Thursday, June 30, 2016
I was there. Sipping on a Jack and Coke ( not diet ), and toking on some vapor. I don't recall the herb.
What I watched seemed like a dream. I sensed I was back in 1996.
The hard truth is: I did not want that to happen. I wanted the Yankees to do what they are supposed to do when they trail by as much as 7-1. Why? Because now all the tables turn for a day; " We are back in it!" ( Hal). " This is the Yankee team I think we can be "( Joe ). "We'll be buyers, for sure, if we keep this up" ( Brian ).
It is all wrong. The further down we go, the better ownership might be able to see. Truthfully, it is the only way they will be able to see. A car , wrapped around a tree, is unmistakeable. A car sitting in neutral, in a dilapidated parking space, is harder to read.
"This is a team in need of re-building. This is a team that is ugly and boring to watch. Totally uninteresting. There is practically no one to root for. The team is old and slow, never uses its young prospects until they are, " still only 26 after 12 years at Scranton," and whose high bar of ambition is a one game play-in, where they will fail to score." (Alphonso).
I admit it. I wanted the Yankees to lose. To go down 7-1 or, at best, 7-3. When McCann gimped around first base, I thought he might be done. But it was nothing. He came back. He is today's hero, along with DIDI. And I experienced all of this as, " disappointment and fear."
So we accomplished the impossible. We earned a surprising one game win streak. The kind of streak that locks in a .500 record.
Let's go down today. Let's get stomped and buried. Lose so badly that no question marks are left at the margin.
Otherwise, Joe, Hal and Brian will all feel "good" about themselves, and what they are doing to keep this franchise great ( translation: non-competitive and mediocre).
We can't leave them such a choice. The numbers have to flush them all down the toilet.
That may turn out to be a comeback victory we shall all rue for a decade.
I need a drink.
Last night reminded us what the Yankees once were - a team of fantastical comebacks in a place known for those two strippers, Mystique and Aura... a team unlike any other in professional sports. Dammit, the Yankees are not supposed to be perennial contenders for an expanded wild card berth. Let the Brewers and the Padres enliven their fans by chasing wild cards. For Yankee fans, to be sniping at the last shard of respectability - a .500 record - only reminds us how far we have fallen.
Last night brought a joyous celebration, the comeback of the year. But here's the sad truth: I wasn't there. Nope, I jumped ship in the sixth, after Gardner chased the homer into the wall. In another season, for quitting on our heroes, I would coat myself in tar and roll in the kitty litter. But last night, it was the only sensible course of action. And here's another dirty little secret: If the Yankees fall behind by five today, I will again cut bait. It's a part of survival. You simply cannot expect this team to launch comebacks. To do so is nothing less than suicidal.
Last night was probably the apex moment of the 2016 Yankee season. But today brings the reality check. We are at the crossroads: We can split a series with the AL's best team, and once again sniff .500... or we can go 1-3 at home, fall 10 behind Baltimore and, as usual, follow up every glimmer of hope with a clunker, filled with runners left on base and bad bullpen decisions.
Last night, we were the Yankees of 20 years ago, saved by a young shortstop that nobody imagined could become a star. In fact, we still have a great young shortstop. Trouble is, the rest of the team was around 20 years ago, and we're not chasing a pennant. We're chasing .500... five fucking hundred. We're aiming at a bar lowered to levels that should never apply to the Yankees. If we make the Wild Card, our owner will view it as vindication. The rest of us will view it as consumer fraud.
Last night gave us a reason to believe. Today, we either move on it... or we're back to 2016 - rooting against the Redsocks and Mets, waiting for the injuries to happen, and wondering who we might get in trades come the end of July.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
I discovered " fresh pickings" in the minor leagues. And even amongst the " active " Yankee trade bait.
Someone named Kaprellian is done. Did I spell that correctly? You will hear a lot of back and forth from Yankee brass: terms like, " maybe this, " maybe that" let's "try rest" for a while.
Forget it all.
The longer the delay, the longer it takes for you to see him again. He is going under the knife. Kaprellian is not as tall as Andy Brackman, but you can forget about him in the same way that Andy is gone from memory. Think of this: you will all be able to say (when he makes his first start at AA in 2018,) ".... and he is still only 26...".
Same age as Slade Heathcott will still be.
And I hear that the Yankees are wavering on strategy for the trade deadline; " do they become buyers or sellers?" First of all; how idiotic is that? The team is 10 games out and fading fast, and they want us to believe the one game play in game is still ours for the taking?
The truth is; I will make the decision for them. Think of this simple reality: If you have no one to sell ( think Beltran here.....his is not a "day by day" tweak, as Joe would have us believe ), you can't become sellers. Put another way: If you have no Jack Daniels in the store, no one can buy it off your shelf.
So the buy/sell conundrum reduces to one choice ; the Yankees will buy. They will spend freely to bring in more old, worn down, highly expensive names. Why, you ask?
Because The Yankees never give real opportunities to healthy young people. Not ever. Those $20 million contracts for .500 talent cannot be seen ( by brass ) as wasted sewer water. Management cannot be exposed as incompetent, unaccountable fools.
I am working to so expose them.
It is so easy. All I have to do is float around the pond, and wait.
Nine out, our best hitter hurt, our best pitching prospect compromised... the Season from Hell continues
You cannot get people to see if they refuse to open their eyes.
Last night, every Yank fan in captivity spit his donuts when Carlos Beltran gimped off the field on a single. The horror notion: What if he tore something? Beltran is one of the Big Three trades waiting in the team cookie jar: He, Aroldis Chapman and either Betances or Miller - (they'd keep one closer) - could be dealt for young players, perhaps salvaging this brutal prison sentence of a season. But if he's hurt, well... you break him, you keep him.
Today, the Yankees say Beltran merely skinned a twinkie and will be back soon. Unfortunately, the only people who believe Yankee press releases are the YES courtiers who get paid to recite them. Beltran won't come back until the leg feels right, and that could be a week, and a week can stretch into the DL. At any time, Miller or Chapman could tweak a gonad. As the Yankees merrily sift through their options on the season, make no mistake: They are holding live grenades.
But the worst news yesterday came from the Death Star in Tampa: James Kaprielian - the 22-year-old UCLA pitcher who was our first draft pick last June - unbuttoned a doohickey in his elbow, and he might require Tommy John surgery. That would mean he becomes a 24-year-old rehabber in 2018, with a scar on his arm and no experience beyond Single A, and the world has no shortage of such people. But there's more to this...
Kaprielian is the guy that the YES machine touted all last year as a great first-round pick. He generated 12-months of self-congratulation and pomposity. He is a reason why nobody walked the plank in the Yankee scouting staff after the debacles of Andrew Brackman, Cito Culver, Dante Bichette Jr., et al: Kaprielian was such a wondrous grand pick - the next Clemens, the next Maddox, the next your name here - that everybody kept his designated parking slot, and the heirs and heiresses still sit cozy atop the shitpile.
Not long ago, there were so-called "expert" bloggers predicting that Kaprielian would be pitching in Yankee Stadium by July 1, along with Luis Severino, Ian Clarkin and the ensemble cast of Hogan's Heroes. By now, we would be enjoying an explosion of young arms, lifting the Yankees into the future. What a crock.
Listen: There's a polarizing political debate in America, and I try not to inflict my absurd views on anybody, because - well - frankly, I might be wrong. But I believe the worst thing that ever happened to Conservatism in America is the "echo chamber" of Fox News and AM radio talk shows. Old right-wingers watch nothing else, and get a false read on public opinion. They think everybody watches Hannity, and they can't understand why only three other people show up at the parade, and sometimes they get wacko. (This happens on the left, too, in the closeted dungeons of social media.) And here's why I'm raising this: The Yankees have our own version of Fox News and AM radio. We get fed a constant stream of fun-house mirror crapola, which is only designed to sell tickets and get TV viewers. We actually start to believe our own bullshit, and as a result, we're stuck with a mediocre team and a franchise that cannot change.
Sometimes I read this site and think, "Jeeze, we don't sound like Yankee fans. You'd think these bloggers hate the Yankees. What's going on here?" Then I look at the standings, and I realize we have no choice.
Nine games out. Anybody for 10? Fine with me. As long as nobody gets hurt.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
To the bigoted eyes of the Rangers fan, it looked last night like Joe Girardi milked four innings of pounding rain while it lashed at his opponents, then demanded a moratorium when closer Chapman took on water. This twisted view ignited a Texas-sized hate-fest on that bullhorn for brats, Twitter, where our Skipper suffered a midnight pile-on so shameful it could only have erupted while the decent slept.
Here are just a few of the thousands of slanders that caused #JoeGirardi to trend:
@Davidcgalloway "Joe Girardi wears sunglasses to a casual poker game amongst friends."
@mmolina15 "Joe Girardi always takes the server's pen."
@Garytown "Joe Girardi sits down when he pees."
@jakeintheBox "Joe Girardi mooches off unsecured WiFi."
@gotoburch "Joe Girardi loves Nickelback."
@trixie6717 "Joe Girardi takes 45 items to the express lane and pays with a check."
@TXChooChooTrain "Joe Girardi goes to the bathroom right before the bill comes"
@hawk2973 "Joe Girardi cheats at Go Fish when he plays kids at the hospital."
@Doc_Hillz "Joe Girardi needs you to deposit $500 in his Nigerian bank account."
@lonestarball "Joe Girardi tweets GoT spoilers."
@lonestarball "Joe Girardi clogs up your toilet, but doesn't tell you and just leaves it for you to discover."
@caddyr4 "Joe Girardi reminds the teacher about the homework after the bell rings."
I woke up to see the Yankees ahead 6-5 in the ninth.
The rains had arrived. The shooter was ready to come in and lock up this game. He struggled to grip the ball, keep his balance on the emerging mud heap that was the mound, and needed eye wipes to see any of Mc Cann's signs.
So he put the first batter on and was down in the count 3-1 to the next Ranger hitter, when the ground crew appeared.
It was a deluge.
John and Suzyn acclaimed that these were, "conditions under which this game simply should not be played."
I concurred and went to bed, as the Ranger manager argued with the umpires on the dugout side of third base.
I awakened this morning to learn two things; England had lost to Iceland in the Euro Cup, cementing their status as a second class country, following Brexit; the Yankees gave up 4 runs at 2:15 am and we lost the game.
No matter. We have a clean slate. The Gods are aligned. Things are in balance for the Yankees. Even Chase Headley is hot.
Today ( or tomorrow ) we begin a series of one game winning streaks.
Cashman and his boss, the ever happy Hal Steinbrenner, will never have to make the " buyer or seller" choice. Keeping things even means you don't have to decide a thing.
You need not take responsibility for a plan or a strategy. The condition of " no accountability" remains.
Just win one. Lose one.
Stay where you are.
For the rest of our days on this godforsaken planet, whenever you meet a fellow Yankee fan, you will achieve a state of shared misery by whispering the name "Kirby Yates." Ten years from now, I predict that he will jog out of the dugout on Old Timers' Day, and we will spit creamed corn onto our recreation lounge bingo cards. By then, we will claim to have been watching last night's game, which will be a lie, because we were passed out on the crapper.
I believe that last night's incredible loss will signify the lost decade - the 2011-2020 Bronx Barf, the first decade in which the mighty Yankees won nothing... waist deep in the big muddy, yet the big fool said to press on.
Who knows, maybe Kirby Yates will become the safe word - the trauma that causes a new Yankee policy - transforming us from buyers to sellers at the 2016 trade deadline. Right now, it is hard to say. It's just a numbing pain, just one more measly loss that plunges us back below .500, where - truth be told - we probably belong.
Still... Kirby Yates! It goes on our list. Screw the NRA; this man should not be allowed to buy a gun. He's there beside Yoan Moncada... YOOOOOOOOOOAN MONCADA... SLOOOOOOWLY I TURN... STEP BY STEP...
Kirby. Frickin. Yates.
I can't quit without noting that I witnessed the Traveling Wilkes Barries last night in Sorrycuse, and I am awaiting stool sample analyses. Meanwhile, four Scrantonians caught my eye.
|Judge wears ridiculous 99 number.|
1. Aaron Judge. Goliath stroked a HR down the left field line that went out so fast that it undermines my theory that home runs are psychologically cherished by fans because their duration lasts exactly as long as the male orgasm. This one didn't. It just went Ralph Cramden - BANG, ZOOM, to the moon, Alice. I don't know how many HRs Judge will hit, but some will bring down passing jets. He will also take called third strikes with the bases loaded, which he also did last night. They are throwing him junk. He now leads the International League in HRs. Judge is coming, folks. We can't keep him there forever, can we? Gulp?
2. Donovan Solano. He's a 28-year-old ex-Marlin, plays 3B - a non-prospect. But he hits the ball all over - two gappers for doubles - and fields well. If Chase Headley gets hurt, rather than reset the infield, Solano could be worth a coin flip. Frankly, I'm not sure he wouldn't replace Headley's production, though I hear we're supposed to forget the first two months and concentrate only on what Chase did in June, right? Isn't that the new Yankee reality?
3. Chad Green, starting pitcher. We were talking yesterday about the last time the Yankees traded for a prospect who actually turned out to be worth something. Well, fuck me! Maybe this is the guy! He pitched six shutout innings, three hits, and his ERA is among the league leaders. He's no Luis Severino, in terms of potential. But he could be the next David Phelps. Last night, he was pounding the strike zone and had Syracuse under his spell, and they do have Matt den Dekker!
4. Nick Swisher. Yeesh. He runs like Danny Devito as the Penguin. He's still animated in the field, still Swishalicious, and he can turn on a fastball. He made the plays at first, but didn't look smooth and got picked off second with a brain freeze. Jeez, I dunno about this. He seems so happy, almost joyous out there, clearly doing what he loves. I hope Swish gets called up for a final Yankee hurrah. But make no mistake: That's what it'll be. He's not coming up to save us. He'll just give us a final smile. And we can use one. Kirby Yates!
Monday, June 27, 2016
"I don't pay any attention to any of that. That's for you guys [with] nothing more important to write about that to write nonsense. When we decide to become sellers, if we decide to become sellers or if we decide to become buyers, you'll know. The difference is that most of you guys have never run anything and we have a lot of history here of knowing what we're doing. [We have] a lot of confidence in our baseball operations people. So, we'll see what happens. All the rest is just noise."
OK, breathe. Count to ten. This guy needs a Calgon Bath Oil moment. But let's study this, bit by bit.
"... you guys with nothing more important to write about..."
For starters, I, too, wish the abused altar boys of the NY media had something - anything - more important to write about than the 2016 Yankees, the most boring assembly of humanity since Utah filed for statehood. This franchise somehow manages to combine the unhinged hubris of Trump and the deadpan tedium of Hillary, and watching this team's mating dance with mediocrity is like staring directly into Randy Levine's dark soul. Here he goes, baiting a reporter who is simply doing his job. How I wish they all would do Levine a favor and simply start writing about football.
"... if we decide to become sellers..."
Let's face it: No matter how bad the Yankees are, the brass won't sell off its livestock. It's not a question about strategy or long term plans. Nope, selling old players would require the bosses to accept what they've done - squandered $200 million on a team that has lost the AL to Boston and NYC to the Mets. They won't mount a plan for next year. They'll just continue on, like Bernie Sanders, seeing that path to the World Series...
"... most of you guys have never run anything..."
Spoken like a true Giuliani bag man. Here's a guy who suckled for three years on the public nipple as Rudy Giuliani's "Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Planning and Administration," a political oil can who greased bigwigs to get breaks for certain constituents. One day he quits the administration, and the very next day, he joins the Yankees, who soon get a billion dollar stadium from the taxpayers. In journalism, when somebody quits a job to go work for the guy they were writing about, all they really did was blow their cover. So here's Levine - one day working for "the people" and next day, cashing out with the Yankees - and he tells fans and reporters that they are the assholes. Unbelievable. John Oliver needs to do a sequel.
Fortunately, MLB Corp. has engineered a system that makes a .500 record within range of the post-season race. So as long as Team Tepid keeps winning and losing, in equal parts, why opine on what Aroldis Chapman would bring in a trade. We already know:
Eric Jagielo (age 24, hitting .206 with 4 HRs at Double A)
Rookie Davis (23, 6-1 with a 2.54 ERA at Double A)
Caleb Cotham (28, 0-3 with 7.04 ERA with Reds)
and Tony Renda (25, hitting .326 at Double A)
Aside from Davis, who still shows promise, the Reds didn't get much for a top closer and a garage door full of bullet holes. We can put the domestic violence case behind him and hope to get more than spare parts and second chances.
Speaking of second chances, the legacy of Brian Cashman pays homage to the Yankees as the Team of Second Chances. Look at the 2016 squad - Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, Dustin Ackley, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda - all with one thing in common: They were disappointments with other teams.
Cashman loves to trade for other teams' flops. It's part of Yankee hubris to believe the other teams were doing something wrong, and once Larry Rothschild gets his hands on a pitcher, blahblah... Trouble is, Cashman doesn't seem enamored with Yankee farm products, even those who show potential.
Long ago, we cut ties with Melky Cabrera, Mark Melancon, Francisco Cervelli, David Robertson and Eduardo Nunez after deciding they just weren't going to make it. This weekend, Nunez was the best player on the field. He is among the league leaders in hitting and stolen bases. We traded him for Miguel Sulbaran, who is somewhere in the Yankee farm system, and who hasn't thrown a pitch this year. It's hard to imagine Melky and Melancon staying all these years with the Yankees, considering the ups and downs in their careers. Still, when you see how Boston stuck with Jackie Bradely Jr. - they waited four years for him to blossom - it hurts to think of Nunez turning into a star, and we got a bale of hay in return, and all of NY marvels over Cashman's wizardry. Yeuch.
But let's get to some exciting personal milestones:
Of course, everybody knows that Alex Rodriguez's next HR, his 696th, will make him the King of Eight Prime, because number 696 is the sum of eight consecutive primes (71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97, 101 and 103.)
But did you know that Mark Teixeira's next two RBIs will put him at the magical number 15 on the year? Of course, he'll be in hot pursuit of Chase Headley who remains at 18 RBIs on the season. (Not that it matters, but in a handful of games, Rob Refsnyder has eight.)
By sitting out yesterday, A-Rod lost ground to Carlos Beltran as team leader in strikeouts, with 54. A-Rod has 53, Headley has 52 and Tex notched his 51st. Of the Yankees starting nine, only Didi Gregorious looks like a sure bet to avoid 100 strikeouts on the season. We could easily be The Team of a Thousand Fans.
And come late September, that's what we might see in the seats.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
What with staying up half the night to watch the Brexit returns, watching the stock market futures set themselves up for a downside run that should make February and last August seem downright jolly, and catching a near-dawn jet to the baking desert of Southern California, there hasn't been a lot of time to catch up with the State of the Yankees and the collected wisdom of IIH.
Here in Palm Springs, it was around 110 degrees yesterday. It will be around 110 degrees today, and it will be about 110 degrees tomorrow and the rest of the week. Sometimes physical extremes bring about moments of great clarity (on the other hand, A-Rod continues to play and Tex thinks he has years left on an MLB roster, so it doesn't always work).
However, if you're not as dumb as a Trump voter (© LBJ Enterprises, LLC), you know that Alex is toast and Tex is a great guy who can't play more than ten or 20 games without sitting twice as many out with the Gonad Squad. And you also know that this Yankees team still has a shot at the 1966 Record of Catastrophe. (The hot desert sun is making capital letters look really good, for some reason. Or it's the vodka. One of those.)
After today's loss to the Twins (6-1 in the 8th as I write, the Yanks facing Cy Young), we'll be 38-38. That puts us only four games, more or less, from 66's 34-41-1, And this is after the sweetest spot in our schedule, which we came as close to bungling as humanly possible without being labeled Officially Bungled, something they know a thing or two about in the UK.
As an aside, I think I really don't care about Brexit beyond the fact that I'm an inveterate bear when it comes to the markets and the result saved my bacon. I was thinking I might have to go find a job again, but the good working people of Britain have seemingly made my career switch to trading a success. Were they stupid? Maybe. Were they as dumb as Trump voters (© LBJ Enterprises, LLC)? A tough bar to surpass there, so probably not. Do I love to hear right-wingers cry and gnash their teeth over how mean and arrogant lefties are, as displayed in the comments to Alphonso's post of the other day? Oh, yes. I do love the utter hilarity of hearing that from a movement that has debased our political discourse to the lowest possible level and called every Democratic leader every name in the book for decades, with the triumphant, rock-headed, hate-filled spirit that only the truly faith-based can display.
Which leads me back to the Yankees, which is and has been led and filled with staunch Republicans in and out of uniform, and is as faith-based (as opposed to fact-based) an organization as MLB has to offer. And because of that, I think 1966 is well within our grasp. We just have to stay the course and continue to make bad decisions, field the overpaid underperformers, and keep the managerial staff in place throughout the major and minor-league levels.
We can do it. If any organization can be as dumb as Trump voters (© LBJ Enterprises, LLC), it is us. And come November, who knows? Perhaps the entire country gets to be the 1966 Yankees. Or maybe we just fall into a cactus. Crazier things have happened.
With Tex back in the line-up, the Yankees somehow scrambled for the 2 runs they are usually allotted on a game by game basis. I think I saw Tex smack one into short right field, for a routine ground out.
But our pitching was as projected: Decent starting work for 6 innings, and then the three aces of the bullpen.
The Twinkies are not exactly an offensive threat, so they were content with a single run.
Can I be the first to say it?
The Yankees make tight games boring.
I was well into my third JACK AND COKE during inning three. The remainder of the game gets a bit fuzzy. I kept seeing flashes of the Croation soccer team playing against Ireland.
Were John & Suzyn talking about the Euro Cup?
Anyway, at some point, the Yankees will start playing real teams won't they?
It doesn't really matter. As long as .500 gets us to the one game play-in opportunity, I'm down with it.
Two runs today, folks. We hit the deuce again.
Now, the secondary lead: Aaron Judge - the New York Giant - homered again yesterday. He's now tied for the International League lead with 15. Judge has lifted his average to .263 after a hell slump that dropped him to the dungeons of .220. In the beautiful month of June, he is batting .337. Three thirty seven.
He is hitting .250 against lefties, .269 against righties (he is RH). He still strikes out too much - 75 on the season - and he has a bazooka for an arm, with six assists. He's shaping up as a classic streak/slump slugger, the type who carries a team for a few weeks, then hibernates. I can handle that.
Judge has gotten hot just as the Yankees finally poke their heads above water - (thank you, Minnesota) - for a brief glimpse of the AL Wild Card race. Unfortunately, four teams are ahead of them, and each their lineups looks young and formidable.
So... if the Yankees are actually going to chase the away berth Wild Card, what do they do with their best hitting prospect since Joggie Cano? Do we leave him in Scranton and wait for his next brain-numbing slump? Trade him for a Lance Berkman? Bring him up and displace - well - whom?
Obviously, we know the answer: The god of injuries will provide an opening. It's almost time for Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner to shim a lumbago, or maybe Carlos Beltran will stub his kneecap in bed again.
Other than a blocked artery, the choice would be to sit the guy producing the least, our Hall of Fame designated hitter, currently batting .223, and chasing Babe Bonds. Several times this season, the Yankees have hearkened back to 2005, the year they brought up Robbie Cano and Chien-Ming Wang and ditched the big-money globules that were taking up space. Trouble is, this year's team didn't have a Cano or a Wang to juice the lineup. Now, maybe we have somebody worth promoting. So... now what? Aaron Judge can't stay this hot forever. Scranton will explode.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Discussing the schedule in today's fourth inning, John mentioned the recent trip to Arizona. Suzyn chimed in, "That's where I fell into a cactus."
A quick Google search of the terms "Suzyn" and "cactus" produced no answers, only questions:
- Has she mentioned this horrific incident on the radio before?
- Are any details public?
- Was alcohol involved?
- Where were the Yankee beat reporters?
- Is journalism dead?
Absent a picture of Suzyn's ghastly episode, here is Lindsay Lohan v. cactus.
And here is the star of the Untold Tales of the ER episode, "Naked Man Falls Into Cactus."
Back at .500, Tex returning, playing our friends (the worst team in baseball) and still less interesting than Tyler Austin
Speaking of hell... Scranton! Last night, a former Jesus Montero-level prospect named Tyler Austin - (we do have a pile of "Tyler"s and "Austin"s in our system, but he is real, not an amalgamation) - hit three HRs against Little Evil Pawtucket. Austin is only 24, one year younger than old Rob Refsnyder. A few years ago, he made all the Mel Kiperesque prospect rankings, rising with a bullet. Then he reached Trenton. Ever since, Austin looked like a career minor leaguer. Now... well, he still does. But hey, you never know...
Five years ago, Austin made his pro debut by ripping up the Florida dirt leagues, hitting .354. The "scouts" hailed him as a gem of the 2010 draft. The following year, he hit .322 with 17 HRs at four levels, streaking through the system. He became a prospect-lover's erection. Then he reached Trenton, the place where Yankee prospects and Republican governors go to die. He hit a slimy .256, tweaked a gonad in his wrist and missed the better part of a year. He's never been the same... until, well, maybe now.
Over the last 10 games, Austin's hitting .308 with 4 HRs. He's done this while batting next to Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira, who are doing prison stretches in Scranton. There's a limit to the amount of wild hope that can be generated over a 10-day-stretch by a middling prospect at Triple A, and we're not talking about finding a cure for cancer. But if you combine Austin's totals this season at Trenton and Scranton, he's hit 10 HRs and is batting .273. Not bad. And here's the real rub: He's still more interesting than that miserable .500 team in the Bronx. I don't know how the Yankees can become exciting again, especially because today they'll probably demote Refsnyder - one of the few players worth watching - who will take the place of Tyler Austin.
Don't get me wrong. I like Teixeira. I want him to play well. But he's another summer rerun, the same old show. He smacks a screaming line drive into the gap in right center, where a fielder waits to catch it. Baseball is full of new stat lines, which do a great job of obscuring a player's worth. He's the stat I see on Tex: In 188 plate appearances, he is batting .180. Today, he returns. I'm supposed to be excited? Sorry. Thank you, Twins, in advance. But I'll be watching the minor league box scores. (Where Aaron Judge homered yesterday too!) They matter more.
Friday, June 24, 2016
And they have, this morning, announced the results of their national referendum to exit the European Union. They voted to split. England is out, or about to be, of the European Union.
That doesn't mean they are aligning with the Soviet Union ( oops, I mean Russia ), it simply means they don't wish to any longer take instructions from Brussels.
Will they stop playing cricket? I don't think so. Will their food choices worsen? Not as long as there remain chefs of Asian extract in the homeland.
Accordingly, I think Yankee fans should consider a referendum to have the Yankees exit the American League.
This would help us in numerous ways;
1. We get to keep the famous Yankee name, but no longer have to listen to the President of the American League.
2. We get all new umpires.
3. Our pitchers are better hitters than they are pitchers, and they will get more at bats.
4. Records will revert to a new beginning, so instead of being at .500 we can start over at 0-0.
5. Hal ( " I'm not cheap") Steinbrenner gets another chance to prove it.
6. We save a fortune on fat, old, slow DH's.
7. Bunting and pinch-hitting become recovered arts.
8. Injuries will be reduced as fewer of our batters ( Tex? ) will get hit, because pitchers have to have at bats.
9. We get to play the Padres more.
10. Maybe the baseball commissioner, who will be against our exit, will have to step down.
Hey, if it doesn't work, we can always play cricket.
After this weekend, the Yankees start running out of tomato cans... and other ponderings of the unponderable
The month of July brings the Chisox, Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston and finally Tampan Bay, and August looks patsy-free. The schedule makers will spare us the humiliation of playing the Cubs and Nationals, who have competing erections over Andrew Miller and El Chapo. The question is whether El Cheapo in the owner's box is willing to call in the chips on this team or just plod onward, chasing the newly low limbo bar of success.
In the meantime, some elements to ponder:
1. Aaron Judge homered again last night, his 13th of the season. He has hit six in his last 11 games, snapping out of a vicious slump that threatened to derail our fantasy futures. His strikeouts are down, and he's hitting .368 over that span. He's second in the International League in HRs - the two guys ahead of him are both hitting below .220 - and his average is up to .259. The guy is 24, and this is his second year at Scranton. He can't fucking play there forever. If the Yankees are chasing a Wild Card, there is almost no place for Judge in the outfield, without a salary dump trade or (merciful) injury. In any other organization, a streak like this from the premier prospect would likely be rewarded with a promotion. This is what happens when contracts clog rosters like Buffalo wings clog arteries.
2. After seven strong starts - All-Star caliber stuff - CC Sabathia might be hurt. The Rockies whacked him, and he turned an ankle twice, and though they say the x-rays showed nothing, the Yankees never disclose injury information to their fans. If CC loses his command, it's just another reminder of the fragility in this lineup: Every player is a tweaked gonad waiting to happen. The OF is plate glass, Tex is on the bubble, and our best pitcher is still throwing with an elbow tendon flapping. One of these days, our Big Three bullpen could face injuries, ending our window for a future-altering trade. If that happens, Yankee front office hubris will have squandered 2017.
3. Free agent Yulieski Gourriel - the 32 year old Cuban free agent and Yankee wannabee - is scheduling workouts with several teams. At first glance, there is no place for him on the 2016 Yankees, without dislodging a Cashman Cutie, so I've given up hope. But when El Cheapo talks about being "a buyer, not a seller" at next month's trade deadline, I wonder WTF position he's discussing? Because the same problems with signing Gourriel or promoting Judge come about when picturing players we might get in a trade. Where do they play?
Well, if Tex cannot return, the answer is obvious. Somebody has to move to first base. Beltran says he won't. A-Rod can't. Rob Refsnyder will do anything to stay out of Scranton... but somebody, somehow, has to move to 1B. McCann? Headley (with Castro taking third?) I dunno. Could Gourriel play 1B? (Yeesh, Refsnyder did it, and he'd never played it before.) If the Yankees are actually planning a Wild Card run, some major shakeup in the lineup must occur, and somebody must move out of his defensive comfort zone. We don't win with Ike Davis.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
The chirpers interviewed Chase after the game, and he said all the Jeteresque right things, as he always has, and you wanted to hope that the Matrix just tweaked, and from now on, he'll hit like it's 2009 in San Diego. But the universe doesn't change, and neither probably did Chase, and it's been weeks since I stopped believing in the Tankees - (they need to tank to someday be good.) When I look at Chase Headley, I see a hard-working, likable player who happens to be another artery-clogging veteran at the wrong season in both his career journey and ours.
Last night, I was more interested in Miguel Andujar.
Andujar is a 21-year-old Dominican 3B who two weeks ago was promoted to Chris Christie's joyless city of Trenton. He represents the "hope" of a farm system that has grown one star 3B - one - in the last 30 years: Mike Lowell, whom we traded for three bails of hay. Third base has been a disaster studying to be a calamity. Among Andujar's Double A teammates are Dante Bichette Jr. and Cito Culver, two top Yankee picks who took their turns at 3B, and who now must be taking online courses in flipping realty. Farther down in Pulaski - way way down, in a short-season Single A rookie league - is somebody named Dermis Garcia, on whom the Yankees bestowed vast millions of dollars two years ago, when they they signed a "class" of Latino 16-year-olds. Dermis headed the list, money-wise. Supposedly, he's put on weight and might not play 3B anymore. We'll soon know.
But yesterday, Andujar went 4-8 in a Trenton doubleheader, lifting his small sample size average to .310. If you are looking for a Yankee 3B that matters, he tops the list. (In case you're wondering, at Scranton, Donovan Solano, a 28-year-old veteran minor leaguer is hitting .289. I suppose if Headley tweaked a gonad tomorrow, he would be our fall-back. Exciting, eh?)
Of course, we could have been flush at 3B, watching daily box scores from Trenton, if we had signed a fellow named Yoan Moncada, now knocking down fences in the Redsocks' system. Ah... that word... YOAN MONCADA... SLOOOOOOOWLY, I TURNED...
So Chase Headley gets at least another two months, chipping away at another two years. We get to watch him chase respectability. Think we'll hit another grand slam this season?
I figured it out.
The Yankees are are .500 club, shooting for mediocrity, and using chicken rituals to reach the one-game play-in game which will occur somewhere in an American ( or Canadian ) city. It could even happen in Texas.
So here is the math;
An endless series of one game win streaks.
That's what happens next.
Why confuse things by winning five and then losing five?
Just take it one at a time, baby.
One game win streaks.
We are there.
JACK AND COKE.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
1. A single Yankee win represents their 6th best ( and longest ) win streak of the 2016 season.
2. Fans come to the stadium because someone gave them tickets.
3. The food is better than the game.
4. The Yankees perform like the USMNT vs. Argentina ( hint: the US team did not register a single shot ).
5. Yankee fans want the baseball season to end in April.
6. We think it just can't get any worse.
7. A level of anger builds in that the " ownership" refuses to see the absolute incompetence of our "General Manager for life" ( attribution to Mr. Duque ).
8. It is better to be an alcoholic than a Yankee fan.
9. It is simply incomprehensible that Yankee players are earning $18 million per year.
10. The Yankees need an exclusion from the league, whereby they can use cricket bats instead of Louisville sluggers.
11. Opponents must be allowed only 1 out per inning.
12. We fans have nightmares about tripping and breaking our legs in the Eurotunnel.
Tuesday, Yankee "GM for Life" Brian Cashman - adopted son of the Yankees' late owner - said the 2016 Venerable Veterans of Vacuum must soon "declare" themselves either as contenders or... um... something else. Both Cashman (aka Waylan Smithers) and The Li'l Boss expect another full-out run at the AL Wild Card... the new Yankee tradition.
Last night, the team responded to their words...
One of the sloppiest games this season.
How do I say this? Well...
Take my team, please! Somebody, press the LifeFone Medical Alert System! WE HAVE FALLEN IN THE TUB! Folks, the wolf is at our door. The asteroid is in view, the super-volcano spewing, the mother ship has settled over Washington... Winter is coming to Winterfell! The long-awaited Yankopalypse is almost here. Each day, the voices of doom increase.
This morning, Wallace Mathews of ESPN puts it this way:
This from the Post...
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
The Yankees are about to begin their fourth best winning streak of this young season, by taking two straight from the Colorado Condors.
This will put the club one game over .500, whereupon they may rest on their laurels for a while.
Meanwhile, Tex will be playing in Scranton with Luis Severino who, despite 8.1 innings of 3 hit ball in his last outing, still cannot find the plate ( per Girardi).
When Tex comes back ( count on a short stay ), does that mean Refsnyder gets demoted again?
If we were re-building he might stay. But we are not.
So he goes.
Straight to another ballclub I suspect.
If you get bored tonight, the USMNT will be on TV....getting crushed by Argentina.
Hal speaks: "The last month has been promising. The offense up and down the line is starting to produce... I like what I've seen."
Clearly, billionaire Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner sees a different Yankee team than the rest of us. The world always looks better from a luxury box.
Food Stamps sees a 2016 Wild Card. He sees paychecks, not batting averages. He sees Neilsen points, not ages. He sees games behind, not overall record.
What I've seen lately were the A's, Angels and Twins - three tomato cans that might be Dinty Moore Beef Stew if they played in the Pacific Coast League. They somehow lost to us all but once. Against everyone else, it's been blown saves, blown leads, blown tires and blow jobs from the YES corporate cud-regurgitation machine.
But something has changed. Over the last several weeks, one clarion cry has emerged from the Yankee fan base:
It's time to rebuild. It's time to change our ways. It's time to sell and to think about next year. It's time to turn the page on old contracts and old players, and to start planning for a new generation of Yankees.
Some would say we're being negative. I disagree. In fact, over the last two years, conversations with Redsock fans - though dispirited by the standings - always carried a high measure of hope for the future. They looked at young players and liked what they saw. They never had to watch their team collapse from old age and tired bones.
These calls for change come from all points of the Yankiverse - from the NY Post to River Ave to the comments sections of every Yankee blog. Almost universally, Yankee fans are tired of old, injury-prone teams chasing the last Wild Card berth.
Unfortunately, for the Yankees to launch a rebuilding plan would mean the front office must recognize the rank mismanagement that we fans see with every glimpse of the standings.
Yeesh, you'd think we were playing in the World Series. We're battling to climb above .500.
Obviously, we should not put stock in anything Food Stamps says. They're talking points, that's all. Hal is trying to sell a few tickets before the collapse becomes undeniable. It's always easy to see the bright side when you're getting a foot massage.
Monday, June 20, 2016
1) They fall apart next month and trash their roster at the trade deadline - jettison Beltran, El Chapo and the cast of Glee for a player or two that might someday save this sorry franchise's soul.
2. They continue to slog, pursuing the 2016 Wild Card away game birth like a golden retriever chasing a garbage truck. Thus, they serve us more YES-warmed-over mush in 2018. The moral: When you own your own media, you really don't have to worry about success. (Didn't the fall of the U.S.S.R. teach us anything?)
So what happens if the Yankees - as we all fear - win a few more than they lose, thus "contend" for the "post-season" into late August before crumbling to injuries and age? Next winter, Cashman will work a trade or two that is hailed by the p.r. team, but which eventually evolves into a John Ryan Murphy for Aaron Hicks air ball. Well, here's our lineup:
1b Greg Bird - returning from a lost year and surgery, is he real or Kevin Maas?
2b Starlin Castro - serviceable, unless wears out welcome, as in Chicago.
ss Didi Gregorious - our best player, unfortunately compared to Bogaerts
3b Chase Headley - two more years of meh
c Brian McCann - two more years of meh, Gary Sanchez just sits?
lf Brett Gardner - two more years meh, can anything be worse?
cf Jacoby Ellsbury - FOUR more years, MEH!
rf Aaron Judge - up from Scranton, hopefully with fewer Ks
dh Alex Rodriguez - his final season, even slower than now
Once again: No place for Rob Refsnyder and bubble-wrapped discussion of the rising talent in the low-low minors. (Haven't we always heard about rising talent in the low-low minors?)
Rotation: CC (final season), Tanaka (opt-out clause at end of 2017), Pineda and Eovaldi (final years of contracts) and somebody from somewhere. All spring, the Yankees congratulated themselves for drafting James Kaprielian last June; he promptly tweaked an elbow (I bet you thought I was going to say "gonad?")
Bullpen: Betances, Miller and the seven dwarfs. El Chapo will sign a long-term deal with somebody.
The free agent class is a pack of dogs. After Judge - with the jury on him still out - Scranton doesn't offer much help. The 2017 Yankees would probably sit around .500 and - with luck - chase the Wild Card away birth.
So tell me... what's the game plan here? We just slog onward, lose to solid teams and beat up on the tomato cans, roil the fan base into August and then go home? That's the new Yankee tradition? Worse, will Hal run out and sign two or three more Ellsbury/McCann/Beltrans, just extending us on this wretched path?
Sunday, June 19, 2016
As the Yankees notched their third straight win yesterday, the team is officially on the cusp of their third best winning streak of the season.
If this pattern of outrageous success continues ( see prediction of June 16th at 3:34pm ), the Yankees will today extend their positive progress to one game over .500.
Three wins in a row is not yet four, but it can become four ( the predicted number of sequential victories ), and it is way better than two.
Some will say: it has a lot to do with playing the Twins who are, " the 2016 Yankees, only worse." They have Joe Mauer playing first base ( we have the tandem of Ike and Rob ). Joe is the age of Carlos Beltran, only he is more battered after so many years of being an all star catcher. It is his contract that keeps him here. Plus, he is beloved as the Twin Cities best athlete ever.
The young guys ( Twin prospects) are not breaking through. The team occasionally get a good pitching effort. The farm system has, thus far, grown mostly bean sprouts. I don't know if their GM rappels down buildings.
But the The Twins make the Yankees believe they can be a .500 club, and stay in that one game play-in race. Today, we'll see which way it goes.
I predicted this would be our third best run of the season ( it already is). But four in a row was what I said. And my pride and professional standing depends upon a sweep.
It is the Twins.
"I don't want to tell Junior this too many times," he said, "but I watch his every move. I've been a Yankee fan all my life, but it's been a slow move to where I'm a No. 1 Mariner fan right now."
Saturday, June 18, 2016
From what planet, you might ask, were they broadcasting?
Well, the answer is simple: Planet Four-Run Lead. Give the Yankees a four-run first inning and a Triple A opponent - and the happiest couple in the universe will be bubbling like Trump at a gun show. In his review of the first inning, The Master actually said, "Four scored... and seven years ago, heh, heh, heh... " Yes, when the Yankees lead, reality is suspended. Nothing else matters in the universe driven by Jeep.
Let's face it: After a victory, the Yankees won't dismantle their team any more than they would trade a player after he homers. Any sign of hope - even a distant glimmer against the league's worst team - offers an excuse to send the Light Brigade into the Valley of Darkness. For the Yankees to rebuild would require the front office to explain what happened over the last seven years, and why the farm system has grown one legitimate Yankee star (Betances... I'd put Gardy on the cusp) with its other core players (Melancon, Cervelli, Robertson, Kennedy, Cano and - yeeks - now Eduardo Nunez?) playing elsewhere. For the Yankees to alter their mediocre course, someone at the top must first admit that the grand strategy - whatever it is - didn't work.
So we beat the Twinkies. We're back to one game below .500. If we win today... meh. How many times do we flirt with .500, and pretend it means something more than the achievement of mediocrity?
I really hate to say this, but I'm almost rooting for the Yankees to lose. I don't want to get suckered into thinking this team will win anything because, frankly, it's just too painful. The worst thing that can happen is that a year from now, I will be writing these same exact words. Look at this team. Who do we think it going to lead us out of this darkness, which has become our old friend?
Friday, June 17, 2016
Frankly, I know what A-Rod was thinking: He'd hit an obvious double. That's all. Unfortunately, he now has the mobility of Stonehenge. His only extra base hit is the HR. (And he has seven on the year - six shy of 700.) Now batting .217 - with an on base percentage of .264 - he has morphed into a Florida sinkhole, smack dab in the middle of our living rooms. Considering that Carlos Beltran has a mystery bum knee, and that Mark Teixeira shows the break-down rate of a 2002 software CD from Radio Shack, A-Rod ensures a slow, tedious three-DH lineup - (four when Swisher arrives; his op-out date was yesterday) - and embodies the biggest Nothingness in the time and space vacuum known as the 2016 Yankees. And we have have him through 2018.
Imagine him a year older. Imagine him slower...
Believe it or not, I love Alex. Throughout his 2012-14 blood feud with Bud Selig, Randy Levine and their task force of American hypocrisy, I defended him. To the day I die, I'll believe Alex was singled out for persecution as a sop to the Yankees, after Hal Steinbrenner had bent over and accepted the luxury tax/de facto salary cap that his father opposed. In its rabid pursuit of A-Rod, MLB broke every rule, even dispensing a suitcase full of money, while the Yankee brass quietly cheered, hoping to slime out of a contract they themselves foisted upon the player. A-Rod lost two years. Meanwhile, David Ortiz and other PED users like him barely suffered a mosquito bite. A-Rod served as baseball's whipping mule. To this day, some sportswriters vow to never vote him into the Hall of Fame, while carrying Big Papi in on their shoulders.
Yet... here we are, tethered to him like Ahab to the whale. If he gets hurt, we go on a winning streak. If he hits a double to left, he either stops at first, or he's out by ten feet. Nobody will take him in a trade. We are A-Rod's team, and we are all batting .217, and the only question is whether maybe 15 years from now, we are saying the same thing about Bryce Harper.
And this is how I feel after a victory...
Thursday, June 16, 2016
There is almost a formulaic predictor to the comings and goings of this Yankee team. I am both the formula and the predictor.
As you have noticed; the Yankees go on a roll, then give it all back. Then, they repeat that sequence.
A basic law of physics is that, " every action has an equal and opposite reaction." So the Yankees win six, then they lose six ( okay 5 ). They win 5 and then they lose 5 ( possibly 4). If the Yankees were an actual, competitive team, the numbers would work differently.
But no matter what; the Yankees stay within striking distance of .500 and, eventually, return to that equilibrium. Matching the physics law which says, " water will always seek its own level."
So it is time for a new prediction; The Yankees are about to begin their third best winning streak of the season. The math suggest that this will result in a win streak of 4 games.
But this one is going to play out a little differently; The Yankees will win 3 of the next 4 games which, is , basically the same for this Yankee team. Ike Davis is the "X" factor, possibly contributing to the one loss.
In summary, physics tells us that, " a team which sucks at the core, also sucks at the mother lode."
So much for that... let's hope, anyway.
It's hard to maintain a decent hallucination when your cleanup hitter is Chase Headley. (FUN FACT: Headley's next RBI will be his milestone 15th on the season!) But help is on the way. Its name: the Twinkies. We now face, hands down, the worst team in the AL - which by no coincidence is seasoned with ex-Yanks. Eduardo Nunez - "Nuni" - is having an all-star year. Phil Hughes is Phil Hughes is Phil Hughes is Phil Hughes. John Ryan Murphy is in Triple A somewhere, but at least it's not Scranton. After that, the Twins are a pile of Rickie Molaskos and Brandon Kitzners, which is like a pile of Chad Greens and Nick Goodys, but harder to spell. We play them seven times in the next week. Yep, everybody, the World Series came early!
By losing four straight, Hal's Hookworms of Hopelessness have nearly negated last week's 5-game win streak - which seems like a year ago. Cashman's Castrations have compiled the 10th worst record in baseball. If they keep it up, next winter the Pinstripe Pinatas can sign free agents willy nilly, without forfeiting their chances to draft the next Cito Culver. Trouble is, the 2017 free agent class looks like a bunch of Rickie Molaskos and Brandon Kitzners, and it would require Hubris Hal to open his personal penny purse. The Franchise of Fruitlessness will still be trying to cut payroll. We won't get good by just being bad.
Nope. The big question now is whether Bridesmaid Brian has the guts to tell the Li'l Boss the truth: The Yanks of Yawn are dead in the water, and one measly trade won't be enough. If the Yankees are going to sell, it can't just be Aroldis Chapman. We need a Red Wedding. If we're rebuilding for - say 2019 - there is no point in keeping the likes of CC, Beltran, Miller, Ellsbury, Gardner or even McCann. (Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge need to play.) I would happily add Chase Headley, but I'm not sure what you get for a 32-year-old "slugger" with two and a half years left on his contract at $13 million per season, who is still working on his 15th RBI. (A-Rod would stay, of course, because his HR-chase would be the only reason people come to the park in September.)
To make any meaningful investment in the future, and to actually rebuild Team Tedium, the Yankees must go all in... or continue to flounder.
Frankly, the "mirage' is over. It was the last three years.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
So continue the last somber beeps on the 2016 Yankee life-support machine. Soon, it will be over, the plug pulled, the damage done, with excuses flowing like sweat rivulets on Trump's orange forehead. Between now and July, we were supposed to feast on the Rockies and terrible Twins - climb above .500 and beat our chests, before hitting actual contenders. So what happens? We score 10 runs and lose.
Beltran's tweaked his knee while sleeping. Ike Davis is our 1B. Eovaldi - who showed so much promise - has now thrown three straight clunkers. Pineda and Nova should be a roller coaster ride at Disney. Refsnyder - who might have been a valuable 2B - now is languishing at 1B, where he absolutely no future. Fans can't even print out their tickets at home. Soon, CC will pull something, and from then on, we'll be a team of background singers to A-Rod's career HR quest, which nobody gives a flying shit about, anyway. We've been lamenting how the Mets own NYC. Good grief, the Yankees are in third, below Hal's soccer club, and they're about to dip below the Rangers and Knicks, who are more out of season than sugar beets.
Soon, the YES propaganda mill will start churning crapola about the "jewels" of our farm system. We've been hearing it for 10 years. Nothing happens. We score 10 and lose. Damn, this franchise is wretched.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Soler, 24, is exactly the kind of long-range player the Yankees need. But it's a bad fit. Their OF is full of aging, injury-prone players in decline, and their best prospect in Scranton remains RF Aaron Judge. Don't get me wrong: I don't mind them wheedling the Cubs for more in a deal. What I fear is that we'll be ones trading a prospect: We'll beat a few tomato cans, get three games above .500, and start trading our future for some Justin Morneau-type 1B, or to fill whatever positions become vacant after the next clown car of injuries. What I fear is that the Yankees have no long-term plan, other than to chase Wild Card Away Games for the next decade. Besides - whenever I hear the name "Jose Soler," bile rises in my throat because - dammit, we should already have him! We could have signed him five years ago, when he slipped out of Cuba as a 19-year-old prospect. All of baseball figured we would. We had the money. We had the prestige. Of course, it was a time before we realized the vapid, money-grubbing emptiness of Hal Steinbrenner's ownership.
Soler was the first Yoan Mocada - that is, a no-brainer Yankee signing, which the Yankees - having no brain - failed to consummate. Hal hid in the cellar until the Cubs signed Soler to a nine-year deal. Then the dutiful YES team launched a non-stop loop of praise for the owner's keen frugality. Today, many Yankee fans even play that game - weighing players by contracts rather than wins - because for some ridiculous reason, they want a billionaire family to bank even more money. But in the period since the Yankees refused to invest in Soler, they doled out lavishly for the likes of Chase Headley, Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, et al - paying players for what they did in the past, rather than what they could do as Yankees. Blugh.
Anyway, yesterday Yulieski Guorriel - a 32-year-old 3B, generally considered the best player coming out of Cuba - was declared an MLB free agent. He has publicly discussed his dream of playing for the Yankees. Moreover, Guorriel has a 22-year-old brother Lourdes, who plays 2B, with a bright future. There is talk of a package deal, both signing with the same team.
Insert sigh here.
Once upon a time, any international free agent who voiced his desire to be a Yankee was sure to be a signing. Now, it's just a sign that the Yankees are owned by a cheap, spiritless, pants-shitting putz. I fully expect to watch Hal hide under the bed and make no sound until the Cuban brothers sign with some franchise that has a plan. Meanwhile, I can detect the distant smell of a Wild Card Away Game. Excuse me, while I hold my nose.