Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yankee Management Philosophy 101 (via Professor Carlos Beltran): “He’s a guy that’s signed here for seven years, so he’s the guy.”

Two nights ago, rookie Slade Heathcott inscribed himself into the 2015 season - and psychotic Yankee fan lore - with a climatic, game-winning home run.

And that's how people vanish from the New York Yankees...

FACT: Amelia Earhart, before disappearing in the Pacific, went 4 for 5 in a pickup softball game managed by Joe Girardi's grandmother.

FACT: Judge Crater, in his final appearance in pinstripes, threw six shutout innings for a team run by Brian Cashman's Aunt Louise.

FACT: Jimmy Hoffa, before going to bed somewhere below the Meadowlands' goal posts, homered to beat the Redsocks in 6-year-old Hal Steinbrenner's Strat-O-Matic League.

The Lindberg baby? Had just penned a Yankee contract. D.B. Cooper? Went 3-for-4 for Ralph Houk's beer league. The Lost Roanoke Colony? A new Yankee farm club. The crew and passengers of Malaysian Flight 370? You don't wanna know! (But it had something to do with A-Rod's cabana boy.)

So Heathcott - after delivering in the clutch - disappears into the void. Just as Rob Refsnyder did in July: Both rookies made one fundamental mistake: They homered to win a game. From there: Poof!

But wait: It's not just a rookie thing. On August 31, for one resounding moment in time, Stephen Drew started hitting. He went 4 for 4 against Atlanta. That's no misprint. Drew went four for four. So, next day... what happens? He sits. Yes, HE SITS! Of course, he does! He comes in as a late defensive replacement in an 8-3 loss to Boston. (He gets a meaningless hit, naturally.)

Last night, Yankee fans got to appreciate the flip-side of our franchise policy: Making sure the guy in a deep, soul-consuming slump stays put. I'm talking about the current pariah - Jacoby Ellsbury - who hasn't hit since Donald Trump declared, and who Joe Girardi refuses to bench, or rest, or drop in the order because - as Joe explains it, such a move would disrupt the fine-tuned Yankee clown car, as it clunks along the shoulder of the road. Nope. Joe will wait until Ellsbury goes 2 for 4 and then give him a night off.

So we take bets on which will happen first: Ellsbury will start hitting, or he'll tweak something.

Over the years, I've backed Joe Girardi. When the Yankees fail, I blame the boy owner. (I still scream as the thought of Yoan Moncada.) But this year - and I'm talking anecdotally - (which apparently is the formula by which we intend to elect the next President) - it seems as though Girardi has made bad decisions over and over. As The Donald would say: He's not having a good night.

Today's Times headline says, "Struggles At Plate Continue as Yankees Lose to Rays," and it's almost entirely about Ellsbury. The Daily News says, "Ellsbury Keeping Chin Up Despite Slump." Even the happy talkers in the YES booth spent last night chattering about whether Ellsbury should be out there. And the team keeps sliding. (Say, has anyone noticed how Michael Kay spends two hours each day whacking the Yankees on the radio, and then three hours each night, boosting them on YES. Poor guy is going to go nuts.)

This weekend, we have the Mets - who look ready to seal their hold on NYC by crushing us - and then we go to Toronto. Anybody who thinks the Yankees are a lock for the Wild Card - they're crazy. We have Ellsbury to watch. We have the Yankee motto: We signed him for seven, and we have five to go. Quick: Does anyone have a photograph of Slade Heathcott? We need it for the milk cartons.


John M said...

And again, I went to bed a tad early, the lead safe thanks to a rookie's home run. Guess it wasn't.

Does this mean Girardi is going to sit Bird? So Ackley can get more time at first?

KD said...

Slade isn't gone, duque. He spent the night in the dugout filling cups with Gatorade for the dehydrated millionaires. Joe knows how to play the hot hand!

Thomas DeAngelo said...

Betances was on the same milk carton in the 8th last night as Joe implemented hit July bullpen directives.

Tom said...

Betances' arm is hanging by a thread, although he's still preferable to the collection of mop-up men in the broom closet.

Yes, the Heathcott-Ellsbury thing is weird and difficult to understand for all the reasons Duque described, but Joe's bullpen decisions are so mechanical and lacking in judgement that he should not only be fired but expunged from all record books. He has Scott Proctored Betances and the rest of the guys are sitting there with their thumbs up their butts with no regular or predictable work. For the past decade, the most successful teams have had relief corps, a group of guys who got the job done and arrived in the post-season ready to roll. Girardi's approach is to find a guy who has two good outings and then ride him til he dies and then find another.

We got problems with this Girardi guy at the helm.

John M said...

Tom, I agree. For just about the entire season there hasn't been anyone in the pen who can stop the other team except Betances and while their arms are in danger of falling off, last night shows why there ain't really any other way.

Remember in the off season how we stocked the pen with all these younger guys who can throw 98 at will? That worked out really well...

This team is so thin in almost every aspect, even with a 40-man roster. Especially since nobody can be allowed to play, aside from a stray game or two, besides Drew and Ellsbury and the collection of veteran lugnuts.

Ackely! What a pick up. Price and Tulo and Pennington and all those guys the Jays got? Pikers.

jdrny said...

There's a new name coming out of the bullpen almost every day.
I agree. Most good teams have a core of relievers that have been with the team the entire year.
You don't try out rookies in September.