Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:25 AM
It's ridiculous to be watching scoreboards in mid-May. Nevertheless, the standings are starting to pinch. We are last in the AL East, four below .500, eight losses behind Baltimore, with a never-ending shuttle of middling prospects from Scranton, and a lineup stressed to score three times per game. Wasn't it yesterday that the Yankees were the premier franchise in baseball? Now, we're a distant second in NYC, delighted with ourselves for beating mighty Kansas City and - worst of all - an organization that curtsies to Big Papi just to keep alive the moribund Yankee-Redsock rivalry. What happened to us?
Well, okay... we became antiques. No news here. Everybody knew this team couldn't last forever. But why, why, why couldn't our farm system grow an infield? Other teams do. What happened to all our high draft picks, which the blog/YES propaganda mill touted? There was Dante Bichette Jr., Jeremy Bleich, Cito Culver, Andrew Brackman, Ty Hensley, et al - WTF happened? Some were hurt. Some are gone. Some are stuck forever in Trenton. WTF happened? We have scouts. We have coaches. We have "baseball men." WTF?
And then Hal ruled that he should not have to spend his hard-inherited money. That was Bud Selig's last joke on NY - the luxury tax, which Food Stamps didn't want to pay. Thus, we're stuck in Steinbrenner limbo, unable to get below the tax threshold, unable to legitimately contend, waiting for 2019, or maybe the year after that. We passed on Max Scherzer. We passed on David Price. We passed on Greinke, Cuetto, and a generation of Cuban players, including Yoan Moncada, who looks to be a Yankee scourge for years to come. What we do have is a raft of 18-year-olds from a burst of international signings two summers ago, before most of them started shaving. They're three years away, and considering our track record with the Bichettes and Culvers, who knows if they won't just disappear into the Charleston-Trentonian void? Are we really supposed to be following the Dominican Summer League?
Last night, we were shut down by the pitcher the Diamondbacks received in the Didi Gregorious trade, the one we spent the last 18 months congratulating ourselves over. Don't get me wrong: I'm glad we have Didi. But it's just one more reminder that you can't magically trade your way to the top. Those other GMs - the ones that are not us - they are not stupid. They don't give up something for nothing, especially when dealing with the Yankees. So here we are - last in the East, with a sea of empty blue seats in Yankee Stadium and a long hard summer ahead.
Doom? Gloom? Sorry. Maybe it's just the morning after a spanking. But these mornings-after are starting to become the norm. And the return of A-Rod isn't enough.