Sunday, August 18, 2013
Posted by el duque at 8:11 AM
From now on, the best thing that can happen is that we lose. Yes, lose. Today, tomorrow, all next week and all next month. Just lose. (Except on Mariano's Day.) There is no point to winning a game here and there. It won't matter.
Joel Sherman outlined it last week. If the Yankees lose enough to rate as one of the worst 10 records in baseball - and we're not far from that supreme peak of incompetence - the team will not only draft high next year, but they can sign free agents without losing picks. Unfortunately, that won't even help enough. The Yankees next winter won't sign big free agents because, a: There are none out there, and b: The prime objective of the ownership is to cut payroll to a mythical number - last estimated at $189 million. And then there is the fact that big free agents do not resuscitate dead organisms (see California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays.)
And we are lying in the street with a Do Not Resuscitate tag on our toes. Nobody in the farm system has had what could be considered a breakout year. This comes after our previous great hopes - Jesus Montero, Andrew Brackman, et al - proved to be epic mirages. It's hard to even know if they were ever really great prospects, or just creations of a Yankee hype machine, which is now pumping air around the Slade Heathcotts and Mason Williamses.
Two of our vaunted three first-round picks this year have yet to see a pitch. It's as if we draft high-ceiling prospects and then immediately rearrange their hitting and pitching styles. If we drafted Stan Musial, would he have ever made it through Single A, or would some Yankee hitting coach - trying to earn the big payout - demanded that he change his stance?
Brian Cashman is a likeable and energetic general manager, king of the scrap heap. But throughout his career, he has labored in the shadow of Yankee money and an overbearing ownership. (The Steinboys are becoming their father; is anyone surprised?) Cash needs to go to a small market and prove once and for all whether he can build a baseball power... because he has now been running the Yankees for more than a decade, and we are a fractured, tired operation, listing in the water.
It was not Cashman, but Gene Michael and Bob Watson, who built the great Yankee teams of Joe Torre. But Cash kept our aging ship afloat for about five years - from 2003 to 2008, before the infusion of free agents pushed us back into contention. That was no easy feat. But it's time for the Yankees to start over, and that means a new person in the front office.
It's over, folks. Not just the 2013 season, but the great Yankee run. We are the walking dead, unaware that blood is oozing from our ears, and our intestines are hanging out. The best thing that can happen is that tonight, our mortal enemy takes pity on us. It refuses to let us stagger the streets, corrupting the memory of what we were. It needs to put the muzzle to our forehead and pull the trigger. It's time to lose. It's time to start thinking of a young Yankee team, somewhere off in the future. Kaput. Smoogy. Phlarm. I never thought I'd be using such words.