Monday, February 20, 2017

Gardy: “The fact that maybe some other teams have interest in me, I see that as a compliment.”

Used to be, the longest-tenured Yankee held a sacred position in the empire. Nobody ever talked about trading Jeet for a pair of Clint Fraziers. Nobody dared. You'd get punched. The writers would rumor-monger about anybody - Clemens, Sheffield, Giambi, et al - but the oldest true Yankees, the homegrown, home-schooled, home-bred, home-alone Yankee vets - they could never wear other uniforms. It would be like Iron Man wearing Thor's breastplate. There'd be riots.

The good old days, remember? Pride and prestige. Aura and mystique. Joe Torre stood in front of a crowd and thanked God for the chance to be a Yankee. Jeez, it went back for generations. We might not be any good, but Roy White wasn't going anywhere.

When did we lose it? When did the craven corporate structure replace tradition? I trace it back to the winter of 2003-04 when Cashman chose the MRI on Andy Pettite's elbow over the truth of Andy's heart. We just let him go. Andy pitched three years in Houston - 84 games with an ERA of 3.38 - while we dicked around with Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Jared Wright and Kevin Brown - not one a true Yankee. It took us three years to realize the mistake, three lost years, while Torre's team fell apart.

Well, today, Brett Gardner is our oldest tenured Yankee, the closest we have to a Roy White. He does everything well, nothing spectacular. Not an all-star. Just the guy you want up late in a tie game.

We spent the winter trying to peddle him.

In the end, Cashman said no. Not because Gardner is too sacred to be traded, but because Cashman needed a slam dunk for his management resume, a career that can only be considered a success by its longevity. Cashman's greatest achievement has been in keeping his job.

In fact, I guess Cashman is our longest tenured Yankee, our sacred figure. And that's why we are in this predicament.

It's hard to realize that Gardy is 34. Seems like yesterday, no? He'll never again steal 50 or hit 20 HRs. He should bunt more. His glove is golden, and he still takes bushels of pitches. It's a sad testament to this team that we're a year, maybe two, from desperately needing a clubhouse lug nut like him. But does anybody really expect him to still be around on opening day? I don't.

It's been a month of bad omens. The Chris Carter signing. The Betances arbitration. The mere sight of Randy Levine. (Mr. Trump, don't you need an ambassador to Mars?) The Tyler Austin broken toe. The injuries still to come. The 2017 Yankees don't look like a contender. And Brett Gardner - lifelong Yankee, a great player and a sacred figure - might not be around much longer.

6 comments:

John M said...

The idea being peddled about the Yankees being a contender this year is poppycock. Let's be honest and say that this year has all the makings of a real disaster. Pineda, yet again, has "great stuff" and "could be a Cy Young winner," except he's a massive head case who gives up dollops of runs with two outs and/or two strikes. Ty Austin is hurt, and maybe wouldn't even have made the big club with our plethora of DHs. Bird is looking shaky coming off his injury. Sanchez was tanking after his golden entrance and probably won't be the second coming of Munson, giving us yet another fine defensive catcher who won't hit anywhere near like Thurm, replacing one who fit the same specs. Gardy and Jacoby...sad. Guess who's still at third? Judge may be the same strikeout machine we saw last year. Carter, guaranteed, will not hit 40 HRs. 25 might be more realistic. And Dellin is going to be pissed off all year long, which might result in him being a great set-up man just so he can get the hell outta here when free agency comes knocking. But, like last year, a great set-up man and nasty closer aren't much good when you go into most late innings losing. Girardi is still here. Rothschild is still here. Hal and Levine and Cashman are still here.

82 wins might be a little pie in the sky for this bunch. Be prepared.

Tom said...

Cashman should aspire to be the Roy White of Yankee GMs. Sadly, he's more like the Fred Stanley of mid-level functionaries.

Levine is an orange assclown. And Girardi is a decent man locked into rigid routines. This is a sad state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Yup, surely is looking like another barren year - - thanks to dead wood at the top of the organization (mostly located inside the heads of the "heads" of the Yankees....

My MLB Extra Innings sub is looking less and less attractive every day that passes....

What a way to spend one's "golden years" - - watching one's life-long team decline faster than you, yourself, are. LB (No J)

Anonymous said...

BILLY MARTIN WOULD BE THE ONLY HOPE, AND MIRACLE TO HELP THIS TEAM WIN THE DIVISION THIS YEAR, OR EVEN COMPETE FOR THE WILDCARD........ IMAGINE THIS TEAM WE HAVE NOW WITH BILLY, (WITH HIS HEAD ON STRAIGHT)? ....... IT WOULD BE A NATURAL..... WITH JOE G. I'M AFRAID IT'S GONNA BE DEAD MEN WALKING.

Mustang said...

This year, I don't want them to concentrate on winning games. I want them to concentrate on the next dynasty. I want them to act like a Double-A team. They've started the work. I hope greed doesn't distract them.

I'm Bill White said...

That last sentence may be a bridge too far.