yankees fire cashman
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Give Brian Cashman and the Yankees this: They have mastered the art of acting like they are doing something.

And to be clear: That is all this is. Firing hitting coach Dillon Lawson was not even a half-measure. It was just another empty flail by an organization headed in the same direction it has been for years — absolutely nowhere.

Save us the talk — likely to be pushed by Cashman’s apologists — that this is some earth-shattering event. Yes, the Yankees have never made an in-season staff change during the general manager’s tenure. Probably because doing so is pointless more often than not.

Let us play a game. What do you think is more to blame for the Yankees’ 49-42 record, fourth-place standing in the American League East and .231 team batting average?

Lawson or Aaron Judge’s foot injury?

Lawson or Cashman’s decision to employ Josh Donaldson?

Lawson or the prolonged ineptitude of Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo?

Lawson or D.J. LeMahieu appearing to be cooked?

Lawson or Manny, Moe and Jack playing the outfield most days?

MORE: Is Cody Bellinger destined to be a Yankee?

The Yankees had 11 hits on Sunday, a day after Cashman had received owner Hal Steinbrenner’s blessing to sack Lawson, in their 7-4 loss to the Cubs in the Bronx (they led 4-1 at one point). But they were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine men on base. Their inability to manufacture runs was so pathetic, radio voice John Sterling even ripped into them at one point. But sure, a new voice will surely get them to move runners over and get a big hit when they need it.

This was all sadly predictable. Maybe not Judge running into a Dodger Stadium wall, but pretty much everything else. Steinbrenner needed to fire manager Aaron Boone and let Cashman’s contract run out after last fall’s humiliation at the hand of the Astros. He did not. And while Steinbrenner deserves credit for paying Judge and adding Carlos Rodon, he needed to sign off on a lot more to transform a horribly-constructed roster into one that can contend for a championship. And, again, he did not.

The Yankees are still going to make the playoffs. Too much pitching, too much talent, too many games against the dregs of the AL Central and other tomato cans remaining. As long as Judge returns sooner rather than later, they will likely manage to get their customary 90-plus wins. And if they are really lucky, they will stumble into a wild card series against the Guardians or Twins where muscle memory takes over. And then they will act like they are capable of putting it all together.

But after that? You know the drill. Another October without a parade. And without real hope. Because these Yankees — Cashman’s Yankees — are fooling no one. Scapegoating a hitting coach will not change that.

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

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.