The Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi dishes on Catsup Curt's plans to become the next Trump.
Schilling should wake up every morning and compose a five-page letter to God thanking him for the American white-guy lifestyle jackpot. Instead, he's consumed with bitterness over the raw deal he thinks people like him have gotten.
That the guy squandered $75 million of taxpayers money from Rhode Island doesn't even faze him. Amazing.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
"If you think the white-guy grievance movement will die after Donald Trump's likely landslide defeat this November, think again. There will be plenty of filterless, self-pitying dunces to carry the torch in Trump's place. (Curt) Schilling is a leading candidate."
The Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi dishes on Catsup Curt's plans to become the next Trump.
"RHP Anthony Swarzak, who took the loss after giving up Mike Zunino's go-ahead three-run homer in a 7-5 loss Monday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right rotator cuff inflammation. RHP Ben Heller, acquired from Cleveland in the trade for Andrew Miller on July 31, was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre."
1. The Class of 2017: Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Tyler Austin, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, et al. They won't all make it. But their Yankeeographies are still being written. It's refreshing to see new bands, rather than attend another oldies show.
2. To respectfully bid farewell to Mark Teixeira. Blink, and seven years go by. This has chosen to retire as a Yankee, and for all our squawking about over-shifts and batting averages, he remains a graceful and positive teammate. He's still a gold glove at first. One of these days, he'll be an immensely popular TV announcer on Fox or ESPN. It'll be good to a Yankee in the booth. (With A-Rod, we might have two. Could we be reversing the Redsock trend?)
3. To watch the last Yankee incarnations of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann or others. Next winter, anybody could go. It's hard to see Ellsbury and Gardner in the 2017 lineup, and Sanchez is clearly our future catcher. (But McCann could find a role; Cashman shouldn't trade him for nothing.) But the housecleaning that started July 31 has just begun.
4. To prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the one remaining critical mission of 2016: The mooning of Big Papi. On occasion, Yankee fans are called upon to achieve greatness. Jeffrey Maier heard the call. So did the guy who shot Khadaffi. September 29th will be such a moment. If we moon Papi, we will send the world a message: Yes, there can be peace.
5. To piss all over Boston. This might sound hateful, negative and nasty. Nothing could be further from the truth. I simply love to watch those fucking frat boys sob over a Redsock loss. It makes me warm. It gives me hope. It tells the world: Yes, there can be peace.
6. To keep the wealthy, Yankee-fan-hating Joginson Cano from ever again playing in a post-season game. He needs to know that leaving New York for a few measly extra dimes was the worst thing he'll ever do.
7. To monitor the final games of Scranton, Trenton, Tampa et al. Today, the mighty Railriders come to Syracuse. I will be out there at Your Name Here Stadium, collecting stool samples. Tomorrow, with our lab analysis, we'll know who on track to become a Yankee star.
8. John and Suzyn. This site is dedicated to one notion: That nowhere else in the universe will anyone more celebrate a Yankee victory... and more mourn a Yankee loss. Truth is, there is such another place: In the vast, globally warmed hearts of John and Suzyn. We get angry at them. We mock them. But they truly love the Yankees, and those feelings emerge in every game. In post-game interviews, Suzyn at times cannot even ask a question: She is too fraught with pain over the loss, or too excited over the victory. These are her sons. Some fans loathe them. They believe every team deserves a homer announcer - except the Yankees. Someday, they might get their wish: We'll have some "professional" and impartial team that properly celebrates a Blue Jays walk-off victory over the Yankees. Mark my words: We will fucking hate it.
9. We no longer have to root against the Yankees. We lost the month of July - one of the most painful periods in the Yankee fossil record. Between mid-June and August 1, we actually found ourselves rooting against this team, fearing it would spur management to trade prospects for another round of Alphonso Sorianos. The crisis has passed. We have a future again. It's safe to root for the team. (BTW, I have a secret belief that Hal Steinbrenner is a perfect clone of his dad, though on a faster time line. We have been going through Hal's horrible 1980s. We're now in 1990, still bad, but turning the corner. His version of the 1996-200, Jeter-Mariano dynasty could arrive around 2020.)
10. Dietrich Enns. Huh? WTF? Yes, Dietrich Enns. He's a 25-year-old lefty starter at Scranton. Look him up. He's been our most effective minor league pitcher this season, if you go by results. (He is 7-2 with an ERA of 1.33 at Scranton - after going 7-2 and 1.93 at Trenton; yes, his 2016 record overall is 14-4.) But the nameless scouts don't rank him high on prospect lists. Will he get a chance? Will somebody vault out of nowhere to lead us? Probably not. But then again, who knows? Sometimes, you just gotta stick around to find out.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
We've seen this movie before. If the Yankees were still blindly chasing the lost Wild Card, Sanchez would waited until September. Girardi would be reluctant to use him. He'd get maybe 50 at bats, play once a week, and poof - season over. Next spring, he'd need to prove himself. With McCann a fixture and Austin Romine a solid backup, they'd decide that Sanchez needs to play everyday, so he'd start 2017 in Scranton. Depressed and disillusioned, he'd go into a prolonged slump. Then we'd trade him, tell everybody he just isn't in our plans.
Yep, The Frankie Cervelli Story.
Which brings me to CF Ben Gamel, a lug nut of the Scranton arsenal. He homered last night (his fifth) for the Triple A Railriders. Gamel is on a 12-game hitting streak, batting .400 over that period, lifting his average to .313. Last year, he hit .300 at Scranton. Next year, unless the dead wood is cleared, he'll return. The guy is 24. He's a candidate to rot there.
Last night, Gamel's teammate Mason Williams went 2-3. He's hitting .311, though only in 74 at bats, recovering from an injury. The scouts seem to like Williams more than Gamel, who merely produces. At age 25, I guess you can say Williams has been successfully wasted in coal country. (To be fair, the injury cut his chances.) He's making his own movie: The Slade Heathcott Story.
(Slade is batting .231 for Triple A Charlotte. He's fallen from last year's output in Scranton, when he hit .267. Shows what happens when a guy has no hope.)
Speaking of no hope... last night for Scranton, Rob Refsnyder went 2-5. Nobody wants to hear about him. Ref has no position, right? He's a Scranton icon, finishing his third season there. The first year, he hit .300. Last year, just .271. This year, he's at .333. Hell, nobody cares! He'll be in Scranton next year, or at least until we release him, right? He's 25. We have a raft of young OFs from the bullpen deals. None of these guys - throw in Jake Cave, too - will ever get a shot.
Last night, the mother ship lost in Seattle. The top-of-the-lineup Bobbsie Twins - Gardner and Ellsbury - went 2-8, with a run. The game ended with runners on second and third and one out. A single would tie the score and keep the season - theoretically - alive. Girardi pinch hit Teixeira for Tyler Austin. On a 3-1 count, Tex popped to left. Then Gardy grounded out to second. (If Gardy worked for CNN, his name could be Jake Tapper.) Game over. Wild Card race over. With runners in scoring position, Yankee batters went 0-4.
It was an especially hurtful defeat for reasons that are too painful to elaborate. Our bullpen lost the game, but why rail about Anthony Swarzak and Kirby Yates? They are merely the fodder we used to replace Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Four weeks ago, we had the best bullpen in baseball. We traded it for a future. Can't complain about the deals. You can't have your Chap and trade him too.
But while YES toasts the Yankees' sell-off, and while we celebrate Gary Sanchez, I can't help but wonder if Gamel should be playing CF and/or Refsnyder in left. As Trump would say, What the hell do you have to lose? Gardy is hitting .257. Ellsbury is hitting .262. Neither hits for power. Neither has more then 20 stolen bases. But none of this matters. Our team is dead, and some of our most interesting players are still in Scranton. Hooray for Gary Sanchez. Why did it take so long?
Monday, August 22, 2016
We somehow missed Scott Brosius's 50th birthday one week ago today.
Brosius was a good, good guy who remains a personal favorite. The low key earnestness and joy on his face after his biggest plays are all etched in my memory. I'm happy they're there.
Bob Watson was in his last year as Yankee GM when he picked up Brosius from the A's in a trade for Kenny Rogers. Coincidentally, the Brosius/Rogers trade was Billy Beane's first trade as a major league GM. The year before we got Brosius, he had hit three ticks above the Mendoza line and I'll be the first to admit that, although I was NOT a Kenny Rogers fan, I didn't get it when I read it in the paper. I looked at it more as throwing in the towel on Rogers (and his $20MM salary) than getting anyone who might actually be useful.
But Brosius was a different player for us.
In his first year in the Bronx, Brosius hit .300 with 19 home runs and 98 RBIs. 98! Can you imagine what this year would have been like if we'd gotten 98 RBIs from our third baseman? On that team of teams, Brosius went on a tear in the World Series hitting .471 with two homers and six RBIs and winning the MVP.
The next year, it was Brosius, of course, who caught Orlando Cabrera's popup for the final out of David Cone's perfect game.
The image of Brosius we'll all remember, however, was when he hit his two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series against the (friggin') Arizona Diamondbacks. He tied the game which resulted, of course, in the extra-inning Yankees win. Every Yankee fan alive remembers that, the previous night, Tino Martinez had hit his two-out, two-run home run to tie the game in the ninth. When Brosius was walking up to the plate, I made a joke to my wife saying: "It's easy. All we gotta do here is hit another 2-out home run in the bottom of the ninth. Piece of cake." I said this in a voice more strained and trembling than I intended.
If you're not doing anything for the next two minutes and thirty seven seconds, and you want to feel about as good as it's possible to feel, watch this:
When the ball left the yard -- off Yum Yum Kim, no less -- it was late at night on the east coast and our children were all still little and I didn't want to wake them up. I put my face down on the carpet and slapped the floor with my open palm so hard that the palm still hurts on certain rainy days.
Some fun things about the video:
- Derek Jeter appears at about 0:25 with a full head of hair, looking like he's about 12.
- The joy on Don Zimmer's face at 1:00 is perfect. It's an escape all by itself.
- Andy Pettite tilting his head back in delight is just beautiful.
- I had forgotten that, after a home run, they used to play the final chords of The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again over the loudspeakers. Fun.
- It's also important to note that The Hit was so momentous, it shut Joe Buck up for one full minute. Honest. Go back and time it.
I am sick and tired of Girardi.
Tex is worthless at the plate, and every time he plays, Tyler Austin sits.
Tyler Austin needs to play every game. So we can see if he is good enough to handle first base at the major league level. I'm pretty sure the plan is for him to back-up Bird ( should he ever return ) , and to play outfield if Bird proves he can still play baseball.
Right now, the Yankees need to see if Austin can establish himself as a threat offensively, and adjust to major league pitching. We also need to see how good his defensive skills are. Neither will happen when he plays once every four days.
Girardi makes out the line-up cards. What is he thinking? He wants to create another Refsnyder? Another guy who performs well and then sits? And then sits?
Has Joe already put in his papers to leave, so he can disrespect the Yankee's need to re-build, to see what they have? Girardi has to see Tex failing, adding zero to the team on offense.
As Some brilliant mind recently stated, " Tex should play one more time for the Yankees. The last game of the season at the stadium."
If I can't get Girardi, I'll have to go for Tex. Again. He is an easy target.
I am sick of this tomfoolery.
"Oh-boy. This is a real magilla."
"Wait... there's more! Everybody's joining in! It's an upper deck full of lower dumpers! The whole stadium - you know, Suzyn, I've always said Yankee fans are by far the most knowledgeable in baseball - they're all bending over! IT'S BIG POOPERS FOR BIG PAPI! IT'S A BUTT BOMB... FOR THE BUTTERBALL! HEY, YOU REALLY TEASED THE OAR, ORTIZ! (Singing) OH, THE RANDY FANS' CANS, I SEE THE RANDY FANS' CANS..."
"And I tawked with Joe before the game. He never mentioned this. It's very clear, though, that some of these fans have been working with Larry Rothschild. It really looks to have paid off."
"This unbelievable portrait is being painted by CertaPro Painters, who remind you to color your behinds with only the best - Sherwin Williams paints."
"THEY'RE RAISING THEIR FANNY FLAGS! Somebody out there had the Lowe's home improvement idea: LET'S MOON SOMETHING TOGETHAHHHH..."
(Make it happen. MOON BIG PAPI.)
(What other home run moon calls could John use?)
You don't need me to blather - once again - how hopeless this is. Our pennant chances are murkier than Trump's mass deportation force. Still, let's close our eyes and imagine:
We sweep Seattle. Three games, boom.
If we sweep, we would:
a) Be tied with the Mariners in the loss column.
b) Destroy their faith in God. If anything, they might start believing they are on His shit-list. (They're on mine, BTW.)
c) Probably climb ahead of Detroit, Houston and KC, although the Astros are playing Minnesota, so they might maintain pace.
d) Probably gain on the O's, who face a brutal bragging rights series against the Nats, but not necessarily on Boston, (Rays) and Toronto (mighty Angels.)
e) Add to the chances that Robbie never jogs out a grounder in a Seattle post-season - cosmic payback to abandoning his TV family for gold. (He loves only gold. Only gold. ONLY gold. Only gold. He loves gold. He loves only gold. He loves GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD.)
So there we have it. One last chance to upend - or suspend - reality: We cannot "win the series." We would still be two behind Seattle, which has a breakfast buffet schedule full of Angels and A's. We must sweep. Michael Pineda must throw a vengeance shutout. Gary Sanchez must stay hot. And Aaron Judge needs to play, not rest.
This morning, the Gray Lady questioned with Yankee batting order. In the eighth, with two men on and one out, we sent up our "cleanup" hitter.
True dat. But the truth is, Tex, A-Rod and McCann have failed us. We had better chances with Didi and Castro. But another truth is that neither belongs in a slugger's spot.
If there is anything to fear, it's that Didi decides he is supposed to hit HRs to justify batting fourth. All we need is another pull hitter reduced to nothingness by defensive over-shifts. The Yankees have a cleanup hitter. His name is Aaron Judge. I hope he has been properly rested, because the last fantasy of 2016 happens over the next three nights. Lose tonight, and we can rest throughout October.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
They're saying the Yankees "have closed to" being just four games out of the Bud Selig Annual One Game Away Field Fake Playoff Last Chance Door Prize Wild Card Berth. They're even playing scoreboard ball, noting who won and lost, and pretending it matters.
As Bill Murray said in Meatballs, "IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER." Understand? "IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!"
Last night, the Yankees beat Gregorio Petit and the California Angels, arguably the worst team in baseball - did I mention they have Gregorio Petit? - for the second straight victory. Two wins against a Gregorio Petit-inspired tomato can is hardly a resurgence. It's not even a streak. It's just a - well - it's a glom. That's all. We're glomming onto California's collapse. Did I mention Gregorio Petit?
And they say we have "pulled within four" of the Wild Card.
Insert barnyard noises here.
OK, let's take out papers and pencils, and let's do our weekly math exercises. To win the AL Wild Card Potted Plant Kewpie Doll, a team will probably need at least 86 wins. Could be more. Let's go baseline and say "86." The Yankees have 39 games remaining. To reach the magical "eighty-six," Joe's Gemstones must go 23-16 over the last six weeks. Not impossible, right? In fact, doable, technically.
But here's the rub. We have four teams above us. Even if we glom to 23-16 - our best month of the season - it just doesn't matter.
Boston has 40 left. To reach 86, they merely have to win 17. They can tank and still finish ahead of us. Same with Baltimore; they could go 19-21. Seattle must win more games than they lose - but they lead us by three in the loss column. (Detroit is tied with us in losses. They are fading fast, losing to Boston again yesterday.)
Five teams, two slots.
Listen: This is a nice little talent show, especially if Chad Green and Luis Cessa keep pitching well. Kudos to Cashman for making the trade last winter. Let's hope it's the kind of deal the Yankees make more often - buying low and selling high. Gary Sanchez looks like a future Jorge. Aaron Judge could be our cleanup hitter. We have components of a future team. Next year, everything will matter.
Right now, no matter what they say, it just doesn't.
But we can still moon Big Papi. That will matter.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
So now I am concerned that Austin and Judge are done. Last game, 0-4 and 0-5. Judge struck out twice and Austin once.
Well, you say," first road trip; first west coast swing; they aren't going to hit .500. No 7 days and 7 home runs."
I have a bad feeling that neither of them is going to see a fastball for a while. That's what killed my major league aspirations...couldn't hit this breaking balls. Never really saw a worthy knuckleball.
" It's only one damn game, " you say again. They will hit today."
"Austin tagged one last night, but right at somebody. Right at the wall."
I know. But just as that broken bat blooper appears as a hit in the box score the next day, so does the rocket shot appear as an out.
Everyone on the Yankees was going yard, last night, off Weaver. Not Judge. Not Austin.
And then there is Mr. Sanchez.
Strength up the middle is a formula for long term success. Now we need a centerfielder who can rake and a few more Tanakas.
Why are they not bring up Gampel? Is that his name? The guy who always hits .300 and the Yankees ignore? Not to mention the elephant in the room ( Refsnyder).
A major new theory of Yankee time and space: Does the short Yankee Stadium RF porch kill our offense?
The short right field porch at Yankee Stadium is killing us.
OK, let's think this through.
The Yankee tradition - from Ruth to Maris to Giambi to McCann - is to lard the lineup with lefty slugging beef that - in the name of Curtis Granderson - can flick 35 home runs a year down the RF line, without wasting an erection. Thus, we signed lefty pull-hitting beef.
But in this era of defensive over-shifts, these lefty free-swingers lose 50 points off their batting averages - sliding into mediocrity. I believe it even reduces their HR totals, because they're stressed out, seeing these crapola batting averages on the Jumbotron.
Case in point: Brian McCann. When we signed him, the Yankees figured on 30 HRs per season with a batting average around .270. That short porch would become his Sean Hannity. But over-shifts turned McCann into a .220 butter cookie, and we'll be lucky to get 20 dings. He's a not a DH. He's not a 1B. He's not anything.
So, under my theory, McCann would hit more poorly at home, swinging for the porch and into the over-shift. Well, that's exactly what happens.
In Yankee Stadium, where you'd think McCann should be more productive, he's worse. He's batting .218 with 7 HRs. On the road, McCann hits .247 - with 8 HRs. The porch hasn't helped him. If anything, it's hurt him.
OK - let's look at Mark Teixeira, the switch-hitter. Under this theory, he should generally hit better from the right side, overall. And he does. Batting RH, he's at .228 with 9 HRs. From the left: just .182 with one ding. (At home, he's hitting slightly better .206, compared to .188, but frankly, both stats are so miserable - this guy is sooo done - what's there to compare?)
Let's do one more - Chase Headley: Overall, he hits with more power left-handed - .250 with 8 HRs - compared to .268 with 3 HRs from the right. But in Yankee Stadium, he's hitting only .227, compared to .286 on the road.
But frankly, screw the numbers. To prove my quantum theory, I go with boners - and mine tell me is this: Over the last 10 years, we've seen way too many LH hitters get homer-happy. Jason Giambi went from .320 to a one-dimensional pull hitter. The Grandyman became a 200-K season. Even Brett Gardner got bitten and - in my opinion - has not been the same. Will it happen to Didi? It's worth worrying about. (I thought Greg Bird last year, in his short time, began swinging for that porch.) With defensive over-shifts, dead pull hitters become liabilities. And the porch inspires dead pull hitters. Tex's inability to solve the over-shift ended his career prematurely. He still whacks hard line drives. Defenders wait for them.
In the over-shift era, is the porch killing us? I dunno. But it's worth considering. And I'm glad Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge all bat right-handed. Hopefully, when they see that porch, it will remind them to use the entire field.
Now, we have the Pre-Three. ("Austin, Sanchez and Judge, oh my.")
For whatever it's worth, the Yankees have climbed back to three games above .500, and five games out in the away-field one-game Wild Card playoff berth race.
Anybody stay up late to watch us cuff around the mighty Angels? Because I didn't. Yeah, I do a Yankee blog, but there's such a thing as self-respect.
Friday, August 19, 2016
That's what they're mulling.
Ahh, Boston. You're always there for us.
Yep, they're not pushing the panic button. They're stomping it, thanks to a bullpen with more holes than the DNC firewall. Right now, Boston looks as desperate as those two swimmers who are stuck in Brazil. (Wait: Can they swim home?)
Speaking on behalf of the Yankiverse, I hereby say:
GO FOR IT, BOSTON! Sign the blowhole. Bring home your prodigal turd.
(Actually, I can think of one reason why a team would want Papelbon: His fingers might still have leftover DNA from Bryce Harper's neck, which might work in a cloning lab.)
Listen: Over the last three miserable Yankee seasons, we've had one spray-painted boulder of joy on which to luxuriate: The ongoing Boston debacle. (Where are you, o, Kung Fu Panda?) Not even Trump would put a price tag on the look in a Redsock fan's eyes after his team blows a four-run lead. It's one of those images that lasts forever: (It's up there with Roger Ailes filming his mistress in the hotel, while barking sexual commands.) Unfortunately, Boston has won a couple of rings during our hiatus, and Yoan Moncada - (That name! SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOWLY I TURN...) should put a Maris-esque asterisk onto every happy-talk news article on how smart Hal Steinbrenner is, as the seasoned helmsman.
But make it so, Boston. Bring Papelbon home. We might have something to watch, after all.
Along with MOONING BIG PAPI!
Thursday, August 18, 2016
August 17th game v. Toronto, top of the sixth, Blue Jays lead 7-2, CC Sabathia pitching to Darrell Ceciliani, runner at first, nobody out, Michael Kay speaking:
John Sterling came in the other day and gave me some very serious advice. His first daughter is going to college. Syracuse.
He said, "Uh, Michael, I have a bit of advice for you."
"Save. Your. Money."
I said, "Why?"
He said, "I made out the first semester tuition check to Syracuse. I repeat. Save. Your. Money."
I have a few more weeks to inflict some ills on those who suck.
Get me Cashman and get me Girardi.
Duque is right on...play the friggin" kids. All the time.
Forget about egos and contracts.
Tex gets one more game ...the last of the season at the stadium. For his farewell.
Gardy gets no more.
McCann gets no more.
Hicks gets sent down.
Jacoby gets no more.
Headley gets no more.
Do it right or I will bury you.
Take to Nathan if you doubt me.
The dugout has steps and Hal's suite has slippery floors.
I will get you if you don't do the right thing.
Until now, I never had reason to own a gun. Now, I need one. That way, the next time some YES announcer breaks out the Wild Card standings, I can shoot my TV.
Yep, it's over, folks. We are back to two games above .500 - the Mason-Dixon line for crapola. I feel like Jeff Goldblum in the 1986 movie, The Fly. After all the horror, he says, "I am just a fly who dreamed he was a man." Well, I am just a fly who dreamed the Yankees were in a Wild Card race.
We're done here, people. We should found a protest group: Blue Wins Don't Matter. We're even out of the race for 10 worst MLB records, which would let us sign free agents next winter without losing draft picks. We have six miserable weeks to kill. What to do?
The kids. They should play every game. Not just Sanchez, Judge and Austin, but Ben Gamel needs a shot. Good god, the poor guy has now hit over .300 in his last 900 minor league at bats. That's two years in Scranton. You can't just pretend he doesn't exist. Mason Williams, too. And the entire Scranton pitching staff. Give them a chance - unless they are on season inning counts, of course. If that's the case, it's the month of Kirby Yates.
Refsnyder. He needs his own category. I'm not sure where he projects as a major-leaguer. I know some of you aren't impressed. Clearly, he is not an OF prospect. He deserved a shot at 2B, but the Yankees traded for Starlin Castro - and - well... meh.
Castro has the worst on-base percentage of all second-basemen in the AL - .296. He has the second-worst batting average, is last among starters in stolen bases, and is 8th in HRs. (The fact is, 2B has become an offense position.) Yeah, he's hit a few HRs lately, but aside from a loud April, I think the Cubs knew what they were trading. (BTW, Headley, too, is a mediocre 3B. He ranks 10th among AL third-basemen in average - .256 - and is 11th in HRs. He's hit better lately, but yeesh.) I'd play Refsnyder over either, see what happens. (Of course, this will NOT happen. Some nameless Yankee scouts seem to be invested in Refsnyder not panning out; they'll never ditch Castro or Headley for him.)
Gardy and Ellsbury. Let them sit. Better, dangle them in trades. For the record: I am over Brett Gardner. He was once my favorite Yankee. Now, he comes to bat, I get a sandwich. Guy doesn't steal. Guy doesn't hit for power. Guy hasn't hit in the clutch. WTF? He'd be a decent defensive CF, but he plays a corner. Sadly, we'll never trade Ellsbury due to his A-Roddian contract. So sit them. We can say we're protecting their precious hamstrings.
CC and Tex. Give them Rolexes. Bring out a marching band. Of course, CC will return next year. I'd start transitioning him to the bullpen.
Aaron Hicks. Ummm, who cares? Play him. Release him? Turn him into a fly? Whatever. Doesn't matter to me. I'll just shoot the TV. Every year we are saddled with one Cashman personal project - last season brought us Stephen Drew - who must play every day, because the GM's ego is tethered to the guy's success. We have six more weeks of Hicks.
Watch for injuries on other teams. Of course, we don't root for anybody to get hurt. But if a contender happens to loses a catcher, hey! Brian McCann!
Beat Boston. We have seven games against them. Let's win four. And in that final home game, we need to MOON BIG PAPI.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
My esteemed colleague El Duque has waxed eloquent about the debacle of last evening. Nuff said there.
Like the Duke, I am here not to bury the Yankees, but to praise them.
I honor the post-fire sale Bombers for doing the alleged right thing and unloading whatever marketable pieces they could toss onto the bonfire, bringing up the kids, and ridding themselves of the Scourge of A-Rod once and for all (at least until they exhume Billy Martin's corpse for a return to the manager's seat -- I think that was the plot for the soon-to-be re-released anniversary edition of "Reanimator VII: The Reckoning," on VHS only, so start rummaging around the attic for your old Realistic video player).
But beyond that, I praise them because these moves have put a team (I almost said "product." Ugh. Please, like Livia Soprano once said, "Kill me now! Take the knife from the ham and stick it RIGHT HERE!") on the field that reminds me of my lovable Bronx Bumblers from 1965-1975.
I remember them like it was yesterday: Stick Michael, Hoss Clarke, Lindy McDaniel, Bill Monboquette, Steve Hamilton, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, Bobby Cox, Ruben Amaro, Steve Whitaker. I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I remember them. The only baseball cards that didn't wind up in the spokes of my Schwinn.
Sure, they were awful. That wasn't the point. They set the stage that made the 70's resurgence to power all the more sweet. I think we all understand that for us to return to the pinnacle, we had to sell off. And I don't worry about losing. It's only a couple more weeks and then the September call-ups will help us make that last Olympic-sized dive across the finish line to the second wild card.
Oh, and of course there's always September 29, a date which will live in Yankee lore for decades to come. Moon Big Papi Day is coming.
So life is good.
I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride but something touched me deep inside the day the music died...
What was the cruelest aspect of last night's debacle?
a) Two home runs by Russell Martin; reminding us once again of Hal Steinbrenner's original ownership sin: his cheap-ass refusal to negotiate a two-year deal, back when the boy owner was hell-bent on reducing Yankee payroll to skirt the luxury tax - a scheme that Sallow Hal promptly abandoned. Ever since, Martin has celebrated his freedom beard by destroying Yankee pitchers, whenever he gets the chance. He's not the one that got away. He's the one we sent away.
b) The end of Nathan Eovaldi, due to multiple surgeries - silencing the two-year celebration of Brian Cashman's great trade by the happy-tweet gerbils of the Yankee courtier press. Ever since that questionable deal was made - launching a progression of events that culminated with us signing Chase Headley for four years - the Yankee YES team has gobbled and gushed over the art of the deal. We traded Martin Prado and David Phelps for the kind of young starter you just don't find on the open market. Well, Prado is the best third baseman in the NL, and Phelps is - well - Phelps. Don't get me wrong: I loved Eovaldi, and I feel cheap here just whining at the fates, especially when a fine young fellow like him faces such a tough road back. But I'm sick of the hubris of this organization, whose well paid employees bubble and moo over every deal - always marveling about the genius of their bosses. It takes time to assess a deal, yet they announce their conclusions on Day One of spring training. Right now, well... it really hurts. Good luck, Nathan.
c) Another 0-for-4 for Mark Teixeira - batting fourth, no less. I don't get it. The team gives A-Rod movie money to leave - calls him an Uber and puts him on the 4 a.m. cow-catcher to Oswego. But Tex, who came five years after Alex, continues on in his role as the middle of the order rally-killer. We make a big announcement: Tyler Austin is coming up! He homers and then - poof - sits. Once again, we are choking on plumage, pecking orders, contractual obligations, marquee names, and known faces on the Jumbotron. Every time the Yankees get something going, here comes Tex or Brian McCann, lashing yet another line drive into the soft gloves of another over-shift. Last night, Ken Singleton mentioned how exciting it is to see Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge come to the plate, how it brings such anticipation. What he didn't say is it's because watching Tex, McCann, et al, is such a downer.
Final note: I truly believe that if Tex or McCann spent enough time adjusting to the shifts - that is, tapering their swings to the opposite field, or learning to bunt - they could extend their careers by two years. In Tex's case, he is literally choosing to retire rather than alter his style. Yes, I know it's not easy - old dog, new tricks, yaddayadda - but Tex isn't even hitting .200. Come on! That's unconscionable, and he doesn't deserve such a criticism-free ride. How many innings could a bunt base hit have extended?
d) It was the bullpen that got us - our pride and joy for most of the season. In that old formula, we would have seen No Runs DMC, (which the NY Post tried to sell us as the "three somethingorothers of smoke." Instead, we got Chasen Shreve and the cast of Glee. Don't get me wrong: I'd still make those deals. We were going nowhere. But last night, the chickens came home to roost.
e) Last night effectively choked out the few glimmers of hope that popped up after the sell-off. Yeah, we can win today and still take the series. But last night's loss is a turd that won't flush in a bowl that won't unclog. We're going to be smelling it for a long, long time.
The only way to get rid of such a thing is to moon Big Papi.