FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Greg Bird is creating a problem for the Yankee front office

Somewhere in the vast recesses of Brian Cashman's medulla oblongata, whenever Greg Bird whacks a HR - as he did last night to beat mighty Toronto - a voice must whisper, "Uh-oh."

Surely, Cash is as delirious as we are at the notion of a 22-year-old Yankee slugger who could anchor 1B for the next 15 years. And when you see Bird swing so easily, so effortlessly, you can imagine 40 HRs a year flying into that right field porch. What a delight! And then Cashman's little voice whispers, "Uh-oh."

The reason: The Yankees have painted themselves into a corner, and the coat won't dry for at least another year.

Next season, Mark Teixeira will be our 1B, and Alex Rodriguez will be our DH. There is no negotiation to be done. If A-Rod tweaks a thingy, Carlos Beltran will take over as DH. And in two years, Brian McCann will move to 1B. It's all pre-written in the stars. (Or contracts.)

The Yankees - after going practically a decade without developing a star position player - finally may have one, and there is no place for him.

So what will they do with Greg Bird? Seat him on the bench, so he's denied the at-bats needed to grow? Send him back to Scranton, leaving him demoralized and maybe wasted - (a common Yankee procedure these days.) Or trade him - another Jesus H. Montero for Big Mike Pineda?

Arguably, that may be Cashman's best recourse - especially if Hal Steinbrenner is obsessed with cutting payroll. Nobody will take A-Rod or Tex in a trade. But everybody wants a young slugger. They'd probably give up a young 2B or a pitcher. (No sense getting a 3B, because we are stuck with Chase "Air Mail" Headley for another three.)  

So Cashman may have to trade the most exciting homegrown Yankee since Derek Jeter. Come December, Bird will be at peak prospect foliage. They might never get more for him in a trade. But trading him would break our hearts - at a time when the city may still be slobbering over the Mets' parade down the Canyon of Heroes. And if the trade goes south - that is, if Greg Bird has a great career with another team, while we end up with a head case or Tommy John patient - well, NYC can be a cruel place. So the voice says "Uh-oh."

10 comments:

Dutchfan said...

These are intelligent words and true, I am afraid. Last night when I was listening to a very amazed Master (surely he must have missed soothing Suzyn dearly) the thought hit me too that no matter what, the second Tex can make something that resembles a swing he will be back in the line-up.
And that is sad. Because right now Bird looks like someone who might possibly fill the shoes Jeter left behind.
And his number is high enough that it can be effortlessly retired in 20 years.

Sigh.

ceeja said...

There are at least 300 ABs for this guy at first, dh, and outfield. Ideally he and Teixeira will sometimes be in the batting order at the same time. Teix is going to be off at least 25% of the time and so is A Rod, who won't always fact tough righties anyway. That's a bunch of at bats right there without even having to play some OF. But the rule is an infielder can always be moved to the OF. Would he really be worse that Beltran in RF?

And of course you always play your best player, so if Bird is playing better than Teix, Teix's at bats will suffer. I mean would Girardi have benched Gehrig in favor of Pipp? (hmmm, he probably would have)

Tom said...

How in the name of Scott Brosius did they decide Headley was worth four years? Four freaking years!?! I mean he's a decent ball player, but four years! Really?

My guess is they're going to try to trade Gardy this winter and attempt to plug Bird into a corner outfield slot. Hey, why not? Yogi did it. So did Joe Pepitone, but that didn't work out as well.

Even if they don't make a change, next year, it's going to be four guys filling three spots in the order: Beltran, Tex, Bird and A-Rod. (By the way, Beltran sure hit the ball hard last night, too.) A-Rod's had a magical comeback, and Beltran has been steady if not spectacular since May, but they are both old. They will need rest. Tex, too. There will be plenty of playing time for Bird, who plays a pretty decent 1B.

In the summer and fall of 1990, my wife was pregnant with twins and I wasn't as plugged into the Yankees as I was before and have been since. But I understand Kevin Maas got hot and hit a ton of home runs in just a short while, sort of like Greg Bird. So, I ask you: Is Bird our new Larrupin' Lou/Donnie Baseball or just another Kevin Maas/Shane Spencer? Bird strikes out a fair bit, but man, when he hits it, it goes places.

One other thing: John Sterling was at his absolute best last night. He obviously roots for the Yankees, but his discussions about the luck-karma-serendipity of baseball were wonderfully entertaining. He's at the top of his game these days.

God bless, Yogi. Fuck the Steinbrenners.

John M said...

Tex will be another year older (but not deeper in debt, like Tenessee Williams) and if you think he's fragile the past couple years, it will only get worse. If he isn't injured for half the year next year, I'll be shocked. If he gets hurt and is out for the season, I won't be.

Bird will be fine. He'll play a lot. Tex has a fractured shin, which might heal OK, but might also create some mobility issues next season. He could be the most expensive pinch hitter in history or split time with A-Rod at DH. And Beltran? Well...Joe will keep trotting him out to right field as long as he can walk.

McCann won't be going to first anytime soon. The more Bird plays, and the more he smacks dingers, the smaller the odds become that McCann ever goes there. When is A-Rod's contract done? Isn't that about when McCann becomes a DH?

A lot of moving parts here, but I think if Bird can avoid Maasitis he has a long career ahead of him in the Bronx.

ceeja said...

Look at that swing. He's a major leaguer. Whether he'll be a star or not remains to be seen. But he's got a good major league swing and will have a good career at first base.

Stanley Kowalski said...

John M.--- Like Tennesse Ernie Ford, not Tennesse Williams, IDIOT.

Anonymous said...

CAN YOU IMAGINE STALLING THIS GUY'S FUTURE? HE LOOKS LIKE A "NATURAL" WITH HIS GREAT EASY SWING, AND MAD POWER. HE'S NOT GOING TO BE ANOTHER KEVIN MASS (IN MY OPINION) BECAUSE BIRD CAN GO THE OTHER WAY WITH THE PITCH, MAAS COULDNT...ON ANOTHER NOTE...I KNOW ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN BUT...GIVE REFSNYDER A GOD DAMN CHANCE!..WE NEED RIGHT HANDED HITTERS!!! WE BLEW THE CHANCE TO GET THIS GUY'S CAREER GOING WITH US THIS YEAR. COULD IT HAVE BEEN A ROUGH ROAD FOR AWHILE IN THE FIELD FOR HIM? PROBABLY YES, BUT HOW MUCH WORSE COULD HE HAVE BEEN THAN WILMER FLORES WAS FOR THE METS (AND GOD I DESPISE THE METS)..BUT, THE DAMN METS STUCK WITH HIS CRAPPY FIELDING AND HE DID SETTLE DOWN AFTER A WHILE...I BELIEVE REF WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME FOR US. WE CRUSHED HIM..WHEN WE CALLED HIM UP, HE NEEDED TO BE TOLD, "YOU'RE OUR STARTING 2ND BASEMAN..DON'T WORRY ABOUT LOOKING FANCY, JUST DO YOUR BEST AND GET THE JOB DONE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER..YOU ARE OUR STARTING 2ND BASEMAN TODAY, TOMORROW, AND THE NEXT DAY AFTER THAT, EVEN IF YOU MAKE SOME ERRORS, YOU ARE OUR GUY." .... BUT WE DID THE TOTAL OPPOSITE WITH THIS KID. INSTEAD, WE CALL HIM UP, HE HELPS US BEAT BOSTON, IN BOSTON, WITH A HOME RUN- HE FIELDS THE FEW BALLS THAT WERE HIT TO HIM CLEANLY,(I UNDERSTAND THERE WAS A MIXUP ON THAT BALL THAT WAS HIT BACK TO THE MOUND THAT DAY, BUT THAT IS SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN IRONED OUT WITH BETTER COMMUNICATION).. AND SO, WE BANISH HIM TO SCRANTON AND NEVER CALL HIM BACK UP AGAIN TILL SEPTEMBER WHERE THEY ARE RARELY GOING TO USE HIM FOR ANY PURPOSE. WHAT GETS MY GOAT IS THEY ARE SAYING HE "ONLY HIT .224 AFTER HE WENT BACK TO SCRANTON"..HAHAHA!...AFTER GETTING CRUSHED LIKE THAT, IM SURPRISED HE DIDN'T HIT .124!..I MEAN, YOU HELP YOUR TEAM WIN A GAME LIKE THAT, AND YOU GET BANISHED????? I SMELL THE HANDIWORK OF BRIAN CASHMAN ON THIS ONE! I MEAN, GOD FORBID IF REFSNYDER WORKED OUT AT 2ND! IT WOULDN'T GIVE CASHMAN THE CHANCE TO GLOAT "THE BACK OF THE BASEBALL CARD" IN 2015 FOR STEPHEN DREW (FOR ONLY 5 MILLION)! WOW, 17 HOMERS!...WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT!...I BET REFSNYDER WOULD HAVE HELPED US WIN MANY MORE GAMES WITH HIS BAT AND HIS OBP ABILITY WHICH HAS BEEN STRONG SO FAR IN THE MINORS...PLUS I BELIEVE HE IS ONLY 23 AND GUESS WHAT CASH?..HE WOULD BE PRACTICALLY FREE AT THE LEAGUE MINIMUM!!! PLUGGING HIM IN AT 2ND, AND HAVING BIRD LOOMING AT FIRST ALREADY WOULD BE SO EXCITING FOR YANKEE FANS AS WE PATIENTLY AWAIT THE ARRIVAL OF AARON JUDGE. BUT SADLY, I AM AFRAID WE BLEW THE CHANCE AT A GREAT YOUNG CORE NUCLEUS THAT REALLY NEEDED TO HAVE THIS KID (REFSNYDER) STEP IN....WE BLEW IT...ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS LEAVE HIM THERE AFTER HE BEAT BOSTON!!!!!

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Of the many depressing thoughts I have this morning concerning the Yankees, taking a step backward, instead of forward in time, tops my list.

ceeja said...

Oh well, WTF. Just make the playoffs.

By the way: Can you imagine if Greg Bird were on the Red Sox? They would be calling him the next Ted Williams and they would have retired his number already.

Anonymous said...

CAN YOU IMAGINE IF GREG BIRD WAS ON THE METS?..THE ULTIMATE "HYPE-MASTERS"...ALL YOU WOULD HEAR IS "STUD!" "STUD!" "STUD!"...EVERYONE IS A "STUD" WITH THEM...THEY CALL GUYS IN LOW A BALL "STUDS"... THE YANKS NEED TO "HYPE" OUR MINOR LEAGUE GUYS MORE..INSTEAD, WE CRUSH THEM (SEE REFSNYDER)...