NEW YORK – Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responded to his team’s funk with some flowery language and belief in manager Aaron Boone, the coaches and players.
“You get the bouquets come your way when things are flying high and you get the slings and arrows when things aren’t going well,” Cashman said before Monday night’s Subway Series opener against the Mets. “You hear it loud and clear. We know it and we feel it. And it’s our job to find a way to to be flying high and make sure that the product out there is something that everybody’s excited about.”
The Yankees (74-48) had lost 14 of their last 18 games and six straight series for the first time since 1995. Their AL East lead stood at eight games, down from 15 1/2 games in early July.
Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner were booed during Sunday’s ceremony to retire Paul O’Neill’s No. 21. Cashman held a news conference Monday evening, endorsing the team’s coaching staff and Boone, his fifth-year manager.
“He’s even he’s even keeled,” Cashman said. “It’s important for our players to see that, because if he can keep his temperament the same, for the most part, they don’t see panic. They don’t see anything. It doesn’t mean he can’t lose his cool, which he will from time to time when necessary. He has that gear and he can turn to it. You’ve seen it. But I think his demeanor is vitally important, in a market like this, especially.”
Yankees star Aaron Judge said after Saturday’s loss to Toronto there needed to be “a little better energy in the dugout and push each other a little bit.”
“When you’re playing poorly, you usually look lethargic and not crisp,” Cashman said. “If he had a meter for for testing commitment and caring and all that, we’d be off the charts with that crew. But I’ve been through this enough to know, too, that there are there spaces in time and patches your team can hit where it looks more zombie than than than what you’re used to seeing.”
Cashman said he would wait until after the season to evaluate his moves ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, which including obtaining Frankie Montas from Oakland and Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City, and dealing Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for injured center fielder Harrison Bader, expected back next month.
Montas is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three starts, and Benintendi entered with a .211 batting average and seven RBIs in 23 games.
Montgomery is 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA for the Cardinals.
“We’re going to reinforce what we got and double down on it,” Cashman said. “And I believe that that’s the right track with these guys. They’re hearing it. They’re feeling it, they know it. They’re not afraid of it. And if they could turn the narrative to more positive yesterday, they would have done it by now. But they’re not afraid to keep pushing through it until we push through it.”
Cashman knows the Yankees have a restless fan base expecting the team to end a title drought dating to 2009.
“The group’s got my belief,” Cashman said. “I believe strongly in them. I think they’re they’re still capable of everything we ever hoped and dreamed. But we have to weather this storm first and foremost.”