Monday, April 14, 2014

This swarm of injuries is not due to fracking or global warming; nor is it God's wrath: It is the natural state of the Yankees

Have you noticed that whenever some TV talking haircut blames a tornado or "super-storm" on global warming, instead of convincing dittoheads to change their ways, it only riles them? No hurricane will alter Glenn Beck's views. He'll just blame God. Twenty years from now, the erosion of shorelines and the movement of invasive species will slowly prove the consequences of cooking the planet. Nothing else will get to these folks. And that, my friends, is your free, non-Yankee life pontification for today!

Which, ahem, brings me to the Yankees...

If these Yankee injuries were hail storms, ESPN would be blaming climate change, while the popes of YES pass around rattlesnakes. Last night, John and Suzyn were - as usual - lamenting the fates, when Francisco Cervelli - a career train wreck of injuries - went down. The Gammonites of the Murdoch Fifth (R.I.P. Daily News, how could let them outbid you?) can throw up their hands and tell God he sucks, but there is no mystery here. Pre-tweaked gonads and bulging discs are a rite of Yankee spring. Everybody knows why. We are older than dirt, and injuries are our norm. 

Listen: If Job were covered with bleeding pustules, and he'd spent all of yesterday swimming in Boston Harbor, maybe yelling at God wouldn't be appropriate, eh?

Today, Brian McCann goes in for x-rays on his hand. If they show a broken knuckle, yes, we are screwed. But jeez, it aint God's fault. God would know that McCann last year played in 102 games, down from 121 in 2012. (He is not stupid; He would go onto Baseball Reference.) McCann's workload has dropped steadily every season since 2010. God would tell you right off the bat: This is what you get  from a 30-year-old catcher.

Last year, Derek Jeter played in 17 games. I think God would have moved him to 3B by now. The Yankees prefer to keep Jeet as their SS crown jewel. Fine. Personally, I believe if Jeter moved to third, within three weeks, he would make himself into one of the best fielding 3Bs in the AL, much as A-Rod once did. And he'd play more. Oh well. Aint gonna happen. But it's a long season, and if he plays 120 games at SS - age 39 - it will be nothing short of a miracle from God. Keep those cards and prayers coming, folks.

Mark Teixeira played 15 games last year. Just days before he tweaked his hamstring two weeks ago, he said his injured wrist will "never be the same." I bet God laughed about that one. Two years ago, Jose Batista in Toronto tweaked his wrist, and it took him 2013 to recover. (He's back to crushing the ball this year.) How much can we legitimately expect Tex to play this year in his prime form? Maybe God will send a healing balm instead of another barking hammy.

Francisco Cervelli's working address is the DL. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, two hard-nosed outfielders, are always a dive away from a broken bone. (Did you them nearly collide last night in left-center? Thank God Gardner pulled away. That was our season, folks, crashing together.) Did I mention David Robertson, who has pulled up lame twice now when handed the closer role? Or Brian Roberts, who missed the last three years? Or the advanced ages of the OF - Soriano, Beltran and Ichiro? Or Michael Pineda, who hadn't thrown an inning in two years? How many innings should we expect from Pineda this year, before we seriously compromise his shoulder? A hundred? A hundred fifty? Who wants to place their bets?

Listen: The Yankees are playing a strategy that involves signing old and oft-injured players, and hoping for the best. It's not the worst plan, if you have $220 million to piss away. And Hal has that money, thanks to Murdoch and YES. Thus, the strategy works - until it doesn't. (Remember Travis Hafner?)

Folks, this is not an aberration. This is not global warming or God's will. It is the Yankee plan. Injuries are how we roll. But for now, let's hope God has our back on McCann's knuckles. A broken finger would be a low blow, even for God.

1 comment:

ceeja said...

Well, it's hard to ascribe the Cervelli and Solarte injuries to anything but bad luck -- and I suspect Solarte will be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

The insane thing is to have Jeter be the starting shortstop and Roberts be the starting second baseman. They are both going to be frequently injured and they are both playing extremely demanding positions that will increase the chance of injury.

Once Ryan is back, Jeter has to be moved to 3B, 1B, DH, and occasional back up SS. Solarte and Johnson will end up playing a lot of 2B. I'm sure Roberts will be gone with a back injury. Hopefully Texeira can play. If not, then I'd like to see Jeter at third, Johnson at first, Ryan at short, and Solarte at second.

The Yankees have to decide if they want to compete or put on a show. At this point in his career, Jeter is not a viable option as a full time SS.