One of the few enduring pleasures is knowing that some guys will escape. I'm thinking of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. I bear no grudges. They logged their time. It didn't work. If ever they return to the stadium, part of me will root for them. Still, I cannot overcome this feeling of dreadful certainty:
Once out of New York, they're going to flourish. Is it just me? Does anybody else have that feeling?
Since they built the new stadium/steak house, Hughes was a goner - just like his fast balls. A fly ball pitcher in a bandbox? Good luck. But give him an expansive outfield, and 10 home runs become outs. That's huge. Plus, he's only 27 - youngest free agent on the list. He could pitch 10 years, and they'll all say the greatest thing that ever happened to him was leaving the Yankees. Ouch, those flames just licked at me.
As for Joba? We messed him up from Day One. Treated him like a China doll. Worse, treated him like a rock star. Did you see how fat he looked this fall? His next team will tell him to lose 30 pounds or quit. He's going to do so much better outside the Bronx. God, I envy him.
Of course, we Yankee fans - we can't sign with another team. We're stuck with this organization, trapped between the suits and the lawsuits.
In the 1980s, when the Yankees launched the Great 14 Year Barf, one of the first signs was the way players thrived after getting out (Drabek, Buhner, et al) and imploded when they arrived (Whitson, Kemp, et al.) We were a Jonah team. Under Bob Watson and Buck Showalter, we turned it around, started seeing players thrive as Yankees - (Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius, et al.)
Folks, the view from Hell suggests those days are over. And we know when it changed.
In 2004, some incredible cosmic switch in the universe got flicked. The Redsocks - who have now won three championships in 10 years - became the Yankees. We became - I'm not sure what. Maybe we became the Redsocks. But actually, I'm thinking the Toronto Blue Jays (Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, et al.) Everything switched.
Welcome to Hell. This is a tale of our castaways, we're here for a long, long time.