Individual game ticket sales for the New York Yankees’ 2024 season have already begun, and there have been no reports of any stampede at the box office.
Incidentally, those seat prices have been raised from 2023, and notices went out for season ticket holders to have their initial payments in the mail, as mentioned recently by an unhappy customer.
Try and take some satisfaction in the accrued interest that is helping to pay down Giancarlo Stanton’s $32 million contract for next season.
For now, you’re asked to blindly imagine how the Yankees might offer you more bang for the buck than in 2023, “a disaster’’ in the words of GM Brian Cashman last month, but a season that still brought over three million fans to Yankee Stadium.
Which brings us to wondering what ownership is prepared to do, or not, to not only emerge from this wreckage but to reverse a backward trend and a pennant-less drought celebrating its 14th anniversary.
For fans with foggy recollections of the Yankees’ last world title, it’s hard to term this a lost generation with five trips to the AL Championship Series since 2009.
But since July 2022, the Yankees have been a .500 club, and that would have been cause for sweeping changes in the last pinstriped era.
Echoes of George Steinbrenner
Just for historical perspective…
“We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned… I’ll stick to building ships,’’ said George Steinbrenner, famously, after his group purchased the Yankees in 1973.
Over the next 13 seasons, The Boss cycled through 12 managerial changes (four of them Billy Martin, and there would be a fifth), six general manager changes (there would be six more), and 12 different pitching coaches (with more to come).
In the 13 seasons under Hal Steinbrenner since the Yankees’ last title, they have changed managers once and pitching coaches twice.
For the first time in Cashman’s 26-year run, a coach was dismissed in-season when Dillon Lawson was let go in July.
Last year’s ALCS sweep at the hands of the Astros – and doesn’t that seem a long time ago – provided a hard reality about the Yankees being many lengths away from Houston’s winning model.
Consider what you will of the Astros’ electronic sign-stealing scandal damaging the Yankees’ chances in 2017 and 2019.
But the Los Angeles Dodgers have at least an equal argument, and other clubs – the Yanks included – weren’t innocent when it came to the early era of video room advantage-taking.
They just weren’t as blatant or bold.
Yankees are promising ‘deep dive’ look
Anyway, Hal Steinbrenner has already promised a deep dive into the organization’s departments and processes, with special mention of its application of analytics – with an independent review conducted by an outside firm.
This would not qualify under the “What Would George Do?’’ winter itinerary, for those preferring swift and dramatic changes.
Cashman sounded strongly like someone coming back and invested when he spoke recently about “removing the emotion’’ and digging into the root causes of how a $290 million payroll bought the Yankees a fourth- or fifth-place finish – way behind the small payroll Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of internal assessments going on,’’ Cashman acknowledged recently.
‘When they struggle, I struggle’: Sean Casey on ups and downs as Yankees batting coach
With the assumption that the GM and manager Aaron Boone are retained by Steinbrenner to work toward the 2024 turnaround, the Yankees must consider several staff changes throughout the organization, their current strength-and-conditioning methods, and the practice of accumulating players in their 30s with injury histories.
By all means, go all-in on Japan’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto, 25, a dynamic-looking starting pitcher, and see what the new price is for Shohei Ohtani.
Keep checking the trade cost of adding much needed left-handed hitting to a dull lineup – an order already compromised in 2024 by Jasson Dominguez’s lengthy absence due to Tommy John surgery.
The power of the checkbook is still the Yankees’ greatest advantage, but that won’t solve their systemic problems.
Maybe that promised deep dive ought to include how the Dodgers and Braves do business.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Inside Yankees’ strategy regarding Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman
Source: Yahoo Sports