Monday, March 24, 2014

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant varietiy of spores: Surprises in store this week- plus MY 2014 PREDICTIONS

Folks, wish me luck. No lie: I'm heading to the Arctic Circle for a week. That's all I can say. It's super-dooper, secret squirrel, hush hush... mom's the word. You didn't hear it from me: I'll be conducting "experiments." Whoops, I said too much. Disregard the above statements. But let me dash one rumor: It has NOTHING to do with my performance as Shia Labeouf's stunt double in Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1,

Over the next eight days, you will entertained and enthralled by not only the usual meat of the order - the Mickeys and Marianos, the Mustangs and Alphonsos - but we have signed some high-priced free agents. Frankly, this site will win the AL East of Yankee blogs by 12 games.

But... alas...

I don't see that with the 2014 Evil Emperors.

Because I'm leaving today, and who knows what Internet Cafe connection I'll have in Norway - (I'll try to send a selfie with a penguin) - I'm filing my 2014 predictions now. I'm sure you'll agree that this is incredibly courageous on my part. Over the last week of March, everything could change. It's like filling out my NCAA Sweet 16 before the brackets are announced. Oh, well, never stopped me before. Here goes...

MY PREDICTIONS FOR 2014 (Clip and save.)

1. Here today, gone Tanaka. Our new Toyota will give great mileage, but now and then, sputter and stall. Something in the gas. One day, he'll be Yu; the next day, Boo, as in Irabu. This will drive Alphonso crazy. Don't get me wrong. Long haul, he'll be fine. But we cannot forget how Darvish struggled his first year at Texas, and Yu didn't have to face the righteous thunderbolt Gammonites of NYC. I'm thinking Masahiro goes something like 12-10. In other words, Cashman was right: He's our third or fourth starter.

2. O Cappy, my Cappy. Listen: We all know Jeter cannot last the year at SS. Maybe LF, maybe 3B - not SS. He looks old this spring. He looks ready to retire. He'll raise his game and have a couple good weeks. Then the injuries will mount. Nobody pushing 40 can play a season at SS. Not Spiderman, not Superman, not even Jeterman. Sorry. Aint gonna happen. This year will be hell on Jeter fans, which - frankly - is humanity.

So here's the deal, Yankiverse: It's on us. We gotta have his back. We gotta be loyal. He hits into a DP? Doesn't matter. We gotta stand and cheer the guy. He has already given us a lifetime of great moments. No matter what happens, he is our man, our pride, our once-in-a-generation great Yankee. I've lived to root for Mantle, Munson, Mattingly and now Jeter. It's been an honor. But jeez, the endings always suck. My advice: Buy the Draino before you get thirsty. It's going to be a tough year. 

3. Tex redux? Who knows what to think about Mark Teixeira? For the rest of his career, he is one checked-swing away from disaster. He will gut it out, but don't expect a career season. Jose Batista - he, of the similar wrist - was noticeably timid last season. (Batista is having a great spring, so maybe the injury isn't permanent.) I'm thinking Tex hits 20 HR and bats .235. That won't make him Travis Hafner, the giant sucking sound in the middle of the order, but he won't be "You're on the Mark ,Teixeira," either.

4. Vidal So Soon. Give Cashman, or Rothschild, or somebody credit. We have a damn solid rotation, best in the AL. If Stringbeen Sabathia fully returns - great in the last two outings - we have our ace again. Kuroda and Nova are serviceable. Pineda is a crap shot (I suspect we will look back on this hopeful spring and wish we traded him.) Our real strength lies at six through eight: Phelps, Warren and Nuno. None gets the respect he deserves, because Yankee fans have a blind spot for overachievers. We go nuts over Pineda, imagining the next Don Drysdale, but our real best hopes have inched their way up from Scranton. Thanks to those three, we should be solid through June or July. They will keep us afloat.

5. Et tu, Bogartes? Quick question: Who on the 2014 Yankees is poised to have his breakout year? My answer: Nobody. And that's a problem, my friends, because the O's have at least three players, the Redsocks have Xander Bogartes, and the Blue Jays and Rays both have a pile. We have - what? - Dellin Betances? Yeesh. You can spend the moon, but you cannot buy your way out of a bad farm system. Maybe next March, we will have impact players coming. This year, we have nothing. It will kill us.

6. Hindenburg Time.  I'm sorry, folks. I really am. Stop reading here. Go no further. What? You're still here? OK, you asked for it: Our infield is pitiful and will not last the season, and it will absolutely obliterate our pitching advantage. Too many grounders will roll into the OF, and some of them would have been DPs. Even if we last through April and May, the inevitable injuries of June and July will crush us. We're just too damn old. Cashman will work the phones. But who in MLB ever does the Yankees any favors? (When we get Ichiro, we later learn the "nobody" we gave up for him is their closer.) I have never seen a more lopsided Yankee lineup. This plane has 10 propellers and one wing. It simply cannot stay airborne for six months. We are facing a Yankee apocalypse, the kind of meltdown Boston suffered in 2012. (Which led to the resurgence last year.) A couple injuries - and all our front line players are brittle - and we are dead, sunk, kaput, goobye. And it will happen.

Last place, AL East. No playoffs. Firings. 

Listen: Some jerks make ugly predictions and then root for them to happen, so they can say they were right. Trust me, if I am wrong, I will happily eat my crapola with hot sauce, with a urine chaser. TELL ME I AM WRONG. PLEASE. GIVE ME A REASON TO COME HOME FROM THE ARCTIC AFTER WE HAVE CRYOGENICALLY UNFROZEN GEORGE HERMAN R-... wait! You weren't supposed to read that...


John M said...

Jeter is batting .114, but of course Girardi says his swing is better and he's seeing the ball better or some kind of cliched baloney.

The Yanks scored their only run on a Jeter DP. Regardless of his BA, Jete can still have a 100 RBI if he hits into 100 DPs of the kind he did Sunday.

KD said...

If Duque starts romping with what he imagines are Norwegian penguins, we'll know he's been hitting the Akavit just a little too hard...

Ken of Brooklyn said...

El Duque, I'm afraid your predictions are all on the money, URRRGGG!
Safe travels my friend!

Anonymous said...

Hey John M.--what happened to your bold prophecy, ventured only a few posts down the page, that Jeter would bat .300 this season? It took only two days' worth of additional oh-fers for you to stick the knife in the Capn's back?

Please favor us with a few of the equations by which you arrived at your stunning conclusion that Jeter will bat .300 this season.

And while you're at it, please prognosticate on Jeter's WRC+ for 2014.

This should be good.

ceeja said...

While I am in full-fledged panic mode regarding the abilities of Jeter and Texeira to be respectable this year, I do believe this team has the pitching and depth to be competitive.

So I'm predicting 85-90 wins with a shot at the second wildcard.

Suzyn's Bitch said...

No matter WHAT happens, rest assured John & Suzyn will be there every step of the way and we will ALL learn more about old movies and show tunes than we ever expected to know. That's my upside and I'm sticking to it!