Friday, July 1, 2016
Posted by el duque at 6:56 AM
For two seasons now, we've whipped him like a rented mule, because - well - he is a rented mule. He's a San Diego Padre stuffed into a Yankee uniform, a mercenary who in two years will run off to Milwaukee or Pittsburgh, and who cares? It takes years of fighting and at least one great meaningful moment for a player to make his Yankee bones, and this 2016 team is full of empty uniforms - Ellsbury, McCann, Headley, Beltran, et al - who have yet to win anything that truly mattered. Headley looms as a sour four-year deal, and if the owners are going view players as contracts, why shouldn't we fans? And if the players are mere contracts, well... why bother?
And yet... there he was, plunging headfirst into home. The fact is, Chase Headley is a good teammate, a positive vibe, who has lifted his average into semi-respectability. No, he's not worth all that money, but why should that matter? He plays hard. He gives his all. To my recollection, he has never jogged out a grounder or admired a HR ball at home plate, never flipped his bat to start a fight, never whined about the umps or whinnied some lame excuse after an 0-for-5. He's taken every bullet, and he's not the reason why this team is mediocre. He is a guy we should root for, and why, why WHY do I need to keep telling myself this?
Well, the answer is simple: It's the nepotistic, crony-suckled creeps who own and operate the New York Yankees.
The Steinbrenner heirs are now seven years into corporate control, surrounded by a handpicked gaggle of professional Waylon Smithers impersonators. They have yet to implement a long-term Yankee strategy beyond retiring uniforms, commissioning statues, monetizing the past and whitewashing the team's mediocrity via their franchise-owned media. Five years ago, Shallow Hal was supposed to shrink us below the luxury tax threshold, so he let Russel Martin walk and traded AJ Burnett for a dab of suntan lotion. That plan lasted a half season. For a whole year, he refused to negotiate a long-term extension for Robbie Cano and then - poof - after Cano jogged off to Seattle - Hal added three utterly horrible contracts to the burial mound of whipping mules. The Yankees have drafted poorly - bypassing top talent because they didn't want to shell out the money - and here we sit at .500, going nowhere, still waiting for a plan... and yet the owners never hear the booing.
Well, they get booed here.
But listen: I've been all wrong in spitting my bile. It's time to start cheering the Chases and Carloses, the Jacobys and the Brians, because they haven't given up. They keep fighting. And what has happened this season was not their fault. They came to a franchise whose fans want only to win, but whose owner wants to make money - and also win. There is a huge difference. They should not be our whipping mules.
I look at this team and cannot imagine it winning the 2016 World Series. It's just not going to happen. I see us chasing an endless string of wild card berths, which means Headley might never have a true Yankee moment. But he hasn't given up and - dammit - neither should we.
THE TIME IS APPROACHING FOR A FUCKINAY JUJU INTERVENTION. YOU HEAR ME? IT IS ALMOST TIME FOR THE ENRAGED AND ANGRY BOIL OF THE YANKIVERSE TO EXPLODE! IT'S TIME TO ATTACK OUR TV SCREENS, TO CHARGE THE MOUND, TO SHAKE OUR JUJU-MAKERS AT THE GODS AND DEMAND ACTION. GRAB YOUR POWDER AND LOAD THE JUJU GUNS, BOYS, BECAUSE WE'RE NOT GOING DOWN IN JULY WITHOUT FIRING SOME BULLETS, AND INDEPENDENCE DAY IS ALMOST HERE!!!!!!