Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the week of the MLB trade deadline, and put up or shut up time for the New York Yankees

Another week gone, another frustrated New York Yankees rant oncoming.

Seriously, which vengeful deity did some fan anger to bestow this curse of mediocrity on the Bronx Bombers? Aaron Judge and several key players landing on the COVID list was bad enough, but completely folding against the Boston Red Sox again?

At this point, the best these Yankees can hope for is to meet the same fate as the 1978 team. Sure, this particular New York team won the World Series, but not without some adversity. That season, the Yankees were 14 games out of first place on July 19 and fourth in the AL East.

Today is July 26 and by this time in ’78, New York was in third place and 8.5 games back.

It’s not too far from where we are right now, actually. After losing three of four at Fenway Park, the New York Yankees are in third place and nine games out. A rally could theoretically happen, but we all know the truth.

The New York Yankees will probably continue playing lifeless baseball, be buyers at the deadline, and everyone will go home disappointed.

I’ll be even clearer. Whatever move the team makes this week, if any, Brian Cashman had better be right.

Tease of Philadelphia

The worst part of recapping the past week is that the New York Yankees were on the right track coming into it. It didn’t matter that Judge, Gio Urshela, and others were out with COVID-19 or that Luke Voit’s knee had him back on the IL.

Instead, Next Man up was back in full swing after taking two of three from the Red Sox last weekend. It carried over into a two-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, where reserves like Greg Allen and Ryan LaMarre held the spotlight. Tough gritty wins reminiscent of Lou Brown’s Cleveland Indians gave everyone hope that a turnaround was imminent.

Broken in Boston

One would think that after taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx last weekend, the New York Yankees would carry the hype to Fenway. Deep in the belly of the beast, another Boston Massacre would go down.

Well, it was instead what’s become the Yankees’ greatest hit this year: cracking under the pressure and underachieving. Chad Green blew the save on Thursday and Brooks Kriske’s not one, not two, not three, but four wild pitches sunk New York’s lead in extras.

Cut to Gerrit Cole being let down again on Friday, stealing a win on Saturday, and a Sunday where Domingo German took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Would he go the distance, put his name in the record books, and make everyone forget about his domestic violence suspension for about five minutes?

Nope. Not even close. Jonathan Loaisiga couldn’t get it done as the Red Sox scored five runs in the eighth inning to steal a win of their own. As usual, manager Aaron Boone had his usual aw-shucks attitude.

One can’t help but wonder if, even with two-plus months left in the season, these New York Yankees just don’t have what it takes.

Looking ahead

The good news is the New York Yankees have Monday off and will probably have Judge back in the lineup on Tuesday.

The bad news is the Florida Project is back on and the Yankees head back to Tropicana Field for three games with the pesky Tampa Bay Rays. Then, they lose the DH when they visit the Miami Marlins for the weekend.

Cashman had better have a trade done by July 30 because without any change, there’s no helping the New York Yankees.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.