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For the Yankees, the pitch clock is at least making the season end faster.

I generally steer clear of sports commentary for three very good reasons. First, I've read the great ones—Bob Ryan, Frank DeFord, Mike Lupica, et al.—and can't call what I do sportswriting. Second, fanatics are hard to please, and poking them usually induces a lot of blowback. I can't afford to alienate half my readers—that's all I have. (Somewhere in there is a math problem.) And third, waiting for Donald Trump to arrive in federal prison uses up most of my time.

But for today, I'm wading into the muck—the muck that is the New York Yankees.

I have been a fan of theirs all my life, and I will not kick them when they're down. Playing two months with their two best veteran players lost to injuries (a concussion and a toe) sealed their fate. And a pitching staff decimated not so much by injuries but by awfulness shoveled the last handfuls of dirt on the casket.

I'm not absolving Aaron Boone of blame. Bonehead baserunning and Three-Stooges fielding plays have frittered away at least a half dozen games this month alone. For that, the manager must assume some responsibility. But also, teams are in such a rush to move their prospects to the majors that these young players do not receive enough situational exposure to guide them in the myriad of bizarre events that occur in a given a given game. Ownership is the problem here, as it is with the Yankees.

Sunday's game against Tampa epitomized the season. Since New York's only runs came via home runs, they didn't have ample time to humiliate themselves on the basepaths. However, they did manage to convert a Tampa Bay theft of second into a run by playing keep-away with each other.

And then their pitchers hit opposing batters...three times. In two instances, the batters could never have evaded the pitches, and in one ricocheted off the batter's helmet. It's sixty-feet, six-inches from the pitching rubber to home plate. Your driveway is probably longer. A professional major league pitcher should be able to throw all his pitches that distance without injuring a fellow human. And by the way, claiming no intent should not dismiss ineptitude or carelessness. Ooops is not the appropriate response when a batter is carried off the field or cannot continue in the game. And a warning to both benches is like issuing a tornado alert right after the roof blows off your house.

The Yankees' New England competitors, the Red Sox, may not pitch or field very well, but their team batting average is 36 points higher than the Yankees. That's an astoundingly embarrassing disparity. What are the Yankees doing about that? Well, for one thing, 37 year old Josh Donaldson will be returning to "help out" in September. So far this season he has appeared in 34 games and is batting .142. Of course, he did throw an inning in one of the Yankees blowout losses to St. Louis in July and, to his credit, didn't hit anybody.

Baby steps.

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