Thursday, July 10, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:07 AM
When the world ends, don't expect a cute Google search display.
When the GOP asteroid hits Cleveland, or the super apes take San Francisco - the Internet won't even notice. Gawker will be sniffing the latest Kardashian nipple-shot, and River Ave will be comparing second-half WHIPs of David Huff and Sergio Mitre. You'll hear a high-pitched whine. You'll smell something sulfurous. You'll sense a bolt of dread and then the unfurling revelation that, holy crap, you aren't immortal. And no blog - (except this one, of course, which brims with the wisdom of John Sterling) - will tell you all you really needed to know: Dammit, it was just a dream. (And if you're still alive, after reading this, call Celino and Barnes, the personal injury pros.)
Yesterday, the world may have ended. Of course, we are speaking in metaphor and parable, as vengeful and jealous Old Testament bigwigs are known to do. By "world," I mean the 2014 Yankees. For months, we've marveled at how incredibly and unnaturally horrid this team would be without Masahiro Tanaka. Now, we're about to see. Yesterday, the GOP hit Ohio, and those damned stinking apes trampled the Golden Gate.
Imagine this Yankee rotation, rolling from July through September.
McCarthy. (Should we call him "Eugene?")
Shane Greene and Chase Whitley. (or is it Chase Greene and Shane Whitley?)
There aren't enough bullpen arms in the Yankee system to close 80 games with this rotation. I'm betting that Ichiro will finally get to pitch. Good grief, all the Yankee position players will pitch. Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher from Scranton, might log 80 innings on each arm. Wither goeth Preston Claiborne? Is Tanyon Sturtze still alive? Sidney Ponson? Might Andy Pettitte come out of retirement? Or Roger Clemens? Wait... Billy Crystal! He's always good for filler. And the Captain! Would Derek like to take a turn? Alberto Gonzalez? Dean Anna? Class? Anyone?
Let the record show that Tanaka - coming to a new country, throwing a new ball and adapting to a new rotation - pitched magnificently, until Joe Girardi started throwing him on four days rest. Can someone again please explain this to me? Were we trying to toughen him up? Was he a pansy, and we were sick of coddling him, so Joe decided to squeeze a few extra starts out of him? Good grief, was he not doing enough?
Without Tanaka, let us ponder the also overworked - actually, "abused" might be the better word - Hiroki Kuroda. Last year, Joe whipped Kuroda like a rented mule - while treading carefully with the precious arms and psyches of Joba and Hughes. In the first half of 2014, Kuroda pitched 118 innings with a 2.65 ERA. In the second half, he collapsed: 82 innings and a 4.25 ERA. So, everybody knew that Joe would ease up on Kuroda this year, right?
Nope. In the first half, he threw 109 innings - practically the same as last year - even though his 4.20 ERA suggests he's already cracking at the seams. If anybody expects Kuroda to hold up over the next three months, good luck with that. And when you see the asteroid streaking across the sky, hold up one arm and wave it, signaling for a fair catch.
Soon, the Redsocks will clean house. They'll deal Gomes, Peavy, Drew - whatever - for a bounce back 2015. It's the tried and true method of every successful team in baseball - except, of course, the Yankees. Nope, we will chase that horrible one-game playoff - (which should be re-named "The Yankee Carrot and Stick") - with this absurdly wretched, replacement-level lineup - (Batting fifth: Brian Roberts!)
The world may have ended yesterday. But here's all you need to know.