Thursday, December 29, 2016

Here's to the unsung Yankee hero of 2016 - the clubhouse coolie

At the height of its snarky 1980s success, Spy Magazine sent someone to one of Donald Trump's lavish parties, the kinds where millionaire Caligulas licked Calgon Bath Oil from the buttocks of handcuffed Rockettes. The big news nugget was that Trump paid someone to put origami folds onto the loose ends of the toilet paper. He even stationed people outside the bathrooms, waiting for you to finish your dump, so they could finagle the paper before the next person needed it. That's class, folks. And I gotta believe Mike Pence will love wiping his butt for the next four years on an origami Alec Baldwin.

I note this because the Yankees in 2016 must have had somebody similar in the clubhouse, and that's why Aroldis Chapman is back in pinstripes. It's rare for a guy who was jettisoned at the trade deadline - and who then won a World Series with an ascendant team - to return next winter to the franchise that dealt him. But that's exactly what El Chapo has done, and I gotta believe it's because a) we'll pay him a shitload of money, and b) he enjoys wiping his buns with a four-ply, three-dimensional wad of Fidel Castro. Or maybe it's the Gertrude Hawk chocolates in his locker, or the autographed Rockettes underwear - I dunno - but somewhere within the Yankee totality, Hal Steinbrenner gives players what they cannot get in Milwaukee, and I don't mean the experience of dueling farts in elevators.

Today, let us honor that nameless clubhouse grunt - 2016 Yankee Employee of the Year.

Tommy John - the player, not the surgery - once said that every player should do at least one stint with the Yankees. He had pitched in Chicago and LA, but neither compared with life under George. Keep in mind, this occurred during the 14-year barf, when the Yankees won nothing, so Tommy never got a ride down the Canyon of Heroes. But it's the one thing the Yankees still have going for them. They remain the perceived royalty of baseball, the New York Fucking Yankees.

I like to think we have a fan base smart enough to cheer a hitter who gives himself up, moving a base runner to third with a grounder - even though our hitters generally do not try to do such selfless acts. New York is still a great place to play. El Chapo's return tells us that the Yankees remain the Mar-A-Lago of franchises.... but but BUT... it won't last forever.

The clock is ticking, and Boston will almost certainly win the AL East next year, and maybe the year after that. Make no mistake. Boston will probably win this decade. And if our big prospects flame out, we could be looking up at a Redsock dynasty - and all the bathroom origami in the world will not save us.

5 comments:

Alphonso said...

My concern is that Boston will win out for most of this century, while we await the race between father time and the yankee starting rotation.

Will we ever see another parade down the canyon?

John M said...

During the past 15 years, since the Curse of the Tino Abandonment, we have already lost the legendary shine of past decades (minus the barf years). Nobody wants to come here over and above any other city's team...there's more fun and easier living almost anywhere else except L.A., although when you factor in what those guys pay, the living ain't bad at all.

When a player comes to New York, the airport and the limo ride on the crappy roads, past the crappy neighborhoods, over the crappy bridge, into the crappy traffic jams, says everything you need to know. If you're from a Third World country, it might seem OK because it feels a lot like the Dominican Republic writ fantastically large (no offense meant, that place is just remarkably poor and looks it), and the fake and hideous "glamour" of a place like Trump Tower might be impressive. The sad thing is, the Yankees are a lot like that trip in from JFK or LGA. Used to be a great team, has had its moments during the past 40 years, sometimes a few in a row, but really? This isn't the 20s or 30s or 40s or 50s or early 60s Yankees. This isn't even the turn of the millennium mini-dynasty. This is mediocrity propped up by nostalgia with support from jingoism and marketing hype.

I had to drive back from an upstate Christmas yesterday, something I hadn't done in seven or eight years (you can drink on Amtrak), and I went past the new stadium without even seeing it. I don't know how that happened, but it never happened when I drove past the real Yankee Stadium. And suddenly, the veil was lifted. We're nothing special, and we haven't been for a while now. There were those small windows: the Reggie - Thurm - Gator blip in the 70s, and the false spring of the second half of the 90s, but otherwise? Dog poop since the collapse in the mid-60s.

And now we're looking to see if we can do what other, less storied teams have been doing, stockpiling talented kids and rebuilding, but we're not completely committed to it, and I have a terrible feeling that it will ultimately fail because the clowns in charge won't be able to keep their trigger fingers from itching. We don't cop a negative attitude as fans because we're too cool for school, we do it because deep down, beneath the hope we have for just one or two good years, we know that this franchise is not and never will be what it was for over 40 years starting with the Babe. And that was, something special.

Now, we're just another cog in the Selig money-printing machine. Everyone has known that for quite a while, except us gullible types and those idiots who root for Boston.

Bah, humbug. And of course, I'll be reading the Spring Training news and watching Opening Day as always. Such is the way the curse settles around our shoulders.

But hey, have a great New Year's!! There's more to life than baseball (although the Giants are proving it isn't football...).

I'm Bill White said...

John M for president.

Anonymous said...

2016 WASN'T ALL THAT BAD........ JUST REMEMBER, THERE WERE ACTUAL MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ON THE RED SOX, WHO ACTUALLY HEARD ABOUT MOONBIGPAPI.COM.......THOSE PLAYERS ACTUALLY TOLD FAT PAPI ABOUT IT.......FAT PAPI WAS ACTUALLY INQUISITIVE ABOUT IT...... THERE WERE ACTUAL LATE NIGHT TV HOSTS, NEWSPAPER PUBLICATIONS AND WEBSITES (ESPECIALLY IN BOSTON), TALKING ABOUT MOONBIGPAPI.COM........PAPI WAS EVEN TALKING ABOUT IT ON THE LATE NIGHT SHOWS, WITH THOSE TV HOSTS!...... THAT MY FRIENDS, IS MAGIC RIGHT THERE....... JUST THE FACT THAT PAPI ACTUALLY WENT ON TO THAT WEBSITE AND SAW THAT PICTURE OF ESTHER ROLLE IS PRECIOUS.......SO PRECIOUS..... HOPEFULLY, THE YANKS PULL OFF SOME SORT OF MIRACLE THIS SEASON SO WE DON'T HAVE TO ENTERTAIN OURSELVES AGAIN IN 2017.......KUDOS TO LBJ, OUR MVP FOR 2016.

Anonymous said...

I'll second that nomination of LBJ for our MVP, all-caps; and I wish to XXXX that John M WERE going to be Prez, I can tell you that!
None of this would be happening, though - - no amusement, no enlightment, no bitching, no nothin', if it weren't for our very own El Duque (not to be confused with Orlando Hernandez, the Magician) - - El Duque (both of them) for HOF!!!! LB (no J)