MLB News: Yankees Seeking Answers Amid Slump

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Tristin McKinstry

The New York Yankees have one of the best records in baseball. At one point in the season, there may not have been a better-performing team across Major League Baseball.

The Yankees are 4-12 in their last 16 games and 17-25 since July 1. New York has a worse record than the Chicago Cubs (50-67) and the Oakland Athletics (43-76) during that span.

The Yankees may still hold a comfortable lead atop the American League East, but things need to change. New York has to right the ship, which must occur soon with the postseason rapidly approaching.

A Prevalent Unease

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There seems to be a great unease in the Yankees clubhouse at the current juncture. This is a stark contrast to the vibrant scenes in the clubhouse nearly two months ago.

Take Harrison Bader's recent comments to ESPN, for example. Bader, who was injured when he was acquired at the trade deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals, admitted that he was worried about how he'd be received by the Yankees when he joined the team.

"I'm sure everybody in here was like, 'We just traded for this guy in a boot?'" said Bader. "'Are you serious?'"

"It Can Wear You Down"

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Manager Aaron Boone is no stranger to slumps during a baseball season. The 12-year major league veteran experienced them first hand as a player. He knows how rough stretches like this can be.

He also knows firsthand the mental strife one goes through when attempting to kickstart the engine again. It can be a brutal headspace to be in.

"You can get in your way a little bit," said Boone via ESPN. "It can wear you down and whatever, pressing, all that. I got to that place a couple times where I don't care; I'm going to be ready to go. For me, a little bit of a rock bottom, that freed me up quite a bit."

Forging A New Environment

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The mood in the clubhouse certainly took a downward turn as the team began picking up injuries. Recently, relievers Clay Holmes and Michael King have been sent to the IL, with King being ruled out for the rest of the season.

With those injuries, new players from the minor leagues have come up to take their place. For Boone, getting those players comfortable while not putting too much pressure on them is a priority.

"You try and get them as acclimated and comfortable as possible in the surroundings," Boone said via ESPN. "No one's expecting or counting on them being the revelation that turns us around. Yeah, sure, we want that spark and get things going offensively, but they're here because they've earned their way here."

Confidence Amid The Unease

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Despite the poor run of form, the team is still among the more talented teams in the league. They know this, which is why there is still an air of confidence amid all the unease.

"We've got a lot of great ballplayers here that have a great track record," Yankees star Aaron Judge said. "We're going through a little stretch like this, but it's about how we come back out the next day and respond."