Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust: The Yankee season ends where it began... an old, bloated team going nowhere

And so it ends... just as it began.

John Sterling was wrong: You can predict baseball.

In April, few Yankee fans offered great hopes. The infield looked shaky. Nobody understood why we invested four years into Chase Headley, while the boy owner, Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner was touting fiscal restraint. We wondered about Stephen Drew, we feared the inevitable injuries to Tex, Gardner, Ellsbury, CC, etc., and when A-Rod strode to the plate, you heard mostly boos. We saw a team that, with luck, would win a few more games than it lost. And you know what?

The 2015 Yankees proved to be exactly the old and tired team we expected them to be in April. It just took 163 games to show up.

You know something else? I'm glad it's over. I'm glad they shot themselves in the head rather than torture us over a week, ripping off the Band-aid, inch by inch. This wasn't death row in Oklahoma. This was humane.

Fact is, this team has been stone-cold dead for a month. We were just stuck in Elizabeth Kubler Ross's first stage of grief - Denial. Today, we can finally move into Stage Number 2: Anger. 

And let's come to grips with something: Our brief fling atop the AL East came about mostly because the AL East was - back in June - baseball's worst division. And when everything started collapsing, we turned to that ultimate crutch - no, not booze - but the extra one-game wild card slot - our mirage, our new definition of "the post-season."

It's over. Or at least, this year is.

The fact is, we are probably closer to the beginning of this long-term malaise than to the end. 

That's because the Yankees still do one thing really well: Self-congratulation. They spent the month of July handing out awards - A-Rod won Comeback, Brian Cashman would make the Hall of Fame, everybody's number would be retired - and in September, it was their incredible prospects - Greg Bird and Luis Severino - bedrocks of a future resurgence. But if you compare them to the talent regularly bubbling up in other teams, we are middle of the pack. Right where we were at the start of the season.

In any other franchise, heads would roll. (Boston, Seattle and California have all changed GMs.) But we know how this will shake out. Some obscure strength coach, or minor league manager - (they already cut loose their man at Scranton) - will walk the plank. Joe Girardi - and there is no kind way to say this - had an absolutely terrible year as manager. But he will probably return. And Cashman - by orchestrating Billy Eppler's move to California - has eliminated his primary successor. Once again, he displays his greatest genius: Surviving without success.  

Well, there's always next year: Season three of Ellsbury's seven-year deal. Does anybody expect Tex, A-Rod, Beltran and CC to improve?

In the great seasons of 1996-2000, the Yankees often stumbled in May, then rallied at the end. These Yankee teams surge in May and spend the rest of the season watching water drain from the tub.

Well, it's over. And The Master is wrong. You can predict baseball. The trouble is, when the future is as bleak as ours, who wants to?


Tom said...

"You know something else? I'm glad it's over. I'm glad they shot themselves in the head rather than torture us over a week, ripping off the Band-aid, inch by inch. This wasn't death row in Oklahoma. This was humane."

100 percent correct. This was not any kind of good team, based on the past 6 weeks.

And the fucking contracts that must be honored: A-Rod, CC, Tex, Beltran, Headley, Ellsbury, McCann and Tanaka who still needs to repair his ellbow.

These will ensure that we go nowhere for at least three or four seasons. How do these guys keep their jobs?

Haha! Who said it? Depends -- the official undergarment of the New York Yankees. (Brilliant!)

KD said...

this organization as it currently stands is nothing more than a giant turd. I say flush it. yet look at me. already bought my 2016 tickets. KD is kinda dumb. (This an homage to the old, venomous anonymous, wherever he/she/it may be.)

KD said...

looking forward to the hot stove this winter. also, hope I don't have to wait for The Book to understand what happened in the Yankee clubhouse the last few weeks. should be riveting. My prediction is that CC was forced into rehab and banned from post season play, but only after the team had already been poisoned. The YES men at RAB will be made fools.

Tom: I think it was our Dutch fan that coined the brilliant new banner for duque's precious blog.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Yes, it's was our Dutch Fan that coined the 'depend' moniker, praise thee DF, you've struck gold!!!!

And, I'm getting a tad heartfelt now, I just wanted to say a mega thank you to all who rode w this good ship IIHIIFIIC over the course of this wacky up and down, then really down & downer year!
THIS BLOG WAS MY FAVORITE THING ( rally caps) about this season, well, that and JULY, and it's always a blast and a solace to read your thoughts, comments, bitching and waxing nostalgic tear jerking moments concerning all things Yankees. I always check in every few days post season to see what you've posted, it's a beautiful crazy obsessed family of misfits and geniuses, and I feel so blessed to have stumbled upon this site oh so many years ago!

Anonymous said...

"Good evening... Good Winter..."

There's something about that which really got me.

KD said...

there'll be more to come, Ken of Brooklyn. I have a feeling this winters hot stove will be full of outrages. and I HAVE ENJOYED YOUR COMMENTS VERY MUCH! :-)

BTW, where the hell did LBJ go? MIA LBJ!! Hope he didn't croak on us or become a Cubbie fan.