Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Posted by el duque at 7:51 AM
In recent weeks, the Yankiverse - yearning for hope - has honed in on 19-year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, now a free agent. It's as if everybody has privately jettisoned 2015 and is now working for 2017, when Brian Cashman's contract ends. The front office scorned the bidding wars over Hanley Ramirez and Max Scherzer, and the squatting Gammonites of NYC repeatedly tell us how we should exalt in this new, wonderful frugality.
It hasn't worked. Talk to any Yankee fan, and you hear unvarnished despair. Betances might conjure an optimistic note, and some do feel Tex or McCann will bounce back. But any rotation hitched to the Twin CCs - Sabathia and Chris Capuano - has a rocky road ahead of it.
Now, two names remain on the board. One is Moncada, a potential successor to either Derek Jeter or Robbie Cano. The other is James Shields, the workhorse Royals starter, who could stabilize the 2015 rotation, though he'll be withered by the time Cashman's contract is up.
New York sports is in a free fall. The city's one pillar of success - the Yankees - have lost Western Massachusetts and much of Connecticut to the Redsocks. If Boston comes back this year, and the Yankees continue to stumble, the Redsocks would easily become baseball's premier team. Moreover, another season out of the playoffs, and NYC could become Mets territory.
If Hal Steinbrenner wants to pride himself on bargain basement signings - "the man who signed Yangervis Solarte" - so be it. He will also be remembered as the owner who stood at the helm of the Titanic as it went down.
It's time for Hal to step up, and do what he does best in life: Pull out the frickin wallet and pick up the frickin check.
Otherwise, let's face it: We are the Tampa Rays. And one of these days, the crowds, the viewership, and the interest will all be adjusted accordingly.