Thursday, June 26, 2014

Since their "signature moments as Yankees," Beltran and McCann are a combined 6 for 38 (.158) with 1 RBI

It was hailed as a turning point, The Long Awaited Yankee Rapture, when Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran last week led the Evils to a pair of monumental victories. McCann drove in five to beat Mayor Rob Ford's Blue Jays, and Beltran's walk-off HR stunned Old Man Buck's Orioles. Michael Kay psycho-babbled it as their "signature moments as Yankees." And - (full disclosure here) - so did I.

Yes. Me... duped again. O! what a dense and clueless clod I be! T'was inexcusable, considering my life-forged Yankee cynicism. I am truly sorry. I am a fool. But it won't happen again.

Since their magical epiphanies, McCann has been McCannot (4 for 21 with 2 walks and one RBI) and Beltran is AlsoRan (2 for 17, with three walks and zero RBIs.) To make matters worse, both take up prime real estate in the Yankee order and cast a dark gravitational pull upon our lone threat, Mark Teixeira.

Last night, Tex again led our bone-weary attack. He's become the Cano of 2014 - that is, the one Yankee hitter that opponents fear. But so do we fans. We fear that with one checked swing, Tex will tweak his Achilles wrist and be gone - along with the 2014 season, leaving Frankie Cervelli and Kelly Johnson to patrol first base. For the next three months, the Yankees need Tex to play first base almost every game. All those who think he can do it, raise your hands. Hmm. I see no hands.

Last winter, when the Yankees inked McCann to that wretched five-year stint, the working line for the Gammonites was that he would finish his NY career as a slugging (i.e. 30 HR per season) first baseman. That was before McCann met the over-shifts, which have withered his batting average to a Grandersonian .220, and set him up to become that rare Yankee acquisition: the star who is both an offensive and defensive liability.

Meanwhile, Beltan has a carbunkle in his throwing elbow, which means it's no longer a throwing elbow. He must DH exclusively, denying Teixeira an occasional rest. That Beltan is also hitting around .220 raises a touchy question: Would everyone have been better served if Beltan three weeks ago had chosen surgery, instead of hitting through the injury? He would have missed two months, returning in August. It's hard to say what was right. But currently, we have the worst of everything: He's not hitting, and he can't play the field - that sublime rarity... both an offensive and defensive liability. Yowzer.

This we know: Now and then, Tex needs an easy night. If his wrist pops, it's all over. And unless Beltran and McCann have new signature moments - ones that actually start something - well, here's my newly forged cynicism speaking:

Run for cover, folks, 'cause it's just a matter of time before the big crapola-tower topples. Boston's coming to town. We need another Rapture.


KD said...

if the Yanks really want to win, why are they starting Nuno on Friday when they could skip his start and move on to Tanaka? Why begin the series with an automatic loss?

(Yes, I have tickets....)

Anonymous #9 with Hindsight Hilarity said...

Anonymous said...
Dear John M.,

'Aging, over-the-hill players like Carlos Beltran...'

Did you see what I just did? Do you know I'm hitting over .300 since coming off the DL?

I earned my pinstripes today. Duque, Sherman, Axisa and such will write those words about me tomorrow.

Thank you though, for your continuous insight into professional baseball.

Carl B.
Bronx, NY

June 20, 2014 at 11:12 PM