Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The last month of Yankeehood looms for more than just Mariano

We are approaching the final chapter in several Yankee plot arcs, which, sadly, are starting to resemble the concluding season of "Lost."

Of course, there currently remains an 0.2 percent statistical chance that the Yankees will win the 2013 World Series - (no lie!) - as calculated on Baseball Prospectus. (Chance of us making the Wild Card: 7.5 percent.) If we beat the odds, all shall be forgiven, planets will realign, and the only concern will be getting tickets for the tribute concert featuring Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. 

But as we hit the home stretch, several Yankees are wearing pinstripes for their final outings  at least until Old Timers Day 2022.

For starters, let's leave Mariano out of this. His plot line, and his reputation, will remain secure, no matter what happens next month. A traumatic streak of blown saves - even pennant-killing losses - won't even scratch his center field plaque. He will leave with head high.  The others, well... they might hear catcalls in a cavernous and empty stadium in the din of early October. 

So let's prepare. The de facto last week of summer is a good time to ponder the transitory life of Yankeehood.

Farewell, A-Rod

Odds are, he'll be suspended for most, if not all of 2014. After that, the Yankees will never bring him back. What more is there to say? We've defended him on this blog,  because of the hypocrisy of MLB. Soon, it won't matter. But for whatever it's worth, I'd like to offer one last thought.

The other night, Alphonso Soriano stood at home plate and admired his magnificent home run against Tampa. He preened and he flexed, and he waited for the ball to disappear into the stands. Trouble was, it didn't. This is the next year's Yankee cleanup hitter (and likely role model for our young players.) Say you want about Alex, over all the years we watched him, he never did that.

Anyway, he's gone. They'll never even bring him back for Old Timers Day.

Farewell, Phil Hughes

After last night, it's easy to take a potshot at Phil. He really wasn't that bad. His real problem was one that is endemic of the Yankees: We put such exaggerated expectations on young players that they never can satisfy us. They were calling him "Phil Franchise" as a rookie. What a joke.

Maybe Hughes will find happiness in the NL Central. Would we have been better off with Johann Santana? Doesn't matter. He's gone.

Farewell, Joba
Damn, we loved him. He was our Everyman, our Babe Ruth lookalike. When Joba burst onto the scene, some doofass around Jersey was arrested for impersonating him in bars, bedding women who thought he was Joba.  (I would say the guy was working with what he had.) And remember Joba's dad, sitting in the wheelchair? It breaks your heart.

What the hell happened to him? He's now the Wil Nieves of Yankee pitchers. If we are ahead by 10 or behind by 10, it's Joba Time. (And if we're ahead by 10, if Joba comes in, there's still a chance Mariano will get the save.) He's horrible. He never came back fully from that ankle injury on the trampoline. I have to believe, though, he will be cheered when he returns at Old Timers Day 2020. Damn, we loved the guy.

Farewell, Grandyman
I could be wrong on this. He's a free agent, and the Yankees will probably pick up his option, hoping for a draft pick. He might flip and decide to stay, thinking a good season would score the big long-term contract. Still, I think his time here is done.

Great guy. Quality person.  He could be a YES announcer someday, or a Congressman. But I see the moral of the story this way:  Yankee fans never forget what we give up in trades. And the Grandyman deal - Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke - will haunt us for years.

There are other players likely to disappear.  Kuroda could be gone, wooed by the Dodgers endless tap of money. The same with Robbie Cano. (Something about his detached mannerisms lately, and the fact that he didn't take Hal's "solid offer,"  lead me to suspect he's already half out the door.) Loverboy will leave. And I think it's time - at least on this blog - to ponder the unponderable.

Farewell John (and Suzyn?)

No idea what the Yankees are thinking here. But during each of the last several winters,  the organization has played serious pocket pool with ESPN over radio broadcast rights.

One of these years, they'll pull the trigger.

The launch of Fox Sports One, there could be a money stampede for Yankee radio this winter.  (Or not? Who knows?) How would it affect the 2014 broadcasting team? Dunno. It won't seem right, listening to Yankee games without John and Suzyn. But next year looms as The Yankee Apocalypse - the end of one world, and the beginning of another.

The Master could be singing his final WinWarbles this fall. Just a thought...

Of course, there still is that 0.2 percent chance that we win the World Series. Let's hope Jay and Alicia keep October open.


Parson Tom said...

Depressing, especially Cano.
As for John Sterling and his faithful sidekick Suzyn, the last vestige of personality peeking through the Yankees' paranoia/PR facade, their loss would be just too much to bear.

I can see why Sterling is a polarizing voice. Some of his schtick may be a little goofy at times, but they will replace him with one of those dime-a-dozen Wonderbread milquetoasts whose style and voice has been trained to never offend. Whether it happens this winter -- I sure hope not -- or in the next several years, do not expect the Yankees to let John hang around into his dotage as the Dodgers have done with Vin Scully.

I have been afflicted with a lifelong passion for the Yankees, but I am not too blind to see that management has historically been a bunch of heartless bastards. The current group is just as cold-hearted and conniving as any of them, but they do seem to be missing one key trait -- they are more committed to the bottom line than to winning.

KD said...

Throw me a bone. Tell me Wells will be gone. I don't see how I can take another year of him. He may play for free but I could care less if he adds to the steinspawn's bottom line or not. How can they expect me to buy season tickets again if they continue to trot out such has-beens?

(That they continue to play Wells makes me wonder: How many games do the Steinspawn attend? Not many would be my wager!)

Also, no More Youk. We have seen enough of this premature geezer with the 50 year old back. Let him regrow that ugly face of his so he can once more be true to his redsock nature.

And finally, beer prices should drop next year to be commensurate with team quality. Down to $5 from $9.75 sounds about right.

el duque said...

They should give out the beer free of charge next year. With Vernon Wells pouring.