I can't believe I am saying this, but I can't blame Joe for the team's performance on the field. The young guns have developed so far on the field, and Joe has managed to get the kids, for the most part, to adapt to life in the big leagues (i.e., how to respond to the vicious Tampa media).
I believe the learning curve of the DRO is yet to be complete, as the failure of the DRO to overhaul the bullpen has been the serious negative on the team.
The Kazmir trade was, in many respects, the worst thing that could happen to our team in that the DRO may have begun their tenure believing that all trades should be measured up to Kazmir for Zambrano. The DRO properly should recognize that trade as an abberation, as it was the Mets, after all, that traded Nolan Ryan for Jim Fergosi, and traded Tom Seaver for Pat Zachary, Gary Nolan, Steve Henderson & Doug Flynn.
The failure to either trade or defend Dukes, who was, at the beginning of the year, very marketable, was IMHO, as much a failure on the part of the DRO as was the success of the previous DRO's fleecing of the Mets' Kazmir. Yet there is still time to correct this error.
The Yankees are in desperate need of a healthy centerfielder. Damon is hitting below the Mendoza Line, and is clearly playing in pain. Why not throw out Elijah's name for pitching prospect Humberto Sanchez, currently hurt, but could be the stellar bullpen shutdown guy we've been looking for? Sanchez was with the Detroit organization last year, and dominated the minors before he got hurt.
A stellar bullpen would have had the Rays in the hunt this year, and we'd be talking about Manager of the Year for Joe instead of looking for a replacement. As Sparky Lyle once said-"From Cy Young to Cy-O'Nara". Miller Huggins couldn't manage this team to a winning record with the bullpen configuration as it stands now.