Super Poll: Which is the better management team?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

When Tex goes down, it's time to go nuclear with juju

One of these days, Mark Teixeira will blast a line drive double to the gap in right-center, exactly where the defense has positioned their fielder, and as the Yankee 1B retreats to the dugout, he will seem to be staring at his Jumbotron portrait and .193 average. In fact, he won't be staring at anything. His neck will have turned to stone, like those gray scale men in Game of Thrones, and the 2016 Yankees will be heading into Overbay Overdrive.

We will be setting the Wayback to 2013, the season when Tex walloped 3 HRs and drove in 12 - precisely his current numbers. (He's batting 30 points higher than the .158 he managed that year.)

If you haven't successfully blotted it from memory, 2013 was the year of Lyle Overbay, a generally pleasant and over-achieving soul, who was plucked from the scrap heap and who turned in a serviceable season for a team going nowhere. Overbay hit 14 HRs and batted .240 - the kind of numbers that would rile us from Headleys or Jacobys, but with Overbay - hey, it was hard to get angry. (Also, he gave us some clutch hits along the way.)

Somewhere out there is the next Yankee Overbay, and my guess is that it's only a matter of time before Teixeira's neck issue demands a DL vacation. You don't mess around with neck issues, and they don't just magically go away.

Yesterday, the Yankees lost their backup 1B - Dustin Ackley - who wasn't hitting or fielding particularly well. Now, they're talking about the backup catcher, Austin Romine playing 1B. Of course, down in Scranton, Nick Swisher is surely taking his cellphone into the shower, fearful of missing the call. It would be a nice homecoming, Swisher returning to the place of his greatest triumphs. Folks will cheer like he's 29. But he's 36, and the knees are 80.

Listen: Desperate times call for desperate juju.

I say we empty the juju tank: We trade for Michael Pineda to Toronto for Jesus H. Montero, the lost savior, who is now playing 1B for the Buffalo Bisons. A straight-up deal, a karmic end to one of the greatest nothing trades in baseball history. And to those who would say we're giving up a major league starting pitcher for a Triple A firstbaseman, I say, just wait 'till Toronto gets a few starts from Pineda, and then let's see.

In his last 10 games, Montero is hitting .349 with 2 HRs. (For the season, he's hitting .306, with five.) He's 26. He's no longer eating ice cream sandwiches. He's eaten a lot of crow. If we have the choice of bringing back Swisher and/or Jesus, I'll take the guy 10 years younger. And it wouldn't bother me to see Pineda consistently enticing - and then disappointing - somebody else. We'll be in Overbay Overdrive, anyway.

Monday, May 30, 2016

One game below parity, a season adrift

I'm no math pervert, but the 2016 season is 30 percent kaput, and good riddance. We remain a game below baseline mediocrity - .500, statistical ground zero. Actually, we have a better record than 11 other teams. We are tied with the Detroit frickin' Tigers. The Philadelphia Phillies have better numbers. The Philadelphia Phillies.

If stats mean a goddamm thing, Carlos Beltran is on course to hit 36 HRs and drive in 90 runs, but neither will happen, because he'll tweak something. Our HR leader could turn out to be Starlin Castro, who could hit 30, unless he tweaks something. My guess is that he'll tweak something. Maybe I'll tweak something. Maybe the fabric of the universe will tweak something.

If he doesn't tweak something new, A-Rod projects to hit 18 HRs, which would leave him around 710 on the old career tab. Today, he is 7 away from 700, which will generate publicity and ticket sales, and between home runs and his Google girlfriend, we should have a least a few back pages in our hip pockets. His next - and quite possibly final - career milestone would be the 714th HR, tying him with the Babe. It'll be close. Come September, that could be what are doing: Watching A-Rod and - if she doesn't tweak something - Chewbacca Mom.

The big event on the 2016 calendar is the July 31 trade deadline. The Yankees must decide whether to be sellers or buyers. What prospects could we get for El Chapo, as opposed to what veterans can we get for Aaron Judge? The fulcrum point is coming.

Right now, the Phillies have a better record than we do. The Phillies.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Whither Ruben Amaro?

It's Memorial Day, and in memory of the 1966 team it's time to point out that after 48 games, they were 22-25-1. We are currently 23-25. I'd say we're well on the way to equaling the Great Collapse, even if our current collapse has been slower and more of a constant, debilitating, dull kind of pain as opposed to the sharp, quick, shiv-in-the-ribs kind of pain felt in 1966.

I just saw the best play of the season at third base and it was pulled off by Ronald Torreyes. He was lauded as a great find in the utility infielder role yesterday by somebody or other on the Yankees radio or TV network (Kenny and John are currently doing it again today.), but this play does make you wonder why he isn't in the lineup every day. Oh, wait, he's not signed to a long-term, gazillion-dollar contract...never mind.

Something went wrong with the type here, but it's Memorial Day weekend and I can't be bothered. Besides, we're a mediocre team, why seek perfection in blog posts? Cashman wouldn't care, neither would Hal.

There's an article in the Times today about marriage and taking a more realistic view thereof, since there is no such thing as a truly perfect match. It contains this line, which seems appropos for Yankees fans this year:

"Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for."

Pineda's Latest Bomb



I have one thing to say in Pineda's defense;

Carlos should not be playing right field for the Yankees.

That two out triple, which was followed by a home run, should have been the third out.  Anyone of major league caliber would catch it.  Those 2 runs placed the game on the runway called, " blowout coming."  In my view, both were unearned.  Both were on Girardi and the line-up he fashions, now that our big gun ( A-Rod ) is back swinging the bat.

Carlos, a decade ago, was a fine fielder and great hitter.

He just can't run any more.

Neither can I.

But I would have caught that one.

We are making it far too easy for our opponents.

This is your captain speaking. Some passengers have reported seeing smoke coming out of the right-side wing. It is nothing to worry about. We will, however, be experiencing turbulence in the next few minutes, so the SEAT BELT sign will be on...

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. It's 90 degrees in upstate New York, Alphonso's coming to visit, and I gotta take a handful of aspirin.

Here's a bold prediction: In the next few weeks, something is going to happen. I don't know what. We might win some games. We might lose some games. But something will happen. Something...

(Hey, that's why we're Yankee fans, right? Because we believe things will happen. We're not sure what they will be. If we knew, the games wouldn't be a surprise, am I right, am I right, am I right? You becha, I am! Of course, some of you will disagree. That's ok. Lively debate is important, especially on the subject of the New York Yankees, baseball's premier baseball team. Still, I don't mind going out on a limb here: I firmly believe you naysayers who say, "Nay! Nothing is going to happen..." you don't know nothing. Something is going to happen, and you can take that to the steak, Doctor Porterhouse!)

When I look into the Big IIHIIFIIc Crystal Ball, I see ex-Yankees returning. I see Swisher. I see Jesus H. Montero. It's a shame Lyle Overbay has retired. (Has Lyle Overbay retired?) It's almost a given that management will sign a name from the past, because that's what we do.

The Yankees are gunning for their 6th ever Wild Card. (Fun fact: The Redsocks lead all of baseball, with 7 Wild Card appearances. The Yankees are second, with five. The Rockies, Cardinals, Astros and Pirates are tied for third, with three apiece.) I don't think the 2016 Yankees are going to add to their Wild Card record. But something will happen.

And you know what? Aint agonna matter. Not to this team. Not to this to this owner. Not to this season. We are where we are. We are what we are.

The owner, the YES machine, and the Yankee Radio Network Driven By Jeep will all tell you that that 2016 Yankees compare favorably to most franchises in baseball.

But what they don't compare well to is... the Yankees.

Happy weekend. I gotta soak my head in ice water. Alphonso is coming.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two Ads, One Homer


I've barely posted at all this year, because I don't believe the Yankee High Command intends to do anything meaningful to help the team's chances until 2018. That's too depressing to harp on, even for this site. Forget I said anything. I'm not even here to talk about that. I just need to get a few things off my chest.

*          *          *

In the seventh inning of Wednesday's loss, Chase Headley homered with no one on base, improving the score to TOR 7 - NYY 2. John pronounced this the Ballantine Blast of the Game. Then he remembered (or someone reminded him) that solo homers are sponsored by some company with Solo in the name. So they got mentioned, too, giving one home run two sponsors. I bet even Babe Ruth never hit one of those. The next batter, Didi Gregorius, also homered, but John had run out of advertising tie-ins. Didi's dinger turned out to be that rare Yankee feat with no commercial value.

*          *          *

This notification arrived on my screens last night:


If you would like to know what Curt Schilling has to say about Hiroshima, and if your desire for this knowledge is sincere and without irony, please stay far the fuck away from me forever. Thank you.

*          *          *

Meanwhile, in the cooling shadow of the Cathedral of Baseball, Bronx Youth Group Wants Nearby Slaughterhouse to Move.
Passersby face puddles of animal blood on the sidewalk, harsh odors from animal feces, exposure to improperly disposed chicken carcasses and at times direct contact with improperly enclosed livestock...
*          *          *

I missed this, and maybe you did, too: on May 10, former Yankee and current Nippon-Ham Fighter Brandon Laird won a year's supply of beer when he homered off a Kirin Brewery sign in the left field seats of the Tokyo Dome:

If Tex can't play, Triple A is alive with ex-Yankee corner infielders

Today, another go at .500. Yeesh. You'd think it was Everest. Still, it's too nice outside for you to sit here and read a long, dreary post about the Yankees. But here are some exciting ponderings to ponder this Memorial Day weekend.

All Yankee farm clubs are playing well over .500. Scranton is seven games, Trenton is six, Tampa is 11 and Charleston is 13.

Our top hitter at Scranton is 28-year-old Donovan Solano, who is batting .301. He plays 3B. (Aaron Judge, who went 1-4 yesterday is mired at .248 with 7 HRs; the league-leader in HRs has 10.)

As for former Yankee corner infielders... wow... they dot Triple A. Can't help but think they could be had for the right price. The next Steve Pearce, anyone?

Jesus H, Montero, now a Buffalo of Toronto Bison, is hitting .298 with 5 HRs.

Remember mighty Casey McGehee? Went to Japan, came back, had a big year, then poof? He's hitting .287 with 2 HRs.

Rob Segedin - 3B we traded to the Dodgers for Tyler Olsen and Ronald Torreyes - he's at .311 in the Pacific Coast League (where everyone bats .300.)

Pete O'Brien - whom we traded to the Diamondbacks for Martin Prado - is hitting .306 with 12 HRs. He's still only 25, and I think he got called up to the bigs.

Here's another blast from past: Ronnier Mustellier - former Railrider who played 3B? He's .255 with 1 HR.

Kyle Roller, last year's All-Star 1B at Scranton: He's .223 and 4 HRs.

Scott Sizemore is still around, now a 3B. He's at .216.

Travis Ishikawa - played a handful of games for us, then was on San Francisco's World Series champs - he's .201.

Remember Yankee-killer Will Middlebrooks? He's still playing for Colorado, hitting .192. So long, Will.

And lastly, but not leastly - or beastily - our own Nick Swisher - .252 and 4.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cashman's Folly



Brian Cashman is King of  major league baseball garbage.

Look at today's line-up for evidence ( culled from that pile in the photo ):

1.  We have Austin Romine at first base.  Brian Cashman has treated this position like the NFL
Giants ( who are always 6-10 now ) treat linebacker.  Not since Carl Banks ( now a grandfather, I think ) have the Giants used a top pick for a key player at this spot.  And their record shows it.

Brian has followed the Giants' lead.  True, there was a guy named Bird who once was a hope.  But, like John Beason, Bird is a guy in a sling, sitting on the sidelines, riding a bicycle.  Finished.

So Austin Romine, otherwise known as Mr. Agility, gives the " big glove" a shot.  To my mind, his defense at first would be better if he used his catcher's mitt.  I think he suggested this, but Mr. Cashman does not want undue attention paid to the total and complete lack of resources the Yankees can bring to this need.  We have no position players of worth, anywhere in the minor leagues.  Not a single reason for hope.

2.  We start Greene ( "e" or no "e?" ) again.  He was shelled in his major league debut, and remains the best pitcher we have in Scranton.  I think his MLB ERA is in the 9's.  So this is a " give away" game.  It is like Toronto vs. West Point.

3.  Bullpen strength is added by bringing up someone else we just picked up off the trash heap. ( it is not worth noting his name or number ).  It just isn't. This is to protect the real bullpen talent, assuming that the Yankees will be down 8 runs in the third inning, and need someone to fall on their sword by eating innings, and blowing out their arm.

And here is an even worse thought;

If this team continues to founder, if the cellar becomes our comfortable home, Brian will salivate to bring our real bullpen pitchers to the trade table.  Whether it is the Gunslinger, Miller, Dellin ...or perhaps all three... letting Cashman trade for anyone is like letting Trump near the nuclear trigger.

Here is what this team has to build on;  three top guys in the bullpen...all relatively young...the best in baseball.  Trade them for more Stephen Drews?  For several  Michael Pineda?  For some developing Chasen  Shreve's ( now about to see Dr. Andrews, I think )?  Give up our only recognized assets to add more, " depth," to the starting staffs in Trenton and Scranton?  That has worked out really well so far.

Cashman has proven he has no ability to build a talent base, other than by buying past resumes, overpaying them, and hoping for the best.

 Let's be blunt: Brian Cashman  is a scourge to the team.  He is the devil incarnate.  The failure of the Yankees, the degrading of this proud franchise, is all due to his incompetence.  And the "hold" he has over the indifferent Hal Steinbrenner ( Who must have someone to unzip his fly when nature calls, because he certainly can't do anything by himself).

Don't let Brian Cashman near that trigger.

Yankees Drown Under Weight Of Money Chain



We all knew it was going to happen.

It just happened a day earlier than we anticipated.

The Yankees started their best, and longest, winning streak of the season and, " got even."  We finally were out of the cellar and sported a .500 record.  A starting place.

Like so many of our under .200 hitters;  finally a few bloopers drop in and the average crosses the Mendoza line.  A starting place.

Then, A-Rod returned.  All full of bubbles and toothy interviews, following two weeks at home and a couple of charity games at Hooters, in Trenton.  His final at bat was a signature " home run"...an A bomb from A-Rod...albeit, he it it against what is essentially an over age little league team that  Cashman put together as part of our great farm system.

And the word from Yankee brass is;  " If A-Rod is healthy, A-Rod plays."  They actually think he is a draw to the fans. The $25 million DH who hits about .200.

So A-Rod strides up against the lefty Toronto guy and posts a 0-4 with no RBI.  HIs presence caused a domino effect;  Carlos Beltran, our best and most productive hitter by far, goes from DH to right field.  That, despite his claims to the contrary, wears down the legs of a guy his age and weight.  So Beltran strikes out 4 times after hitting .500 during the streak, and knocking in virtually all our runs.

The domino also puts Hicks on the bench where his pursuit of a batting stroke dissipates. He becomes demoralized and starts spitting pumpkin seeds.  CC pitches a great 6 innings and is losing, again.  Lock up the Canadian Club.

Tex goes for a cortisone shot in the neck.  Our depth at first base reminds one of the back-up Presidential candidates in full debate, with FOX news.

Gary Sanchez gets hit in a dirt league game, fractures his thumb, and derails his career.  Not to worry, we must have a teenager playing catcher for us somewhere in the Dominican.

We are now 2 games under .500 and fading.  The team's confidence will soon be in the cellar.

As shall this team.

The fun part of the season, and our longest and best winning streak, is over.






Ho-hum, just another pointless exercise in frustration?

Yesterday, the music stopped, the mirror ball ceased to twinkle, and the 2016 Bronx Boredoms returned to business as usual. The team offered us a quintessential modern Yankee loss:: Take the lead early, solo blast, then say goodbye.

We faced J.A. Happ, fucking J.A. Happ, with an ERA of more than 10.00 over his previous two starts, and we made him look like Eddie Feigner throwing to the Utica Hose Company No. 4. Innings flew by like the chorus in that wretched Sia song, "Chandelier," which I can't rid from my head: "One-two-three-drink, one-two-three-drink..." When the game ended, it was a relief. I wanted to swing from the chandelier-eeeer... by a rope.

We are now two below .500, and last week's six-game win streak looks like a cruel practical joke in a teen angst movie. For almost a week, we actually thought this team might do something. John and Suzyn bought into it; they were sure the Yankees were returning to .500 - (How the bar has been lowered!) - and taking the series. After all, it was at home, and Toronto sucks this spring. What a crock.

Two things happened yesterday that kicked me in the Yankee balls.

1. The exiling of Rob Refsnyder back to Coal Country. For the second straight year, Refsnyder came up, played one game, produced a critical hit in a victory - and then, poof, disappears. It's becoming clear he will never get a decent shot with the Yankees. He will vanish into the Stygian abyss like the others who showed promise, but died in Scranton because there was simply no openings for them on high-priced Yankee teams, which that turned out to not be very good.

2. The release of Slade Heathcott, the oft-injured outfielder, who was once the jewel of our system. That was six years ago, and an ocean has passed under the bridge. Heathcott was going to be our Josh Hamilton, the flawed man-child who overcame personal demons to be a great Yankee. For six years, I checked his name in minor league box score. He may yet put together a decent career - he's 25, younger than Lou Pinella was as a rookie - but it won't happen with us.

In my opinion, Heathcott produced the most exciting Yankee moment of 2016. He came off the bench to hit a glorious three-run HR to win a game. Then, poof.

Lately, the Yankees are running radio ads, touting Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Jorge Mateo as the "stars of tomorrow." What a crock. How can anybody believe they'll ever get a chance?

Fourth place in the AL East, a half-game ahead of punchless Tampa - six behind the Redsocks. Is this team worth following?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Game played for Slade

In their constant churning for new arms, faces, wigs, etc., the Yankees today released outfielder and former top-draft pick Slade Heathcott.

Is he a victim of the recent six-game winning streak, which briefly rekindled Yankee hubris?

The Deadly Spinners, the band behind the WinWarble Song, hit the big time tonight

My sons, Hart and Kyle, which you know of as The Deadly Spinners, are in a band called Sheer Mag. They play your typical eighties-power-pop-garage-punk-skuzz, which is sometimes spelled "scuzz."

Tonight, they'll make their national television debut on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers.

22-23; in 1966, 20-24-1


Personally, I'm looking forward to the new Beatles album when it comes out this August. I read that it's called "Revolver" and has some really interesting production techniques on it.

Off to a protest march. See you soon.

This Mexican weed is crap.

It Is My Fault.....


I had been drinking manhattans, garnished by a cherry aged in "white lightening" ( the commercial variety ), when I got my gut feel and sense of certainty concerning the win streak.

Yesterday, I decided to go with vodka.  On the rocks with a twist.

That's what happened in the game.  The Yankees were on the rocks early.  The lesson I learned;  never change a routine in the middle of something good.

In retrospect, .500 was always the target.  Anything beyond that was pure greed.

And, likely, pure fantasy.

As Duque eloquently described;  this team has very little in pinstripes now, and far less in the minors.

Hoping for support from Cashman's farm system is like calling for a medic during battle, only to learn that there are none.

Hey, it can't be all bad.  Heathcott is still only 25 ( haven't we been saying that for about 12 years?).

God Bless Wade Boggs

The Yankees are baseball's version of the duck-billed platypus

With the return of A-Rod and a looming chance that Mark Teixeira could be out with a neck thingy, today's Yankees are the airplane with 12 propellers and one wing.

We have two DHs and no 1B.

We have three closers and nobody to hold a team if we're behind.

We have five starters and no ace. (Maybe Eovaldi, but let's not anoint anyone.)

We have nobody - upper case NOBODY - at Scranton, ready to ascend.

How did we get this way? Simple. An owner bankrolls a series of bad contracts, then declares austerity, leaving the team to take whatever it can find on the trade market and the scrap heap. But it's the overall failure of the farm system that is killing us.

I'd like to explore the Scranton situation for a moment. A few weeks ago, on a whim, I compared the ages of the Scranton and Boston lineups on the same night. These were the teams:

Scranton: Coke (33), Parmelee (28), Solano (28), Diaz (31), Refsnyder (25), Judge (24), Rodriguez (30), Heathcott (25), Rosario (24) and Gamel (23).

Boston: Porcello (27), Ramirez (32), Pedroia (32), Betts (23), Shaw (26), Bogaerts (23), Bradely (26), Holt (27), Ortiz (40), Vazquez (25).

Overall, Boston's lineup was seven years older. For that reason, I never wrote about it. But if Nick Swisher (35) had played that night for Scranton, or if Ortiz was being rested in Boston, our Triple A team would have been older than the Redsock lineup.

Insert primal scream.

And if Tex is out for - say - three weeks, it's time for a primal rage. The Yankees could find themselves having to trade prospects - and it hasn't been a good spring for our prospects - for a 1B, just to chase a wild card birth, or .500, while Boston is building a dominant, long-term powerhouse. Such a thought makes me puke. We're bringing back A-Rod and moving Beltran - our best DH - to RF, where his skills diminish, with Dustin Ackley at 1B, because we've developed nobody - upper case NOBODY - over the long haul.

Should we trade for Jesus Montero? Is Lyle Overbay still playing? Ooo-ooo, jumpin Jehoziphat! I got it: Move Headley to 1B, Castro to 3B and play Rob Refsnyder at 2B. Bad idea? Of course! But bad ideas are all we have.

Right now, I'd happily trade this season for one breakout Yankee prospect - just one - to be lighting up the minor leagues. At Salem, the Redsocks have three: 21-year-old 2B Yoan Moncada  (.316 with 30 stolen bases), 19-year-old SS Mauricio Dubon (.319, 14 SB) and 21-year-old OF Andrew Benitendi (.341) (he wasi recently got promoted to AA.) Our best hope is Jorge Mateo, 20, batting .312 at Tampa. Aaron Judge, our Goliath at Scranton, is slumping badly, and Gary Sanchez, our top catcher, just broke his thumb. Nobody is coming to save this team. Upper case NOBODY.

We have the most lopsided, ill-designed team in baseball. Two DHs, three closers, no 1B, no ace, no middle innings bullpen, and no farm. Tell me... Under what metric does the Yankee front office - through its chirping surrogates at YES - so constantly declare itself a success?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Win Streak

The easy work is done.

While no one was looking, the Yankees embarked on their longest win streak of the season and reached the esteemed .500 plateau.

Now the tough part begins.

As of tonight, teams must take us semi-seriously.  We are like an invasion of gnats at a picnic.

When I said, by the way, that the Yankees were starting ( and are now well-embedded in ) their longest win streak of the season, I meant it.  Literally.  This win streak, when it ends, will stand up to the test of the season.  It will be our longest and best.

So we need to make it a good one.

We win again tonight.

We go, "one game over .500," and the media can interview the players about how it feels.

Longest win streak of the season.

You read it first right here.

At last, ascending Yanks achieve magical .500 milestone

Five hundred... as many wins as losses... a 50-percent chance of rain... "She loves me/she loves me not"... glass half empty, glass half full... yes and no, nip and tuck, up and down... Pearl Jam albums... superhero match-up movies... bean sprouts... Miller High-Life... Playboy without the centerfold... the 2016 Yankees... 

Your Honor, members of the jury, esteemed courtiers of the press, fellow fans... Let the record show that on May 24, 2016, the New York Baseball Yankees climbed from the dank dungeon of .472 and achieved the status that in Gotham was once equated with Met-like mediocrity. The team reached .500. But in the new reality of Major League parity, a .500 team is a contender. The 2016 Yankees are now official contenders and, thus, deserve all the privileges and respect that traditionally befits such organizations. Congratulations to Mr. Steinbrenner, President Levine, Mr. Cashman, Mr. Girardi and all the players who achieved this remarkably middling goal.

OK, let's reboot this. I don't want to always be the downer blog. From now on, every negative line should be tempered with an equal dollop of enthusiasm. Frankly, I'd rather be .500 and rising, which is what we are. Since A-Rod went on the DL May 3, we are 14-7. Since Donald Trump tweeted his May 5 taco to 11 million amigos, we are 13-6. Since El Chapo arrived from his domestic turmoil suspension, we are 11-4. Since Brigadoon Refsnyder returned from beyond The Wall, we are 3-0. We are baseball's hottest team. John and Suzyn spent half last night's game giggling like teenagers in sleeping bags.

If the season ended today, we'd finish three games out of the prestigious AL Wild Card Away Game Birth. This would mean we achieved a September race and thus, sold tickets to the end. The owner would say he's not satisfied, but nobody would lose his job, and the Steinbrenner family could once again stave off foreclosure on the double-wide. So... here are some pluses and minuses, hopefully in precisely equal helpings.

Plus: Luis Severino will soon start a rehab game in the minors. Minus: We really need him to be good, because Tanaka pitches far better with 5 days of rest, which means we need a sixth starter, and we don't have one, unless you're thinking about Phil "Classic" Coke.

Plus: Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda are pitching well. Minus: They are Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda. This is what they do.

Plus: Ellsbury is hot. Minus: He'll probably get hurt.

Plus: Tex should start hitting soon. Minus: See above.

Plus: Toronto looks legitimately bad. Minus: Baltimore and Boston look legitimately good.

Plus: Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman and Starlin Castro. Minus: Aaron Judge - still the most important player in the Yankiverse - is floundering in Scranton.

Plus: The days are still getting longer. Minus: Mosquito season soon commences.

The new X-Men movie arrives soon. Any bets? My guess: Maybe yes, maybe no....

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Gent In Trenton

Maybe he'll do Springsteen.

Or his James Bond.

Or his Trump.

Or his Clinton.

Open Letter To Hal Steinbrenner



Dear Hal;

Thank you for your encouraging words to the team the other day.  Your version of fire and brimstone is an excellent sleeping aid.

I wonder if you might find some stronger verbal incentives to motivate those who work for you, if you paid some attention to what is happening to the Yankee Brand, as you pursue mediocrity in the press and on the field.

Here is my idea;  buy a New York newspaper and read the sports section.

To prove my sincerity, I bought one for you.  Today, for $1.25,  I purchased a copy of The Daily News.  This used to be a decent tabloid, with excellent sports writers.  Now it is a putrid, newsless tabloid, with a decent sports section.  But it still exists in hard copy.

The Mets received:

1.  The back page in color.
2.  5 full pages on the inside.

The Yankees received :

1.  5/6 of an internal page, shared with a story about the Tampa pitcher who got hit in the face with a 92 mph fastball.

2.  The Yankee coverage was an enervating piece on the shitty season Tex is having.  No home
 runs ( for Tex ) in the last 34 days kind of thing.  Negative and boring. A re-hash of what we already knew.

Now hear this:  New York is rapidly and totally converting to a Mets town.  They were in the world series last year.  They will likely be in it again this year.  They are exciting and young.  They can hit, pitch and play defense.

The Yankees have given up the high ground.

The pre-sold season tickets at the stadium will not retain, if the product remains boring and uninspiring.

Like your words of inspiration.

Sincerely,

10 million fans.

Let's Be Honest....

The Yankees fashioned their longest, and best, win streak of the season on the road.
Five victories in a row have brought us within 1 game of what?  A .500 season.

And I understand that you can't make an assault on the league leaders until you at least get even in wins and losses.  In the old days, we used to watch the Yankees until they were 10 games over .500, then 15, etc. as they moved toward championship play.

Now, we are satisfied just to sit in the, " all even ," chair, if we ever get there.  Despite the win streak, this is not a competitive team.  We just had a good week on both offense and with our starting pitching.  Our bullpen, while healthy, means the Yankees  win with a lead in the 7th.

But a return to poor starting pitching, no clutch hitting, and poor defense/base running ( a hallmark of this team ), will quickly return us to the depths of less than mediocre play, with a losing record.  And the team can revert to this in a flash.

Tonight, if truth be told, we face an impossible task.

A-Rod returns to DH, which puts our slowest outfielder ( Beltran ), with the weakest arm, back in right field.  Playing the full game in right field tires out his legs, which impacts his team-leading hitting.  A-Rod, by contrast, will make up for nothing upon his return tonight.  But to, " save face, " on A-Rod's contract ( by pretending he can still contribute), the Yankee brass sacrifices both offense and defense.  Joe and Ashman will gladly lose games as long as no one attacks them for A-Rod's contract ( really, dumb son Hal's doing, as he bid against himself and doubled down on idiocy ).

The TV cameras have an easy night of it ( the game will be boring ) because they can have multiple shots of A-Rod spitting out pumpkin seed shells.  Always a favorite of mine.

And if  scrambling up a winning formula isn't enough of a managerial mistake ( ever hear the phrase, " if it ain't broke, don't fix it, " I am informed that AJ Dickey pitches tonight for Toronto.  We have all watched the Yankees look like teenagers in stay-puff marshmallow suits, trying to hit Dickey.  And it screws up the team for the next game, too, as hitters re-adjust to normal pitching.

So the reality is;  we are likely to lose the next two games.

I have predicted that the win streak will get us to .500, and  that we will win tonight despite all evidence to the contrary.

But I no longer feel the karma of the west coast streak. Just the outrageous hope that something unusual will occur in tonight's game, giving us a late lead.

 Maybe a peregrine falcon will shit in Dickey's eye.




Tex, Prado, and the current terror of Boston's lineup

1. Tex. Lately, Yankee bloggers have been thundering that Mark Teixeira - who's been AWOL since last August - "needs to turn it around!"

These people are idiots.

Frankly, it doesn't matter if Tex hits a parsnip. He's on first. Got it? Nothing will change that. We have nobody in the wings, nobody in the farm, nobody, nowhere, nada, not now, not next month, nope, nuthin, nobody. nowhere.

A-Rod can't play first. Nor can Dustin Ackley or Brian McCann. The closest true 1B in our system is Chris Parmelee at Scranton. He is 26, a scrap heap signing, and he's hitting .244. The other night he hit two HRs - his 4th and 5th of the season. Who cares? Not me. He won't play 1B for us. We have nobody.

Wait. I stand corrected! We do have 35-year-old, caterpillar-kneed Nick Swisher. Jolly Old St. Nick is hitting .252 at Scranton. When I saw Swish in Syracuse, grounders passed through him like gamma rays. Maybe he's gotten better. But he's not coming to take Tex's job. Nobody is. There's nobody at Trenton. There's nobody at Tampa. You must dive into the lightless murk of Charleston or Pulaski to find a 1B prospect worth following, and I have no names for you to remember. So, Tex it is.

When Greg Bird underwent surgery last winter, Tex became our only option. Competition? Replacement? Be serious.

Listen: I hope Tex starts hitting. I like Tex. (Seriously, who doesn't?) But let's be clear: Tex doesn't need to hit. It's not like he'll lose his job.

2. Martin Prado. For at least three innings per game, as required in their contract, the Kay-Coney-O'Neill Axis of Yankaganda praises Brian Cashman for the magnificent job he's done in cobbling together this great 2016 Yankee team. Of note is the trade two winters ago that netted us Nathan Eovaldi from Miami. And let's agree: Eovaldi has been a blessing. He's our second best starter, maybe our first.

But if you look at the NL hitting leaders lately, you'll get a bracing reality check about the price we paid.

Martin Prado is hitting .353 - third in the NL. He's among the leaders in hits. Prado, 32, plays 3B and 2B, and his numbers are no fluke: Last season, he hit .288 with 9 HRs. Had we not traded Prado, we wouldn't have Eovaldi - but then again, we probably wouldn't have Chase Headley for four years, either.

As it is, we dealt Prado and replaced him with Headley, who - if his hitting and throws to first don't improve - might soon be known as Chase Headcase. Then again, maybe he'll turn it around. (I'll say it: Headley "needs to turn it around!")  

Note: The other component in the Miami trade, David Phelps, has thrown 25 innings in relief for an ERA of 1.44. He's 29. (We also received Garrett Jones - R.I.P. - and a minor league rescue dog named Domingo German, whom I think underwent Tommy John surgery and might have changed his name. At a certain subatomic level, it's all too confusing.)

3. Boston's lineup. Have you looked at the AL Hitting Leaders lately? Don't. It's too scary.

Xander Bogartes is tied for first (.346), and Jackie Bradely Jr. is second (.342). I count seven Redsock hitters - seven - with batting averages higher than the Yankees' current team leader, Starlin Castro - who is hitting .276.

Mookie Betts is among the league leaders in runs. Travis Shaw is up there. All four are 26 or younger. Yes, I know Boston desperately needs pitching. But once David Price turns it around, and if Kelly or Porcello steps up... and if they keep hitting...  fuck me.

What's worse is that their farm system - thanks, in part, to the signing of Yoan Moncada - is stocked to the gills, far superior to ours. (Aaron Judge is treading water at Scranton.) They have breakout prospects at every level. They are literally running circles around us in player development.

Boston could be on the verge of an AL dynasty, and we are now in the 12th year of Cashman's rebuilding plan - you know, the one where everything is always finally turning the corner? The only thing the Yankees consistently produce is bullshit, and it's becoming tedious. I am becoming one of these grayscale zombie stone men in Game of Thrones, the ones who growl at everybody. Will we ever get a new Lord Commander of the Night Watch? The Yankees need to turn it around!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Win Streak


There is no game tonight.

I don't know who we play tomorrow night, but the Yankees are going to win the game.

Fan expectations will be far too high.  We should lose, and by a lot.  But we won't.

Because the streak thrives.

Here is my major concern;  rumor has it that A-Rod returns.  We won 5 in a row, our longest winning streak of the season, without him.

I don't think he adds anything except;  a tendency to strike out in big moments; negative foot speed; barking hammies.

Nonetheless, we shall overcome.  Our longest winning streak of the season continues Tuesday night.

We shall see .500.

So go to a movie and relax.

The self-identify crisis of being in third place and chasing another Wild Card

Last week, Hal Steinbrenner told his Yankiverse that parity - (not to be confused with profit-sharing) - is here to stay in Major League Baseball. The "Li'l Boss" would love to spend more on the 2016 team, but... dammit! he just can't! Rules are rules. We must accept this, don our Yankee caps and stay tuned to the YES Situation Room for further instructions, as the ongoing crisis develops.

Last week, Hal tweaked the Yankee veterans for poor play, and - voila! - we won five in a row. You'd think it was 1986, the glory days of Dada. Of course, Tex still hasn't homered since Kasich left the race, and the infield is kicking balls like Manchester United. Nevertheless, thank God for Oakland, a franchise already checking High School Class of 2018 stool samples, looking for the next Bryce in that future draft.

We sit one game below .500 - (a metric we once associated with mediocrity) - and 3.5 from the Bud Selig extra Wild Card slot. Depending on whether you are a Chicken Little or a Chick Fil-A, the Wild Card chase has become a defining issue within our motley tribe. Are we better off with 86 wins and a half-court shot, or are we just extending the death limbo state induced by a nepotistic, crony-run front office, which grinds young players into dust by the weight of excessive contracts - and then has the audacity to blame the players.

Listen: We've won five in a row! Dammit, I should not be so solemn. Pineda pitched well yesterday. Has he turned it around? (Wait... why would anyone think that?) Same with Nova. His entire career has been a great outing, hopes raised, then - stink bomb. Why would we think he's changed?

And yet... FUCK ME... that's the essence of fan-hood: Irrational behavior, based on something you project yourself affecting. We're ants on a log floating downstream, but we THINK we're steering.

What if Nova has changed? He could be great! Certainly, Severino is too young to give up on. Sooner or later, Tex has to come around. Headley? Nah. Hicks? I dunno. Gardy, ouch. With luck, we will once again chase that coveted last open urinal - fifth best record in a 15-team league. Most franchises would consider themselves blessed. (See Oakland, Seattle.) Trouble is, the Yankees used to be the Alabama Crimson Tide Football of MLB. Now, we are Syracuse Orangemen.

I am 63. With luck and modern medicine, I've got maybe 20 years of sentience left. I don't want 10 wild cards and a ALCS. I want a great team, one last dynasty, which runs four years, minimal. I want a Mantle, one more Jeter, one final great set of God-gulping moments that - in my final coma - I will relive and cause the beep-beep machine to spike with brain activity. Right now, we're in a long, ugly barf. The last Yankee Barf went 14 years. I'm not sure I have 14 years. And if the wrong person gets elected, I'm not sure any of us do.

So, we're a game below .500. I want to root for this team. But does it mean, come July, we'll simply trade Aaron Judge for another Alphonso Soriano? I honestly don't know what to think. But be careful what you root for... There's a Vernon Wells around every corner.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Who needs A-Rod when you've got Oakland?

Oooh-ooooh, jumpin' Jehoziphat! Muldoon, I got an idea...

We donate A-Rod to any NL team that'll pay his contract next year. Free and clear. Nothing in return. They also get the ex-Google lady girlfriend.

No, wait. We keep the Google lady.

As for A-Rod, what's the difference? We're in last place with him. We can be in last place without him.

"SHOULD WE BELIEVE WHAT OUR OWN EYES HAVE SEEN?"

A friend sent this in: "THE INCREDIBLE TALE OF ROB REFSNYDER".

PICTURE ME STANDING ABOVE A CROWD THAT IS LISTENING TO MY SPEECH, MUCH LIKE IN THE DAYS OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT:
 
"ARE WE TO BELIEVE WHAT US YANKEE FANS HEAR OR READ IN THE MEDIA? THAT ROB REFSNYDER IS A DETRIMENT TO THE TEAM BECAUSE HE HAS NO POSITION?.......

IS REFSNYDER A POMPOUS PERSON, AND TEAMMATE WHO FELT "ENTITLED" TO BE ON THE TEAM, AS WE HAVE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE BY SOME MEDIA WHISPERS?........

IS HE THAT BAD A FIELDER, THAT OUR TEAM WILL CONTINUALLY "PAY THE PRICE" FOR HIS EXISTENCE ON THE 24 MAN ROSTER?..........

 OR, YANKEE FANS, SHOULD WE BELIEVE WHAT OUR OWN EYES HAVE SEEN?!?........

THIS YANKEE FAN BELIEVES HE SEES A REAL HITTER WHO BATTLES THE PITCHER, AND MAKES HIM WORK, ALMOST EVERY AT BAT......

THIS YANKEE FAN BELIEVES HE SEES A HITTER WHO ROUTINELY HITS THE BALL TO THE OPPOSITE FIELD WITH EASE, SOMETIMES "JETERIAN" LIKE.........

THIS YANKEE FAN BELIEVES HE SEES AN ATHLETIC PLAYER WHO IS WORKING HARD TO TRY TO PLEASE HIS ORGANIZATION.........

THIS YANKEE FAN BELIEVES HE ACTUALLY SAW A TERRIFIC "HIGHLIGHT REEL", DIVING CATCH PLAYING 2ND BASE LAST SEASON.....

THIS YANKEE FAN ACTUALLY SAW HIM MAKE A NICE TRUE THROW TO FIRST FOR THE OUT ON A TOUGH BALL HIT UP THE MIDDLE LAST YEAR......................

THIS YANKEE FAN ACTUALLY SAW ROB REFSNYDER HIT A HOME RUN, AGAINST A RIGHT HANDED PITCHER, IN A TIGHT GAME, AGAINST THE RED SOX, IN BOSTON, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE THE GAME WINNER FOR US..........

THIS YANKEE FAN ACTUALLY SAW REF HIT A MONSTROUS HOME RUN TO THE DEEPEST PART OF LEFT CENTER FIELD AT YANKEE STADIUM, LAST YEAR, (THE 2ND LONGEST HR ON THE TEAM LAST YEAR), A GAME IN WHICH WE WON...........

THIS YANKEE FAN ACTUALLY SAW TODAY'S GAME, IN WHICH REFSNYDER BATTLED AND BATTLED THE PITCHER, FOULING BALLS OFF, THEN DRIVING THE BALL TO THE OPPOSITE FIELD FOR A CLUTCH 2 OUT, 2 RUN DOUBLE, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE THE BIGGEST BLOW OF THE GAME FOR US- A GAME IN WHICH WE WON- (HE ALSO PLAYED A CLEAN, EASY GAME IN RF)...........

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.....I BELIEVE I SEE A CLUTCH HITTER!!!!.....THAT IS SOMETHING THIS TEAM HAS NOT HAD IN YEARS!!!...........

I SEE A PLAYER THAT HELPS US WIN BALL GAMES!!!.........

THERE SEEMS TO BE "SOMETHING SPECIAL" ABOUT THIS REFSNYDER........

 BUT HOW, ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH, DOES OUR ASS BRASS AT THE TOP, NOT SEE WHAT OUR OWN EYES HAVE SEEN??? HOW CAN THIS PLAYER, ON A TEAM THAT CAN NOT HIT OR SCORE, NOT EVEN GET A LEGITIMATE SHOT TO CRACK THIS LINEUP??............

IS BRIAN CASHMAN SMARTER THAN ALL OF US? DOES HE SEE 'IMPERFECTIONS" THAT WE CAN'T SEE? THE ODD PART IS JOE GIRARDI MUST SEE THE SAME IMPERFECTIONS, OR ELSE HE WOULD BE SAYING, "GET THIS GUY IN MY LINEUP!".................

OUR QUESTION, YANKEE FANS, IS......IF YANKEE BRASS IS SO QUICK TO POINT TO "IMPERFECTIONS" IN REFSNYDER'S GAME, THEN HOW IN THE BLUE FUCK, DID CASHMAN AND GIRARDI ALLOW THE IMPERFECTIONS OF ONE STEPHEN DREW, FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON???.......IT MADE NO SENSE.............

AND THIS MY FRIENDS, IS WHAT WE CALL, THE INCREDIBLE TALE OF ROB REFSNYDER...........

IT'S ALMOST TIME FOR HIM TO BE DEMOTED, I MEAN, WHAT DO WE NEED HIM FOR?.............WE CAN'T DO WITHOUT DUSTIN ACKLEY......HE PLAYS 5 DIFFERENT POSITIONS!!! (ALL LIKE SHIT)............INCREDIBLE."

The Win Streak


This is a tough one to swallow.  But our longest win streak of the season continues today.

Why tough to swallow?  We have Pineda pitching.

The gemstone of our trade with Seattle, where we gave up baby Jesus and many others to acquire him.

Pundits still argue about who won that trade.  Go ahead, pundits, identify yourselves.

It is really difficult to make an intelligent case that the Yankees " won" that trade.  So far, Pineda has only hurt the Yankees.  Jesus hurts no one in Buffalo.

And isn't a neutral better than a negative?  Let me put it this way;  you make a $1million investment.  Choice A:  at the end of 4 years you still have $1 million.  Choice B:  at the end of 4 years you have $100,000.  Those who think we won that trade always select choice B.

So somehow the Yankees have to overcome a huge burden, before the first ball is pitched today.  It is like carrying a 50 pound bag of grain in a marathon, and still expecting to win.

Let me also mention the performance of Brett Gardner yesterday.  The backdrop is; Girardi gave him a day off.  But, at a critical moment, when the Yanks could put the game away with an insurance run, Brett comes up in a pinch hitting role. We had runners at 2nd and 3rd and one out.  Pretty much any contact with the ball scores a run.

So Brett, as usual, fouls off the first, best pitch of the at-bat, and digs himself a pitcher's count.  Soon, and predictably, he is swinging at back to back pitches in the dirt, until he strikes out  ( again ).  Our automatic out in a clutch situation.  Had we been down 10-0, he might have hit a single.

Here is a message to Joe;  never, ever use Brett Gardener as a batter when we need a clutch hit.  Just avoid it, and you as manager, will look better.

The Hicks/Nicks guy also can't hit for dick.  He has a great arm.  Period.

But the streak lives. Don't ask me how, but this team climbs the stairs to the plane home with the season's longest winning streak still breathing.

Count on it.

"Brigadoon" Refsnyder reappears, wins game, prepares to vanish

I can't prove this, and I can only speculate on the timeline, but it's now clear that the New York "Not in Last Place!" Yankees are in cahoots with young Rob Refsnyder, in a plan that will change the face of American stage and screen.

Consider this series of seemingly random events:

Last year, Refsnyder suddenly appears from Scranton, whacks a game-winning HR against the Redsocks at Fenway, and then promptly vanishes, leaving Yankee fans in the lurch.

Refsynder then reappears in September, hits .379 over the final two weeks, starts in the Wild Card game, and then - whoosh - is gone, like the wind.

Yesterday, Refsynder magically reappears with a critical, two-out double against Oakland. Tomorrow, when Creaky A-Rod - (that's what Trump would call him) - returns from the Super Soldier lab, Ref will again go... poof.

So here is my theory: He's the Yankee Brigadoon!

Yes, Hal Steinbrenner must be secretly bankrolling a revival of Lerner & Lowe's 1947 Broadway classic, and he's using Refsnyder to generate advance publicity. Ref is performing the part of Robert Goulet, (Gene Kelly in the movie) and Girardi is handling the love interest role of Cyd Charrise, (which Hal probably thought was a guy named Sid Charrise - hey, mistakes happen.) The magical kingdom of Brigadoon - which appears every 100 hundred years - is played by the city of Scranton. (Can a city win an Oscar? If so, put it in the books.)

Thus, once a year - (they scaled it down from a century) - the tortured knight known as Refsnyder magically appears unto us. We undergo a soul-changing, four-Kleenex experience, defeating the forces of darkness and learning once again that love is good. Then, well aware of the otherwordly forces that govern his existence, Refsnyder kisses us good-bye, knowing we may never see him again.  After all, he has no future playing RF for the Yankees, a dynasty with superstars at every position.

I'm thinking Hal will bring him back around September, just as the show is being announced on Broadway. Billy Crystal will play the part of A-Rod, and Tina Fay will dazzle as Chase Headley. Lin-Manuel Miranda better not sleep tonight. Hamilton is about to be replaced.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The downside of having solid backups

The Win Streak

The Yanks will today continue the, " Oakland massacre."

I do have my first concern;  El Duque has now jumped on the bandwagon with his, " Three in a row baby," dissertation.  That is not good karma for what I have started.

Only I know what is going to happen

Praising past performance takes, well, no skills at all.

I am giving no further details this morning , except we are at the beginning of our longest win streak of the season.

I don't know the point spread today, but go long on the Yankees.

The great beauty is;  this began on a western trip.  So I can go to sleep at 11pm and not have a worry in the world about the game's outcome.

Day games are shakier.

And I'll be watching the Preakness.


Big night for Joggie

Two hit-by-pitches and a caught stealing. The presumptive AL MVP - whom the Seattle writers are deliriously cheering - is now hitting .294.

"... happy, healthy and hitting again..."

Year three of ten, at $24 million per.

Three in a row, baby, three in a row!

We have cut Baltimore's lead in the AL East down to 7 games.

We are only three below .500.

If the season ended today, we would only be 4 games out in the Wild Card.

We are the second hottest team in the AL East.

Jacoby Ellsbury has lifted his average to a team-leading .285.

Nathan Eovaldi leads the pitchers with 4 victories.

A-Rod will soon be returning from the DL.

We are 8-4 since the return of Aroldis Chapman.

Scranton is tied for first in the International League.

LSD microdosing is the new sensation.

If the right man is elected, we will soon be freed from the tyranny of gun-free zones.

The last six months have been the hottest on record - good news if you live in Syracuse!

Friday, May 20, 2016

"Hustlin'" Joggie Cano is the presumptive MVP

From our scout in Seattle... (Pictured)

May 19 Seattle Times

Down 4-2, Seattle had a serious rally chance in the eighth. The Mariners loaded the bases against reliever Brad Brach on a hustling, one-out double from Robinson Cano,

May 20 Seattle Times
With a leadoff double in the sixth inning, Robinson Cano has hit safely in 16 of his past 17 games and is batting .392 with a 1.076 OPS in that span. 
But his biggest play came just after the double, when he was able to tag up on Cruz’s fly ball to center and advance to third with only one out. It wasn’t a deep fly ball, but Adam Jones was retreating on the play, and Cano — not exactly fleet of foot — read the situation properly and moved up a base.

He loves only gold. 

Only gold.

The Win Streak

I told you Oakland had no shot.

They have no shot tonight, either.

This win streak, which may prove to be the Yankee's longest of the season, will push us right up to the .500 mark.

You can make book on that.

Once there, I will advise as to what happens next.

Go Tex.  You look better spitting out pumpkin seed shells on your neighbor ( on the bench ) than in the batter's box.

On pace



After 40 games, the 1966 New York Yankees were also 18-22.

We need Dooley Womack.

Victory! Thanks to "The Holy Trinity of Smoke"

Today, like the moderator of an advertising focus group, George King of the NY Elect Donald Trump Post calls the Yankee big three bullpen "the Holy Trinity of Smoke."

He uses the line repeatedly, obviously trying to sell the brand - which is the modern Yankee corporate way. Get a catchphrase and burn it into people's heads. Holy Trinity of Smoke... Holy Trinity of Smoke... Holy Trinity o-

Yeah, OK, enough! I got it! Hole. Trin. Smo. At last, the 2016 New York Padres - the team too boring to be believed - have a marquee gate attraction, and loyal fans should bow down behind it. If this plucky, low-budget Yankee team leads going into the seventh, the game is over. Right? All we need is the lead.

Wait... could that be the 2016 slogan?

All we need is the lead. All we need is the lead. All we need is... the lead.

Last night, Ivan Nova - Ivan the Bearable, not Ivan the Terrible - threw six fine innings and only used 62 pitches. You'd think he could pitched the seventh, maybe the eighth. Nope. Not an option according to Joe the Binders. Joe pulled him and went with the Holy Trin- ah, fuckit - Betances, Miller and El Chapo... who by July could be the Holy Trinity of Scott Procter.

Listen, I'm as giddy as any Yankee fan about the back of our bullpen. I wonder how we managed to win four World Championships with only one closer. But how many wins can we realistically nail down, if we have to use all three of our best pitchers? Right now, we are 4-0 when the Holy - uhm - when Betances, Miller and El Chapo pitch. Since Chapman's suspension ended May 9, we are 7-4. (In four games, we actually scored at least six runs.)

It's a great formula - get lead, release kraken - if we're in a September pennant race. But how many games in one season can we realistically expect the Three-Way to nail down?

OK, I looked it up. A little research never hurt nobody.

Last year, Betances pitched in 74 games, Miller in 60, El Chapo 65. If they're all used in one game, that means we can nail down - what? - 60 to 70 wins?

Right now, Betances is on track to throw in 80 games, and Miller 76. Both would throwing the most in their careers. In the last 10 days, Chapman has been used six times, (which is completely unsustainable.) Joe has been drunk dialing them.

It's nice to have a brand name. Holy Trinity of Smoke? Yeah, OK, whatever. You say tomato, I say tomato. But CC pitches tonight, and he better go longer than six, because Nick Goody, Chasen Shreve and James Pavos are our options, and they are the Holy Trinity of Croak.

Oh well, two in row, baby. Two in a row.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Win Streak...



It is my opinion that the Yankees are just beginning one of their longest win streaks of the season.

Oakland has no shot.

We will soon be a .500 club, the norm for mediocrity.

The old guys are coming back from injury.

The young turks are on the bus back to Scranton.

All is right with the Yankee world.

Hal's net worth grows by the hour.

Time to renew some contracts.

The only chance we ( the fans ) have, is if the Yankees do lose 100 as one of our esteemed bloggers  posits today.

To do that, we can't have games pitched like Eovaldi pitched last night.  We can't get through 6 with a lead. We need losses and injuries.   Losses and more injuries.

We need despair and hopelessness.

We need some mysterious intestinal illness to sweep the stadium at home games.

We are going to be bored to death by this team.  Even when it wins, I can't stay awake.

Mark my words.  The team is heating up.  You want to make some money?  Bet the farm on the Yankees tonight.

 It is a lock.


The new Yankee philosophy: “It’s never enjoyable to struggle, but it does make one stronger and wiser, I believe. You’re not going to learn all the life lessons by winning all the time.”

Yesterday, the real Hal Steinbrenner came forward.

“The reality is: Parity is here to stay. We’re there. We’ve got a little ways to go, but look at the teams that were in the playoffs last year."

So there you have it. Parity Mediocrity is here to stay. The Yankees are a learning tool. We become better people by losing. It builds character. We'll appreciate orange sunsets and puppies. We'll speak more wisely and lovingly. I'm already feeling it. In fact, I am already feeling so fucking moist and full of wisdom that I want to run out and strangle a Yankee ballcap with my bare hands. This is the greatest thing that has ever happened! The Yankees have opened my eyes to the vacuity of victory. I am no longer chained to a team that simply tries to win. The Yankees are making me a better human being. Thank you, oh wise and glorious Hal. You are one fucking incredible driver of evolution. You are a goddamn gene mutation for goodness.

Yesterday, it came out: Food Stamps has no plan whatsoever to emulate his father and spend big on this franchise. Why should he? All he needs to do is cut payroll, spend less in luxury taxes and bank the billions himself. Ka-ching. That old Yankee winning legacy - you know, 27 world championships, blah-blah-blah, valuing wins over profits? - fuck that shit. We are now investing in the MLB corporate strategy, which is known as "Parity." The mediocre Yankees are here to stay.

Actually, Hal's words should bring no surprise. Over the last four years, we've seen what was happening. Still, it's bracing when a masquerade is finally torn away, when the sweet smile disappears and you see the sharp teeth and glowering eyes.  The Yankees are no longer the Yankees. They are the New York Padres or the New York Baseball Knicks. The Steinbrenners are just another set of wealthy heirs who'd rather pick clean the family's gold carcass than maintain a legacy of world championships. That means having to spend money.  

Hal's comments came outside a meeting of owners, where he surely is a beloved figure. I bet whenever he walks into a ballroom, he receives multiple hip-hip-hoorays. When the Yankees curtail spending, when they graciously offer to stand in line and wait their turn, why... every other owner in the country club gets to stash a few more rubles into the Cayman fund. And not to worry, Yankee fans: If we just finish last for several years - one day we too can challenge for the AL East! Our time will come! All we have to do is be patient! Just keep watching YES, keep paying the most inflated ticket prices on the planet, and never give up hope! Be like Coney! Just keep buying the Yankee merch and - if, perish the thought, you're in an auto accident - dial 888-888-888! Just play along, and someday, our ship will come in.

Parity Mediocrity is here to stay. That hope we suggested yesterday - that the Yankees might challenge in 2020? We might want to push it back to 2022. But who cares? We'll be goddamm pearls of humanity! We'll deserve sainthood! The New York Fucking Padres! Hip-hip, hooray. Hip-hip, hooray. Hip-hip, hooray.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Can we do it?


The New York Yankees have never lost 100 games in their history. 

The New York Highlanders did it twice, in 1908 and 1912. The 1912 team (some of them pictured above, including, it seems, Stump) managed to slip under the 1908ers with a winning percentage that was .002 worse. 

To be fair, the '08ers did manage to lose one more game, but this was nullified by their also winning one more game. And the 1912 Stinkeroos' 55 games out of first is simply unbeatable.

1912New York Highlanders     50-102      .329      55.0 GB






The worst record posted by an officially-named Yankees team?

1990New York Yankees          67-95        .414      21.0 GB





We might have a shot at that. It depends how inept the front office and Girardi can be and how badly individual players can play.

Of course, the 1966 Yankees (the year when I started to follow baseball and the Yankees) are legendary only because of the precipitous fall from the World Series team of '64.


1966New York Yankees          70-89       .440      26.5 GB





Pretty bad, but you have to give the edge to 1990 for sheer number of losses and lower winning percentage, even though the 1966 team finished further out.

We definitely have a shot at '66. Maybe '90. And who knows? That .329 from 1912 is tough to beat, but the season is young, the team is old, and the management is floundering.

Like they used to say about the Lottery, ya never know.


What Might Have Been



Those kids down in Miami just love Donnie Baseball.

The worst Yankee decade in history?

As we stand on the bridge, here is Today's Official Yankee Comfort Thought: 

Cheer up, everybody! The Twins, Astros, Braves and Reds still have worse records than we do! 

Of course, three of those teams entered 2016 as tear-downs. The Reds and Braves were manically trading vets such as - hey, anybody want Aroldis Chapman? - for anyone under age 22. Only the bargain basement Astros seem to have flown off the rails, but they remain a work in progress. As for the Twins? What can you say? They're the embodiment of Phil Hughes.

But we - the mighty New York Baseball Yankees of Gotham! - remain baseball's marquee disappointment, the worst professional sports team that old money can buy. Our players are genetically coded to under-achieve or get hurt. Whenever a star gets hot - as A-Rod, CC and Ellsbury recently did - some law of random sequences requires them to tweak a gonad. In this decade, the Yankee way is: Stay cold or get injured.

And standing on the bridge, rest assured that it works! This period - from 2010 to 2020 - could be the most fruitless Yankee decade in history.

Yes, bridgers, the worst Yankee decade in history! 

Think about that. Even the wretched sixties and eighties - rotted as they were - offered glimpses of championship teams. But in our new billion dollar mausoleum, the modern Yankees chase only Wild Cards and tax-threshold payroll caps.

And now, that long-awaited collapse - the one Hal Steinbrenner, in his family's signature hubris, assured Yankee fans simply would not happen - looms on the horizon. A month from now, all that will be left will be the trade deadline. For the first time in this millennium, the Yankees could be selling off their antique livestock and looking to draft high in 2017. (Wait, does Cito Culver have a brother?)

It will be Hal's way of taking vengeance on the high-priced Yankee veterans, the ones he courted and signed. He can blame them for growing old and fragile. But in fact, the players will be rewarded - by moving to teams and organizations that are in the pennant race. Who knows? They might actually see what Mariano and Jeter were denied - the chance to finish their careers in a post-season game.

But while we hold our water on this bridge, here's Today's Official Yankee Sobering Thought: Our owner will not change. He might clean house in the dugout. The front office will stay the same. The monument to nepotism and cronyism that is the modern New York Yankees shall not be impinged by a measly trade deadline or unfortunate collapse into rubble.

Last in the AL East, the fifth worst team in baseball, old and slow... and a distinct feeling that the worst is yet to come.

Fuck it, everybody. I'm ready to jump.