Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bad team, no draft picks

Lately, a few budding baseball versions of Mel Kiper Jr. have held "mock drafts," seeking to project the Yankees top pick in the annual selection of talent. Hats off to these pioneers of predictions! It's crazy enough, trying to project the top 10 picks - much less waiting until the Yanks hit the board, at No. 55. By then, Boston will have chosen twice, and Toronto - currently tops in the AL East - will have selected three players.

Not only that, but these bloggers must consider the Yankee love of off-the-chart picks (Culver, Bichette, Brackman), nepotism (Bichette, O'Neill, Parrish), kids with no chance whatsoever of being signed (Cole, Henry, Pettitte) or just guys destined for the Eternity of Scranton-Wilkes Barre (too many to list).

It reminds you of another storied NY franchise, and if memory serves - despite attempts to blot it - the grand family ownership consistently doubled-down on their man in charge: Isiah Thomas. Yes, the Knicks, who once again this year flopped and failed, and who won't have a first-round pick to show for it.

My personal worst coach in history is Richie Kotite, who piloted the demise of both the Jets and Eagles, while also trading their draft picks. It's that rare talent: To build a bad team and not even have a high pick to show for it.

My perfect franchise would have owner Donald Sterling yapping away about race relations, with Isiah Thomas as GM and Richie Kotite as coach. Imagine the dynasty!

But what if they faced no salary caps and could spend $500 million on free agents? Could they still be bad?

Well, the 2014 Yankees can!

Of course, it's still early. John Sterling must have said those words 10 times last night. Between now and July 31, the Yanks will do "whatever it takes" to stay in the race. Most likely, it will require trading prospects. Two years ago, they acquired Ichiro. Last year, it was Alfonso. Both brought quick shots of adrenaline - then the erosion, as we learned why their former teams wanted so desperately to see them go. The Yankees can look for somebody and prop up the administration of Brian Cashman, who has run things since 2005.

The latest company line is that we shouldn't worry about having no draft picks. The Yankees intend to compensate by swamping the Latino market with money. They will shell out tens of millions of dollars on 16-year-old boys (and their agents/pimps) - a hideous thought and a poor long-term plan, as well. To lavish such money on a 16-year-old seems like folly. Beyond projecting how the kid will look eight years from now, when he's MLB ready, you must consider the impact of becoming a millionaire at age 16.

Our bonus baby catcher, Jesus Montero, never learned to catch. He didn't need to learn. He was a frickin' millionaire. Our bonus baby outfielder - Kelvin De Leon (whom you probably never heard of) -- never shortened his stroke. He didn't need to. He was a frickin' millionaire. (The Yankees released him last year.) Now we have Gary Sanchez, slogging at Trenton, still trying to learn the footwork of catching. Maybe he will. Maybe he won't. Truth is: he doesn't need to. He's a frickin' millionaire.

Finally, by breaking the bank on 16-year-olds - the Yankees will not only be furthering an exploitative and rancid economic system in Latin America, but they will exploding their own luxury tax. All that money will go to other MLB teams, so they can bid against the Yankees for Cuban or Japanese talent. When the next Masahiro Tanaka hits the market, the Yankees be fighting their own pocketbook.

We just keep spending, and the bloat just keeps growing.

So, Mel, whodayathink the Yanks will pick at Number 55! A 7-footer or somebody's nephew? Oh, God. It's going to be a bad decade.


Roy said...

Correction--Cashman has been the Yankees' general manager since 1998.

el duque said...

He didn't assume full operational control until 2005, but you're basically right - he's been around long enough either way to be held accountable for the state of the organization.

Roy said...

It seem that in some ways he still has not assumed full operational control--but that's his fault for not demanding it.

He's an incompetent wimp--a Steinbrenner friends-and-family mafia hire--not first-rate managerial material.