Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Master absolutely loves what Brian Roberts brings to this emerging Yankee ballclub

Last night, after Brian Roberts notched his second base hit, Suzyn Waldman felt inspired enough to do some napkin math on his batting average. "He's now up to .252!" she exclaimed, as if calling the winning Powerball number, and John gave one of his all-knowing, God-is-good, chuckles. With a five-run lead, a bolt of pure human joy resounded over the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Jeep.

Roberts finished the night at 2 for 4, and his average now stands at a magical .251. But John and Suzyn stressed that he's hit a ton of line-drives - balls that could have been, should have been, base hits, and the world has a way of leveling out. Thus, Roberts should start receiving seeing-eye bloops and infield nubbers, as the mathematical laws of random sequence raise his stats to - gasp, dare we say it - .260?

Listen: I'm not here to dispute The Master's words, or Suzyn's math, or to pick on Brian Roberts. The Yankee need the Brian Roberts of 2009, not the one we greeted in April. Over his last seven games, he's hitting .385 with five doubles. That's enough to keep Rob Refsnyder eating pasta dishes in Scranton. But let's talk about those mathematical laws of random sequence: He is 36 and hasn't played a full season in three years. If he were on the mound, he'd be well over his pitch count.

The Yankees are reaching the crossroads of a hard and, thus far, deeply depressing season. Every time one of our stars gets hot, something happens to him. Two weeks ago, Carlos Beltran hit his "signature Yankee moment" walk-off home run; now, he has a bum knee and a bad elbow, and he's still not hitting particularly well. Brian McCann is still riding the roller coaster, and something's wrong with his foot. Teixeira had a knee drained, and Ellsbury has looked tired lately. We need reinforcements, and therein lies the danger.

Thank God, we're no longer waiting on Alphonso Soriano. I think it's relevant that the Yankees responded to his departure by scoring 14 runs over two games. Someone must fill Alphonso's roster slot, but his production will not be hard to replace. We will either add a new Sori or call up one of the Known Unknowns.

This year, from day one, Soriano was a lost cause. He never hit, and he did this from the heart of our lineup. Could Zolio Almonte have produced less than 6 HRs and .225? If so, at least Zolio wouldn't have done this while batting cleanup.

A week ago, Brian Roberts was a 1-20 slump away from following Soriano out the door. The Yankees like the guy, but it's not as if he's Tino or Paul, or a team legacy player. Roberts caught fire at the right time, and he saved his come back year. He's now hitting .251. The nubbers had been start showing up.


nicknowsky said...

Dude Roberts is NOT the problem. First off he's heady player. He's not afraid to take chances on the bases. Second he's a switch hitter, everyone is spoiled from Cano. How better 2B are there right now? Not too many. Finally Cashman said yesterday there are no plans to bring up Ref...a guy nobody heard of till a few weeks ago. If they bring Ref up his glove so bad Cashman said it would be a platoon in RF. Roberts stays

Charlie said...

How many better second basemen are there in the majors right now? Exactly 11, out of 40 MLB qualifiers. He's not awful, but he's not very good. And at his age he's likely to fall into another slump that will put him much farther down on the list. See


So he's a mediocrity--on this Yankee team, that's high praise.

les millman said...

Charlie your wrong. Roberts is a player. He like Jete and Tex needed to shake off the rust. Tex may be toasted, but Jete will get his Mojo working. Roberts is a gamer and getting back into a cycle of playing everyday. That was Sori's problem. You could watch him overswing constantly when he was not a regular. he will also land on his feet and probably hit 20 hrs this year. Beltran needs to go on the DL and be done with the year so we can get this second half going. like it or not Cashman is a terrific GM and he will getthe job done if his bosses let him.

Charlie said...

I'm not venturing a subjective judgment. I referred you to the hard numbers. You can fling as many empty descriptors as you like--"player," "gamer," etc. But that's all meaningless fan-babble. Look at the link I sent.

Cashman is such a terrific GM that he's one of the top spenders in baseball on a team that's struggling to stay above .500 and will probably finish well below it. And the bosses? I'm sure Cashman was on his on in trading a 26-year-old pitcher for a washed=up30-year-old who's 24 times as expensive. Sheer genius, along with the failure to develop a single player from the American draft aside from Brett Gardner since Jeter came up in 1996. WOW!

KD said...

Cashman is a terrific GM... BWA-HaHaHaHa!! Love the sarcasm, Les!