SEATTLE — The All-Star Game is a metaphor for the Yankees.

They had two players named to the American League team:

Gerrit Cole was the AL starter. That reflected his desire to do so merged with AL manager Dusty Baker’s belief that Cole had earned the first-time honor via many years of elite service. But it is not difficult to argue that through durability and excellence Cole deserved this.

Aaron Judge was named to the AL team, but did not attend so he could continue to rehab his injured right big toe. The loss of his immensity — in size, talent and star power — was felt on these proceedings.

The presence of Cole and the absence of Judge also defines the Yankee first half. They were the only Yankees named after the club had an MLB-high six last season. Instead, this year Cole shared a clubhouse with Sonny Gray, who the Yankees’ mental skills aficionado could not salvage; Nathan Eovaldi, who the on-field staff could not maximize; and Luis Castillo, who baseball operations could not obtain last trade deadline.

The paucity of 2023 Yankees was deserving. For the falloff from Cole to the next-best Yankee pitcher and, especially, the drop from Judge to the next-best Yankee hitter is the difference between Taylor Swift and a contestant eliminated in the first round of “American Idol.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Judge hasn’t played since June 3 and still leads the Yankees with 40 RBIs. Cole is the only Yankee with more than three starts and a positive ERA-plus. Pretty much everyone else paid like an All-Star has failed, particularly in the five weeks and counting since Judge was sidelined. The next eight highest-paid Yankees after Judge/Cole are Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Rodon, Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Severino, Gleyber Torres and Frankie Montas.

The collective money for little to nothing speaks to a failure by pedigreed players. But also roster construction. Brian Cashman and his staff addressed none of the obvious offensive concerns to end last season while layering on more and more injury red flags to the roster from picking up Severino’s option, to tendering Montas to signing Rodon and Tommy Kahnle.

The firing of hitting coach Dillon Lawson and hiring of Sean Casey screamed realization of failure. Cashman upended his philosophy of never firing a coach or manager in season. He would only do so with recognition of what should have been obvious, particularly during a second half last season when Judge single-handedly carried the offense — that Lawson was overwhelmed and overmatched as a major league hitting coach. That became overt this year when the protective shell of having Judge in the lineup vanished.

At that point, all of Lawson’s talk about emphasizing an offense that not only had power, but also could manufacture runs via other offensive avenues, was exposed as meaningless sound bites. The hope was to build something that would better fight the Astro staff in October and it couldn’t even mount a counter to Jameson Taillon’s 6.93 ERA in July. The Yankees wanted diversity and — among other items — bragged about their organizational baserunning guru. But essentially Anthony Volpe has the hop-hop-run skill and no one else on the team does. Torres, for example, employs a run-until-you-are-tagged strategy that has neither been improved by his growing veteran status nor by Aaron Boone and his staff.

Cashman has earned the benefit of the doubt. He has stared down many in-season crises in a quarter century as GM and the Yanks always have emerged high-end contenders. These Yankees (49-42) are in a similar record boat to other recent regular-season titans, the Astros (50-41) and Dodgers (51-38), who also have incurred large-scale injuries. But the Yankee record also is similar to the Red Sox (48-43), who are last in the AL East with an industry wondering if they will be deadline sellers.

No Boone-managed team has ever missed the playoffs. But Boone and Cashman are on the grill now. Lawson reflected an organization that slavishly hunted pull-in-the-air exit velocity and too often in major league games has seemed lost finding anything beyond brutality to win. If, for example, you are still talking about Josh Donaldson’s exit velocity or barrel percentage you are discussing the lovely awning of a house on fire.

From this mindset, Casey is a 180-degree departure — albeit one with no major league coaching experience trying to alter mental and physical results in progress.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“It’s gonna be on us to adjust and continue to get better,” Cole said. “We do need to get better. That’s for sure.”

No doubt. It is on the players. But also on Cashman, who championed the previous strategy and has now fired a coach in season for the first time. It is on Boone, who clearly backed his one-time Reds roommate, Casey, as a change agent.

The Yankees usually find a way. To do so this year, they need a lot more All-Stars in the second half than they managed in the first.