Aaron Boone was aware of Luke Voit’s comments Tuesday night, when the Yankees’ losing streak stretched to five games via a one-run loss to the Blue Jays in Buffalo. “We have to get back to what the New York Yankees are. I feel like teams aren’t really scared of us right now, and it is …
Aaron Boone was aware of Luke Voit’s comments Tuesday night, when the Yankees’ losing streak stretched to five games via a one-run loss to the Blue Jays in Buffalo.
“We have to get back to what the New York Yankees are. I feel like teams aren’t really scared of us right now, and it is kind of a sad thing because we are the New York Yankees and obviously the favorite to win the division this year, and that’s obviously gone away, so we have to step it up,’’ Voit said following a 2-1 defeat that was the Yankees’ 15th in 20 games, dropping them to 21-21.
“I feel a lot of guys have lost their confidence at the plate or on the mound, making mental errors when we need big plays,” he said. “You have to remember who you are. There are a lot great players in this locker room struggling right now, but a couple of weeks ago they were doing fantastic.’’
As is his nature, Boone didn’t overreact to Voit’s feelings going public.
“I saw some of his comments, and again, that is part of being a big-league ballplayer, especially as an offensive player, as a position player you deal in a world of failure even when it is going well,’’ said Boone, whose team has gone from first place in the AL East to third and was one-half game ahead of the Orioles for the final AL wild-card spot heading into Wednesday’s series finale. “You got to be able to deal with that. You got to be able to roll with that. You add on top of that this is such a unique season and the shortened season and the earnest of every game. The couple week stretch where you don’t play well is certainly magnified. We are experiencing and witnessing that now.’’
The doubt Voit spoke of is familiar to Boone.
“I think it is important guys trust in what they are doing in their preparation and trust in the fact that they have all the equipment to deliver and deliver in an impactful way,’’ Boone said. “But anytime you are going through as a hitter where scuffling a little, that is going to poke at your confidence a little bit. You have to be able to roll with that and put it behind you and understand how important today is.
“I think it is nuance. When you get punched in the mouth and you are scuffling it kind of dings at you. I feel deep down, as individuals and us as a team know what we are capable of and I hope that is driving the day and needs to drive our day. When you are getting it you need to not flinch. You got to be able to turn the page and dive in the next day.’’
Gerrit Cole, Thursday night’s scheduled starter against the Orioles in The Bronx, described the Yankees’ clubhouse honestly.
“I see a team that is struggling and I see a team fighting hard to get out of the struggle, and the intent to get better hasn’t wavered at all,’’ Cole said. “I have played at this .500 mark before, and it is fascinating how hard people work here and how much goes into preparation to get better regardless of the record. I can only draw on my past experiences, and we are doing all the right things. We just got to find a way to get the last base hit, make that one big pitch. Often times we are that close but yet so far at the same time.’’