Friday, August 29, 2014

No more denials, no more naive excuses for hope; it's time for the Yankiverse to accept its fate

I listened in the car - a full three hours of John and Suzyn's lycanthropic de-evolution from hope into sheer despair. In the beginning, their voices projected the jubilation of a ticker-tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes. In the end, they were broadcasting from the viewing deck of the Hindenburg.

In the first inning, they noted how Tigers' rookie Kyle Lobstein could be tight in his MLB debut, ripe for a veteran lineup to exploit.

In the second, they said the Yanks were hitting hard drives directly at people. (Aka: the over-shift excuse.) Lobstein's fastball reached 90, not fast-enough.

In the third, Suzyn mused that the Yankees were taking more pitches, as Lobstein fell behind in counts.

In the fourth, she suggested they'd hit Lobstein the second time around.

In the fifth, John said the Yankee hitters were ripe and ready. Of Teixeira's .230 average, John said, "He's better than that."

In the sixth, they said nobody in baseball is hitting - the NL batting leader was .317 - and that it's a pitcher-dominated game.

In the seventh, they said the Tigers bullpen was gassed from throwing seven innings on Wednesday.

In the eighth, they said the Yanks had several players who were stepping up lately.

In the ninth, they watched Ichiro Suzuki botch a fly ball to right, reminiscent of Nick Swisher's screw-up two years ago... also against the Tigers.

Afterword, they said the Yanks must now sweep Toronto to "get back into" the wild card race.

Three hours that will haunt me forever.

Folks, I hereby apologize for the naive tone of recent postings...

I should never have let this sorry team raise my hopes. I should have known better. The Yankees were never close to a wild card, they simply were close to being close to the last wild card slot. They said, "If we win five in a row, we could be only one or two behind!" And I bit. Like Teixeira, I should be better than that.

Right now, if you desire hope for the New York Yankees - well - think about next year, or maybe the year after that. Frankly, neither look all that bright. We'll still have Brian McCann flailing at high pitches, through by then he'll also be a mediocre-fielding first-baseman. By 2016, Carlos Beltran will be patrolling the outfield like Bernie Williams - the monument, though, not the player.

We have one MLB-ready prospect at Scranton - Rob Refsnyder - but he'll probably spend another season at Scranton, because Martin Prado will play 2B. If you stick Refsnyder in RF, he doesn't look so hot. Most of our other high-level prospects - Austin Romine, John Ryan Murphy, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams - did nothing this year. Compared to what other teams will bring up from their systems, our organization looks good and dead.

I am now officially subscribing to the "Collapse Theory," which says for the Yankees to field a contender, they must go through a meltdown, causing them to blow up the entire roster and excise the dead tissue. The Redsocks have used this strategy to win three championships in 10 years - and next season, they will be poised to whoosh past us again. Barring a complete collapse, come next August, we once again will be mortgaging our future in pursuit of a wild card mirage.

Yes, the wild card mirage... the Curse of Selig.

When Bud Selig orchestrated that second wild card slot - the one-game playoff - some experts called it a salve for small market teams, something for them to chase in lost seasons. Instead, it has become the worst thing that ever happened to the Yankees.

Right now, we are the only organization willing to trade young players in order to chase the final, away-field wild card slot. Everybody else steps back and says, "Go for it, Hal!"

Not long ago, the Tampa Rays had closed the wild card gap to within a few games, becoming one of the hottest teams in baseball. Nevertheless, they traded David Price for prospects, because they saw the futility in such a ridiculous chase. Likewise, the Indians and Blue Jays studied the realism of their wild card chances - and the meager one-game payoff - and chose to stand pat with their lineups. Only the Yankees believed that trading prospects in pursuit of the wild card was a worthwhile strategy.

Ahh, but we all know why they did it...

They were picturing themselves riding along on that flatbed float, crowds waving, ticker-tape flying, in the Canyon of Heroes.

So here we are, folks, riding the Hindenburg. Feel free to take it all the way down. Me? I'm jumping.

5 comments:

Alphonso said...

Only the Yankees have Brian Cashman. That's why we are the only team still dealing prospects for big contracts, and futile pursuit of the one game plat-in, in August.

Only the Yankees have Brian Casman and, as long as we do, the team is dead.

John M said...

We are cursed. No, wait...worse than cursed.

We are stupid.

Anonymous said...

If Ichiro had taken a perfect angle on the 9th inning ball hit last night, I highly doubt the ball would have been caught. The ball was hit much too far to the center field side to be caught, and to extrapolate from the video that a possible game-saving catch was probable (or even possible) is absurd. I've watched the video over and over and from the angle the ball was hit and where it landed made a catch almost impossible. Media hype to lay blame is typical media.

kent said...

If Ichiro had taken a perfect angle on the 9th inning ball hit last night, I highly doubt the ball would have been caught. The ball was hit much too far to the center field side to be caught, and to extrapolate from the video that a possible game-saving catch was probable (or even possible) is absurd. I've watched the video over and over and from the angle the ball was hit and where it landed made a catch almost impossible. Media hype to lay blame is typical media.

Alphonso said...

The details matter not.

Any Yankee watcher knows that if a game is tied, 2-2, the Yankees can't win. We don't score again in games like that, but our opponent, eventually, will.

One of our runs yesterday was scored on an out. I mean, we have a pathetic offense, in general. Pathetic.

It is better when the other team breaks the tie sooner, rather than later, so we don't have to burn all our pitchers and end with Ichiro on the mound.