Thursday, March 20, 2014

The scrap heap season has begun. Will the Yankees be dumpster diving again?

Yesterday, rustling around the Internews, I found a bunch of Yankee sites proposing that we should sign newly released players from the Dodgers, and the Diamondbacks, and the Royals and - oh, who cares, the Knicks, Malaysian Airlines, al Qaeda, it doesn't matter! Somebody waived them, and we should grab them.

This seventh-grade enthusiasm hearkens back to the checkbook days of Old George, who would have signed every star in the game, roster openings or not, if they let him. Last year, when the scrap heap began to ooze, the franchise pumped out rapture over our acquisition of Brennan Boesch. Brennan Boesch! We spent the last weeks of March scouring the bones of anybody available. Macklemore spent less time at the Thrift Shop than Brian Cashman.

So now, the first puffs of purple smoke are belching over in the junk yard. Sorry, but I can't bring myself to click on these stories. I just can't. They raise once again the fundamental hubris of the Yankees - in my opinion, the single greatest cause of our downfall. Two observations:

1. It points to the sense that other teams, other scouts, other coaches, simply are not as smart as the Yankees are. Nope, they just had six weeks to evaluate a player, and they blew it. They decided to cut bait, but they're stupid. We'll sign him, and he'll do fine. Those other teams - the Cardinals, the As, the Tigers, et al - they just don't know how to evaluate talent.

2. It tells us our actual place in the MLB universe. If the Yankees are as good as the YES machine is claiming, we should be the team cutting players that other franchises run to grab. It should be our leftovers that other teams covet. We shouldn't be the team that slept in the car overnight to be the first into the flea market. If we are grabbing people - well, folks, that's a really bad sign for the season ahead.

Last year, those bad omens were incredible, and yet the Yankee p.r. machine rattled onward. We signed a third of our starting lineup in the final week of March - Bosch, Ben Franciso, Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells (yeah, he was a trade, but you know what I mean.) Are we going to drink from that tainted well again this year? Let's see. The first great indicator of our season is about to unfold. Are we the Evil Empire or the Retrieval Empire? Stay tuned.


KD said...

No more dumpster diving, please. Just sign Drew to a one year deal heavy with performance incentives. Guy's probably desperate by now.

Kate Conroy said...

Could not agree with you more.... There is a reason these players were released in the first place.

And sure, these cast-offs will come into the Bronx on a cloud, thus playing well above their ability in la-la land. Then the month of April will entail and the reality of why they were released prior to signing with the Yankees will come to head. Hence.... TROUBLE BEGINS!!