Last night, shortly after Michael Pineda surrendered two two-strike, two-out base hits, thereby maintaining his status as the Easter Island of Yankee pitchers, my phone dinged with this text message from Alphonso.
"Are you watching Pineda? This is why we lost in the Jesus trade. Jesus isn't hurting whoever owns him."
It was the first of seven angry and hurtful texts directed at the '17 Yankees, leading up to Alphonso cruelly calling our team's young hitters "CLOWN COLLEGE!" I cannot reprint the entirety of his bile-filled screeds, because it would violate IT IS HIGH's new policy of staying upbeat in all matters regarding the '17 Yankees, aka "the bridge to 2019."
Still, it is both amazing and heart-wrenching to consider that, six years after the historic deal, we are still debating whether the Yankees "lost" the swap of Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero - alias the Lusitania for the Titanic... or herpes for shingles. It was 2011 when Brian Cashman - no kidding - said Montero "may well be the best player I ever traded." We received Pineda, who promptly tore his shoulder, leading to surgery, then a DWI arrest, then a suspension for slathering himself with pine tar, then various muscle strains and finally, last year - while finishing sixth in the AL in strikeouts - going 6-12 and giving up 27 HRs.*
(*You know, it occurs to me that longtime Yank fans would be so much happier if there was an electro-shock treatment or lobotomy that simply deletes all these useless, crapola memories. Thus, instead of dwelling upon the events leading to our current situation, we could simply clap when the scoreboard says "NOISE" and root for the team, like goldfish. Alas...)
For the record, Jesus Alejandro Montero Lopez last year hit .317 for the Buffalo Bisons and was named to the International League All-Star Team. However - and with Jesus, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich," for his eating habits, there is always a "however" - he then tested positive for Canseco juice and is now serving a 50-game suspension with his new employer, the Orioles.
So the philosophical questions are: 1) Would the Yankees still be better off if Pineda never walked through our clubhouse door? 2) Could Montero - now 27 - still resurrect his career, a la Steve Pearce, Bill Robinson, et al? and would it matter, because this is his fifth team, and he would never have lasted six years in NYC? (There simply weren't enough ice cream sandwiches.)
It's a question for the ages: Which is worse, diarrhea or abdominal pains? And does it matter if one team suffered less cramping than the other? I will say this, though: Seattle ditched its IBS three years ago. We still can't quit Pineda.
So... upbeat blog posts! WE MUST MAINTAIN HOPE!
How 'bout that Chase Headley! Two for three last night, still has yet to pull a ball to right. Another few weeks, and so long over-shift! And Jacoby Ellsbury! Three for four last night with a HR - our only run because - um - let's not discuss the others. And Adam Warren! Two games, four and two-thirds innings, six strikeouts and no earned runs! The whole bullpen, solid, especially considering that the starters - um...
Here's a positive thought: Something has to break. The Pineda Doomsday Clock just moved to a minute before midnight. This cannot go on much longer. So... tomorrow night... Luis Severino? Alphonso will be watching.