Tuesday, October 6, 2015
I did a little research with some old friends in Cleveland, trying to better discover the roots of CC's problem with alcohol.
And while I learned nothing of use to the psychologists, I did learn how Sabathia got his nickname.
The Scene : Bars in Cleveland ( early afternoon, late at night, occasionally 8:00am )
Patron : " I'll have CC on the rocks."
Bartender : "You got it buddy; Canadian Club on the rocks."
Patron: "Double CC and soda"
Patron: "CC manhattan, up."
Patron: "CC neat with a draft."
Patron: "CC and coke. Lot's of ice. I've got a hangover."
Patron : " Double CC on the rocks."
Bartender: "Hey, CC, can I have your autograph?"
And so it began…...
I am formally inviting CC to come over and drink with me tonight. A pitcher of vodka martinis will help him forget his recent publicity and, okay, " troubles."
He has to know that the Yankees will lose tonight, otherwise he will have guilt forever about abandoning his team at their moment of need. And just for a shot of rye and a beer.
The first thing I will tell him is that alcoholism is not a problem when you have millions, stay at home,. don't drive and have no family or friends.
The second is; starting tomorrow, you do two things. One; you give up drinking and check into that clinic. Be sure and converse in the group sessions. Don't sign autographs because you are now just a bum like everyone else.
Two; give the Yankees a check for $50million. You have been a drunk for years ( don't say it just happened ), and, in effect, have been stealing the Yankees money. Your record has been putrid, your uniform doesn't fit, and you can go into the Hall of Dirt with the Indians' capon your fuzzy head.
No we all know why they were laughing at Brian Cashman when you got on the bus for NYC.
I really feel sorry for this guy.
MASAHIRO BUMGARNER, ANYONE? WE GO FROM WHITEY FORD TO BETTY FORD. IT'S WILD CARD RALLY CAPS DAY: WRITE IN YOUR RALLY CAPS WHY THE YANKEES WILL EITHER WIN OR GO HOME, (OR TO REHAB)
THE MORE I THINK ABOUT CC SABATHIA, THE LOUDER I GET.
THE YANKEES CAN SPIN THIS LIKE DOROTHY HAMILL, BUT I FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE - AS MANAGEMENT CONTENDS - THAT NOBODY HAD AN INKLING OF CC'S PROBLEMS.
NOR DO I BUY IT THAT AS SOON AS HE ASKED FOR HELP, THE FRANCHISE RALLIED BEHIND HIM. MY GUESS IS PEOPLE KNEW, BUT JUST FIGURED HE COULD RIDE IT THROUGH OCTOBER AND THEN DRY OUT. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH WEEKS, MONTHS AGO. HOW MANY WARNING SIGNS DID THEY IGNORE?
NOR DOES CC GET A COMPLETE PASS. ALCOHOLISM IS A MONSTER, BUT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO LEAD THIS TEAM. I WONDER: HOW MANY YOUNGSTERS WERE TRYING TO KEEP PACE WITH HIM AT THE BAR? WAS HE DRINKING DURING GAMES?
SINCE THE ALL-STAR BREAK, EVERY TIME YOU THOUGHT THE YANKEES' PREDICAMENT COULDN'T GET WORSE, SOME NEW PROBLEM EMERGED. IT'S BEEN A STEADILY SINKING BARGE. WE'VE GONE FROM CAPTAIN JETER TO CAPTAIN MORGAN, FROM MR. OCTOBER TO MR. OCTOBERFEST. WHAT OTHER SECRETS ARE LURKING BEHIND THIS ASTONISHING MELTDOWN?
TODAY, WE EITHER SALVAGE THE SEASON OR SHUT THE DOOR ON ONE OF THE MOST DEPRESSING YANKEE ENDINGS IN MEMORY...
IF IT'S THE LATTER, THE SMELL WILL LINGER FOR A LONG TIME.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Tonight, I'm still trying to fathom how CC Sabathia - a lion of a competitor, a prince of a guy - could devolve into the player who can't even answer the bell in what would likely be his last chance at a World Series. How messed up must he have been in these recent weeks? Dear God, it must have been horrible, the sequence of events that prompts him to walk away from what he was working toward all year - a post-season appearance. It blows your mind. I'm sure we'll learn a lot about CC in the next few days - it is NYC, after all - and I doubt the revelations will be pretty for both Sabathia and the Yankees. It's nice that the franchise is backing him - (we'll see how far they go with that) - but how could things have gotten so bad? This didn't happen overnight.
Close your eyes, and its almost impossible to imagine the 2015 Yankees winning the World Series. It's easier to imagine dolphins rising from the oceans to demand an end to casino gambling. Of course, yes, anything can happen. All you need is a dollar and a dream. They must win tomorrow, then get really hot and really lucky, and that's the beauty of hope: You can always find some. But these Yankees have now gone through one of the ugliest collapses in their history: A sickening end-of-season losing streak that nearly cost them the wild card. Now, they go into October with the bare shell of a staff. Even if their pitchers perform heroics, they're not going to last three and a half weeks.
It's as if the entire year has been a cruel joke by Chris Capuano. He's been DFA'ed multiple times, always returned for one last chance - and then he'd crap the bed again. Yet if the Yankees make the ALCS, we might actually see him again. Can you believe it?
OK... we have Tanaka tomorrow. He was a gamer in Japan. Let's hope he throws a shutout, because we won't score on Dallas Keuchel. Let's say we win. Then we go to KC with a rotation of Severino, Pineda and either Adam Warren or - ugh - Ivan Nova. We will expect Betances and Miller both to pitch two innings per game. And if somehow we beat KC - it's only a five game shot - we face Toronto/Texas over seven. And then the World Series. How many times can Tanaka pitch, especially with a bad hamstring? How many more innings should Severino pitch? How do you figure this team winning it?
Well, you don't. And when it's over - and it ain't 'till it is, somebody said - the 2015 Yankees are going to be remembered for trials and tribulations - and for one ultimate question: How things could have gotten this way?
All season, we've heard how CC was such a team leader, how he commanded such respect from coaches and teammates.
How bad must his drinking have been if he has to go into rehab on the day before the playoffs?
When you watch a team collapse like the Yankees have in the last week - and actually, the last month - you wonder what dynamics are at work? The Redsocks a few years back were drinking in the clubhouse during games. You wonder...
I anticipate beginning with a pitcher of manhattans. Then a dozen cold beers to guide me into Tuesday, where the wake-up call is a tall, 16 ounce bloody mary, along with steak and eggs.
As game time approaches, my plan is to transition to vodka martini's.
So that is my planned preparation for this enormous, and ever rare , Yankee event.
The Yankees? They will do the following;
1. Score two runs early but fail to overwhelm the opponent, missing numerous opportunities to do so.
2. Then, we fold up the offense and rely on pitching.
3. A-Rod will strike out three times in crucial situations, and single with two outs and no one on in the 8th or 9th.
4. We will lose by a run.
By the game's end, I will need a week off.
Let the books show that the 2015 Evil Empire produced 87 victories, three more than 2014 and jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeussssssssst enough to qualify for the 5th Annual Bud Selig Memorial One-Game Wild Card Turkey Shoot.
Once the Yankees clinched this remarkable achievement, our canny team of vets promptly clocked out and went into Jesse Barfield mode, which is also known as Casual Dress October. Nobody wasted a hit. Nobody wasted a quality start. They played miserably, horribly, embarrassingly, Barfieldingly - they peed themselves in public - only to be saved by sympathetic strangers - in this case, the normally hate-filled Arizona Diamondbacks.
In this way, the '15 Yanks mirrored their owner - (or more appropriately, his son) - Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner, who prides himself on finishing second in free agent auctions. Last winter, I'm Not Cheap finished a close runner-up in the race for Yoan Moncada, the Redsocks likely successor to Dustin Pedroia, and he nearly signed several others, too. We're lucky. What a waste those players would have been. The fact is, we didn't need more than 87 wins - and as the YES men constantly remind us, nobody expected the Yankees to make it this far! It's been a great year, we over-achieved, and even if this team doesn't make it past the Selig Piss-Off, we won jeeeeeeeeeusssssssssssssst enough to make the 2015 Wild Card.
Once upon a time, there was a philosophy that the Yankees would challenge every year, that they were not the Padres or Brewers or Royals, who build powerhouse teams simply by finishing last for a half-decade. The idea was that the Yankees sit on the biggest market in pro sports, and each year, they would plow the proceeds back into the team. Thus, even if they won a pennant, they would sign a Mike Mussina or a Jason Giambi, or whatever Asian star appeared on the horizon. Rooting for the Yankees was different from supporting any other team. Other fans hated you. They would pick arguments. When you lost, they came after you. Nobody ever expressed pity for you. It was a source of personal pride, and you had to carry it, and it was likely nothing else in sports. You were a goddamm Yankee fan.
Of course, as we know, the MLB rules changed and luxury taxes became oppressive - blah-blah-blah - but somehow I'm Not Cheap became so infatuated by cutting costs that he even stopped chasing the free agents who don't affect the payroll caps. A generation of Cuban and Japanese stars came to America, and with the exception of Tanaka - a case where I'm Not Cheap was practically shamed into forking over the money (and he's been worth every penny, by the way) - the whole plan has been Barfieldian - to spend as little as possible and win jeeeeeeeeeeeeeussssssssst enough for that final open slot.
And they did it. They achieved their objective! Hoo. Ray.
Yep, the YES brigade is absolutely right. For the Yankees, it's been a wildly successful year. They made the one-game playoff - literally coasting into it. We won jeeeeeeeeeeeeeussssst enough to be here, and now - well, who knows? We are 1-5, without driving in a meaningful run in the last week, but at least we didn't waste anything. That's frugality, folks! We're just like the owner: Jeeeeeeeuussssssssssssssst enough. In fact, close your eyes and look out in right, that's not Carlos Beltran out there. Isn't that Jesse Barfield? Hey, let's put on some Huey Lewis. I need a new drug.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
I finally figured it out.
As soon as the red socks came to town last week the Yankees, under the clever management of
Joe ( the magician ) Girardi, began to quietly execute "Plan B."
This unexpected bit of creative baseball planning called for the Yankees to look helpless. To fail at every discipline.
Leave runners in scoring position.
Give up multiple homers to a broad base of up and coming players
Utilize losing baseball strategies in all circumstances
Have reliable pitchers collapse early.
Overwork the quality guys in the bull pen.
Order A-Rod to strike out with the bases loaded.
Make sure Headley doesn't bunt with the tying run on third, no outs, and the infield playing deep.
Play shoddy defense.
Have your fastest guy get picked off when representing the tying run in the ninth inning.
And it has worked.
Who, in the American league, doesn't now see this team as inept? As unworthy of any playoff role? As an opponent who will be crushed and demoralized by the third inning of any game? A team with no threats at all in important moments? With a manager whose moves can be read like Pineda's pitches?
"Plan B" has worked perfectly. Flawlessly.
The only sacrifice is that Yankee fans won't get to see them capitalize on the benefits of this deception at the stadium. Not getting to play the play-in game in front of Yankee fans is also part of the plan.
The sacrifices we make.
Unfortunately, Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner never picked up the phone. He spent $5 million each on Chris Capuano and Stephen Drew, then threw about $30 million at the Dominican Republic BOCES class of 2020. When the big free agents hit the market, "I'm Not Cheap" hid under the bed, counting his gold dubloons. More amazingly - the courtier Yankee media and loyal blog enables snapped into line and hailed the New Frugality, as if Yankee fans were receiving all that free money, instead of the Steinbrenner brood.
Let's forget that the Yankees right now look like the worst team in baseball, as they stumble toward the one-game playoff. Let's forget our multitude of problems - as deep as the GOP's interest in Benghazi - and let's celebrate all the money that "I'm Not Cheap" saved by not pursuing Max Scherzer.
Imagine 2015 if we had Max. We might have witnessed two no-hitters, Yankee Classics to be rerun on YES for the rest of eternity. We might be watching a future centerfield plaque, or surely a retired jersey. We might have won the AL East, because instead of being seven games behind in July, Toronto would have been 12 games out, and they might not even have chased David Price. We wouldn't have watched Ivan Nova piss away an entire second half and keep returning like a ghost, or GOP investigations of Benghazi.
Remember when "I'm Not Cheap" claimed the Yankees would have a warchest to be used at the trade deadline? Lett's celebrate that he saved all that cash - mainly because nobody wanted to sell us anything. Other teams preferred young prospects, so "I'm Not Cheap" kept his extra stack. The '15 Yankees made a playoff - they're calling it "the post-season," but they need to win the playoff to make the actual post-season. "I'm Not Cheap" pocketed more millons. Hoo-ray for him.
Word is that "I'm Not Cheap" will sit out next winter's free agent market, waiting until CC, Tex and A-Rod are off the books, so he can pursue that Dream Fantasy of Yankee fans: the $187 million, no-luxury tax payroll! I can't wait! That will be the greatest time to be a Yankee fan, knowing that "I'm Not Cheap" has achieved his goal. Won't it be great that kds like Severino and Bird save the team money, which they don't have to spend on other players.
Once upon a time, the Yankees were the gold standard of baseball, the team everybody hated and everybody watched. They might stink, but they were never boring. Then "I'm Not Cheap" took over. This week, they will be New York's other team. But, hey, let's celebrate the reality! THE TEAM SAVED MONEY! Hoo-ray.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Whoever we face, they'll go into the one game playoff playing far better ball than we have been.
I thought this was baseball. Since when did we become the NFL? If we're doing one game playoffs, why not have a 64 team bracket, including Triple A. Have the Final Four, or maybe a double-elimination round robin. One game? Since when does baseball decide something, anything, on a one game playoff?
One game. It's not right. If Tanaka has a stinker, three runs in the first - our season is over. If we go 0 for 10 with runners on base, as we are prone to do, the season is history. If Headley sails one into the stands, or if Beltran gets hypnotized watching flies drop in front of him... if Chasen Shreve comes in, under any circumstances... if Betances can't find the plate... if, if, if... so many ways we can lose this one stinking game... if any one of them lands upon us, or if we're just unlucky... it's over.
Right now, it's Houston. Right now, it's Dallas Keuchel, who won his 20th last night. He'll pitch on three days rest, (for the first time ever.) The guy has thrown 16 shutout innings against us this season. He's been untouchable. He's a lefty. We die against lefties. In a three game series, they couldn't throw just lefties. In a five game series, we'd expose their bullpen. In a seven game series, all our advantages would have a chance to emerge.
Or it could be California. We will face Trout. It'll be like when we faced Josh Hamilton, four years ago, in his prime, last time we made the playoffs. Every time he comes up, I'll hide behind the couch. California would throw a lefty against us. Doesn't matter who he is. We die against lefties.
Minnesota lost last night. Damn. I want the Twins. Phil Hughes isn't a lefty. Give us the Twins, juju gods. It shouldn't be much to ask. After all, it's just one game.
Friday, October 2, 2015
In the end, they knew the Yankees are going no where, and that the future belongs to the red socks, so they threw the Yankees a bone. After all, it is fitting that the greatest franchise in our world should win their 10,000 game against their long-standing rival. It just seems the right balance for baseball.
So a lot of the regulars sat out the game for Boston. Likewise for the Yankees, though their rationale is harder to fathom.
CC pitched like the old professional that he is; Adam Warren proved his mettle as a long reliever; and Dellin got to close out the biggest game of his young career. The Yankees won the game with home runs. This is their only path to scoring. But Kudos to Carlos, Bird and Refsnyder ( he crushed it ).
The contributions of Bird and Refsnyder, along with Severino, Didi, and John Ryan Murphy are positives for next season, regardless of what happens on Tuesday night. I also have high hopes for Nathan Eovaldi, unless he needs surgery. He is still young and was about our best pitcher this year.
Can Aaron Judge and Slade Heathcott emerge? And we have to buy a new Greg Nettles for third base.
Anyway, they all helped us get to the playoffs for the first time in a "coon's age, " as El Duque likes to say. A one game play-in is not exactly like being named the Prom King, but it is a ticket into the dance hall where, they say, anything can happen. One can get lucky.
So let's all raise a glass of the finest whiskey we can find, and toast this melange of coaches and players who got us here. It will be fun, even if it, "gets late early," again on Tuesday eve.
Today, it is only Friday.
Long may she wave! Yanks hoist 2015 Wild Card Home Field Advantage Flag o'er the House that Ruth Built
Well, here we go. One game, one last run, and a hurricane on the way.
One game. Not that we ever doubted this plucky Yankee team. We knew A-Rod would hit. We knew Luis Severino would become the Yankee Pedro. We said Refsnyder needed a chance. And we pleaded with the juju gods to do something about Stephen Drew. (Don't like concussions, though. Hope the guy is OK.)
OK, we goofed on condemning Carlos Beltran, and we didn't think CC Sabathia would ever start for us again. We were wrong on Didi, wrong on Tex, wrong on a lot of fronts. Oh well, we are in.
One game. This will almost surely be A-Rod's last run in the klieg lights. One game. With a hurricane on the way. One game.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Last night was just puke. I have had better nights, vomiting on my shoes and peeing on myself in a bar, waking up in an alley. Watching this Yankee team is an embarrassment.
The Yankees, under the woebegone tutelage of Joe Girardi, just can't do a thing right. When this ends badly, as it will, don't forget that Joe has been at the helm.
Joe pinch-hits John Ryan Murphy for Bird ( who can hit lefties, Joe ) and he strikes out, extending his streak of hitless pinch hitting appearances. Now the defense softens, as whomever Joe puts at first will rival Carlos Beltran for competence there. I didn't stay up to see if it was John Ryan or that dweeb with the bad back we recently traded for.
Joe plays the tie going into the ninth, " by the book." A tactic that has cost us every time. We never win tie games in extra innings.
The reason; home runs don't come that often. We score early and go home. The Yankees can't manufacture runs any other way.
But before we all fall on our swords, let us remember the early and even pre-season warnings we raised:
-An old team that is susceptible to injuries.
- A 40 year old slugger who will wear out after the dog days of August.
- A questionable starting staff ( CC seemed done; Nova is never reliable; Tanaka and his arm issue; Pineda and his arm/mental issue; Nathan Eovaldi and his bad luck.
- A replacement at SS that is not Derek.( Didi had lost his job on the team that traded him to us).
_ A New York Met "slugger"who got trashed by the Mets.
_ No one at second base. No one. All season.
- Tex with a history of season ending injuries. And he did not let us down.
- A catcher not as good as either of two we released for him (Martin, Cervelli).
-A CF who had his best days in Boston
- A farm system with no superstars anywhere near those that Boston has already elevated.
We ( I ) actually predicted that this team would not even make the one game play-in. So what is all the fuss about?
Do they make it if they lose all remaining games, but back in?
Not in my mind.
Maybe it's me. Really bad Ju-Ju. I'm not going to watch anymore this year.
What a disaster. This should be a night of celebration.
What a disaster.
Other teams are making their final drive - the Redsocks look like next year's Blue Jays - while the old, tired and bloated Yankees drunkenly backpedal, watching the scoreboard and praying to be saved by the bell.
If the season lasted another week, we'd fall out of it altogether.
What a disaster.
Last night, waiting for the Yankees to lose, I had the creeping sense that the entire season was just a practical joke. Brett Gardner comes up in the 11th, and they flash his batting average: .261. Two sixty one? Dear God, what happened to this guy? Two sixty one? He made the all-star team. He was chasing .300. Two sixty one? And with the bases loaded, Gardner swings at the first pitch and hits a meek grounder to second. WTF happened to this guy?
And then there's Didi Gregorius, who goes 0-for-5. At one point, they intentionally walk Rob Refsnyder to pitch to him. Refsnyder, in his first week of playing. And it works. Didi swings at the first pitch. Poof. He's now hitting .262. Two sixty two. For the last month, we've heard nothing but superlatives about Didi - Cashman's great pickup - but across the way, the Redsocks have a future MVP at shortstop, and something tells me, the Didi Era might not be remembered for celebrations.
Then we have our two Yankees Forever - or at least three more years: Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting .261. Two sixty one? And Chase the Overthrow Headley's at .262. Two sixty two. I'm sensing a Cashmanocci numerical sequence. .261, .262, .261, .262... what comes next? Well, how about .252 - which is A-Rod's BA, and then .234, which is Brian McCann.
Have we been so corrupted by the home run that even non-sluggers swing for the fences? That's what happened to Stephen Drew, who traded 17 HRs for a career-ending batting average. (Though, as KD pointed out yesterday, by getting hurt, Drew ends the season above .200!)
Yeesh. What happened to this team? They were seven games up in July, and Cashman was going to the Hall of Fame. Now, we've done more choking than Jonathan Papelbon, and we're aimlessly watching the scoreboard, hoping to be rescued by the Cleveland Indians.
What a disaster. Iceberg, dead ahead. And this one is going to sting for a long time.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
I might just go back to the Greyhound counter and buy a one-way ticket to Mexico.
Last night, Michael Pineda had barely placed his ridiculous "iconic" cap on his head and we were six runs down. He just got hammered.
His expression lost all serenity, his eyes glazed and popped, his confidence went in the toilet. I thought for a moment there, that he was going to ask for a bathroom break. Talk about a panic moment.
I thought I was watching an act; a parody of baseball done in a theater in the west village. Death of a Pitcher.
It was better than batting practice for the red sox. It was like dunking your high school physics teacher at a, " hit the bullseye," game at the county fair.
The game was over. As Yogi would say, " It got late early."
Where the hell is Nathan Eovaldi? All of a sudden Luis Severino is our best pitcher?
Jesus, Mary & Michael.
A team to blow the one game wild card play-in spot if I ever saw one.
Official Yankee view: There's nothing to fear, no reason to worry, lalalalala, everybody go home and go to bed
The Yankees won't blow this.
Nope. Can't happen. Will not happen! Those aging vets, you can count on them in the clutch. They're battle-tested, they know the score. The Yankees have carefully assembled a team of cagy, experienced warriors, and they know how to win. Lalalalalala...
Why would anybody worry? After all, the Empire has played one game over .500 since early August. They are 13-19 in their last 32 home games. A-Rod is hitting .167 over his last 11. Our lineup couldn't hit a lefty with tennis rackets. We're practicing John Ryan Murphy at 1B. Last night, Michael Pineda gave up six runs before recording his second out. Tanaka goes tonight, first time since he tweaked his hammy, which happened when Girardi started him on four days rest. Oh yes, everything is groovy!
Nope. Nothing to fear. No way the Yankees get swept at home by the lowly Redsocks, who - by the way - have five hitters in their lineup with higher averages than the Yankees' leader, Carlos Beltran, (at .274.) No frickin way can the Yankees lose two more. Go home, everybody. Eat a chicken and kiss your children. And - hey - if we do get swept - who cares? - because all we need to do is take 2 out of 3 in Baltimore, where old friend Buck Showalter will have his team take a knee. Right? It cannot happen. Big collapses only happen to the Mets, you know, when they had guys like, oh, Carlos Beltran.
It's been a great year! Nobody expected such success. What a pleasant surprise! The Yankees are contending for the Wild Card! We should be thankful. Everything is great! No, better than great! IT'S FANTASTIC, MAGNIFICENT, ADORABLE, AND I'M SO HAPPY THAT I'M READY TO EXPLODE, HAHAHAHAHA, WITH WILD CARD PRIDE! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! LALALALALA...
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Do you believe this slop? It's from Anthony McCarron, who used to man the Daily News Fifth.
We do not subscribe to the absurd Jeterian notion that any season that ends with a loss is an abject failure. With that outlook in mind, this Yankee year already should be deemed a success by virtue of the fact the Bombers had a chance to clinch a postseason berth Monday night if a few tumblers fell right.
Dear Lord, protect us from those who would have the Yankees be the Kansas City Royals, and who would happily accept anything less than a World Championship.
Do not let them infect us.
Listen: It's NOT A CRIME in this world to root for AT LEAST ONE WINNING TEAM. It's not a sin to expect that team to win, and to demand nothing less. It doesn't matter if it is Ohio State in football, or Duke in basketball, or the Lakers or Vince Lombardi's Packers. IT'S NOT A CRIME TO EXPECT YOUR TEAM TO WIN. In New York, we can shrug off the horrible Knicks and drink away the last-minute meltdowns of the Jersey Giants. All we have - or once had - was the assurance that the Yankees were in it for keeps.
It is NOT A CRIME to want - and to expect - the Yankees to win every season.
I was not able to watch the Yankees for 34 days. Occasionally, I was able to log on to IIHIIF for news and updates.
I see that the team lost Tex for the year ( which we predicted earlier ), and that A-Rod's offensive contributions were waining as the days grew shorter ( also predicted ).
Last night, I watched and nothing had changed. Nova pitched better than normal for about 5 innings; the Yankees could not score more than one run for him; most bunting attempts were absurd; and Ivan finally got whacked with the long ball.
To me, the failure of the offense remains stasis. Without a flurry of two and three run home runs from Beltran, Mc Cann or the kid, the Yankees just cannot generate consistent offense.
And few pitchers, or combinations of them, can give us nine innings of 1 run ball.
So we lost to the team that, just the day before, crawled out of the cellar.
The one game play-in slot is still not secure, but we will likely get there.
Then, we'll go home again.
I'm talking about Betts, Bradley and Bogartes - three rising stars who could brace their lineup for a decade. Bogartes is already the best SS in the league; he might win the batting crown. Bradley is a Gold Glove OF who has learned to hit, and Betts could be the best of them. Add Yoan Mocada - the great and ridiculous front office Yankee mental lapse of 2015 - and we could face a Boston resurgence that won't be smoke and mirrors.
Of course, we do have Greg Bird and Luis Severino. But after that, our system lands in the middle of the pack. (Boston's is rated among the top farms, in part thanks to Moncada.) All the hype about Aaron Judge belies the fact that he didn't hit at Scranton. Jorge Matos is at least two seasons away, we have no place for Gary Sanchez, and the Yankees dedicated 2015 to devaluing Rob Refsnyder and denying the existence of Jose Pirela. We have no Betts, Bradley and Bogartes. Boston has a wave of youth, and that's how teams win.
Under Bud Selig, MLB quietly became the NFL, a sport much friendlier to cheapskate billionaire owners. To win, all you have to do is come in last for about three years. You'll draft a Bryce Harper, or a Gerrit Cole or a David Price, or maybe a couple of them. The Yankees' money advantage is vanishing, and we have our own Kung Fu Pandas - (did we really sign Chase Headley to a four-year deal?) We cannot buy our way out of bad decisions, and the Moncada debacle shows that still make them.
In baseball, the worst place to be is slightly above .500. You don't draft high, and if you sign a free agent, you forfeit your first-round pick. When you look at the Yankees, you see a middle-of-the-pack franchise that for three years now has desperately chased the one-game Wild Card, the sham of the post-season. Barring an explosive meltdown - the likes of which could end Joe Girardi's run - we should finally make that damn one game shot.
Well, we better win it. If not, all the YES blather about how the 2015 Yankees over-achieved will go down the sink hole. Because we have gigantic sodden lumps in our lineup, and they aren't going anywhere. Boston might be eating our lunches for years to come. And next year, right around now, we'll be chasing that one game wild card.