For the majority of the last six decades, the only similarity between the New York Yankees and Mets was that they play in the same city.
But for once, the Yankees — long regarded as the class of Major League Baseball, the blueprint for consistent contending — could do well taking a page out of the Mets’ book. More specifically, Steve Cohen’s work.
The Yankees entered Tuesday’s slate in last place in the American League East after losing two of three to the NL-worst Colorado Rockies, featuring a pair of two-run blown leads in the eighth and 11th innings, and an extra-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. All the while, manager Aaron Boone’s needless rah-rah attitude has done nothing to lift the Bronx Bombers from their Aaron Judge-less doldrums.
They had lost seven of their last nine games entering Tuesday night’s play and were 15-20 since Judge went down with a toe injury on June 3. This is now the latest they’ve had sole possession of last place in the American League East since 1990 — a dubious honor that seemed oh so avoidable.
Ultimately this falls on Hal Steinbrenner — the owner seemingly too stubborn or disinterested to make any legitimate changes to a roster that exhibited an abundance of red flags despite making the ALCS last season — and then trickles down.
After Aaron Judge single-handedly willed an underwhelming Yankees roster to the postseason, Steinbrenner not only awarded the man responsible for the poorly-constructed roster, general manager Brian Cashman, with a four-year deal, but he also kept Boone at the helm.
Cashman did nothing to address the major holes in the roster, particularly third base and an additional corner outfield option, as the lineup continues to languish without Judge. All the while, Boone has seen his team plummet down the standings and looks all the less bothered by it.
There’s still plenty of time to right the ship. The Yankees are just a couple games out of the final American League Wild Card spot and reports have surfaced about Cashman being more aggressive at the trade deadline. Granted, it comes from a place of desperation after 14 years of mostly stale ballclubs built by the veteran general manager.
Perhaps that comes with the territory of being a part of the great Yankees dynasty two-plus decades ago, but complacency is something that must be eradicated — similar to what Cohen appears to be doing with the Mets.
This is about where the positive notions regarding the Queens club end. Going all in for the 2023 season by signing the likes of Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga to create the highest payroll for a single club in MLB history, the Mets have been a shell of their 101-win selves from last season.
Rather than a passive approach, it appears as though the Mets are going into sell mode at the Aug. 1 trade deadline — and almost everyone appears up for grabs including Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Within a couple of weeks, we could be looking at a drastically different Mets team, which will then undergo more drastic changes over the winter.
That includes potential changes to the front office — bringing on a president of baseball operations — and in the manager’s office as Buck Showalter’s future with the club has obviously fallen into question.
It’s all in the pursuit of finding the right, winning combination. And it’s more gumption than what the Yankees have shown over the past decade.