Basically, it's because they're too dumb.
Yeah, I get it. They've been flirting with the AL East lead all year and recently acquired starting pitcher Sonny Gray -- definitely a keeper -- from the Oakland Athletics to hopefully put them over the top.
But it's not going to work. Stupidity rarely prevails, though that pesky Dubya did get elected Prez and, incredibly, re-elected back in the 2000s. Go figure. Ahem.
However, the Yanks went into full-blown duh mode in a game against the hapless Detroit Tigers. Here was the scenario ----
At home, the Bronx Bombers, after a long rain delay, found themselves trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning. They had put runners on first and second and up came rookie slugging sensation Aaron Judge.
On the mound for the puddy tats was one Bruce Rondon. Detroit can't seem to figure out whether Rondon belongs in the majors or minors, but keeps giving him chances to prove his worth with the big boys.
To date, BR is sporting an ERA of a whopping 12.00. Not good as pitching goes. To be fair, that number is likely higher than some IQs in the White House and Congress these days, but not so good when it comes to a major league pitcher.
Per usual, Rondon was all over the place in his first three pitches to Judge and the count ran to 3-0.
This is when the obtuse factor kicked in, but first a little history from a legend.
Former Bosox slugger Ted Williams once famously said a batter is probably only to get one good pitch to hit in any at bat. Don't take it. Don't foul it off, and don't miss it. Hit it and hit it hard somewhere. Sounds reasonable enough.
So you just knew what was going to happen on Judge's 3-0 count. And yep, there it was. A thigh high fastball right down the middle. He took it for strike one.
The next pitch was a slider down and away, out of the strike zone -- that Judge swung at and missed. 3-2. Ditto on the following pitch. Another slider in the same place with the same whiff. Yer out. He had missed his one good chance at 3-0..
Next up was one Gary Sanchez. He's capable of "leaving the yard" as well. Same scenario. 3-0 count and again you just knew what was coming next. Same thing. Fastball down the middle that he took for strike one. Then more junk sliders out of the strike zone he swung and missed at.
So two Yankee sluggers, with their team down 2-0 in the 8th inning, and two men on base in front of them inexplicably stood in the batter's box and watched the "one good pitch" they were going to see sail past them for strikes.
One would think Yankees manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff would have enough firing neurons and synapses to recognize the obvious was coming and turn his hitters loose on 3-0 counts knowing full well they'll get a prime pitch to hit -- likely the only one.
But no. As the late, great, famed Detroit Tiger announcer Ernie Harwell was fond of saying -- they stood there like the house by the side of the road and watched them go by.
And this is just dumb baseball.
Somewhere in his cryogenic state, Ted Williams likely twitched as well.
"Whatzamattuh with you guys? The one good pitch was right there for both of you and you didn't have common sense enough to pound it? Then you wound up striking out on junk pitches, which should have been ball fours and a walk?"