Monday, October 5, 2015

Not wasting one victory, the Yankees rival their owner in frugality

Somewhere within the Stygian darkness of the murky 1980s - the era of Human League, Wham and Huey Lewis & the News - the Yankees ended up with Phil Rizzuto in the WPIX booth, clinging to a distant hope that Jesse Barfield would return to his glory days of hitting. And whenever Jesse pounded a massive, sky-high pop-up into the stratosphere, The Scooter would exclaim how Jesse "jeeeeeeussssssssssssst missed that one," that Jesse came within one tiny micrometer of blasting that ball into deep space. He jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeusssssssst missed... So close.

Let the books show that the 2015 Evil Empire produced 87 victories, three more than 2014 and jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeussssssssst enough to qualify for the 5th Annual Bud Selig Memorial One-Game Wild Card Turkey Shoot.

Once the Yankees clinched this remarkable achievement, our canny team of vets promptly clocked out and went into Jesse Barfield mode, which is also known as Casual Dress October. Nobody wasted a hit. Nobody wasted a quality start. They played miserably, horribly, embarrassingly, Barfieldingly - they peed themselves in public - only to be saved by sympathetic strangers - in this case, the normally hate-filled Arizona Diamondbacks.

In this way, the '15 Yanks mirrored their owner - (or more appropriately, his son) - Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner, who prides himself on finishing second in free agent auctions. Last winter, I'm Not Cheap finished a close runner-up in the race for Yoan Moncada, the Redsocks likely successor to Dustin Pedroia, and he nearly signed several others, too. We're lucky. What a waste those players would have been. The fact is, we didn't need more than 87 wins - and as the YES men constantly remind us, nobody expected the Yankees to make it this far! It's been a great year, we over-achieved, and even if this team doesn't make it past the Selig Piss-Off, we won jeeeeeeeeeusssssssssssssst enough to make the 2015 Wild Card.

Hoo. Ray.

Once upon a time, there was a philosophy that the Yankees would challenge every year, that they were not the Padres or Brewers or Royals, who build powerhouse teams simply by finishing last for a half-decade. The idea was that the Yankees sit on the biggest market in pro sports, and each year, they would plow the proceeds back into the team. Thus, even if they won a pennant, they would sign a Mike Mussina or a Jason Giambi, or whatever Asian star appeared on the horizon. Rooting for the Yankees was different from supporting any other team. Other fans hated you. They would pick arguments. When you lost, they came after you. Nobody ever expressed pity for you. It was a source of personal pride, and you had to carry it, and it was likely nothing else in sports. You were a goddamm Yankee fan.

Of course, as we know, the MLB rules changed and luxury taxes became oppressive - blah-blah-blah - but somehow I'm Not Cheap became so infatuated by cutting costs that he even stopped chasing the free agents who don't affect the payroll caps. A generation of Cuban and Japanese stars came to America, and with the exception of Tanaka - a case where I'm Not Cheap was practically shamed into forking over the money (and he's been worth every penny, by the way) - the whole plan has been Barfieldian - to spend as little as possible and win jeeeeeeeeeeeeeussssssssst enough for that final open slot.

And they did it. They achieved their objective! Hoo. Ray.

Yep, the YES brigade is absolutely right. For the Yankees, it's been a wildly successful year. They made the one-game playoff - literally coasting into it. We won jeeeeeeeeeeeeeussssst enough to be here, and now - well, who knows? We are 1-5, without driving in a meaningful run in the last week, but at least we didn't waste anything. That's frugality, folks! We're just like the owner: Jeeeeeeeuussssssssssssssst enough. In fact, close your eyes and look out in right, that's not Carlos Beltran out there. Isn't that Jesse Barfield? Hey, let's put on some Huey Lewis. I need a new drug.

14 comments:

KD said...

I worked at a service station (NOT a gas station) back when gas was 30 cents a gallon. One day a guy just rolled in next to the pumps. Rolled in, meaning no motor was running. His car simply coasted to a stop. Turns out he ran out a gas and had just enough forward momentum to reach my pump. Nothing more. I gassed him up and sent him on his way.

Kind of reminds me of the 2015 Yankees..

John M said...

A perfect analogy, KD. Well said.

And without caps lock, so I could actually read it.

Then again, maybe we should all start commenting in caps. It'll be our "personality," the Evil Empire incarnate, a Bronx cheer in typographic form.

YOU KNOW, IT JUST MIGHT WORK.

el duque said...

Tomorrow should be PLAYOFF CAPS TUESDAY.

Instead of growing playoff beards, we put on our RALLY CAPS.

Tom said...

Small correction: we finished 1-6.

Leave CAPS LOCK alone, please. He's fun and furious and he gives a shit -- which seems to be more than could be said for I'm Not Cheap and his merry band of idiots. (Don't want to get into a big argument that might splinter our orthodoxy. It just seems that we can't afford to chase any parishioners away.)

Tom said...

BELIEVE and it will BE. PLAYOFF CAPS TUESDAY!!!!!!!!

GREAT IDEA!!!

Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON THE BUTTON...WASN'T THE IDEA SUPPOSED TO BE THE YANKS CHARGE A FORTUNE FOR EVERYTHING AT THEIR NEW BALLPARK, AND THE FANS REWARD IS THE TEAM KEEPS PUTTING AT LEAST SOME OF THE MONEY BACK INTO THE TEAM? THAT WAS THE TRADE-OFF, WHICH YANKEE FANS HAPPILY LIVED WITH...BUT NOW WE HAVE TO LIVE WITH CHRIS CAPUANO, STEPHEN DREW, BRENDAN RYAN, CHASE HEADLEY, CHRIS YOUNG, AND DUSTIN ACKLEY... WTF IS GOING ON?!?!? HAL!..CASH!..WAKE UP! YOU HAVE PUT A BORING PRODUCT ON THE FIELD FOR 3 YEARS RUNNING..ATTENDANCE IS DOWN, AND THE GOD DAMN METS HAVE PRETTY MUCH TAKEN OVER NEW YORK (WHICH MAKES ME PUKE).....WAKE UP!!!!!

Anonymous said...

THANKS TOM...I LOVE THE "PLAYOFF CAPS" IDEA!...LETS WIN THIS MFing GAME TUESDAY, AND REGROUP!.....AND YES!..I DO CARE MAN!

ceeja said...

Slogans for 2015 Yankee Post-season campaign:

1. If you keep expectations low, you can't be disappointed
2. You gotta bereave
3. What me worry
4. Did it ever occur to Cashman that we might be facing a lefty in the post-season?
5. The horror! The horror!
6. I want Shreve to be the pallbearer at my funeral -- so he can let me down one last time
7. More dough for Hal; More dough for Hal
8. Why do they have an interleague game to start the post-season?
9. We've got Keuchel and Price just where we want them
10. I'm glad I have Ryan instead of that overrated, jogging Cano

Ken of Brooklyn said...

GREAT IDEA guys! And I'm with you Tom, lock caps are hard to read, but I enjoy & look forward to everything he writes, so Anonymous, rock on with your locks on my friend!

PLAYOFF CAPS TUESDAY, here we come!

kd said...

ceeja: loved your list, esp. No. 6. LOL!!

I am in for the PLAYOFF CAPS.

FOR THE REST OF OUR POSTSEASON RUN, IT'LL BE ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME.

ceeja said...

I'M ALL IN KD. I WAS GOING TO PUT IN A LINE ABOUT CAPUANO, BUT I'M STILL TOO TRAUMATIZED EVEN TO JOKE ABOUT THIS GUY.

Anonymous said...

THANKS KEN...THE CAP LOCKS STAY!..(ESPECIALLY IF WE WIN THIS BULLSHIT GAME TUESDAY).

Anonymous said...

GOOD LIST CEEJA.....#6 & #9 MADE ME CHUCKLE...

Blind Robin! said...

"Cruel Summer" by Bananarama comes to mind.