position, I don’t think anybody wants to go out in front of 40,000 people and lay an egg, whether it’s individually or collectively as a team, because then what comes with that is pretty horrific.”
Cashman, 56, has been general manager since 1998 and agreed last December to a four-year contract. The 50-year-old Boone took over as manager before the 2018 season and has one more guaranteed season in a three-year deal that includes a team option for 2025.
“I think we’re all going to be evaluated, including myself,” Cashman said.
New York is 9 1/2 games back for the AL’s third and final wild card, also trailing Toronto, Boston and the Los Angeles Angels.
“You have to be a realist with how far we’re back now from the wild card, who we’re chasing,” injured first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “We’re certainly not out of it, but we have a very, very long shot from being in it.”
Cashman and Boone met Friday with owner Hal Steinbrenner, who wants a wide-ranging evaluation of the organization.
After peaking at 36-25 on June 4, then Yankees went 24-40 over a stretch in which they were last in the majors with a .220 batting average and 237 runs — 10 fewer than lowly Oakland.
“It’s all-consuming. That said, you always try to have a level of perspective that I certainly do in my life,” Boone said. “School’s getting ready to start, a couple going off to college and trying to be as present as you can be there, too. So you do try and separate, and I think I’m decent at it.”
Hal Steinbrenner does not erupt at losing managers in the manner of his tempestuous father George, who changed managers 21 times from 1973-2008.
“He's certainly frustrated, obviously, as we all are,” Boone said. “But I think we’re all in this together and share that kind of same feeling. So I don’t think he’s necessarily pointedly angry at me in these meetings.”
NOTES: Before the big night, Judge was hitting .222 with five homers and eight RBIs in 22 games since returning July 28 from a sprained right big toe. “If the compromise that he’s dealing with is a risky situation, then clearly that will be the conversation at that time," Cashman said. “We're not at that time, notwithstanding the playoff situation. So we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.” ... Rizzo was hitting .172 with one homer and nine RBIs following a collision with San Diego's Fernando Tatis Jr. on May 28, sustaining a concussion that was not diagnosed until he was put on the injured list on Aug. 3. Rizzo took on-field batting practice, is scheduled to be examined by a doctor next week and thinks he will return this season. "I don’t think it’s a certainty or it’ll all be predicated on if he’s good to go," Boone said.
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