Last year’s entire starting outfield of Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton are gone, as is second baseman Dee Gordon.
“I understand the frustration of a fan,” Jeter said. “The bottom line the way I looked at it was, it’s been a challenge for us getting people to the stadium for years. And from everything I have heard, the challenge is because there has not been a winning product on the field. So, if there is not a winning product on the field, you have to make a change.
“It’s a team that has not been to the postseason since 2003 and hasn’t had a winning record in years. And in my mind, that’s unacceptable and it should be unacceptable for the fans. The only way for us to fix that is to make some changes. Like I said, I know it’s unpopular.”
Yankees pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Tuesday. The TV network most eagerly anticipating the 2018 Major League Baseball season is the Yankees’ own YES Network, which will market telegenic young sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton as a modern-day Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.
Anticipation is off the charts from viewers and advertisers for the new season, according to YES executives. Led by young stars like Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Didi Gregorius, the Baby Bombers came within one game of the 2017 World Series. At a time when even the mighty NFL’s TV numbers are falling, YES average game rating rose a whopping 57 percent to 3.57 last season.
That was YES’ best number in five years. It enabled the New York-based network (majority owned by 21st Century Fox with a minority stake held by the Yankees) to reclaim its title as most-watched regional sports network, or RSN, in the country.
If expectations were not high enough, the Yankees swung a trade with the Marlins in December to land Stanton: the reigning National League MVP, who belted 59 home runs last season to Judge’s 52 for the MLB lead.