Thursday, May 22, 2014

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

OK, yeah, I suck at it. But every once in a while St. Pavano, the patron saint of injuries, does step in and deliver just what the doctor ordered.

Two cases in point. CC is out until July, and speculation is that his knee issue will be a season-ender. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, preferably deep-fried. Whether this is why he's basically sucked last year and this (especially compared to his compensation, which isn't really fair, but come on...) , only Dr. Caligari knows. One thing was for sure, we needed him out of the rotation. His replacements may not be the second coming of Cy Young, or even Fritz Peterson, but there are some young arms worthy enough to be tested. And they're a hell of a lot more interesting to follow than the downslide of the big man.

Case #2: Beltran. A stupid, stupid, stupid signing, overall and especially for three freakin' years. The front office, as we know, is on acid, or maybe MDMA, since they seem to just love the broken-down old guys who everyone else can see are not worth shelling out for or displacing more deserving types. (The outrage earlier this year about Ichiro clogging up the road for Zolio were woefully misplaced; it was Beltran all along.) Mercifully, the gods have decided that Carlos' elbow is old and decrepit, and if we're lucky he will require season-ending surgery. We can worry about what to do with him next year after Ichiro is gone. At least for now, we have one lugnut out of the daily lineup.

Sadly, even St. Carl's holy buttocks cannot seem to rid us of Mr. McCann. I feel for the guy, but what an offensive disaster. Yes, the pitchers all talk glowingly about the man-crush they have on him for his game-calling expertise, but that is so meaningless it's comical. The guys who weren't very good pitchers last year aren't very good this year (whether they were already here or flew in from somewhere else over the winter), and Kuroda's Fountain of Youth act may unfortunately be winding down, which not even Yogi could help. Citing a catcher's game-calling as some wonderful gift from above is, to me, a lot like saying Joe Torre was a great manager. When, in fact, he got mediocre results from mediocre teams, good results from good teams, and great results from teams composed of guys who could do no wrong, regardless of his decisions (which were often blatantly terrible). "But he managed all those high-paid egos and kept the team running smoothly" his whining supporters carp. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's really amazing. Nobody else ever did that before. (cough) Besides, the late-70s Bombers were chaos incarnate and they won anyway. An incredibly overrated baseball skill.

Cervelli, if he could stay healthy, would have been the better choice at catcher, but since he's totally snakebit ala Shane Spencer (God: "Oh, you're finally getting your chance and doing well? Well, suck on this."), Murphy is the man. This is now so patently obvious, all we can do is wait for whatever surreal idiocy and meaningless bullshit comes out of Girardi's mouth when Francisco comes off the DL and Murphy inevitably gets sent down. Remember, Joe the defensive catcher stuck by defensive catcher Chris Stewart when it was clear the poor man was in over his head against major-league pitching. Expect the same ad infinitum with McCann. (There seems to be a glut of good defensive catchers. This is because catchers who can hit are way more valuable, as long as their defense is decent. Most of Posada's career comes to mind.)

So, ladies and germs, it's time to light a candle at the shrine of St. Pavano, and hope like hell we catch at least one more break (unintentional pun, honest) in the injury department. Oh, almighty Carl, let our newly-signed powerhouse catcher enjoy his millions from a lounge chair on a Hawaiian beach for the remainder of the season. Like Beltran, we can figure out what to do about next year when next year rolls around. 

Thank God Tex is hitting homers again, even if at the expense of his defensive prowess. (Did he make a deal down at the crossroads last winter, like, you have the power or you keep the defense, but not both? Is it kind of like an Italian/Portuguese/Guyanese Sophie's Choice? Not something you'd expect from a devout Catholic, but stranger things have happened.)

As for Jeter, even I cannot speak the completely blasphemous. All we can do is pray for fewer innings in the field and greater ability at the plate. Amen.


KD said...

Anybody notice those wedges McCann wears on the back of his calves to make his crouch more comfortable? I never noticed those on Posada, even as he was approaching 40 and still catching. I think McCann has some leg issues and he isn’t too long for the role of catcher.

Tom said...

Help me understand how this post was the bright side of anything better than nuclear winter.

KD said...

Tom: Injuries in baseball can open the door for new talent to emerge. Kinda like the meteor that ended the reign of dinosaurs and opened the door for mammals.

el duque said...

Maybe this was the secret, all along, to saving the Yankee season: Root FOR injuries. Adonis Garcia anybody?

John M said...

Tom, the injuries ARE the bright side. If Tanaka or Solarte or Brett or Dave Robbie gets hurt, it's bad, there is no bright side. But these guys? I need sunglasses.

Les Payne said...

John M? El Duque sans wit?

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Brilliant John M!!!
El Duque is right, Nu-Juju must pivot toward strategic injuries, kind of a dark premise, but what the heck, these are troubled times,,,, and if it works for that demonic freaky priestess on the Game of Thrones, why not us???

joe de pastry said...

I mostly agree, but McCann will prove you wrong before long.