You want to see a dead body?
I shouldn’t start with an attempt at humor, because this is no laughing matter. The New York Yankees have lost five in a row after being swept in a four-game series by the Boston Red Sox. They are now 9.5 games out of first place in the American League East and are in a fair amount of danger of falling out of a Wild Card spot.
Crying is natural. It’s ok, you won’t be criticized. This is a judgement-free safe space. After all, everyone loves the Yankees. As the nation’s favorite team to root for, the standard emotions that come with such a freefall can only be described as somber. Even Red Sox fans have to be holding back tears after such a fall from grace for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees were winning 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday night when Aroldis Chapman came in. He promptly loaded the bases on three walks and gave up a two-out, two-run single to shorten the lead to just one run. With runners on first and second, Xander Bogaerts hit a chopper to Miguel Andujar at third base. It should’ve been an easy play, but the rookie bounced the throw to Greg Bird, who couldn’t corral the hop. The tying run scored, and Boston would eventually walk it off in extra innings.
That throw was Andujar’s second error of the day. Sure, he’s in his first season in the MLB and is only 23 years old. And if it was his only poor game in the field, I might overlook it. But for the 99.9 percent of baseball fans who do not know, Andujar IS THE WORST DEFENSIVE THIRD BASEMAN IN BASEBALL.
No, he’s not 20th out of 30 major league third basemen. Only 20 people in baseball have enough innings to qualify at the position, and Miguel Andujar is literally the worst out of all of them. It’s mind-boggling to think about because he is universally beloved by the entire Yankees universe. I wish I understood the thought process behind both the fans and the media.
“But Sean, Andujar is a great hitter and gets a ton of extra base-hits.”
That’s certainly true. A .497 slugging percentage is nothing to scoff at, and that deserves praise, even from me. The only problem? Miguel Andujar is allergic to getting on base. At first glance, his .292 batting average sticks out as terrific, especially for such a young hitter. But the Dominican native doesn’t walk. His 4.1% walk rate is 361st in the league (among those with at least 100 plate appearances this season). THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIRST.
Combined with the horrific glove that he possesses, Andujar ranks 17th among third basemen in Wins Above Replacement. That’s not great, Bob! For someone so unanimously praised, it’s almost impossible to fathom. The funniest thing is that Andujar is likely going to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award. A rookie of the year award for a terrible baseball player.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Yankees passed on Manny Machado in part because the left side of the infield is “strong”. There’s a very good chance the Yankees finish with a top-three record in baseball and fail to get past the one-game Wild Card playoff. And if that happens, a piece of me will die. Just like last night.