Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Brief History of Phil Rizzuto on What's My Line

Scooter was the Mystery Guest on the very first episode of What's My Line, February 2, 1950.

   

Note the unashamed sexual harassment of the model passing out blindfolds to the panelists. Note also host John Charles Daly's efficient post-game interview with our hero:
DALY: And Phil, tell us, what do you do during these off-season days?

SCOOTER: I work at The American Shops, the clothing store up in Newark.

DALY: How's business?

SCOOTER: Pretty good.

DALY: The American Shops up in Newark. I must say, you should be able to sell a suit very well and very fast and thanks a lot for being our celebrity guest on What's My Line.
Scooter selling a suit very well and very fast.
Phil returned to the original show three times as a guest panelist. When it broadcast its tribute-filled final episode in 1967 he was missing in action, an incident that inflamed discussion among What's My Line enthusiasts as recently as 2008.

The show was revived a year later. Phil reassumed the Mystery Guest mantle exactly 20 years after his first appearance.

   

What the 1970 episode lacks in lechery it makes up for with a Scooter/Burt Convy bonding moment and some crisp Hot Stove talk with Soupy Sales:
SOUPY: What kinda team the Yankees gonna have this coming year, Phil?

SCOOTER: Well, it's gonna be a lot better, Soupy, and actually the Mets have given everybody a lot of hope. You don't think of the Yankees as a second division team, but we are right now and we figure if the Mets can have the impossible dream, maybe the Yankees might be able to.

(Applause)
"You don't think of the Yankees as a second division team, but we are right now." Clearly, those who forget 70s game shows are doomed to repeat them.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Quotations From Syracuse Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol, Compiled From Press Releases

"We're itching to get another season of Chiefs baseball going!”

“We're committed to keeping the Chiefs the best affordable family fun in Central New York!”

"We're excited to be back on television so our fans can get a first-class look at the Chiefs when they're not at the park!"

“We can't wait to see our loyal fans get ready for Opening Day and the other 71 Chiefs home games!"

"The Chiefs are more than just fantastic professional baseball!”

"Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is one of our most trusted partners!”

“We can never doubt the passion of Syracuse fans!”

“I love seeing the Chiefs' faithful back on board for 2015!”

"Get out your calendars and circle your dates to catch the 2015 Syracuse Chiefs!"

June 19 vs. Buffalo Bisons: The world famous MiniKISS will be performing before the game! Get there early to hear all your favorite KISS songs!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

BRONX BOMBSHELLS
News From the Shadow of Baseball's Luxury Cathedral

Nancy Spielberg with Rambo.
Coyote Spooks Steven Spielber's Sister in Bronx: "This one felt like a predator, like he couldn’t be rehabilitated. He was out in the daytime watching us for a very long time.”

Bronx Man Charged With Manslaughter After Parking Dispute: Defense lawyer Dennis Ring says it was a tragic accident and his client will be cleared when all of the facts come out.

Bronx Grandmother Forced to Use Scooter After Teens Steal Wheelchair: "It's hard on the bumps, it goes sideways. I don't trust it too much. I live on a hill. I'm scared of it."

Documentary on Actor Dick Miller to Screen: The Bronx native's film career began with a run of roles for B-movie king Roger Corman that started with "Apache Woman" (1955) and included "It Conquered the World" (1956), "War of the Satellites" (1958), "A Bucket of Blood" (1959), "Premature Burial" (1962) and "The Terror" (1963).

Dick Miller gets electrocuted in Chopping Mall (1986):



Friday, March 27, 2015

"[A]s I've said from day one, my dad and I are similar in some ways, we're different in some ways. We just have different personalities."


I am entering a 10-day cone of silence

Today, I leave for my annual National Lampoon family vacation, and from now on, visits to the "Inter Web" will be sparse and fleeting.

Therefore, I am temporarily turning over the Batmobile keys to Mustang, Alphonso, John M, KD, I'm Bill White, Bern Baby and Alibi, Ghost of Scott Brosius - even Buhner's ghost (secret Seattle operative) - to any of the oldsters who still feel the drunken need to howl at the Yankee moon...

I'll be keeping tabs on this. Sometimes, in transit, I will actually have time to fire off a slanderous and hateful screed - and I will. But it's more likely you won't hear from me.

Please play nicely. Remember: It's only the Yankees... an elite-funded mirage designed to placate the masses into subservience and derail necessary violent revolution. (Hail Hydra!)  

"People see me as not passionate — that’s certainly not the case. I may control it better. I keep it inside. But believe me, I tend to throw something at the TV, as most of our fans do.”

Who knew? Hal is a wereowner.

Our Leader's true identity has just been revealed. He is not one of us!!


The Master is wrong? One CAN predict baseball??!! Who are you, Duque? Excuse me while I ponder my next move. This is bad JuJu. Bad, BAD, JuJu. Duque, you have just doomed the entire 2015 season. Gaaaa!!!

Well, I guess that closes the book on David Ortiz: He says he's never taken performance enhancing drugs, and he certainly has no reason to lie about it

Nope. Big Papi is clean. I'm glad we've finally cleared it up.

He says he's never taken PEDs, so help him, and if he's lying, may God strike him down right NOW!

Look. No lightning bolts. He's still here. What more proof does anyone need?

In the meantime, Papi's head has been purchased by Ringling Brothers to replace the elephant acts.

Predictions for 2015: Don't read, if you have a bad ticker

Ladies and Gentlemen, Moms and Dads, Children of All Ages...

In the words of James Agee and Walker Evans, "Let us now praise famous men."

In less literary terms, let us now ponder the 2015 Yankees.

These are my annual predictions. I'm no baseball expert. Like you, I am merely a particle in the vast,entropic wilderness of Yankee press releases, YES propaganda, Celino and Barnes ads, and Gammonite keyboard ejaculate. Nevertheless, I believe The Master is wrong: You can predict baseball. You just need to look at the past.

I've stalked the Yankees for 55 years, over which there might have been a day or two that I did not wake up thinking about the team, or go to bed patrolling CF. If you're reading this, it's only because we are linked via some sick, Yogi Berraian wormhole of consciousness. You were meant to be here.

For the last two years, I foresaw the Yankees missing the playoffs. It has less to do with my knowledge of the game than a natural inclination toward Yankee pessimism. I practice Yankee pessimism. It works for me. I don't look on the dark side of life. But I always expect the worst from the Yankees. How else can they surprise me?

But I make my predictions with one great caveat. You must remember: No matter how bad the Yankees are, it's going to be a great year! 

That said, here goes: My predictions for 2015.

1. The eternal excuse. "If not for those pesky injuries..." Once again, the DL will foreclose on us. When your average age is over 30, don't skimp on ice. CC and Beltran will return to form - until they tweak something. Tex will come back - until his wrist blows. Last year, we lucked out with Gardner and Ellsbury each playing 140 games. Do you really expect that again? On any pitch, Tanaka and/or Pineda could feel a career-changing twinge. We have just too many old bones and too few young faces. In the end, we will again hear that same sorry excuse: "If not for the injuries..."

2. The wobbly rotation. Lately, hopes are high about Adam Warren "winning" fifth starter. Wait a minute. Adam Warren? He threw 78 innings last year. Over the last two, he's thrown 155. That's our fifth starter? And - get this - he beat out the great Esmil Rogers! Is anybody else seeing this? I feel like William Shatner in that Twilight Zone episode, yelling about the gremlin out on the wing. Adam Warren? Last June, we sniffed through the Scranton staff like dogs over kibble, trying anybody with an arm. Remember Alfredo Aceves? Bruce Billings? Chris Leroux? If March is already this barren, what will August look like? As for Nathan Evaldi? There are 50 guys like him, looking for the pitch that transforms them into Cy Young. I'm thinking by May 15, we are the Esmil Empire.

3. A punchless lineup. Last year's RBI leader, Brian McCann, had 75. Seventy-frickin-five! Back in the dead-ball Yankees era of Bobby Meacham and Ron Hassey - 1986 - as bad as we were, we still had guys who drove in 100 runs. (Mattingly and Winfield were the names.) Seventy-five RBIs? On the "Bronx Bombers?" WTF? Last season, when we were down by two runs, it was like staring up at Mount Everest with a broken bottle of oxygen. We did nothing to change that, beyond reluctantly bringing back A-Rod. Who will drive in 100 runs? Tex? Last year, he hit .216. Two-sixteen. If a starter gives up three runs in the first, why bother watching? Is Michael Kay THAT witty?

4. The inevitable salary dumps.  All this fiscal restraint you see... at the trade deadline, it will go out the window. Some ancient former Mr. Brewer - now 38 with a belly as bloated as his contract - will pop up on Cashman's radar. We will trade a prospect who we've touted this spring - (assuring the Gammonites he was never that good) -  for the next Alfonso, or Ichiro, or Headley, or Mondesi, or Abreu, or Nady, or Berkman, or Reynolds, or Kearns, or Prado, or McCarthy, or Capuano, or Kerry Wood. Momentarily revived, we will chase the one-game Wild Card. The YES men will marvel.

4. The rising Redsocks. Last summer, while we slogged after the Wild Card, I found myself actually envying Boston fans. They scrapped their old and creaky roster, and started eyeing 2015. Now, it's here. Yes, they have a long way to go, but they retooled with free agents and youth, and if they win, we will look like buffoons. They will  have lapped us, while we sat there, were congratulating ourselves for trading Pete O'Brien for Martin Prado.

5. Third place in the AL East. I hate to say it, but we needed some high-priced free agent, a Scherzer or Shields. Our farm system is still barren. It's sad that we must rely on the check book. But for 20 years, the Yankees won by getting less from more. Now, we're supposed to do more with less? That won't happen overnight. It will take years. This is just Year III.

I hope I'm wrong. But fear not: With or without the Yankees, it will be a great summer! Damn!  I can't wait! PLAY BALL!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

18 Straight Championship Seasons !!!

I know it has already been covered, but Hal's only interest in the Yankees, unlike his father George, is in the financial game.

For the 18th consecutive year, the Yankees top the list of baseball franchise valuations.  At $3.2 Billion, the Yankees still trail Real Madrid ( $3.44 Billion ) for the sports franchise crown.  The difference is;  Real Madrid is constantly winning their championship, or competing intensely for it.

The Yankees, as we know, are satisfied to threaten, but not achieve, the one-game play-in.  This was not the case when Sir George was alive.  He would have fired people and traded people if the Yankees were twice in a row humiliated by the Mets, even in grapefruit ball.

He would spend the $3.2 billion to win.  Hal buys pecan rolls.

Yesterday's game was laughable, in that the Yankees had no chance of scoring runs or even threatening to do so.  Headley is the only clutch hitter….only hitter…we have.  And he is a rental.  Beltran is a joke.  Tex is hitting because he can't get around on pitches any more, and is poking balls to left against the shift. Brett is working himself into batting shape, still hiding under the .200 bridge.

The excuses for Dellin; CC and even Tanaka abound.  On the one hand, Yankee announcers interview Joe and he acknowledges that this is the time when starters ( position and pitching ) have to sharpen up, as the real games are only 2 weeks away.

Out of the other side of his mouth are excuses for everyone;

Dellin's lack of fastball pace, his hanging curves.  Tanaka's two seamer and work on his change-up.  CC's gopher ball, " location" work.  And Ellsbury is getting closer every day.  He even took " dry swings" the other day.  Can you imagine?  $12million to do that?

We'll likely start the season 14-0.

Dear Hal, here's a quick (and FREE!) template for saving the Yankees

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner,

I sense that you're feeling picked-on.

In this angry era of cyber-bullying and Twitter necktie parties, the last thing an old sport such as yourself should fear is the ding of an incoming phone text. But the fact is, some fans are grousing that you don't spend enough on the New York Yankees, (a team you own), and that we are now entering Year 3 of an epoch of Horace Clarkeian mediocrity, similar to the one your dad bestowed on us 40 years ago, when you were just a puppy. This can ruin Internet etiquette.

Now, I realize that everybody wants you to shell out your hard-inherited dollars, and dammit, it's your money, not theirs. It's sort of like going to a fancy restaurant and having them order for you - and not only that, but they skip the cool Cheese Tots appetizer and pounce on the liver plate. Dammit, that money is yours. If you want, you can spend it on broads, weed and blow. You can buy a truckload of Play-Dough and build a giant blue clubhouse with a yellow swimming pool imprinted with newspaper text. You don't have to listen to nobody.

But please, sir, listen to this.

Next December, the odds are quite good that the Yankees - (the team you own) - will have finished out of the playoffs for a third straight season. At this point, a number of fans - if they still care at all - will have turned as orange as John Boehner, and they'll be snarling your name while jabbing darning needles into pillows with your face stitched into the casings. Here's what you must do.

Sign the biggest name free agent on the market. Give him a seven-year deal. Shell out the money. (Remember: You are personally worth about $4 billion.) It doesn't matter who. We just need somebody new.

The following year, do the same. And then the year after that... and the year after that.

On the seventh year, the system will be self-restoring: You'll have one huge contract coming off the books, as a new one arrives. Yes, the price will gradually rise. That's inflation. But every year, the Yankees will be guaranteed one shining new ray of hope, along with two or three stars in their primes, two or three who are fading, and one Carlos Beltran, who everybody secretly wishes would fall into a well.

Every year, sign one - and hold ceremonies to say goodbye to one. It's equilibrium. It's serendipity. Don't go signing three guys at once. And don't trying to paint over problems with Stephen Drews, Vernon Wells, Travis Hafners, et al. Go for one free agent, build the farm system, and every seven years, replace a 39-year-old with a 32-year-old.

This year, if the Yankees had, say, signed Max Scherzer, the eyes of baseball would be upon us - along with the rampant scorn, which we secretly love - and we would now be looking at a team capable of winning the AL East. Right now, we are a rash of injuries away from being the worst team in baseball. And when you're old, you're also injury-prone. We don't have enough fingers to be crossed to imagine this team going all the way. Come July, you'll end up trading for another bunch of salary dumps, and we'll be right back to where we started.

Every year, grab the best. In seven years, you won't even feel the pinch.

There's no reason for you to fear your email inbox. And remember, sir, you are a billionaire, not a cheap-suited millionaire. You are New York, not New Brunswick. This are the Yankees, not the Padres. And you are a Steinbrenner, not a Wrigley. Wake up, sir, or one of these days, you won't be hearing the ding of rampant phone texts - because the Yankees will be the Mets. And once that happens, it's a seven-year trip back to the Bronx.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Yankees are worth $3.2 billion, and that doesn't count the Steinbrenners' interest in YES

Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner arrived in this barren, brutal world worth about $100 million.

Considering that his family is majority owner of the Yankees and minority owner of YES Network, I'm Not Cheap is now probably worth two to three billion dollars - and that's in Yankee holdings alone. God knows what the family passed along in real estate, stocks, art, jewels, gold, slaves and tablets of Viagra.

Today, Forbes ranked MLB franchises according to net value and annual revenues. The Yankees - of course - top the list. The numbers reveal a vast, overwhelming financial clout, the team being as much a money-printing machine as a cultural icon.

The Yankees are worth $3.2 billion dollars. Try to wrap your head around that figure, next time A-Rod's scandalous $26 million salary raises tempers in the beer garden. Three point two billion dollars. Years ago, Forbes estimated the value of YES Network at more than the Yankees itself. Since then, the Steinbrenners sold the majority of their YES interest to Satan himself, Rupert Murdoch.

Last year, the team took in more than $500 million - well more than twice the amount that I'm Not Cheap spent on payroll. He could have run that payroll to $300 million and never felt a twinge. It just would have been uncomfortable in the other owners' parties.

Last month, I'm Not Cheap pulled out his pockets and bleated poverty like a homeless bridge-sitter, after Cuban Yoan Moncada signed with the Redsocks for a few precious pennies more.

Of course, the game is rigged, and the owners can never lose. But one of these days, a hard rain is gonna fall...

Lager Dreams

Too much time at South By Southwest, and far too many 16oz cups of frothy lager, has left El Duque in a state of benign euphoria.

He has given us a formula whereby the Yankees can win it all.

Now I love optimism as well as the next guy, but I drink alcohol for my dream sessions, not so much the frothy lagers.

So I perused his meanderings with a neat Crown Royal Reserve, and was feeling quite upbeat until I reached the part about the "help from Scranton."

If any of you have watched the spring training games, you will know that Pirela was the only hope.  (Until Sabathia threw the gopher ball that he had to chase into the CF wall), that is.

But all the other guys have failed, recently, when it mattered.  And "stars to be," don't do that.

Here is an example;  Our top prospect, by most talking heads, is Judge…a number one pick of ours.  Even the announcers yesterday ( O'neil included )  described him as a " can't miss, future star." So he comes to bat with the bases loaded and either no outs or one out, and a chance to do some damage.  A single gets the Yanks back in the game.  

Do something…anything…positive.  He looks at a third strike.

Here is my point;  when real talent gets a chance, as a youngster, they always do something positive.  Derek would have banged out a single.  Bernie would have driven in a run. Ellsbury would have tripled.  Pete Rose would have hit an inside the park home run.

My test of Yankee "prospects" is; do they do something positive when they get a shot?

The tall, athletic, " can't miss" prospect just stood there, dumbstruck and watched the third strike paste the middle of the plate.  If grades were handed oaut for the quality of an at-bat, Judge gets an "F."

Pirela would have made contact and done something positive.

None of the others ( Austin, Williams, Heathcott, Sanchez ) ever seem too, either.  Though Heathcott got hit by a pitch and drove in a run.

And don't tell me about Judge's HR three weeks ago, when some guy from A ball was pitching to him.

He reminds everyone of Dave Winfield.  Who should have played basketball.  His claim to fame as a Yankee;  Mr. May and the guy who killed the seagull in Toronto.

We have nothing to hope for from Scranton.


Death of a Salesman next? Yankee good sports re-create scene from "The Sandlot" that nobody else remembers

In case you missed this, the Yankees "adorably" re-enacted the scene from the middling 1993 movie, "The Sandlot." It proves that pro athletes are people, too!

My request: The scene where Belushi rallies the frat in "Animal House."

WORMER, DEAD! NEIDERMYER, DEAD! WHO'S WITH ME?

A happy day in the Yankiverse: Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner just saved a few more pennies

After Yoan Moncada signed with Boston, a few Gammonites suggested that the "Empire" was more interested in the Cuban star infielder Hector Oliva, who supposedly is ready for the majors now.

Well, so much for that idea.

Today, the Dodgers signed Oliva for $62 million. No word on whether "I'm Not Cheap" even picked up the phone. Though he was pretty proud of finishing second in the Moncada sweepstakes. It proved he's not cheap.

Considering that the Yankees next year will fall beyond the artificially-set, international free agent payment threshold - and thus cannot go above $300,000 on any single signee - it's safe to say that "I'm Not Cheap" will be saving a ton of money this and next year.

I just hope that he listens closely to the Yankee Radio Network. If so, he'll realize that a 15-minute call could save him up to 15 percent on car insurance. That's even more savings! Good grief, if he ever once breathed asbestos, back when he worked those construction jobs, "I'm Not Cheap" might even have a big cash lawsuit in his future. He should dial 1-IMNOTCHEAP.

How the 2015 Yankees win the Big MLB Butter Sculpture

I'm thinking we win the 9-inning Bud Selig Wild Card, followed by a victory binge worthy of Brian Williams-level hallucinogens. But hell, once you make the post-season, anything can happen - even Kansas City! So... the question is... how do we get to Oct. 5? 

Here's how.

1. Pineda/Tanaka = Koufax/Drysdale. Or, at least, Whitey Ford/Ralph Terry. Hey, they're both 26, prime of life. Their erections can cut glass. Shake their hands, and your elbows stink of testosterone. Twenty six: Same age as Emma Stone, Paula Gretzki, and that red-haired Rupert Grint creep from Harry Potter. Plus, they're leviathans. They look scary coming off the bus. Of course, either can tweak a willy while tying his shoe, and never pitch again. But in our Viagra hallucination, they become dominant starters, Cy Young dandies, and lead this team. (Sadly, nothing short of uncut ether lets me see CC joining them, but he could help.) Maybe Larry Rothschild can save the Great Experiment, Nathan Evaldi. If not, Larry could be Kevin Long-gone by 2016. But Pinedanaka could win us 45 games.

2. Fountain of Youth. We lead the majors in Comeback of the Year candidates. Hell, we lead the world. Our lineup is the baseball equivalent of Saved By the Bell. Who could be 2015's Sports Illustrated cover story? Well, there's Tex, there's Beltran, there's Ellsbury, there's Headley, there's Drew, McCann, Young, Capuano - everyone but Dellin. They need to come back. What are the odds? Frankly, Jim Boeheim has a better chance of being invited to deliver a Ted Talk. But that's how this happens. Like the dead in that French TV series, they all come back.

3. The "A" guy. Nope, not Adam Warren. Alex. He doesn't need to play 3B. He doesn't need to bat third. He doesn't need to run for President. He just needs to hit .270 with, say, 25 HRs. He needs to be the good A-Rod, who is decent and cheery enough to keep the haters from swarming over this team, from turning the boos into cascades of thunder, and from plunging everybody into a downward spiral. He needs to be a positive rather than a diversion.

4. Pen mightier than sword.  I'm still mucho pissed-offo that Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner let David Robertson walk. It happened because I'm Not Cheap was being chea- er, I mean, "frugal" - and didn't respect a homegrown, beloved Yankee, who pitched heroically in replacing the Great Mariano. Write this down: We will regret losing Robertson. It's a huge crap shot, expecting guys from Pittsburgh or Atlanta to come to NYC and excel. Still, Cashman nabbed some power arms. A good bullpen can paint over many problems. Ours could be one of the best. It damn well better be.

5. Somebody gushes up from Scranton. Last year, it was Dellin Betances. This spring, we longed for Jose Pirela, but that dream just hit the wall. We need an infusion of unexpected youth. Maybe Rob Refsnyder can save 2B. Maybe Slade Heathcott can be the Second Coming of Josh Hamilton (God knows, they share the troubled histories.) We could get a jolt from John Ryan Murphy, Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez - even Kyle Roller. Somebody, anybody, needs to bloom. Don't snicker. It could happen - if some of the old guys get out of the way.

6. Didi defense. We traded a shitload for Didi Gregorius. He needs to play SS every day. This notion of a platoon with Brendan Ryan? Ugh. That's how you ruin DP chemistry. If Didi can't play everyday, we're screwed. That great middle defense? It could turn into Drew at SS and the still butter-fingered Refsnyder at 2B - in other words, Swiss cheese. But if Didi is solid, you'll often hear, "That's a ball Jeter wouldn't have gotten!" Our defense will save games.

7. Measles in AL East. Let's face it: We may suck. But so might the rest of the AL East. Maybe those hot Redsock super-rookies will crap out. Last year, Jackie Bradley Jr. was headed straight to Cooperstown, until his .198 average got in the way. (Watch out, though: He's still only 24.) This year's model is Mookie Betts, age 22. Could they toss another air ball? Could something in that vaunted farm system fail to close the massive gap between Pawtucket and Boston? I still dread them having Yoan Moncada, thanks to I'm Not Cheap's - um - fiscal prudence. As for Baltimore: Buck Showalter only builds championship teams for other people to manage. Look it up. Tampa Bay? They need to come in last for five years again and draft high. Toronto? They are - well - Toronto... today, tomorrow, always... tough luck Toronto. Maybe we're bad, but everybody else sucks worse. Like the Presidential race, eh? We're Jeb Bush in a division of Sarah Palins. That's how we win it. Altogether now: "U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

If the exhibition season ended today, we'd make the Bud Selig One-Game Wild Card

Read it and weep, Redsock Nation.

You'd be done, thinking about Moncada next spring.
We'd head to Oakland, with Tanaka pitching the Big Game.


Is Anyone Worried?



Brett Gardener is hitting close to zero, for the entire spring.

Saving himself?

Needs glasses?

Post concussion syndrome?

I am worried.

One out of five of you think the Big 3 - Maddux, Glavin and Smoltz - wait, I mean Pineda, Tanaka and Sabathia! - will still be standing at the all-star break

To those who keep hope alive, I salute you.

I will try to learn from you.

CC is already using the "just working on feeling good" line to absolve himself from poor pitching lines.  We hold our breath whenever Tanaka lets go - and we will for the rest of our lives. But Pineda does look solid, and - who knows - maybe Evaldi can evolve!

Most of you expect one or two will be gardening by mid-July. That doesn't guarantee a Yankee collapse, but it's hard to imagine the 2015 team going far without the three cogs. The competition for our fifth rotation spot already looks desperate - I'm talking Sidney Ponson/Wally Whitehurst Level Desperation. We will spend the season like Rick in "The Walking Dead," pondering those severed arms in the forest - except that we'll be wondering if they can pitch every fifth day.

Oh, well. Maybe we'll get lucky.

If Chris Young homers in a forest, do the trees cheer?

For the record: I hope Chris Young salvages his career.

Dear God, it'd be nice to have someone in the lineup with an actual pulse - one guy worth holding water to watch, instead of rushing to the kitchen for a mound of glistening comfort food. Right now, there is A-Rod - sort of - and maybe Brett Gardner. Now that Jose Pirela is out, and since Rob Refsnyder never even got a chance, the Yankees are a stack of Strat-o-Matic cards with withering numbers. Unless the dice are incredibly lucky, we could be a team in free-fall.

But let's get back to Mighty Chris Young, who is currently competing with Stephen Drew for the position of 2015 Yankee Malignancy Poster Boy. Until yesterday, Young was most famous this spring for striking out against the pitching machine in a simulated game. Yesterday, he hit two home runs, two!, prompting - well - the dreamers to dream, I guess. Or something like that.

Trouble is, we've seen this movie before. Young is 31. Last year, with the Mets, he hit .205. That's no misprint. Two-oh-five... and without power. He hit 8 HR. He drove in 28 runs. It was the kind of performance that annually makes the Mets the Mets. In early August, they tossed him out like a bag of bad clams. For three weeks, he festered on the scrap heap. In early September, Brian Cashman - the American Picker - signed Young. Over the last month, Young hit a Ruthian .282 with three HRs, and the Yankee YES men became apoplectic about Cashman's genius. Yes, it's a story worthy of a Yankeeography.

Unfortunately, if you look deeper, it turns into an episode of Serial.

In his first four Yankee games as a starter, Young did all his damage. He went 8 for 16 with 3 HRs. But take away those four games, and what do you get?

He hit .219.  Two frickin' nineteen.

(For the record: Young homered off Tampa's Jake Ordozzi and Jake McGee, and Baltimore's Brad Brach.) 

So why do we have Chris Young? Simple: He's cheap.

With the Mets, he made $7.5 million. This year, he signed for $2.5 million. Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner brought him aboard because - well - he's cheap! He fits I'm Not Cheap's business plan. Buy low, release in June.

Two home runs? Great. Just great. But if you'll excuse me, I'm going to the kitchen. Yell when A-Rod comes up. Or maybe, don't. If I want to watch the Mets, aren't they on a different channel?