Friday, October 9, 2015

As the experts unveil plans for next season's Wild Card chase, Yankee fans should ask an essential question: Are we getting anywhere?

Over the last three years, no team in baseball has been more infatuated with the one-game Wild Card than the New York Yankees.

In 2013, we lashed ourselves to Alfonso Soriano and company, desperately chasing the last open slot.. doing it for Mariano. The following season, we did the same damn thing with Jeter - grabbing the likes of Capuano and Drew. This year, we won that precious slot - (for who, CC?) - and we lasted nine wretched innings.

Each year, we fielded a middling team, a few games above .500, which is all it takes to chase the Wild Card.

During this period, the Redsocks went from last to a World Series ring. The Astros jumped from dwarf to Goliath. The Cards became baseball's modern dynasty, and the Dodgers became the Yankees. The Royals and Giants turned into elite organizations, and the Mets and Jays may join them.

And next year, we'll chase that Wild Card slot.

Folks, I got bad news for you:

It's a scam. It's a mirage. It's a Bernie Madoff deal. It's the carrot that keeps perpetual also-rans from building a team. And the Yankees have become the midway dolt that keeps plunking down his cash, thinking he'll break the balloons and win the Kewpie. 


Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner's most cherished vow is that the Yankees shall challenge every season - never take a year off. Well, with the Wild Card, that's not so hard to do. Five games above .500 - and hey! you're in the Wild Card race!

The new reality of baseball - actually, it's not new; it's been this way for five frickin' years - is that you build a powerhouse by finishing low. (Yep, we are the NFL.) If you're near the bottom, you draft high and can sign free agents without losing your pick. If you're stuck in the middle, you stay in the middle. At some point, the Yankees will get this. Every other team in baseball did four years ago.

Why am I saying this? I mean, you all know it. But lately, have you read the slop that's being spewed by the "expert" blogs and publications?

Lately, they're talking up the trades we must make to challenge in 2016. (They don't say challenge for the Wild Card.) We should trade Greg Bird! We should trade Jorge Matos! We should trade Rob Refsnyder! Put them in a package! Trade them! After all, the Yankees must challenge next year, right?

Well, here's a question for the experts: If in July, when we held a seven game lead in the AL East, we decided to keep our prospects, instead of trading for a Price or a Tulo... why in Hell would we do it now? We kept them... for what? To trade them this winter?

Sooner or later, the Yankees must rebuild. Sadly, to just say the words "rebuilding year" is blaspheme in the Yankiverse. At River Ave - the preeminent  Yankee blog - people get mocked, if not attacked, just for suggesting it. This is madness.

For better or worse, it's time for the Empire to reap what they sow - to play what their farms supply. If we suck, let's suck. Let's get it out of our system. Three years from now, the Yankees could be a power. Or we can still be chasing the Wild Card.

Let 2015 go down as the year we won a Wild Card birth. Now, we know what it's like. Let's learn from it. There has to be a better way.

3 comments:

John M said...

Sign David Price, Zach Grienke, Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann. Trade Nova for whatever we can get. Severino could use another year of seasoning. He's almost ready. Keep Tanaka or Eovaldi. Cut or bench Drew, that other guy who had the moustache, give Tex and A-Rod and Beltran lots of days off, trade Headley for a bag of beans. We'll need a third baseman. Spell Ellsbury, since if you don't he'll be out with injuries anyway. Play Bird, Ref, Slade most days.

It's not much, but it's a start.

Anonymous said...

WHAT HAPPENED TO HAL'S "EVERY YEAR, WE ALWAYS WANT TO PUT FORTH A CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER BALLCLUB" ??? REMEMBER THAT STATEMENT???

Anonymous said...

WHO WAS THE GUY THAT SAID HE WANTED DANIEL MURPHY FOR THE YANKEES? LOL.. YOU SEE LAST NIGHT? FIRST GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS? HE GETS MOST OF THE BIG HITS (IN THE CLUTCH) FOR THOSE METS...AND HE DID IT OFF KERSHAW THE LEFTY...THAT SWING TRANSLATES INTO 25 HOMERS AND 80 RBI's IN YANKEE STADIUM...I STILL WANT REFSNYDER TO GET THE 2ND BASE JOB, BUT IF HE DOESN'T, THEN I WANT DANIEL MURPHY FOR 2ND BASE FOR US IN 2016...HOW ABOUT REF AT 2ND AND DANIEL MURPHY AT 3RD??? SEND HEADLEY SOMEWHERE, (PICK UP SOME OF HIS SALARY)..(I KNOW THAT AIN'T HAPPENING), BUT I AM JUST LOOKING FOR WAYS TO GET A REAL OFFENSE TOGETHER!..WE MUST GET CREATIVE!...SOMETHING KID CASH JUST ISN'T GOOD AT...WE CAN'T GO ON WITH THIS OFFENSE ANY LONGER!!!