Friday, October 21, 2016

Curt the Blurt: "I don’t understand how people of Jewish faith can back the Democratic Party,”

The pride of the Redsocks, Curt Schilling, went on CNN to talk politics. It didn't go well.

If Trump owned the Yankees...

We would reject the rigged 2016 AL East outcome.

During games, we would seat opposing players' ex-wives behind the dugout. (Their current wives would sit in the Owner's Box, being groped.)

We'd buy all players from China.

Instead of a facial hair code, we'd have a hairstyle code. (And a skin code: Orange.)

"If you're walking down to first, you get shot!"

Under-performing Yankees would be lambasted in 3 a.m. Tweets.

After we beat Boston, they go to jail.

We'd bar sportswriters.

Twenty eighteen... the year that matters

I hate to say it, but - unless Hal turns into Cher on buying free agents - 2017 looks like a tax write-off. Without a 2009-esque splurge - that is, we sign the likes of Encarnacion, Rich Hill and El Chapo - the Evils next year should again trend near .500 and probably jusssssssst miss yet another Wild Card.

See for yourself. Without a large-scale Hal Mary money infusion, we must improve by trading Gardner and McCann - and/or the youth we spotlighted in July. Right now, here's the lineup.

c Gary Sanchez
lb Greg Bird, Tyler Austin or TBA.
2b Starlin Castro
ss Didi Gregorius
3b Chase Headley or TBA.
cf Ellsbury
lf Hicks, Mason Williams or TBA.
rf Aaron Judge or TBA
dh TBA or TBA-2

sp  Tanaka, CC, Pineda, Cessa, Green, Mitchell, Severino, TBA
rp  Betances, Warren, Clippard, TBA, TBA, TBA.

Without a blast of new free agents - would just one matter? - we're depending on Sanchez, Bird, Judge, Severino, Cessa and Green to come up big next year. It's naive to think they'll all make it. The thing about prospects: They break your heart. We must also avoid major injuries, and when does that ever happen? Finally, Brian Cashman must make lop-sided deals - near bank robberies of other teams - and the cherry on top must be that Boston somehow tanks. What are the odds?

So... the prevailing strategy of every off-season move must be to think about 2018. By then, the verdict will be in on Sanchez, Bird, Williams, Judge, Austin, Severino, Cessa and Green - not to mention Aaron Hicks and - the absolute last chance - Pineda. By then, Clint Frazier, Jorge Mateo, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Justus Sheffield, James Kaprielian and Dominic Acevedo should be ready. A talent wave should be cresting. By 2019 - unless we blow it - the Yankees could be the Cubs of the AL.

So what do we do about Boston? One thing would be to keep them from getting Edwin Encarnacion - which would seemingly guarantee them the 2017 AL East. But if they beat us in a price war, they probably have to sign him for five to seven years. That's Ellsburian in scope. In 2019, he will be 36, along with Pedroia. David Price will be 34, and Hanley Ramirez will be 35. Of course, Betts, Bradley, Benintendi and Bogaerts will be in their primes. That year, the Yanks and Redsocks could be the powerhouses of the AL... maybe all of baseball. Think of it: A new rivalry, with the upstart Yankees seeking to dethrone the veteran Socks? The Bronx would come alive again... because - really - it's been dead and dying now for four years.

Listen: There is a future for the Yankees. Trouble is, it's two years away. We must be patient. And most of all, we mustn't blow it by trading away the hopes of 2018 for a quick and likely meaningless fix.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Welcome to our world, Toronto

Greetings, Torontonians and unhorsed Canadians! Congrats on a great season! You almost did it. One hit here or there! I really thought you had a chance! Oh well, there's always next year! Pitchers and catchers, barely four months away! Do you have the roof rake ready? Oh, one other thing... can we borrow Edwin Encarncion's phone number?

And so does Toronto's time at the top come to an end. This winter - this cold, cold winter - they must either shell out massive bucks for Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion - or they'll go back into hibernation in the depths of the AL East. They had two shots at the post-season, and both fell short. One hit here or there... so close, and yet... so far away.

Lo, the cruel vagaries of professional sports! Once, the Yankees were the one team in America that you could always count on. Folks either loved them or hated them. They bought pennants, and it was wonderful. I personally never felt guilt about rooting for the Yankees, because I figured everything else in the the world was rigged against me - (Trump, Trump, Trump) - but at least on the baseball diamond, I was a billionaire. There's something to be said for joyous escapism. The Yankees were my Cuervo Gold.

No more. Today, they feel more like a pack of cigarettes, when you're trying to quit. There seem to be three ways to build a successful pro team.

1. Be terrible for three to five years. Eventually, you'll draft a star, or in the case of Washington, maybe two. By losing, and losing, and losing, you never forfeit top draft picks, and come July, you can regularly trade bloated veterans for a prospect or two. Of course, you can screw up the draft picks and blow the trades, and it might take five to seven years - but if you stick to losing, losing, losing... eventually, you'll win.

This year, the Yankees finally adapted to this reality.

2. Get the taxpayers to build you a breathtaking new stadium. The infusion of public money is God's gift to the billionaires who own pro sports franchises. Usually, it guilts the owner into digging deep for a few free agents.

The Yankees did this in 2009, when the new stadium - buttressed with tax breaks - opened, and we signed CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira.

By the way, the U.S. Constitution originally argued for something called "separation of church and state." Well, that ship has sailed. How about a separation of sports and state? How about a Constitutional amendment that forbids taxpayer money to go to any privately owned sports franchise? Ahh, dream on.

3. Cheat, in some nefarious and covert way. Only God and a few trainers know if the great Yankees-Redsocks rivalry of the early 2000s was a product of drug-fortified steroidal rages. The Cardinals hacked opposing teams' computers. Boston was recently caught bundling huge bonuses to sign 16-year-old Latinos. Today, when a pro team constantly wins - see New England Patriots - odds are they're getting away with something. Wait... is there a Boston component to all this?

So happy winter, Canada! See you back in the playoffs - oh, I'd say - around 2022. And find that roof rake. You'll soon need it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Campaign slogans for Curt Schilling

Can't run a business, can't broadcast games... why not elect him!

Homophobic Fever: Catch it!

Here's the pitch: Low and in the dirt.

Vote for Curt, or he'll eat your town.

Tolerance: Kiss it goodbye!

A business record as bloody as his sock.

The national treasure... (outside of Rhode Island.)

Because he's run out of other careers.

"Rump! Rump! Rump!"

Who needs health insurance, anyway?

He ended one curse. Let's start a new one!

He'll paint the truth like he painted that sock. 

Save the whale!

(Note: I get it that some of you like his politics: Fine. I respect your opinion. But seriously... vote Redsock?) 

To truly claim a "curse," the Cubs need one more otherworldly post-season collapse

I used to view the difference between the Yanks and Cubs as that of Jeffrey Maier and Steve Bartman: One fan giveth, and one fan taketh away. It's now been 20 years since Maier - then 12 - caught Jeter's HR against Baltimore, electrifying New York City and creating an aura around the Yankees. It's been 13 years since Bartman snagged the foul pop, leaving the sad Cubbies just five outs from the World Series, as close as they've ever been since.

Damn... it used to be so easy: Yanks blessed, Cubs jinxed... That's how I saw it. And the lords of baseball sure recognized a good thing: They sold the Curse of the Bambino and the Curse of the Billy Goat - golden marketing opportunities for a modern age.

Well, these days, we don't look so blessed, and the Cubs sure don't look cursed. In fact, like the Redsocks, Chicago is poised to contend, if not dominate, for years to come. They lost last night, but they have enough talent to rebound, and if they fail this year, their fan base will simply become more wilder than ever (much like the Toronto crowds, who are throwing beer cans.) A few near- misses, as painful as they would be, will give the Cubs a huge gift: The marketable curse.

It's been 12 years since Babe Ruth's "curse" did the impossible - making the Redsocks into an sympathetic underdog to a generation of privileged frat boys. Boston fans overlooked the franchise's country-club history of racism, PEDs, and overspending, and reveled in their new status as a long-suffering Chosen Few. Some still do, though it's a joke. Boston is the dominant franchise, its front office running circles around the Yankees. When Redsock fans cling to scraps of victim-hood, they literally must sing, Where have you gone, Dom Dimaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

But let's get back to the Cubbies. As soon as they win the Big Gulp, they won't be "the Cubbies" anymore. They'll be the potential dynasty. Look at their lineup, and you either see multiple championships or a raft of disappointments. They have the money to juice their roster, and an owner rich enough to not care about spending it, and all this Yankee fan blather about signing Aroldis Chapman this winter belies the fact that Chicago might have something else in mind.

Still, to build a marketable "curse," the Cubs need one more historic collapse. It's not enough to lose to LA this week. They must blow a five-run lead in game seven. They need a Bartman, a Javier Vazquez, a Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams. They need the World Series to roll through the wickets of their own Buckner. Then they'll have a legitimate "Curse of the Billy Goat," or "Curse of Bartman," or "Curse of the ESPN Marketing Department," whatever  Stay tuned. If they can just lose again, and maybe get a crack at Boston next year, well, the Billy Goat will be working on greatness.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

With NFL ratings tumbling, this could be MLB's big chance... if a certain Evil Empire wasn't so declawed

Sunday, the venerable Sporting News interviewed Yankee strip clubs coach special instructor Alex Rodriguez about the state of American hookers the game. And get this: For the first time, A-Rod would say there is an opening.

"I will say for the first time there’s an opening," A-Rod told me by phone before Game 2 of the National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Dodgers Sunday. "It’s up to us to take advantage of it."

The "opening" isn't a reference to Kim Kardashian's latest bra mishap. A-Rod was referring to the 10 percent drop in NFL ratings, compared with 2015. Keep in mind: A 3 percent drop would give Robo-Commissioner Roger Goodell night sweats. Ten percent means pro football has had a worse October than Billy Bush. The NFL's historically invulnerable ratings had survived Ray Rice, Aaron Hernandez, concussion suicides multiple crimes against female humanity and a pile of "gates" - Deflategate, Bountygate, Spygate, whatevergate. If the NFL was a person, he'd be in prison. Yet until now, the Neilsens never showed it. Suddenly, ratings are down 10 percent. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of corporate lawyers.

(Note: Some folks want to blame all this on Colin Kaepernick's sideline protests - and, yeah, some folks are pissed off, pro or con - but a 10 percent drop? Nope. Personally, I blame the 10- minute delays while booth dorks psychoanalyze every turnover and score. A dull, one-yard touchdown run - with mandatory review, extra point, commercial block, kickoff into the end zone, and then another round of commercials - can kill 15 minutes. The GEICO punch lines get stale after the third showing.)

But we were talking about A-Rod, whom the Yankees will pay $21 million next year to slap butts and avoid Page Six. Alex says football's woes are baseball's big chance: An exciting World Series could restore the pastime to - well - the Pastime. And he has a point. This is gravy time. Unfortunately, though, to fully reclaim the interest of America - (Note: I'm referring to me) - a particular marquee team needs to be in the mix. Baseball needs a team that everybody loves or hates, and, frankly, that team is still not Boston.

MLB needs a strong Yankees franchise, yet it does everything possible to turn us into the KC Royals of New York. Through luxury taxes, it instituted a de facto salary cap. Though signing bonus caps, it destroyed the competitive advantage of big markets. Next up is an international draft, which was our last opportunity to outspend the Brewers and Padres. The Yankee "Baby Bombers" will get a lot of attention this winter, but we're a Tommy John and a Kevin Maas from mediocrity through 2020 - a multi-year barf reminiscent of the 1980s - which was hardly the sport's golden age of popularity.

Of course, no one atop MLB will do anything about the Yankee malaise, aside from celebrating it. When George Steinbrenner died, so did the urgency to win. Hal pays lip-service to "contending" every season, but that's basically a factor of the additional Wild Card slot, which means anybody over .500 stays in the race through mid-September. Without an Evil Empire, the cheapskate owners get to keep their free agents and their tax breaks, too. Only problem: Come October, we watch the big series between - gulp - Cleveland and Toronto.

Of course, baseball will do well this month in the big markets of Cleveland and Toronto. Damn, I'd hate to be the Cleveland Browns or the Argonauts; good luck generating newsprint. But will fans watch in Texas? Do they hate the Indians, because of the racial implications of their name? Do they root against the Blue Jays because Bautista flips his bat. My guess: They'll tune into the last innings of the seventh game - that is, unless they're binging on Luke Cage.

The NFL's tanked ratings may or may not continue, but you better believe that, come January, the league will have one big advantage. The Cowboys and Patriots will make the playoffs, and everybody loves or hates them. The reason, of course, is Jerry Jones and Bill Belichik - an owner and coach who stops at nothing - even cheats - to win every year. The Yankees were once baseball's version of this. So yes, baseball could have had an opening: this fall. Unfortunately, it closed.

Monday, October 17, 2016

It's pitching, pitching, pitching, and we need help, help, help

Over the last two seasons, whenever Max Scherzer pitched, I pictured him as a Yankee. I can't help it. Think about it: Last year, in the Wild Card debacle, The Scherz could have blanked Houston, and it could have been us rolling through October. This year, behind Max (he went 20-7), it could be us facing Cleveland. And we'd have Andrew Miller! Hell, when fantasizing, why hold back? Jeez Louise, one big free agent pitcher could have spared us the pitiful malaise of the last three years!

And 15 years ago, when old George ran the show, we would have signed Max, just as we did Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, et all. Those were the days, boys - but they're not coming back under Food Stamps Hal and MLB's new socialist financial structure. Other teams sign the stars. while we procure Headleys and Castros. We even let Robbie Cano walk, rather than pay too much. (And yes, the deal Seattle gave him was absurd.)

But getting back to Max... we need one, desperately. And if we must trade for one, well, good luck with that. Proposed packages for Chris Sale are flat out ridiculous. We'd give up almost everyone last summer's youth movement - and then again, who doesn't think Sale would then wreck his shoulder? We either develop an ace - Luis Severino, are you there? - or do what Boston did with David Price - close our eyes and dig deep. (Stephen Strasburg, are you there?)

So... a note on Strasburg. He is property of the Nats until after 2019, when an opt-out clause kicks in. He'd be 30. It's more likely that Washington trades him beforehand because - get this - he's slated to be paid - gulp - $38 million - in 2019, due to deferred money. My guess: the Nats will shop him like a bag of hot diamonds. That's when the Yankees could come in - for better or worse - and frankly, I dunno.

I say all this to note that help is NOT on the way. Last year, the Yankees ranked 15th (out of 30 teams) with a 4.16 ERA. For all the carping by Redsock fans, their staff ranked 9th with a 4.00 ERA. Our ace - Masahiro Tanaka - ranked 12th among starters. Next winter, at age 28, he can opt-out of his current deal. We'll have to shell out just to keep him.

Next year, Sabathia will be 36, facing his final Yankee season. Pineda will be 28 and, unless he magically changes, he'll be leaving. After those three, we go to Severino (who will be 23), Luis Cessa (who will be 25) and Chad Green and Bryan Mitchell (both to be 26.) In other words, it's a crap shoot. Losing Nathan Eovaldi was the biggest injury of 2016. We pitched him until he fell.

As fans, it's fun to picture Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez pounding the opposition for years to come. But it won't matter unless we find a quality starter. Right now, the pickings look bleak.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Retrieval Empire seems to have lost its golden touch on the scrap heap

This year, at age 36, Rich Hill finally figured out major league hitters. He won 12, lost 5, and pitched to an ERA of 2.12 with LA and Oakland. Who knew this would happen? The guy has bounced around for eight years, even pitched for the Yankees in 2014. Suddenly, he figures everything out? Go figure.

Then there is Toronto's J.A. Happ, who pitched last night. He's 33 and been an J.A. Happ throughout his career. Suddenly, he's Cy Happ - 20-4 on the year. Twenty and four. Where would Toronto be without him? Probably where we are -at home.

In some alt-right fantasy universe, the Yankees signed these guys for two Genny Creams and a bottle opener, and we won the division. In fact, for several years in the 2000s, Brian Cashman prided himself on scrap heap pickups - especially aging pitchers. Cash's dumpster diving peaked in 2011, when he signed Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, two apparent basket cases that generated yawns from the fan base. They became bulwarks of the rotation. Unfortunately, Cash we let Bartolo walk and kept Freddy, who was ready for the Elmer's Glue factory.

The fact is, if the Yankees had kept Colon, we might have made the post-season for the last four years, instead of being bridesmaids with skin conditions. Bartolo has been one of MLBs best starters, and Met fans love him - in part, because our highly (self) esteemed front office and coaching staff royally botched it.

We've now gone five years without a scrap heap treasure. (If you want to argue that Blake Parker was a "find," be my guest. Also, feel free to mention Chris Capuano. And Chris Bootcheck!) Much of this is - of course - pure, unadulterated luck. Oakland won the Rich Hill lottery. So maybe 2017 will be the year our luck changes, right? Maybe we get next year's Hill and Happ.

Well, I dunno. For a while now, we've been waiting for the legendary pitching guru Larry Rothschild to spin some knucklehead into gold. He was going to do it with Michael Pineda. He was going to do it with Nathan Eovaldi. He was going to do it with Luis Severino. And Esmil Rogers. And Ivan Nova. And let us not forget the ultimate disappointment: Joba Chamberlain.

Listen: If Joe Girardi is going to remain the Yankees manager, he gets to pick his pitching coach. I get that. He can select Dopey Dildox, if he wants, and as far as we're concerned, that's China Town, Jake. Still, the next time I hear some boot-licking Yankee YES-bot about how the guru Larry Rothchild is going to reclaim somebody, I'm going to strangle a neighborhood puppy. We are Happ-less... and long overdue.

(Note: Because the Redsocks were swept, I am not complaining. As you know, I promised the juju gods that I would not complain, in exchange for a quick Redsock exit. I am NOT complaining. I am merely marveling at how our luck is surely about to change. That horseshit under the Christmas tree surely means there is a pony waiting out back.)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Yanks Lose Out on Pineda Trade

I started drinking mimosa's early at some dockside joint to ready myself for Cubs/Dodgers, game one of the NL championship series.

The problem is that the offer of breakfast included unlimited mimosas.  As in, all you can drink until the bell rings for lunch.

The Cubs game comes on early out here and, by then, I had switched to a local lager.

To make a long story short, I rallied when the Cubs lost the 3-1 lead in the 8th ( our trade bait Chapman finally gave up a hit ), and Cubs fans faces froze with, " the look."  Granted, I too was reeling.

MUCH TO MY AMAZEMENT, the Cubs bring up Montero to pinch hit in the bottom half of the 8th, with two down and the bases loaded. On an 0-2 count, he cranks one into the right field seats for a grand slam, and blows the game open.

Now, there can be no doubt.

With the inconsistent, losing season Pineda recorded, we definitely got the short end of the Montero trade.  A grand slam in a key playoff game in front of the home crowd?


Ten reasons why the Yankees must sign R.A. Dickey

1. He's only 41. That's no typo. Forty-one. Jeez Louise, for a knuckle-baller, that's gum-chewing, undropped-gonads pre-adolescence. Tim Wakefield pitched to age 44. Phil Niekro made it to 48. (I think brother Joe still pitches for the Newark Bears.) He's got two more years, maybe 10.

2. He's already succeeded in NYC, had his best year as a Met. He knows the media, the sushi restaurants, the hookers, the corners where you can buy Rolexes for $5! damn - even the secret bars that offer Utica Club on tap! (Fuck the microbreweries! U-C!) He's probably still subletting his house in Westchester. Bring him home!

3. He won't cost us our first-round draft pick next June. This is critical. We've finally started drafting consensus, high-ceiling (and expensive) studs, instead of whimsical, dart board (and inexpensive) projects, (Hello, Cito Culver.) Toronto won't give him a $17 million qualifying offer. (He made just $12 million this year.) We'd buy him without going back into youth hibernation.

4. He devours innings the way Paul O'Neill does press box buffet entries. (Coney is always in awe.) When all our 2017 rookies are sitting in Dr. Andrews waiting room, he'll still be out there. This guy will save not only our rotation but our bullpen.

5. We won't have to face the goddamm somebeeech no more. This could be the only reason, and it would still work. Jeez, I hate hate HATE facing knuckle-ballers. Back when we had big hitters, the mere appearance of a knuckler always vaulted them into prolonged slumps. The best thing you can do is bench your hitters, so they don't have their timing unhinged for a month.

6. We'll keep him from signing with Boston. The Redsocks know the value of the knuckler. They already have Steven Wright, who was challenging for the Cy Young before he got hurt. We can't let them have two knuckle-buddies. It would be like giving them a six-man rotation.

7. Addenda to 6: The Redsocks and Jays would now have to face the knuckleball. They've basically been spared this. Thus, their big, free-swinging lineups will get to see what they've missed. Suck on it.

8. The guy is smart. He writes obscure novels. Do you know how much discipline it takes to write an obscure novel? Try it sometime. As he grows older, he'll use his high-brow sensibilities to craft new ways to outsmart hitters. Think of each at bat as a plot twist, each pitch a literary device. Considering their new guidelines, if he pitches well, maybe the Nobel Committee will someday give him the Literary Prize. Or at least a Peabody.

9. He'll bring the amazing secrets of his knuckler to our franchise. We will crack open the sacred vault of knuckle knowledge. How does it work? What happens when you throw it. How the fuck does a guy throw 70 miles per hour and strike out professional hitters? Frankly, we need a guy who can teach the knuckle ball. He could be a great coach. Let's get him into the organization and start developing our own knucklers.

10. Without a beard, damn - he'll look like he's only 35! I bet he has his best year since the Mets. GET HIM, HAL, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Yankees must continue the sell-off

This winter's Four Horesmen Questions of the Apocalypse are simple ones:

1. Are we a country or a kingdom?

2. Do we trust algorithms over instinct?

3. Are we spiritual beings or organic machines?

4. Will the Yankees backtrack on their 2016 youth movement?

Let's study - hm-mm - number four! Will the Eve-Emp this winter abandon the long game, which began July 31 with the sell-off of its three best players. As the 2017 free agent signing period takes shape, fears start anew that we will merely go back to the bottle and sign the next generation of Ellsburys, Headleys and McCanns (oh my...)

Two days ago, MLB's Jim Callis gushed about the newly regenerated Yankee farm system, saying it might be the deepest in all of baseball. (Key word: Might.) Yesterday, we placed six kids on MLB's Top 100 prospect list. (They are Frazier 15th, Torres 17th, Mateo 18th, Judge 22nd, Rutherford 50th, and Sheffield 78th.) That's great news, but let's put it into context: Boston placed five, including the top two - (Yoooooooooooooan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi). We may have more depth, but their system is exploding and, frankly, they have a superior success rate - compared to our track record of Jesus Montero hype and Zolio Almonte whatever. When Gary Sanchez makes the All-Star team, and when Aaron Judge has 30 HRs to his name, we can move from expectations to reality. But we're not there yet.

So let's ponder the top free agents on the market this winter. According to Moonlighting Mike Axisa in a different gig - CBS Sports - here's the list of those players most likely to receive qualifying offers from their teams:

Jose BautistaBlue Jays
Yoenis CespedesMets (assuming he exercises opt-out clause)
Ian DesmondRangers
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
Dexter FowlerCubs (assuming he declines his half of his $9 million mutual option)
Jeremy HellicksonPhillies
Kenley JansenDodgers
Mark TrumboOrioles
Justin Turner, Dodgers

Axisa expects each to get the QO, which means the Yankees would forfeit their first round pick next June. Screw dat. Those players should be off the board. Forget them.

But there are others out there, who won't cost us picks. Two closers leap out, both former Yankees, and all they cost is a shitload of money. Of course, I'm referring to Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon. Either would solve a huge issue - our bullpen on fumes - without crippling our future farm. We have big money coming off the books this winter - Tex and Beltran, for starters - and there is no reason - beyond Food Stamps Hal Steinbrenner - why we can't go to the bank on Chapman or Melancon, or both.

You want more names? RA Dickey probably won't get a qualifying offer from Toronto. He'll pitch to age 70. Let's sign him, before Boston does. (Because they will, and he'll kill us for 10 years.) Wouldn't it be nice to see Brett Cecil shutting down the Blue Jays, instead of us? Travis Wood of the Cubs? Koji Uehara? Maybe a flier on Jared Weaver, CJ Wilson, or even Bartolo Colon? None will likely cost us a pick. This is the gene pool from which we can work.

And let's keep the sell-off going - permanently. The new reality should involve a constant trading of veterans for prospects, even though the kids won't always pan out. Let it start with Headley and McCann - invoke the Ivan Nova rule, which says we'll take Cashman's word for it and celebrate the no-names we get - and also either Gardner or Ellsbury, who have become basically the same player with different contracts. Hell, if anybody wants CC Sabathia (and if he wants to go), make him available.

The youth movement of 2016 must not end. It should be just starting. And from now on until the day we die, it should be the new reality of the Yankees: Never give up a draft pick, and never stop hoarding prospects.