Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Thank you, Tampa. You may have saved the next Yankee decade.

Thank you, o merciful Tampons.

You could have laid down. You could have gone to Ghostbusters, Ladies Edition. You could have faked a Zika outbreak - (Question: Seeing as how the governor of Florida rejects global warming as a hoax, why does he believe scientists' warnings about Zika? Why not call their bluff?) You could have lost those three games, lifting the Yankees to an astronomical six games above .500! - where the rarefied air would have dizzied Food Stamps Hal Steinbrenner into trading prospects for Steve Pearce or Randy Choate. You could have killed our next decade. You could have sent us back to John Mayberry.

That happened in 1982, Maybe's last gasp in MLB. For 15 years, Mayberry killed the Yankees, so in one of George's signature botches, we traded three prospects - Dave Revering was the best - to bring Goliath to Gotham. Through August, Mayberry hit .209 with 8 home runs - numbers that eerily match A-Rod's - and occupied the middle of our lineup like a Shriner's fart in an elevator. By June, whenever Mayberry came up, I was praying for him not to get a hit - because it would prolong the agony. A home run would mean another lost month.

Listen: I don't claim to know prospects. I am a box score scout. I never claim to know who what Girardi should do in the ninth inning. But I do know fan-hood, and I can tell you that the absolute worst feeling for any fan is to be reduced to rooting against his team, because he wants the players to disappear. Yes, it's irrational, but it is a human reaction, and it's the reason this country might elect Donald Trump: People just want to burn everything down. (That's why we need sports, by the way.)

Last night, for the first time in months, I actually rooted for the Yankees to win, without fearing the long term consequences. (It didn't hurt that we were playing the Mets.)  Last night, I actually rooted for A-Rod to come up with the bases loaded and the game on the line. When he was pulled from the on-deck circle, so that Ben Gamel could deliver a critical bunt, it didn't bother me. A-Rod cannot hurt me anymore. (In fact, with no pennant race, he's likely to start hitting; isn't that the way he's always done it?) Ben Gamel? I can root for the guy. He has never hurt me.

In a mid-game interview, Brian Cashman inferred that Gary Sanchez will soon be on the team. I can't wait. I don't even care if he looks over-matched. He'll be learning. Same with Tyler Austin, Jake Cave, Aaron Judge, and the cast of Gilligan's Island, otherwise known as the pitching staff of Scranton. Let's see what we've got. We can root for these guys.

I hereby propose that - if any of our new prospects become stars - the 2030 Yankee Old-Timers Day game should be dedicated to the July 29-31, 2016 three-game wipe-out against the Rays - the series that tased Yankee ownership into accepting reality. We were on the verge of chasing another wild card - and Tampa slapped us awake.

Last weekend, the Yankee world changed. Thank you, Tampa. Now watch out for the mosquitoes.


Local Bargain Jerk said...

Interesting quote from today's NY Post that corroborates all of this:

     Watching the Yankees lose three straight to the lowly
     Rays made an impression on Steinbrenner.

     “It didn’t impact it for me, but I think it definitely influenced
     the people above me more,’’ Cashman said.

     This team started to play better, started to impact the
     win column better. Then the inconsistency of our club
     reared its ugly head again when we went into Tampa Bay
     and lost all three games. A true playoff contender,
     not a playoff pretender, wouldn’t do that.’’


KD said...

Thank you, duque, for saving the Yankees. You should get a plaque in Monument Park.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

All praise Reverse JuJu!
And the best part of all, as you mentioned El Duque, is that I could FINALLY root for our team with all of my heart!
This season has been an existential crisis of the highest magnitude. We'll see how this pans out, and I'm in no rush, this reboot will probably not bring winning results until 2018, but it's the right thing to do, and I'm all in.

Anonymous said...

WAIT A MINUTE, LBJ!...... CASHMAN SAID LOSING 3 TO TAMPA, "DIDN'T IMPACT IT FOR ME" ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ..............THAT'S HORRIFYING.......... BUT REGARDLESS, THANK YOU TAMPA.

13bit said...


Tom said...

Another too-smart move by Cashman? Turns out that Dillon Tate, the key pitcher acquired from Texas for Beltran, has been sucking it up quite a bit since he was drafter 4th last year and has lost velocity off his fastball: “If he was doing what he was doing last year out of the draft that got him picked four, we couldn’t touch him,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “So it was a great buy-low situation.”

This guy never learns. Remember all the gems he was squirreling away a few years back, drafting guys like Andrew Brackman because they had high upside. Exactly none of them panned out, unless you count the perpetually injured Manny Banuelos recuperating in Atlanta.

The Yankees used to buy high -- too high, in my opinion. It was frustrating, but if there was something bright and shiny available, the Yankees bought it, regardless of cost. Now, we're bargain hunters, rummaging through everybody else's trash looking for a few cans so we can collect deposit nickels:
Dustin Ackley, Aaron Hicks, Chase Headley, Aroldis Chapman, Castro, Eovaldi and now Dillon Tate.

The scribes tell us we won the Chapman transactions. I don't know. The rest of them are mostly losers, although we need to reserve judgement on Tate, who probably needs a surgery so we won't know for a couple of years.

In his comments, Cashman gives off a vibe like he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. I'll bet other GMs love letting him think that.

John M said...

Cashman must love all the kudos on the Red Sox Network (which weirdly somehow translates to the acronym ESPN...makes no sense to me). I guess he wasn't at all responsible for creating the mess that made the dump necessary. Like Torre, he should be rewarded when the team does well and never take a hit when the team doesn't.

Remember, he still likes Hicks and wants to hang in with him until the Stadium burns down. And we still have all the old, bad, and/or wildly inconsistent parts we had before, sans Nova. Cashman didn't move any of the guys you'd want him to really move, even at bargain prices. He held out on McCann until Atlanta said to hell with it. We still have A-Rod. We still have Headley Lamarr. We still have the aging outfield former speedsters who can't hit. We still have Tex (that on is tough to say, but it's true). But we have no .300 hitter or certifiable lights-out closer.

There's still too much clogging the arteries of the team to let us see the younger players we want to love, certainly not on a regular basis.

The big money contracts, in almost every case, will still be put on the field no matter how lame or boring the result.

Guess it'll be a while yet.

Anonymous said...