Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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.

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