Wednesday, August 19, 2015
As Boston signs Dave Dombrowski, the lover of threesomes, let us give thanks again for Didi Gregorius
Posted by el duque at 7:59 AM
As head of the Tigers, he orchestrated a three-way deal that sent future journeyman Edwin Jackson to Arizona and future HR-K machine Curtis Granderson to the Yankees. In return, Arizona got Ian Kennedy, the best - (and at the time, least hyped) - of our young pitching trio (Hughes and Joba, remember?), and Detroit received Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth. Basically, they received the bones of five future powerhouse teams, including one that would come within a bloop single of a World Championship. You can argue that the Grandyman had some fine seasons in Gotham, but whenever he trudged back to the dugout, bat on shoulder, shaking his head, all I saw was Jackson, Coke and Kennedy, and the team we could have been, if only the Yankees had believed in their own players and hung up the goddamm phone when Dave Dombrowski called.
Well, before this turns into a GOP Presidential debate on the deportation of Brian Cashman, let's note that, last December, the universe played catch-up. We sent future minor-leaguer Shane Greene to Detroit, who dispatched Domingo Leyba (huh?) and Robbie Ray (huh? again) to Arizona, bringing to NY a lad named Didi Gregorius. Between April 1 and April 15, Greene was baseball's best pitcher. Then he werewolfed into Pumpsie Green, or Seth Green, or Shecky. (Your choice.) And Gregorius, who was nearly hooted out of NYC in April, has found a new life.
Last night, as CC was twirling his four inning no-hit masterpiece, Gregorius made two astonishing plays that easily could have opened the famed Sabathian flood gates if - I shudder to even think this - if we had tried to coax one more year out of Derek Jeter's body. In fact, Gregorius has so out-preformed Jeter in the field - (and that's not a knock on Jeter, his range simply withered) - that today, we take it for granted that our SS snags balls we haven't seen touched since 2010. If you're looking for one single reason why the Yankees have surged, it's easy to notice A-Rod batting third and Tex crushing it at 1B... but Gregorus' defense and timely hitting have been a drone CARE package from heaven. These days, nobody even thinks about Jeter unless the Yankees are retiring a number. Who anticipated that?
Not Dave Dombrowski (who, by the way, picked Boston's pocket a few years ago for Detroit's SS Jose Iglesias.) Yesterday, he signed as the new Redsock president, and let's face it: He's certainly an improvement over Larry Lucchino, whose most memorable moment was in name-calling, labeling us "the Evil Empire." Boston picked up a solid baseball executive. It's not like they signed another Yoan Moncada, but it should push our worry needle just a tad.
If you ever look at the St. Louis Cardinals' or San Francisco Giants mast-heads, what you see at the top are are ex-baseball players. You don't see the resource-draining lard of an owner's family and entourage, as you find with the Yankees. Until recently, that soul-crushing debris included Felix Lopez - ex-husband of Jessica Steinbrenner - literally, the guy who married the Boss's daughter. (And I can't help but wonder if he was the tip of the iceberg. One thing I've learned in life: Turkeys come in flocks.)
The Cards and Giants - baseball's most successful teams - build despite drafting high and not spending the moon on free agents. Both have front offices full of baseball experience. On the Yankee mast-head, Cashman's name is listed eighth - after Hal, Hank, Jessica, Joan, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost and Anthony Bruno.
I was hoping the Yankees might sign Dombrowski. John Henry got to him first. Of course, you never know: Too many cooks can thicken the broth, because one usually gets pushed in. But today, let's thank Boston's chief executive for our renewed hope. He helped us get Didi.