Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Let's be honest: 2013 has gotten way too late way too early.
Still, we have way too many veteran players - (Talking to you, Mariano) - to do something rash, like trading Robbie to the Dodgers. One 8-game winning streak would vault us back into the mix, and - well - who knows.
But Kansas City has won seven straight games, They are an improving team, an emerging power, a club full of high draft picks. We are now tied with them in the - as John Sterling says - "all-important loss column."
It's time to apply some hard reality to the 2013 season - with or without A-Rod.
If KC passes us - well, folks - it's over. Done! Kaput! Shla-boo! Bladingus! Caca.
At that point, everything will become a mirage, a feckless attempt by the Yankees and YES to sell their $500-per-seat snake oil to tourists who aren't paying attention.
At that point, there will be too many teams above us.
And frankly, there will be too many better teams above us.
Once KC passes us... well, there's always Slade Heathcott.
Twas the night before deadline, and throughout MLB, not a player was sleeping, including Cliff Lee...
With hopes that Jake Peavy was now only theirs.
"Aww, screw this!" I shouted, "There's no Christmas rhyme.
"The Yankees are dead! We have run out of time!
"More dead than the Astros! We're out of each game!"
And I whistled my Black List, and called them by name!
"Trade Hafner! Trade C.C.! then Joba and Hughesey!
"Trade Grandy! Trade Vernon! then Cashman's new floozy!
"To the West or the East! Do not wait until fall!
"Now trade away! Trade away! Trade away all!"
"Aww, damn it," I said and I didn't regret it,
For away my mind flew, like a shot off old Pettitte.
And I heard myself chime, as I shut out the light,
"Fuck off, Mister Selig! You too, A-Rod! G'night!"
In today's Gray Lady newspaper, an analysis piece on your current showdown with Major League Baseball included the following paragraph:
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, baseball wants Rodriguez to follow the precedent set forth by [Ryan] Braun, agree to a punishment and end the matter cleanly without a drawn-out legal battle that could damage the reputation of the game in all sorts of unpredictable ways.
This, of course, was always Commissioner Bud Selig's fantasy: Flag a few high-profile players for illegal use of performance enhancing drugs, drum up a media campaign against them with the help of friendly sportswriters, force them to cave in and declare the game "free of drugs" - and then move the hell on to the October playoffs. (Hopefully, by then, the team whose abusers were caught - the Yankees - would be nowhere in sight.)
In the case of Selig's former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, the scheme worked perfectly. Ryan Braun - recovering from an injury - will simply sit out the meaningless last half of the 2013 season, his team a disaster. Milwaukee will draft high, replenish its low-salary lineup, and next year, Brewers fans can cheer or boo Braun, whatever they want, and everybody can pretend it never happened. The game will be clean.
The plan would also work nicely in other markets. As for other past disciplined players - such as the 40-year-old, human miracle known as Bartolo Colon, and the man who created a fake web site to evade MLB investigators, Melky Cabrera - suspensions would be dropped, because they've already been punished. In other words, don't worry, Oakland; your Moneyball team is still in the race!
But in the case of Alex Rodriguez, MLB will unleash the maximum hounds, a veritable death penalty to a career. They just want you to take it like a man - to stand tall while they pile around you every abuse ever committed and then strike the match. You were the bad influence. You were the Pied Piper. The world will cheer your bonfire. After all, you make too much money and you didn't hit last year in the playoffs. Soon, you'll be erased, and baseball can go about its business.
No, sir. Don't accept it. Fight them.
But don't get the wrong idea here. I don't give a damn about you. I am not your fan. You remain one of the ugliest blights upon the Yankees in my memory. To me, you're on a par with Mel Hall. Nevertheless, it's time somebody called out MLB for its self-righteous double-standards, and its absurd power structure, and the ruthless way it uses the A.D.D. media to attack the demons it regularly creates to avoid facing its own duplicity.
MLB pays Bud Selig more than $25 million per year, and God only knows how much money the Steinbrenner heirs bank every season. Nevertheless, these owners poor-mouth every chance possible and, these lions of capitalism impose taxes and spending limits that would put a smile on Hugo Chavez's corpse. I love to ridicule Curt Schilling for his self-righteous stances, and the millions in taxpayer money his business squandered - but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what MLB teams receive from the public coffers every season. The Arizona Diamondbacks give a god-awful amount of money to the GOP every year, while they groan about paying their players. Does anybody ever question that?
When sportswriters write about Alex Rodriguez, they always mention the photograph of you "kissing yourself," (which you weren't, but even so, is that all they've got. a bad photo op?), or the karate blow to Bronson Arroyo's wrist (which other players would be lauded for, as gritty competitors) or the $350,000 car you drive (do they ever say what Hal Steinbrenner is driving? The talking point word for Alex Rodriguez is "greedy." Do they ever list the owners' earnings? Are the owners ever greedy?
Don't give in, sir. Fight them. Take it all the way.
I know what baseball needs: a drawn-out legal battle that can damage the reputation of the game in all sorts of unpredicable ways. The game will survive. But it's time for MLB to get what it gives. Frankly, I would love to see a bunch of high-priced lawyers put the lords of baseball under oath and ask them about their stewardship of the national pastime. Over the years, as players have continually abused performance drugs, exactly what did management know? And how hard did it try to stop such abuses?
As a fan, I can survive the pain of learning about the inner workings of baseball.
Do it, sir. Fight. Don't let them make you the scapegoat of your generation.
Not your friend,
aka "el Duque"
Exposed: The secret ESPN plan to bring down Yankee legend John Sterling and take control of the Hertz 24/7 Broadcast Booth
1. ESPN, the international sports broadcast leviathan, is known to despise the New York Yankees baseball team with a hatred that burns hotter than a million suns. This view is indicated by its hiring of - among others - a certain ex-player referred to by our own blogger, Mustang, as Mr. "Financialwhiz McBloodsock."
2. ESPN is legally and financially bound to Major League Baseball through massive broadcast rights contracts and raucous social events which include cocktails and funny business.
3. In recent years, ESPN has coveted the radio rights to broadcast Yankee baseball games, so that it could assign announcers such as - or akin to - the aforementioned Mr. "Fattie" McBloodsock.
4. In recent years, ESPN's path to the Yankee radio broadcast booth has been blocked by the popularity of Mr. John Sterling, along with his gallant first lieutenant, Suzyn, who is known for her clubhouse reports.
5. Mr. Sterling, as the preeminent Yankee voice of his generation, maximizes his incredible popularity through the use of signature Yankee home run calls.
6. The most famous of Mr. Sterling's home run calls belongs to Mr. Alex Rodriguez, the player known as A-Rod, who launches "A-Bombs."
7. MLB - which is in cahoots with ESPN - seeks to suspend Mr. Rodriguez and deny Mr. Sterling his most valuable announcing asset, the A-Bomb. Not only will MLB/ESPN eliminate Rodriguez' bat from the Yankees, it would effectively render the team - and Mr. Sterling - homeless for the duration of 2013.
8. Without home runs and home run calls, the Yankees and Mr. Sterling will disappear from public view, replaced by interest in the upcoming New York City mayoral races that feature Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.
9. In recent weeks, a steady drumbeat of news stories about Mr. Rodriguez' impending suspension have been leaked by MLB to ESPN reporters, thus allowing commentators such as Mr. McBloodsock ample opportunity to condemn the Yankees and - by inference - their current radio voice.
THEREFORE.... ESPN, through the guidance of MLB, is orchestrating the demise of not only the Yankees but Mr. Sterlng, so it can take control of the radio booth and install a puppet announcing regime, one that could even include the presence of Mr. "Three-Chin" McBloodsock... whose voice would forever drone upon Yankee sensibilities and drive the radio fan base into extinction.
Ladies and gentlemen: I cannot make this clearer:
This is an attempted coup.
ESPN is on the verge of implementing its long term plan to install "Publicmoney McBloodsock" - with perhaps Kleenexwrists Garciappariah - into our last outpost of Yankee truth, the radio booth.
Next year's home run call for Derek Jeter could be, "A homer by Jeet? I don't give a sheet!"
Gather your weapons, Yankiverse, and ride to the sound of gunfire! The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is under attack! (It's beautiful, like a college campus... but not for much longer!) The next A-Bomb will be upon us. God have mercy.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
* * *
* * *
The Return of the Golden Thong: It happened last night...
* * *
1. The Rug Wrath. Bud Selig has sexy-danced long enough for the cameras. It's time for him to drop the loincloth and rid baseball of its problems... the best way he knows: Wrap them into a human form - be it Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or the Antichrist, Marvin Miller - douse it with gas and strike a match. (This is the year when Cooperstown inducted the Dead, including an ump and an owner.) The latest Evil One Likeness wears Yankee Number 13. It must be destroyed.
Soon, MLB will have no critics, no problems, no issues, no off-the-field-controversies - and nobody watching in New York City. This is the year when the owners lower the boom on long-term deals for aging stars. (Don't get comfy, Mr. Pujols.)
A-Rod plans to fight in court. Good. When elephants wrestle, we mice get a free show. For Yankee fans, it may be the only one worth watching in September. It will surely beat the "Playing Third, Jayson Nix" Show.
But A-Rod can't win in court. Not while his final grains of sand run out. Selig can ban him for life, and his lawyers can knock it down to 50 games - a victory of sorts. But time's a flyin', and no judge or jury can restore it. And the sportswriters - bless their arrested development minds - will wait breathlessly for the updates on Grandyman's pinkie. What does it say when ESPN - financially attached at the hip to MLB - is the breaker of all the latest A-Rod stories?
2. The Inertia Monster. Tonight, we learn whether the 2013 Yankees are capable of sustaining momentum. Aww, hell... we already know they are not, but - hey - we fall for this every time. They couldn't win after Chris Stewart's miracle catch. They couldn't win after Nuni's big hit. Now, it's Jeter's return. I will never underestimate the power of Jeter to lift a team. But the bottom of our batting order remain the best reason to go make a sandwich since the invention of mayonnaise. That hasn't changed. Bottom of the second, two men on, no outs? Go make a sandwich.
3. The Arrival of the Dead. (Actually, the trade deadline arrives tomorrow, but don't stop me, I'm on a roll.) The deal for Alphonso Soriano proved formally that Hal Steinbrenner was not adopted. He's doing exactly what his dad did in the 1980s, when the organization became universally derided as the worst team money can buy. He is overruling experts (Soriano), playing favorites (two years of Ichiro), carping about money ($189 million target) while wasting it on sluggers over the hill (Wells, Hafner), who clog the way for hot young players (sadly, our system is so barren, I cannot name anybody.) Old George happily traded kids that nobody heard of - Willie McGee, Fred McGriff, et al - and the writers didn't question it then, so why should they now?
Soriano homered yesterday, so the deal in Hal's mind, is already a 100 percent success. It won't matter if Cody Black makes the Hall of Fame. Thus, don't be surprised if by this time Thursday, we haven't jettisoned whatever remains in our system - Philly has had a month to scout us - for the increasingly flat-lining Michael Young - as we chase Mr. Selig's phantom one-game Wild Card slot. Can you imagine the locker room celebration across the Yankiverse if we can clinch that final Wild Card slot? Woo-hoo! Down for the next five years, but we get to play one more game!
If we were in the NBA, we'd be within a few losses of the Draft Lottery. If, say, a Bryce Harper were out there - and frankly, there are always Bryce Harpers out there - which would you prefer the Yankees chase? The one-game wild card or a future superstar?
4. The West Coast Trip. Gahhhhhhh. the words haunt me. How many solid Yankee teams have stepped off the plane from the seven-hour flight and were immediately replaced by actors, posing as the Bombers? The games won't be watched by most of the Yankiverse. We will just read about the pain and suffering, as if it's some uprising in the Middle East.
Folks, the revolution will not be Photoshopped.
It hits today. TODAY. Cover your heads. (And, by the way, loved reading the comments overseas. It occurs to me: The comments ARE this blog.)
Hoot, mon! Back from Scotland! And bravo, Mustang, for bloggin' in the sheaves. Did he Wally Pip me?
Just as Kourtney Kardashian - aka "the Ben Francisco of the Kardashian family" - managed to lose 40 pounds, so that she can done the bikini and strut the beach in style, keeping the brand name afloat while sister Kim feverishly works the Stairmaster, so did Mustang amp up his game and maintain this blog's position in the imaginary Yankiverse Wild Card race.
Alphonso, on the other hand, was off on his own walkabout. Typical. He's Travis Halfner to me. He's bad haggis. Oh for 20 with runners on base.
Looks like everything is coming to a head, perhaps today. Strap on your water wings, laddies. We're going to try a water landing.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
In the early morning hours, KD posted this scoop to I'm Bill White's A-Rod wastebasket entry:
Just back from the Bronx and you won't find anything like this for sale in any of the in-Stadium stores. No A-Rod tee shirts, no A-Rod posters, photos, bobbleheads, whatever. (But you can buy a Youk shirt if you want such a thing.
And get this: went into the Steiner store and even his autographed ball is gone! An empty spot is all that is left. Nothing A-Rod even in Steiner.
A-Rod has been purged. And the Yanks say they want him back as soon as possible. Anyone believe that bullshit?
I was there for it in 1994.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Corey Black, 21, gets us Alfonso Soriano, 37. Thank God El Duque and Alphonso are away, or we'd be in for 20,000 words. Here's Soriano homering off Financialwhiz McBloodsock for the Yankees in a World Series played all the way back when TV screens were narrow:
Tonight we face the Rays, who hail from a land where...
- They don't even recycle. In 2013!
- It smells like ethanol.
- They're allowed to pollute.
- Home Shopping Network was born.
- Hooters was born.
- A cop literally dragged a woman to jail. In 2013!
- They like child porn.
- They don't die.
Beat them. Crush them utterly. Teach them pain.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
* * *
The 7,362-square-foot home is listed for $1.2 million. Along with the weight room, it's listed as having four bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and a theater. There's also a separate building that served as a studio for the filming of "Walker, Texas Ranger."Is Norris raising cash to prepare for the "1,000 years of darkness" he warned that the second Obama term would bring?
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Researching The Voice for my new role as Lou Gehrig to El Duque's Wally Pipp--OK, not researching exactly, just lazily browsing his Wikipedia entry--I was surprised to learn the Hertz 24/7 Broadcast Booth significance of "Zombie Jamboree," a Calypso song popularized a million years ago by Harry Belafonte. Here are just a few of its many, many lyrics:
I had thought that Sterling invented the phrase to punish me. As I near the end of my sixth decade, it's nice to know there are references I'm still too young to get.It was a Zombie JamboreeTook place in a New York cemeteryZombies from all parts of the IslandSome of them was a great CalypsoniansAlthough the season was CarnivalWe get together in bacchanalAnd they singingBack to back, belly to bellyI don't give a damn, I done dead alreadyOho back to back, belly to bellyAt the Zombie Jamboree
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Exciting news. Think of it: Wells, Soriano, Hafner and Youk... plus Grandyman and maybe Jeet: a veritable Murderers Row for that one-game season.
(We leave in an hour.)
Getaway Day thoughts:
1. Chris Stewart's catch/throw out - the greatest moment of 2013 - spared us from the ridicule of a Fenway sweep, but little more. (He might need to do it again to save us from a sweep in Texas.) A three-run lead against these Yankees is an dam burst. Our only successes come against cans of tomatoes. This is the saddest Yankee lineup since 1990, and the worst may be yet to come.
2. I'm with Mustang: We should re-devote this blog to John and Suzyn, who will struggle to find hope in this cresting August/September hell period. Something tells me that this could be their final season in the booth. We need to chronicle it.
3. Has anybody else realized how creepy it is that Alphonso Soriano might return at the exact moment Alex Rodriguez leaves? We traded Sori for A-Rod, and now we get him back, just as A-Rod goes away? Booga-booga.
4. Sorry, but who can get excited about Sori? He's Vernon Wells II. When the Gammonites say we gave up "just a mid-level prospect" for him, keep in mind that a) our system's best prospects are "mid-level," b) Theo Epstein is not our friend, c) he's had a month to scout our system, and d) we have squandered major talent - from Damaso Garcia to Jay Buhner - in the throes of panicked summers. This is a dangerous move. Worst, we now have both Wells and Soriano to drag down the team next year - holding roster slots and keeping the Mustelliers from ever getting a chance - until it's obvious they are kaput. For weeks, I have dreaded just such a deal.
5. OK... when I return, no more anger. I am declaring a personal WAR ON PESSIMISM. My goal will be to fill the Yankiverse with glee, and not in the Corey Monteith sense, either.
We must honor this Yankee team for what it is: A collection of castoffs that is desperately trying, that lacks the physical tools to win, and that was inevitable, considering the newly tapered financial structure of baseball. These players will perform a public service: They will weed from our ranks all fans who only root for the Yankees because they win.
This has been a long time coming. But you cannot appreciate Bernie Williams unless you experience No Neck Williams.
It's here, folks. The Yankacalypse. See you next week. Mustang, back to you...
This one hit was brought to you by The Sunoco Free Fuel 5000; by clean, safe Indian Point Energy; and by Reynolds Wrap
(El Duque and Alphonso are both traveling this week, to the sure disappointment of you dozens who derive some mysterious benefit from daily mewling about the Yankees. In my friends' absence, I rededicate this blog to its rightful subject: The Voice, John Sterling.)
Monday, July 22, 2013
Well, it wasn't our worst loss. Nope. We've suffered more hideous debacles and have a few more left in our 2013 backpack. But last night was our most deflating moment since Tex went down for good, and it's an especially mediocre team that can lose both the 1-0 and 8-7 game - and that, comrades, is what we are. This won't change with Jeet and A-Rod back (increasingly unlikely.) The Grandyman won't save us. The scrap heap has been picked clean. From here on, stems and seeds.
Thus, let's pray Brian "Beggars-Can't-Be-Choosers" Cashman doesn't drain the system for another Ken Phelps, and turn a two-year trench into a 10-year depression. Last year, Boston ate a urinal cake and peddled three stars for a new reality. We talk about trading Hughes and Joba - whoopie-do - and getting, what? The son of John Mayberry? (Or the reincarnation of John Mayberry?) Nope. It's time to think the unthinkable. Would a little ketsup on that urinal cake make it taste better?
Robbie: Ouch. If we trade Cano, he'll probably take it personally and never return as a free agent (until age 41, when he's hitting .170). But the next three months in a poisonous NYC clubhouse - with empty seats and a seething fan base - could have him packing his bags anyway. Also, he might see a team in the turmoil ditch for three years and flee to LA, where the billionaire owners don't pull out their pockets to poor-mouth. Jeez, what do we do about Robbie? He is all we have. But would we want another 10 year deal? If we lose this guy, a sandwich pick won't cut it.
Hiroki: A great Yankee! Damn, we would miss him. But I gotta think teams in the race would go push their faces in the pie for the pitcher who can win that one-game Wild Card series, and bidding wars don't happen every day. It's pathetic that we should imagine this. But we can come in fourth with him, and without him. Considering the caps MLB places on spending, how many sandwich picks do we need?
Mariano: Wait a minute, sit down, I'm not speaking blaspheme, I swear it! In the final days of Elston Howard, the Yankees traded Ellie to the Redsocks for two prospects, one of whom turned out to be the great Ron Klimkowski. Ellie settled Boston's pitchers and got a few big hits. My question is simple: Would it be honoring Mariano by moving him to a pennant-bound team? (But not Boston.) Should his final moments be in meaningless victories (rare events, I might add) with a bunch of scrap heapers? Would he prefer one last crack at a World Series ring? Only person can answer this: Mariano. I'm not angling to squeeze anybody for the next Ron Klimkowski - we'd get nothing in return - but if Mo wants to pitch in one last post-season, should the organization stand in his way?
Ichiro: Same deal. Last year, the Mariners gave him to us, so he could play meaningful games. Should we pay it forward? Last winter - ridiculously - as we passed on important RH hitters and whiffed on the magnitude of Jeter's ankle injury - we signed Ichiro to a two-year deal. Stupid then, absurd now. We should pay the second year and trade him to a West Coast team with money and hope. There is no reason to watch this great star - with little Yankee legacy, aside from his incredible Twister slide into home last October against Baltimore - in the final throes of his career, next season platooning with Slade Heathcott or Zolio Almonte - playing for some miserable Yankee team. Do we want to remember him the way we do Danny Tartabull and Steve Kemp? Hell no. Let the man go.
I know, I know... it's too early to toss in the towels, especially with Mariano. But we're now chasing the last slot of the Wild Card, and it is time for this organization to publicly recognize its plight. We have been in denial long enough. Take a close look everybody. The Yankee Apocalypse is here. Who gets eaten first?
Sunday, July 21, 2013
College crew going home. Reunited and it feels so good. No matter what happens, we can't get swept by the Redsocks. Hah. That'll show 'em.
Watched part of the game on Fox, but never saw a Yankee hit. Not one. Whenever came in, we did nothing. The Duke (Redsock fan) watched everything. At least I recognized that watching would ruin our chances, so I cut bait. That's guiding your team to victory. That's how to win a pennant.
Dare we believe? Am I still runk?
Saturday, July 20, 2013
I'm not at the drunk fest upstate, so I have to make my own fog. As my last manhattan disappeared into the bottom of my gullet, I had the following thoughts:
What if Mariano doesn't get another chance for a save?
What if we get swept by Boston, Texas and the Rays?
Will Cashman re-build or trade Robbie, Hughes and Almonte for a right-hand hitting Hafner?
Will Hank and Hal spend on the team, or buy more houses in Europe?
Will A-Rod actually start in Texas, despite no confirming word form the Yankees?
Was anyone....ANYONE....surprised that Derek went on the DL?
Who will be the next Yankee to get hurt?
What if Pineda never gets out of AAA?
Will we see Dellin Bettances before September? Before he reaches his 30th birthday?
What if Granderson gets hit again, in his first at bat?
What if all three of our recent draft picks are like every other draft pick of ours?
Where will Dante Bichette be selling cars next year, and what make?
Does Cashman have another girlfriend? Or boyfriend, for that matter?
When will Girardi do a projectile vomit in a post-game press conference?
How many of us will die of old age before the Yankees win the world series again?
Another predictable day for the Yankees;
Two runs for the offense
Third loss in a row
Andy digs us another hole early, from which we cannot recover
Another starter injured ( and Almonte will be gone a month, minimum )
Another no name enters the line-up
Another step toward the cellar
Another length away from the final wild-card
Steady as she goes.
Listened to John and Suzyn call the loss last night on cell phone. It was cruel to lose when we were so close to having Hafner come to the plate, maybe with a runner on, to tie it up with a home run. At least that's how John saw it: If only Hafner could get to the plate.
The Duke - Redsock fan - is being - God help us - gracious. Yeah. It's that bad. They feel sorry for us. I couldn't even get a rise out of him by mentioning Bobby Valentine. When a Redsock fan feels sorry for you... it's over.
John didn't lose hope. Down to the final pitch, he was calculating the chances of the great Hafner getting his swings. I may not be the only Yank fan doing this drunk.
ONE MORE DAY. Dying. Did I hallucinate that Zolio hurt his ankle and is out? That couldn't have happened, right?
Please, Lord, don't let us trade a decent prospect for another Ken Phelps.
Friday, July 19, 2013
A few wiseass remarks about A-Rod last night. They do not believe. He and I are luring them into our trap.
Wouldn't it be incredible if A-Rod comes back, tests clean, beats MLB in "court," and leads the team to the World Series? Also, Pineda returns, and Jeter and Granderson, too. And Youkilis, in the final series against Boston - he comes back, steps to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, and bam - a grand slam! Yankees win.
No. Wait. Better idea. That ties the game. Four to four. Extra ies nnings. We run out of pitchers, so we bring in... Daniel Bard. Yes. We signed him off the scrap heap. No. Wait. Alfredo Aceves. We get Alfredo Aceves. And he pitches us to the big victory.
No. Wait. We have A-Rod homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventeenth inning. Game over. Yankees win. That's it. John and Suzyn go crazy. Fireworks in the sky. Everybody happy.
OK, I don't know what has happened, but I don't think it will matter anyway. I have been out of the "loop," in terms of figure out what has happened. I don't know what has happened. Should I repeat myself. I don't think so.
So, I heard something about A-Rod saying he'll be back Monday, and the Yankees saying nothing, and that's probably already outdated.
So, I was drinking with the Duke, who is very smug about the Redsocks. Very smug. He is being nice. Too nice. He says we got a bad break with A-Rod. Well, we'll see what happens when A-Rod comes back. Should I redraft this? I don't think so. Go A-Rod!
Thursday, July 18, 2013
I have no idea what happened in the Yankiverse yesterday. None. Maybe Cashman stole Bryce Harper from the Nationals, or A-Rod has been promoted to Columbus. It's like being in outer space. I'm cut off.
The Duke showed up last night, a day ahead of schedule. He came early because the Redsocks are in first. Smug SOB. Wore a brand new Redsock hat. I'm talking brand new. So here's the deal, this guy has been a Boston fan all his life, but he's buying new swag - putting money directly into the coffers of evil.
He loves the A-Rod situation. It sustains him when merely inflicting pain on humanity is not enough.
My head hurts. I was going to blog more yesterday, but it got away from me. It was 95 degrees, and by 3 p.m., we were into the craft beers. Growlers. No turning back.
The Duke is circling, looking to talk baseball. I gotta go.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
It's increasingly probable that A-Rod will never reach:
a) 3,000 hits. (He has 2,901.)
b) 2,000 RBIs. (He has 1,950.)
c) Willie Mays on the HR list. (He has 647 to Mays' 660.)
But if Alex never again steps to the plate in a Major League game, his career batting average will stand forever at .300.
Stayed up late last night but missed the Mariano think in the All-Star game. I can't believe I missed it. I missed it because a friend came to visit, and he doesn't give a damn about baseball, and with the Yankees being bad, I capitulated. I relented. I gave in. If the Yankees were decent this year, I would have seen the Mariano moment, and now I missed it.
I saw the Zimmerman verdict moment. That's how pathetic my life has become. I was watching TV when the Zimmerman verdict came down. And now I've missed the Mariano moment./ I can't believe I missed it. My head hurts, and I'm not just talking about pain. I'm talking about deeper than pain. Worse than paid. Melancholia. Angst. Worse than either of those two, too. It's the pain of a Mariano blown save - the worst pain in the Yankiverse, worse than - well - not really worse than a Jeter injury or a death to a Yankee great such as - no, I WILL NOT SPECULATE IN SUCH MATTERS - where are we? Mo. I missed his entrance last night. I missed everything.
They named him MVP. They're trying to be nice. They know we're dying, and they know A-Rod isn't coming back, and they feel sorry for us, so they named Mo MVP. He should have refused it. He should have said, "NO, I WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS, NOT AFTER WHAT BUD SELIG AND HIS FINANCIAL POLICIES HAVE DONE TO MY TEAM AND ORGANIZATION." Chad Curtis would have done that. He would have told them to go to hell.
What made me think about Chad Curtis? The booze. That was the booze thinking. Somebody help me. It's 95 degrees and my old college roommate is screaming for more...
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
So... If you're looking for a deep baseball scouting report, forget it. What do I know? I though Shelley Duncan would hit 400 home runs.
Still, an occasional notion bites you in the butt, so here are my bite-marks:
Our top recent draft pick, Eric Jagielo, (pictured) has some work to do at 3B. He slaughtered an easy nubber, and then nearly threw away a barehand pick. (Both teams kicked the ball around like Manchester United.) Looks better with the bat. He went two for four, thanks to a friendly official scorer. Confident. Nice swing.
The guy to watch is a masher named Yeicock Calderon. He's a right-fielder, built like a wrestler, and he hasn't even filled out yet. He went 0-4, but hit some balls on the button, and he's already hit 5 HR. This is the guy you want first off the bus. He's my Shelley Duncan for 2013.
Best hitter of the night was a LH firstbaseman by the name of Bubba Jones. He absolutely crushed a three run shot to right, then line sharply to RF - after fouling off several more shots. He was in complete control of every at bat. The only question was whether the could keep in the park. He went 3 for 5 with the HR and a double. I haven't heard much about this guy. (He was a 7th round pick in 2011 and hasn't lit up any leagues yet.) If he keeps hitting like last night, that will change.
Lastly, a pitcher named Rookie Davis shut down Auburn quite nicely: Five innings, no runs. It's hard to gauge whether to praise the pitcher or ridicule the offense, but the guy had them failing.
And of course, there is the 2B, Derek Toadvine - best name since Slade Heathcott. Who knows?
MLB is crushing New York and - particularly - its signature professional sports franchise.
About $400 million now moves from the rich teams to the poor ones each season, and Oakland, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Pittsburgh are fighting for first place in their divisions.
The ax falls particularly hard in New York, whose teams produce by far the most combined revenue of any market in baseball—nearly $800 million, or more than 10% of the entire sport. That forces this baseball capital to share more money than any other market with everyone else while getting little back in return.
I've railed about this many times. Let me try to digest the notes:
1) The MLB owners are billionaires, pretending to be millionaires, so we will feel sorry for them.
2) These owners are ardent free market capitalists on every level, except when it comes to capping payroll; then they are communists.
3) They aggressively seek loopholes and breaks on federal and state taxes. But they happily impose them on teams that pay players too much money.
4) MLB pretends to be a public entity - for example, as it acts in the public interest to curtail steroids. But it is a private company, with a private police force, and its only goal is to make more money.
5) MLB's imminent player suspensions and bans are designed to make the public think the sport is clean. They are internal moves within a corporation. This is no more a system of public justice than is the World Wrestling Federation, when Commissioner Vince McMahon Jr. expels Junkyard Dog for eating Roddy Piper's ear.
It's all about the money.
I greatly fear this is the end of the Yankees, as we have known them for the last 30 years. The fix is in. We will no longer be baseball's feared/hated/revered team. We cannot sign international talent. We cannot sign big free agents. Already, empty seats at the stadium are signaling a draining of revenues, and there is no way out of this straightjacket. The Steinbrenners won't feel the pinch, because they'll pay lower luxury taxes. The Yankees could be down for three to five years, reduced to chasing that empty second Wild Card birth - hoping for the ridiculous one-game playoff: The Selig Hunger Game.
Right now, it looks like the only way to restore a team is to go the Rays/Nationals/Pirates/Orioles route: Come in dead last long enough, and you'll eventually rise.
My annual college reunion commences tomorrow. Thus will begin my annual five-day drunken blog. It won't be pretty.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Everything is collapsing - our hitting, pitching, even the defense - and that pellet bomb - Bud Selig's suspension surprise - is about to go boom.
You knew they'd never pull the pin before or during the All-Star break, the Commissioner's annual victory lap, when Selig handpicks one TV toady for his interview, and then tells the world what a wonderful job he's doing (for that $25 million plus salary). Thus, baseball's "rising young stars" - aka, the cheap ones, who have not yet scored their big contracts - can play in an unsoiled spotlight.
Next week, there will be no reason to wait. The longer MLB delays announcing its 20 to 25 player suspensions - as the news leaks keep saying - the more that bomb will distort or destroy the 2013 pennant race. If they wait too long, they'll blow up the entire season, and some fans, teams and writers might not join the automatic cheers of support, which the courtiers lead, like a Jumbotron projecting the word "NOISE" to a sold-out crowd.
Let's face it: The arbitrary focus of this Miami probe means it could hit the Yankees hardest. One beauty of random MLB drug tests was that teams faced them equally. But this investigation centers around one "clinic" that went kaput, and a notebook fell into the hands of an enterprising journalist. If there are other "clinics" out there that didn't go bankrupt, well, they stayed secret.
Do I sound cynical? I apologize. Why should anybody be cynical about a war on drugs? I mean, hasn't humanity historically been able to solve the problem?
What we do in these massive campaigns is simple: Wes burn a few scapegoats on the village green - unpopular, high-profile celebrities make the neatest flames - and scream indignation, while everybody shakes their head and then goes home to toke up and celebrate the victory.
The big bad Yankees and their personal financial foil, Alex Rodriguez, make the perfect poster children for MLB's future marketing campaign that it is a sport cleansed of performance enhancing drugs. If they can blow up the Yankees for two to five years - and the Steinbrothers, by cutting payroll and ditching A-Rod, could actually make more money - they can say baseball is saved, and then go back to the business of looking the other way.
Damn, I did it again. I fell into cynicism. The idea of Luis Cruz at 3B for the next three months will do that to you.
Still, it will be interesting to see if Big Papi gets plunked. You see, I think a bunch of MLB juicers will skate. They simply used a different "clinic," and they've now had months to shore up potential leaks, to be certain no alternative newspaper reporters ever unearth a notebook.
So here we are, the mighty Yankees, falling in the air, headed for the AL East cellar, grasping now for that lowly one-game-season Wild Card birth (in another city.) It's finally clear to me that A-Rod isn't coming back. Maybe Cervelli, too. Maybe others. Who knows what names, guilty by implication, will vault out of this mix? Right now, the names on that list are the biggest intangible - bigger than the trade deadline - of the pennant race.
This will be the year that MLB won the war on drugs by wrapping every sin into a dummy, which wears Yankee uniform Number 13, and then setting it ablaze in the village square. Gather around, kids. Soon after the All-Star game, the fireworks show will begin.