Friday, June 24, 2016

After this weekend, the Yankees start running out of tomato cans... and other ponderings of the unponderable

Starting today, the New York Sisyphusians - (they eternally drop the boulder at .500) - play their final three 2016 games against their great friends, the Twinkies of St. Paul. There are still worse teams out there - (the Pads, for example, whom we visit next Friday) - but sand is running out on the theory that the Yankees are a Wild Card Away Berth-quality team. It's now or never, or it's getting there.

The month of July brings the Chisox, Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston and finally Tampan Bay, and August looks patsy-free. The schedule makers will spare us the humiliation of playing the Cubs and Nationals, who have competing erections over Andrew Miller and El Chapo. The question is whether El Cheapo in the owner's box is willing to call in the chips on this team or just plod onward, chasing the newly low limbo bar of success.

In the meantime, some elements to ponder:

1. Aaron Judge homered again last night, his 13th of the season. He has hit six in his last 11 games, snapping out of a vicious slump that threatened to derail our fantasy futures. His strikeouts are down, and he's hitting .368 over that span. He's second in the International League in HRs - the two guys ahead of him are both hitting below .220 - and his average is up to .259. The guy is 24, and this is his second year at Scranton. He can't fucking play there forever. If the Yankees are chasing a Wild Card, there is almost no place for Judge in the outfield, without a salary dump trade or (merciful) injury. In any other organization, a streak like this from the premier prospect would likely be rewarded with a promotion. This is what happens when contracts clog rosters like Buffalo wings clog arteries.

2. After seven strong starts - All-Star caliber stuff - CC Sabathia might be hurt. The Rockies whacked him, and he turned an ankle twice, and though they say the x-rays showed nothing, the Yankees never disclose injury information to their fans. If CC loses his command, it's just another reminder of the fragility in this lineup: Every player is a tweaked gonad waiting to happen. The OF is plate glass, Tex is on the bubble, and our best pitcher is still throwing with an elbow tendon flapping. One of these days, our Big Three bullpen could face injuries, ending our window for a future-altering trade. If that happens, Yankee front office hubris will have squandered 2017.

3. Free agent Yulieski Gourriel - the 32 year old Cuban free agent and Yankee wannabee - is scheduling workouts with several teams. At first glance, there is no place for him on the 2016 Yankees, without dislodging a Cashman Cutie, so I've given up hope. But when El Cheapo talks about being "a buyer, not a seller" at next month's trade deadline, I wonder WTF position he's discussing? Because the same problems with signing Gourriel or promoting Judge come about when picturing players we might get in a trade. Where do they play?

Well, if Tex cannot return, the answer is obvious. Somebody has to move to first base. Beltran says he won't. A-Rod can't. Rob Refsnyder will do anything to stay out of Scranton... but somebody, somehow, has to move to 1B. McCann? Headley (with Castro taking third?) I dunno. Could Gourriel play 1B? (Yeesh, Refsnyder did it, and he'd never played it before.) If the Yankees are actually planning a Wild Card run, some major shakeup in the lineup must occur, and somebody must move out of his defensive comfort zone. We don't win with Ike Davis.

2 comments:

Tom said...

Hal's pronouncements about being a buyer are political posturing, attempting in his own prep-school way to match the bluster of his maniacal father, who, for all of his many faults, would not have stood still for this shit. I am not one of those who pines for the glory days of King George. No, I am convinced the Yankees managed to revive and win again only when and because he was sidelined by his Spira-Winfield hijinks. That allowed us to build a dynasty without trading excellent young players for washed-up soup cans who were never all that great to begin with.

I suppose the Yankees make enough money for Hal to just sit there without ever doing anything unpleasant like getting rid of Cashman and Girardi. All three of them have received PR training sufficient to continue to maintain that they are doing everything in their power to field a winner, but as long as they trot out stagnant lineups that are dictated by contract terms rather than performance, the Yankees will suck eggs.

Anonymous said...

GOOD STUFF TOM.....RIGHT ON...... IN REGARDS TO KING GEORGE, THE BIG ADVANTAGE HE HAD OVER EVERY OTHER OWNER (INCLUDING HIS SON), WAS THE WILLINGNESS TO WIN AT ANY COST, AND TO BUY WHOEVER WE NEEDED ON A DIME, NO MATTER WHAT OUR PAYROLL WAS AT THE TIME....I'M AFRAID THOSE DAYS ARE GONE.