Friday, May 27, 2016

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?


I'm Bill White said...

The next four days in Scranton call for rain.

Friday Rain.

Saturday Rain.

Sunday Rain.

Monday Rain.

The weather man could pre-tape each day's segment with complete confidence in their accuracy before packing the family Sorento and driving toward the sun.

But there's no easy escape from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for Robert Daniel Refsnyder.

This weekend's road trip to Norfolk may dull the pain. Hotel newspapers covering the rescue of four Navy pilots off the Carolina coast in 5-inch headlines. Solemn preparations for Memorial Day ceremonies in that Navy town may offer perspective, too.

And then the Railriders bus will roll Sunday night southwest for Durham, and three games against the Bulls. The Minor League team that actually promotes players to the Big Show and keeps them there.

There will be Yankee fans in attendance.

Lots of them.

Refsnyder will get cheers.

Lots of them.

But deep down he knows the difference between Minor League Hope and Major League Despair.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I'm so PISSED OFF at "management (cough)" that I'm back to rooting for a last place finish this year,,,,, totally pathetic, that's how warped this team has me, LOL!

Doug K said...

Great reference to the King and his Court!

cabish47 said...

"Is this team worth following?"

It depends on what your expectations are. If you continue to live in the Steinbrennerian world of championship or bust, the answer is no.

If you adjust to lowered expectations, you can cherish any good result because you do not feel entitled. This is how I lived through 1966 and the following years. The 1968 team that batted .213 was briefly in third place in September. In some ways that was more inspiring than a talent laden team sputtering in the playoffs.

Take joy in small victories. Sadly, that's all we have in store.