Live Yankee Chat: Wednesday 5 p.m.

Live Yankee Chat: Wednesday 5 p.m.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Deadline over: Cashman emerged from hole, saw his shadow, and we have eight more weeks of a race

All clear.

It's safe to breathe. Take off your helmet. The air has oxygen. 

The fires are out. The waters have receded. The earth has stopped moving, and those damned blaring trumpets in the sky have finally shut up. Nothing happened. We didn't steal Cole Hamels for a handful of magic Colter Beans. Nor did we did shoot ourselves in the Buhner.

Some will say we lost ground to Toronto. Big deal. It's Toronto. They're fighting to be above .500 Since when do we sit around, comparing ourselves to Toronto?

Here's why I'm breathing easier.

1. We didn't trade away the future.

2. Next month, or next year, if we want, we can still trade away the future. (But hey, that's in the future.)

3. We made a microscopic gain - improving our back-up 1B with a flier on Dustin Ackley. That's still more than Baltimore - our closest AL East competitor - accomplished.

4. If we don't get a wave of injuries, we should make the post-season. From there, anything can happen. And if we do get hit by injuries, screw you, juju gods. You were toying with us, and it doesn't matter what we did or didn't do at the deadline. We were always dead.

5. Nobody has really scrutinized the talent traded for the big names - Hamels, Cueto et al - but they didn't move cheaply. At one point, reportedly, we broke down and offered the shortstop, Mateo, to San Diego from Craig Kimbrell. Thank God they turned us down.

6. Someday, bloggers will cherry pick the prospects not traded and the deals not made, and make it sound like lost opportunities. So be it. Hindsight will always be 20-20. I'm still glad we stood pat. It's taken 20 years to rebuild the farm system. We're still not there. It's too early to start siphoning.

Onward.

A big shoe drops today, and the mystery of Dustin Ackley will be explained

Today, something will happen. It must. I'm sort of dreading it. Today, we will learn why, why, why the Yankees sandbagged themselves into an unlit corner in their quest for somebody named Dustin Ackley.

I spent last night trying to figure it out. Never did. Ackley's nickname should be "The Sphinx." His presence as a Yankee - if he remains one - is a dark, murky mystery.

Listen: I'm not fuming about the prospects we dealt, though they might have nice careers. Flores looked like a keeper, and Ramirez - though ragged - has a high ceiling. Seattle got what they wanted. And for reasons yet unknown, Brian Cashman coveted Ackley. Is this the foreshadowing of an earthquake? Today, will we trade Rob Refsnyder, Gary Sanchez and the Trenton rotation? And if so, for whom? 

You cannot judge a partial score. The Yankees have until 4 p.m. to do something. 

When the news hit yesterday, my first reaction was simple: YIPPIE! We finally replaced Stephen Drew at 2B! Cashman wanted a RH bat, and he got one! Then I learned Ackley's hits LH. Then I learned his average is only 20 points higher than Drew, with half the HR power. Then I learned his on-base percentage is worse than Drew's - something that seems only possible through the realm of theoretical physics. And then Girardi said he sees Ackley as an OF. By then, I thought that waitress in the blue fishnets had spiked my gin with Purple Haze.

OK... we all heard 50 times yesterday that Ackley was the 2nd pick in the 2009 draft. Yippie on that. We've gone from getting ex-all stars of 2009 to getting ex-prospects from that year. If this 2009, we'd be building a dynasty. (Wait: Could Cashman have built a time machine, and he's going back to tinker? Hm-mm. That would explain things.)  

So where does Ackley fit? Last week, we ditched Refsnyder, presumably because of defensive shakiness. Now, we'll jettison Drew (and/or Brendan Ryan) for a guy who hasn't played 2B in two years... and who hits .212? Will he platoon with Chris Young in RF? That's Carlos Beltran's personal resting place. (Did you see Beltran back up Ellsbury last night on the inside-the-park-home run? If Billy Martin were managing, he would have pulled Beltran, then and there. You know how the Yankees honor their players with CF monuments? That's nothing. They erected a statue of Carlos Beltran in RF.)  

My guess: Ackley replaces Garrett Jones... a horrible fielder, the team's third DH. But is he a better hitter than Jones? (Or Ramon Flores?) Did we really trade two prospects for a questionable upgrade over Garrett Jones? 

Listen: Cashman is no fool. Today, something will explain this. Somebody else will go - even if it's a DFA situation. I'm terrified of a trade that will haunt us for a generation. Toronto can celebrate Tulo and Price, but deals with the devil always come back to you. It's the same with Houston, California and Texas: Trade your best prospects, and you get a brief time to celebrate and a long time to regret.

Yesterday, the Yankees kept their future. I'm dreading what today will bring.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

ACK!







Did You Miss Me?

What have you all been thinking?

Yanks coming alive in July.  Best record in baseball.  Building a huge lead in the AL East.

No need to deal prospects or our number one pick.  Play our hand.  Save our future chips.

All good.  Except for one thing.

I didn't go away.  I am still watching and lingering about.  I have to do my work.

Just for now, I give you two names; Tanaka and Pineda.

They both end in "a."

I wonder who is the Yanks' starter tonight.

I just wonder.

Jays get David Price

In the last week, they've traded their Severino, their Judge and their Bird. (Oh, my.)

But they are eight behind us in the loss column.

Does Anyone else Have This Feeling?



Last night, as I watched Tanaka  try to find command, try to find velocity, and try to find anything that would work, I kept having a nagging thought.

When we amazingly won the previous evening, after starting out down 5 runs, I thought/hoped this could be a sweep for the Yankees.  Joe had played it so that our top two pitchers would cap games 3 and 4 against the Rangers.

We stole game 2 in spectacular fashion, no thanks to the departed Colter Capuano.  ( Chris will be fine. He is a phi beta kappa graduate of Duke ).  But Joe's strategy appeared to have worked.

Frankly, Tanaka looked more like Capuano than himself.  It was a hopeless outing.  Guys on base all the time.  Pitching from the stretch.  Walks and hits at every turn.  Quite amazing really that only 5 runs were charged to him ( or scored, for that matter ).

Back to my nagging thought;  Are we starting to see the effects of that lingering, and, "cured by rest," elbow injury?  Are we going to hear something about Tanaka's health, today or tomorrow?

Is this a dagger that I see before me, handle toward my hand.....?


The Mets make ruling NYC too easy for the Yankees

Thirty years ago, the Mets were actually worth booing. They were New York's main team, and the back pages - fueled by Dick Young's thirst for Tom Seaver's blood - covered whatever was happening in the Metiverse: Bobby Bonilla's contract... David Cone's warmup rituals... Keith Hernandez' mustache... whatever. The Amazin's always amazed.

I associate the Mets' success to George Steinbrenner's decision to finally build a team, rather than honor the Knicks-like tradition of splicing together Danny Tartabulls and Bob Shirleys. We laughed when the Mets collapsed into a low-light reel of distress-bag snapshots - most notably, Carlos Beltran watching strike three bisect the plate, his bat on his shoulder.

Maybe the joke was on us. This year, we've had our chances to watch Mr. Beltran's silent magic. (Though, hey! he's hitting lately.)

Last night, the Amazin's once again amazed the world. They announced a trade, and then took it back. They let a kid stand out there, undressed, in front of the world. Pathetic. I've railed about the cruelty inflicted by the Yankees on young players - Rob Refsnyder, for example, getting demoted a day after the team announced he would stay - but this is the new gold standard for institutional fuckupidness.

Sadly, the more the Mets lower the bar, the easier it is for the Yankees to be New York's team.

They are no longer worth booing or - more imporantly - comparing ourselves to.

They ridicule us as "prospect-huggers," but the price of any Yankee deal had better be right

There's an insult common to Yankee message boards: "Prospect-hugger." It stems from the 1980s phrase "tree-hugger," which was the coal industry's Limbaughian, bumper-sticker way to dismiss environmental causes. You don't like shorn-off mountains or rivers of arsenic? You're one a them tree-huggers. Get a job, hippie.

So we now have "prospect-huggers," according to the all-wise fans, who never get attached to the meat on the Yankee farm. They don't see Rob Refsnyder as a future 2B, whose work ethic eventually makes him into a good-hitting, solid fielding player. Nope. They see a "trade chip." They prefer some high-salaried, ex-all-star with a seasoned bat and glove.

I believe if you're not a prospect-hugger, it's because you a) Are too young to remember the 1980s, b) Were too drunk to remember the 1980s, or c) Are that rare fan whose basic knowledge of the game is that there is some guy named "A-Rod." You missed the wholesale savaging of the Yankees - the 14-year-barf - back in the days before there were prospect-huggers.

This week, decibel levels have risen constantly from a shrieking brigade of writers and bloggers who say the Yankees ABSOLUTELY MUST do something to keep pace with KC, Toronto, California - whatever. And - hm-mm, how do I put this? Well... These people are fools.

The Yanks are in first by six. The closest team - the Orioles - did nothing this week. Last year, we cut deals of desperation. This year, other teams are desperate.

Which brings me to Mr. David Price, trade target of the day.

Yeah, I'd love to get him. He always had the feel of a future Yankee. Remember how gracious Price was after surrendering Jeter's 3,000th hit? He's a gamer. He's a moose. And next winter, he will be a free agent. He'll cost us a boatload of money and a first-round pick... if we want him.

But the Tigers don't need to deal. They can chase the last Bud Selig Memorial Wild Card Slot, which is open to all. If they expect to receive the world for David Price, the Yankees should simply hug their prospects and walk away.

Yankee trade chips? We have a few. I'm thinking of Jose Pirela, the second 2B after Rob Refsnyder. Poor guy can hit, but he's on somebody's secret shitlist. There's Austin Romine, the catcher, who deserves freedom. One of the three OF amigos - Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams or Ramon Flores - probably can go. And a couple of the Scranton 10 - the bullpen of Nick Goodys and Danny Burawas - can leave. And - yes - maybe even Ivan Nova, though if we trade him, don't be surprised if he doesn't outpitch whoever we get in return. 

This week, all the blather has been about the big names. Look close, and you find Toronto, Texas, etc. have given up some of their top prospects, and they were picked out by opposing scouts.

Listen: I don't want one Yankee championship every 10 years. I want five. I want an organization built up from within and supplemented through free agency. I don't want perpetual waves of old players, signed to boarish deals, trying to buttress a leaky barge.

This needs to be Cashman's last chance to build that organization. He hasn't done it in 15 years.

Over the next 48 hours, I hope Cashman never dials the phone. Let them call us. If nobody calls, we'll still be in first. Come August 1, something tells me James Shields - with his horrible contract - will pass through waivers. And he won't be alone. Because here's the dirty little secret of July 31: There is no trade deadline. It's a joke. It's just something created by the people we should most fear: The Headline-Huggers. Ugh. Get a job, yuppie.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CC DFAed!

The little "CC," that is.

Chris Capuano.

Guy gave up nine runs in his last 1 and 2/3rd innings. That'll do it.

Only reason they stuck with him this long was his $5 million salary. They wanted to get their nickel bottle deposits back.

One year deals: You win some (Chris Young, $2.5 million), and you lose some (Capuano.)

Last night, up by 10 runs, The Master was singing

Seasoned Yankee fans can instantly discern game situations by the tone of John Sterling's voice. In recent years, if the Yanks were down by two, he'd moan like a death row prisoner pondering a plate of cold garbanzo beans. Alcatraz had nothing on the Hertz 24-7 Broadcast Booth.

This year, though, the croaking caterpillar has become a music-fluttering butterfly.

Last night, in the fourth, with his team leading by 10, John resembled a songbird on the first dawn of spring. At one point, he launched into "Oh-Me-Oh-My-Oh," an obscure ditty about Ohio, and when Suzyn asked why he was singing, he had so answer. This was godforsaken Texas - 100-degree, bug-infested, gun-nut Texas. This had no connection to Ohio. He had just burst into song spontaneously, like Elvis with Ann-Margret.

If you're not listening to games, you're missing the happiest man alive, and - for now anyway - the most joyous aspect of this Yankee resurgence.

For years now, we've called John "The Master," a title befitting his loquaciousness, his ego and - most of all - his love for the Yankees. But yesterday, we learned that John had been captain of his WMCA Radio softball team during the 1970s. This puts a new perspective on the man.

From now on, considering the Yankee void, instead of "The Master," should we call him "The Captain?"

Was That Colter Bean Out There?



But Colter was right-handed, wasn't he?

We all knew that Joe was dressing last night's contest as, " just another game on a long road-trip," but, in truth, it was a "give-up" game, by strategy.  He was hoping to work some magic with long relievers, keep the game competitive, and then get lucky.

By the time the Rangers undressed our latest version of the Bean ( Chris Capuano ), it looked like a nightmare was at hand.  Less than one inning worked, 4 walks, 5 runs, and Rangers on the bases.

Then, the nightmare became theirs.

We have rarely seen an offensive display like we witnessed last night.  I went to bed with the Yankees pushing up against the 20 run limit, with that 28 year old, just off the bus from Scranton, pitching the best long relief we have seen this year.  There were so many heros last night, many of them named Gregorious, Headley and Young.  Even John Ryan got hot.

But I wish to focus on Colter Capuano.  I have rarely seen a major league pitcher look so frazzled, lost and hopeless.  A rookie's first appearance can't get that bad ( even Mark Melancon's debut where he walked 5 straight batters ), but Chris looked as though he was playing the wrong game.

Mr. Capuano may never recover.  He visage was like the deer in the headlights on the NYS thruway at rush hour. Eighteen wheelers rumbling right at him, everywhere, at 80 miles per hour. He may never even think of himself as a deer again., mush less a ballplayer.

 Did you look at his face?  A face of  pure anguish and helplessness. He must have felt as though his arm was not connected to his body.

Colter Bean, if you are out there, please send Chris Capuano an inspiring letter.  Tell him there is life after baseball.

That's why we have fast food franchises in America.

Holy Jeternut Juice! That newly found Dr. Seuss book is about the Yankees!

What vet should I get?
Who doesn't put me into debt.
A pitcher like A.J. Burnett...
What vet should I get?

A Price would be nice!
I wouldn't think twice!
I'd certainly bite
If the Price is right.

I could get a Cole Hamels,
For my best Scranton mammals,
Who might be Allan Trammels!
(Plus a carton of Camels.)

I could get a Martin Prado,
For a year's supply of Play-Doh.
If I got a new Craig Kimbrel,
My bullpen would be downright crim'nal!

I could get Aroldis Chapman,
What would Boston think of THAT, man?
Or I'd settle for Mike Leake,
Though that name has me feeling bleak.

What vet should I get?
And trade a guy we'll soon forget.
Who won't become the next George Brett.
What vet should I get?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Meanwhile...


Flashback:


Days of Note

Day this year I've been most embarrased to be a Yankees fan:

1) Today, bottom of the first.

Day this year I've been most ecstatic to be a Yankee fan:

1) Today, top of the second.

It's a J-Bomb from Sterl-Rod: Amazing photos of young John Sterling, before The Master learned to THUUUUUUUH

As a dedicated John Sterling blogger, I cannot estimate how many hours, days, years... I have burned in search of The Lost Polaroid - that is, a photograph of a young, raw-boned Sterling. I might as well have looked for Amelia Earhart's left boob. Nevertheless, this weekend, a message from Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside flashed upon my inbox, changing forever the Yankiverse, as driven by Jeep. It held a series of pictures... portraits of The Master as a young man.

Behold...


Yes, the time is the 1970s. The place is WMCA Radio in New York. The shirt is - well - I'd say a Saturday night, bong water special. The eyes... let's just say he is high, he is far out, he is - gone!

This are screen grabs from a recent episode of L'Chayim, a talk show hosted by Rabbi Mark S. Golub, of which I am privileged to have been the 125th viewer on YouTube. Golub met The Master in the 1970s, when John was - get this - CAPTAIN OF THE WMCA BASEBALL NO-STARS. And John pitched and... batted third.

Check out this incredible form:

There it goes. It's a silver moment. Oh, John... you're Sterling!


Many years before John appeared in this iconic Yankee team photo at the White House...


He appeared with the WMCA All-Star team...


But John always planned to someday become THE MASTER.


Later, John took up the hair code and played for a team managed by the Rabbi. Again, he pitched and batted third.


I know what you're thinking: These pictures cannot be authenticated. In this age of Photoshop, anybody can fix images to produce anything. In fact, that leads to another theory, advanced by Pickett Burnside himself:

These are new shots: Yes, The 2015 Yankees have restored John Sterling's youth. Says Pickett Burnside.

"John's been like a kid again with the juice A-rod gave him.  In Saturday's  game (A-Rod's three homer game), at the top of the ninth, John said that Rodriguez, Teixeira, Beltran, Headley, and  Murphy were coming to bat.  I thought that sounded odd, considering there were only three outs left in the game. Then he added that if Gardner came up, it would be because the Yankees had rallied. The craziest thing: It all came true... 

"Last season, all John ever said was that they have no pop, they have no pop.  They would leave men on base, and you could hear his arms fall to the counter-top, plunk-plunk, in frustration. This year he's been optimistic. Stop watching the game on TV!"

Sir, you are so absolutely right.

Listen: Last winter, John lost practically everything he owned in a fire. That night, while tankers were pouring water onto the blaze, he was returning calls to newspaper reporters who had gone out of their way to savage him. Every year, the Yankees make him sweat out a new contract. He's long past retirement age, and a battalion of haters - some of whom simply hate everything about the Yankees - do whatever they can to mock him (from the safe distance of Seattle.) The guy hasn't missed a Yankee pitch in more than 25 years. He called every at bat throughout Derek Jeter's entire career.

Yep. Something has happened, all right. It's not Viagra or whatever John was smoking in 1973. It's Brett Gardner, it's A-Rod, it's Tex... It's the first team in four years to show a pulse in the ninth inning of a two-run game.

Enjoy the pictures. From now on, they shall occupy center stage in our Yankiverse. John Sterling is young again. And I bet he still owns that shirt.

Tulo to Toronto: The latest sign that Hal was adopted

There's a saying in the Yankiverse, whispered whenever a big free agent signs with Washington or California. It goes this way:

"This wouldn't have happened if Ol' George were still alive..."

Yep. If Ol' George were still kicking, the Yankees would have signed Max Scherzer, James Shield, Nelson Cruz, Robbie Whazhisname, the original cast of Glee and - absolutely, obviously, without a doubt, that international man of mystery... Yoan Moncada. Every December, Yankee fans unwrapped a holiday gift from Ol' George: Look, it's a shiny new Rusney Castillo! Wow, the latest sporty import from Japan, Hideki Irabu!

Unfortunately, because Ol' George was kicking at various times, we ended up with Ol' Randy Johnson, Ol' Gary Sheffield, Ol' Crabby Raul Mondesi, young Kai Igawa, and the cast of Life on Mars (the U.S. version, not the British.) Ol' George had his faves, and for better or worse - they always swam upstream to spawn and die in Pinstripes.

Which brings us to Troy Tulowitzki, latest proof that Ol' George is not secretly living on a lung machine off Guam.

Everybody knows Tulo was supposed to be a Yankee. Ever since Derek Jeter retired, countless blogs have devoted entire Sunday morning breakfasts to calculating the package of Yankee talent that would bring Tulo's surgically repaired hips to Gotham. (By the way, considering A-Rod's resurgence, the phrase "surgically repaired hips" doesn't carry the impact it once did.) Now, we know that Tuno will not metastisize into New York. Tulo has gone to Toronto - a happy home for hitters, because they can swing away, knowing it won't matter - the pitchers will surrender more runs anyway.

This weekend, Hal Steinbrenner - son of George - didn't bite. And let me state a phrase that increasingly should be uttered in the Yankiverse: "Thank frickin' God."

Let's face it: Colorado probably phoned Brian Cashman 50 times, trying to cut a deal. (Something tells me the last player the Rockies wanted was Jose Reyes, who still carries that Metlike stink.) They must have said to themselves, "If ol' George were alive, he'd make a deal!" And, frankly, who knows what might have happened if the Redsocks two weeks ago swept us at Fenway? Right now, the Yankees are blistering hot, killing thirst for an impulse deal. If we were ice cold, would the ghost of Ol' George rise to inhabit his offspring? At least this summer, we don't have to worry about the Babadook. Ol' George is not alive. Rest in peace.

Does the trade make sense? Depends on the details. Does Toronto improve? Yep, but not as much as they would if Tulo could pitch. The Canadians will love him, but something tells me the team will miss Reyes, who made a convenient scapegoat. Now, somebody else will take the flack. Hello, Mr. Bautista? Ready to try on some horns?

Some are already saying the AL East is a battle between the Yankees and Blue Jays. If the Blue Jays sell what's left of their soul for Cole Hamels, maybe we should worry - short team, anyway. Deadline trades are always Faustian bargains. We still have our soul... because Ol' George is in the ground.

R.I.P., sir. Your son did the right thing.

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Cashnado Week in the Yankiverse, but while we imagine who the Yankees might get, let's also ponder what we might have to give up

Sunday, the all-star mega-superteam Royals banished three sprites to Ohio for the great and mighty Johnny Cueto - the Koufaxian Hall of Famer, now 7-6 on the season. This prompted a loud chorus from the Yankee Blogger Rapid Response Teams, demanding that Brian Cashman pull off a counter-deal. Shriekers gonna shriek, dealers gonna deal. The official scream line is that we need somebody to outduel the great and mighty Cueto - 7-6 this year - in Game 7 of the ALCS, and it can't be Pineda or Tanaka, because they've been flat in their recent starts. Nope. We need Cole Hamels or that traveling Willbury from Chicago, Jeff Somethingorother, whose name I won't bother to spell until he is a Yankee... which, depending on the price tag, I hope is never.

Something's up. Girardi has named Tuesday's starter as "Mr. TBA." Hint hint: He expects Lord Cashman to empty the incubator for somebody. Mr. TBA. To Be Acquired.

Across the Yankiverse, there is a growing antagonism for anyone who remembers the late 1980s, when the Syd Thrifts, Murray Cooks and Woody Woodwards of the world dealt away a possible Yankee dynasty... only to watch bad teams get worse. These days, nobody wants to hear the idea of standing pat and building a team slowly, from within. Those who cry for deadline deals own the call-in shows, and as soon as a kid is traded, the YES Network mirror machine gins up the Manny Banuelos treatment: "Nope, he was never all that good, was never gonna amount to anything. All that previous hype you heard from us, it was just to build him up for a deal."

In fact, lingering fan rage from the 1980s was a reason why Watson and Stick resisted the urge to trade Bernie, Andy, Jorge, Mariano, et al. (Jeter, the high-pick golden boy, was never going to be dealt.) But the Lost Boys period from 1986 through 1994 seems to have vanished from the fossil record. Come July 31, Yankee web sites yowl like 17-year-olders with exploding erections (which actually, a few of them are) - thinking about who the Yankees will get... not who they'll give up.

I don't claim to know more about prospects than Cashman, but I do know this:

Great Yankee teams don't win one World Series. They win three.

I'd love to repeat 2009... but spare me 2010-14, if winning one year means that we give away the next four.

We won't get Cole Hamels for a handful of magic beans. (It's gotten worse, because he threw a no-hitter Saturday.) Philly will demand at least one of our best prospects, plus a package of young players. Do we want to give up the next generation for 15 starts?

Hell. I'd rather take my chances with Adam Warren going against Cueto.

Last year, the Yankees were riddled with holes, which Cashman could fill via cheap solutions. Brandon McCarthy. Chase Headley, etc. We gave up Vidal Nuno and Yangervis Solarte. (Better players than the "experts" claimed, but not dynasty killers.) This year, to keep with the KC Kardashians, Cashman will have to hydrofrack our farm system. We won't get something for nothing.

Cashman hasn't yet dealt away too many greats. I think he's terrified of the one horror deal that will be inscribed onto his tombstone. Still, the more you stare into the abyss - as Freddie Nietzsche said - the more the abyss stares back.

This sudden public push to trade Gary Sanchez - a 22-year-old power hitting catcher at Triple A - is based on the ridiculous assumption that, "Oh, we have McCann and Murphy, so we don't need Sanchez." WTF? In 2017, McCann will be 33, and Sanchez will be pushing 25. Do we really want to give him up for maybe 15 starts?

Something's up. Mr. TBA is coming. Let's face it: Shriekers gonna shriek, dealers gonna deal. But for a moment, imagine the 2016 Yankees as defending World Champions! We can see them next July in fourth place, floundering with 41-year-old Arod and an injured Teixeira... or as a team of emerging youngsters - Judge and Severino, Sanchez and Refsnyder - just maybe the next Bernies and Marianos.

Damn, let's not get hung up about the next 15 starts. Let's think BIG.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sneak peek: Pedro Martinez Baseball Hall of Fame plaque unveiled ...


Put down the phone, Cashman

I've got nothing to say but it's okay, good morning, good morning, good.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Banuelos gets whacked for first time

Don't get me wrong: Chasen Shreve has been a pleasure. But I didn't understand the trade then, and I'm still thinking it will prove a debacle.

Banuelos gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, watching his ERA balloon to 2.49. He's now 1-2 for the lowly Braves.


Pineda For Jesus?





Last night, Michael Pineda, and his akimbo hat, looked like an overcooked sausage, looking for a bun.

The game was over before I sat down.  A 2 run dinger in the first inning just sucked the air out of the Yankee balloon.  Some will say, " you can't win them all."  But how about waiting until the game is underway?

It turned the Ju-Ju backwards.

In the early innings, as the Yankees attempted to crawl back into the game, the Yankees crushed the ball but, in every case, for a quick and deflating out. 

There are few things worse for a ballplayer, by the way,  than hitting the pitch on the " screws," and then seeing it in somebody's glove, a split second or two later.   All that hustle to first, all that excitement about a " perfect" at-bat, all the wondering about, " double or triple," simply reverts to that memory of when you stepped into a pile of dog crap, just before ringing the bell at your girlfriend's house.

The guy with the glove is strutting around and you have that long jog back to the dugout.  Nothing accomplished.  Girl friend's parents recoiling in horror.  Girl friend laughing uncontrollably.

That's what Pineda gave us as his record slides ever closer to .500.  Adam Warren was better than that.A number 2 starter with a near .500 record?  That doesn't spell a " ticket to the big dance"  to me.

Jesus is hitting for Seattle.

Did we really " win" that trade?

You know what we all fear now, so I'm not even going to write it down.

Yankees face haunting recurrence of evil spirits: Ex-Yankees rising from their graves to cause mayhem

Something's up in the juju grid. I'm figuring some keyboard geek dropped a Happy Meal French fry into the Hadron Mega-Collider, and it's causing huge time and space glitches - not only here, but at our NASA-certified mirror planet... where the evil, bearded Joe Girardi is carrying on with that infamous, man-eating succubus, Suzyn W, during what is advertised as her nightly "Clubhouse Report." The horror, Mr. Kurtz, the horror...

Last week, Robbie Cano beat us with two home runs.

Last night, Phil Hughes beat us with seven solid innings.

Somehow, double-chinned ex-Yankees - when in the presence of John Sterling audio gamma rays - are mutating into superhuman draft-horses, capable of trampling through our fields of summer corn. Lo, it's happened before - long, long ago in more stable universes: We saw it with Moose Skowron as a Dodger, Roger Maris as a Cardinal, and Reggie Jackson as an Angel. A grim little secret about the former Yankee Stadium - the one we dismantled into $39 toothpicks - is some of the ghosts lurking there were not on our side.

But Phil Hughes? Folks, this is Defcon 4! This is Babadook-level... for one terrifying reason: The team that most bothers us in the AL East - the Blue Jays - just signed Joba Chamberlain to a minor league contract. Yes, everybody - including Joba - knows his arm is probably shot. But don't we also know that sometime in August or September, he will emerge from his dugout chrysalis and shut us down for two innings in a key game? Of course, he will! We've seen it happen again and again! They're like zombies, crawling up through the dirt to bite our bare feet. These dead guys lie in wait just to strike at us... and if we face Joba in a key game, we better goddamm have a former Blue Jay to act as counterweight. (Hmmm. Can we re-sign Vernon Wells?)

By the way, this is the reason why Yankee fans hate, hate, HATE the idea of packaging three or four "middling" prospects for a late-season Lance Berkman. (Imagine how our team right now could use Jimmy Paredes and Mark Melancon; that's who we traded.) It's like scattering radioactive spiders throughout a prison yard, knowing their bites will create evil-villains with super spider powers. Dammit, WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER CRUSHER CREEL!

Here are the most frightening AL teams, based on my unofficial, mathematical, Hadron Yankee-Created Monster Threat Calculus.

1. Blue Jays: Russell Martin, Dioneer Navarro, Joba
2. Orioles: Jimmy Paredes, Steve Pearce, Buck Showalter (sort of a Dr. X, emeritus)
3. Mariners: Cano, Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero
4. White Sox: David Robertson, Melky Cabrera
5. Tigers: Shane Green
6. Indians: Nick Swisher (injured)
7. Astros: Lance McCullers (wait, no, that was his dad; hm-mm, this is really scary)
8-12: Orioles, Redsocks, Rays, Angels, Rangers, Royals: Nada.

It's the trade deadline. We are on the verge of sending several future ex-Yankees into the Hadron transformer grid. Whatever happens, the beat writers and YES men will immediately cheer, assuring us that the Yankees gave up nothing in return for a new pitcher, secondbaseman, RH hitter, whatever. Some web sites - you know who you are - will even rewrite their opinions of the prospects we give up. But bevare... BEVARE... there are ghosts out there, things going Stump in the night... and while they may someday return as friendly old-timers in tattered Yankee uniforms... between now and then, they are capable of inflicting great damage. Phil Hughes? The horror, Mr. Girardi, the horror!

Friday, July 24, 2015

On Kepler 452-b

Stephen Drew would bat lead off.

Didi Gregorius would bat clean-up.

Mickey Mantle would bat 5 through 9.

The pitcher would bat 31st. After a jellyfish with glasses.

Yes, Cashman, we mean you.

Redsock Nation cries UNCLE: "It’s all about trade value now..."

Boston, butchers in eight straight losses, is contemplating another August yard sale. They are 12 games out, and the bargain sales signs are up: MUST GO, CLEARING INVENTORY: NAPOLI, VICTORINO, CRAIG... MAKE AN OFFER...

"Might as well get something for them rather than release them and eat the money."


Gyaaaaaah, this is wonderful. It's like eating ice cream on the crapper. You want to savor every moment. This morning, I noticed last week's Sports Illustrated, which I'd missed during the drunk-blog. In it, SI baseball expert Joe Sheehan projects the second half.

"A healthy Dustin Pedroia - returning from a hamstring injury - means Boston will be at full strength kicking off the second half. There's a big run coming for this team - it could score six runs a game for three weeks and go 15-4, upending the AL East."

"Can the Sox pitch well enough? Well, they're already making some changes. Eduardo Rodriguez is in the rotation, and Brian Jonson just got called up, as the team taps its deep well of young amrs. A front-of-the-rotation starter, the team's biggest need, might be found on the farm, but the Reds' Johnny Cueto or the Phillies' Cole Hamels would go a long way toward making the Sox the favorites again in a division in which no team will win 90 games."

Gyaaaaaaaah, that felt good.

Disclosure: Two weeks ago, I was as terror-stricken of Boston as anyone on this planet. They were streaking, they were hosting us, and with best pitcher on the mound. We led 1-0 in the fourth. In a span of three batters - barely five minutes - Clay Buchholz walked off the mound holding his arm, and their IF made two errors - giving us the game. Suddenly, everything changed. It was like a glitch in the Matrix, (the one that reversed the glitch of 2004, when they exchanged places with us? Is that too much to ask for?) They've been trash ferns ever since, and I don't think they're going to go 15-4 and upend the AL East.

Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaah....

There Is Life As We Know It Out There!

As you all know by now, scientists have discovered a planet that could harbor life and appears to be a " close cousin" to earth.

This older, larger planet is currently called, " Kepler 452b," and orbits its star at about the same distance that the Earth orbits the sun. Skeptical evangelicals ( pictured above ) may write to NASA for further information.

That distance between the planet and its sun puts Kepler-452b in that " Goldilocks" zone that makes it suitable for water, and life.  It is the closest thing  that we have to another place that someone else might, " call home."  And it is only 1400 light years away.

Here is my point;  if there is life, water, grass and life, they likely play baseball there.

Talk about a world series!

Reality check: The Yankee resurgence is still based on the abysmal AL East

The Division Race
This much we know:

1. Mother Nature is a maniac. (Via Chandler Brossard)

2. Money is piss, and the sparrow is immortal. (Via Charles Bukowski)

3. The AL East pretty much sucks. (Via everybody with eyes). The Yankees' recent conga line of wins stems, at least partly, from the stunning wretchedness of the division. Boston is a certified SuperFund cleanup, (though their farm system is still rated tops by their cousins at ESPN, and - dammit - I'm still p.o.ed about Yoan Moncada.) Before Toronto won yesterday, we were the only team over .500. After watching Baltimore this week, does anyone really think Buck can suddenly win 18 out of 20?

The Wild Card Race
4. Any day now, Brian Cashman will don his surgical scrubs and give this team its annual midsummer nose job. At least this year, he won't be cutting in the E.R. Thus, there is ABSOLUTELY NO FRIGGIN REASON why Cashman should over-reach in a deal - that is, trade away our future for next year's Stephen Drew, Alfonso Soriano, or a bulging disk to be named later. NO REASON.

Cash claims he will not trade Luis Severino or Aaron Judge (who has not played in a week now; injury?), but 22-year-old AAA catcher Gary Sanchez and the rented mule called Rob Refsnyder have become the blogosphere's choices to go. I dunno about this. Yeah, it would be nice to plug an Ian Kinsler into our lineup. But one of the best parts of 2015 has been looking at Scranton box scores and actually seeing prospects instead of 30something retreads. Let's hope Cash does the right thing. It would be nice to think that, if he blows this, he will be held accountable. But that's simply not true. He is probably Yankee GM for life. So he's going to do whatever he wants.
The Best Records in the League

5. But maybe we have to do something. A few dangerous teams remain in contention for the Bud Selig expanded one-game Wild Card birth. I, for one, would NOT want to face a healthy and hot Detroit Tigers in a five-game series. Nope. Been there, done that. They eat us alive. It's well worth it for the Yankees to chase the league's best record, not the division's. Gary Sanchez might have to get sacrificed. But I do hope Refsnyder gets another shot. It just seems like he's earned it.

6. If the Yankees are going to have another great team in my lifetime - a three or four world championship team - it needs to start soon. These young players must be a part of it. Or as Russell Baker once said, "In the long run, we're all dead."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Forget TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: He should run for Yankee owner

Whenever I see Robbie ".245" Cano in his Mariner pantaloons and freedom beard, I think of that early Star Trek episode, where Kirk accidentally beams into an evil mirror universe, where Spock wears a hipster goatee, and Uhura is studying to be a porn star. (One of the few positives for that universe.)

My theory: Somewhere in our past - I'm guessing fall of 2004, the exact moment that Johnny Damon hit the grand slam off Javier Vazquez - the Matrix twitched, and we were all plunged into an evil-but-kind-of-cool universe. It has upsides: Bad Miley Cyrus, flavored hummus, phone aps that tell you the closest bagel places... But we're still struggling to deal with Donald Trump, who is totally out of the wrong reality.

He's running for President when - dammitall - he should be running for Steinbrenner.

Don't get me wrong. He'd probably wreck the team, as Old George did in the eighties. I can see Trump having traded Dellin Betances for Mike Napoli, then announcing that he had personally won the 2015 World Series. You can imagine Trump making public Carlos Beltran's cell phone number, after the guy goes 0-6. God only knows what Trump would have done with A-Rod. Let's just say it would involve a broken leg. There are 10 billion reasons (by Trump's count) why he would be the worst Yankee owner since CBS - but at least he would be more fun to watch than CBS. Say what you want about Trump, he can fill a back page.

Which is why this universe sucks. Where did we go wrong, with billionaires running for President or - worse - buying Presidential candidates? They should be buying pennants. Throughout history, one of baseball's greatest gifts to America was to distract these idiots from politics - (aside from wrangling taxpayer money for stadiums.) It doesn't matter if you favor the Koch brothers or George Soros; these bozos would do humanity a favor if, instead coveting the world, they coveted the World Series.

But let's get back to Trump. He'd thrive as Yankee owner. For starters, all those things he said about Latinos - forget it. He'd have learned a long time ago to keep his trap shut. And he'd spend whatever it took. We would never be watching Stephen Drew swinging away into over-shifts, with his average 50 points below Mendoza. If Trump ran the Yankees, Robbie Cano would not be wearing a beard. He'd be wearing Pinstripes.

Wrong universe, that's all. Beam us up, Girardi. Take us home.

With its "competitve balance lottery," MLB again rewards billionaires for being cheap

In its ongoing quest to destroy the New York Yankees, MLB yesterday announced the winners of next year's "competitve balance lottery," which rewards the cheapest owners for their hard, and often underappreciated, work in poor-mouthing. 

Next June, the Reds, A's, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins and Pirates will receive extra first-round picks - thanks to their cheap, billionaire owners. In the second round, the Padres, Twins, Indians, O's, Brewers and Rays will get supplemental "competitive balance" picks.

Imagine Robin Hood and his Merry Men bringing canned food to the starving Kardashian and Hilton families. It's a mission of mercy, helping these poverty-stricken billionaires survive.

The "small market" franchises earn the reward by keeping payrolls low. That means more money for everyone - that is, everyone who happens to own a team. It's like the farmer who gets paid to let his 1,000-acre tobacco field lie fallow. He takes his cash rather than glut the market with cheap cigs. Under MLB's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the rules reward teams for being good sports - and being cheap. To succeed, all you need to do is finish last enough times - (and stay cheap, baby, stay cheap!) - and eventually, you'll draft a Bryce Harper.

Consider Robert Nutting, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. His estimated worth, according to CNBC, is $1.1 billion. He owns newspapers, resorts, you name it, he owns it. But because the Pirates keep spending low - they're in a "small market" - and they'll get an extra pick.

Or Jim Pohlad of the Twins, whose dad practically owned the state of Minnesota. He's worth $1.1 billion. You just wouldn't know it when he talks baseball. Then, his pockets come out, and the cup in his hand starts automatically rattling. So the Twins get an extra pick.

Both are said to have more money than Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner, (who actually is NOT cheap, compared to these bozos.) As Yankee fans know, Hal constantly battles to cut the Yankee payroll. Sadly, the New York fan base doesn't seem to appreciate his work.

OK, we all know baseball is a business, not a sport. But in an age of $100 billionaires - Kochs, Adelsons, Soros, etc - (coming soon: trillionaires) - MLB  owners are worth more than most of us can imagine. (Derek Jeter hopes to own someday. He better save his nickel deposits.) I've always believed an MLB owner should be a Gene Autry type - the guy who serves as his city's greatest fan. He sits in the owner's box, fetes Lady Gaga when she comes to town, and he pays for operations for little kids who get sick. He's not trying to wring extra coins from fans or taxpayers. He already has it all. And yes, it's always a scandal - horrible, terrible! - how much these players get overpaid (while no one ponders all those who tear an elbow at 22 and never see the light of an MLB pay day.

Today's MLB owners sit on towers of cash so high that they cannot see life on Earth. But they want more. (That's why Donald Trump, who should be owner of the Yankees, is running for president.) They measure success by the bottom line. How else can Hal Steinbrenner judge his work, other than making profits? (To be fair, Hal has the pressure of being the son of a man who viewed success in Yankee championships; Pohlad in Minnesota never worries about keeping up his dad's legacy with the Twins.)

Question: Why is Pittsburgh a "small market," but Seattle is not?

Answer: Pittsburgh's billionaire owner is cheap, while Seattle's is willing to spend.

So why does Pittsburgh get rewarded because its owner is cheap?

I love it when "small market" fans... or "small market" (courtier) sportwriters... accuse the Yankees (or these days, the Dodgers) of "BUYING THE PENNANT!"

To buy a pennant, you need someone willing to sell.

And MLB loves to reward the sellers. Oh, those poor, poor, poor "small markets." It's just not fair. We have to help them. Can we send canned food?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

With a five-game lead in the loss column, the Yankees now have only themselves to fear

This is Buck Is Stuck Week in the AL East, a series where the Yankees can - on paper, at least - turn the rest of the O's season into a quest for that horrible, terrible, wretched one-game Wild Card birth. If we split the next two, Baltimore leaves NY five down in the loss column. If we sweep them - ahhh, mama - they leave seven back... with only eight games remaining against us this season. So long, Bucko!

I looked it up: We play Toronto 13 times, have 10 with Boston and a measly six with the Tampons - who are now down by seven losses. Certainly, there is time enough to turn this hope into a cruel October joke. But make no mistake: It would take a full-scale, Buhner-for-Phelps, Sidney Ponsonesque Yankee collapse.

Which, we know, can happen.

I won't say how. No sense giving the juju gods ideas. But when you hoard old players, you live in a world of twitchy lumbagos and stubbed gonads. Between now and the Aug. 1 trade deadline, Brian Cashman will study injury reports each night, looking to secure a replacement before bad news even hits the wires. This is the scariest time of year, a week when we could make that deal that haunts us for decades. Let's hope this is the year when the front office finally salves our wounds with young Yankees, rather than bring in a red tide of Wally Whitehursts and Vernon Wellses. Or am I hallucinating, just thinking that could happen?

Let's run the lineup for replacement parts.

C: If McCann goes down... it's John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine - (remember him?) He's having a fine season in Scranton. Romine could be a trade throw-in, but Cashman wouldn't get much a straight-up deal. They say the franchise stud, Gary "Jesus Montero II" Sanchez, is not ready. But Romine can backup. We'd miss McCann, but we wouldn't have to deal.

1B: If Tex goes down, trouble. Terrible trouble. The Evils will not promote Greg Bird from Scranton. He's too green. Garrett Jones, the obvious replacement, is a terrible, horrible, wretched fielder. Imagine all the game-saving scoops Tex has made... gone. This would be the disaster. We would have to make a deal.

2B: If the Merry-Go-Round gets hurt... bah! Who cares? For weeks now, fans have hoped Stephen Drew would get an erection lasting more than four hours and have to seek medical attention immediately - first sign of his bat all year. Hopefully, Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirella - on a tear at Scranton - would finally get a chance.

SS-3B: If Gregorius or Headley go down, Drew or Brendan Ryan take over. Good fielding, no hitting. (In other words, not much change.)

DH-OF: If A-Rod or an outfielder goes down, trouble. Ugh. We can't afford to lose A-Rod or Brett Gardner. We simply can't afford to lose A-Rod or Brett Gardner. Have I stressed that enough? We could call up Ramon Flores or even Aaron Judge, the giant Scrantonian. Beltran would move to DH, maybe with Jones. We just CAN'T afford to lose... oh, you know...

Starters: If we lose Tanaka or Pineda, mingahhh. Adam Warren would take over. Then Chris Capuano. Luis Severino is throwing well at Scranton, but he's on an innings count. Cashman would probably trade the house for someone. This could be the stopgap deal that we rue for eternity.

Relievers: If Betances or Miller (again) go down... trouble. Severino might come up. The Yankees have used a scrap yard of Scranton relievers thus far. Hopefully, one would get hot. But Cashman would be all over the waiver wires, pulling people in. This gets ugly, fast.

Listen: We can no longer buy the notion that Baltimore, Boston or Tampa are secret championship teams just waiting to catch their stride and pull away from the pack. The AL East is ours to take. Only we stand in our way. So ice the wrists and rest the hips, boys. For want of a nail, the war was lost. For want of a tendon, so could the Yankees' season.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Things You Hear

Things you never thought you'd hear:

"And it's another hit for Chris Young."

Things you expect to hear:

"And Didi takes a strike."

Wall Street Journal: Beltran is good.

"The ill will he created during that fallow period hasn’t quite dissipated, making it hard for some to see that since May Beltran has been an excellent performer, hitting .300 with seven home runs. He is still a detriment on defense, but late-career Beltran has proved able to hit, speed or no. When he was lost for the two weeks before the All-Star break with an oblique injury, the Yankee offense suffered, and Girardi was thrilled to welcome Beltran for his first game back on Sunday."

"Carlos Beltran isn't done," from a paper synonymous with Yankee coverage.

It wasn't a massacre, but those two wins in Boston last week may have killed their season

Yesterday, Boston lost two - sealing a four-game sweep in sunny rainy California. The Redsocks are 9 out, having lost 6 of 7, and I can say firsthand that their once proud and giddy fan base looks as withered as a month-old carrot.

Last weekend, I drank extensively with two Redsockian nutcakes. Normally, you could call them "surly," "defiant" - even "wolfen." Not anymore. These days, they just pee in the litter box and say meow.

Normally, they'll talk up the Boston farm system, like it's the Hadron super-collider, capable of milling gold bars. Not anymore. Everything ended with Jackie Bradley Jr. They're even losing hope for Blake Swihart. But if you want to hurt them - (and who doesn't?) - ask about Allan Craig. God, it's wonderful. Three years ago in St. Louis, Craig hit .307 with 22 HRs, an MVP candidate. Now, he's the bane of Pawtucket, batting .268 with 3 tatters. Want to see the blood drain from a face? Mention Allan Craig. They practically recreate the climactic scene where Jerry Lewis goes from Buddy Love back into "The Nutty Professor."

Then there's Mike Napoli. Mwahahaha. I honestly think they are nearing the point of wishing they never heard the name. You know how Yank fans feel about Stephen Drew? Triple it, and you've got Boston's sense of hope with Napoli. But here's the rub: They can't dump him. He stinks at 1B and is hitting below Mendoza, but he's a local icon who famously woke up naked in the street after winning the World Series, the stuff of frat boy legend, so they're stuck with him. (Though considering how they've dealt past stars, who knows?)

But I've held the worst greatest Redsock malady for last: Big Papi. The guy simply cannot run. Fly balls that once caromed off the Monster die at the track. They're hoping he leaves gracefully, accepts retirement and walks away with his famous happy smile. In other words, they haven't seen the guy over the last 10 years as every other fan in baseball knows him: As a fuming, disagreeable, always-complaining jerkwad, who dropped the f-bomb in front of an opening day crowd of kids and yet remains "beloved" because of the city's obsession with denying its racist past. So, now they're hoping Papi will smile as he ambles out the door? I speak for the Yankiverse in saying, Good luck with that, Bostonians!

Ten days ago, the Redsocks were streaking, ready to cut the deficit to 3 games. Had they swept the Yankees, every $100 haircut on Fox would now be yodeling how they are the team to beat. But the rug got pulled. Yeah, it's the Angels who swept them, not us. But those two wins in Boston, for my money, that was the ACME super scooter that blew up on poor old Wile E. And right now, they're standing on the side of the road, 9 out, wondering what happened. Rain in California. What a beautiful sight.

Monday, July 20, 2015

As the trade deadline appears, the Yankiverse hears one cruel name reverberating in the distance: Pap... El... Bon.

Yesterday, CC Sabathia seemingly deleted the top line on Brian Cashman's July 31 Christmas wish list: That ace pitcher who might magically whisk us back to 2009. At least for now, the Evils possess five worthy starters, a decent bullpen and more DH's than Donald Trump has tubes of Super-Glue to secure his coyote pelt. (Our merry-go-round at 2B includes the entire voting population of Scranton, Pa., but that's another matter.)

Obviously, no one knows if CC can keep throwing. Usually, around now, he tweaks a wet willie and spends the next 30 days in an ice bath. But with CC off his meds, Cashman is set: He has no top tier pitcher to chase. He can search for another thirty-something 2B; (he already has one of the world's foremost collections.) But the big deals involve pitching, pitching, pitching... and right now, (that's this minute, not tomorrow, not next week, right NOW) we don't need another starter.

Which brings us to the odious, fecund and borderline repugnant thing known as "Papelbon." I've managed to forget his first name. I won't Google it for this post. It might be Irving, or Enos, for all I care. I hope he reads this and it pisses him off that I didn't bother to look it up. Is it Tommy? Marky Mark?

Write this down: He'll be a Yankee.

He has the criteria: Old, craggy and overpaid. Most of all, he could fit into the bullpen and maybe - just maybe - trim another inning off the current 8-frame Yankee success strategy. (With Betances and Miller finishing off.)

They say he no longer hits 95 on the jolly gun. Still, he's been effective. You never have too many bullpen lugnuts. There's a huge contract to be absorbed. Considering all the Cubans that Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner passed on, he should have money in his silken purse belt. Papelbon has been tested in New York. Most of all, it will piss off Boston fans. That's worth something.

It might boil down to whether Papelbon will accept a non-closer role in a bullpen hierarchy. If not, hell with him. Also, the Phillies' addled brain trust seems to over-value their old roster like it's the Queen's personal egg bank. I'm saying a few non-studs should do it. And, of course, I'd happily throw in Stephen Drew. (Dreaming.) Unlike Cashman's, my wish list never changes.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

If the CIA commissioned a $10 million study on how to break a person's spirit, they would come up with the way the Yankees are dealing with Rob Refsnyder

It's so clean, so perfect, so insidious...

The kid works his way up from Scranton, replaces a veteran who hasn't hit in Obama's second turn, does his job, hits a home run... and as a result... he gets a ticket back to Scranton.

Welcome to Gitmo, Rob Refsnyder. Your crime? Being young. Not being ridiculously overpaid, so they have to play you.

So, what now for Ref? The psycological let-down. The hitting slump. Then the trade - for some new old guy. Meanwhile, Yankee fans can watch another month of Stephen Drew and Brandon Ryan - who batting averages - if added together - could barely reach .300.

What a grand strategy for success: Turn every game into a massive pressure cooker, and make every kid who steps to the plate know he is one strikeout away from being sent to Triple A. Oh, and make sure he realizes that - no matter how bad the old guys play, they cannot be replaced: They're paid too much.

Why are the Yankees so terrified of giving youngsters a chance?

My Beltran's Back

(Spoken:)
He went away and we hung around
And had better fielding every night
And when we wished he wouldn't return
People criticized us for not being nice

(Singing:)
My Beltran's back and we're gonna be in trouble
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
A lot of fly balls will be going for doubles
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
We weren't spreading lies, what we said was really tru-ue
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
So look out now, cause we're gonna be blu-ue
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)

Hey, he looks like he is tryin'
But, he fields like he is iron

He's been gone for not enough ti-ime
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
Now he's back and things'll never be fi-ine
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
Judge is gonna wish that he was never bo-orn
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
He's stayin' on the bus for who knows how lo-ong
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)

Now, his wheels are pretty rusty
Hey, our shorts will get all crusty
Every time he tracks one of those long fly ba-alls
(Wah ooooo, wah oooo)
We'll hope Jacoby gets there and 'Got it!' ca-alls
(Wah ooooo)
Wait and see!

My Beltran's back to try and save his reputation
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)
When we wish he would take a permanent vacation
(Hey la, day la, my Beltran's back)

Yeah, my Beltran's back
(La-day-la, my Beltran's back)
Look out now, yeah, my Beltran's back
(La-day-la, my boyfriend's back)

I could see him comin'
(La-day-la, my boyfriend's back)
He was sort of runnin'
(La-day-la, my boyfriend's back)
Oh boy, now
(La-day-la, my boyfriend's back)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah....

The Fear Grows As The BA Drops



Don't look now, but Refsnyder is now looking better defensively than offensively.  That pick and tag he made at second yesterday on an on-target, but low ( short hop ) throw from McCann was great glove work.

Sadly, he is now grounding out regularly to the right side of the infield.  One hoppers.  Often, on first pitch swings.  Not working the count. He missed a huge RBI opportunity yesterday.  He looks unthreatening.  He looks like a pitcher's at bat in the national league.

There are those of you say, " .....well, he'll settle in.  We know he can hit.  Just give him time."  I hope you are right.

But future all stars don't have the same batting average as Stephen Drew.

Nicely settled in at .180 or so.

I fear we have not witnessed the debut of anything more than another body in a baseball suit.

I see the Rob is not in the line-up today.

 Girardi thinks Drew needs some hacks?  Needs to keep his rythym? Is a better offensive threat now than Refsnyder?

The Crappy Division Theory

I know I'm going to regret this. Anytime I put anything up that's critical of some Yankee mediocrity, they go on a tear and hit twelve grand slams in three games or pitch back-to-back no-hitters. So I realize I'm playing with powerful JuJu here (is that the Cambridge dictionary spelling?), or reverse JuJu, or simply pissing off some nutjob with a John Sterling voodoo doll who's going to stick a pin where the sun don't shine so the Master has to use that inflatable donut for the next week of broadcasts.

One quick thing out of the way: Adam Warren is a starter, and a pretty good one, and he is not a very effective relief pitcher. So can Michael Kay stop pumping the corporate love handle by talking about Warren's fastball being a whole--gasp!-- 1 mph faster since he's moved to the bullpen? What a dumb fucking...

But I digress. Aside from the myth of the great Yankee bullpen earlier this year, which I tried to speak out against early and often (Bettances and Miller and stumblebums, which has become better in more recent days), the other Great Myth of 2015 is that the American League East is a very weak division, and that the Yankees could win it by virtue of sucking just less enough than everyone else.

Well, look around. Practically every division in baseball sucks just as bad as the American League East. We don't have five or six powerhouses slugging it out anywhere at all. There are a small handful...and I mean Lollipop Kid hands...of pretty dominant teams, and everyone else is a mirror of the AL East that supposedly is soooooo weak. Martha, bring me my smelling salts.

First up, the AL. What do you see here? 'Cause I see Bud Selig's parity, and that's being charitable.











































Only the Royals have anything approaching a championship record. The Twins, the Angels, the *surprising!* Astros--on a par with us. Everyone else, rampant mediocrity and worse. What division ISN'T lame? You have the Royals. Then you have shoulder shrugging on a massive scale.

Think the NL is any better? Horse twinkies.











































Cardinals and Pirates, marginally the Dodgers. That's it. Everyone else, Palookaville. And we know the Cardinals only have such a great record because they're better hackers off the field than maybe on it.

So can everyone shut the fork up about how the Yankees are winning the division by default? With the exception of the Central division leaders in both leagues EVERYONE is winning their division by default. This is the state of baseball in 2015. There are a few really good teams, a Didi's worth of fairly mediocre teams, and some outright piles of Phanatic manure. That's it. That's all we got.

Whatever Cosmo or Vogue or WWD or GQ says this season, .500 is the new black.

Drunk Blog nearing end on sour note

OK, I blew it. My bad. It was my rippy of Robbie, a day too soon. I should have waited, held my fire, turned inward, used my rage for the sake of good. Instead, I got trigger-happy, went out for a joy ride, said some things, lashed out against the world... cost us a big Yankee game. And every Yankee game is a big Yankee game.

It won't happen again. I've learned my lesson.

But, well, jeeaz, come on, here, folks, it only goes to show how much Cano misses Yankee Stadium, and as far as I'm concerned, Robbie Runaway can spend the rest of his life in Seattle, hitting moon shots that land in outfielders' gloves, because they play on airport runaways instead of ballparks, and good riddance, YOU HEAR ME, GOOD DAY, SIR, I HOPE THE LEGAL WEED IS WORTH IT, MY FRIEND, BECAUSE YOU'LL ALWAYS BE BOOED IN YANKEE STADIUM, ALWAYS, EXCEPT FOR ONE TIME. YES, THERE IS ONE TIME YOU WILL NOT BE BOOED IN YANKEE STADIUM: YANKEE OLD-TIMERS DAY... BECAUSE YOU WON'T BE INVITED!!! GET IT? YOU'LL BE IN THE SEATTLE OLD-TIMERS DAY WITH HAWTHORNE WINGO AND MARSHAWN LYNCH AND WHOEVER THE HELL ELSE IS BIG OUT THERE, and I couldn't care less what he'll be doing, not a whit, not a whimble, not nothing, because it's another time zone, it's another planet, it might as well happen on Pluto. And my head hurts, no thanks to Robby Cano, whom I will never think about ever again. Dead to me. Gone. Robby Cano? Who's that?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

ADB (continued): uuuuuuuuuuh... playahs

Not all Yankee players are "Playahs."

There's A-Rod, Tex, CC, a few others. Garrett Jones is not a PLAYAH. He just isn't.

That's it. That's all I got. WTF? What do you expect? Been drinking since noon.

Robbie Cano, don'cha know what could a been?

Dear Robbie,

First off, screw you and your freedom beard, and wipe that warm, Hey-It's -Me,-Robbie smile off your face, because it's a lie, a subterfuge, a mask of deceit: You pitched us overboard to chase an extra sack of dimes. No, wait... actually, you crapped all over us in pursuit of meaningless numbers on a conceptual spreadsheet, because you'll never see that extra money, it's just there, digitally, in some banker's mind, and you betrayed the most loving and loyal fan base in baseball. OK, yeah, we're a bunch of drunken shitheads, but we drink because we care... as opposed to the twirly, chin-stroking geekwads who attend Mariner games for the Costa Rican coffee and the baked squab.

You coulda beena lifelongYankee. You coulda beena Jeet. You coulda hadda CF plaque. You coulda had your own day, your own number, a TV gig, maybe even a ring. Geez, I hope you're happy.

Yeah, OK, I know what some readers are thinking. They're saying, "Ease up, Duque. You're in the fourth day of your drunk blog, you're hallucinating, and you shouldn't blame Robbie for chasing the money; he's just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrocity..." Well, I say, humpity humph harumph! I'm drinking Scotch, folks, not electric Kool-Aid. This ingrate walked away from NY so Jay-Z, his fledgling "manager," could unveil to the world his beach ball testicles and put the biggest number on a contract, regardless of its actual impact on the player. But I'm not blaming Jay-Z. Playahs gonna play. You wanted a 10 year deal because it meant more money - nine years wasn't enough - and only the money mattered.

Well, good luck with all those Yankee Stadium home runs that die at the warning track in Seattle. And good luck playing in Seattle in that 10th year. I'm sure the hipsters are going to love you. I hope you like being doused with Costa Rican coffee. Go Rob Refsnyder.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Annual drunk blog (continued): I was once the youngest man on the face of the earth

Fukinay. It lasted a microsecond, but I was a hot prospect.

Should it be "news" that Refsnyder is staying?

Good grief, the guy comes up, hits a home run, fields well, and he's replacing a guy who hasn't hit more than .200 over the last calendar year, and we've been waiting a year now... and the "news" is that the Yankees are going to keep him?

Have we gotten that downcast about the Yankees' willingness to try rookies?

Holy Kapertooli

I know, I know. It's wrong to put up a post just to flog a post on ESPN. But this is epic. Mindbending. Cynic busting. It has me quaking in my boots, and I'm not even wearing boots. That's how crazy it is.

Will the Yankees Win the World Series? You Never Know

Be still my mezcal soaked heart.

A sample:

"I’m thinking the Yankees have a very good chance to win the AL East.
"And if they do that, they have a very good chance to go to the World Series, and maybe even to a parade up Broadway.
"...as long as the Yankees' bullpen holds up, they appear to be uniquely designed for playoff baseball."

ADB continued: The $62 million mistake

Siri... write this down.

On Feb. 23, Hal "i'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner's buttery fingers pulled tight the drawstring on his silken "Hello Kitty" purse, and let the best available international prospect on the market, Yoan Moncada, go to the Redsocks for a measly $31 million - which meant Boston would have to pay another measly $31 million in luxury tax penaties.

Hal told us he isn't cheap. He is just thrifty. Got it, Siri. He's prudent. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. It has to be moved carefully, via trust funds and dynastic investment strategies. Just because the Yankees are the richest franchise in sports doesn't mean they should fritter away the most money on players.

Well, Siri, Yoan the Moan got off to a terrible start, didn't hit a lick, which prompted the YES men to cackle and lift their brown noses high into the air, telling us how smart Hal is. We might have Boston's number this year - but nothing is for sure right now. But here's one thing you can count on: Boston will have this Moncada guy for the next eight years, while Hal is jingling the coins in his pocket. Woopie.

Siri get me a drink.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Annual drunk blog (continued): If he stayed a Yankee, David Robertson wouldn't be called Houdinii any more

We'd call him El Chapo, because he always escapes.

If we teamed him with Andrew Miller, we would have had "Matt and Sweat."

Baseball via Hollywood

Drunk Blog (continued): Uber drivers - the next battlefield

Siri, take a note...

Ooh, ooh. Jumpin' Jehosiphat, exclamation point.

Idea for humanity:

Uber should have an option that allows you to check "Yankee Fan Driver" or "Yankee Hater Driver."

That way, after a Yankee victory, you can ride around a city and decide whether to celebrate or rub it in.

We Wuz Robbed!!

Colter Bean and Goober Zuber are the sole Yankee representatives on the MLB All-Grain-Tuber-and-Legume Team!

DBC: Aw, crap, the Yankees signed the first round pick, and I'll never learn how to spell his name

Siri,

Take a letter, Maria, address it to my wife, say I won't be coming home, gotta start a new life...

SIRI: Ready to post.

No. That's a song, Siri. You're too young. Take this down: The Yankees signed James - not Jimmy - Caprollean, Capronalin, Caproteen...Kapriellan... Karpielan... I dunno. Guy from UCLA. Pitcher. The next Phil Hughes. I gotta learn his name.

Damn, whatever happened to Cot Deal?

The Yankees signed this Kapertooli to a bigger contract than MLB allows - why? Because Kaporoski had Scott Boras as his agent, and it was the fricking Yankees. Everybody expects the Yankees to pay more, because they're the fricking Yankees, and they crap $500 gold dubloons. But the league has installed spending limits - hey, do the owners ever limit how much they pay themselves? - and the Yankees almost had to forfeit next year's first round pick, because of this guy, Kapovelli, Kapmeister, Karpediem...

That stinking dirty dog, Bud Selig - he paid himself a crisp $25 million per year, I bet he never once paid for his own gas - and the communist damn near killed every financial advantage the Yankees have.

Hey, Siri. Answer me a question:

Why didn't they they bring in Bug Selig on a gold chariot at the All-Star game?

SIRI: Researching Bug Selig. Do you mean Bud Selig?

Screw it. Go away, Siri. Be gone. My head hurts. Siri, where's the aspirin?

SIRI: Resarching, aspirin...

NO, WHERE'S THE FRICKING ASPIRIN, GODAMMOT, THE ASPIRIN.

SIRI: Aspirin is a popular over-the-counter-

NO, NO, YOU'RE NOT LISTENING, SIRI. WHERE IS THE ASPIRIN? WHERE DID I PUT IT?

SIRI: The aspirin is where you put it.

You're a hard woman, Siri. A hard, hard woman.

SIRI: Is there anything else?

Blow me.

SIRI: I do not recognize that function.