Saturday, March 14, 2015
Posted by el duque at 7:43 AM
Damn. It's like Mom and Dad showing up at your 50 Shades party: Everyone sets down his whip and goes quiet. Yesterday, the Redsocks trotted out Yoan Moncada, the 19-year-old Cuban who was too expensive for Prince Hal Steinbrenner's delicate silken purse. It's one thing to envision another boring and mediocre season. It's another to foresee a crapola decade.
Damn. I'd almost forgotten Moncada. His name didn't turn up in box scores - (nor will they; he'll go straight to the dirt leagues camp.) The Yankees were trotting out Aaron Judge, Jake Cave and Ramon Flores - our future stars, according to the YES/Fox News Channel. I'd made peace with Hal dropping $5 million on Stephen Drew, who didn't hit .200 last season, and $5 million on 36-year-old Chris Capuano, now of the DL, and $2.5 million on Chris Young, who recently fanned against a pitching machine - but who then pulled out his pockets and pleaded poverty, when Mocada's name came up.
Thirteen million on Drew, Capuano and Young... and then you sit and watch Moncada sign with Boston?
Damn. Wasn't somebody supposed to be looking ahead about these things?
So yesterday, there he was, the latest reason to go out and measure bridges.
Yesterday, MLB released its Top 30 List of Yankee Prospects, a whoopy-do designed to foster hope for each team. They're all future stars. But the Yankees are a middling farm system, elevated to the second tier only because of some ridiculously expensive 16-year-olds we signed last summer. For 20 years now, the Steinbrenners have been lavishing money on Latino teens, usually to find that - around age 23 - they're out of the game and selling off their car collections.
It's a plantation mentality, the idea that if you buy a child young enough, you can raise him to be a ballplayer. It didn't work for Jackson Melian. It didn't for Ricardo Aramboles, or Jesus Montero, and maybe not for Gary Sanchez - it hasn't for a generation of kids, and I wonder why the Yankees still see it as their prime strategy. Last summer, when they were shooting money out of the fire hose, did anybody stop to think that it would be wise to hold some back, in case an international player like Moncada came on the market? Isn't that what managment was supposed to do?
The Yankees 2015 team makes no sense. We have a four man rotation, hanging by tendons and tissue. Our DH plays RF, and maybe our 3B is at DH. We have Drew at 2B, with a SS who may actually be a worse hitter. We are touting comeback years from players at the ages when comeback years are far from certain. We tout Tyler Austin and Ramon Flores, who might reach the majors this fall - yet they are older than Boston's Mookie Betts, who looks more than ready this spring.
And they have Moncada.
Damn. Sorry, folks. I meant to write about last night's big exhibition win. Then I saw him. Set down the whips, everybody. The fun is over. It's time for actual torture.