Yesterday, Team Canada mounted a dramatic comeback against the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM), when Kendrys Morales homered in the 9th to tie the game. It was just the kind of rally that riles the sap of beer-swilling Torontogodytes, as they tune-up their snowblowers for the final six weeks of winter. Suddenly, the North was rising!
An inning later, the Jays lost 4-1. So much for spring. Toronto is now eight down in the loss column with by far the worst record in baseball. Even the putrid Padres - who are phoning-in the 2017 season with Rule 5 cutouts instead of players - have twice as many wins.
The great bat-flipper himself, Jose Bautista, is hitting .109 - but he's merely the third lowest average in yesterday's lineup. Josh Donaldson is out with his third calf injury of the season - (can anybody say "chronic?") Aaron Sanchez has a blister issue, and last year's 20-game winner J.A. Happ "felt something" in his elbow recently and went for tests. The Hindenburg, engulfed in flames, had higher hopes. Right now, the only positive is that it's still April, when nothing is supposed to matter. But as Yankee fans know, one crushing first month can also lead to a vast, season-long abyss.
So... the immediate question for Yankee fans is obvious: When do we get a taste of this shipwreck sandwich? We face Toronto ten days from now - May 1-3 - and who knows what they'll be like? But still, here are some basic realities.
1. One of the three AL East powers looks dead in the pool. Toronto - a mean-spirited bully for the last three years - appears scrawny and pallid without Edwin Encarnacion. That's one less Wild Card contender, leaving Detroit, Texas, Houston and Baltimore as our most likely competition for that miserable last open slot in the post-season.
2. Toronto will probably hold a July garage sale. Donaldson could yield a shit-ton of Yoans and Glybers, and Brian Cashman has always coveted him. But if Headley is still hitting, and if Gleyber Torres remains our future YES marketing scheme, we don't need a big-money 3B. We would chase pitching, of course, and Sanchez could be our third Aaron - a nice touch. But nobody likes trading prospects within your division - so Toronto's seasonal suicide might happen in the woods, where we won't hear it.
3. The real guy they'd look to unload is Bautista, and unless he starts hitting - maybe even if he starts - good luck on that, Canada! Nobody wanted him last winter, but the music stopped when he was standing over Toronto's chair. He's Chris Carter with bat-flips and a rifle arm. If Boston is still looking for its new Papi - well, we can always hope, can't we?
You don't know a team until you play it. I figured the Cardinals would, as usual, be tough. They were horrible. And a month from now, so could we be. Today's Murdoch Post serves a steaming pile of congratulations to the Yankee brass for drafting Aaron Judge four years ago - conveniently forgetting all the crapola picks from the last decade. It's the thing I most hate about being a Yankee fan - the sycophantic rush by Gammonites to over-celebrate any success. I get criticized - sometimes rightly - for being too negative here. But it's a long season, and while we can certainly be happy with Judge's performance thus far, dear God, are we already declaring him a star? Because that's how you crush a guy.