Wednesday, April 9, 2014

As John and Suzyn discussed the existential roots of hope, the Yankees came naked onto a playing field of disharmony

It's been a while since one single game exposed so many Yankee weaknesses. Yesterday could have been a four-hour advertisement for the 2014 Mets. In fact, so painful was it that in the late innings, The Master and Suzyn conducted a brief discourse on the nature of faith in a godless universe.

It came after Yangervis Solarte lashed a double down the line. This was too late in the game to matter. But John gushed over what Solarte has brought to the team. "I don't care," he said. "He's great. He's just great!" Suzyn stepped in to note that, "He might not even be here in June," but Solarte has done the job. She noted that he was the league leader in doubles, with six. And then, they dabbled into the realm of existential philosophy.

Unrepentant about his optimism, The Master said that everyone in this world must choose between up and down. "I CHOOSE UP," he said. "I'LL TAKE UP."

Lately, good people have accused this blog of choosing DOWN far too often and far too early in this season - and you know what? They are right. It is mid-April, far too soon to be tossing towels - especially if MasahiroTanaka and Michael Pineda are for real. But yesterday, we played an infield of Cervelli, Roberts, Jeter and Solarte - so compromised defensively that it was hard to separate Ivan Nova's ineffectiveness from our glove-work, or lack of it. We can choose up, but I'm not sure any of them will be here in June.

Somewhere out there, we have to find our Luis Sojo, our Mariano Duncan - that cast-off infielder who comes to the Yankees and plays out of his mind for six months. (We're hoping Solarte, Dean Anna and Brian Roberts are that guy.) Jeter can hit and position himself smartly. But he can't dial back to 1998. Yesterday, a potential DP grounder slid past him, and it led to a three-run first inning. I'm willing to say the Yankees were doomed to lose that game no matter what. But lost DP grounders will haunt us this year. Eventually, they will even suck the hope out of our broadcasting booth. 

And then there is Nova, who is - well - still Nova. Did we think otherwise? Truth be told, yes. We wanted to believe something changed him last August, that he figured out life, and that he'd become a great starting pitcher, instead of Ivan Nova. It's too early to draw a bead on him. But it's time to recognize that Ivan Nova is still Ivan Nova, and he's more likely to be what he's always been... than what we want him to be.

But look: I'm in with John's mindset. Up is better than down. We have four games with Boston this weekend. They're reeling from a home sweep by the Brewers, and the hubris of an off-season full of self-congratulatory masturbation. If we can whack them with four quality starts, and if we can hold things together until Teixeira and Robertson return, we can survive this month. Because that's what we must do: Take each month as it comes. Somewhere out there is a Luis Sojo - a slick fielding infielder whose bat has a season left in it. The longer we can stay in this race, the better chance we have of finding him.

And John is right, folks. We must generate our own hope, not expect the Yankees to supply it. Today, I say this: YANGERVIS IS GREAT. And let's not think about June.


Mike said...

John not only brought laughter to the scene yesterday by saying that Buck would order room service and watch the game 18 times, but also mentioned that Cellino and Barnes were a dance team long ago. Not the thoughts of a pessimist, for sure...

The Man with the Cash said...

This Yangervis is too good to be true. We know that because of his past. No man can rise above his past to a new level of competence. can't be done!

He will not maintain a .400 average so we must be proactive and look for a scrapheap replacement now. When this unknown bit of fluff finally goes 0 for 4, we'll be ready with a replacement, most likely somebody currently playing in Japan that is all healed up and itching to make a Yankee comeback. I can't name names but you'll recognize him when you see him. Plus, we still have a ton of his old T-Shirts to sell and a banner all set to go for the side of the Stadium. Stay tuned!

Cassandra said...

Speakingn of existentialism--it's possible to transcend one's past through emotional/spiritual epiphany--to become a better person, perhaps. Popeye showed us that one can transcend even physical limitations by swallowing a can of spinach; Bonds, Arod, et al. showed us that spinach plus a well-aimed needle or two or three do an even better job.

I don't know whether Solarte is relying on spinach, needles, or simply the temporary favor of the baseball gods; but the likelihood is that he will regress to his decade-long norm as nonprospect.

That's only a likelihood, not a certainty, because as a great man once said, you can't predict baseball--a that has been confirmed amply time and again in Brian Cashman's player moves.

Apollo said...

You can't believe anything this Cassandra says, believe me.

Joey Beans said...

The fact is, even the fancy pants projection systems (ZiPS, Steamer) at fangraphs project Solarte to be twice as good as El Capitan, based only on Solarte's mediocre minor league numbers translated to the major leagues.

Rollo said...

The theory of relativity--twice as good as "completely finished" is "maybe adequate." That's great, especially if you're an UP guy like The Master.

John M said...

Wow, Duque, who are all these people? Has readership spiked suddenly?

Glad to see new, screen names. Or something.