The Yankees have held two team meetings over the last 10 days after bad losses. This one was loud, players said. Joe Girardi is never profane and wasn’t this time. But he and his coaches were forceful.
There’s a problem with meetings, however. What happens if you lose the next day?
At some point a manager has to find a way to reach his players. The Yankees may not be a championship team this season. They are too beat up for that and the rotation is too thin. But also shouldn’t be a team on pace to score 200 fewer runs than last season. That speaks to effort and approach.
The Yankees have been held to two or fewer runs 28 times this season. That’s one third of the time. Jon Lester needed 105 pitches to throw a shutout. He’s good, but he’s not that good. The Yankees played like they had a cab to catch. Or Madonna’s limo.
â€œThe Steinbrenners spent $200 million on us and we havenâ€™t showed what weâ€™re made of,â€ said Johnny Damon, one of the players who also spoke during the meeting. â€œI know this is one game and I know we have 75 or so games left. But weâ€™ve got to do something soon.â€
It sounds good that they had a meeting. But think about it for a second, nearly half the team are guys just thrilled to be there. Yelling at Betemit, Molina, Gardner, Moeller, Gonzalez, Ponson, Rasner, Veras, Ramirez, Giese and Robertson accomplishes zippo. They have nothing to do with what’s going on or can’t do much to change it.
Girardi has to connect with the core guys. Jeter, Damon, Abreu, A-Rod, etc. The team will rise or fall on how they play. Joe Torre always found a way out of the woods, now Girardi has to find his path. This is what managing is about. Strategy is 10 percent, the rest is getting your guys to play the game right.
Meanwhile the Yankees face Josh Beckett tomorrow and send Darrell Rasner against the Red Sox for the first time in his career.
Here’s Joe Girardi’s postgame interview session:
Thanks for reading today and check back tomorrow for a full day of holiday blogging.