Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:41 AM
But, seriously, sheeple... we are finally here. The canyon of zeros. The River Avenue Rapture. The Cashman Cataclysm. Hal-Mageddon. The Yankapocalypse...
Once we're done with tonight's sickening, four-hour shart of corporate self-congratulation - MLB's version of the Golden Globes - (World Series home field advantage? Meh...) - we play the O's, Redsocks and SF Giants - baseball's best-run franchise, managed by all the guys we didn't keep (Brian Sabean, Felipe Alou, Shane Turner, Dave Righetti, Bam Bam Meulens, Dirt Tidrow, Roberto Kelly, et al). What happens over the next 10 games could define the Yankee 2016 season in Hal Steinbrenner's inherited, size-16 head.
If we get splattered - (Fun fact: we are 4-8 this season against the O's and Redsocks) - the team might launch what thinking fans want: A clog-clearing blow-out, disbanding the senior citizens outreach program that currently co-exists with the Yankee lineup. We probably won't get anybody in a trade, because other teams only see the bloated contracts. To me, it doesn't matter. It's time to see Ben Gamel, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Rob Refsnyder in a regular role. Aaron Judge's bum knee means he probably won't make it this year, other than for a cup of coffee. But we're close to a verdict on Aaron Hicks, Nathan Eovaldi, Brian McCann, Starlin Castro and others - maybe even Brett Gardner: None will likely ever wear a Yankee ring. Clearly, anything we could get for A-Rod, Tex or CC would be cream, but they'll stay, even if the Yankee doomsday barge tries to pivot toward youth. No matter what happens, it won't be pretty. But a sell-off might spare us the indignity of what modern America has never known... a decade without the Yankees in the World Series. (We've already seen the eighties, when we went a world championship.)
But over these next few games, if we go - say - 7-3 or 6-4 - the brain trust might remember how leaky Toronto looked last August and choose to trade for more bloat. I don't know what version of Xavier Nady or Sidney Ponson is currently out there, waiting to escape some small market tomato can, but Brian Cashman would find him. We dodged a bullet with Nick Swisher, who ran the bases in Scranton like Catlyn Jenner in Dollar Store pumps. But when a GM is called upon to tear down the house that he, himself, built, believe it: There is a powerful incentive to add a new backyard deck and pretend the walls will hold.
During last week's drunk blog, which coincides with a gathering of dispirited fogies and Redsock fans, I constantly heard that Yankee fans are spoiled, and how followers of the Padres or Brewers would happily contend for a wild card every five seasons, because their teams always stink. I get that. These people are fools. But the Yankees are not a small market trinket, and their fans yearn for dynastic greatness, not a flash, Tom Coughlinesque run every fifth September. In a world where heroes are in short supply, it is not a crime to wish for something more than the mirage of a wild card. I'm too old for fake greatness. The culture is crammed with it. I want the real deal. And the next 10 games might tell whether we can build an honest team in this decade.
Or... maybe not.
Hey, viva hyperbole!