Saturday, June 15, 2013

Take pictures, gather momentos, teasure each moment: The Yankees are now in the Chris Bootcheck Era

Chris Bootcheck, the 34-year-old lugnut from Scranton - by way of Anaheim and Yokohama Bay, Japan - soldiered in last night, to not only pitch the eighth inning but to personify the 2013 Yankees, a team whose symbol has morphed from a pack of fighting underdogs into a flaming bag of dog doo on your front stoop.

We're left with the same decision Brian Cashman faces over the next three weeks: Should we stomp out this foul-smelling blaze, or just let it smolder until September?

Listen; The Mets sweep was no fluke. We are the second best team in New York and the third team in the AL East - and plummeting fast.

So last night, into this bubbling quicksand strode Bootcheck, who started well at Scranton and then was getting knocked around, a pitcher whose main value is his expendability. In 10 days, no matter how he pitches, he'll likely be gone, and Adam Warren will return.

Nothing against Bootcheck personally. But he is the new Colter Bean - just as Travis Hafner is the new Gary Ward, and Vernon Wells the new Andruw Jones. They are recurring Yankee sitcom tropes - the Lennys and Squggys of YES. We always have a thirtysomething minor league reliever, be it Wally Whitehurst or - your name here - seeking salvation at the end of his MLB career. We always have at least one former slugger who starts hot - and just as we are congratulating ourselves for signing him - turns into the strikeout machine that the other teams avoided - the Jesse Barfield, the John Mayberry - oh, Muse of Writing, don't make me go down the list, it hurts too much

At a certain point - hey, I'm not proud of this - you root against the guy, because one base hit merely means you must endure another 1 for 20 streak, before they'll consider making a change. You get sick of hearing how well his swing looked on that last AB, which is another sign that he's snapping out of his funk. GAAAH.

It is the most painful and frustrating part of being a Yankee fan: Rooting for Andruw, or Randy Winn, or maybe even the Grandyman, to fail, because you can't stand another strikeout with the bases loaded. People who don't watch the games, who don't care, call you a bad fan. And you are a bad fan, a blight upon your team, a reason why some players hate New York - people like you.  But you simply can't take it anymore. YOU JUST CAN'T TAKE IT.

Listen: We are nearly at that point with Hafner and Wells. Not there yet. But another week or two, and we'll have no recourse but to simply hope they tweak a gonad and go bye-bye. If we're going to watch a guy hit .220, I'd rather he be 24 and maybe on a rising arc, not a thirtysomething flaming bag on my doorstep.

Good luck, Chris Bootcheck. This is not about you. After the Yankees waive you, may you sign with a team that's going somewhere - other than down.

1 comment:

KD said...

what we REALLY need is another guy with a pan and a spoon. I miss Freddy.