Wednesday, June 18, 2014

During Hope Week, that one terrible day that Brian Cashman long dreaded has arrived

If the infamous Jeez Montero/Michael Pinata trade of 2011 were a heavyweight bout, it would have been stopped long ago. Both corners would have tossed in towels, and fans would have thrown their seats into the ring. The trade ranks fifth on my All-Time Top 10 List of Disappointments.

All-Time Top 10 List of Disappointments

                                                  1. Age 16
                                                  2. Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace
                                                  3. French ticklers
                                                  4. Y2K
                                                  5. Jeez Montero/Michael Pinata trade
                                                  6. Tommy Tutone
                                                  7. War over Falkland Islands
                                                  8. Musk aftershave
                                                  9. Roger Repoz
                                                 10. Geraldo Rivera opening of Al Capone's vault

Worst part of the Jeez Montero deal: It will soon be referred to, historically, as "The Jeez Montero Deal." In other words, they got Montero, and we got Tommy Tutone. 

OK, I know what you're thinking: Jeez, Dukie, this is just your day-after, Yankee-cynicism, sour-grapes-addled, lizard-brain talking. And you may be right. But if Michael Pineda has shown us anything, it's his genius for raising fan expectations and then shattering them.

These days, they're saying Pineda will hopefully return in August. There's something fishy about guys who are hopefully going to return in August.  Last year, Youkilis - remember him? - was hopefully going to return in August. Then it became hopes for September. And then hopes for the playoffs. And then hopes for the World Series. (BTW: In 21 games, and 65 at bats, Youk is currently hitting .215 with 1 HR for the Golden Eagles, Tanaka's old team, which is mired in last place. He's played sporadically. Andruw Jones, his teammate, has played in 61 games and hit 16 HR, but is batting .227. Hell, I should blow off this post and just write about these guys, which the Yankees seemed to think were going to lead us to prominence.) 

Wait. Where was I? The Pineda debacle. If anybody here thinks Pineda will return and pitch more than a three-inning stint or two this season, I'd like to ask on what they base their hopes? Because it's Hope Week? The guy is a walking tweak, a Rube Goldberg meat machine designed to constantly pull muscles, even if they're not being used. It's not his fault. He is what he is. But we've seen enough to toss in the towel.

And then there is Jeez Montero. Say what you wish, sooner or later, he will hit. Montero is still 24 - younger than Zolio Almonte and Kyle Roller, two Scranton guys who still pop up on the Yankee Hope List. He ruled in the minors, had his ego cuffed, and he's seen the darkness of a dead career. Two years ago, Montero wasn't that bad: .260 with 16 HRs. Last year, he was a lost cause, and this spring, he clearly was suffering from depression, because he'd eaten himself into a tube steak of obesity.

Yesterday, Jeez homered. Big deal, you say. And yeah, it's a still long haul between now and calling the trade a total loss. But damn, I thought Tommy Tutone was gonna be great. "Eight six seven five three oh ni-ee-yiiiiine..." If Montero ends up hitting .309, I'm quitting.

1 comment:

John M said...

For a long time, I thought Alphonso's prediction would come true: Pineda would never pitch an inning for the Yankees. Then, Pineda did. And he wasn't bad. Then the whole pine tar thing happened. Then he was suddenly injured. Now he's headed back to Pavanoville.

Alphonso may have been technically incorrect, but conceptually he was dead on. Pineda is no Denny Neagle.