Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The devil made us do this

 

 
 Via Doug K

Take us away...

Courtesy of 13bit

It's time to ask... WWTD? (What Would Tampa Do?) And the answer is... Tyler Wade.

Well, folks, we're into it now.  The virus is everywhere, aliens are building monoliths in the Utah desert, and humankind - I'm not making this up - is actually rebooting Saved by the Bell.  Tell me, over and over again, my friend, that you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction...

That said, when traveling through Hell - or upstate New York - you don't pull over to ask directions from the guy in the red ballcap. And when cheating in third grade, you find the smartest kid in the class and copy her answers. Fortunately, we have the Rays. And it's time to do what Tampa does.

The Yankees have a solid batting order with a disturbing uncertainty at SS. So... what would Tampa do? 

I say... Tyler Wade.

Okay, I heard that.  Everybody, remain seated. Vulgarity is not needed. Tyler Wade is how the Rays would solve their problem at SS. Year after year, they slot their best young players into positions and let them show what they can do. (Does the name Ji-Man Choi strike a note?) 

What Tampa never does is trade prospects for someone whose best years are behind him, and who will demand a huge contract, which is guaranteed to become an albatross halfway through its duration.  

Everybody's talking 'bout Lindors, Condors, Correa, Korea, Simmonds, Clemons, Rabbis and Popeyes, bye-byes and pie-eyes... 

All we are saying is give Wade a chance. 

Two days ago, Wade turned 26. For a shortstop, that's peak foliage. He has a sure glove. He's the fastest Yankee on the roster. He's paid his dues. Last year, he showed marked improvement with the bat. He is a smart player who has learned the major league game. He has earned a shot at more than merely a utility slot.

Okay, I heard that. I won't be swayed by death threats. I get it: Wade hit .170 last year... in only 88 at-bats. (Give him one measly 5-for-5 day, and he'd be at .247 - only three percentage points below Giancarlo Stanton!) Wait. Hear me out! 

Wade hits LH. That's huge, because he feasts on righties - last year, he hit .215 against RH pitchers - that's 45 points above his overall average.  

In September/October, Wade hit 2 HRs, both in key situations. (His 3 HRs last year were key to big wins.) From the left side, he'll make use of that Pennant Porch in RF.

With runners in scoring position, Wade last year hit .235 - 65 fucking points above his average. And get this; With 2 outs and runners in scoring position, he hit .286. (Okay, small sample size - 10 ABs.) How many Yankees hit more than 100 points better with 2-outs and RISP?

He hit .231 against the Redsocks - 61 points above his average.

He stole 4 bases, was caught only once. This obscures the fact that when Wade was on first, pitchers were mortified. Many throws to first. He was always a huge distraction, a clear threat to steal. 

At SS last year, over 22 games, Wade committed no errors. Zero errors. (In 40 games, Gleyber Torres had nine.)

Look, I'm not saying the Death Barge give Wade the position and hibernate until April 1. I'm saying don't crush the long term roster to pry Francisco Lindor - who'll be a free agent next winter - from Cleveland. Rather than signing or trading for an expensive veteran, Tampa gives their best young players a shot. Wade deserves a shot.

If he fails in spring training, well, there is Thairo Estrada, Kyle Holder and the endless scrap heap of glove-first infielders, from which Cashman's greatest strength over the years has been panning for gold. 

The Yankees do not need a big hitting SS. If their sluggers don't slug, shortstop is not going to save them. What we need is pitching, pitching, pitching - and they screwed up yesterday by letting Atlanta get Charlie Morton on a one-year deal. From now on, they should focus on their needs by realizing what they have - and what they have is a rising young player who, on most teams, would get a chance. It's time to follow the leader. What would Tampa do? The answer is Tyler Wade.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Relax- " It Is What It Is".


I am reading a lot of frustration between the lines.  

What will Cashman do?  What can he do?  Can you trade cans of tomato soup to the unsuspecting GM, and get back a prime rib?  

We cannot and we shall not.  So just accept what we are.  Drink and do recreational drugs to give you peace. 

The Yankees have :

1.  Huge vulnerability at starting pitching. 

2.  A collapsing and " decidedly average" bullpen ( as the world has speeded by )

3.  A mediocre outfield which becomes lame when Judge gets hurt.

4.  A messed up infield.  With one guy solid ( Urshela ): one guy out of position ( Torres ); one guy leaving ( LeMahieu ) ; and one guy lost.  No depth, by the way, unless you want a defense-only infield. 

5.  Minor league catching. 

6.  No talent, whatsoever, from all our drafts and other ventures.

7.  An exceedingly cheap owner who hates change but made the worst " deal" in the history of the game. 

This is what I am trying to say:

 "We do not have the resources or the will to correct this. The Mets will earn all the news and win all the flags.  We might as well try joining the NBA, so we can play the Knicks. " 

In summary: GIANCARLO STANTON - SEVEN MORE YEARS.

WILDCARD IS OUR NAME.


My Master Plan To Save The Yankees Part Two – The Outfield

I should have saved “The Outfield” for part three because, like Godfather Part III, the thing is a total mess with a bunch of pieces that require narration to explain what the hell is going on. 

Side note – Coppola is doing a recut and some kind of major fix on Godfather Part III and it’s due out in December. I for one am hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

Is this my segue? Yes it is. Except for the hoping for the best part.

The Yankee outfield is poorly constructed…

How poorly constructed is it?

It is so poorly constructed that Rudy Giuliani wants to use it as a legal argument. 

(That’s not a political joke BTW. When a guy goes something like 0-30 in court he becomes the butt of jokes or the head coach of the Jets. )

---

Let’s get back to the problem. The Yankees have seven outfielders, six of which are, let’s be kind and say, problematic.  Side note: I am including Brett Gardner because we all know they’re going to re-sign him for like, 5 million dollars.  It’s like the end of “Bang the Ceiling Slowly” this guy isn’t leaving until they carry him out.  

So, let’s look at the issues and then see if there’s a work around.  Here are our NY Yankee outfielders

Judge

Pro:  He’s great. Great in the field. Great at the plate. Face of the Yankees. Face of MLB. Blah blah blah.

Con:  I bought a Judge jersey and the third time I washed it the sleeve fell off. And therein lies the rub. We can’t count on him staying healthy. Is it his girl friend with her ride em cowboy chest pounding? Is it big guys get hurt in MLB but amazingly can play tight end in the NFL? 

Thoughts:  I don’t know. He’s not going anywhere and can’t be relied on.  Bummer.  

Hicks

Pro:  Does just enough good things to make you believe he is the real deal.

Con:  The rest of the time.  I mean it’s great that he walks a lot but Mantle, Murcer, Williams, Hicks?  

Thoughts:   I really wanted him to work out but it’s not going happen. His team friendly contract makes him a trade chip. Technically he has had enough big moments to make a nice YouTube highlight reel. So maybe there is someone who sees what Brain saw and is willing to take a chance.  I’m thinking Cleveland but more on that later.

Tauchman

Pro: Can back up all three outfield positions. Reasonable defender.

Con:  Opposing pitchers have figured him out. It’s diminishing returns the rest of the way.  Plus… Mantle, Murcer, Williams, Tauchman? 

Thoughts:   If they keep him I guess I’m kind of OK with it but really there should be a better solution for our back up.

Now our real troubles begin. Left Field! Slowly I turn… and then turn again because I took a bad route to the ball which skips past me and heads to the wall…

Clint Frazier

Pro: Golden Globe nominee. It’s his time. Hits in the clutch. Hits for power. Legendary bat speed right up there with Harley Quinn.  This guy is our Left Fielder for the next five years.

Con:  But what will we do with everyone else?

AnDUjar:  Can hit but can’t field  

Stanton:  Can hit -  when not hurt.  Always hurt. Probably can field but we will never know because playing outfield, what with all that smooth perfect grass and open space is dangerous! I truly believe he is not a malingerer, and wouldn’t it be great if he played like he did in the post season?  Sigh.

Gardner It’s time to thank him for his service. It happens to us all. No disrespect to a true Yankee

So, seven outfielders in search of At Bats. Let’s fix it!

CENTER FIELD

Cleveland needs a center fielder. They have pitching. We need pitching.  Hicks plus, I can’t believe I’m saying this but AnDUjar.  I will live to regret this. I know it. Really AnDUjar should be the DH and Stanton given a new address but that’s not going to happen.  Add a young pitcher and get

Carlos Carrasco he is signed thru 2022, 4 yrs./$47M (19-22) & 23 team option and gives us a number 1/2 starter because Hoss is right. It’s pitching. Pitching. Pitching. 

But Doug , you ask who will play Center Field?

Sign Jack Bradley Jr.  Hey, a Red Sox Centerfielder what could go wrong?  I’m kidding. Sign George Springer.  He is so good. But that’s not happening either because… Hal. 

It would also be the first of the Steve Cohen vs. Hal battles and Steve ain’t losing that one.  So, Kevin Pilar (and I HATE Kevin Pilar). Two years and pray that Florial figures it out.  Wait!  Tell me more about this Jackie Bradly Jr. guy….

Tauchman backs up.

Yes, it isn’t a great solution, but it breaks the logjam and gets us an ace!

LEFT FIELD

Clint.  We’re good.

RIGHT FIELD

Obviously Judge but sign Joc Pederson. Bats Left which we need. Great platoon guy. Totally destroys right-handed pitching.   Gets to DH when Stanton can’t (and we all know that’s coming). Can also back up Clint in Left. Won’t break the bank. They need to do this.  

So:

Frazier,  Meh, and Judge  with Stanton/Pederson/Tauchman as bench.  (and Pitching!!!!)

LAST THOUGHT

Salary is a wash BTW as we lose Hicks (10M)  and don’t have to pay Gardner (10M),  to pay for Pederson and Millar and  we lost Happ or Paxton to pay for Carrasco.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There.

(From the occasionally challenged computer of HoraceClarke66.)

All right, I'm pulling my chair up to the potbelly stove to join this discussion—careful to keep it a prescribed six feet from the rest of you armchair wizards.

Yes, Brain Cashman—perhaps he really IS a brain, some sort of evil genius who is just doing this as an abstract exercise in logic—has put our favorite ballteam in a nearly impossible position.  

To paraphrase Robert Duvall in The Godfather, they (the real contenders in baseball) have the pitchers, and they're the best things to have. So how do we get them?

The Yankees seem to have two sorts of players available to trade:

—Valuable pieces such as LeMahieu and Voit, who led the league in batting and home runs, respectively, but who won't bring in top arms.

—Dubious pieces such as Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar, who MIGHT have something left. But who won't bring in any arms of any worth whatsoever.

So what to do?  

Nothing.

There is nothing we CAN do.  Sure, sign the Korean shortstop (He's almost certainly better than Wade and Estrada. Combined.) Find some way to put Gary Sanchez out of his misery, or at least New York. Snap up some fresh bullpen meat, sign Tanaka for a year or two, if we can. 

That's probably it. But above all, don't believe that we have too many people for too few positions, or anything like that. Stand there, do nothing, and about two weeks into spring training, your New York Yankees will have two, or three, or four regulars out for some unknown period with one mysterious ailment or another.  

Or as Calvin Coolidge put it—this is NOT a political statement!—"When you see ten troubles coming down the road, nine of them will fall into a ditch before they reach you."

When you see ten Yankees coming down the road, nine of them will strain a calf.

Another HR-or-K "slugger" for the Yankees?

Kyle Schwarber?

No thanks. Seriously. I'm not even going to hate-rant on this.  

Another DH? How many do we need? A five-man rotation?

Are you kidding me? Another all-or-nothing, strikeout/walk/homer? While we have massive holes at SS, and the rotation is Gerrit Cole and the cast of Glee? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS IS ABSURD. HAVE WE BEEN PLUNGED INTO THE REDSOCKVERSE? KYLE FUCKING SCHWARBER? WHAT'S OUR STRATEGY, TO TAKE ANYBODY WITH A RIDICULOUS CONTRACT, BECAUSE ANOTHER TEAM IS DESPERATE TO GET RID OF THE GUY? WTF?

No. Fucking. Thanks.
 



Monday, November 23, 2020

My Master Plan to Save the Yankees

After reading Duque’s “It's Sunday, so everybody - (yawn) - is unveiling their master plans to save the Yankees.” I realized that no, not everybody participated in said unveiling. I could think of several people who have yet to check in.  Baseball savant George Will,  long time fan Billy Crystal, and the cleaning staff at the recently busted for Covid violations, sex club, Caligula.

BTW, cleaning staff at a sex club is a really bad job. I know somebody has to do it but still…  Is there no other cleaning job available? I think I’d rather follow the elephants around with a shovel at Ringling Bros. 

Does Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey still exist? Who was Bailey? I always think of Bailey as not getting the proper credit and accolades. Kind of like George Harrison.  Maybe his name was George Bailey and somewhere “It’s Still A Wonderful Circus”

But I digress…

Not knowing any of these people I realized that the task of unveiling a master plan fell to me. So, with the weight of this responsibility fully on my shoulder (I have two shoulders but like to leave my options open) I offer, “My (yawn) master plan to save the Yankees.”

My goal is to be realistic. So even though me, and everyone else here, would make number one - have Hal sell the team, we all know that’s not going to happen. Same with firing Brain. It’s a nonstarter. Those are the kinds of ideas that Bailey would come up with in those circus meetings just before they sent him out to get the sandwiches.

I’m going to split this up over the course of the week. Today the infield.  

The Infield

This is not hard because the infield is not as broken as everyone makes it out to be. We need to resign DJ and get a shortstop. (OK that’s actually half the infield so maybe it is broken.) However, doing this basically sets the team up like last year. DJ floats, until the inevitable injuries hit, Gleyber goes to 2nd base. Luke at 1st. Urshala at 3rd.

So, who is this shortstop?  Well there are two types of solutions long and short (no pun intended) .

Long Term

Personally, I like the Korean guy,  Ha-Seong Kim

He seems solid. MLB Trade Rumors provides the following “ 314/.405/.541 slash — good for a 147 wRC+. Kim walked more often than he struck out (12 percent versus 10.4 percent), belted 30 home runs and swiped 21 bases in 23 tries. (He’s 54-for-60 over the past two seasons.)”

He’s prime age (25) Won’t break the bank. Carries some marketing advantages and can probably be traded if he can’t cut it.  Plus, NYC has a lot of Koreans so he will feel at home as well as never having to pay for a salad bar. If he lives up to his potential he will be good to great.

I guess plan B would be Lindor (Next year when he’s a free agent. Don’t give away the farm!  If we have to trade it can’t be Frazier or AnDUjar or any of our pitching.  (Maybe AnDUjar if they do a sign and trade and we have Lindor guaranteed for 5-7.  Do they do sign and trade in MLB? I know it’s big in the NBA)

Short Term

A lot of people seem to think that Marcus Semien has come into his own. (INSERT CALIGULA JOKE HERE). I don’t know, it’s both a short statistical sample and it seems like we want a bigger name here. But, push come to shove (INSERT YET ANOTHER CALIGULA JOKE HERE) I’d be ok with it. 

Be nice to get Didi back, not sure why they let him go in the first place. 

Or we can just leave Gleyber at SS and play DJ at second.  If we don’t resign DJ we can sign a SS and move Gleyber over to second anyway.

Tomorrow, the Outfield.


Brian Cashman has a problem: Whatever he does will not sit well with Yankee fans

It's Superspreader Monday, perfect time to fantasize what we'd get for Luke Voit in a big deal. A Koufax and a Drysdale? An Ozzie Smith and a Johnny Bench? A pair of Gooses? (Some would say "geese," but you know what I mean.) Hate to be a downer here, but my sense is:  
 
Whatever we get, it won't be enough. 

ESPN's Buster Olney lays it out. You won't like what you see.

The number of corner-slugger types available in free agency is enormous, from Marcell Ozuna to Nelson Cruz, which is likely to mitigate the trade value of someone like Voit. The most compelling reason for the Yankees to trade Voit would be if the front office truly believes that the slugger’s performance last season is highly unlikely to be repeated.

On that note, I think Voit is for real: 40 HR and 100 RBI in an honest season. Good grief, he appeared on 27 out of the 30 recent MVP ballots. He's only 29, hits for power and average (.277), and washes his hands. 

Trouble is, he's a Penn State LB playing 1B, and he bats righty in a lineup that tilts far too starboard. If the Yanks move Gleyber Torres back to 2B - a defining question for 2021 - then a re-signed DJ LeMahieu will play 1B. 

That leaves the Yankees with Voit, naked in the back seat of the Chevy.  They'll never get fair value in a trade - Olney's right about corner sluggers - but if they keep Luke, that means jettisoning Miguel Andujar and/or Clint Frazier. Of course, the top domino is Giancarlo Stanton's eternity stone contract, but even there, what can they do? Stanton raked in our recent post-season. If the guy could stay healthy, he could still have a huge season. They can't scrap Stanton, and nobody will give a can of beans for his paperwork.

The more you look at the Yankees, the more complex - maybe hopeless? - the conundrum appears to be. Somehow, Brain Cashman must find pitchers. That probably starts with re-signing Masahiro Tanaka, but what if demands a five-year deal? 

Last year, Cashman waltzed in and signed the best free agent in the market. He was everybody's hero. (Well, not on this blog, maybe, but you know what I mean.) This year, whatever he does, trade-wise, I don't think Yank fans are going to like it.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

It's Sunday, so everybody - (yawn) - is unveiling their master plans to save the Yankees.

Aside from streaking sparks across the night sky, it looks as though nothing will happen before Thanksgiving. No move to keep D.J. LeMahieu, or to discard Gary Sanchez. 

In a normal November, the Yankiverse would be quiet, peaceful... Calgon.  But I'm not feeling it. Nope. The place remains a brooding, boiling, fuming IBS Lady full of open questions from bloggers who should be spreading global conspiracies. Today's links are a hobbled hike through zombie county. Questions. Consider:

Should the Yankees trade Gleyber Torres for Francisco Lindor? Better question: Do posts that ask questions generate clicks? I believe they do.  Still, as a literary tool, I prefer crisp, one-word sentences separated by periods. And as for the question? No. We. Should. Not. Trade. Gleyber.

Do the Yankees have enough pitching to win in 2021? Good question. Here's another. Does anybody have enough pitching? In this debate, I feel a creepy sense of deja vu. Have we not visited this place before? Did we somehow, in our vast traveling circus of Yankee discourse, forget to ask this question? If so, I apologize. And I would suggest that, no, we do not have enough pitching. Without Tanaka, Happ and Paxton, and with Severino tweaking himself when he sneezes, we need pitching. But. That's. Just. Me. I. Guess.

Could Brooks Kriske be a late-inning weapon for the Yankee bullpen? Aside from the fact that bullpen pitchers, in my opinion, do not qualify as "weapons" - (they cannot supply offense) - I would say that, yes, Brooks Kriske - whoever the fuck that is - could be. Actually, Kriske is a minor-league arm, the type that was supposed to save our asses in 2020, but who stayed in Scranton because - who knows - maybe they like gravy fries? But yes, yes, YES, he could be. You know what he needs? I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd bet Kriske needs... command. Yep, if he develops command, he can definitely be a late-inning axe, or mace, or hacksaw... whatever.

The Yankees will NOT let LeMahieu go to the Mets. Ah, an answer instead of a question, courtesy of Billy Madden - holy crap, he's still manning the barricades at the Daily News! Let's wish him well. Madden predicts the Death Barge will keep its best player, at least from the clutches of the Mets, because new owner Steve Cohen wants to win a pennant more than bugger Food Stamps Hal Steinbrenner. (Also, and you read it here first, the two owners are secret lovers.) The Mets will sign George Springer, Trevor Bauer and/or J.T. Realmuto - but let us have D.J. Why do I have a sinking feeling about this?

The Leonid meteor showers are continuing. Best show in this pandemic. They peaked last week, but the action goes until the end of November. Up to 15 meteors per hour. We won't see them like this again in our lifetimes. (Hmm, for that reason, should we rename them the Mariano meteor showers? Wait. A question. I should have headlined that!)

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Fantasy Island: The Robbie Cano "What-if-he-stayed-a-Yankee?" question

On this dreary November Saturday - with virus cases soaring, with the weather turning cold, and with the wolf at our door - what better way to kill time than by imaging the world if Robinson Cano, back in the winter of 2013-14, had chosen to stay a Yankee?

That is Ken Davidoff's shtick in today's Morning Murdoch, and - okay - he hooked me. Davidoff goes for laughs - hey, it's a "What if...?" - but his jokes obscure some crazy arcs of history that would have been altered, if only Robbie had not chased a 10-year deal with Mephistopheles and jogged off to Seattle.  

A few changes I'd like to add, if Robbie had stayed a Yankee...

1. We probably would avoided Jacoby Ellsbury, whom we signed on Dec. 7, 2013 - a date that will live in Yankee infamy - about 100 hours ahead of Cano's exit. Ellsbury's eight-year deal signaled that Hal Steinbrenner was moving on, killing Robbie's time in Gotham. I can't emphasize this enough: Had Robbie stayed, we could have been spared one of the worst debacles in Yankee history. 

2. We would have missed the four-year revolving door at 2B of Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, Jose Pirela, Dean Anna, Zelous Wheeler, Dustin Ackley, Jackie Mason,  Gilbert Gottfried, Howie Mandell, and former IT IS HIGH milk carton missing child Rob "Brigadoon" Refsnyder. Cano would have played 2B, anchoring the infield and probably batting third. In those four years with Seattle, he never batted lower than .280 and hit 97 HRs. As a Yankee, he probably would have done better.

3. We might have avoided Giancarlo Stanton. After all, it was Starlin Castro - yet another 2B replacement - who in 2018 fronted our side of the Stanton deal. (Yeah, Cooperstown Cashman might have found someone else to trade. But Castro filled all the boxes for Miami. Just sayin.')  You can even imagine a scenario where Boston - having fallen to the Cheatstros in the 2017 post-season, might have wildly dealt for Giancarlo. Instead of Jose Devers, whom the Yankees added to the trade, wouldn't it have been sweet if the Redsocks dealt his older brother, Rafael?

Ach. Why am I doing this to myself? Somewhere out there, deep in the Great Beyond, spins an alternative Earth where John Sterling still delightedly shouts "a ribbie from Robby!... Robbie Cano, a-doncha-knooooow!" to brighten our path in this darkness. Of course, there'd still be Robbie's PED scandals - back then, we heard whispers - so, we'd have our share of grief. And here's the reality: You can't go back. You can't tweak history. The butterfly that flaps its wings in China - Wuhan Province, for example - creates the hurricane that attacks North Dakota.

So, on this dreary Saturday in November, you hear the wolf braying? Don't open the door. We face the greatest challenge of our Yankee fan lives - a Met owner with money who is willing to spend it. No "What if...? can alter the fact that Gary Sanchez sucks, or that we have no starting pitcher after Gerrit Cole. Still... close your eyes and bathe in the Calgon warmth of a world where Cano had stayed. 

It would be better for everyone - and most of all, Robbie.

Friday, November 20, 2020

All We Need To Know


 Seven More Years



 

Is this a cruel joke? "Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman’s suspension for throwing near the head of Tampa Bay’s Mike Brosseau was reduced from three games to two after he appealed the decision."

Big Yankee victory, yesterday...

As stated upstairs, the lords of baseball have reduced by a whopping 33 percent their 2021 suspension of Aroldis Chapman - aka "the Water Cannon" - for throwing at the Tampa Rays. 

The Yankee who has engineered more bad endings than M. Night Shyamalan - two walk-off bombs in two years - will now miss the first two games of 2021, rather than three.

Excuse me, but it's hard to contain my jubilation. I'm shaking. My fingers on the keyboard are twitching with joy. How should we celebrate? Quarter-sticks? Boat flotilla? Conga line in the streets? I'm struggling to summon the proper words. Let me try:

Whoop. Tee. Do.

Over the last three years, nobody more than El Chapo has epitomized the Death Barge's unfulfilled erections. To Reds fans, he's the guy who reset the modern radar gun from 95 to 102. To Cubs fans, he's the man who closed their first World Series in 108 years. To us, he's the nightmare before Christmas. He's the roadside bomb behind iconic HRs from Rafael Devers, Jose Altuve and that Devil Ray whose name will always need a spell check. He's a walking case of PTSD. 

I'm sorry, but throughout 2020, every one-run lead brought the lingering terror that the bad El Chapo would stride in from the bullpen. At any moment, he was capable of imploding. 

In the recent post-season, he pitched in three games - a win, a loss and a save - giving up only one run. But it was a doozy. In October of 2019, he pitched in five games - a loss and two saves - and gave up only one run. But, yeah, it was a doozy.

Okay, a little context here: Aroldis Chapman is hardly the biggest "MEH" facing the 2021 Yankees. We've got bigger frozen haddock to fry. But I can't shake it: The mere sight of this guy fills me with dread. No lead ever feels secure. If he walks the leadoff man, ka-boom. Also, it's distressing to watch him sweat. It looks as if he just took the Ice Bucket Challenge. (Wait... yesterday, did Rudy launch the first Shoe Polish Bucket Challenge!) We have him for two more years. Two more years. He's a power pitcher. What are the odds that he'll get better? 

A lot of great Yankee closers - from Dave Righetti to Lindy McDaniel (R.I.P.) - never won in October. For whatever it's worth, El Chapo is fifth on the all-time Yankee list of saves, behind Mariano, Righetti, Goose and Sparky; he will likely pass the latter pair, maybe as early as this year.  

So, three games reduced to two. Really lessons the sting of 2020, eh?

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Upcoming Seven Year Period


 Giancarlo will push the team to great heights.

The only problem is that the stone weighs more, and has the force of gravity on its side.

Giancarlo has smoothies and health bars, and soft tossing in the outfield. 

He must take the Yankees to the top of the mountain.

Otherwise, a genius business executive like Hal Steinbrenner wouldn't have taken on his $325 million contract, when Giancarlo had already had his peak year. 

No one is that stupid.  Even people who inherit the world. 

But what if the stone wins?   What if the mighty Giancarlo weakens?

Does gravity weaken?  

What if strike outs become a relief for him?

What if the wild card becomes out of reach? 

What if we are now the jokes of NYC? 

Will you be able to purchase a bobble-head of LeMahieu, in a Mets uniform, at Yankee stadium?

It will be the only reason for showing up.

Hot Scoop: Redsock Rudy Giuliani wears a Yankees World Series ring

These days, you never know what you'll find in the news. Here's a tidbit I didn't know about Rudy Giuliani. 

He wears a Yankees World Series ring even though he did not earn it. The diamonds sparkle next to a pinkie ring. A pinkie ring. 

Not going for a political statement. But around here, he's still "Redsock Rudy," for his support of Boston in the 2006 World Series, as immortalized in the tabs.


My fave, though, is the famous Topps card, where he was photoshopped. 

To be fair, Rudy was always a big Yankee fan, but I'm not sure how he's gets a ring. My guess is Hal or Randy Levine - once considered a candidate for Trump's White House chief of staff - probably gave it to him.  

As for the pinkie ring...?

With Cano off the board, the Mets are celebrating, and the Yankee winter looks colder than ever

Today, normally downcast Met fans everywhere can toast their good fortune: The $24 million albatross formerly known as Robbie Cano has been exorcised from 2021, thanks to his pals, performance enhancing drugs. 

Last year's .316 batting average - with 10 HR in 49 games (four less than Joggie delivered in all of 2019) - apparently didn't result from Wheaties and goat yoga. 

Next time he appears, he'll be 39, with two seasons still left (at $24 M per) on the insane 10-year contract that Seattle bestowed on him in 2014, when Cano traded his Yankee heritage for an extra year of cash. Of course, it was always a deal with Mephistopheles. (They all are.) In this case, it was destined to: 

1. Leave Robbie overpaid and utterly disdained by whatever franchise possessed him.

2. Backfire financially, because lifelong Yanks find unique endorsements and financial advantages.

3. Make him a mercenary, who neither gives nor expects loyalty. 

This from a guy who heretofore had been known for his smile. Sad.

This is Cano's second suspension. The first - in 2018 with Seattle - cost him 80 games and $11 million, and greased his trade to the Mets. His Hall of Fame cred might be shot. It's questionable if he'll ever suit up for the Mets again or become a Bonilla/Ellsbury figure, a loathsome target known well to the Talk Radio of Gotham. 

But but BUT... his banishment is a $24 million Amazon gift certificate to new Mets owner Steve Cohen, who has extra money to fling at DJ LeMahieu or Trevor Bauer, or your mama. One caveat: Teams don't win the World Series with aging DHs. 

Someday, maybe the Yankees will figure that out.

Wait... Holy crap! I almost forgot: This is a Yankee fan blog. Surely, today, in the Bronx-Tampa Nexis of power, the Death Barge's front office is congratulating itself for ditching Cano back in 2014. 

Then again, they have seven years left on Giancarlo Stanton's $325 M contract, which will have him playing until age 38. And last winter, they gave Gerrit Cole a nine-year deal worth $324 M; he will also pitch for us until 38. 

Look, I'm not complaining, but... well... seems to me that, if we've learned anything over the years, it's that great teams are built from the ground up - with stars developed in the system and supplemented by free agents. Remember the Core Four? Or look at the Washington Nats. Or Tampa. You don't buy a championship team. You raise it.

From their farms, the Yankees have developed Aaron Judge and - um - Gary Sanchez. We traded for Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier; maybe they should count? And wither goest Miguel Andujar? 

You can't buy a world championship. You need to grow your own. So, chin up, everybody: The Mets might "win" this winter. But the Yankees "won" last year. It's all about the farms. Hey, I wonder how the Martian is doing?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Now He Can Jog Really Fast

 

ESPN's Jeff Passan is reporting that Robinson Cano will be suspended for the 2021 season after testing positive on another PED test.


According to Passan, Cano will forfeit his entire $24 million salary for the year. 

There is no truth the rumor that Hal Steinbrenner was quoted as saying "I wish he was still with us because then I could have saved that money."

What if...

As long as we’re all speculating and before actual things happen, none of which we will like BTW, it seems like a good time to play “What if…”   So here goes…

What if…  

Theo Epstein, after taking a year off, takes over for Brain.

I know that he specializes in cursed franchised with 100-year title droughts, but we haven’t won since 2009 and it will be the 2022 season. In Yankee Years that’s just like 100.  It would work for me because Brain would be gone and sure, why not? At a minimum it would give us a back page or two.

Would Brain leave?  (No, I will not succumb to doing political humor. We all promised. My word is my bond.)  So…

What if…   

The next time Brain rappels down that building he has, lets just call it, some difficulty, and while unscathed he comes to the realization that life is both short and a precious gift and that he’s been in a rut lately and the job has become mundane.  Pick up a #3 starter here, pretend to pursue a big free agent there, talk about how competitive the product is. He can phone it in at this point and probably does. 

This near-death experience changes his world view. He looks in a mirror and sees a man dressed as an elf.  Ironic, as “Elf” was his nickname in middle school.  He vows to pursue new horizons and like magic a vacancy appears just in time for Theo. But first Brain trades for a passel of mediocre starters so as not to leave the cupboard bare.

While we are waiting for the above scenario…

What if…

John Sterling retires and is replaced by Hank Azaria doing Brockmire and the ratings go up so much that the Yankees get a windfall of advertising dollars and go out and sign Lindor.

And last,

What if…

Domingo German gets to pitch in an actual MLB game and … Never mind, too far fetched.  

 

Holiday IQ Test


There is a dark image on the screen.

It is meant as a metaphor ( understanding that word is part of the IQ test ).

One image represents the Yankees for the next seven years.

The second image represents an element of the team which diminishes the team's ability to move forward.

The IQ test has two parts:

 - describe the anchor in detail.

- identify the person in the Yankee hierarchy who created this fucking mess.

Sail away !



The Gammoniites' push continues for Francisco Lindor

Every day, some self-quaranteening baseball nerd outlines a new fantasy deal in which the Yankees acquire Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor. 

Today's version comes via ESPN, which somehow - a Herculean effort in list-making - ranks every team in baseball, according to the likelihood of trading for Lindor. Every. Team. In. Baseball. Yikes. Was the Genome Project this complicated? The Yankees come in second... as usual. (No. 1: The Reds!) So, let's-

(THIS IS A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM IT IS HIGH: 

(Before continuing, please sign off on the following disclaimer: "I understand that what I'm about to read is fifth-degree, APBA, Dopey Dildox, bogus crapola - as is the case with all cooked-up, crock-of-shit trade scenarios. Whatever the Yanks do, it won't be foreshadowed by Chris Berman or the blood moon. (This is not to denigrate blood moons.) I merely note that a: Aaron Boone used to be an ESPN analyst and b: bold predictions" come from people in North Korea who are paid by the sentence. So, on that note, proceed...)

Regarding Lindor: He is 27 and last year hit .258 for Cleveland with 8 HRs in 60 games. (He never missed a game - shades of Jeter?) In his last full season, 2019, Lindor hit .284 with 32 HRs; in previous years, he hit 38 and 33. He's considered a great fielder. Last year, he made one (1) error. (In 40 games, Gleyber Torres botched nine.) Lindor steals about 20 bases per season, is said to be a fine clubhouse presence, and he's entering his walk year, contractually. He'll make $19.7 M, and the Indians supposedly will not re-sign him next winter. Thus, they  are shopping him as a one-year rental. It's supposed to be a buyer's market - though I wonder.

For now, Cleveland is asking the world for Lindor. That's what they all do. Supposedly, they want three cheap starting players. Which brings us to the second-ranked Yankees: Depending on the matchmaker, a deal could involve: 

Clint Frazier, who the Yanks say they won't trade (but they might be posturing.)

Miguel Andujar, who, frankly, has no spot on the 2021 Yankees.

Clarke Schmidt and/or Deivi Garcia, because teams always want young pitchers.

Luke Voit, the 2020 HR King, whom the Yankees own through 2024.

Various lug nuts, the Ben Hellers and Anthony Volpes, who spackle the walls of every major trade. 

So, WTF? Here's my best guess:

Everything hinges on the Yanks re-signing DJ LeMahieu. If they do, he plays 1B, making Voit expendable. Voit, Andujar and a prospect? Remember: It's a one-year rental. 

The ensuing Yankee infield - Urshela, Lindor, Torres and LeMahieu - might be the best in baseball. That's not nothing. So... are we really No. 2? And will LeMahieu stay?