The New York Yankees have the second-highest payroll in the major leagues this season at around $202 million. Yet as of Monday, the struggling Bombers are fourth in the AL East Division at 31-29 and would not make the playoffs as things stand. Fans in New York are calling for the firing of manager Aaron Boone in the wake of a home sweep at the hands of the rival Red Sox, and Boone has become the slight favorite via SportsLine oddsmakers to be the first manager relieved of his duties.
Fans were also calling for Boone's head back on April 18 when the Yankees were swept at home by the Tampa Bay Rays and lost their fifth straight game overall to drop to 5-10. However, the club turned things around at that point and hit a high-water mark of 28-19 on May 23 following a home three-game sweep of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox.
Since then, the Yankees are 3-10 and were embarrassed over the weekend by the Red Sox. It was the first time they were swept at home by Boston since June 2011. New York had been 16-1 in its past 17 at home in the series entering. Just about every major sports columnist in the greater NYC area wrote about Boone's tenuous job status last night/this morning.
"There's urgency," Boone said after Sunday night's loss in which the Yankees blew a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning, "but we're in control of our season and our destiny, very much so, and we've got to take control of it."
There was clearly frustration on Sunday as third base coach Phil Nevin was ejected from the game following the ninth inning and bench coach Carlos Mendoza was ejected in the 10th inning. Both were the product of calls by home plate umpire Gabe Morales. (Many Yanks fans are wondering why it wasn't Boone who stood up for his players.)
If the late George Steinbrenner were in charge of the team, Boone probably would be a goner today with the Yankees off. Things could only get worse, too, as the team begins an eight-game, three-city road trip Tuesday at Minnesota (another disappointing team with a manager on the hot seat)
New York's pitching staff has largely been great, but the offense has hugely disappointed. The team is averaging just 3.72 runs per game. Giancarlo Stanton wasn't in the starting lineup Sunday and is batting .087 with 11 strikeouts in 23 at-bats since returning from a left quad strain.
Two-time batting champion DJ LeMahieu got a big extension as a free agent this offseason but doesn't have an extra-base hit in his last 68 plate appearances and is batting just .259. Last year, he finished third in the American League MVP vote, hitting an MLB-best .364. Catcher Gary Sanchez is batting .210. Brett Gardner .190. Clint Frazier .188. Rougned Odor .180.
All of the Yankees' 31 wins this year have come when allowing four runs or fewer (31-11 record). They are 0-18 when allowing at least five runs in game.
William Hill Sportsbook still lists the Yankees as +850 fourth favorites to win the World Series and +360 second favorites (behind White Sox) for the AL pennant.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Favorites to be first MLB manager fired
- Aaron Boone +250
- Torey Lovullo +300
- Bud Black +400
- Chris Woodward +400
- Brandon Hyde +600
- Dave Martinez +700
- Don Mattingly +900
- Rocco Baldelli +1000
- Mike Shildt +1200
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