FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS
Friday, November 13, 2015
Could the Yankees play an exhibition game in Cuba? Horrors, somebody, shield Hal Steinbrenner's eyes, so he doesn't have to see the talent he won't bid on
Posted by el duque at 6:14 AM
Then came el Duquecitto, and Andy Morales, and - cough - Jose Contreras. The latter was supposed to be Old George's great triumph: He outbid Boston - and Theo Epstein - to sign the legendary "Bronze Titan." It didn't work out. And ever since, the Empire has turned its back on one of the great markets in the world.
Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner sat on his fanny pack in auctions for Yasseil Puig, Jorge Soler, Yasmany Thomas, Alexei Ramirez, Amauri Sanit, Brayan Pena, Hector Olivera, Leyonys Martin, Kendrys Morales, Yuneski Maya, Jose Iglesias, Adeiny Hechavarria, Yunel Escobar, Aroldis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Yuniesky Benacourt, Jose Abreu, and many more.
Oh, did I mention Yoan Moncada? Hal finished runner-up on that one, too.
We whiffed on a generation of Cuban talent. The reason? There were other bidders. "I'm Not Cheap" doesn't like bidding wars. Why should an owner need to bid on the hired help? You want Cubans? Hal signed Ronnier Mustellier and Adonis Garcia - both for peanuts - and sequestered them in Scranton until their sell dates expired. He also shagged Juan Miranda, who we traded for Scott Allen, a minor league pitcher who last week selected free agency, which - in fact - reminded me of this sorry exercise in organizational poor-mouthing and chinziness.
(Oh, by the way... Let the record show that, after escaping like Snake Plisken from NY, Contreras helped win the World Series for the Chicago White Sox. And Adonis Garcia - after being released by the Yankees last winter - was signed by Atlanta and in 191 at bats, hit 10 HRs and batted .277. That's pretty much what Greg Bird did (actually, better average.) If Garcia did that for the 2015 Yankees, the YES drivel patrol would have gone crazy, saluting the front office for its brilliance.
So now, the Yankees are being mentioned for a possible exhibition game in Cuba? Great. But here's a suggestion: While the team goes to Havana, put Hal in a submersion tank. It's better he has an excuse for not seeing the talent. Then he won't have to feel bad, sitting out bidding war.