FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS

Sunday, December 13, 2015

When the music stops, the Yankees will be holding Beltran

Rumors - the oxygen of a fan's winter - whisper that Carlos Beltran will retire after the 2016 season. As rumors go, this is no shocker. To me, Beltran's other main option is bartending. The Yankees put most of their statues in Monument Park. Beltran is the first to play RF.

But enough about Beltran's mobility. He's had a great career, he's a fine teammate, and I'm tired of blaming Yankee players for the hubris of Yankee management. No player deserves to be booed because he got old. The issue with Beltran has always been the wisdom of giving a guy a three-year deal just two years after rejecting him for a two-year contract. I'm still scratching my head over that one. I guess I always will.

It happened during a two-week shopping fiasco only a few Christmases ago. Robbie Cano was jogging off to Seattle, and something snapped in Hal Steinbrenner's fanny pack of a brain. He became a buying whirlwind. He signed Ellsbury to seven years, McCann to five, and Beltran to three - poof - before the eggnog had time to kick in. Hal wanted to paint over the loss of Robbie, and apparently, he thought he could buy another world championship - poof - as he sort of did in 2009.

Ever since, the Yankees have pleaded poverty every December, as surely as the Baby Jesus pops up in the manger scene in the town square. And now, we have one more year of Beltran to endure. One more long, sad year of injuries, eroding production and catchable balls dropping in front of him.

I remember the first month of Beltran as a Yankee. Just as he was catching his stride, he somersaulted over the wall, chasing a foul pop. He was never the same. Last season, he stank through May, then recovered. He hit one of the most important home runs of the year and ended up leading the Yankees in hitting, but that's really because nobody else could beat .270. He'll probably do less this year. And he is a DH playing the outfield. There will be a desire to boo the guy. But it's not his fault.

The music stopped, and we ended up with Beltran. Let's hope Yankee Stadium this season is not rocked by the sounds of fans booing a decent fellow.

What the front office needs to hear is silence.

8 comments:

Alphonso said...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what is with you?

You sound positively forgiving.

You would think it is the Xmas spirit, flowing in your veins.

I blame the old guy for taking the money, knowing he would suck.

I blame Hal for being born an idiot, and for tolerating Cashman.

Humbug

John M said...

"To me, Beltran's other main option is bartending. The Yankees put most of their statues in Monument Park. Beltran is the first to play RF."

This is major league funny. This is amazingly inspired. Bob Hope had a dozen writers or more, and they usually didn't come up with stuff this good in a month of Sundays. And here, it's just one semi-retired guy whose book I have to buy for about five people as a Christmas gift.

It doesn't matter who said it...Kean or Gwenn or Jack Lemmon...but dying is easy and comedy is hard. Duque tosses off gems like this a few times a week. Writers out there know what I'm talking about. This guy is really good.

Mazel tov, dude.

el duque said...

Much obliged. Every morning, I get up around 5:30, drink three cups off coffee and do the most enjoyable thing that I do all day: I rant about the Yankees.

Alphonso could tell you that I've been doing this - via email to him - since there was email. I will do it until the day I die. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

THIS BLOG IS THE FIRST THING I GO TO ONCE I GET UP, IT'S GREAT EL DUQUE.....SORRY I TOSS THE CURSE WORDS FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT IT COMES FROM PURE YANKEE CONCERN/RAGE....I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT WE HAVE BECOME THESE DAYS....I'LL BE WAITING IMPATIENTLY FOR A RETURN TO GLORY DAYS.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Amen to all of the above!
There's not a day that goes by that I don't check in here, it's the only relief that I get concerning this team.
Bless you El Duque, and all of the merry pranksters that sail with the good ship Sterling!

Local Bargain Jerk said...


Well said, John M. I couldn't agree more, particularly your observation about how easy El Duque makes it all look. El D's gift for making twisted -- and funny as hell -- analogies is a marvel.

Anonymous said...

Beltran, while certainly not the player he was at age 28, was pretty good this past season. He did his job, and that cannot be argued. Hopefully, he has the same output in the coming season. Can't say that I understand the Wilson deal, and not signing a #1 to date, but there's still time. Castro is an upgrade in the middle infield, although it'd be great to have seen Refsnyder get a chance.

Alphonso said...

It is true.

What Duque says.

About getting up early I mean.

And ranting about the Yankees.

He knows stuff.

Sometimes.

We can't all be poets.