Wednesday, August 17, 2016
I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride but something touched me deep inside the day the music died...
Posted by el duque at 7:30 AM
What was the cruelest aspect of last night's debacle?
a) Two home runs by Russell Martin; reminding us once again of Hal Steinbrenner's original ownership sin: his cheap-ass refusal to negotiate a two-year deal, back when the boy owner was hell-bent on reducing Yankee payroll to skirt the luxury tax - a scheme that Sallow Hal promptly abandoned. Ever since, Martin has celebrated his freedom beard by destroying Yankee pitchers, whenever he gets the chance. He's not the one that got away. He's the one we sent away.
b) The end of Nathan Eovaldi, due to multiple surgeries - silencing the two-year celebration of Brian Cashman's great trade by the happy-tweet gerbils of the Yankee courtier press. Ever since that questionable deal was made - launching a progression of events that culminated with us signing Chase Headley for four years - the Yankee YES team has gobbled and gushed over the art of the deal. We traded Martin Prado and David Phelps for the kind of young starter you just don't find on the open market. Well, Prado is the best third baseman in the NL, and Phelps is - well - Phelps. Don't get me wrong: I loved Eovaldi, and I feel cheap here just whining at the fates, especially when a fine young fellow like him faces such a tough road back. But I'm sick of the hubris of this organization, whose well paid employees bubble and moo over every deal - always marveling about the genius of their bosses. It takes time to assess a deal, yet they announce their conclusions on Day One of spring training. Right now, well... it really hurts. Good luck, Nathan.
c) Another 0-for-4 for Mark Teixeira - batting fourth, no less. I don't get it. The team gives A-Rod movie money to leave - calls him an Uber and puts him on the 4 a.m. cow-catcher to Oswego. But Tex, who came five years after Alex, continues on in his role as the middle of the order rally-killer. We make a big announcement: Tyler Austin is coming up! He homers and then - poof - sits. Once again, we are choking on plumage, pecking orders, contractual obligations, marquee names, and known faces on the Jumbotron. Every time the Yankees get something going, here comes Tex or Brian McCann, lashing yet another line drive into the soft gloves of another over-shift. Last night, Ken Singleton mentioned how exciting it is to see Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge come to the plate, how it brings such anticipation. What he didn't say is it's because watching Tex, McCann, et al, is such a downer.
Final note: I truly believe that if Tex or McCann spent enough time adjusting to the shifts - that is, tapering their swings to the opposite field, or learning to bunt - they could extend their careers by two years. In Tex's case, he is literally choosing to retire rather than alter his style. Yes, I know it's not easy - old dog, new tricks, yaddayadda - but Tex isn't even hitting .200. Come on! That's unconscionable, and he doesn't deserve such a criticism-free ride. How many innings could a bunt base hit have extended?
d) It was the bullpen that got us - our pride and joy for most of the season. In that old formula, we would have seen No Runs DMC, (which the NY Post tried to sell us as the "three somethingorothers of smoke." Instead, we got Chasen Shreve and the cast of Glee. Don't get me wrong: I'd still make those deals. We were going nowhere. But last night, the chickens came home to roost.
e) Last night effectively choked out the few glimmers of hope that popped up after the sell-off. Yeah, we can win today and still take the series. But last night's loss is a turd that won't flush in a bowl that won't unclog. We're going to be smelling it for a long, long time.
The only way to get rid of such a thing is to moon Big Papi.