Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:27 AM
In 2017, I am prepared to once again live The Trenton Totality! And that's why some of us reacted so pissily, so angrily, to yesterday's otherwise nondescript signing of ex-Met Reuben Tejada. I mean, really - why should we care? The guy is a veteran backup SS who spent 2016 recovering from a nationally televised mugging. (Remember: Chase Utley.) He's a lug nut, a used wrench. He's not Stephen Drew. He's more Chris Parmelee. So we should set down the pitchforks, right?
No. Hold onto the fork, folks. However minor the move is, signing Tejada suggests a reason NOT to believe the Yankee crapola that the franchise has changed its ways - or that it has learned anything over the last four wretched years.
The deal with rebuilding via prospects is very simple:
You don't just collect 'ems. At some point, you gotta play 'ems.
And in Mr. Girardi's Cook Book, that's still a question. The signing of Tejada means either Ronald Torreyes or Rob Refsnyder - or both - could wind up back in Scranton, as 2017 Yankee versions of The Walking Dead. It reminds us that Cashman will spend the next two months combing the beaches with his metal detector, looking for another Scott Sizemore, Brennan Boesch, Brent Lillibridge, Thomas Neal, Lane Adams, et al - who can send Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Greg Bird - even Aaron Judge - back to Triple A, if they happen to have a bad March. As I look at the 2017 roster, Austin is especially susceptible to such a dismal fate - and the guy hit .323 last year at Scranton! How can you send him back?
At some point, you gotta play 'ems.
At this point, let me unveil the OFFICIAL IT IS HIGH FOUR-LEVEL INSTINCTIVE-YET EMPIRICAL SCALE FOR JUDGING YANKEE HITTERS:
When the guy comes up to bat, without thinking, you do:
LVL I. Stand in front of the TV, bolt yourself to the unfolding drama, assume juju stance and prepare to fight!
LVL II. Look up from your iPad, vaguely aware that something might happen.
LVL III. See this as a good moment to hit the bathroom.
LVL IV. Stand in front of the TV, imagine Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner in furry, full-body rodent suits, and scream obscenities at the cosmos.
If he's on the Yankees, Tejada will send me to the LVL III pisser.
It's Chris and Jennifer - I MEAN CHASE AND JACOBY - that bring me to LVL IV screaming.
So with that out of the way, let's ponder the 2017 Scranton box score lineup - at least for now. Surely, Cash is still trolling for used parts. Here's where the Railriders could land on the Instinctive-yet-Empirical Scale.
c; Kyle Higashioka (LVL 1)
1b: Mike Ford. (II) Tyler Austin? (Scream)
2b: Pete Kozma (bathroom), Rob Refsnyder (Scream)
ss: Tyler Wade (LVL I); Reuben Tejada (Scream)
3b: Ronald Torreyes (Scream); Miguel Andujar (LVL I)
lf: Clint Frazier (LVL I)
cf: Mark Payton (LVL 1) Mason Williams (Scream)
rf: Jake Cave (LVL Ia)
dh: Garden variety Ike Davis clone
Pitchers: Obviously, it depends on who makes the mother ship. But it could be Bryan Mitchell, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Brady Lail, Jordon Montgomery, Eric Ruth, Matt Wotherspoon, Gio Gallegos, Dietrich Enns, various spare tires. Is Sidney Ponson throwing?
Some talent there. But for everybody's sake, let's hope and pray that Refsnyder, Austin, Torreyes, Williams - and especially Judge - are not banished to Scranton because they go 0-for-8 in Bradenton. How depressing would that be? We spend a whole year rebuilding... then fill our roster with middling vets?
Last August, having nothing to lose, the Death Star tried youth. As a result, we enjoyed the best two months of the season. Now, we have a small wave of emerging players. But the question remains: Will they all get a full shot?
Yesterday, even though it was a minor thingy, the Yankees signaled a return to the vets.
I cannot live through another 2012... 2013... 2014... 2015...
At some point, you gotta play 'ems.