Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Stephen A. Smith launched into an epic Yankees rant during Wednesday’s edition of ESPN First Take.

“You go 22 innings without a run? That is unacceptable,” Smith said, referencing the back-to-back shutout losses to the Red Sox and Rays on Sunday and Monday.

“Unacceptable from the Yankees. You’re looking at their payroll, you’re looking at their expectations … to lose is one thing. It’s the way they’re going down. You’re going down like straight garbage.

“The Yankees, you look like trash right now. You look like flat-out trash. You’re worse than how it smells from the sewers in the Bronx. And I was born in the Bronx. I know what the hell I’m talking about. I’ve taken the D-train many times in my life. I’ve got family on Webster Avenue, for crying out loud. I know what I’m talking about. And you’re straight garbage. There’s more expected from the New York Yankees.”

And that was just the beginning. Smith also riffed (twice) that Hank Steinbrenner cannot be pleased with the team’s current slide, seemingly unaware that Steinbrenner died in 2020. He blasted Aaron Judge for slumping the past few days and ripped Gerrit Cole. He praised Mets owner Steve Cohen and Jacob deGrom. And Smith said manager Aaron Boone should be fired if the Amazins reach the World Series while the Bombers fall short.

The Yankees have lost three straight games, six of the last seven and 12 of their last 15. They’ve been a complete mess after a tremendous start to the season. They’ve reached the point of trying to jolt the lineup back to life with call-ups with so many key players sidelined with injury. And yet they remain nine games up in the AL East (albeit just eight in the loss column) and 10 games up for a top-2 seed in the postseason.

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.