Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why some of us are ridiculously over-reacting to the Tejada signing

Last year, I took much more joy from the farm teams than the Death Star. Once it became clear that the Yankee mother ship had stalled, leaving Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as the only passengers on board, destined to fall in love and uncover a dark secret - (coming to theaters everywhere!) -  I began paying more attention to Scranton box scores than to see how Chris and Jennifer - I MEAN, CHASE AND JACOBY! - were doing. I had simply seen their movies too many times.

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.  

13 comments:

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

Yes at some point you got to play them. But I still have to chuckle at the reaction to signing Tejada . You would think we just traded Sanchez for John Mayberry. If Tejada is not the best option for a utility infielder in 2017 ( someone who can play 2nd ,SS & 3rd) , you either release him or if needed send him to the minors as insurance.

Last time Ref tried third he was best stopping the ball with his chin. While I like him , he is not the utility infielder we need . The rest of the in house kids either can't play all three positions or are not ready and will be better served playing every day at Scranton. If Torreyes and his .258 average proves the better option you keep Torreyes. All the Yankees did was sign Tejada to a contract in order to see what he has and what he can do. I don't think he is guaranteed a position. If he gets one he will have to do it the old fashion way , earn it by his play.

Relax guys it is going to be a long year.

el duque said...

My counter-argument: Tejada might be a better fielder for a while, but Torreyes and Refsnyder are improving. Tejada has a distinct ceiling. The others - I believe Ref will someday hit .300 - have brighter futures. Or as least less obvious futures.

The Yankees have to work for the long haul. If Judge is struggling, a veteran RF will give us a better chance of winning tomorrow's game. But we could lose the war.

Anonymous said...

Chuckle all you want, Mr. Ghost; personally, I don't think it's funny. We've seen this movie, over & over - - and why?? The reason is that we have a GM - - and, worse, a manager who tend to PLAY those veterans over the kids, time & again....Joey Binders, especially, but Cash-Puss, too, obviously have given those aging veterans way more rope than they give the kids upcoming - - that's the point that Duque is making, and I agree, and I am out of patience with that philosophy: I don't want any more Brian Roberts 0r Brendan Ryan or Vernon Wells, or Pronk, or any of these guys, run out there, day after day. I am a proud fan of the YANKEES - - and what we have seen most of the past seven years is NOT the Yankees I signed up for, more than sixty years ago. I am almost 71, and though I am not as desperate as Mike Ilitch, I don't know how many years I have left, and I DAMN WELL don't know how many more years of Cash-Puss's reclamation projects and dumpster-diving retreads I can stand. I stuck with the Yanks when CBS owned them, and all those years up until about 1977, but dang it, I want to see number 28 - and 29 - - and - - why not?? Number 30....Not more one-game Bud Selig-playoff games. I don't think it's funny. LB

John M said...

Since the middle of last season, with the exception of the spell when Joey Binders played the uninspired vets when it counted most down the stretch, I've felt better about the team. Lots of prospects, lots of young guys with MLB experience ready to take on 2017...it was worth being a fan again.

Now this. Just set me back to last July 4th. Fuck Cashman. Even if this is only what Ghost says, symbolism does matter, and this says, "We don't trust you, kids, and we don't even trust those of you who have proved themselves already."

This organization is still for shit. That one anomalous moment when we traded for a pile of great prospects and played the kids for a few weeks was just that: an anomaly.

Anonymous said...

PRECISELY THE REASON WHY I FLIPPED WHEN I HEARD ABOUT TEJADA.....IT ISN'T TEJADA SO MUCH, BUT IT SIGNALS A CHANGE BACK TO THE "OLD THINKING WITH THE EXPERIENCED VETERANS"...... CASHMAN STILL HASN'T LEARNED WHAT WE ALL HAVE THE LAST FEW YEARS?..... THAT IN TODAY'S MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, TO WIN YOU NEED A TEAM FILLED NOT WITH OLDER VETERANS, BUT WITH MUCH YOUNGER PLAYERS, (SOUTH OF 26 YEARS OLD AND YOUNGER)...... THERE IS NO MORE RELIANCE ON AMPHETAMINES TO GET AN OLDER, EXPERIENCED PLAYER MORE FOCUSED....... HAS CASHMAN FORGOTTEN OUR LATE SEPTEMBER SWOON THE LAST BUNCH OF YEARS?.....BLAMING A MUCH OLDER ROSTER MAKES SENSE TO ME......WE KEEP HAVING TROUBLE WINNING ONE GAME THE LAST 2 1/2 WEEKS OF THE SEASON!....(THIS IS ANOTHER REASON WHY GUYS LIKE HEADLEY, AND GARDNER, 33 AND 34 NEXT SEASON, SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRADED ALREADY, EVEN IF THE RETURN WAS NEXT TO NOTHING-BUT OF COURSE, CASHMAN COULDN'T PULL THE TRIGGER)........ CASHMAN IS AWFUL....AWFUL.

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

el duque, I don't disagree with your point of giving the kids a real shot and committing to them. That said ,I don't see signing Tejada as a possible utility infielder as counter to that. Bird, Judge and perhaps Serveino have starting positions that are there for them to take. I expect they will be given ample opportunity to show they can do the job. However if come June Judge is hitting .179 , like he did last year , he needs to go down to Scranton to figure it out. I like Ref also and think he can be a quality major league hitter. With the infielders we have in the system , his best shot may be in the outfield as a fourth outfielder.

While the one game playoff is not the goal we all want , the Yankees should try for that in 2017. AS LONG AS THEY DON'T SACRAFICE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE KIDS! However they don't have to . In fact if they make it , it will be because guys like Bird, Judge ,etc had good years. I would like to see them, play, preform, learn to win at the major league level, get experience fighting for and playing in the post season. Then in 2018 we bring up the next wave of kids who have developed further at Scranton.

Torreyes, or Tejada who cares. Neither one projects as a starter for the Yankees. Keep the best one and trade the other for a solid relief prospect.

Alphonso said...

The core problem with the Yankees in this century has been Cashman and Girardi. It is simple and dispiriting.

They are old school. They keep getting rewarded for failure, and I define failure as anything less than seriously competing for a championship.

Brian built the worst farm system in baseball ( until the fire sales of last summer bailed him out). He has a miserable experience in drafting and/or developing players. Horrid free agent signings; contracts that are like cement feet on the Yankee's ability to do anything. No forward planning ( Beltran filling in at first base, for example ). Best young talent " blocked" time and again, by over-paid, under qualified, veterans.

Over working the bullpen and mis-using the bullpen. Not reading the team.
Not giving success a chance ( yankee rookie goes 3-4 with a homer, so Joe sits him for a week ).

It never ends and won't until these guys croak.

Speculate all you want. The Yankee problems start and end with shitty general managing and on field managing.

Period.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


The Yankee problems start and end with shitty general managing and on field managing.

Amen. The third leg on that stool* would be the owner.


*Pun intended.

Unknown said...

Yankees have now resigned Donovan Solano, and it appears that they've kept Pete Kozma as veteran AAA infielders. Tejada will likely play there also. They might not play every day as the AA players begin to move up. The RailRiders are going to be playing to repeat the AAA Championship in '17 which will be played at their own PNC Field. Winning the MiLB AAA Championship in '16 was possibly the first time many of them had won a championship on a team.
They have to have a few MLB ready players for MLB depth on the AAA team as the AA players work their way up. You may not think much of the AAA team in general, but for AA players it is the goal for that season, and they are excited when they move up. Their role models then become the AAA veteran players who are the leaders on the team. Yankees do a good job of having the best veterans they can find for the AAA team, and they sign them early rather than wait until closer to ST as many teams do.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ghost, Sir: respectfully, no, Judge does not have to go down to SWB to figure things out; he "figured out" SWB quite dramatically last year. He needs to figure out MLB pitching, not MiLB.
Bravo to Fonz & LBJ, right on, guys: things will never be right, as long as we keep Cash-Puss & Joey B. out there, running things. I have been bitching about Joey's penchant for taking a streaking player and sitting them "for a rest" ever since his first season, when I saw him do it to Matsui, every time he would get on a tear - - God, that's annoying! Just about as annoying is his compartmentalizing relievers: sos-and-so for the 7th, thus-and-so for the eighth, thus-and-which ALWAYS closes the game (unless it's the third day). UGH. Use your HEAD, Joe!!
Unkown:It might be fine for those players to play in Scranton, if what they really want is MiLB championships - - as long as they LEAVE THEM THERE, and not bring them up to the biggies....but even in SWB, they will be blocking the young, developing talent, IF their manager is like Joey Binders. I think rolling the dice on over-the-hill reclamation projects is a cancer on the organization. I am saying that, fully realizing that Tejada is only 27 - - so, by the way, is HICKS. Ick. LB

Unknown said...

The AAA team typically carries 4-5 veterans, and they do not play instead of the organizations younger players who are moving up the levels. In '16 Solano, Diaz, and Kozma played when there were no developing players at the level at the infield positions. Refsnyder played when he was there, then called up. Austin played when he was there, then called up. No other 2b, ss and 3b players were brought up to play those positions. So, no, the veterans signed to minor league contracts were not there just to help win the milb championship. Solano was called up when Castro was injured for a short time.
As soon as AA players are ready to move to AAA, they will play until they develop into ML players. That's how Al Pedrique managed in '16, and he'll manage the same way in '17. The veterans will be there to lead, mentor, help the younger players when needed, take the field and play if and when the developing player is called up, and also be ready to play a few games for the Yankees if they are ever needed
I watched Judge all of '16 and believe that he should start in RF for the Yankees in April. If he's not hitting well after 3-4 weeks, it might help to give him a couple of weeks at SWB to take the pressure off and also to let him work with the hitting coach there again. Austin should see some time in RF also as well as at 1B to continue developing his confident and talented play.
If you follow AAA ball, you'll see that every team has some veterans there. They do not block the younger players, but are there to provide depth to the ML team. Every AAA team does not have a ML ready developing player at every position throughout the season.

Anonymous said...

Assuming that what you say is true, I vote for bringing Al Pedrique up, and sending Joey B. on his way. I don't particularly follow any level of A's-ball, unless there is something very intriguing going on there....that is why I said "IF" that were their objective", and "IF they were blocking young players", etc....Since I know no different, I appreciate your assessment, and will accept it - - just as I accept duque's and Axisa's assessments on what is transpiring there. Thank you. LB

Anonymous said...

YES.....BRAVO ALPHONSO, LBJ, AND anonymous ON YOUR POSTS.... CORRECTOMUNDO.