Later this month, if the Yankees need a float in the big parade down the Canyon of Heroes, here's my suggestion:
Evil Empire fans face the most humiliating World Series scenario since 1986 - two Yankee nemeses, the Blue Jays and Mets. Both look like powerhouses for years to come.
Meanwhile, everywhere we look, we see ex-Yankees. The Mets offer the Core Formers: Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon, Tyler Clippard and Kelly Johnson. Clippard represents one of Cashman's worst trades in history - we dealt him for Jonathan "The Raccoon" Albaladejo, straight-up. We also whiffed on Colon, whom we resurrected and then let go, with four solid seasons still in his butterball physique. I guess it was time for the Grandy Man to leave, and Kelly Johnson - well - bleugh. But once upon a time, a player was blessed to wear Pinstripes. Now, the blessing is to take them off.
The Cubs have the guy we traded for Curtis - the oft-traveled Austin Jackson, another player YES Network assessments conveniently forget. Chicago also has the Yankee killer, Jon Lester, and of course, Theo Epstein, Cashman's old buddy. I can't help but think some gentleman's agreement between the two allowed the Yankees to sit out the bidding for Jorge Soler, when he came from Cuba, but - hey - winning is winning, and friends are friends.
Toronto has three modern Yankee killers - Price, Tulo and Bautista, (whose HR bat flips used to inspire bean balls.) They have Russell Martin - who stands as I'm Not Cheap's original sin - (we wouldn't give him a two-year deal) - and LaTroy Hawkins and Jeff Francis, a few of Cash's shots-in-the-dark, and Dioneer Navarro, whom we traded as a baby - long, long ago - in a package for Randy Johnson. (R.I.P. Admiral Halsey.)
The Royals are the Royals, who like anything from Kansas City, once meant they were comprised of future Yankees. Now, I'm not so sure. In the new NFL, KC might keep its stars, at least until age 37, when we gobble them up. Like everything in America anymore, it depends on the whims of the Billionaire In Charge.
Who should we root for? Damned if I know. I was sort of hoping Don Mattingly would get a ring this year. Something tells me - and don't quote me, but I feel it - that Mattingly will be the manager who someday pilots the Yankees out of this abyss. Sometimes, that's the how the juju gods operate. It would be wonderful to watch - like Joe Torre's resurrection, on steroids - but if I'm right, we're three to four years away. Anybody know a cheap, cosmic fast-forward button?