Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Slide Begins

The Yanks are falling off the mountain.

No one could come up with a big play today.

Tying run on third, one out, and we do zilch.

What a waste of a day.

 One more false step.

The Abyss awaits.

I Give Up. Montgomery Sucks.

The "X" Factor

Manager Girardi is, once again, over-thinking the issue.

He has put out a, " get away day, " line-up that has practically zero chance.

1.  Gardy and Jacoby should never be in the line-up together, unless:  it is an AL game and Jacoby is the DH.

2.  Hicks should play every god-damned day.

3.  The back-up catcher is getting some work.  That is fine, but do not expect him to hit.

 In fact, I am pretty sure he will go back to Scranton ( once Sanchez can play ) without getting his first major league hit.  I watched him in spring training and, once the pitchers became "real "
( i.e. major league level not "A" level invitees ), he hit not a lick.

4.  So, as this line-up is constituted, Girardi has signed off on today's game as a, "L," and is simply hoping that I am right about Monty ( he pitches 7 innings of shut-out ball ); that we scratch across a single run; that Bird breaks out and contributes to the scoring.

Really lousy odds, Joe.

Stop Worrying About Ivan

This is Pittsburgh not Moscow.  Ivan and his death needles are overseas, for the time being.

We have Monty going for us today.  I keep thinking he is wearing Andy Petitte's number, but I could be wrong about that.

So what?  He pitches like him.  He could emerge as a rookie of the year candidate.  Imagine that, a quality, young starting pitcher from the Yankee farm system?.

This dude will have a good day, and Ivan Nova will crap his pants when Aaron Judge appears at the plate.  That 116 MPH, head-level, come-backer will discombobulate his rhythm, and he'll be the Nova we recognize.

Everyone relax.

We've got this one.

P.S. Anybody notice that Torreyes had 4 hits yesterday?  I mean, this guy is a spark plug.  I see more and more Rizzuto in him.  And he can, " pick it, " as they used to say about me ( no ugly , 4th grader comments needed).  Didi should stay away for a while longer.  Return, say, when Sanchez is 100%.

The game's outcome today ( my confidence ), of course, mandates a line-up that does not include Gardy leading off, followed by Ellsbury.  Today, if Joe has a brain ( sorry, many know the answer to this already ), Aaron Hicks will play and Jacoby will sit.  Or play first.

 Okay, Bird will have his second " breakout " game today.  He is starting to make solid contact which would be great if he were still in little league.

Just finished my breakfast coffee, and the sun has just crested the yardarm so it must be time to turn on the game.

The full year of bipolar trauma experienced in yesterday's win

April games should be forgettable, almost meaningless, when compared to the grinding immensity of the six months. Who cares about April? We should accept each outcome with a grain of salt - not a line of crystal meth the length of an adult anaconda. Still, yesterday's win inspired a range of primal emotions that can usually be found only in Nicholas Cage movies. For example, my Cage moments...

Third inning, down 3-0, still hitless: "Why do I bother? Why did I think this team had potential? We'll get get swept... by Pittsburgh! Fucking Pittsburgh! Thank you, Starlin Castro, thank you for dropping that pop-up last night. You ended our season, you killed us. Now, we're getting shut out. We're getting no-hit. We'll drop two in a row, and then tomorrow, Ivan Nova will pitch his revenge game, we won't score, and then we'll be swept by Boston - six straight losses, negating the win streak, putting us back at .500 - and then we'll lose to Baltimore, and we should start cleaning house... now. Right now! Trade Headley. Trade Castro. Trade them all. WHY DID I THINK ANYTHING GOOD COULD HAPPEN? WHAT WAS I THINKING? I HOPE THIS GUY N0-HITS US. IT'LL SERVE US RIGHT. WHY DO I BOTHER?"

Top of the sixth, up 5-3: "Starlin Castro! Three run shot! Thank you, Starlin Castro - unbelievable. Sixth comeback of the season - in only April. Six times. Last year, it was probably August before we notched our sixth comeback. This team never quits. We got this game. Our bullpen is our strongest asset. Tomorrow, we'll murder Nova, show the bum exactly why we dealt his sorry ass for a bucket of fried chicken, and then we'll rip up Boston in their little living room man cave. WE CAN DO THIS! WE CAN WIN IT ALL!"

Bottom of the sixth, tied 5-5: "Pathetic. Forget 2017 and 2018. We should be thinking of 2020. We have no bullpen. No lead is safe. What was I thinking, deluding myself that our bullpen is solid? I WAS BUYING THEIR 'YES TEAM' CRAP! Once the bullpen goes, you're done, and our bullpen is fried like a hockey puck. Girardi is burning out Betances - from now on, I'll call him "Scott Proctor-tances" - and this kid Holder can't hold his balls in an egg cup. Send him down, Joe. Trenton him! Tomorrow, Nova will kill us - I HOPE HE DOES! Because it won't matter, our bullpen would only blow the lead anyway. We could have signed a decent pitcher, but noooooo, Albert Einstein Cashman signed Chris Fucking Carter... Mr. 200 Strikeouts Per Season, instead. What the fuck is wrong with us? Maybe we should bring in Carter to pitch. He can't do worse than Holder. We are dead. Dead."

Ninth, up 11-5: "CHRIS FUCKING CARTER! UNBELIEVABLE! CHRIS FUCKING CARTER! One swing, boom, that's how you change a game, that's how you change a season, that's how you put yourself in Monument Park! CHRIS FUCKING CARTER! Tomorrow, we'll own "Super" Nova - "Stupor" Nova - and when we hit Boston, WE will have the two biggest guys in the park: Aaron Fucking Judge and Chris Fucking Carter. For the last ten years, Boston's had the biggest fucking guy in the park. Now, we've got the biggest fucking guys in the park. The other day, that little peanut midget embryo fly-speck quark poodle Dustin Pedroia couldn't even handle a slide by Manny Machado. Wait'ill he meets the cleats of Aaron Fucking Carter. (I mean Aaron Fucking Judge.) Aaron Fucking Judge will splatter him against the Green Monster like a gnat on a windshield. GODDAMM! I LOVE THIS FUCKING TEAM!"

This morning: "Jeez, Nova? What if he beats us? I can't eat."

Saturday, April 22, 2017

With Today's Line-up, We've Got A Shot....

Duque's favorite Yankee is not in the starting line-up.  But that leaves him available for pinch-running, at a critical spot late in the game.

Pineda is a great hitter, and has exceptional bat control.  He is a " gap" hitter, and can lay down a bunt, any bunt.

We have a gallery of pinch hitters available, if we need drama in the 9th.

I think we can book this as a "W."

What time is it, anyway?

Another Meatloaf moment: Two out of three IS bad

This year, the Yankees have played four certifiably wretched games.

1. The opener, a 7-3 loss against Tampa, when we found ourselves down 7-2 after three innings. Hideous. 

2. The game three loss in Tampa, 4-1, when we couldn't touch Alex Cobb with a tennis racket. Painful.

3. Tuesday's 4-1 bomb against the White Sox, when Pete Kozma messed up a DP grounder, leading to a three-run HR. Putrid.

4. Last night. 

Stop me if you've heard this one. We fell behind from the git-go, we sucked, we sucked worse, and then we sucked even more, with Fidel Castro muffing a little league pop fly, as the floorboards were caving in. Nobody hit with runners on base. Nobody did nada. It was arguably the Yankees' worst game thus far in 2017, and - after winning eight in a row - we have now lost two-out-of-three to teams that were listing below .500. Across the Yankiverse, listen carefully, and you'll heard one tiny, stomach-turning sound.


Once again, we find ourselves on the precipice of that dreaded equalizer - the bugaboo that has haunted Yankee teams throughout this decade: We get hot, win a few, and then undergo the "market correction," a nice, fat losing streak.

It hasn't happened yet, but with the still-unpredictable Michael Pineda pitching today, and Boston looming on the horizon, it's easy to imagine us dropping five out of six, launching May Day alarms across the Bronx by late next week. April still holds enough games to become a losing month, and watching this team sputter so hopelessly last night erased the confidence boom from last week against the hapless Cardinals. It's downright amazing how fast hope can disappear in the face of a few Yankee losses. We can win eight straight, but we're still the team that hasn't won a post-season game in five years, and need anybody here be reminded that last season the Retrieval Empire finished 4th in a five team division?

Deepening today's glance into the abyss is the fact that, thus far in 2017, our newly heralded farm system has sucked air. We hoped a few stud prospects would be crushing their leagues, forcing promotions to the Bronx. Aint happening. James Kaprelian is gone until 2019. Clint Frazier is hitting .196 at Scranton. Gleyber Torres is hurt at Trenton. Jorge Mateo is hitting .254 at Tampa. Only one player - 21-year-old 2B Thairo Estrada at Trenton - is having what could be called a breakout April, hitting .344. (Another 2B, Chan Ho Park, is hitting well at low-A Charleston, but he's repeating a season there and also making nearly an error per game.) Last year, Boston's decimated its system by trading for Sale, Pomerance, et al - yet their top remaining prospect, 20-year-old 3B Rafael Devers, is murdering the Eastern League at .355. If that continues, we could wake up in July not only with Boston in first, but with the Redsocks actually possessing a more fruitful farm system. What the fuck? Well, the Yankees will still have the most buoyant, sycophantic media in baseball, touting our top brass for Cooperstown. And we always drink that Kool Aid, don't we? 

Of course, it's early. Way too early to celebrate a winning streak. Way to early to measure the bridges. Still, two out of three. It's amazing what a few bad games can do to hope. And if we go to Boston having lost - say - five of six... well, shhh, listen: There's that sound again.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Yankees SHOW Uncanny ability to suck

This photo pretty much says it all for day one of the road trip.

A Meatloaf moment for Joe Girardi

Altogether now... 

I'll rile you,
I'll sink you,
And there aint way I'm ever gonna please you,
But don't be sad....
Cuz nine out of ten aint bad.

Bill O'Reilly should become the new Radio Voice of the Yankees

Imagine the moments...

On the Redsocks: “If I could, I would deport them. They are a disgusting, despicable, far-left, Elizabeth Warren-supporting team. Lawyers. NPR listeners. If you disagree with them, they brand you a Yankee fan. All the sudden, you’re the racist, you’re the jerk, you’re the guy who thinks Roger Clemens belongs in the Hall. But I do like that Dustin Pedroia. I always stand up for the little guy."

After gopher ball from Michael Pineda: "I tell you, he's throwing curves that belong in the No-Spin Zone!"

At the end of each inning: "You're listening to the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Manny's Gold-and-Silver-Rama in downtown Belmar."

On Tanaka: “On the mound is Masahooga Tana-whatshisname, and I’m all for Japanese guys, and I’ve said this repeatedly, though God forbid, if you speak to race in this country, they come after you with a lynch mob. But the Jap can really pitch, and nobody ever yells “Pearl Harbor.” My old man would say it, but, hey, that’s what growing up in Hell’s Kitchen does. What? I said something wrong? The hell with this, we're going live!”

On the Mets: “I don’t know why I even bother. They hate me. The NY Times wouldn’t even review my books. They were best-sellers. Do I care? Not in the slightest. I’m above that. What they did to Tom Seaver, they’d do to me. That’s OK, though. But I don’t forget. Wilpon? Alderson? It doesn’t matter. One of these days, they’ll get visits from the security people at Fox News.”

On the Twins: "I hate how they suck up to that little crazy left-wing nutjob Al Franken. Guy thinks he’s funny. Hates the United States of America. I feel sorry for him. I’d punch him out. Growing up in Levittown, that’s how you settled things. You get in close and use your hands. But hell, it’s Minnesota. The unions already killed that town.”

On the Nationals: “I love this team. I love this manager, Dusty Baker. He’s a black man, you know. Not that it matters. I went into the dugout one night with Al Sharpton. It was great. There wasn't one person, not one, who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more at bats!’ I mean, it was like going into an Italian-run team.”

On the Dodgers: “Normally, I don’t do Tinsel Town, because, frankly, all they want to do is rip our President. Ever hear a celebrity wish you ‘Merry Christmas?’ No way. If they put up a manger scene outside Dodger Stadium, they’d stick Meryl Streep in the crib. She's lost it. I’ve seen some of the most evil people in the history of the world, people who will stare into a camera with their hand on the Bible and they say things about you that are flat out lies, and they'll claim to have recordings. Well, I don’t make deals with those women. And it cost me."

Home run call for Chris Carter: “It's a blast from the far right! Oh, you've done it again, Hot Chocolate!”

On the Giants: You know what I say? I say, listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you want Barry Bonds in your little Hall of Fame, you're not going to get another nickel from me. It’s a free country, and the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to root for morons. But as far as I’m concerned, when the Brewers come through and blow you up, we're not going to do anything about it. Too bad.”

Response to Suzyn: “You're looking pretty good tonight. Want some advice? Ditch the pantsuits and wear something that doesn't scream 'radio.' Huh? What did you just say? Shut up. Shut up! Cut her mic!” 

Are the Jays done, and if so, is that a good thing?

Yesterday, Team Canada mounted a dramatic comeback against the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM), when Kendrys Morales homered in the 9th to tie the game. It was just the kind of rally that riles the sap of beer-swilling Torontogodytes, as they tune-up their snowblowers for the final six weeks of winter. Suddenly, the North was rising!

An inning later, the Jays lost 4-1. So much for spring. Toronto is now eight down in the loss column with by far the worst record in baseball. Even the putrid Padres - who are phoning-in the 2017 season with Rule 5 cutouts instead of players - have twice as many wins.  

The great bat-flipper himself, Jose Bautista, is hitting .109 - but he's merely the third lowest average in yesterday's lineup. Josh Donaldson is out with his third calf injury of the season - (can anybody say "chronic?") Aaron Sanchez has a blister issue, and last year's 20-game winner J.A. Happ "felt something" in his elbow recently and went for tests. The Hindenburg, engulfed in flames, had higher hopes. Right now, the only positive is that it's still April, when nothing is supposed to matter. But as Yankee fans know, one crushing first month can also lead to a vast, season-long abyss. 

So... the immediate question for Yankee fans is obvious: When do we get a taste of this shipwreck sandwich? We face Toronto ten days from now - May 1-3 - and who knows what they'll be like? But still, here are some basic realities.

1. One of the three AL East powers looks dead in the pool. Toronto - a mean-spirited bully for the last three years - appears scrawny and pallid without Edwin Encarnacion. That's one less Wild Card contender, leaving Detroit, Texas, Houston and Baltimore as our most likely competition for that miserable last open slot in the post-season.

2. Toronto will probably hold a July garage sale. Donaldson could yield a shit-ton of Yoans and Glybers, and Brian Cashman has always coveted him. But if Headley is still hitting, and if Gleyber Torres remains our future YES marketing scheme, we don't need a big-money 3B. We would chase pitching, of course, and Sanchez could be our third Aaron - a nice touch. But nobody likes trading prospects within your division - so Toronto's seasonal suicide might happen in the woods, where we won't hear it. 

3. The real guy they'd look to unload is Bautista, and unless he starts hitting - maybe even if he starts - good luck on that, Canada! Nobody wanted him last winter, but the music stopped when he was standing over Toronto's chair. He's Chris Carter with bat-flips and a rifle arm. If Boston is still looking for its new Papi - well, we can always hope, can't we?

You don't know a team until you play it. I figured the Cardinals would, as usual, be tough. They were horrible. And a month from now, so could we be. Today's Murdoch Post serves a steaming pile of congratulations to the Yankee brass for drafting Aaron Judge four years ago - conveniently forgetting all the crapola picks from the last decade. It's the thing I most hate about being a Yankee fan - the sycophantic rush by Gammonites to over-celebrate any success. I get criticized - sometimes rightly - for being too negative here. But it's a long season, and while we can certainly be happy with Judge's performance thus far, dear God, are we already declaring him a star? Because that's how you crush a guy. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What To Do On AN Off-Day?

Go to Venice Beech.

The march of tomato cans ends Tuesday

It's been awhile since a Yankee lineup boasted such mouth-watering beautistics: .396... .368... .321... Aaron Judge, tied for 3rd in HRs; Aaron Hicks tied for 4th... Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, tied for 2nd and 3rd in SBs. The Indian Point Power Report doesn't even hurt to hear.

Each day, Greg Bird gains more confidence. We're starting to wonder if Chase Headley is not just a desert mirage, but the Comeback Horse of 2017. Or is it Ellsbury? Could Judge be the league's best rookie? Or is it Jordan Montgomery? Is Hicks our version of Jackie Bradely Jr., the slow-starter who pays dividends? Or is it Luis Severino? Is this team real, or is it Memorex? As the Boss once wondered, is a dream alive if it don't come true, or is it something worse?

It's still mid-April, and the cleats of 2017 have yet to drop. Moreover, it's not as if the Yankees have yet played the Globetrotters, posting wins against the Washington Generals and superstar Red Klotz. After losing 2/3 in Baltimore, we chewed up the Tampon Rays (8-8), the shuffled Cards (6-9) and the garage-sale White Sox (7-7). Next up, the stumbling Pirates (6-9), with a Sunday appearance by none other than Ivan "Super" Nova (1-2). 

Then the worms turn. We hit Boston for Porcello, Sales and Pomeranz. You could argue that 2017 begins Tuesday at Fenway, when the story lines start to emerge. Babe Benintendi is hitting .322 with a HR, but nothing will matter if he goes 0-16 against the Yanks. Same goes for our newfound studs. If we cannot beat the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM), we will start chasing the Wild Card, which is sort of like settling for Billy Ripken, instead of Cal. 

But don't get me wrong. We've seen enough crapola for the last seven years to be rightfully excited over a 10-5 record. Last April 21, we stood at 5-9, and Headley was already being lashed to a camel and sent into the desert. When Gary Sanchez hurt himself on a practice swing, all looked lost. Now, we can expect him and Didi Gregorius back in May. By then, the march of tomato cans will be over, and we'll know what we've got. But Judge will still have at least 5 HRs - a quarter of what our team leader hit all of last year. Come Tuesday, I'll be watching from my playoffs juju crouch. Be prepared.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Just So You Are Aware

Whenever people start exclaiming about, " their top prospect," I always start thinking that I haven't been doing my job.

The yankees just wouldn't stop talking about how advanced this kid is; how he is ready now for the big leagues, blah, blah, blah.  How deep their minor league system is, etc.

Please try not to piss me off with arrogance, and over-confidence.  The yankees are a bunch of trolley car workers, just like everyone else.  Accidents happen all the time.

I have already put the Kaprielian kid, " out of sight and out of mind. " His TJ surgery was yesterday and, in 2 years, maybe three, you will see if he can still pitch.  Although, he could be a free agent by then.

Today, we asked for, and received, some idle time for Gleyber Torres, the Yankees top SS candidate.
Here is how the Yankees in 2017 are faring with the classic formula; "Strength up the middle."  Starting catcher - (on the DL ); Starting SS ( on the DL ); top pitching prospect ( gone ); top SS prospect ( on the DL ).

For now, Gleyber  ( what kind of name is Gleyber???)  Torres is on the 7 day DL with, " rotator cuff tendonitis."  Soon, the 7 day DL will become the 15 day DL, and then the 30 day DL.

Dr. Andrews is already on a plane.  In which case, if surgery occurs, there is no DL.. Just gone will be the designation.

I think we can safely forget about 2017 for this young man.  He can catch up on his reading.

Maybe next year.

So here is my thought;  Stop puffing yourselves up and talking about a great season, an unbeatable future.

It pisses me off.  And you don't want that.

I call for a Congressional Inquiry

Girardi is the worst fucking manager the Yankees have ever had. Houk was a genius. Lemon, a gift from God. Martin, an alcoholic whackjob tornado. 

Girardi works for the other side. He's the Russian mole in the clubhouse buffet salad. He not only overmanages and undermanages at precisely the right moments to potentially throw a game, he sits players that are on a roll deliberately. He is the epitome of the bullet-headed Saxon mother's son that "Bungalow Bill" warned us about (don't tell me he's Italian, I don't give a crap).

THE MAN MAKES US LOSE GAMES. If he was removed, we'd have won 5 to 10 more games last year...which might have nixed the July sell-off, so OK, maybe that's not helping my argument here. But this year, with a hot start and the effect it could have on the psychology of this particular team, 5 games could make the difference between a surprisingly successful year and the usual steaming pile of mediocrity.

How can the beat writers not see this? How can Cashman not see this? I mean, Jesus, he had Lazik surgery. The guy should be able to see something this obvious. Maybe if he ate a couple of mini-helmets full of not-really-ice-cream and stopped sporting the gaunt Girardi look...

Hey. Maybe if Girardi ate something and put on a few pounds he'd stop doing this kind of thing, too. 


The guy is a detriment to the team and they keep him on as if he was Connie Mack. Wtf is going on? Has the entire organization been taken over by foreign agents? You have to admit, it would explain a lot in terms of Hal, Cashman, Joey Binders, Rothschild (obviously connected to the Knights of Malta cabal by name alone), the minor league geniuses, firing the strength trainer because nobody can hit....

We need Comey on this. We need the NSA, CIA, AFL-CIO and the CYO.

We will never again win the Big One as long as we are run by a dugout Roger Stone. Ever.

Suddenly, the icky feeling returns

It doesn't take much to knock me off the band wagon. A nudge or a bump along the trail, and I'm flying into the bog. It's Yankee fan P.T.S.D. - the sudden urge to hide behind the couch and watch a network sitcom. It's the dead-on, absolute certainty that the Yanks will lose, and that I have been somehow transformed into a fan of Two Broke Girls, which is like being Kafka's cockroach, but with lower self-esteem. I felt it last night.

I can't explain it. But in just the way that we looked like winners for a week, last night you saw the garbage barge spewing purple smoke and headed back to port. No hits through five, a scratch single, and then a monstrous fielding gaffe by the one guy here for his glove... and suddenly, it was 2011-2016, and Jayson Nix was throwing to Lyle Overbay all over again. 

Listen: An eight-game winning streak is a banner way to celebrate the spring sap erections of April. But it's also a balloon waiting to be popped. As Alphonso pointed out, last night we were suddenly subjected to a rerun of Two Broke Boys - the marshmallow-tipped spear of Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury atop our lineup. I thought that twosome had been sealed in amber and mailed to Zambezi, but there they were - a Seussian Out 1 and Out 2, speed-dialing through the first six innings.

And of course, that helped conjure the bottom third of our lineup - the Black Hole of Calcutta, which we've come to know well in recent years. Last week, you had the volatile Aaron Judge or the born-again Chase Headley down there, waiting to strike. Last night, it was Romine, Torreyes and Kozma (oh my) - and not enough pinch-hitters to strike early. It was a bottom third like all the others that have made this, thus far, the worst decade in Yankee history.

Last year, when he couldn't hit a lick, Headley was benched three times in the April. (I looked it up.) Last night, leading the team in hitting, he sat out his first game of 2017. I suppose everybody needs a rest. Still, it fits the main bugaboo about Joe Girardi - he benches hot players because of some computer print-out, which means he has traded his instincts for algorithms. One thing we know about Girardi's software: It doesn't take into account the streakiness of hitters. And we are a team of streaky hitters.

One certainty of 2017 was that we'd know early on if this team was worth a piss. Nobody argues that Pineda, Headley, Gardy, Ellsbury et al will need a half season to get their bearings. They'll either do the job or disappear. Thus far, they have done the job. But the streak is over, and in recent years, the Yankees usually matched winning stretches with collapses. Now, we'll see. I'll be watching from behind the couch.

Bad Plan, Joe

The minute I saw the line-up today, I knew we weren't going to score more than 2 runs.  Like last year, when 2 runs was our most common production on offense.

When we trot out Gardy and Jacoby in the 1,2 slots, something goes limp.  They have been awful for years, batting in those positions.  The logic was decent, but the results never were.  And it is contagious.

If you look at the winning streak, what made it work was other combinations at the top the order.  Sanchez hitting second, Hicks hitting second, Jacoby batting 5th, sometimes 4th.

But Joe went back to the original, " this will make us impotent" binder, and dialed up Gardy, followed by Jacoby.  And our offense went south.

Immediately came the strikeouts, the groundouts and the fly balls.  Immediately came 12 straight Yankees, down in order, with the perfect game broken only by an infield slow-roller to the middle.

Don't ever do this again, Joe.

It is an antiquated plan, doomed to fail.

Burn that fucking line-up.

We need the " slash and dash,"  the excitement, the reasons to hope.

Not the same boring old crap that has always failed us.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We have a better chance of being hit by lighting, but...

I think I heard Kay say that the Yanks record is starting a season with 10 in a row at home. Nine possible tonight (but it is Severino, so I'm not holding my breath, although I will if it helps the juju). We're playing like it's 1998. Everyone who sucked the past couple of years is great. Headley is tied for the AL batting lead. The baling-wire-and-masking-tape starting rotation is amazing. The bullpen is the best in MLB. Judge is hitting now, Bird is hitting now. And we don't even have Sanchez and Didi yet.

I'm trying to enjoy this, but it's hard with the weight of inevitability crushing down on me. Still, does anyone else remember that year....'86, maybe?...that the Tigers came out of the gate and went 25-4 or some ungodly skein. Their lead was so large after just over a month that nobody could catch them the rest of the year.

Joe's binders will tell you that the games in April don't really matter. Horseshit. You can ride April into October just playing .500 or so the rest of the year. If you suck in April, you create a mountain Chatwin couldn't climb. (He did climb mountains, didn't he? I have a faint recollection...) That's what happened last year.

At the start of Spring Training, it was clear that this team was the ultimate Lotto ticket. The odds were not in its favor, but man, if they were lucky and good enough, and everything clicked at once...

Stop me before I get horribly disappointed by the All Star break.

Comeback lines

“I knew I couldn’t start the way I started last year...” Mr. Headley discusses the comeback.

"The big thing is, it’s about learning which off-speed pitches to swing at...”  Mr. Judge ponders his comeback.

“I just try to be up there and do my job." Mr. Castro talks about his comeback.

“It’s confidence and throwing with conviction. I’m throwing more strikes.’’ Mr. Warren remarks on his comeback.

"Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location... After a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating, we agreed it was best for him to seek treatment.” Mr. Breaking News discusses a potential calamity.

Winning, winning, winning... oh dear, it's just so tiresome

Keeping with our grand IT IS HIGH tradition, let's come to grips with the downside of winning eight in a row.

1. Your team always have to pitch a full nine innings. Thus, extra wear-and-tear on bullpen. NOT FAIR!

2. You start watching other scores and checking standings. Blah.

3. Your underwear starts to reek, because UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO YOU CHANGE IT.

4. Headley goes 1-4, sinking his batting average below .400. What the hell is wrong with him?!

5. You have to miss important television shows, such as I-Zombie and Ice Road Truckers, because the game will be on.

6. The constant, unrelenting sex.

7. Having to maintain proper dour attitude and finding fault in something new that Cashman did. (The Scranton team has no decent first-baseman! WHO IS RUNNING THIS SHOW?) 

8. If this keeps up, we won't draft high, we won't be able to dump veterans this July, and we'll lose our ranking as a top farm system.

9. You start pondering strange connections. (Example: Eight wins, eight guys Arkansas is trying to execute. What does this mean?)

10. Sense of otherworldly terror in seeing Alphonso writing hopefully. Does this mean world is coming to end? Because that would just be typical around here: We start winning, and the world ends. This thing with North Korea better not become a full-blown WWIII, not with the Yankees on a winning streak. But we haven't lost since the bombing of Syria, since that positve NYTimes thumbsucker on Cashman, and since the blood sacrifice of James Kaprielian. Should we bomb another country? Should the Daily News write a Cashmanic biography? Do we need to kill another prospect? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WIN EIGHT IN A ROW. YOU GO MAD.

Nine, please.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It Doesn't Seem Possible

I know from experience that El Duque is sleep walking in a major " hang-over" condition.

His posting, I suspect, was done way in advance and, "scheduled," because he didn't trust me ( the others came through ) to " cover for him."

But we celebrate on the coast, also.   True, we couldn't crowd into a garage with 1000 teenagers and just scream for 8 hours ( last night's Sheer Mag concert in Syracuse), but someone has to go to the LA Symphony, in the Hollywood bowl.

But I digress;

Is it possible ( it doesn't seem so, I know ) that I was wrong about Greg Bird's foot?  He hit yesterday like a skinny Lou Gehrig.  And his defense " sings" of "Donnie Baseball's"  best days.

Is it possible that Pineda has, " found his groove?"

Is it possible that Romine is a first rate, starting catcher?

Is it possible that Ronald Torreyes is related to Phil Rizzuto?

And is it possible that Hicks looks more comfortable in CF than Jacoby?

Anything, I gather, is possible.

Feel better Duque.  It was supposed to be a blast.

Here's What's Great

Seven wins in a row.  Seven.

Chase Headley is playing out of his head.  He has a .531 OBP.

Aaron Hicks, after a demoralizing 2016 campaign is contributing.

Ditto Ellsbury.

Michael Pineda has shown consistency.  Just using the words "Pineda" and "consistency" in the same sentence before 2017 would have been laughable.  It may still be but, over the past two starts, he's been consistently excellent.  If he wins his next one, he can wear his hat any way he wants.

CC crafted what could be called a "fine performance by an aging veteran".  Watching him on Saturday was like watching a 72-year-old carpenter building a nice bookcase in your formal den, taking time to add a few subtle flourishes just because he thought they might look nice.  

Aaron Judge is a physical specimen.  I look forward to his at bats. The man was down 0-2, fought back to a full count, and then hit a homer that some dipshit fan misplayed for him into a triple.

But it didn't matter, because Bird was the next batter and he hit a towering home run.  Even if it's for one game only, Bird looks like he regained his stroke.  His OBP last night was 1.000.

We don't seem to miss the loss of two players everyone thought of as our best — Gregorius and Sanchez — because their replacements, Torreyes and Romine, have stepped up and done the job.  When we have all these guys back, jeez, this is going to be fun.

But what's the greatest part?

Jordan Montgomery is pitching tonight.  I am truly excited and looking forward to seeing what he can do.  If he hangs in there and is the gamer he appears to be, man, this is going to be fun.  Here's a quote from him that appeared in yesterday's NY Post.  He was asked, "What is you mound mentality?":
Just try and be as aggressive as I can. Be in attack mode the whole time I’m out there, and just go after the hitters, not try and nibble, but just trust my work, trust my preparation and if I do it right the ball’s gonna go where it’s supposed to. If you’re touchy-feely with it, the wheels are gonna come off quick.
In my next business meeting, I'm going to say "If you're touchy-feely with it, the wheels are gonna come off quick."  People will be impressed.  

I want this guy on my team.   I want this team on my team.  

I am looking forward to tonight's game like I haven't looked forward to a game in a few years.

Yowsah.  Next up is Yogi's number.

Which, by the way, is great.

When it's going good... Yanks even beat the curse of national TV

I don't have to tell anyone how much the world can change in a week. Last Monday, the Yankees were on life-support, and United Airlines didn't offer free coach service beat-downs. By next Monday, we could be at war with North Carolina, Taylor Swift might have said something, and who knows, this hangover might be over.

Why lie? I missed last night, benched by manager Joe for an old-fashioned punk-ass rock show. If any of you ever get a chance to see Sheer Mag, you will be witnessing the preeminent eighties power-pop garage punk skuzz band on this planet, and with a show that makes Bruce Springsteen look like Rick Springfield, and feel free to tell them you know me, because they cannot deny it with a straight face. 

All I know is the Yankees actually played on national TV and didn't disgrace themselves, which over the years, they have managed to do quite consistently. I can't back this up with stats - hell, we use sentences here, not cheap-ass algorithms - but it seems like every April, the Yankees go on ESPN and fall apart like a Nicolas Cage movie. Last night looked to be a prime time Easter Sunday disaster, especially with Michael Pineda - The Man Who Was Traded for Jesus - taking the mound. 

I direct you to the rollicking comments section for wrap ups and analysis. I consider you to be the most dynamic, knowledgeable and passionate peanut gallery in the Yankiverse. 

Truth be told, I only got to see two at bats last night. Betances was pitching in the eighth, and I watched him walk the then-tying run into scoring position. It looked like a classic meltdown, and somewhere in an ESPN nerve center, some Redsockian editor was licking his chops, cuing up clips of Dellin getting whacked last September. And then Betances threw three pitches so wicked that they could have grown warts, and that was - as Stephen Hawking would theorize - THAT. Strike one. Strike two. Strike three. Cue the Easter bunny.

We play the White Sox and Pirates, and then we go to Boston. Three night games against the Redsocks, one on ESPN. What are the odds that we'll see Chris Sale? A thousand percent. I don't care. That's a week away. By then, who knows where we'll be? 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sheer Mag tonight in Syracuse

My sons' band - Sheer Mag - is playing tonight in Syracuse. Afterward, they'll come over to the house, and we might have a drink or two. 

As a result, my daily report on the Yankees tomorrow could be delayed. Or impaired. Or rendered incoherent.

Alphonso? John? LBJ? KD? Bern? Bill White? Mustang? Anybody... can you cover for me? 

I assume we will win, and I will hold you all accountable if I'm wrong.

The Classic Bad Teammate

It's the talented rookie who insists on playing, while injured.

The guy who covers up his injury, so as not to lose his spot.

A player unwilling to sit down, and be honest about an injury, because he " wants to play."

The person who thinks his "toughness" will be honored, if he plays while hurt.

Meanwhile;  he can't hit and he can't run.

He, unintentionally, aggravates a minor injury until it becomes a "consuming " injury.

Soon, he is under the knife for something that, with proper rest, would have healed.

He misses his second consecutive season.

An asshole, in truth.

If Greg Bird can't run, he should sit

I don't know why Greg Bird jogged to first yesterday, after he finally put his bat on a ball and walloped a routine infield grounder. But he did his best impression of Joggy Cano, strolling down the line and savoring each step, as if that old song by Mac Davis, "Stop and Smell the Roses," was playing in his head.

My assumption is that Bird was running gingerly because his ankle is hurt, and if so, I have to ask a simple stupid fan question: Why is he playing? 

Because it's April, the whole season is ahead of us, and right now, Bird looks like a Godzilla monster in Korea who is channeling the movements of a drunk Anne Hathaway - (which is actually the plot of a current movie; see? read this blog and you stay cool.) 

Bird won the IT IS HIGH/Geico 2017 Grapefruit Heisman Trophy for clubbing seven homers and leading the team in hitting. Then on the first of April, he was magically replaced by his evil twin. Yesterday afternoon, Bird actually became a trending topic on Twitter, when his batting average fell to .042, a symbolic tribute to Jackie Robinson. Because he's been nursing a bad foot, the Yankees rested him for a few days, playing the Yang to his Yin, Chris Carter. (Together, they have struck out 21 times over 11 games.) It doesn't seem to have worked. Bird is still struggling, and late yesterday, he jogged out a grounder.

Listen: I'm not suggesting the kid needs to be benched, replaced or sent to Scranton. He is 1 for 26 on the season, and he'll needs 200 at bats before we start to fear the worst. But if he can't run to first, he should be resting the foot, because this is not working for anybody.

And if he just didn't run to first, because he's lost and depressed - well, he ought to have a talk with Brett Gardner. It's a long season. The Yankees need Greg Bird, the whole package.