Why aren’t the Yankees better? Five huge questions looming over the team’s future

  • Senior writer ESPN Magazine/ESPN.com
  • Analyst/reporter ESPN television
  • Author of “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty”

The confusion over what the New York Yankees have become could be seen in the faces of their players, who ask the same questions that everybody else does.

Why isn’t the team better?

With a lineup filled with accomplished stars, why do big hits seem so elusive?

How could a team that led the majors in runs scored for the 2017-20 seasons rank in the bottom third of run production this year? How could the pitching staff be so thin?

Going into the weekend series against the New York Mets, the Yankees were a half-game ahead of the Blue Jays for a playoff spot after being swept by Toronto — in which the Yanks never held a lead in a four-game series for the first since 1924 — and yet, because of their struggles, it felt like they were 10 games behind. They start Sunday, ahead of their rubber game with the Mets, now tied with Toronto for the second American League wild-card spot.

No matter what happens, there will be a winter of hard choices within the organization.

What follows are the most important, and we’ll take them in inverse order.

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