FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS
Monday, January 4, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:14 AM
Why bother...? What's done is done... it's over... if the Yankees didn't care, why should we...
Well, I can tell you one thing I have learned: Nobody will ever invent a time machine. I know this because if people could go back in time, a die hard Yankee fan surely would set the Wayback to Dec. 3, 1969, steal Baby Hal Steinbrenner from the birthing room and then sell the infant to the Swedish mafia.
There is no point in continuing to weep over a rotten decision made nearly a year ago. We know the deal: Hal had emptied his penny purse on four-years of Chase Headley - $13 million per - and the Boy Owner was done with signing away his inheritance checks. As Moncada hit the market, we steeled ourselves for the certainty that another Cuban star was headed to LA or Arizona, or some Pittsburgh-like burg where "luxury taxes" don't exist. Nobody imagined we would ever lose a bidding war to Boston. No Yankee owner would allow it, certainly not a Steinbrenner.
Ever since Moncada, the stark reality has rocked us: The Yankees are no longer the premier team in baseball. They're not even the most interesting or fun to watch, and their owner - despite empty words to the media - puts frugality over winning. They possess the largest public relations apparatus in the game, if not in American sports, and it continually churns out a hopeful pitter-patter. Through this vast machinery - and the additional Wild Card slot - they can maintain a "pennant race" into late September. The tickets get sold.
This winter, the YES machine constantly touts our upper tier prospects - Mateo, Bird, Judge, Sanchez, etc. - and yes, there is hope in those names. But soon, Baseball America will start ranking farm systems instead of each team's Top Ten list, and the Yankees will fall in the middle of the pack, maybe even the lower end, behind the teams we need to beat. What's most maddening is that this didn't have to happen. We could have signed Moncada. We could be dreaming about a future keystone combination for the ages. Instead, we watch Boston, and we wince.