Saturday, July 23, 2016

A great Yankee week. Why can't we enjoy it?

The Tankees have now won seven out of 10 - a juju-fueled stretch in which they still lost ground to Boston (8-2) and picked up one measly game against Baltimore, Toronto, Houston and Detroit (all 6-4). In short, we didn't make meaningful ground in any meaningful race. To rise in the exciting Wild Card Away Game berth competition, we must go 7-3 or 8-2 consistently - and that's a word seldom associated with the likes of Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi.

Sadly, all we have done is give the Yankee front office a reason to stand pat at the trade deadline - or worse: Deal prospects for some ancient vet.

The horror, Mr. Kay, the horror: Your team is hot, and you can't even celebrate.

I hate to be a broken record here, but this hot streak - actually, a lukewarm streak - could not come at a worse time for the future of the Yankees. All season, I've rooted for the Yankees - until recently. So what happens? They win seven of 10.

This is what Hell looks like.

Supposedly, the White Sox are pondering the trade of Chris Sale, the best pitcher in the AL. Boston is ready to pounce. They have prospects to trade - possibly Yoan Moncada. If so, they would cash in on their investment from the auction of two winters ago, when Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner clutched his fanny pack and called in sick. This is what happens when a team actually develops a farm system. Over the last few years, when you compare the organizational success of NY and Boston, it just doesn't seem fair. What the Yankees do well is congratulate themselves. They do it better than any other professional sports team in America. But Boston could trade Moncada, and its farm system would still be comparable, or maybe even superior, than ours.

Meanwhile, Yankee fans are supposed to wait for the gold-plated international class of 2014 to inch its way through our meat grinder. Two years ago, the Yankees went on a spending spree for 16-year-old Latinos - a horribly amoral system, if you think about it. (But, hey, morality is nothing we associate with the Yankees.) The youngsters - now 17 and 18 - are moving glacially through the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues - (does anybody know where Pulaski is?) with anonymous scouts surely changing their swings and throwing motions. One extremely wealthy player named Dermis Garcia - seriously, that's his name - is hitting HRs at a Balboni-esque pace. But he's a long way off and strikes out at a Grandersonian level. It would probably be 2020 before Dermis or anybody is near the MLB level. In the meantime, we cannot spend big on any Latino talent - MLB has rigged the system; this year was San Diego's turn to buy up the sweet sixteens - and with "I'm Not Cheap" pinching his purse on free agents, we should just sit and wait. For the next two seasons, maybe three, we can root against Boston and chase the vaunted Wild Card Away Game berth.

Seven out of 10. Damn. This should be exciting, a reason for hope. It's not. How horrible have things become, when you can't even celebrate a winning streak?


Tom said...

Pulaski is just over the hill from Fancy Gap and around the bend of the New River from Galax. Like upstate New York only more recently, its once vibrant manufacturing economy has been laid low by factory owners who closed shop looking for cheaper labor. Beautiful place, and I'm sure our young Yankees have to work pretty hard to get into trouble.

The Ghost of Yankees Past. said...

el duque, relax and enjoy the ride. The Yankees are rebuilding. It will take a few years. Even if they don't have a fire sale before the trade deadline there is a path forward. Over the past few years they have been smart enough not to trade the future for today's John Maybury. Hopefully they will continue to keep their best prospects.

Alphonso said...

Enjoy the ride to nowhere, I say. But the ride is the thing, isn't it?

Even though I like your optimistic tone, the " best prospects" of the Yankees are, by and large, average. And when we have an interesting one ( e.g. Greg Bird ), they turn up in surgery and recovery for two years, and then need 3 more years to get back to where they were.

But never to where they might have been.

Anonymous said...