Friday, August 26, 2016

With Hot L Baltimore looming tonight, a recap of Scranton's visit this week to Syracuse

Six of our next nine games involve the pug, Buck Showalter, which means every night is the World Series. If we go 3-3 against the O's, not even YES Happy Talkers on ecstasy can formulate a realistic path to the 2016 Wild Card. Frankly, four out of six may not cut it. We need at least five wins, which means - well - tonight.

Such is the Yankee situation: dire, with a small "d."

The fact is, we must ponder the long game: Nobody on the Yankees over age 30 really matters. Our future is in Scranton, which has - no lie - the best goddamn team in Triple A by far - and that's even without Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge.

This week, the Railriders played twice in Syracuse. Mustang and I attended both games. The stool sample analyses soon should be back from the lab. Meanwhile, some Small Sample Size/non-expert opinionated observations:

Clint Frazier: Poster boy for the sell-off trades. Our number one prospect, on the rankings. Looks like the Michelin man, but with muscles. Totally jacked. Runs like a fullback. Last night, he hit one off the wall in right-center - that's a lonnnng shot in Syracuse - and legged out a triple. (His second in two games.) Also hit a few grounders to SS. He's clumsy in LF, botched a bouncer and took a poor route on a liner. His average on the scoreboard said .230. He seemed to be pressing. Hard to say what we have. But he's 21, and sometime next June or July, we'll know everything.

Jordan Montgomery: Lefty-starter. Going into the fifth inning last night, he was throwing a no-hitter. The liner dropped in front of Frazier, and Gardy would have had it. Oh, well. Didn't matter. Montgomery pitched out of a bases loaded jam. He threw 5.2 innings and gave up only 3 hits, lowering his ERA to - no typo - 0.58. Yep. Oh, point five eight. The guy is 23, from University of South Carolina. He's 6'6" and cuts loose. Minor-fake issue: He constantly fidgets and stretches his arm, as if feeling discomfort. These days, you expect TJ surgery, right? (Note: I'm mentioning this to NOT jinx him. What are the odds of my predictions EVER being right? See? I'm indemnifying him from elbow issues.)

Ben Gamel: Man, this guy is sooo ready for the bigs. WTF is he doing down here? The Railriders are now batting him cleanup - ridiculous, he's a lead-off hitter - so what happens? He jacks a moon shot to right-center, no easy feat in Syracuse. He was the International League Player of the Year LAST YEAR. He is being completely squandered in Scranton. Will Gardy or Ellsbury please get hurt? (No tear, just a tweak, that's all I ask.) How we be so mediocre in the MLB outfield and yet this kid doesn't even get a shot?

Rob Refsnyder: Line drive machine, both nights. He's hitting .330. Didn't look comfortable at third - his new position - he threw a ball into the dirt. He also should be in NYC. I recognize that, this weekend, Joe Girardi has no recourse but to play Gards and Ells, but as soon as the Yankees are out of it - they need to be sitting. The difference between young overachievers and old underachievers might be slight, mathematically, but if you're playing the long game, it is everything. I so much prefer to watch the rookies.

Giovanni Gallegos: I know what you're thinking: Who the hell is he? A reliever, previously off my grid. Never heard of him until Wednesday night. He's 25, up from Trenton a month ago, and his ERA in Triple A is 1.43 He was - purely and simply - lights out. In the ninth, he struck out the side, with Syracuse batters flailing, helplessly over-matched. This is his fifth year in the Yankee system, and he has quietly and steadily moved up, notch after notch, pitching effectively. Remember this name. He's not Mariano, and he's not a starter. But he might be a solid bullpen lug nut. The long game, folks. That's what we're playing.


I'm Bill White said...

I saw Ben Gamel in Durham last year and he was ready then. Please consider supplementing your report with details on the cost of beer, concession offerings, any interesting advertising (signs and/or jingles, your choice) that you observed at the game. What was the price of a hot dog? Did you or Mustang eat hot dogs? Urinal cakes or some new kind of urinal technology that I don't even know about? If the gravel in the parking lot made a certain sound as it crushed together under your tires, I want to know.

Thank you.

KD said...

any cool mascots or funny between inning diversions for the kiddies? Minor league baseball has many charms!

John M said...

Here's the funny thing. If Girardi had benched Gardy and Jacoby BEFORE now, and had Gamel and Ref playing, he might not be in the position of benching Gardy and Jacoby because it's all over.

Believe it or not.

KD said...

You can keep your Mr. Met, your Philly Fanatic, your stupid Oriole bird, and your san Diego Chicken. I'll take Mr. Celery from the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

and when are the Yankees going to get a decent mascot? Is a big foam-headed version of The Master too much to ask for?

el duque said...

Wednesday was "Bring your dog to the stadium night." The Chiefs wore jerseys with pictures of dogs. They sold each one on auctions, with the bidding starting at $75. The players were pictured on the scoreboard as dogs, and the visiting Railriders were shown as cats. A vendor came to our far off section down the left field line because of the barking.

Thursday was a collection of Zoo mascots in big inflated suits, including Ken Giraffee Jr. and Whale Gretzky. They did dances. A big Harry Canary sang a pre-recorded "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from the press box. There were also two-dollar beers and one dollar hot dogs.

DutchFan said...

One of the most challenging things for a non native speaker, is understanding jokes. Excuse of the double layers and stuff like that. I am not even beginning to think about the possibility of being witty myself.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this account and especially all the comments. This blog is so much fun to read.

DutchFan said...

Excuse? That is my keyboard taking over. That ought to be especially

Anonymous said...

WHEN will El Duque be hired as Yankee General Manager???? WHEN?

KD said...

Wow duque. that's what I call big fun down on the farm! Did Harry Canary appear drunk?

and I'm serious about a John Sterling caricature as our mascot. think of the possibilities. who's with me on this? Hal Steinbrenner, make this happen!!

KD said...

Every time a Yankee hits a home run, out comes The Master. He'll do a little dance, high five some blue-seat fans and the batter as he crosses home plate. Then make a little pronouncement consisting of a goofy home run call audible on the P.A. system in a computer-generated facsimile of his iconic voice, afterwards prancing off the field. who wouldn't pay extra to see that?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Duque, thanks for reminding me of a great forgotten show.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

When my children were very small, we used to take them to see the Pawtucket Red Sox play the Columbus Clippers (then the Yanks' AAA team, of course) whenever the Clippers were in town. We live in Rhode Island, not too far from Pawtucket.

It was probably 1993 and I went out to the outfield to get a close up view of the Yanks' AAA pitchers in the away team bullpen. At the time, a chain link fence about as high as your jeans pocket was all that separated you from the guys tossing pitches. I was carrying my one-year-old daughter (who is now a US Marine).

I don't remember who the player was but -- one of them, a skinny guy from the Dominican Republic -- walked over and he and I started speaking. (I speak Spanish.) He was some middle innings reliever. I asked him about some of the the players, how he found life in the U.S., what he thought his prospects were, just stuff.

Out of the blue, he reached over and nudged my arm and asked if he could hold my daughter. I gave her over and he closed his eyes and said "I miss this." I said "you must have children, too" and he held up three fingers. Then he called over another Latin guy and said, "Look at this", gesturing towards my daughter.

A few others walked over and it hit me that these poor guys had families back home and they missed them. If only I'd had a camera, the way we all do 24x7 nowadays.

That's the kind of stuff that happens at a minor league game.

KD said...

back when I was an obnoxious middle teen, a bunch of us went to a Jacksonville Suns game. we went to a lot of Suns games. this night we faced a team who had a player in the lineup last name Hickey. you can imagine what we thought of that. the crowd was sparse and our taunts were easily heard on the field and around the stadium. The opposition players were glaring at us. we were having a high old time until a bunch of women attacked us! turns out they were the girlfriends/wives of the visiting team and they damn near chased us out of the park! A treasured minor league baseball memory.

I'm Bill White said...

Tip of the cap to LBJ's daughter. Great story. I am still waiting for a download on the Syracuse urinals. If beers were $2, you can bet they were used. Hope they were used...unless that "we sat far down the left field line" part was code for "we peed in our empties." Homer Simpson might hold the clear plastic cup and think "Mmm. Plastic cup gets so warm..." Cue hot chick walking by to her seats and Homer loses his train of thought. After a long moment, he looks down at full cup, and thinks "I thought I drank you already...Bonus!"

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