Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Finale Rainout News Rundown

The Yankees' final Spring Training game was "rained out." As you can see by this photo, the Florida sun shone down as there was a pregame ceremony for Jeter at the end of his final Spring Training as a player. I can only assume that a storm of Biblical, Noah-like proportions hit with sudden and violent effect once the Captain safely reached the clubhouse. (Non-baseball aside: boy, that Noah movie with Russell Crowe looks like an enormous bag of CGI crapola, and will probably make gazillions.) 

In the most shocking news of the Spring, the Yankees decided to send down Nunez and instead go with the guy batting .429 in meaningless Spring Training at-bats. Solarte, it is rumored, can also play the infield without consistently dropping, throwing away or otherwise mishandling balls hit to him.

Anna made it because Ryan is hurt. Which basically means that the guy gets to start the season in the big leagues and after a month, tops, goes down to the Purgatory called Scranton-AshleyWilkes-Barre. Next year, kid, just wait. Although knowing the Yankees, they'll probably go after some infield free agents next winter and make their young guys languish in limbo. Or trade them for someone who won't pan out, or is too old.

ESPN's MLB home page has these items as news. Note the items in blue, all related to injuries. We shall be seeing a lot of similar items about Yankees as the season wears on. Especially note the Kershaw story. We shall be seeing a lot of Yankees saying they're ready to come back from an injury, but in our cases it will not usually be true:

  • Angels lock up Trout for $144.5M
  • MLB, union stiffen PED-use bans
  • Kershaw on track for Friday, back pain gone
  • Lincecum bruises knee, uncertain for start
  • A-Rod appears at Stanford baseball game
  • Red Sox tab Sizemore to start in center field
  • Braves GM: Gearrin has 'significant' elbow injury
  • Ryan wishes Hicks tried harder to unify Rangers
  • CF Kemp declares himself 'ready to go'
  • Rookie Elias, 25, earns spot in M's rotation
  • LeBron envious of Cabrera, rues salary cap
  • Rockies' Chacin (shoulder) to open on DL
And yes, I saw the story about A-Rod going to a college baseball game, and I agree with you. Who the fuck cares.

NoMaas brought another item to my attention. Fortune magazine (which, by the way, always used to be properly written as FORTUNE, all caps, but even they don't bother with that anymore) named the World's 50 Greatest Leaders, and Derek Jeter came in 11th, only two slots below the Dalai Lama and 23 ahead of that teenage girl from Pakistan who almost got killed by religious lunatics for thinking females should get an education. This only shows that Fortune, like its country of origin, is completely fucked up in terms of priorities and shouldn't be doing crap like this no matter how high the click rates are when you put up numbered lists on the Intertubes. Note to Fortune: he's a goddamn baseball player. Jesus H. Christmas.

I can't believe I'm going to have to learn how to say and spell Yangervis.
Just typing it that time I had to go back and forth to another website three times to get it right. My suggestion is that we call him Yang and be done with it.

I'm trying desperately not to make an Eastern-inspired bad joke here involving him finding an Asian or Asian-American wife named Yin, but as you can see, my hangover got the better of me on that.


Mustang said...

The Scrantons are coming to Syracuse this week. We'll get to personally welcome Nuney back to the comforts of bus travel and free clubhouse Spaghetti-Os.

Anonymous said...

Nunez would be up with the big club in any other organization by now. Really sad. I hope he is traded so he can have a shot at the career he deserves. I hear that Jayson Nix might be available--he does something to help you win every day.

Mustang said...

Sorry, 'nymous. The Phillies signed Jayson.

I think the Yankees gave Nuney a shitload of chances. Which isn't like them.

Anonymous said...

This is the same kind of "chance" that the Yankees give to all their prospects--sadistically bounce them up and down between the minors and the big club, play them out of position, mess with their heads, and when they don't make the All-Star team in their first season, view them as suspect so that they're sure to feel enough pressure to live up to that self-fulfilling prophecy. Then discard them or demote them in favor of some other team's veteran mediocrity or castoff who is no better: comparing their WAR ratings for the past three seasons, Johnson is only a half game better--pretty much a wash. We've seen this countless times before. Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner, anyone? Barfield for Leiter? We could go on all night--this stupidity the Steinbrenners' birthright, miraculously vanquished for a few brief years in the early nineties when George under house arrest long enough for Buck and Stick to develop a real team with young talent.

Speaking of which . . . Nunez has far more it and a far higher upside than Kelly Johnson--vastly superior speed and throwing arm, and in the same neighborhood on defense if you compare the dWAR numbers for the past three years. Plus he's six years younger and makes one-fifth of Johnson's salary. But that's the point: the Heirheads and their mafia of factotums just LOVE faded, overpriced, over-thirties from other teams, especially if they had one or two good seasons at least four or five years ago, if they're clearly on the decline, have very little upside, and are, on balance, a much worse bet than their own younger, cheaper, in- house talent.

752 at-bats over three seasons while getting jerked from the Bronx to Scranton and all over the field to positions he's never played before counts as "a shitload of chances" only in the Steakhouse in the Bronx. No other major league club would use Johnson over Nunez given the differences in age, salary, speed, arm strength (all of which favor Nunez)and the similarities in WAR (with Nunez's far greater potential for improvement with steady playing time).

The Nunez's demotion in favor of Johnson is another symptom of an organizational disease that is leading this team to a prolonged spell in the AL ICU.

Mustang said...

These "Yankees" you speak of sound awful. I hope they lose.

Anonymous said...

You apparent unfamiliarity with these "Yankees" is strange--you've been immersed neck-deep in them for so long now. Unless this is an example of what is said of fish--it doesn't know it's in water until it's out of it.

Now that you're better acquainted with the empirical realities of these "Yankees," perhaps you'd like to comment on the substance . . . if you consider yourself equipped to do so, that is.

Mustang said...

(Narrows eyes) You sound like one of them Moneyballers.

Anonymous said...

The Yankee front office has developed its own Bizarro version of Moneyball, one that will emerge with increasing clarity over the next few year of plunging attendance and TV ratings--all expenditure, no revenue. Genius!

Anonymous said...

Nunez kind of stinks. See also: Too Much Moneyball.

Anonymous said...

Mustang kind of stinks (Wide Eyes)

KD said...

Like Knoblauch, Nuney inspired compassion in me. so much talent but, in the end, a hopeless head case.

The Yanks missed out on a Jason Nix redux? Poor Suzyn.

el duque said...

Holy crap, you guys are amazin'! Back Tuesday, unless that reindeer jerky sends me to the ER. I'm in the Arctic Circle, or "the AC" as we call it.

You know it's a tough online hotspot when they have an "Internet Cafe." gotta go

Anonymous said...

I'm the Anonymous who posted the comparative analysis of Nunez's and Johnson's WAR, etc.

Another "Anonymous" posted the insulting, provocative post directed your way. 'Twas not I!

Anyway--I apologize on behalf of the provocateur who appropriated my non-name to fan the flames.

I always enjoy your posts and would never attack you personally.


Mustang said...

Thanks, Real Anonymous!

joe de pastry said...

Kelly Johnson will hit 20+ HRs, a lot more than we'd get from Nunez, of whom I am sick and tired

Anonymous said...

Johnson and Nunez have both put up an OPS in the neighborhood of .700 for the past three years. The average WAR for the past three years gives Johnson only a half-game advantage--not enough to compensate for his being six years older, slower, declining, and six times as expensive.

Nunez still has a huge upside--is much more likely to improve substantially than Johnson, who is at an age when he is likely to decline.

If you're sick of Nunez, just wait until you've had an eyeful of Johnson for a few months. You'll be longing for Lillebrand.