Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Master unveils his Chase Headley Homer Howl

"You can bank on Chase... Headley is deadly."

Homer Howl Analysis:

Bank: Do the Yankees know that John is giving free advertising? Are they banking any money here? If we're looking for an ad tie-in here, how about a singing, "Chase is the place for the helpful hardball man!"

Deadly: There are many other rhyme options. "Headley is deadly, readily." Or, "A deadly Headley medley, steadily deadly!" Or, "Chase's touchin' the bases!"

Singing potential. It's sad that John did not replace the tuneful, "So-larte, oh-oh..." with a Broadway application. How about going with a touch from West Side Story: "There's a Chase for us... somewhere a Chase for us..."

Or the Beatles: "There are Chases I remember all my li-ife, though some have changed."

If John wanted to move into - say - the seventies, he could try some Steve Miller Band: "Some people call him the Chase Cowboy... I call him the gangster of love!"

Rating (out of 5 yelps): 2. More work needed.

Was it a dream?

No, it was real, I tell you, it was real! I was there. I saw it. The team was picked up by this tornado, and we were all dropped into a magical world, a paradise, full of bright colors... five games above .500! Everything looked so beautiful. There was no crime, no war, no hunger. When we needed rain, it rained! When we needed a botched pop-up, our opponents botched a pop-up! O, it was incredible! We were in line for a wild card! THE Wild Card, I tell you! It was so lifelike, so real! You were in the dream, Gardy! And you, Chase! And you, Carlos! And you, and you... and you!

Holy crap, what an incredible dream! Oh, Auntie Cash, why did you have to wake me? I wanna go back. Can you send me back? Quick, who's got the Ambien?

Some Questions For Those Watching Today's Yankee Game

It is the end of the 4th inning, and we are down 1-0.  Based upon what you have seen thus far from the Yankees:

How many of you think:

1.  The Yankees will get another hit?

2.  The Yankees will get another baserunner, by any means at all?

3.  The Yankees will have a runner in scoring position?

4.  The Yankees will score a run?

5.  The Yankees will hold the Jays to one run?

6.  The Yankees will score two runs, but no more?

7.  That Brett Gardner will go to a 1-2 count when the Yankees have a chance to score, and then strike out?

8.  That Derek will kill a potential rally by grounding into a double play?

Please submit votes before the Yankee's next at bat.

 Or later.

The trouble with the 2014 Yankees: When a winning streak ends, a losing streak begins

I always knew my kids would grow up, learn about sex and eventually leave the house. I recognized that my beloved dog would only live for about 12 years, then start crapping all over the place and need to be slumbered. I have embraced the reality of changing seasons, shifting political allegiances and even transitory love. But damn, I thought we'd beat the Blue Jays at home... forever and ever.

Seventeen games. Seventeen wins. God, the Jays were always here for us. We'd stumble home from a West Coast fiasco or a drubbing in Texas, and there they'd be, like mints on our pillow, preparing to run out Brett Cecil or Todd Redmond. "O dear," we'd say, trying not to giggle. "This could be the day!" Hah. They were our seaside chums, our home port lays, our cousins from the North. Damn, I'd trust them with the keys to our clubhouse.

Now, this.

It's over.

It's not easy to end a sports curse. It took Boston 10 generations, and for the most of it, we sat in their heads like a stomach virus. Then, suddenly, poof - Johnny Damon hit a grand slam off Javier Vasquez, and soon they were kicking our over-paid, cake-sitting, A-Rod-infected, syringe-poked butts from Hartford to Nova Scotia. With only two exception - 2009, and the Bobby V era - they've owned us ever since. I don't think Toronto will do the same. But we've seen enough of the 2014 Yankees to know that when they stink, they stink bad.

Yesterday, we saw Exhibit AAX-299 that Brian Roberts no longer functions as an MLB second baseman. We saw what happens when you continually play a catcher at first base. We received a reality check about Brian Cashman's scrapheap pickings - Jeff Francis brought his special recipe for meatballs - and we looked like the patchwork lineup that - well - we are.

Thus far, the 2014 Yankees have been a perfectly engineered, Rube Goldberg .500 machine. For every 32 stutter steps forward, they magically take 32 stutter steps back. Today, we reach a mini crossroads. Do we win this series, keep the post-all-star break ball rolling... or lose 2/3, at home, to our former whipping mules, and start the market correction?

No news here. We all saw this coming. What goes up must come down. Your kids will grow old, and your dog will die. We will all someday moulder in our graves, and as far as we'll be concerned, none of this will ever have happened. Brian Roberts, though, damn... who knew? 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Speechless About What I Obviously Can't Even Mention

It had been suggested by a sociopath in the peanut gallery that a certain someone resembling myself should refrain from certain activities related to the Intertubes due to the possible negative repercussions on a particular professional sports team that shall remain nameless.

These Things That Cannot Be Spoken Aloud Or Even Scribbled Digitally (TTCBSAOESD, known in some writer circles as "Tits and Aesop," for short...writers -- always the sex and fiction references) will not be spoken or scribbled here for fear that the commenter with the Patrick Bateman personality, mentioned above, may be onto something -- or more likely, on something, but whatever. Never look a gift horse in the anonymouth, I always say, just roll with the results.

So, Tits and Aesop and all that, I can only point out that one of the spheroidally-inclined professional sports teams in the general vicinity of New England (but not actually in it) remains the one and only team in their competitive set to post a .500 or better record with a negative run differ...oops, ummm, a lesser record in an important offensive category. You may know the one to which I refer.

Said team prevailed recently due to an Asian tsunami-type event that involved an orbish object landing in a spot known generally by a two-word nickname, the first word of which would be one way to describe the great Peter Dinklage, and the second, perhaps a place where Norman Rockwellesque characters sit nostalgically in wicker chairs on a construction connected to the front of their abode while sipping lemonades.

Also astonishing, two men not known for being effective in recent memory were, in fact, effective. One of them has a first name that, spelled a bit differently, would complete this movie title:  "_________ of the Dead," a film featuring the very funny Simon Pegg. The other man has a last name that is part of what the Big Bad Wolf will do to blow down the door of the Little Piggies' domicile.

As The Master said on this team's radio network a couple of weeks ago, "Now, here's something you can hang your hat on:  three games in the loss column. That's what really matters." Perhaps you don't personally wear a hat, but it doesn't matter. Go buy one and hang it on the aforementioned column or you might jack-indigo-negatory-xavier everything, if you catch my general drift.

Plus, who knew that they guy with the number of all living Popes on his back would be such an impish presence now that he's about to step aside and join Benedict on the unemployment line? Amazing, all of it.

Ah, sorry, that word's been taken for years by the other spheroidally-inclined sports team near, but not in, New England. Tits and Aesop, then, and I'll keep it under that thing hanging on the column, just in case.

Update to the Book of Joe's section "Knobbiticus"

Now it came to pass in the third summer of his four-annum covenant, a time called 2000, the righteous Yankee warrior Chuck Knoblauch lost his ability to bring direction to the hurl of balls.
Sayers of sooth pondered this omen, and prophets offered solutions. But the more that “Knobby” sought to herd his frantic emissions, the more waxen and leprous his tossings became.

One dusk, Knobby’s errant missile soared so far off course that it nearly slew the mother of Keith Obermann, son of Sevareid, while the matron held a baseline seat. So pocked with guilt was Knobby that the once-great Twin barely could see the outfield through his veil of tears.
That night, Knobby appeared unto Joe’s chamber and spake:

“Hear me, o, Joe!

“My arm mocks God with its treachery.

“’Tis a curse upon the House of George and a stain of camel dung upon our carpeted pennant path. Lend me thy axe, I beg thee, so that I may chop off the fevered limb and feed it to the suited toads of print and byte!”

Joe placed his calm hands upon the mini-brute’s troubled appendage and declared:

“Hear me, o, Knobby!

“Thy demons reside not within thy wing, but within thy mental mind.”

And so Knobby flung himself to the floor and spake:

“If brain it be, then bequeath to me thy trowel, so that I may carve out the infected lobe!

“If brain it be, then clip me unto thy taser, so that I may singe the wormed matter!

“If brain it be, then swing thy scythe neckward, so that my thought cabbage shall plummet, and my eyes at last can gaze up at their meat pedestal, freed of madness and deceit.

“Bolt me to thy bench! Option me to thy Clippers of Columbus! Trade me to the plebes of Kansas City, or to a place where my head can be blissfully shrank!”

For seven days and nights, the jell-haired Yank testified to his sins. Finally, Joe spake:

“All right, all right, all right, o, Knobby, listenup!

“Only ye can smite the vermin that breed beneath your pleasingly oiled quaff.

“Only ye can untempt the lips of self-doubt, which open unto the glistening French tongue of error.

“But fear not for the House of George, o, Knobby, for thy craven seizures shall not unman us.

“On the morrow, ye shall find a seat of pad. In thy stead, we shall martial the tuneful Venezuelanite fielder and batsmith, Luis Sojo.

“For until ye becalms thy derelict oblongata, ye pose threat to all celebrities who occupy seats along the Line of the First Base. And that includes Rudolph Giuliani, son of Koch, heir to Dinkins, and brother of Ailes.

“To preserve the House of George, which seeks a grander Yankee palace hewn of public gold and bejewed boxes of luxury, we must protect the shining forehead of Rudolph Giuliani, our political ticket of meal!

“Verily! And in the spring of 2001, thou shalt move to the far field of Left. There, no stones slung by thee shall ever slay a celebrity or king, or those who service them.

"This I doth decree!”
And so it came to pass.

The following spring, Knobby roamed the far field of Left.
And he ruled the League of Grapefruit.

And he rained frenzy upon his foes through the showery month of April.

And then, without cause, his June bat floundered and died.

And when Knobby’s covenant expired, the House of George exiled him to the crop farms of Kansas City, and his name was never spake again.

And no Person of Very Importance was ever felled by one of Knobby’s ill-aimed pellets.

And Rudolph Giuliani, giver of pork, oversaw many celebrations.

And one day, there shall be a greater and more expensive House of George, born of the public till and ripe with the raised price of tickets, thanks to the wisdom of Joe, the generosity of Rudolph Giuliani and the sacrifice of Knobby, son of Sax.


Alas, hear now the amended post-script to Knobby, the unshaven and multi-chinned puncher of wives - exes and current - who hath been chained and shamed for his alleged foul deeds, and who had once been destined for the Twins of Minnesota's Fame Hall, to which he rightfully had belonged.
But Knobby hath appeared unto booking shots of mug, snarly and not kempt, raising questions of his mental brain-work and morality clock, and casting doubt upon all heroic soldiers who must move in life from the glowing adoration of Yankeedom to the deathly humdrum of Humdrumdom. 
For therein lies great pain and torment.
Be not forever enchanted by those who win the pennants in their youth, yet who cannot find peace within their own crumbling houses, for it is the greatest greatness of Joe that he hath found stability in love, the kind that was denied to the tragic man called Knobby.

A new all-time great Jeter moment

(Via Reddit) The celebration of Ichiro's home run.

Two events today could determine Brian Cashman's legacy

Around here, some of us have a tendency - you could say - to now and then mutter unpleasantries about Mr. Brian Cashman. (Looking at you, Alphonso.) After all, the Evils haven't won a World Series since 2009, and our Redsock enemies have three in 10 years. We blame who else - (but not W.B. Mason) - other than our whipping man-boy, the Cash Man.

Lately, though, he's on a roll. (Don't get me wrong: I'm not sold on Chase Headley, because I am an unabashed prospect-hugger. Somehow, prospect-hugging became unpopular in the Yankiverse. Posters are accused of clinging excessively to minor leaguers. Count me in. I think Cashman overall is terrified of another Austin Jackson/Ian Kennedy debacle. Many fans now grumble that the Yankees should trade young arms because they all go into surgery anyway. I disagree. I say it's why you don't trade a kid like Rafael De Paula, that for every five young pitchers, one might make it. But he could be Andy Pettitte. Still, it's nice to have a pro third baseman playing third, instead of a Scranton Railrider.)

Cashman's great talent over the years is his relentless dumpster diving. If Blarney Joe McDoofuss gets waived by the Calgary Cameroons, Cash is immediately weighing whether he's a better fifth OF than our current one in Trenton. Give the boy credit. Anything that moves, Cash is on it. He could be enjoying a free afternoon, smoking dope and rappelling down a building in Connecticut, but he'll stop when his iPhone dings that a new player is on the market.

Today, two events take place that I hope go well for Cashman. One is Chris Capuano, today's new starter. God knows what we have. Capuano is a cast-off from Boston and practically the entire free world. Cash bought him for a bucket of balls. If we get five innings and a lead, it will be as close as anyone in baseball gets to a free lunch. I don't want to get ahead of myself. He hasn't done it yet. But Chase Whitley is approaching his sell-by date - in terms of innings - and we all know Ian Kennedy will only come with a hellacious price tags for prospect-huggers. If we can wrangle two months from Capuano - I'm thinking Aaron Small - who knows? If it happens, I hereby nominate Cash for President.

The second event today takes place at Alex Rodriguez Field in Miami. Yes, there is such a thing. A 27-year-old Cuban outfielder named Rusney Castillo will do jumping jacks and give stool samples for MLB scouts. The Yankees will be there. This guy is no Puig or a Humanis Centepedis, but he bats right-handed, is said to be faster than Taylor Swift, and he might be MLB-ready.

It's been too long since the Evils dipped a toe into the Cuban market. Whatever we spend on Castillo would not bump our luxury tax. In other words, it's a loophole that hasn't yet closed. (But it will one of these days.) Let's hope Cash wins the discussion with Hal. Let's sign this Rusney guy. Even if Masahiro Tanaka misses 2015, he is still the reason we are in this race today. He was worth the investment. To win, you gotta put money on the line. Let's give Cash credit. And let's hope he brings Hal's checkbook to Miami.

Capuato for nothing... and the chicks are free.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Question: Could the Yankees actually create a WORSE trade involving Ian Kennedy than they did once before?

The last time Brian Cashman spun Ian Kennedy into motion - on Dec. 8, 2009, the Day After Pearl Harbor Day - this is what unfolded.

The Tigers got bullpen lugnut Phil Coke, leadoff CF Austin Jackson, Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth impersonator Daniel Schlereth. They have been the AL's dominant team ever since.

The Diamondbacks got Kennedy, who went 21-4 in 2011, nearly winning the Cy Young, and workhorse starter Edwin Jackson, who consistently logs about 200 innings per season. They spun off Kennedy to San Diego last year for the great Matt Stites and Joe Thatcher.

The Yankees got Curtis Granderson, who had a good 2009 and then turned into a strikeout machine, currently of the Miracle Mets.

Two Cy Young-level pitchers, a solid CF, two lugnut arms and a Daniel Schlereth impersonator - and all we got was an old Sammy Davis Jr. song from John Sterling...

Now, there is talk of bringing Kennedy home. There are rumors that we will trade some of the few jewels of the Yankee farm system for Kennedy.

Question: Could Cashman possibly top his previous deal?

Scranton: Where the Yankees send their semi-prospects to be humiliated

Dear Lord, please tell me this is a joke ...

Seriously ... WTF?

And we're wearing these things against redsocks' farm team? Really???

One question to the folks in Scranton and in the Yankees minor-league offices. Do you really hate your players that much?

A prayer for the Yankees

Our Father, Who Art In Cooperstown...

Wait a minute. Holy Cow, God! The Evil Empire is 6-1 since the death of Johnny Winter, 5-1 since the passing of Jim Rockford, and undefeated since Yangervis Solarte was loaded into a cannon and fired toward the Western horizon.

One might say the Yankees are reclaiming the AL East. In fact, The Master, John Sterling, believes this. His mentor, Suzyn Waldman, desperately wants to believe. Don't we all? Could Chase Headley and Jeff Francis be the secret Yankee additives that transform a stick of dried vegetation into that refreshing, smooth-tasting Lucky Strike? Hell, I don't know. But You do.

And I do know this: You've been treating us awfully nicely lately.

Sunday, we won because the Reds flubbed a measly pop-up.

Tuesday, we won despite never scoring until the 13th inning.

Wednesday, You sent us a Biblical flood to win.

Good grief, to lose our one game since the break, we had to make five errors. You couldn't even save us from ourselves.

Today, it's Toronto, renegade half-brother of Buffalo. Listen, God, say what You wish about the Blue Jays; they are Canadian for "tomato can." Our lucky streak appears to be holding firm. We will miss R.A. Dickey in the rotation. I think their starters are Dopey Dildox, Filthy McNasty and Cher.

Most importantly, there is an endless supply of beloved American celebrities, currently peeing into their deathbeds, glazed eyes looking to You, who might goose this otherwise hopeless Yankee team into - at worst - the one-game Seligian playoff. If we can reach the Selig, we'll leave the rest up to You. OK?

Wait a minute. Just so you don't get the wrong idea, God: I was a huge fan of Johnny Winter. And I loved, loved, loved James Garner. I hate to be thinking that some beloved icons of stage or screen must stride into Your Great Unknown Unknown, simply to somehow help the Yankees, but - hey - Noah built his arc based on crazy, and I say, A win is a win is a win. (Dying is easy. Comedy is hell.) Go, you Hollywood clock-outs! Be not afraid! And Father... bring us this day a broom, and let us sweep. Thine is thuuuuuh power, and thuuuuuuh glory, at least until September 1, when the rosters expand. Amen.   

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fan Fave Chase Headley's Facebook page has 130 likes

I guess some guys just aren't into Facebook. How about Twitter?

Dark times, indeed

What I want for Christmas

Sort of sad here. Joe Pepitone's honorary 1998 World Series ring is on the block at eBay.  It's going for a mere $17,995. With free shipping!!!!

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for July 24, 2004

In the 100th game of the season, God finally joins the Yankee 25-man roster

It was like watching ants fight a tidal wave. They couldn't pull their tarp. (Why does that sound kinky?) The juju gods had sent a deluge, and Noah Girardi was safe and dry in his hand hewn Yankee ark.

Face it, humanity: Last night's Yankee victory was an act of God... of Yahweh, Allah, Budha, Gaia, Jehovah, Zhule, Claverino, Stoopah-dooba-doonga, Brad, Sellerinoanbarnes... El Supremo, the Prime Mover, the Sky Pilot, the Big Boss with the Hot Sauce... you pray, He plays...
the first sign all season that somebody out there, beyond George Steinbrenner's hideously swollen corpse, is ready to spin miracles for the otherwise cursed and hell-bound 2014 Yankees.

Make no mistake, Boston frat-boy soreheads: God has joined the Yankee 40-man!

A roll-off win, courtesy of Mother Nature - or, to you nonbelievers, global warming. Screw you, Richard Dawkins. I'll take Richard Dawson. Let's face it. Without God, we were going to lose last night. We had scored our two runs. Our offense was done. They couldn't hit Yu Darvish with tennis rackets. Soon. Joe was going to bring in his B-team bullpen, featuring Chris Lesomethingorother, who'd pitch one game and be gone. Without a deluge - without God as our Zimmer bench coach - we were going to lose two out of three at home against the worst team in the AL.

And then a voice spake, "Let there be lightning!" It wasn't Michael Kay. Nope. He actually said, "We will do our best to entertain you." If he had done magic tricks with lit matches and his bare ass, he couldn't have topped watching the grounds crew - metaphor for humanity there - haplessly struggle against the elements, like Kelly Johnson attempting to play first base. Nope. All we had to do was let God weave His miracle. He could hit .320 and replace Robbie Cano, doncha know!

Take heart, Yankiverse. We are three games behind Baltimore (only three "in the loss column," as John Sterling would remind us.) We are a half-game behind Seattle ("tied in the loss column") for the remaining Wild Card slot, in that insanely divine, one-day Seliginomics payoff - I mean playoff. You could yip and moan and say, "Who cares? Without Tanaka, we have nobody to pitch in that one game." Oh, but no. We have found our Game One starter. He goes by many names. Last night, it was Curt Flood.

Yanks to Groundkeepers:

Last night in the Bronx:

Seven years ago in Denver: 
As a violent thunderstorm rolled in from the mountains after the sixth inning, the tarp suddenly enveloped and covered three members of the Rockies' grounds crew, snarling them underneath. Immediately, almost every available Phillies starter, position player and coach in the dugout scrambled to their aid.  
Mind you, they were the visiting team, although one Rockies player--LaTroy Hawkins--pitched in as well.

What do you think of that story, elderly gentleman who last night rushed to help the Yankee Stadium groundskeepers?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What AJ Pierzynski would tell the Redsocks

"What I’m finding hard to swallow... is this bullshit smear job you guys have been pulling on me since I was unceremoniously dumped."

Historical moment saved for posterity

Put this next to your Ron Coomer autographed ball: The precise moment when newly shaven Chase Headley arrives in the Yankee trench.

Two runs in 21 innings, and tonight, Yu Darvish

The Yankees are worse than watching a bad soccer team. Whenever a Yankee scores a run, we should get that Latino soccer announcer who shouts, "Goooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaal."

Pathetic. The big question tonight is whether Darvish will throw a perfect game, a no-hitter, or just settle for a measly shutout.

And now Kelly Johnson is hurt? Who will play 1B? Who will replace that 6 HR and .219 average?

Can Steve Whitaker and Andy Kosco come out of retirement?

Cash for clunkers? Did the Yankees just trade the Dellin Betances of 2016?

It's hard to pour gasoline on a trade that yields an instant, walk-off victory. And the YES men last night were already gushing over Brain Cashman's netting of Chase Headley, as another sign of his genius. The Yankees got a former all-star for the scrap heap icon, Yangervis Solarte, whose last light fizzled Monday, when he popped up to end the game. Also, from that romantic, dead-ender standpoint, it's fun to think of the Yankees chasing a 2014 Impossible Dream - think Anthony Newley singing Man of La Mancha - but Cashman yesterday spoke the most frightening words in the Yankiverse: "I have more work to do." If he's chasing truly John Danks or Cliff Lee, we could soon be re-enacting the doomsday trades of Jay Buhner and Doug Drabek. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

But - hey - we won last night! We won't get swept at home by the worst team in the AL! Isn't that all that matters? Tonight, John and Suzyn will treat Headley like the biggest Christmas gift found under the tree. At the risk of rousing the true believers, consider this:

1. The guy has a herniated disc. A frickin herniated disc. Ever had one? It's like having a knife jabbed into your spine. In simple terms, this is Kevin Youkilis II. Of course, he's hitting over .300 since receiving an epidural shot in June. Trouble is, the shots wear off, and his should be nearing the end of its pain-killing life. Surely, San Diego knew this. They didn't wait for the trade deadline. If Headley's back flares - and it will - the second epidural doesn't always work. Everybody's back is different. Maybe this guy can gut it out for the entire season. But jeeze, a herniated disc? If you thought Teixeira is fragile, he's Cal Ripken compared to this guy.

2. Saying goodbye to Solarte is sad, from a lost cat standpoint, but realistically, we said bon voyage two weeks ago, when he was shipped to Scranton and converted into Zelous Wheeler. Solarte's hitting and fielding had simultaneously collapsed - a hard thing to do for most major leaguers. He provides cover for the San Diego front office, who can say that he was hitting more than Headley (who for the year is hitting a meager .229; that certainly fits in with this Yankee team, eh?) Solarte was a nice human interest story, and I believe Yankee fans will look back on this mediocre team, remember him and smile, much in the way we now do about Alviro Espinosa or Stump Merrill. But as a Yankee, he was already gone. And San Diego certainly didn't place much value on him.

3. Trading Rafael De Paula scares me. Yes, he's a 23 year-old pitcher at Single A. But in case you've forgotten, he was our representative in the 2013 Futures Game. (Question: Did anybody mention this on YES last night? If they did, I missed it.) Three years ago, he was signed to a huge contract, then he missed two seasons due to Visa issues. (Question: Was anybody in the Yankee brass ever held accountable for that snafu? Seems to me, they wasted a ton of Hal's money.). Last year, De Paula looked great in low A and led the Yankees entire minor league system in strikeouts. This year, he got whacked around early on in Tampa, but then figured it out. Since June 23, he's been almost lights out. Over his last 24 innings, he's given up 4 earned runs, struck out 33, walked 10. He would have been in line for a promotion to Trenton. Clearly, San Diego likes what they saw. They had Toronto bidding against us for Headley. They wanted this guy.

He could be the Dellin Betances of 2016. By then, of course, 2014 will be a distant memory, and last night's win will be a deeper, much darker context. Today, the most terrifying outgrowth of this deal is the immediate gratification - the instant analysis that the brown-nosing NYC media will give Cashman. It's like Putin after the Olympics; he'll think he's bulletproof. This could spur an invasion of Arizona - a bigger trade of prospects, as he tries to goose a team that - no matter how bad the AL East looks - remains the virtual definition of a dud. Seriously, does anybody out there see this team winning the World Series?

I guess we should enjoy last night's victory. Because here comes the hangover.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vidal Nuno back to being Vidal Nuno

Before we nominate Cashman for a Nobel Prize, consider that:

1. The Tigers' Austin Jackson, a former Yankee farmhand, homered off Nuno.

2. In that game, Joba Chamberlain recorded his 20th hold.

3. Brendan McCarthy soon will probably go back to being Brendan McCarthy.

A cruel and joyless gang of revisionist historians has stolen the Yankees' 10,000 win celebration

Some lifeless, boring, never-had-a-woman office geeks at Baseball Reference - probably fans of the Redsock-leaning Bill James - have just rewritten their precious record books and successfully crushed all plans for Yankee jubilation over the franchise's looming 10,000th win.

These "historians" have decided to remove the 1901 and 1902 Orioles from Yankee record books. That gives the Yankees 9,879 wins overall, or 9,145, if you delete the Highlanders altogether. (As they will do the next time we get close to 10,000.) Whatever. Last week, we were closing in, at 9,992. Now, why bother? Here is their official fishy explanation.

"We discussed this at length when we did the first edition of our new encyclopedia in 2004. IIRC, the deciding factor was that the Baltimore franchise went bust during the season and was turned over to the league. After the season, the league then sold a new franchise to investors in New York City. We felt that wasn't really a relocation or a transfer; it was simply filling the gap in the league that was opened when the Orioles' franchise disintegrated. 

Got that? Sure you do. It's so crystal clear. Nothing arbitrary at all. In fact, it was translated from the original Jackie Gleasonese: "Humina-humina-humina."

What does this mean? Simple: Don't bother to look at old numbers. These joyless, office-visor-wearing sacks of lumbago won't let anybody in a Yankee cap celebrate an anticipated 10,000th win, which is what their website had been showing for the last - well - since anybody bothered to notice their stupid, meaningless, waste-of-time records.

Nope. As soon as we got within striking range, they deleted the Orioles. How much you wanna bet that six months from now, they reconsider - conclude that the '01 and '02 Orioles were legit - restoring the victories and giving the Yankees 10,09 wins.

As for anyone who was planning that 10,000th Yankee win party, ha-ha. Well, here's the deal: We at IIHIIFIIc were going to throw a parade along the Canyon of Heroes like nothing the city of New York has ever seen. We were going to have a giant George Steinbrenner balloon. We were going to have a mile-long march of celebrity Yankee fans, including a robot Nelson Mandela. Now? Forget it. It's off. We'll never do it. Why? Those nearsighted, hunched-over, pants-piddling, acne-chinned, 350-pound, swollen-footed, chair-breaking, inflatable-doll-girlfriend twerps have ruined everything... for everyone.  I'm glad they'll never get laid.

A .500 team is a mathematical work of art and a perfect equilibrium of nature

Last night, in scenic Your Name Here Stadium, I watched the Pawtucket Pawsocks beat the Syracuse Chiefs 4-3, with a strange concept on display. Imagine a Triple A game played by young players on their way up, rather than old-timers in their final incarnations. Over the last 20 years of monitoring Columbus and Scranton - the Yankees antique attic for used parts and memorabilia - practically all I've ever seen were nostalgia re-enactments, teams larded with the Wally Whitehursts and Russell Canzlers of yesteryear. That's the Yankee way.

The Redsocks can find hope for Mookie Betts. Meanwhile, the Yankees trot out Adonis Garcia.

Aw, shoot... if I sound negative, it's because I ruined an otherwise perfect night by tuning into the Sunoco Broadcast Booth on the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Grief. If you popped in during the eighth inning, you knew in seconds that the world had suffered a terrible tragedy. Several times, John started recapping Derek Jeter's unbearable rally-killing DP, then halted, preferring to sell the snake oil of a million dollar payout from Celino & Barnes. Suzyn couldn't save him. She was chewing on her lip, buttoned down with mortification. They were watching their team squander another brief hot streak by playing minor league ball. They saw the reality: A .500 team will do horrible things in order to stay at .500.

Listen: Boston and Tampa have both won five in a row. A week ago, John was crowing about those sad teams selling off John Lester or David Price at dramatic discounts, with the Yankees having their pick. Now, we should prepare for the whooshing sound, as one or both teams overtake us. Moreover, we should prepare for a long-term plague, because they will pass us with young players, the kind we would trade for Cliff Lee or somebody, anybody, named Chase - be it Headley or Utley - who cares?

The saddest part here, as The Master repeatedly stressed, is that Jeter had been playing well lately. Last night, we were reminded that 40 is 40, and it doesn't leave... and that Kelly Johnson is a nightmare at first... and that Brian Roberts will never regained his glove... that Zelous is Yangervis... and that Matt Thornton would be long gone by now, if not for his two-year contract. Without Mark Teixeira, the Yankees are a Triple A club, and not a particularly exciting one - like Pawtucket or Syracuse - to watch. A .500 team is a work of mathematical art, like one of those miniature wave machines on your desk. It always gives back the wins of last week. It's too bad we're playing the worst team in the AL. Because it's our turn to lose. And don't stand in the our way, when it's our turn to lose.

Monday, July 21, 2014

This Is Another One Of Those " Go To Bed Early " Games

We could all tell that the kid did not have his best stuff tonight.

Flash and O'Neil were both talking about it early.  And his pitch count was way up there by the top of the 6th inning.

Nerves from his Yankee stadium debut can be a culprit.  His three errors caused a lot of those extra pitches.  He was shaky and it showed.

Still, he soldiered on against a team in the toilet, and held the Rangers to 1 run.

But Girardi blew it, big time.

The kid had still given the Yankees 5 2/3 innings of 1 run ball.  He could not get the third out in the sixth and should have been pulled after the base hit up the middle.  That way, he is guaranteed not to take a loss.  A reward for gutting it out on a lousy day….primarily because his own defense failed him.

But he held up his end of pitching, despite endless 3-2 counts and fouled off pitches.  He was at the 100 mark, anyway.  Time to take a bow and think of a better day.

So what does Joe do?  He leaves him in the game  so he can walk the next batter, and then brings in the asshole lefty from Boston who always screws up.

I look up, after Derek hit into a predictable rally killing, game killing, bases -loaded double play ( which I correctly predicted ) the previous inning, and it is 4-2 Rangers.  Clearly, now that Tex is hurt again, we aren't scoring more than 2 runs tonight.

We had a shot at a 2-1 win, but Girardi stayed too long with a kid who was tiring, and did not have his best stuff anyway.  What would have been a positive experience, and a major relief for the kid ( leaving the game with the Yankees ahead 2-1, despite his three errors), now becomes a nightmarish experience and, for sure, a loss. I'll be surprised if he ever plays well again at the stadium.

The Rangers were 4-24 in their last 28 games.

Girardi will make them well again.

Really a terrible job of decision-making tonight.  This one is on you.

A plan for the Yankees to obtain Cliff Lee


Wait until he is a free agent in 2016, and then sign him.

A plan for the Yankees to obtain John Lester


Next winter, sign him.

Open letter to Brian Cashman: Here's how the Yankees can obtain David Price

Dear Madam or Sir:

The Gammonites are calling for you to get David Price. No problemo.

Here's how you can do it.

In 2015, when he is a free agent, call him up on the phone. First, you'll need his phone number. You can try the Internet. If that doesn't work, get a phone book, or call someone who may know him and have the number. When you call him, have your secretary say, "Holding on a call from Mister Brian Cashman." This will impress him. It would be nice if your secretary has a sexy voice.

When you get him on the phone, tell him what a fan you are. Tell him how impressed you have always been by him. Be the way you are with Hal Steinbrenner. Sweet-talk him. Get him to meet you for lunch. Take him to a Broadway play. (Not Cabaret or Cats.) Over a big, juicy steak, offer him a big, juicy contract. Sign him.

You will have obtained David Price, the Steinbrenners won't even notice the missing money, and the Yankees will not have given up any young players.

Patience, Grasshopper, patience.


The CC Sabathia Fairy Tale

The good news filtered out slowly rom the CC Sabathia medical team.  Then, the man himself took center stage and regailed us with his joy.

He would have normal knee surgery, just costing him ( and the Yankees ) the 2014 season.  I'm not going to wax on about he could have saved us a lot of trouble by noting the problem in spring training, and having the surgery then.

No.  Like so many of these prima donnas, he had to valiantly, and uselessly, soldier on well into the year.  Then, the string of lousy starts, the MPH's off of his fastball, the inevitable" tweak," the trip to Alabama for a conference with Dr. Andrews, the bull shit shot of something into the knee ( magic potion?) and, finally, the announcement that he would have knee surgery knocking him out for the remainder of 2014, and some of 2015.

Here is the Fairy Tale:  "  Thank God I don't have to have micro-fracture repair of my knee, which could knock me out until 2016, or worse."

Yes you will.

It will come after the endless rehab stories on your recovery from this surgery.  After the progression from soft-tossing, to pitching from a  mound.  Then, a few innings in Tampa against high school kids.

In June or July, we'll hear of a few innings pitched in Trenton.  The results won't be good but, as long as the knee holds up, no one will be concerned about the statistics.  Finally, CC arrives at the stadium.

CC then has a mediocre first start in front of 50,000 fans who gathered for the bobble head promotion, and gives up 5 runs ( 4 earned ) in 5 innings.  But comes out of it feeling good.  His fastball topped at 92-93.  But the knee did not flare up.  He is glowing in the locker room interview with Kim what's her name.

HIs next start might even be better.  After that, however, he is lifted in the third inning.

The micro-fracture is back.  Career-ending surgery looms, though no one speaks of that as a given.  Meanwhile, the Yankee's starting rotation is screwed up again.

My message;  all CC has done is figure out a way to postpone the inevitable, and pretend he will be coming back in great form.

He is done.

And it will happen exactly as I portrayed it.

Make book on it.

Yankee fans jubilant over incredible clutch, walk-off pop-up

Clearly, our long nightmare of failure with runners on base has ended.

Every Team With A Negative Run Differential Is Below .500

Except, inexplicably, one.

Keep drinking, Duque. Stick to a good mezcal, the next day is a lot less painful.

Special tip o' the glass this morning to the Mets, who now stand as the only team with a positive differential that is below .500. 

As the Master might sing, New York, New York...its' a helluva town.

Darkest before the dawn? In mere seconds yesterday, John Sterling bounced from inhuman despair to heavenly rapture

Contrary to news reports, the NY Yankees did not win yesterday: The Reds simply lost. In the ninth inning, the Evils were executing a classic choke moment - runner on a third, no outs, cleanup hitters up - and Mark Teixeira fanned. This prompted John Sterling to yelp, "Strike three, what else?"

Yep, that's right. Two little words. Two sharpened knives. John couldn't hold back. What. Else? Why would anyone expect a run? What else? Of course. Strike three. And when Brian McCann popped up, you could feel the air whistle from The Master's lungs, because he knew what was coming: We'd strand Ellsbury and bring in David Huff, or the increasingly pitched-out Adam Warren, and lose 3-2, or 11-2, or something equally horrible, an abomination upon humanity. The end was here. What else?

Then the Reds went rogue. The ball droppped, and The Master vaulted from his pit of Stygian pain to the summit of ecstasy, crowing over out chance to move within three of Baltimore! Of course, this was no walk-off win - it was a limp-off - and until our RBI men start RBIing, we need dropped infield popups to win, and good luck with that. But to The Master, it didn't matter.

Yesterday, he endured a lifetime of pain and pleasure. Let me recap a few moments. For example, John:

1. Condemned the unnamed news report by "a woman" in "a certain newspaper" (the one with which John and Suzyn share the fifth inning) that claimed the Yankees are gouging ticket prices on Derek Jeter Day. The Master expertly explained the economics of secondary markets, noting that folks have a right to do "whatever they want" with their tickets - and suggesting it's always a good idea idea to have a few extra, in case something quadruples their value. A good tip for fans looking to make ends meet.

2. Ended - once and for all! - the needless blah-blah-blah over Adam Wainwright's grooving the pitch to Derek Jeter in the All Star Game. John watched several MLB games over the weekend, and he couldn't count the number of pitches that were "down the middle of the plate." They weren't always blasted to right for a double. So it happens to Jeter once? What's the big deal?

3. Once again bestowed upon Jeet an "EL CAPITAN" home run cry for an RBI. When Jeter does hit a home run, what will John do?

4. Remarked that Zelous Wheeler's brothers are all named "John, Bob and Bill." (Note: Suzyn didn't chuckle. She's probably heard the joke 50 times.) 

5. Said he "cannot wait" to see what Brian Cashman does next!

6. Stressed that he loves what the kids are doing for this Yankee rotation

7. Noted that Dellin Betances is a human being, not a robot. Nobody is perfect.

8. Expressed excitement that Brian McCann has raised his average above .240.

9. Has not given up hope that Michael Pineda will help this Yankee team.

10. Could not believe that, despite the tribulations of the first half, the Yankees are still in it. Three out in the loss column.

All we need are a few more dropped popups. Your move, Texas Rangers!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2 and 0 since the drunk blog, baby, 2 and 0!

Undefeated, untied. I should drink forever. The Yankees would never lose. John and Suzyn would never feel pain.

Heard them late yesterday, waxing about the Yankee offense. If these big Yankee bats have finally woken up... John was stoned, laughing at everything. Happy happy happy. Can't write more. Got to go throw up.

(Back later.)

Feel better now. 2 and oh, baby. 2 and o. This is it, folks. The Yankees are making their run. It's now or never. We either win 8 of 10 and get back into this thing, or we kiss the season goodbye. Most important game of the year? Today. This is it.