The Monsters of March lost only their sixth game of 2017 yesterday when a scrap-heaper we signed Thursday - Ernesto "Guy" Frieri - surrendered a run in the ninth. At 31, Frieri continues the Cashmanic tradition of grabbing players who were stars four years ago. In 2013, he saved 37 for the Angels. Cash saw him in the WBC, and we took a flier on him. No harm in that. (If you teach a GM to fish...) Over the years, junk-pile picking has been one of Cashman's greatest gifts - Aaron Small, Tanyon Sturtz, et al. (Chris Carter, 0-3 with another K yesterday, notwithstanding.) And get this: Frieri tells Jerry Hall's Post that the Yankees are the team of his dreams, and he will accept a minor league assignment. Bravo.
The same article touts 22-year-old OF Billy McKinney - who hit his third homer yesterday - as a potential breakout prospect - (a phrase that covers every minor leaguer in our solar system.) Obtained as an "afterthought" in last summer's Aroldis Chapman deal, McKinney has hit all spring, and he might wind up in Scranton instead of Trenton. I hope Cashman is drinking in the positive vibes that come with trading FOR prospects, rather than dealing them for retreads. How much more exciting are they to watch than the lineup of Ellsbury, Headley, Castro, etc. Keep telling yourselves: Better times are coming.
A-Lo and J-Rod "quietly" visited Tampa camp yesterday. Yeesh. Story reads like an episode of Drunk History. As JA-RodLo was leaving, a high school hockey team approached them, seeking an up-close glimpse of immortality. A-Rod was gracious. (Insert joke about the $21 million he's being paid.) Good for him/them/it. I hope it's true love. But for now, it looks like just another case of insecure celebrities doubling their fame imprint by pairing-up in public. They weren't getting enough attention. I'm not sure I'd want to get too close.
A chewable thumb-sucker on "expectations" for Masahiro Tanaka. Nut of it: He could have a great year! Then again, maybe not. Is his elbow half-full or half-empty? That's the deal with "expectation" stories. I have little expectations.
Still getting over the death of Chuck Berry. Was hoping I heard it wrong, and it was actually Buckcherry. As our traditional IIHIIFIIc tribute, we rewrite a few songs a la' the Yankees - you know, Run, Run Randolph, Johnny B. Damon, and My Chien-a-Ming. But this just seemed wrong. I felt like... well... a certain current Yankee.
Riding around in his automobile.
Refsnyder is at the wheel.
Last night delivered a walk-off drive.
Won't seem him again 'till August 5.
He hits, but never can find the way...
With no particular place to play.
We've lost a true American original, a true American hero, the greatest rocker in history (and yes, I am aware of the guy from Jersey.)