Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:30 AM
That's because it's the One Game Wild Card Away Field berth, the shitty door prize of Major League Baseball. It's like the Golden Globes, where everybody who shows up gets an award. After five long months, MLB has effectively eliminated from the Wild Card race only nine teams: Tampa, Minnesota, Anaheim, Oakland, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, San Diego and Arizona. Everybody else is a contender, sorta.
But let's be real: Even if the Yankees go on an out-of-body winning streak - say, taking 15 out of 20 - it will not change the fact that they traded their closer for an excuse to check box scores at Trenton. If the Yankees do come close, it will just make El Chapo's absence more painful. What if the bullpen blows the last game, causing us to miss the One Game Wild Card Away Field prize? We'll go to our graves thinking Chapman would have saved us. We might even blame Geyber Torres.
Frankly, I doubt this team gets within a Hollywood restraining order of a wild card berth, but we'll still be thinking of what we might be with Chapman. That's not good for my lumbago. Fearful of this team landing on a perpetual Treadmill of Trouble - the Purgatory of .500 - I have been close to actually rooting against the Yankees. That's no way to be.
In pro sports, you're either all in, or all out. Yesterday, the 2016 Yankees made their choice. I'm fine with that. But now, what I fear is Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner second-guessing himself - he did it in the past, chasing the $186 million payroll cap - and trading youth for some old slugger. (We already have plenty, they just became slugs.) The Yankees must unload more bloat. Hal has made his bed of rusty nails. Now, he should sleep on it.
Gardy must go. I say this with respect and love. He deserves to be in a real race. We have two Gardy clones - Mason Williams and Ben Gamel - at Triple A. (That's not counting Aaron Judge, who could be back next week; I'd almost forgotten how quickly young players heal.) They need a chance. We may not get much for Gardner. It doesn't matter.
McCann should go. He's not the hitter we signed. The defensive over-shifts took 30 points off his batting average, and the 30 HRs we figured - they're not coming. We thought he could play out his contract at first base, but he's not a good-enough hitter. He's no slouch as a catcher. Last night, Austin Romine delivered two hits. He's played better than McCann, and then there is Gary Sanchez - perhaps our best prospect - who doesn't need another year at Scranton.
One of the three starters - Nova, Pineda or Eovaldi - should go. Let's hope they keep pitching well. The better they throw, the more we might get. But if we've seen anything about this trio, it's that they run hot and cold. Also, their contracts are running out. Trade one, at his high point. Go with the ghost of Luis Severino.
Of course we should trade Tex or A-Rod, but why bother? We'll get nothing in return - their contracts are poison - and we'll disrespect two tribal elders. Then there is Carlos Beltran, who might bring something. He's a free agent next winter, and I can't imagine the Yankees re-signing him or even making a qualifying offer. It's time for Hal to man-up and play for the future. The Redsocks have been doing it for years. If we play our cards right, we might actually win something in this decade.