Sunday, May 1, 2016

Deja Vu Again

I turn on the TV.

It is the top of the third inning.

We are down 2-0.

I do my calculation on the probability that the Yankees can come back to tie, and then win the game.

I turn off the TV.

How bad is it? Yesterday's minor league game in Tampa was called due to Beyonce

They postponed it because Beyonce was doing a concert nearby.

The critics are raving over this talented Yankee team

NJ.com: "... most embarrassing loss yet." 

Axisa: "... a new low every night..."

Post: "... the very worst kind of NY team."

ESPN: "... no signs of life..."

Girardi: "Enough's enough." 

Trump: "... thugs and criminals... some are professionals..."

Suzyn: "... oh boy..."

John Boehner: "... Lucifer in pinstripes..."

IT IS HIGH: "... disgusting, puss-filled, larvae turd of a team..."

Nietzsche: "... God is dead... but not as dead as these guys..."

John: "... I've been to the Hebrew Home; it's like a college campus..."



Saturday, April 30, 2016

A good book with an interesting Yankees connection

I'm about one-third of the way through a book that deserves to be on your shelf next to "O Holy Cow." 

It's called "The Only Rule Is It Has to Work," by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, two self-described statheads besotted by sabermetrics, who last year or the year before acted as GMs of the Sonoma Stompers in a podunk independent (very) minor league.

I've never been a huge fan of the stat-crazed crowd, but something about the whole idea has always intrigued me. Baseball is historically all about numbers, so there's a connection there I can relate to. Plus, it's kind of nerdy, and I guess I am, too. On top of that, "Moneyball" was a great freaking movie.

"The Only Rule" is important not just for a look into the heads of two of the biggest statters out there, nor just for the way it dissects what they did and what worked and what didn't, nor for the way it casually tells you things that are happening in the majors that maybe you haven't heard about.

No, you have to read this because Ben Lindbergh was a stat-crunching intern for the New York Yankees in 2009 and knows a bit about how Cashman's office works. Not that he goes into great detail about it, but let's just say you can see into Cash's brain a bit better because of the reflected light.

The Yankees are one of a handful of teams that have embraced statistical analysis in a big, big way, and since 2010 they haven't exactly been poster children for it. Girardi's little black binders are not an accident or a personal quirk. They're likely an organizational mandate. Cashman's trash heap shopping? You got it. Shades of Billy Beane. And you have to wonder if the signings of McCann, Headley, Ellsbury, Beltran and even Didi and Castro were somehow inspired by number crunching (gone wrong, in most cases).

Anyway, if you're one of the small minority of Americans who still reads books, even if it's on a Kindle, check it out. The weird stuff the Yankees do--you know, the stuff that has all of us shaking our heads in disbelief--isn't an accident, at least a lot of it, I'm guessing. It makes me wonder, though...how can they do what they're doing so badly?


“I really believe we are going to bust out of this. We haven’t yet, and I know I keep saying it. But I really believe in my heart that these guys are going to hit and we are going to score a lot of runs.”

Joe Girardi
April 29, 2016
His final season as Yankee manager

Deja Vu All Over Again

Last night I turned on the game.

It read, 2-2.

I calculated the probability of the Yankees scoring again.

I turned off the TV.

New Yankee hope: Phil Coke

Along with the return of Nick Swisher, Yankee fans can feel bolstered by the knowledge that Phil Coke has shaved his graying beard and is now a lug nut in our starting rotation at Trenton.

Last night, Phil - now age 33 - pitched 5 innings and gave up only 1 run, which was unearned. He is "stretched out," having pitched in an independent league.

In case you're keeping score, last year Phil pitched a total of 12 innings for Toronto and the Cubs, compiling an ERA of 5.68. In his five years with Detroit, after the Yankees dealt him in the Curtis Granderson/Ian Kennedy/Austin Johnson three-way, Phil was a serviceable bullpen lefty, with a an ERA of 4.25.

Welcome home, Phil.

And then the bullpen caved in...

There is a certain glow to a dead team. It's like a creaky cellar door in the haunted house. It beckons you to investigate. Everybody in the theater is yelling, "NO! DON'T GO DOWN THERE!" but you do, anyway. Why not? It's only midnight, you're alone, there's a psychopath loose, and your flashlight keeps failing... so, of course! You go down to see what's there.

Last night, that's how I felt watching the Yankees. My wife was yelling at me: "Why? Why are you doing this? Do you any self-respect?" Of course, she was right. Still, I needed to go. I needed to see for myself. What if someone was still alive down there?

Well, there's nobody's alive down there. It's a cellar full of carcasses, most of which are signed through 2017. Our best hope is that, come July, somebody goes in with a gas can and Bic lighter. We're not just the worst team in NYC. We're the worst team between Atlanta and Nova Scotia. (I'm betting we'd lose to the Syracuse Chiefs in a seven-game series.) And still, I watched...

And it was so perfect, so clean, so primal. 

We led early on, as we always do.

We let a struggling pitcher off the hook, as we always do.

We let them back in the game, as we always do.

We suddenly stopped hitting, as we always do.

And finally... we found a new way to lose, as we always do.

Joe Girardi - our "Lucifer in the flesh" - says it's only a matter of time before this team hits. And he's right. One of these days, they'll score 21 runs. Everybody will pad their numbers, so they can't be singled out on the Jumbotron. But when it matters, everybody disappears. This is a ghost team, and who cares which door we open? They all lead to the cellar, and it's really dark down there.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yankee barf machine already pushing 2017

It looks like a Met year. Today, the Gray Lady anoints them as NYC's better team, and the way the Yanks are floundering, you half expect them to add Carly Fiorina to the ticket. (I think the signing of Nick Swisher was the baseball equivalent of Cruz adding Carly.) This weekend, we hit Boston, which is already trying to look "presidential." Can Suzyn play the Woman Card?

It looks ugly. In mid-May, Aroldis Chapman's woman-choking, garage-shooting ban ends. Unfortunately, El Chapo is at the wrong end of the pitching staff. With him, Miller and Dellin, we have the nuts, chocolate sauce and cherry - but it's still a banana split without ice cream.

But I am here to say the Yankee propaganda mill is alive and well. In Scranton, manager Al Pedrique is explaining away Aaron Judge's less-than-encouraging month of April.

"He has no issues when they throw him a fastball inside," Pedrique said. "His hands are quick enough that he's going to be able to drive the ball to the left-center gap all over the park. It's a matter of time until he feels comfortable where he can do something with those pitches middle away and drive it the other way.

A matter of time. Unfortunately, time takes too long, sometimes. Judge is 24 - no phenom anymore, in his second tour of Triple A. His average has dipped to .267 - small sample size - but he's striking out at an intolerable 33 percent rate. I'm not giving up on him, but if Judge burns another year in coal country, waiting for Beltran to mulch, we're looking at another Yankee prospect on the wrong side of 25.

Today, the hype apparatus is selling a new Luis Severino. His name is Domingo Acevido, who is 6'7" and sure fills a cab. The new head of the farm system, Gary Denbo says.

"He looks like he's going to move quickly through the organization."

(Jeez. I can remember when Denbo was a prospect with Cinncinati. If anybody understands being stuck in a farm system, he does.) Acevido is 22 with a 2.21 ERA in four starts. Supposedly, he once hit 103 on the radar gun. If so, they better move him fast and get some of those bullets, before the ghost of Tommy John arrives to claim him.

Sadly, there is no breakout prospect in Trenton or Scranton who could generate buzz. There is a pitcher at Trenton - Dietrich Enns - on a 23-inning scoreless streak. But he turns 25 next month. Baseball America says of Enns:

Never rated among the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, Enns is pitching his way into consideration, despite pedestrian stuff. 

Yep. All he does is get guys out. Generally, Yankee scouts discount performance, trusting their superior instincts, which are evidenced in the team's incredible success rate at developing players. Do I sound cynical?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

To supplement your Ken Phelps doll

For whatever it's worth, there is also the Dodgers Barbie and a Cubs Barbie. No Redsock or Met Barbie.

We still lead in the Barbie AL East.

Last Night, I Finally Did Something Right....

This may be my shortest post ever;

Last night, I turned on the TV to see it was a 2-2 game.  I said to myself, " we only score 2, so this game is over."

I changed channels to watch, "Naked and Afraid."  Two assholes attempting to survive in the jungles of Guatemala for 21 days.  No clothes, no food, no water.  Usually, with a machete and a map.

A man & a woman, by the way.  Sort of.  Thank 6th Avenue that clothes were invented.

I concluded that watching people get eaten by bugs and vomiting, is better than watching the Yankees try to survive a 2-2 tie.

No more Yankee idiocy.

Beached boys: The two run-run-run, the two run-run

The Master is wrong. You can predict baseball.

It's easy. All you need to do is wait for the Bronx Boredoms to score two runs, and then announce, "That's our show, thanks for coming, Miami Beach is the greatest audience in the world! Goonight, everybody!"

Listen: It's not even May 1, and I'm ready to shout MAYDAY. I am already sick of this team, this season, and this insufferable, Godot-like wait for some ray of hope. Every team we face unveils a 21-year-old rising star, the likes of whom - were he a Yankee - would generate apocalyptic 24-7 coverage by the YES mush machine. Instead, we're supposed to get excited about reclaiming scrap heap projects that have been kicked to the curb by their previous teams.

No. I take it back. We're supposed to sit happily and wait for A-Rod, Tex, CC, Headley, Ellsbury, Nova, et al, to start producing - even though it will only mean short term benefits if they do. It will mean we will justify burning another three months, as each climbs toward his concrete ceiling, which has been steadily caving in due to age and injuries. How many HRs does A-Rod hit this year? Twenty-five? With a batting average of .240? Is that our third hole DH? Each one deserves to shine in a supporting cast of emerging stars. Instead, they're packed like Syrian refugees into the same leaky boat, lost at sea and headed for collapse.

Worse, it's just so boring. The Yankees are a HR/K team in a HR/K sport. We score when someone hits a homer. Our pitcher dominate - lots of Ks - except for the occasional mistakes, which fly out of the park. Joe Girardi blames the over shift. The fans simply mourn the death of the adaptive player, the Lou Pinella or Roy White. They say you can't teach old dogs new tricks. At some point, you gotta put the dog down. Two runs a game. Last place. Mayday. Mayday. Mayday...

"Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia show signs of life in another loss"

And that, friends, is the upbeat headline on ESPN's recap of last night's game. The gist of the column was that 2009 is a long, long time ago, but for $45 million the Yanks need Alex and CC to be as mediocre as possible this year if the team is to have a chance.

We're in last place. I know you know, and you know that I know that you know, but just to reiterate our position.

This may be the year. The 50 year symmetry.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Joe Girardi wants to ban defensive over-shifts. What other rule changes would help the Yankees?

1. No teams allowed to field players under age 30.

2. Teams can no longer bunt or hit to the opposite field.

3. All scoring must come via home runs.

4. Teams not allowed to score after the fourth inning.

5. Pitchers must allow batters to hit the way they did in 2009.

What am I missing?


John & Suzyn are going into The Hall

The New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

What? You thought it was for the Hebrew Home at Riverside?

Adam Warren is on the verge of joining the Cubs rotation

He hasn't yielded a run this year.


Not complaining about the Starlin Castro deal. But, considering all the self-congratulations the Yankees have foisted upon the fan base... just sayin.'


If I Hear One More Compliment......

.........from David Cone, or Curt Schilling about the potential, the arm strength, and the Hall-Of-Fame level output of Luis Severino, my 12 gauge is going to come out of the closet.

Seriously, as Severino was failing every test last night, Coney kept on his rant about how great this young player was going to be.  We got to watch him load the bases , with two outs, in a one run game. We got to see him walk in a run.  We got to see a bases clearing hit up the gap and, when the Rangers finally missed a pitch, the third out was registered. Mind now, this out was a mistake on Texas' part.

Now it was 6 runs on the board for Texas.  Luis just registered an "F" on all his, "Coney tests."

So this game was over in the third inning. ( Unlike Pineda, the other day, who had the game lost in the 1st inning).  So that is progress?  That is our future?  This is a player to acclaim?  This is another failure, I say.

Coney kept raving about Severino's, "90 plus change-up" ( that was off the plate for ball 4 ); and "what a great learning experience this was for the youngster" ( e.g. if he could get out of bases loaded and two outs, without letting Texas score.) I swear, when he could get the ball into the strike zone, it was a meat ball, dripping with gravy.  And Texas lit him up, every time.

When Severino needed to show his mettle, the big out didn't happen.  The out pitch didn't exist.

HIs pitch count was more than 30 in the third inning alone.  That fat guy who still pitches for the Mets is many times better than that!  Didn't we just see a 23 year old dominate the Yankees?  Luis will be 4-12.

This kid has zero command and gives me no hope at all for the future.  Maybe he can become another Dellin Bettances ( convert from starter to reliever ).   That way, if he can go the 6th inning with success, we only need starters to go 4-5 innings.  Of course, when we average 2 runs of offense per game, we need exceptional work all the time.

From now on, let's speak of him as our high prospect bum.  Just another example of Yankee public relations department, " flash and dash," but no substance.  Trade bait, whose appeal is now dirt.

 Send him to Scranton and see if he can pitch in relief.

I would rather we had Adam Warren.

Every hopeful 2016 scenario depended on Luis Severino becoming a solid pitcher. Now... ?

Barring a four-game win streak, the Bronx Boredoms will finish April with a losing record, and quite probably at the bottom of the AL East.  Thus far, no divisional power has emerged, but that will change. This weekend, we hit Fenway, where Boston has won 5 of 7. If something doesn't change, God help us.

Last night, so bleak was the Yankee outlook that John and Suzyn spent most of their time appealing to God for rain. (I wanted hail.) Early on, they recognized our only chance. When this team falls behind by six, root for earthquakes, asteroids, Hitchcocking bird attacks, whatever... just don't waste your breath rooting for a rally.

This morning, as a means of self-torture (the waterboard is broken), I looked up our "Yankee batting leaders." What a joke. Our "top hitter," Starlin Castro, is at .278 - a virtual mirror of last year's team, which was led by Beltran at .276. Castro also "leads" the team in RBIs... with 11. That ranks him 60th in MLB. Sixtieth. Right now, Beltran, Tex and A-Rod - together - have 9 HRs - as many as Bryce Harper. Each is being out-homered by Houston's Jose Altuve,.. all 5 feet 5 inches of him.

I looked it up: Chase Headley (batting .157) has as many stolen bases as Brett Gardner.

Today, eight Yankee pitchers are tied for the team lead in wins.. with one apiece. That leads to this incredible graphic on the team's pitching stats page:


Yep. CC is listed as the team "leader" in wins.

And then there is Luis Severino. Last night, he was certifiably bombed. He is now 0-3 with an ERA close to 7.00. It was the second documented torching in his brief MLB career.  Last September, in the waning days of the race, Toronto dropped six runs on him in two innings. Until then, he hadn't been cuffed around in all of 2015 - not in Trenton or Scranton. Now, in his last 10 outings - spanning the winter - he's been rocked twice.

He's 22. There's still hope - unless we learn tomorrow that something hurts. Still, hope is not easy to find with this team. We've got a five-man rotation with three question marks, and a lineup full of nothing but past glories. I can't even figure out if this is a team worth cheering... or if we're better off collapsing and trading for next year, or 2018.

When you spent the last decade vowing to upgrade your farm system and build from within - and now, the apocalypse is looming - that's a bad sign. Ah, but what do I know? I'm just a fan, looking at the stats.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On Top of Everything: A poem by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

ON TOP OF EVERYTHING
By John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman
JOHN:
Bianca Nieves of the Bronx is today’s
Yankees Radio Network ACME’s Market
Home Run Payoff Contestant.
Pitch is inside, which is a mouthful,
but at ACME that’s a good thing.

And Bianca will win a one hundred dollar
ACME Markets gift card for every home run hit.
Two one to Andrus, one out, no one on,
Bottom of the second, one nothing Texas,
Pitch grounded foul at home plate, two and two.


SUZYN:

And when Severino struck out Moreland,
that was Sevy’s first strikeout of the game.
And Winthrop University Hospital reminds you
that they strike out cancer with their
Cyberknife technology. Winthrop University Hospital:
Your health means everything.

JOHN:

We’re on top of everything.
 

April 26, 2016
Arlington, Texas

Eovaldi eovolves; Kaprielian kapitulates

Last night, the Bronx Boredoms finally came up with a wake-up pill for fans and a reason for the Comcast corpos to curse the darkness:

Flirt with a no-hitter. Take that, Beyonce!

(By the way: When Joggie Cano watches Beyonce's new video, in which she smashes storefronts over Jay-Z's infidelity - with a baseball bat, no less - do you think he has second-thoughts about having thrown in with the Cash-Is-King "sports agent" and loped off to Seattle, home to the warning track out?)  

Wait, yes... the no-hitter! Last night, Nathan Eovaldi nearly threw one, again proving he's great when he doesn't suck. (The Yankees have three Great Or Suck pitchers: Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Eovaldi.) I'd started to think of making Eovaldi the fourth rail in the Yankee bullpen stopper collection, with Dellin, Miller and El Chapo. Now, he's secure in the rotation for at least a month. In the 2016 Yankee meritocracy, one quality start wins you at least a month of starts.

But the daily downer is that 22-year-old James Kaprielian - who River Avenue follows with a widget, the Refsnyderian Curse - pinged something in his elbow and will spend the next two weeks in the milk bath. Publicly, we knew Kaprielian was 16 months from the Bronx. Privately, we wanted to see him this August. Now, we might not see him for three years, or ever - the Manny Banuelos Experience - which leaves us with Ian Clarkin - age 21, pitching in Tampa - as our last "blue chip" pitching prospect. (He's thrown 23 innings, 2-1, with 2.35 ERA.) Does he inherit Kaprielian's widget?

What's wrong with us? Sunday, the Tampa Rays unveiled 23-year-old Blake Snell, the latest in a conga line of young arms. Isn't it time to ask what the Rays are doing on the other side of Tampa? Are they drinking from a different water system? Should we check the pipes for lead? Can't we send a hot secret agent to infiltrate a Rays bar and pry loose their secrets?

Finally, we won last night with three runs. We have a three-run attack, which usually means three HRs. Generally, teams with anemic offenses play small ball. Remember the old LA Dodgers with Maury Wills and Junior Gilliam, and the famous "Dodger Homer?" A guy draws a walk, steals second, gets bunted to third, scores on a sac fly. We have the "Yankee Single." A guy homers, nobody on, and that's our single run of the game.

Still in last, but Baltimore has now lost 6 of its last 10. It's a .500 division. Boring, unless the line score says no hits.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A poem by John and Suzyn

SOLO SHOT

By John Sloss Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

JOHN:
Here is the three one to Ellsbury.
Swung on, hit high in the air to right field.
That ball is high...
        It is far...
               It is… gone!
Into the Tiger Stadium lower deck!
Jacoby hits one!
He Ells-buries it in the right field seats!
O, everything is Jake with Jacoby!
He homers to give the Yankees
a one nothing lead.
SUZYN:
And that’s a big load off of his chest,
his first home run, he’s got a big smile,
did you hear the fans here?
Is everybody from New York
in this building?
There’s not a lot of them,
but there’s an awful lot
of New Yorkers in here.
JOHN:
Sounds it, huh?

SUZYN:
Solo Shot, your automatic cameraman!
No standing on the sidelines for hours,
pointing a camera.
Solo Shot points the camera automatically.
Visit Solo Shot dot com to learn more.

Yes, that was a solo shot.

April 25, 2016
Yankees v. Rangers, third inning
Globe Life Stadium, Arlington, Texas
(not Tiger Stadium)

The Wrong People Are Getting Hurt !!



The day after Brad Pinder met with Dr. Andrews, the Yankees scheduled another office visit for our top pitching prospect, and recent number 1 draft pick, Jim Kaprelian.


The official word is that an MRI saw some swelling in his elbow and the medical community has suggested, " rest and plenty of water."

So the process extends and prolongs.  Sometimes, a prospect becomes an old guy with very little tread on his tires by the time this game of wait and see ends.

It is my strong gut feeling that Kaprelian will soon be asking for the , " two for one," discount at Dr. Andrews' clinic.

And these serious career setbacks are happening to all our young, developing players.

What about the old and slow?

Gimme a break!

Young Alphonso

It's time for your Yankees Indian Point Nuclear Reactor Power Report, brought to you by Indian Point Nuclear Reactor

A glowing review. 

Fourteen others tied with "0."

Get to know your immediate future

Lane Adams is 26 years old and briefly played in the majors for Kansas City in 2014. A strapping, good-looking lad (sorry, girls, he's taken!), Lane is hitting a more than respectable .286 for Scranton/WilkesBarre/
Old Forge/Taylor/Moosic/Duryea/Avoca/Dupont, with a nimble .348 OBP and .333 slugging percentage. Although he trails the team's leading slugger, Nick Swisher, who has posted a .382 BA with 2 HRs in 34 at-bats, or catcher Gary Sanchez's 27 total bases in 52 ABs, Lane is a feared competitor who is willing to push his 6'3", 220-pound frame if it can make a difference to the team. 

Smooth and slick in the outfield, the fleet-footed Lane has handled 13 putouts flawlessly for the RailRiders and notched an assist with his howitzer of a right arm. (The site MLB Trade Rumors is high on his "strong defensive chops"!) He is coming off what is arguably his best year ever, hitting .298 with a solid 12 HRs in 97 games for the double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

On the personal front, Lane describes himself on Twitter as "Outfielder. Oklahoman. Slugging % enthusiast," and a lover of "all things Real Estate and Biomechanics." So he'll appreciate the New York-area property market and be able to put his biomechanical skills to work in the crowded Yankees training room. A class act, he tweeted his gratitude to the KC Royals when they released him, and is excited to be with the Yankees organization. He still follows his alma mater Red Oak High School basketball team, Class B state champs for 2016.

RailRiders fans may have seen Lane zipping toward the park from the player parking lot on his scooter, just another example of his happy-go-lucky sense of humor. (On Twitter, he joked that Marco Rubio wasn't a good candidate because you have to manually hold down the handle when you pump gas in Florida--well, it made us laugh!)

A good guy, smart player and devoted husband, Lane Adams keeps an ear cocked toward the clubhouse phone for the call he knows is coming -- along with another shot at the Big Show. Even outside of Northwest Arkansas, he is truly a "Natural" destined for Yankees pinstripes. 



This is what catastrophe looks like

Well, we are here...

Our nose is pressed to the microwave window, the power is on full, and the aluminum foil is starting to spark.

Yesterday, A-Rod diddled an oblique. He follows Aaron Hicks, who jammed a shoulder. That's what the Tower of Power is telling us. Of course, the Yankees so comfortably lie about injuries that nobody - not even the breathless, lapdog courtiers of YES - believe them anymore. The two bats who were going to save us from lefty pitching - they're out, and it's still April.

Last winter, the Retrieval Empire boasted two stockpiles of young talent. First, was the list of outfielders at Scranton, which would rescue us when Gardner,  Ellsbury and Beltran inevitably went down. We had Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Ben Gamel, Aaron Judge and Jake Cave - so many OFs that they overflowed to Trenton.

Gone.

Right now, replacements for A-Rod and Hicks have boiled down to the aging, creaky, Kardashianesque Nick Swisher - who in the last two years hasn't hit higher than .208 - and/or Lane Adams, a 26-year-old career minor league hubcap. Everybody else is hurt, left-handed or not ready. (Judge fans 31 percent of the time.) We're already turning over rocks. And it's still April.

Our other talent overload was the "Scranton Shuttle," the young arms who would yo-yo back and forth, (there's a reason the team is called the Railriders) whenever the bullpen went poof. We had a pile. Not anymore. It looks like Brandon Pinder is following Nick Rumbelow and Jacob Lindgren to surgery, while Tyler Olsen is getting relentlessly hammered, and Scranton is so thin with pitchers that yesterday, it trotted out 28-year-old Tyler Cloyd and 29-year-old Richard Blier, to throw the entirety of a 7-4 loss. And it's still April.

As we wait for Aroldis Chapman, it's time to wonder where this team will be after the next nine games, all on the road, against Texas, Boston and Baltimore. We can't hit lefties. We can't hit situationally. We have one consistent starting pitcher. The injuries are just beginning. Nobody in the minors is breaking out. And it's April, still April, dear God, it's still April.

This is what catastrophe looks like.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

" Captain, We Are Taking On Water....."

The Yankee comeback got de-railed today, and the pitching of Michael Pineda was, shall we say, negative?

One has to wonder;  If Michael Pineda gives up more homers in five innings, than Jesus hits all year in the minors of majors, did we win the trade?

If Michael tags the Yankees with a loss after one inning of work, is it better having him on the field in the Bronx or having Jesus in Buffalo somewhere?  I mean, if Nick Swisher had pitched, the Yankees likely would have done better.

My point here is that having someone on a team can, sometimes, be worse than not having a player on your team.

Pineda is being paid millions, right?  Guaranteed millions, no matter how he performs?

If having him, say, in Florida instead of NYC meant that the team got more wins than if he was pitching for us, isn't it, " good baseball," to move him to Florida?  Or Nigeria?  Or to go salmon fishing in the Yemen?

In other words, if the guy you have ( Pineda) does more harm to your club than the guy you don't have does to anyone, aren't you worse off?

I'm just trying to re-start the debate.  I am thinking we lost this trade.

By the way, we got a run today.  Oh, and Alex pulled on oblique muscle.  Oh, and one of our Scranton shuttle guys ( Brad Pinder?  Bad Pinder? ) gets , " The Dr. Andrews visit," tomorrow.

Oh, and that Hicks/ Nicks guy is going to have serious shoulder problems.  This is not a 4-5 day thing.

I say bring up that kid who hit really well last year at Scranton, and whose name no one can ever recall.

Who needs to watch Judge strike out three times, while we are hoping he can be good?

Just Piñata being Piñata


5 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs, all earned. 4 walks and only 3 strikeouts.


First Sterling poem of 2016:

(Submitted by Mr. Layman)

BY BOOK OR CROOK

By John Sloss Sterling

The Yankees,
By book or by crook,
Must score this run;
They've loaded the bases

On two walks
And a catcher's interference,
Which you don't see
for months!



April 23, 2016
Yankee Stadium
Tampa v. Yankees


REMEMBER: IF YOU HEAR SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

For posterity... Gardy's yardy party

A starting gate comparison of Yoan Moncada to the top Yankee prospects

In case you are interested...

The one that got away - Yoan Moncada - is hitting .357 with 13 stolen bases for Boston's advanced Single A team in the Carolina League. Moncada is 20 and playing 3B. He has no HRs on the season. It's too bad the Yankees didn't sign him, but - hey - Hal Steinbrenner just didn't have the money. There's nothing you can do... if you just don't have the money.

For comparison sake, our top hitter thus far in advanced Single A is Mike Ford, a 23-year-old 1B, who is hitting .371 with two home runs at Tampa. Our second best producer, statistically, in Tampa is Billy Fleming, a 23-year-old secondbaseman. He is batting .357, no HRs. Both are a bit old for their levels.

Our top hitter at Double A is Jose Rosario, a 24-year-old 2B. He is batting .310.

At Scranton, Aaron Judge is hitting .302. He's 23. He has 2 HRs.

In low single A, our leading hitter is Trey Amburgey, a 21-year-old outfielder. He is hitting .327. He has a home run.

Certainly, the season will be long enough for several Yankee prospects to emerge. But thus far, nobody is turning heads like Moncada. It's a shame the Yankees couldn't afford him. But that's what happens when you have no money, right?



Watched Swish and Aaron Judge play yesterday in Syracuse and... hmmm...

What can be said about one game? Nine silly innings. Three stupid hours. Not even a small sample size. More an eency-weency sample molecule. There is nothing to say. One game. Screw it boys, we'll get 'em tomorrow! Right?

Let's hope.

Yesterday, in Syracuse - winner of 2015-16 Golden Snowball - we saw the leviathan: Tall as the wall in right field, the gigantic Aaron Judge came to play at the city's famed Your Name Here Stadium. And that's where the story turns ugly: He fanned swinging three times - once on a pitch in his eyes - and popped up harmlessly in the fourth at bat. Each time, Judge swung mightily, with long, buttery, unraveling strokes, sending thick waves of air in the direction of Canada. It was not pretty.

Meanwhile, Nick Swisher patrolled first base like the ghost of Dick Stuart. Ground balls went by him, under him and through him. The official scorer - a cousin? - awarded Swish only one error. That was a gift basket from the Syracuse Up-Downtowners. He deserved three. At one point, it almost seemed Swisherian brain-lock - he batted down a ball, couldn't pick it up, and pretzel-ed himself into sort of a backwards semi-cartwheel. The crowd enjoyed it. Very entertaining. It led to two runs.

OK, it's just one stupid, ridiculous snapshot of a game, right? Certainly, we all understood that Swisher needs a few innings at first base. And Aaron Judge is an emerging project who - get this - is still hitting .303... not too shabby.

But they didn't look good, folks. Maybe today.

By the way, Gary Sanchez smacked two hits, including a double. And Rob Refsnyder still technically exists, though he now plays third-base and is hitting .200. (That's 41 points higher than Chase Headley, but don't get me started...)