Saturday, July 23, 2016

The inversion fantasy

Last year, we sat on top of the world during the first half. In fact, we were doing great at the end of July, at 57-43. July was a good month.

And then came what seemed like The Collapse, ending the regular season lamely and culminating in the pathetic one-game display where everyone was on Xanax. 

On the other hand, we finished 87-75. So really, The Collapse wasn't exactly a collapse. We just went 30-32 in the second half. At the end of August we were 72-58, the same number of games over .500 as were were two months before. At the end of September we were 86-72, again 14 over. And we finished in October, 12 over, going 1-3 in four October games.

In essence, we didn't collapse in the last couple of months. We just were intensely mediocre. We were basically a .500 team. The plus side of the season record was all logged by the end of July.

Here we are in 2016, and so far it seems like an extension of those last two months plus. We have put in almost all of the first four months of the season, and we've basically been a .500 team.

And here's the fantasy. Somehow, for some weird reason, 2016 becomes a mathematical inversion of 2015. Instead of starting off like champions and then falling into mediocrity and rarely getting the key hits and exceptional performances down the stretch, we've spent four months in mediocrity, rarely getting the key hits and exceptional performances. OK, been there, done that.

Let's say that, counting today's game, we go 3-5 the rest of July. We end the month at 52-52.

Now, fantastically, let's say we spend the next two months semi-terrorizing the majors. During August, September and the few games in October, we go 14 games over .500, 36-22. We have a pretty tough schedule during that period, but instead of folding we play up to the standards of the competition and then some. (Which we've done on the downside, playing down to the standards of the supposedly easier teams in the first four months.) We end the regular season at 88-74.

That would be one game better than last year, but it would seem miraculous and we might even have a shot at the actual wild card and not the one-game crap shoot. We'd also be going into the playoffs with momentum, as a team that gelled in the last third of the season and got the timely hitting and pitching and plain good luck it needed. Does that team lie down and die against its playoff rivals? Probably not. Can it get to the World Series? Probably not, but maybe. Can it win the World Series if it gets there? More probably not. But, ya never know. Crazy things happen if a team is hot or lucky at the right time.

Remember, it's just a fantasy. The inversion season. Highly unlikely. 

Highly, highly, highly unlikely.

This Is Pissing Me Off.

If this damn team keeps beating the league leaders, I am going to intervene.

I though I had done enough, but the Yankees are beating everyone.  They are getting early leads and hanging on to them with the nine up, nine out bullpen.  Even when imperfect, it is enough.

So if nature won't do it, I will.

This team must sell old wood for prospects.  We have to have a reason to think the future will be better than the present, or the immediate past.

Now other hot teams come in and catch the flu, or take a ride on their worst losing streak of the season. So the Yankee's performance against them looks good.

Looks are deceiving.

This Yankee team, if left intact, simply spells total disinterest for next season.

Watch me work.

A great Yankee week. Why can't we enjoy it?

The Tankees have now won seven out of 10 - a juju-fueled stretch in which they still lost ground to Boston (8-2) and picked up one measly game against Baltimore, Toronto, Houston and Detroit (all 6-4). In short, we didn't make meaningful ground in any meaningful race. To rise in the exciting Wild Card Away Game berth competition, we must go 7-3 or 8-2 consistently - and that's a word seldom associated with the likes of Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi.

Sadly, all we have done is give the Yankee front office a reason to stand pat at the trade deadline - or worse: Deal prospects for some ancient vet.

The horror, Mr. Kay, the horror: Your team is hot, and you can't even celebrate.

I hate to be a broken record here, but this hot streak - actually, a lukewarm streak - could not come at a worse time for the future of the Yankees. All season, I've rooted for the Yankees - until recently. So what happens? They win seven of 10.

This is what Hell looks like.

Supposedly, the White Sox are pondering the trade of Chris Sale, the best pitcher in the AL. Boston is ready to pounce. They have prospects to trade - possibly Yoan Moncada. If so, they would cash in on their investment from the auction of two winters ago, when Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner clutched his fanny pack and called in sick. This is what happens when a team actually develops a farm system. Over the last few years, when you compare the organizational success of NY and Boston, it just doesn't seem fair. What the Yankees do well is congratulate themselves. They do it better than any other professional sports team in America. But Boston could trade Moncada, and its farm system would still be comparable, or maybe even superior, than ours.

Meanwhile, Yankee fans are supposed to wait for the gold-plated international class of 2014 to inch its way through our meat grinder. Two years ago, the Yankees went on a spending spree for 16-year-old Latinos - a horribly amoral system, if you think about it. (But, hey, morality is nothing we associate with the Yankees.) The youngsters - now 17 and 18 - are moving glacially through the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues - (does anybody know where Pulaski is?) with anonymous scouts surely changing their swings and throwing motions. One extremely wealthy player named Dermis Garcia - seriously, that's his name - is hitting HRs at a Balboni-esque pace. But he's a long way off and strikes out at a Grandersonian level. It would probably be 2020 before Dermis or anybody is near the MLB level. In the meantime, we cannot spend big on any Latino talent - MLB has rigged the system; this year was San Diego's turn to buy up the sweet sixteens - and with "I'm Not Cheap" pinching his purse on free agents, we should just sit and wait. For the next two seasons, maybe three, we can root against Boston and chase the vaunted Wild Card Away Game berth.

Seven out of 10. Damn. This should be exciting, a reason for hope. It's not. How horrible have things become, when you can't even celebrate a winning streak?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Winning, getting nowhere

For a few days, I almost felt the Tingle. That is, I almost started to believe. Silly me. But that's what the Yankees do to you. That's how they control you.

They win four straight, knock Uncle Buck out of first, and suddenly, Michael Pineda is Jesus, resurrected. You almost feel the Tingle... Four in a row. Could they do it? What if this is 1978 again? Can they do it? They were really behind in 1978. Could they? (Answers: No. It's not 1978. No. This is different. No.)

In a weird way, ardent Yank fans are aligned with Trump supporters. We want to make the Yankees great again. We think this team is a complete disaster, and we trace every problem to ineffective leadership. We've seen enough of this administration. We want a top-down overhaul. We want Food Stamps Hal indicted for his crimes against the Yankees. We're not going to be "servile puppy dogs." It's time to tear up old trade agreements and make new deals. Don't ask us about specifics. We have no specifics. (Besides, we don't want to reveal our plans, so the Redsocks don't know what we're doing.) We just want deals. Good deals! Better deals! We want to build a team, and we want Mexico to pay for it.

But there is a problem with deals: They don't always work. If we trade Andrew Miller - the great Andrew Miller - we better damn well get somebody great in return. We don't need four rebuilt versions of Humberto Sanchez. I cannot imagine the Yankees holding onto Aroldis Chapman, considering that he'll soon become a high-priced free agent, (whom Food Stamps won't sign.) But we can't just give the guy away for another Aaron Hicks. We must shake up this roster and this team. But more importantly, we must shake up this franchise...

Watching us take three of four from the O's was a strangely painful experience. At times, I actually rooted for Baltimore. The wins didn't matter - I can't see the 2016 Yankees doing anything memorable - and a few wins could allow Hal to justify trading prospects - (Luis Severino - the Malasian Flight 370 of the Yankees - as the next Manny Baneulos?) - and sacrificing our future, even more than it already has been. When I look at 2017-18, I see Boston's lineup - with Yoan Moncada - as the AL East power, the way the Yankees used to be. We've been waiting on our farm system now 10 years. We have Dellin Betances, a converted starter, and not much else. The problem isn't the Yankees 25-man roster. The problem is a 25-man masthead full of family meatballs and heel-clicking sycophants. Between now and August 1, the trade deadline - every win comes with a cost. Feeling the Tingle will be one scary sensation.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Speechless



I am officially in despair, and at a loss for words.

This team is driving the bus down the thruway, straight into oncoming traffic.  And having a party in the aisle.

One or two more shutouts by Yankee pitching, and the talk will be of winning the AL East.  And it is still only July.

The big three didn't even have to pitch last night.  Chasen Shreve brought plenty of firepower against an Orioles team that has turned to glue.

Where we go from here is anybody's guess.

 But the little rich boy, who never achieved anything positive on his own, is smiling and cackling.  He is looking in the mirror and seeing a prince.  He is dying his hair orange.  He is thinking, " If I can pull this off, then I should run for President.  I don't have to do anything to prove worthiness.  All I have to do is be upbeat, tout my billions, and make promises.  My money will be my competence."

Thanks, dad.

If the Yankee fans want action, he'll give them action.  He will start by announcing a new trade agreement.  A Yankee-focused agreement in which the Yankees get all the good players.  Where the people we give up in any trade are losers, who don't contribute anything to this team.  Yes, sir.  He will make the Yankees great again.  Just by promising to do that.

The weaknesses we despicable fans see at the core;  the old and eroding talent, the lack of resources, the crumbling infrastructure of our farm system; the terrible contracts.....all will, overnight, be reset, and restored to former glory.

The little rich boy will deport ( the trade agreement) all of the complaining losers (e.g.  Gary Sanchez,  Mateo, Mason Williams, Severino, etc ) and bring in established, proven leadership. That is to say rich , white guys who are already wearing championship rings.

Those are the names who can still attract the fans to the stadium.  And keep my economy rolling.

What I see cannot be happening here.  We are being tortured and, if this continues, humiliated for not being able to see.

Go Yanks.

Boston fans are loving this incredible four game Yankee streak

There are already whispers of the Tankees looking to add a big, middle-of-the-order slugger for the September Away Game Wild Card Berth race. And why not? We're now only five games behind Baltimore, Toronto, Houston and Detroit for the Away Game Wild Card Berth. If Tex gets hurt, we'll need to add a Braun or a Mauer to our lineup. Maybe we can trade Luis Severino or Aaron Judge, and pry loose Steve Pearce. We're two above .500 - best record since April! Four in a row! Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda - they're like money in the bank! Let's say it out loud, everybody: This team is a genuine Away Game Wild Card Berth contender!

Those smirking Boston fans... disregard them. They won't be smiling when this rising Yankee team takes the Away Game Wild Card Berth, and then roars through the playoffs. We're like Trump: Critics won't be smirking when ISIS is destroyed, the illegals are gone, Hillary is in prison, and corporations are reopening all those empty factories to offer good-payin' jobs! Nope. We're going to make the Yankees great again, starting now... with the Away Game Wild Card Berth!

Listen: The way Nova, Eovaldi and Pineda are pitching, Hal should sign them to long term deals. Same with Headley, I shudder to think what he'll demand two years from now, as a free agent. Also, we'd hate to see Jacoby Ellsbury playing against us, conjuring up catcher interferences with his Svengali bat. Add a few years to his contract. Last night, even Aaron Hicks hit a home run, though it curved foul at the last second. Lock him up!

Those snickering Redsock fans... don't look at them! They're just laughing because we knocked Baltimore out of first. Forget that half the O's team has the flu. That's what you get for sending so many players to the All-Star game. The Yankees are back. We're on the candy-paved road to contending for the coveted Away Game Wild Card Berth - our fourth consecutive year, by the way! That's right, nay-sayers. Four straight years as contenders! Not. Too. Shabby! That talk about selling off old-timers and trading for prospects? Who needs it? We're the Yankees. We never have to rebuild. We're always good. It's like magic. And if we don't secure that Away Game Wild Card Berth this year, well - dammit - we'll come back next year, even harder. One of these years, we're going to win that Away Game Wild Card Berth, and fly the Away Game Wild Card Berth flag over historic Yankee Stadium, home to mystique and aura... now in its seventh year.

Those Boston fans, ignore them. We're two above .500! Stand back, everybody, so you don't get hit by the buttons popping from my shirt due to Yankee pride. Four in a row. U-S-A! U-S-A! I'm so happy I can barely type. U-S-A. U-S-A. Calgon Bath Beads, take me awaaaaaaay!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LOCK... HIM... UP! LOCK... HIM... UP!

For allowing the Yankees to miss the playoffs for three straight years. What's the verdict?

"GUILTY."

For being chinzy on payroll to lower luxury taxes, and then caving in on the policy so nothing is accomplished. The verdict?

"GUILTY."

For allowing Yoan Moncada to sign with the Redsocks...

"GUILTY! LOCK... HIM... UP!  LOCK... HIM... UP!"

This May Be Worse Than It Appears



Suddenly, the Yankees are creeping into contention not just for the one-game, wild card play-in, elimination round.

Two more humiliations of a confusingly impotent Oriole team, and the Yankees will be
 described as, " back in contention."

If we get closer to the Orioles, closer to first place, people will begin saying, " and it is only July.  Any team can get hot.  Why not the Yankees?"

Ownership will start looking for short-term upgrades that might push us right into the thick of things. And keep us there, just on the outside looking in for years.

Our meager and highly limited list of minor league " prospects" can quickly be decimated in a trade, orchestrated by the dullest blade in the drawer:  Brian Cashman.

Think I'm over-reacting?

Most Americans don't believe the " electorate" is dumb enough to elect Trump as President.  I think this is a real possibility, not to mention a real danger.

Certainly the Yankees, too, are capable of danger and delusion.  Hal Steinbrenner, who inherited everything and has done nothing smart, absolutely believes in fairy tales.

This Yankee rally may have dire implications for the future.  Just like the upcoming election.

This may be worse than it appears.

No arguments here, just sayin'

This guy is having one hell of a year. Last year, he was terrible. With us, he was misused and middling. But this is pretty incredible for a 42-year-old. Maybe Donnie showed him a thing or two. And he's playing for an actual contender.

I've always liked the guy (you may have noticed). Stays in great shape, keeps his bats in custom carrying cases, coming up on 3,000 hits, had that 10-year 200-hit streak, attracts cute Japanese women to the stadium...hope the Marlins hang in there and knock out the Nats, if not more.

Good luck, Ichiro-san.


Great strategy, eh? Base the future of the Yankees on the most recent starts of Nova, Eovaldi and Pineda

In the early days of TV, when Barney Fife and Corporal Agarn reigned as lovable icons of the police/military power structure, one typical American vision was the Zenith that miraculously healed itself when the repairman - (they made house calls back then) - came to the front door.  The vertical hold suddenly corrected itself, and the picture looked crystal clear... as long as Mr. Fixit stood over it. Then, when he was gone, it went back on the fritz.

Today, the Yankees are an old, blown picture tube. As our owners ponders a full-blown sell-off - the first of this millennium, and, frankly, the first since the 1960s, when Elston Howard went for Pete Magrini and Ron "Klimmer" Klimkowski. (Fun fact: The most Ellie ever was paid - in 1966 - was $75,000. Adjusted for inflation, it would be worth $560,000 today.) - suddenly, the picture looks fine. I'm Dickens, He's Finster is no longer bleeding into My Mother the Car.

Trouble is, anybody who has watched the Yankees in recent years knows the reality of Ivan Nova, Mike Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia: They pitch well for a few starts, then turn into Camp Runamuck. For every solid performance, there will come an ensuing market correction. The tube is shot. Disney's Wonderful World of Color won't last.

I'm just saying what we all know: Any brief winning stretch will be followed by a bunch of clunkers. In the long run, the Yankees will either take a bold move into the future - that is, trade off a pile of veterans - or we will languish at .500 for the rest of eternity, or until somebody makes a reboot of The Double Life of Henry Phyfe.  

Right now, I get the feeling the Yankees will do a modified sell-off: Aroldis Chapman will go, but nobody else. There are many reasons to trade El Chapo:

1. He's a free agent next winter, and Food Stamps Hal will never offer a long-term deal. (He throws so hard that it's probably a bad idea anyway.)

2. We really don't need three closers.

3. Several teams are hot on him, suggesting a bidding war.

4. We traded two solid prospects for him, and we need to get more than simply a draft pick next June.

Listen: I always root for the Yankees to win. I cannot do otherwise. Therefore, I hope we sweep Baltimore. Also, I want to showcase our players for teams that would take them. But Hal Steinbrenner needs to man-up and understand that quality starts are an illusion. Ivan Nova can look like Sandy Koufax one day, Sandy Duncan the next. I hope we trade him. Beltran is a great player. I hope we trade him. Tex has been a solid Yankee. I hope we trade him. Gardner is my favorite Yankee. I hope we trade him. A-Rod? CC? Miller? Need I say it?

Right now, the only thing that matters in the Yankiverse is who we get at the trade deadline, and whether they will do in the future what this team is incapable of doing in 2016: Winning a World Series. Until that happens, my tube stays off.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A thought about Yankee values

I've been thinking about what it means to be a Yankee fan. 

From a young age, the Yankees impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say, and keep your promise, and that you treat the Yankees with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily play. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to the children. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many other Yankee fans to follow. Because we want our children Yankee fans in this nation to know that the only limit to your Yankee achievements is the strength of your Yankee dreams and your owner's willingness to pay for them.

God bless the Yankees, and God bless everyone.

.500 Team Draws Triple-A Crowd

Who could we get?

A prospect? A pitcher? A bale of hay? Five magic beans? Who?

The Worst Outcome Is Becoming More Likely



All of a sudden, Ivan Nova is pitching like the 20 year old Doc Gooden.

The team is still restricted to two runs per game on most nights but, suddenly, that is all we need.

We are playing the AL East leaders, a team that devastates others by scoring a league leading number of runs per game.  They are the best in virtually every offensive category, including runs scored from the 7th inning on.

But last night, down 2-1, they all struck out or hit soft liners to Gardy who, while he can't steal a base, can turn on his amazing speed and catch up to sinking fly balls.

The Orioles were rendered impotent.  Buck Showalter was pulling out his hair.

And little, " do nothing for his money," Hal Steinbrenner could sip his imported bordeaux and contemplate again calling the news media, to convey his pithy messages of optimism

The trade talks, however,  are in danger of drying up or, worse, reversing.

The opportunity to recognize what this team is and to lay a foundation for the future, deteriorates with each Yankee win.

The Orioles must start playing like the Orioles, or we are going to start dealing prospects.

There is fear in the land.






Behind rising star Ivan "Super" Nova, plucky Yanks reach magical .500 mark

Over his generic seven-year career, Ivan "Super" Nova has been AL Pitcher of the Month (August 2013) and among league-leaders in winning percentage (2011) and shutouts (2013.) Likewise, he has statistically excelled in giving up wild pitches (2011 and 2016), earned runs (2012) and home runs per nine innings (2011). He has won 52 Yankees games and lost 38. His lifetime ERA is 4.43. Basically, he is the consummate fifth starter... a serviceable major league arm, an oaken plank of varnished mediocrity.

Whenever Ivan pitches, we face a dice roll that he could throw lights out, or get treated like a mariachi band at a Trump rally. In a typical Nova outing, he throws zeros for four innings and gets torched in one. Also, we've come to know that if he throws a quality start - or even strings two together - he'll follow them up with massive clunkers. He's either Super Nova or Ivan the Terrible. And in the end, no matter what he did last night, he'll soon revisit the baseline "meh" that is Ivan Nova.

Last night, he threw six strong innings, allowing Joe to use the Big Three and refilling Hal Steinbrenner's flask with electric rainbow Kool-Aid.

If the Yankees take this series against mighty Baltimore, rest assured that the Yankee brain trust will do what it does every July: Declare success, congratulate themselves, retire a uniform and trade prospects for a thirty-something former (think 2009) All-Star.

Lately, a chorus of bloggers and print writers has contended that the Yankees must hold a yard sale at the MLB trade deadline, now just weeks away. They say Chapman, Beltran, Miller and maybe even Gardner should go. I'll believe that when I see it. Because the Yankees have now gone seven years with Ivan Nova, and like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown's kick, they still seem to think he'll turn the corner any day now. It's fun to drink Kool Aid, eh?

I haven't gotten to the point of rooting against the Yankees because - well - I'm as bad as Hal: I see A-Rod whack a home run and think, he's back! hooray! watch out, world!... even though we know he still can't even play first base in a pinch, and yet we're stuck with him for another long, hot summer. How bad is he going to be then? Yeesh. I dunno.

But I do know Ivan Nova. And if the Yankees have learned anything over the last seven years, today would be a good day to trade him. Is Jesus Montero available?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Yanks Win In Biggest Disaster Of The Season



Everyone knew that the fire sale would open today, as long as the Red Sox swept the Yankees in the nationally televised game last night.

Instead, Tanaka pitches great, and a 3-1 win was secured by our trio of ace relievers.

Just, exactly, what the fans did not want to happen.

Now, the little rich boy can sing again, " how great a team this is, and how confident I am that we will be in the playoffs and, from there, anything can happen."

There will be no need to get some long-term value ( prospects ) by trading guys on active roster.  True, players like Beltran and Chapman will walk at the end of the year and we'll get nothing, but they will keep us in the fight.  This is the same kind of long-term thinking that caused Hal Steinbrenner to, " bid against himself in the fight to re-sign an over the hill, no longer steroid-using, A-Rod for another 10 years."

What a deal that was, eh?

Chinese water torture is what we used to call it.  Not good ole USA waterboarding, but the slow, drip by drip road to insanity.  One boring drop at a time.  Until the listlessness and annoyance is so over-whelming , even the most ardent Yankee fan will yell, " I give up.  I'll tell you anything you want to know. I'll believe what you want me to believe.  I'l say what you want me to say.  Just turn off the fucking water."

The Yankees, of course, scored all their runs in one inning last night.  Ever other inning was like watching the sand shift at the edge of the Sahara.  Slow and unnoticed.  Piercingly uncomfortable but relentless.  Soon, one is blinded to the reality of any movement whatsoever, even while the sand is never truly idle.  Just deathly boring to watch.  The mind is so numbed that the appearance of an asp is welcome relief.  Yankee baseball, 2016.

So, this morning let's all raise a glass.  We are back in the game.   Our team persevered and showed  their mettle, on the biggest July game ever played by the Yankees. We are only a game under .500 and can breathe a sigh of relief.

For those of you hoping to land ( and perhaps get a chance to see play ) a few actual prospects in our inevitable march to the fringe of the one game play-in, I say;

 " This is the Yankees.  They never do anything smart.  Give up your dreams of being competitive in the future.  Enjoy the mud-soaked mediocrity right now.  And wallow in it."

The little rich boy who has never earned a dime, or done anything useful, was right again:

"This is a great team.  We don't need to do a single thing.  Hal will make the Yankees great again."  Just by being the little rich kid who does nothing.

Waist deep in Big Muddy; will the big fool say to push on?

Tom Yawkey bought the Redsocks in 1933 and ran the club for 44 years. His racism is legendary. Boston became the last team to integrate, and while generations of just and earnest Redsock fans pined over their tough plight, the cause of it was not a curse by Babe Ruth or a "chosen" status from the gods - it was the scumbag legacy of their "beloved" owner. The phrase used most often to define the Boston team in 1968 was "country club." Yawkey never traded his faves. So they just kept losing, until finally he went away.

We are now 1-2 since the All Star break, and the Yankee fan base is torn about whether to even want victories - because we fear a winning streak will inspire trades of prospects for veterans. But for all the glandular secretions and the gnashing of tusks, last night it hit me that Hal Steinbrenner probably feels absolutely no pressure to change a damn thing. Odds are, he won't.

Over the last nine years, Happy Owner Hal has shown little taste for the dirty job of demanding excellence. When Lonn Trost made an idiot of himself this spring, describing his goal of keeping low-levels out of Yankee luxury boxes, he didn't get the hook. Why would he? Randy Levine sounds like a political oil can every time he opens his mouth. Brian Cashman has now been Yankee GM for 18 years - eighteen years - yet the farm system still sputters. That's the organization he vowed to build. Under what metric is Cashman considered successful? Joe Girardi has been our manager for nine years; does anyone think he won't return in 2017? (For the record: I don't think this team is Joe's fault. But what managers out there have such job security?)

Likewise, I suspect in 2017 we will again see A-Rod, CC, Ellsbury, McCann, Headley and the entire cast of Glee. Don't be surprised if the Yankees make Carlos Beltran a qualifying offer, or give Tex another year to salvage his career. Listen: These guys are all millionaires (Hal is a billionaire) who live in Westchester County and send their kids to the same schools. They dine together in the same restaurants; their wives swap recipes for potato salad. Hal isn't going to fire anyone in the front office. Good god, they are the people who insulate him from the scum - from fan websites like us, and from players who ride the Scranton shuttle for five years and then get discarded. These are the people he most cherishes - the ones who always say yes.

Reporters have been telling us the next 10 games would be critical to the future path of the Yankees. But - as Randy Levine says - we don't know a damn thing about running a team. It's just somebody's opinion - and not necessarily Hal's. There is no reason to think he will take up the unpleasant task of admitting defeat, cleaning house and starting over.

Listen: I don't think Hal is a Yawkey-style racist. (Frankly, the Yankees have their own historical demons on that front.) But Hal has the Yawkey "country club" spirit. He doesn't like to trade away beloved pets.

So... last night, we won. Of course, I'm happy - we beat the goddamm Redsocks, goddammit - but the damage is done. In game one, we let their new bullpen guy - Brad Ziegler - get acclimated to the AL East. We should have destroyed him. In game two, we allowed their eternal prospect - Eduardo Rodriguez - to become resurrected. We should have sent him back to Pawtucket. We won one of three. We are back to a game below .500. Everybody knows this team is an abomination on the Yankee legacy. But only one opinion matters, and he runs things in his pinstriped pajamas.

Can't even celebrate a win over Boston. God, we are screwed...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

LBJ vs. Three Superior-As-All-Hell Massholes and the Listless Bastard Yankees

In the comments to this morning's shock Alphonso post, esteemed contributor Local Bargain Jerk left the following detailed account of his harrowing Saturday at Yankee Stadium. In the particulars of his struggle, he bears witness for us all.



Here's my rant.

I went to that miserable, meaningless, torpid, piece of shit excuse for a baseball game yesterday. I went with my girlfriend, who couldn't care less about baseball and a guest of ours from Russia who'd never been to a baseball game. I thought it would keep their heads in the game if I taught them how to score.

That's a good plan, except when you find yourself saying over and over, "Ok, that's a 6-3. Ok that's another 6-3. Ok, now that's a flyout to 7." Over and over and fucking over.

Seated next to us were 3 doughy older people from metro Boston. They were all decked out in their shitbag team regalia. I decided to be polite.

They were 3 of those provincial, parochial, insular, and annoying New Englanders who think their way of life is the bee's knees and all the rest of us don't have a clue. You know the type I mean: the kind who believe that meaningful life doesn't exist outside their stupid I-495 bypass. They showed up with a fucking superior attitude and were dissing everything around them.

Right from the get-go, I knew we weren't going to be able to see anything in front of us that would allow me to make a spirited defense of The Yankee Way.

So I decided I'd just be friendly, versus trying to give them grief. Early on in the game, Pedroia came to the plate and I said "I hope you guys don't mind, but I'm going to stand in front of you during Pedroia's at bat." They looked at me and said, without any hint of levity or friendliness, "Why not? Everybody else is." The bastards were serious.

I decided not to speak to them after that. In the 7th or 8th of the horror show of a game, the patriarch came back with a load of cheese fries. When it comes to ballpark food, I'm not into anything other than a couple of dogs and maybe a bag of peanuts. I'll tell you, however, this guy's cheese fries looked pretty darned good. His wife even said, "Tom, those look good." And, rather than deigning to say ANYTHING positive, this pathetic little Masshole dweeb said, with his pathetic little Masshole sneer, "Well, they'd better be good. I had to walk 16 sections just to get them."

All this from 3 superior-as-all-hell Massholes. People whose team plays in that pathetic little shitbox known as Fenway. You know, the ballpark that looks like it was put together by the Little Rascals. Where, on steamy August nights, if too many guys flush their urinals all at once, they all overflow and sheets of piss run out the door across their uneven promenade. And after walking through the piss back to your seats, you have to sit sideways to fit your legs in. The place where the beer comes in 16-ounce cups only.

It hit me then that these 3 dipshits had no interest whatsoever in watching the game. They had taken their little tour bus down to Yankee stadium and their sole mission was to gather evidence and war stories to bring home to bitch about to their like-minded, provincial, parochial, and insular little Beantown friends. I could just hear the patriarch saying "An I hadda walk SIXTEEN freakin' sections just to get some friggin' french fries and all the people were doin' was standin' up and blockin' our view and it was so bad the guy next to us even joked about it."

And, the whole time, I'm trying to convince the two people who I went with that it's fun to watch baseball.

While we sat in front of a field on which nothing fun was happening.

The game utterly and totally sucked. Three up, three down, no hope, no nothing.

Headley's solo home run in the 8th was "whipped cream on horse shit", as my friend's dad used to say.

It was hot. It was humid. The Yanks are in a torpor but I fully expect the listless bastards to pound the Sox tonight 16-2. Why? Because it will allow that fucking clown Randy Levine to say, "See? We're buyers!"

We went out for dinner after the game and I had way too much to drink.

Grrr. 

We Did Our Best



I fell asleep for most of the game.  A neighbor had come over with some of that, " single malt" stuff.

I never know what to call it.  It seems demeaning to call it scotch.

All I know, is that you drink it neet ( neat?).  And you want more and more of it.

When I looked up, we were down 5-1.  Then, things got really exciting.

The Yankees had no baserunners and made no threats, but Chase Headway  ( by this point, I dont even want to get his name right ) launches a solo homer to right center.  A Ballentine Blast.

Whoopee.

The Yankees had fulfilled their two runs per game allotment,  and quietly, meekly, went to bed.

Hal, of course, is still wildly optimistic and upbeat about this team. He and his genius management team have done too much to build this fine example of a team, that he is not about to look negatively on our prospects.  Nor is he about to spend any money which, by the way, he has never done a single thing to earn.

If I had been in school with him, I absolutely guarantee I would have punched him bloody.

Joe Girardi is getting that same look Dick Kotite used to get when he realized the Jets were soon to be 2-12.  His eyes begin to look like those of a fish.  Everyone is looking to him for answers, but the cupboard is bare.  An empty head.

And now Joe's head swivels, as if he is looking to see or find something that can change things.
It is the swivel of desperation.

Even in his dreams, he can only find Mel Hall.

Keep on this track, and we have a shot.  If the Yankees win today, Hal gets to pretend that other kids still like him.

90 down...

Interesting that an article on the Hellspawn Network is all about the Yankees' mean reversion. Any win streak balanced by a losing streak, two steps forward, two or three steps back. I think Alphonso is ghostwriting on the side.

Also more and more articles about how the team should be selling into the trade deadline and start rebuilding with The Kids from Scranton (soon to be a major motion picture starring Huntz Hall).

Beltran is on the trading block, so they say, along with Arnoldis and CC.

44-46. We have 72 games still left. Do we have to play them? We don't have to watch or listen to them, that's for sure. Last night I eschewed the game for binge watching "Apocalypse WWI", which was only slightly less gut-wrenching.

A reminder that in 1966, we were 40-49-1. It might seem like a fairly large gap in a way, and the 1966 season record may ultimately be out of reach (19 under), but you never know. Our second-half schedule has been rated the toughest by somebody at Hellspawn, with 58 games against teams over .500.

19 under isn't really a total stretch.

Tonight, it ends

Last winter, the socialist billionaires who run MLB came up with a great idea for the death-grip heat waves of July: They'd pit the fierce traditional rivals, the Yankees and Redsocks, in a Sunday night barn-burner. Boston was rising, and the Yankees always contend for something. What could go wrong?

From their standpoint: Nothing. Truth be told, most baseball fans get their wish tonight: They can watch close-up the demise and humiliation of the once-great Yankee brand. They can witness the floundering mediocrity of once-great stars like A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia - players who squeezed a few extra years onto their contracts, looking to sweeten retirement. They get to see the rotted fruits of Hal Steinbrenner's mismanagement, turning the most winning franchise in sports into a listing barge full of crap.

Tonight, our season effectively ends. Tonight, Boston gets to make the kill stroke - the dagger to the heart - that pushes this lifeless mess from the ventilator to the afterlife.

I say, let it happen.

Yesterday, John and Suzyn were apoplectic - once again, channeling the frustration of the Yankee fan base. Suzyn says the Yankees must turn to A-Rod, put him in the middle of the lineup and let him hit. John says the Yankees must move runners - they cannot simply rely on solitary home run balls, which was the only scoring they did yesterday.

Mike Axisa at River Ave noted that they sent 33 batters to the plate - 11 of them with only two-pitches in the appearance. This was supposed to be a Yankee-Redsock game, where two teams grind on each other. What happened? You know what? I don't care.

Tonight, it ends. Good riddance. Football, anyone?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just Hope The One-Game Win Streaks Don't Begin Today



Yankee excitement is everywhere.

We came back from 5-0 down.

Gardy went 0-4.

Nine guys mustered 4 hits, most of them by Beltran.

A-Rod is trying to learn first base.

ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Forget the next three series. Being swept at home by the Redsocks is all we'd need to know.

We've touted the next nine games as a trial before the 2016 Yankee Supreme Court. Many of us have already issued our verdict: Guilty as charged. We think this wretched team would be better off losing - collapsing, exploding, launching a front office civil war and then maybe starting over... sort of the fan version of Brexit. Trouble is, we won't deal with the real problem: We won't get a new owner.

After last night, I need no 10-game litmus test.

If we're swept by Boston at home, bang the gavel. The season is over, and like they say in the car ads: Everything must go!

For weeks now, I've hoped for a reason - some reason - to believe in this team. But if Boston sweeps us at home, forget it. This wouldn't be a case of us going to Fenway and sweeping them. We'd just go there and face yet another pounding. We are in Year IV of the Great Barf - it might last several more seasons - and if Boston sweeps us at home, it will be emblematic of our current status. We will stand naked before the NY media: No longer viewed as a good team going through a tough stretch... but a full-blown, Stage 4 algae bloom, and the most humane act is a chlorine shock or - maybe, better - just to pull the plug on this sorry mess.

Last night in the fifth, after watching another steaming Pineda meltdown, I was even ready to douse John and Suzyn - who fumed between in-game ads over the 5-0 debacle. Then, suddenly, we rallied for three runs, offering hope for one of those 1990s, spirit-lifting comebacks that once epitomized a Yankee-Redsocks game. Could it happen? I had to watch. So we went down like lambs, 1-for-10, swinging on first pitches and striking out on full counts. Horrible.

Nothing can fix this team. Nothing suggests a season of destiny.

Still... there is a special dung heap in hell, if we're swept at home by Boston...