Sunday, August 4, 2013

Yankeetorial: Soon, it will all be over

Close your eyes, everybody. Soon, none of this will matter: 2013 will be a memory.

Take a break. Enjoy the sunsets. The end is near. Tomorrow, if we're lucky, we might hit rock bottom.

By late next week, the A-Rod story will have tumbled onto the media's back-burner. Nobody will want to write about it or read about it. No more surgical leaks to the Gammonites of ESPN. No more furious anti-A-Rod rant-columns by the Steinbrenner courtiers. Watzhizname - shhh, don't even say it - will be gone, and we can return to watching the painfully hobbled Derek Jeter attempt to play shortstop - until the team finally just sends him home to ponder 2014. We will return to a bottom of the batting order that reads Overbay... Nunez... Cruz... Romine. In other words: MayGod... Havemercy... On-our... Souls.

Judging by our farm system (and the ownership's budget plans), MLB might as well suspend the Yankees through 2014. Think of it like an NCAA recruiting violation, where a school is banned from playing in a bowl game or the final tournament. They still play the regular season, like some local religious pageant where people dress up and recreate an historical event.

As fans, we can prepare for Jeter's final seasons - he probably has two, maybe three - hopefully at a new position. Third base is open. (It doesn't look good for Dante Bichette Jr., but maybe that Jagiello first-rounder can vault through the system.) We'll draft higher next year, and we'll have a few extra picks from losing Hughes, Grandyman and possibly Cano. Maybe there is a group of Yankees way down in the dirt leagues that can rival the Core Four from 1995. Maybe in our lifetimes, we will see a team like Torre's Yankees of the late 1990s. But, probably, we won't.

We were spoiled by their success. We thought it would last forever. Nothing does.

Soon, we can go about the business of half-following this wretched 2013 regular season. We might make a few more scrap heap acquisitions, and who knows - maybe Adonis Garcia or Ronnier Mustellier - our two aging Cuban "prospects" - will go once around the league. That would be fun. We can pretend they're young. 

Of course, there will be that great day when we honor Mariano. I hope the sun shines. The stadium will be full, and the Fox and ESPN cameras will be there. Maybe Bud Selig will come. Nobody will talk about - uhm - Watzizname.

Who knows? Maybe we'll string together a three- or four-game winning streak, and climb within a few games of that red hot final Wild Card race! We'll have the Cleveland Indians looking over their shoulders! Maybe we'll ride into Boston or Tampa with a big four-game series, with our ace - C.C. Sabathia - on the mound for Game One! Brennan Bosch should be healed soon! Vidal Nuno, too! When the rosters expand, Alberto Gonzalez will rejoin the team! And come mid-September, don't rule out a return from Youk! That will be a day to remember!

Last year, the Boston Redsocks suffered through this. We laughed at them. (Note to self: Next time, don't laugh.) All the Fenway Nation could do was watch the sunsets and ponder a better life. They were tormented for two long seasons. Barring a repeat of the Sabathia/Teixeira/Burnett signings of 2008-09 - which cannot happen under our current budget plans - we will probably be worse next year.

Long time coming. Long time down. But tomorrow, maybe we hit rock bottom? Would that be something to celebrate? 

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