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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 14: Slade Heathcott #72 of the New York Yankees celebrates his three-run home run with teammates Brian McCann #34 and Chris Young #24 as catcher J.P. Arencibia #40 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the ninth inning of a game on September 14, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

A letter to Joe Girardi

Dear Joe Girardi:

We saw it last night with Slade Heathcott‘s game winning home run. Young players with nothing to lose can provide a spark for a club. The Yankees are three games behind the Blue Jays, who look like the better team. The Yankees look old and beaten up; Mark Teixeira was having an MVP type season before he went down for the year. Alex Rodriguez has had a hot September, but no team should rely on a 40 year old DH. 

So then WHY aren’t the younger guys on the team getting more playing time, Joe? If it weren’t for Teixeira going down, Greg Bird wouldn’t be getting the experience he’s been getting. Sure, he hasn’t been outstanding, but his swing is smooth and has shown he can put the ball into the seats with ease. Bird is 22 and getting valuable exposure that will help him down the road as the every-day first baseman. 

Which brings me to my next question: WHY is Brendan Ryan getting at bats over Rob Refsnyder? Why Joe? What good is it doing at this point? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but let me tell you, it’s darn near broken at this point. Brendan Ryan is batting .225 and has yet to hit a home run, so what good are his at bats doing if he’s an automatic out? You want to “go with the guys that have gotten us here” but the guys that have gotten us here have gotten us into a bad situation, losing the insurmountable AL East lead we had!

It’s time to change things up, because it can’t hurt at this point. The Blue Jays will run away with the division if the Yankees can’t get a jolt of energy from somebody. Even with Troy Tulowitzki now injured for a while, the Blue Jay’s entire roster can make up for his brief absence. Sure, you used your mysterious white binder against the Blue Jays, putting Dustin Ackley as the starting first baseman that day against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Ackley has been historically lethal against the knuckle ball, and was one of the only productive batters that day for New York. 

Joe, I’m a huge fan of analytics; it’s the future of sports and it works a lot. But there is something to be said for team morale, momentum, and energy. I haven’t seen the dugout as excited as I did last night, thanks to a 24-year-old prospect in Heathcott. By staying with your narrow minded approach, you don’t stand a chance against Toronto. The lead will grow to five games, seven, who knows at that point? You’re throwing in the towel if you don’t shake things up now. While your binder might say that Refsnyder isn’t as good of an option as Ryan, Refsnyder might give the entire team a boost that could propel everyone in the clubhouse. Remember what he did during that series in Boston back in July? It’s not all about numbers, Joe.

If playing the younger guys still doesn’t work, it gets them playoff atmosphere experience, and that’ll be something to hang your hat on when you’re inevitably fired at the end of the season should the Yankees completely collapse. So there is something to think about, skipper.


Another confused Yankees fan