Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Retrieval Empire seems to have lost its golden touch on the scrap heap

This year, at age 36, Rich Hill finally figured out major league hitters. He won 12, lost 5, and pitched to an ERA of 2.12 with LA and Oakland. Who knew this would happen? The guy has bounced around for eight years, even pitched for the Yankees in 2014. Suddenly, he figures everything out? Go figure.

Then there is Toronto's J.A. Happ, who pitched last night. He's 33 and been an J.A. Happ throughout his career. Suddenly, he's Cy Happ - 20-4 on the year. Twenty and four. Where would Toronto be without him? Probably where we are -at home.

In some alt-right fantasy universe, the Yankees signed these guys for two Genny Creams and a bottle opener, and we won the division. In fact, for several years in the 2000s, Brian Cashman prided himself on scrap heap pickups - especially aging pitchers. Cash's dumpster diving peaked in 2011, when he signed Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, two apparent basket cases that generated yawns from the fan base. They became bulwarks of the rotation. Unfortunately, Cash we let Bartolo walk and kept Freddy, who was ready for the Elmer's Glue factory.

The fact is, if the Yankees had kept Colon, we might have made the post-season for the last four years, instead of being bridesmaids with skin conditions. Bartolo has been one of MLBs best starters, and Met fans love him - in part, because our highly (self) esteemed front office and coaching staff royally botched it.

We've now gone five years without a scrap heap treasure. (If you want to argue that Blake Parker was a "find," be my guest. Also, feel free to mention Chris Capuano. And Chris Bootcheck!) Much of this is - of course - pure, unadulterated luck. Oakland won the Rich Hill lottery. So maybe 2017 will be the year our luck changes, right? Maybe we get next year's Hill and Happ.

Well, I dunno. For a while now, we've been waiting for the legendary pitching guru Larry Rothschild to spin some knucklehead into gold. He was going to do it with Michael Pineda. He was going to do it with Nathan Eovaldi. He was going to do it with Luis Severino. And Esmil Rogers. And Ivan Nova. And let us not forget the ultimate disappointment: Joba Chamberlain.

Listen: If Joe Girardi is going to remain the Yankees manager, he gets to pick his pitching coach. I get that. He can select Dopey Dildox, if he wants, and as far as we're concerned, that's China Town, Jake. Still, the next time I hear some boot-licking Yankee YES-bot about how the guru Larry Rothchild is going to reclaim somebody, I'm going to strangle a neighborhood puppy. We are Happ-less... and long overdue.

(Note: Because the Redsocks were swept, I am not complaining. As you know, I promised the juju gods that I would not complain, in exchange for a quick Redsock exit. I am NOT complaining. I am merely marveling at how our luck is surely about to change. That horseshit under the Christmas tree surely means there is a pony waiting out back.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

AARON SMALL WAS OUR, (CASHMAN'S), GREATEST SCRAP HEAP PICKUP IN 2005..... BUT IF YOU NOTICE, ALMOST ALL SCRAP HEAP PICKUPS DON'T LAST MORE THAN 1 YEAR (IF YOU'RE LUCKY).....WE HAVEN'T BEEN LUCKY.

Alphonso said...

As long as the settled regime rules, we are screwed. Girardi is a tired, old-school manager. Rothschild is Girardi's idea of innovation and development, signifying and yielding nothing for the team. Cashman is their boss, and so it goes.

We do not have the infastruture to develop, excite and motivate young players. We just flip them like pancakes. Preferring the Stephen Drews' of the world. When a young player gets enough exposure to develop, it is usually due to an accident of timing and injury. And when the old dog returns from the DL, he gets his job back.

Other teams are riding the fast train right past us.

Anonymous said...

JUST THE MENTION OF STEPHEN DREW MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL..... AARON HICKS IS FAST APPROACHING "SKIN CRAWL" STATUS TOO....