Friday, January 9, 2015

Right or wrong, the Ty Hensley attack has me remembering Brien Taylor

In an alternative universe - remarkably close to here - the greatest all-time Yankee lefty is a fellow named... Whitey Ford. (Nope, some things don't change.) But the runner-up, freshly bronzed last summer in Monument Park, is the great Brien Taylor. 

Sherman, set the Wayback for 1991: The Yankees are terrible, the worst-run organization in humanity.  George Steinbrenner is a national disgrace, a punch line, the sports world's version of Kim Jung Un. Thanks to George's remarkable incompetence, we draft first. We select Brien Taylor, the once-in-a-generation arm. He signs with super-agent Scott Boras. He and his mom wow Morley Safer on 60 Minutes. He is the future. For the next two years, every two weeks, I will wait for Baseball America to arrive in the mail, just to monitor Brien Taylor's progress. At night, in bed, I pleasure myself (in the strictly Platonic sense) by imagining him as the next great Yankee...

Bad idea.

Four months ago, Brien Taylor was released from federal prison after doing time for selling crack cocaine. He is one of three first MLB picks to never see one stinking pitch in the majors. (The others: Steve Chilcott and Matt Bush.) What triggered his fall? A bar fight.

If you could go back in time and simply pour sugar in Taylor's gas tank on the night of Dec. 18, 1993 - so he doesn't make the bar - who knows? That's for the alternative universe. (Where Alphonso does play-by-play on YES.) But sports history is littered with budding superstars who suffered one atomic-level flaw:  1. A bad strand of DNA, 2. A bad mental outlook, or 3. A bad streak of luck. Taylor's conviction suggests No. 2 on the Malady Meter. Let's hope that's not the case with Ty Hensley.

I'm amazed at the details in the news yesterday that Hensley got wailed on by some steroidal ex-NFL wannabee. (Aren't they all?) I don't recall hearing details about Taylor's fight for months. (That was the work of Boras, who claimed Taylor suffered no major injuries: What a falsehood. Taylor never pitched remotely the same.) By the press coverage, you'd think Hensley is a star, not a Single A nobody.

So today's question is simple:

Is Hensley the next Taylor (or the next Meulens, if we want to be wise-ass?)

Damned if I know. But Hensley is definitely the anti-Lou Gehrig: He surely doesn't consider himself (elf) the luckiest (iest) man (an) on the face (ace) of the earth (erth.) Days after the guy was drafted in 2012, the Yankees short-balled him in negotiations, claiming medical tests showed an arm issue. He signed for less, and then lost a year to surgery. He's already 21, and last year threw a measly  30 innings between the Gulf Coast Yankees and Staten Island.

They say he has a broken jaw. Such things can be wired.

I just hope the poor guy isn't stuck in the wrong universe.


Chicken Stanley said...

Did you see this duque?

Local Bargain Jerk said...

As a resident of Rhode Island, I would guess with some authority that another contributing factor to Schilling's non-election is because he's a dick.

Leinstery said...

Being a Yankee prospect is a death sentence.

Celerino Sanchez said...

I saw Brien Taylor pitch against the New Britain Red Sox in CT years ago. The stadium was mobbed. The atmosphere was electric. When he fired a fastball, you could hear the POP explode throughout the stadium. What a shame.....