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...
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.