Friday, February 27, 2015

As the writers trowel out drivel, the Yankee season already feels lost inside an overwhelming sense of gloom

I feel like a spotter on the Titanic. The band is playing, people are dancing, the captain is drunk, and we're headed straight for the iceberg. Nobody hears the siren. And that water looks cold.

Yesterday, the Gammonites churned out reams of solid gold drivel, pumping it out by the paragraph. By the end of the day, their inch counts had to approach 40. That's a week's worth of drivel in smaller markets. They wrote drivel about their anticipation over CC Sabathia's weight gain, as if they didn't recall last year's weight loss. They produced drivel over Mark Teixeira's new protein diet, without noting that if he loses a few more pounds, he'll reach his batting average from last year: .216. 

And they rewrote the same A-Rod drivel over and over. How many times can they rerun the same empty paragraphs, the same overcooked outrage, the same tiresome snark, as if it's new? 

I'm sorry, folks. I cannot read it.  

None of it matters.

It's not even March 1, but the air has already been sucked out of the 2015 Yankee season. When I see another happy blather about the big year in store for some 36 year old pitcher, I want to scream, "YOU'RE MISSING THE ICEBERG!" And the iceberg is the Prince of Pennies, Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner - a child who came naked into this world with more money than only a handful of people will ever know - who just allowed the best free agent prospect in baseball to sign with Boston... BOSTON. He did this over the advice of his most knowledgeable experts. He did this over the interests of his own organization. Prince Hal did it to save a few dollars, which - in the overall balance sheet - he will never notice. It's just a number on a piece of paper.

The last time I felt this sick about the Yankees, Hal's father had just traded Al Leiter to Toronto for a handful of magic beans in the form of Jesse Barfield. From the moment Barfield's name was announced, I wanted to barf. We had given up a great young prospect for a guy the Blue Jays - at the time, the smartest front office in baseball - realized was over the hill. Barfield was a bust, and the Blue Jays ate our lunch for the next four years. 

Folks, the iceberg is this: The Yankees are owned by a self-deluding fool who takes advice only when it conforms to his opinion. Consider the bad decisions the Yankees have made in recent years - each one smeared with Prince Hal's greasy fingerprints.

1. Sign A-Rod to a 10-year deal. (The Yankees now scream about it, as if they were forced at gunpoint. But they happily did the deal.)

2. Announce austerity plan to shrink payroll to $187 million and, thus, avoid luxury taxes.

3. Let Russell Martin walk to Pittsburgh, because we wouldn't give him a measly 2-year contract.

4. Trash the plan to reach the $187 million payroll, by absorbing bloated salaries of over-the-hill veterans. The austerity was all for nothing.

5. Give AJ Burnett to Pittsburgh. (Consider this: Of the big three signees of 2009 - Burnett, CC and Tex - we gave away the only one who had productive seasons left.)

6. Sign Ichiro to a two-year deal, with no room in the outfield for him.

7. Beltran for three years.

8. Ellsbury for seven years.

9. McCann for five years... all after we supposedly were going to nix long-term bloated deals.

10. Starting a season with four DHs and nobody to play 3B and 2B. (We ended up with Yangervis Solarte and Brian Roberts; neither made it to Aug. 1.) 

11. Constantly thinking old-timers (Vernon Wells, Travis Halfner, Andruw Jones, Alfonso Soriano) will suddenly return to form; letting them kill the season from the center of the batting order.

12. Letting a talent like Moncada go to Boston... BOSTON!  

I want to barf. For the next 15 years, this guy could be killing us. Not only that, but we've given him an impetus to always play harder against New York. It was Prince Hal himself who lorded over Moncada's third Yankee workout, and then ruled against spending the extra money - piddling coins, as far as the Prince of Pennies was concerned. But he couldn't be bothered to dig deeper.

Now, we're supposed to get excited about Teixeira's diet?

I'm sorry. I'm not buying it. The Prince of Pennies just traded Al Leiter for Jesse Barfield. Iceberg dead ahead. Somebody, please... stop the music. It's time to man the lifeboats.


Anonymous said...

speaking of sick and tire of hearing someone whine (topic of a recent post), that seems to be the sole focus of this site anymore; not saying that everything is rosy, but I hope you are not this consistently pessimistic in other aspects of your life, too.....if so I really feel sorry for those around you.

KD said...

And they can't stop talking about A-Rod. Continue to poke sticks at him while Joe whispers sweet nothings about playing time at 1st base and at-bats. Latest is a brazen statement of their legally-grounded, can't fail plans to claim historic homerun milestones aren't historic at all and that this gives them firm ground to renege on Big Al's contract. why don't they just kill A-Rod, dump his body in the meadowlands, and be done with it?

el duque said...

Give us a winning club, and you'll see my Yankee mood brighten.

John M said...

If they come out of the gate and have a great April, we'll all have sudden hope, even while we say it won't last (which it wouldn't).

It's not pessimism if it's realistic. Any brighter assessment of this club would be Pollyanna optimism.

Anonymous said...

I am so depressed. I want to throw up!

Anonymous said...

oh no. Spring is here and John M. is still here witlessly stating the obvious.

el duque said...

Play nice, people. Our team sucks, but we must not turn on each other.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Hal, I had held out hope that the Yankees were finally going to finish a plan the started. They never finished plan 189 (and even though I never agreed that a team with their resources should execute said plan, if they would've stuck to it we'd be in a better position today than we were and who knows they might've singed Moncada), last off-season when they nixed plan 189, they went halfway to trying to build a winner but stopped just short of signing all that they needed, and now this off-season with their get younger and reset plan. TI was on board with all of it, they made some smart moves and it was time to reset and rebuild and get younger. And then when the final piece was available for only money, wham, Hal gets in the way of executing the plan fully, over what amounts to 10 million or peanuts to this financial juggernauts bottom line. I am still looking forward to the season but just as I was allowing myself to get excited about the direction of the team, this just put a very sour taste in my mouth.

Not Anonymous said...

Some interesting stuff from former yankees scout Kiley McDaniel's fangraphs chat today. Hope he reveals the embarassing info he's referencing.

Kiley McDaniel
NYY really flubbed the Moncada process. Almost all of what's been reported is accurate, including many of the "characterizations" along with a couple other things I may reveal next week that I've uncovered, some of which is embarrassing for NYY.

Kiley McDaniel
It sounds like NYY genuinely didn't think Moncada was worth what BOS paid, but they approached it the wrong way and there's one bigger question they can't/likely won't answer.

How are a bunch of 16 year olds are worth $34 million but the best 19 year old in the world is worth exactly $50 million but not $60 million? It's a ridiculous line in the sand to draw and there are some multi-year, overarching trends in what NYY has been doing that should've made this easier to see coming.

George Steinbrenner would've never let this happen and there's more than just undertones of the PIT/Miguel Sano fiasco with NYY/Moncada. Teams that are run well and efficiently with clear delineations of who is in charge aren't scared they might overpay relative to the 2nd highest bid if they think the price/player line up with their internal values.

Bill Groskopf said...

I think what you said gets to the heart of my doubt. Of course we don't know the real story about any of the Yankees moves, but the outline of the real situation in the organization is plain to see. The reactive and contradictory moves certainly are explained by a management team that is seriously dysfunctional. As the Owner, Hal S. is responsible for this state of affairs and exhibits every sign of practicing a "seagull" management style.

Blind Robin said...

Duque you appear to be in the throes of depression and it appears the even ju-ju has no sway over the coming miasma.( many of us have neither the time nor the patience to revisit the Yankee of the sixties either)You need an avocation to replace this one or at least a change to the blog to delay the despair that is sure to visit soon and often this season. You could maybe do a garden blog with veiled Yankee references reporting on the plots progress and what it produces. (think Chauncey Gardner). My favorite would be you taking this on the road and visit the many microbreweries in the state letting frequenters to the blog know where you are so as to catch the nightly game at some local pub with those who share the cursed Yankee addiction. The beer would provide an analgesic to the baseball season and maybe showing up at Ommegang around Hall of Fame week. Although this may help salve the ten-year convalescence required to recover from the Steinbrenner “the lessers” rein, thought will need to be given to provide a narcotic for tenure of the Steinscourge.