Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Yankiverse is exploding with the human cry for change

Within the Yankee world, a mortified consensus is emerging: Our next loss will drop this old and hapless team below .500, and the franchise might not again see the light of a winning record in 2014. We have no top prospects, and the trade market only offers Alfonso Sorianos, of which we already have one too many. Lou Gehrig is not coming to replace Wally Pipp.

Lately, bloggers have anguished over what few cards management can play. Most are changing the seats on a sinking barge. Some proposals:

1. Tweak the batting order. River Ave says Jeter should bat first, separating him from our "big hitters" - Ellsbury, Gardner, Teixera, Beltran, McCann and Solarte. Big hitters? Together, they have 35 home runs. The Blue Jays' big five has 65, and they don't play in a bandbox. The problem is that Jeter cannot be dropped in the order, because the Brain Trust has decided his farewell tour outweighs the pennant. Thus, why bother?

My solution: Let Girardi pull the order out of a hat, as Billy Martin once did. That way, the fates would drop Jeter, not management.

2. Bench the culprits. There are growing chants to waive Soriano and Brian Roberts, who have failed this team now for 62 games. Sori began wearing out his welcome last fall, when he killed a last-ditch rally - and, in essence, our season - by trying to steal third base with two outs against the Redsocks. Can you imagine that? A veteran... attempting to steal third with two outs? As for Roberts, he still has no defining, bonding moment as a Yankee. Does anyone think he ever will?

Another player whose fuse is surprisingly short - considering he's ours for five years - is Brian McCann. He's played fine defense and seems like a leader, but he has been utterly discombobulated by the over-shifts, reduced to a .220-hitting mediocrity. Five years? God help us. Will he ever be combobulated again?

3. Bring up somebody. Two candidates have emerged, and both play 2B. Jose Pirela is 24, crushing it at Scranton, but the Brain Trust ruled two seasons ago that he is a utility player. This has to be demoralizing, especially if you don't happen to always believe the Brain Trust. Surely, the Yankee scouts know more than we do. But wouldn't it be great if statistical metrics also proved their success? After all, they were the ones who went out and got Sori, Roberts and McCann.

The other kid is Robert Refsnyder, who plays 2B at Trenton. He's been on an inhuman tear for a month. No one player this year has more emerged as our long-range hope. But the guy is still learning 2B, and jumping Triple A might not be the best idea. Thus, we are terrified that his role will be part of No. 4.

4. Trade for another salary dump. Soon, David Price will be on the market. The Rays would demand a package of our best prospects, which they surely know well, since the Yankees critical farm club plays in Tampa. The quickest way to climb into Wild Card contention is to trade our future to Tampa. Next winter, we'll sign free agents - just slog on, indefinitely.

November began with the stated goal of reaching a $187 million payroll. That would allow the Yankees to escape the crushing luxury taxes that fuel small market rivals. That goal vanished, along with Robbie Cano, leading to a string of panicked signing. Now, we see the worst of all worlds - a mediocre team, no high draft picks, and a payroll still out of control.

The Steinbrenners have somehow managed to build an exact replica of the 1980s monstrosity that their father orchestrated: A collection of favored stars on a bloated, second-division team, and nobody happy with the outcome.

And now, they are facing a Death Valley August, the first yawner since the early 1990s, before Jeter arrived. This team could be out of the Wild Card race by July 31. YES viewership will plummet, the writers will swarm, and those blooms of empty seats behind home plate will explode. This could be our August of discontent. Soon, the cries for change won't be limited to our infield.  


Anonymous said...

5. Get rid of John M. Since he began blogging here Yanks have tanked.

John M said...

6. Get rid of Anonymous. Since he started commenting here, the Yankees have won nothing. On the other hand, I've received a raise at work, such as it is, for the job I've been doing for over 35 years now...which is--yes, Anonymous--writing. Maybe he/she/it's got reverse juju for me. OK, let it stick around. I don't know that anything will help this team anyway. When a juju intervention is rained out, things are hitting rock bottom.

Anonymous said...

I've been commenting since '09. Remember what happened that year, douchebag?

When did you show up, 2011?


Suzyn's Bitch said...

Hard to argue with any of your points. Getting really hard to watch, and listen to.

The Master can only spin so much...

joe de pastry said...

As bad as McCann has been, he's second on this boring team with 7 homers. And Soriano is tied for third with 6.

Vlad said...

Bat Jeter first? That's rich--the batter with the LOWEST isolated average of any qualifying player in the majors--a total stink bomb on offense (and defense), and you want to give him the most plate appearances on the team?

Yankee fans can only pray that his ankle implodes and forces an early end to this sickening farewell-tour megalomania.

Vlad said...

Sorry--isolated power average--typing too fast. But the basic message is clear: Jeter sucks--should be batting ninth if still playing, but best of all should be DFA'd or should do the decent thing and retire NOW.

Problem is, with the Yankees sinking into oblivion, all that Levine and the Steinbrenners will have left to sell is Jeter's tacky little road show. What they don't realize is that it's precisely the sentimental folly of the road show that is costing them a chance to compete for the postseason.

ceeja said...

It would be delusional to be a buyer at the All Star break.

This is 1965 all over again. Players we thought were still productive (Richardson, Kubek, Pepitone, Bouton; and McCann, Roberts, Soriano, Beltran) hitting the wall; aging pitchers (Ford, Stafford; and Kuroda, Sabathia); stars struggling with injuries/age (Mantle, Maris; Texeira & Jeter). And other players, maybe, having their last good year (Tresh). And one great pitcher (Stottlemyre; Tanaka).

We keep waiting for everyone to pull out of the funk, but in the end we are mediocre.

Time to bring up Horace Clarke, Bobby Murcer, Stan Bahnsen, and Roy White.

Martin said...

Time to bring up Horace Clarke? Then you know it's dynamite the fake Yankee Stadium and fold the franchise.

An interesting juju tack would be to declare this an alien replicant Yankee team that has nothing to do with that great, noble club that inhabited the hallowed ground across the street. As fans, we disown, disinherit, disavow. We wait for the real Yankees to somehow arise from the ashes and soar once again.

There's nothing here to root for: rotten, inbred ownership; imbecilic front office; incompetent overpaid players; bufoonery in the broadcast booth. tacky clip-joint of a ballpark. Odium from top to bottom--or should I say from bottom to bottom.

To paraphrase Heidegger, the great Yankee gods have fled--their spirit no longer inhabits these pod people who call themselves Yankees. For true Yankee fans, the only option is patience and withdrawal as we await the dawn of a new golden age--probably to he heralded by the purchase of the team by . . . Murdoch! Yes, anything would be better than this confederacy of dunces.

ceeja said...

Yes Clarke wasn't Bobby Richardson. But he was actually somewhat comparable to Kelly Johnson - no power but could steal 30+ bases, statistically ok in field, and had 15.5 lifetime WAR (Johnson has 16+ WAR, albeit in less seasons).

Sal said...

Lifetime WAR is a counting stat--it's just addition, it's not an average. So Johnson's average WAR is higher--he maxed out at 4.7, Clarke at 3. Johnson is now zeroing out. Oddly, Richardson himself maxed out at about a 3 WAR and was often in Clarke's range--his defense never rated that highly, and he seldom walked--his OBP was usually pretty dismal. He's another player who, if he hadn't played for the Yankees, would never have registered much on the radar.

I think that's one of the reasons Mantle and Maris never had overwhelming RBI totals--the guys at the top of those lineups--Richardson and Kubek--had crappy OBP's every year--never walked much--lousy table setters.

In those days, only Branch Rickey really had a good understanding of the importance of OPB.