the case against signing Larry Rothschild popped up in Pittsburgh: Pirates fans celebrated the Yankee trade that sent them Ivan Nova for a pair of low-level prospects.
Says the Rum Bunter, which names Nova the Pirates pitcher of the year...
I know what you're thinking: WTF? That's Ivan Nova he's talking about. Doesn't he know that if the season lasted 11 more starts, Nova would pitch his way to a 6-plus ERA? Doesn't he realize that Nova is a living embodiment of the random sample, a roll of the dice, and that you can't count on him for anything, ever, always, through eternity, or death do us part?
Well, I dunno, anymore. There was a time when players became Yankees and upped their games accordingly. In recent years, that's gone out the window. They're just as likely to leave NY and become stars. Nova enters the 2017 free agent market as one of the best pitchers available, but we sure won't be nibbling.
Which brings me to Larry Rothschild. And first, let's be clear: The Yankees certainly know more about pitching than we do, and Joe Girardi has reached a comfort level with Rothschild, and that's not worth nothing, right? So Larry will return for another year of -what? Michael Pineda? The collapsing bullpen? The vanishing rotation? And most of all, how did we go so long with Nova and get so little from him - guy was a roller coaster - and then watch him suddenly improve so much... and how does this happen without some self-exploration within our own management? What happened? Was it a language barrier? Was it an attitude thing? Was it generational? Was it simply a case of Nova getting a re-set button in a new city? (If so, why couldn't we press the re-set button?)
Listen: I was all in on jettisoning Ivan Nova, and I didn't care what we got for him. The guy needed an airplane ticket, and everybody knew it. Still, why couldn't we wrangle those solid starts out of him? Why did he have to leave to be good? Next season, there will be another Ivan Nova - his name is Michael. Did we learn anything?