Monday, July 11, 2016

Fear and loathing unto chaos, after a half-season of "Meh."

I'm still not sure if the '16 Yankee Abyss is actually more pathetic than the '13 Vernon Wells/Travis Hafner fiasco - (85 wins, third in AL East, 12-games out) - or the '14 Brian Roberts/Ichiro collapse - (84 wins, 2nd place, 12 out.) Time will tell. But we have gotten good at identifying mediocrity, and the verdict is in:

Eighty-to-85 wins, fourth place, 12 out (depending on how crappy Baltimore turns out to be.)

No private reservoir of juju and Genny Cream can change the outcome of this movie. The remaining question is whether our suffering will matter. (With the aforementioned teams, it did not.) Can we find a future star, someone who will play a Yankee team that doesn't suck? Yet the trade deadline again looms not as a source of hope... but of dread.

Two weeks ago, I lulled myself to sleep dreaming of what we'd get for Andrew Miller or El Chapo maybe even All-Star Beltran. But the reality is that nobody - aside from the Yankees - deals a blue-chip prospect for the broken-down 40-year-olds that we hoard like Snickers bars in a senior center. As we have now reached .500 - a false-read on success, since nine AL teams sit above us, and only four have worse records - the fear is that we will trade for the next Vernon, Pronk, Mr. Oriole or Ichiro. Frankly, we'll be lucky if the brass doesn't do something incredibly stupid.

I was reminded of this yesterday when reading about the top bullpen arms on the current market - after, of course, the Yankee Big Three. The first name on everybody's list is Arodys Vizcaino, the 25-year-old closer for Atlanta. Of course, he's a former Yankee. In December of 2009, we traded Vizcaino with Melky Cabrera and Mike Dunn (a nice lefty) to Atlanta for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez. (This was the second Yankee tour for Vazquez, both of which ended in tragedy.) That horror trade grows uglier each year. Nevertheless, the Yankee YES Explaining Society spent four seasons pretending that Vizcaino didn't exist, and brown-nosing the wisdom of their bosses.

The second pitcher most desired is our old friend Tyler "The Yankee" Clippard. He's now 31, still enjoying a fine career. We traded him for Jonathan Albaladejo, remembered as "the Racoon" for his matching black eyes, the result of a line drive in the dugout. It was one of the worst roll-the-dice, impulse trades in Yankee history. If we simply never made that trade, who knows how the last five years would have unfolded? Oh, well.

Of course, the reason why the Yankee brass never changes - or feels pressure to change - is simple: The Yankees own the media that covers them. So they boast about new Yankee and forget the prospect we dealt. Only the fans remember.

Interesting that in the late 1990s, the growth of YES - and the injection of money into the Yankees - fueled the rise of the franchise back to historical dominance. But in the last 10 years, with the money now being held back because of luxury taxes, the YES network's relentless yessing and yahooing keeps anything from changing. It started as a blessing. It has become a curse.

Welcome to .500, everybody. We might just be here for the rest of our lives.

3 comments:

ceeja said...

Thanks for the reference to Genny Cream. Haven't had one since I lived upstate in 1979.

At the risk of sounding like the guy on the cross at the end of "The Life of Brian" let me say this:

1. Didi is fun to watch. Just by the law of averages the yanks can't always make a trade that blows.

2. At least Aarons Judge solved triple A pitching before he went down.

3. At least refsnyder is playing instead of swisher or A Rod.

4. It's about time we cleared away the fair weather fans.

5. El cheapo hal may actually clean house at the front office.

John M said...

Is there any way we can engineer Hal's hiring of a private detective to hound Beltran? Or perhaps he can make an illegal campaign contribution to Trump?

Is Gene Michael still available?

Anonymous said...

WOW!...THAT 2ND FORAY INTO JAVIER VASQUEZ WAS A MURDEROUSLY COSTLY ONE!.....NOBODY SAYS A WORD ABOUT IT.....EXCEPT THIS BLOG...... MIKE LOWELL FOR A BAG OF BALLS, AND GARY SHEFFIELD OFF A 103 RBI SEASON FOR ANOTHER BAG OF BALLS.....DIDN'T WE KINDA GIVE AWAY TED LILLY TOO?....(I DON'T REMEMBER WHO FOR), BUT LILLY HAD A PRETTY GOOD CAREER...(OUR "MYSTERY SCOUT" DIDN'T LIKE HIS DELIVERY- SAID HE WOULD GET HURT)-THE GUY PITCHED 15 YEARS- DIDN'T GET HURT..... AND THAT ABALADEJO DEAL WAS A DISASTER!....