Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:48 AM
Yesterday, I visited a buddy in the hospital, recovering from major surgery. We talked about the time we have left on this earth. I figure I've got six more Stephen King novels, four Springsteen albums and three Yankee world championships. But frankly, I'm not sure about those championships. I better eat right. They won't come soon.
Sir, we are staring into a long, deep abyss. Maybe you cannot see the abyss, because you are inside it. But every Yankee fan can see it. We see the ghosts of 1966 and 1984, as sure as you can see the words on this blog. (Forgive me: I realize you are NOT reading this blog. I am a lowly fan, and - yes - we Yankee fans do recognize the contempt that the Yankee organization feels for us. If you think that you've successfully masked it, you're wrong. Those feelings come through quite visibly. Yankee fans love this team, even though we know we're not wanted. ) But what happens over the next two months may determine whether I get to see three championships before I die.
Two years ago, the Redsocks were dead. Their manager was Bobby Valentine, their star was Carl Crawford, their ace was Josh Beckett, and they chugged beer in the clubhouse. Management pushed a self-destruct button. They scrapped the season. They changed their ways. Today, they wear rings.
Boston foresaw the changing dynamics of baseball, that under the expanded playoff system and rules of revenue sharing, no team can buy its way to the top with lineups of bloated, old free agents who are sewn into their uniforms with long-term contracts.
It is time for the Yankees to think of dropping the bomb.
We're not there yet. It's still May. Everything can change. But at the trade deadline, if this team is as listless as they have been lately - that is, if we're still at .500 - it will be time to flush the system.
I have three suggestions.
1. No trading of young prospects for emergency help. This is how a bad year becomes a bad decade. More than anything, I fear the Yankees will bundle what few top prospects they have for an Eric Bedard-esque starting pitcher, and then suffer the consequences for the next generation. We have some nice young players in our farm system, but not enough to let them go. Bite the bullet.
2. Dump salaries. Look to trade CC Sabathia, Alfonso Soriano, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki and/or Mark Teixeira. We can come in fourth with them, or without them. Next winter, buy out A-Rod, or trade him to anyone who will take him. Cut, cut, cut. We probably cannot escape the ridiculous contracts given last winter to Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury. But I would try. Anything we can do to get out of these deals will help this team in the long haul.
3. Step down as general manager of the Yankees. Or move sideways, take a role as a "senior adviser." Give yourself a new title. "Chief of Office Czars." I don't care. Somebody has to take the pie in the face for the sorry state of this team, and you should step to the plate. Most importantly, your replacement must come from outside the Yankee organization - not another of the hubris-affected old boys, who let the farm system crumble over the last 10 years, who drafted bizarre pet projects in top rounds, while other teams stocked their shelves.
Yes, I understand what people like you think of people like me: That we should just shut up and be thankful that the great and glorious Yankees - the passions of our lives - are willing to spend all those millions on players, and we should stand when they come to bat and keep our ignorant opinions to ourselves. But listen:
When the Yankees are well run - we do just that.
The Yankees are floundering. This is no championship team. Cannot you see that? Are you watching the same games we are? Are you looking at the same system we are? The next Jeter, the next Mariano - there's no sign of them anywhere. We must change our ways, and if Rupert Murdoch and YES don't like it, let them develop alternative programming, because September will just be a big Jeter farewell video anyway.
It is time to shrink - to go for that $187 million payroll and cut our luxury tax percentages. To make a long-haul investment in this team.
We are a .500 ball club... and you know what's really pathetic? We are lucky to be at .500.
If by June 20, we are still this bad, sir... it will be time to press EJECT.