Saturday, June 24, 2017

Chris Carter is no more

Let history show that the last time we saw Chris Carter in Yankee stirrups, he remained true to the Chris Carter Eternal Legacy: 

With the winning run on third, he struck out swinging on four pitches. It was Chris being Chris. Good grief, one more strikeout? That wasn't even a bug bite. That's a grain of sand in the Sahara, a dead wildebeest in the Serengeti, a strain of Chlamydia in Justin Bieber's - oh hell, you get the picture, it happens a lot. 

If you're into numbers - and who isn't! - it was Carter's 70th strikeout this year, tying him for second on the team. I looked it up. He fanned 6 out of every 10 at bats. He struck out 51 times against RH pitchers, hitting .219 - but was worse against lefties, batting only .170. On full counts, he walked 8 times and struck out 14. I looked it up.

Oh, here's a stat to make you pucker: With pitchers ahead in the count, Carter struck out 36 times, with no walks - not once did he outlast a pitcher and draw one of those soul-crushing bases on balls . Also, behind in the count, he hit .200.

But wait, there's more: With men on base, he struck out 36 times. And with runners in scoring position, he produced 22 strikeouts. I looked it up.

With two outs and a runner in scoring position - crunch time for veteran sluggers - he struck out 11 times and hit .130.

O!, here's one: In one-run game situations, when - you know, the Yankees figured he might hit that big homer - he struck out 37 times. Thirty. Seven. Times. 

I can't back this with stats, but I estimate that Carter hit 10 foul ball homers and at least 20 jeeeeeeeeeeeust misses - you know, like Jesse Barfield in his final incarnation - that became towering popups. If he wasn't striking out, Carter was belting Ruthian popups.  

Weird, but in this year of the strikeout, you could argue that Carter wasn't the worst 1B in baseball.  That distinction probably belongs to Mike Napoli, batting .200 with 74 strikeouts. Or Chris Davis of the Orioles, (.226 with 95 Ks.) But whenever Carter strode complacently back to his warm dugout cushion, I had to wonder, how did we get here? 

For the last three years, I'd been whining about why Mark Teixeira couldn't shorten his swing, go to the opposite field now and then, or simply learn to bunt? But he didn't. Or he couldn't. I'd wonder why these guys just don't choke up with two strikes and put the fucking bat on the ball? Yes, I know it's harder than it sounds, but none of them ever seemed to try. Carter's third strike swing was a carbon copy of his first - that long, looping swish. Was there no coach in the clubhouse, no voice in the organization, to take the guy aside and say, "Hey, buddy, this ain't working, you gotta adjust your swing, or you're gonna be gone..."

Today, Chris is gone. Today, we unwrap Tyler Austin - (as you know, we can never have too many Austins, Tylers and Aarons.) Last night, Carter received his walking papers and bus fare to Omaha. Austin is getting called up from Scranton, where he was 6 for 15 with three HRs in his last four games. Supposedly, the Yankees are concerned that Austin strikes out too frequently. For the record, I have no such worries. I hearken back to Trump's stump speech: Seriously, folks, whaddaya got to lose? 

I wish Carter well. He seems like a nice man, almost a gentle soul. But we've just been spared another 100 heart-bursting strikeouts. And last night, we won! The next batter, Ronald Torreyes, singled, driving in the winning run. That final strikeout, Carter's last preserved-in-amber memory, cost us nothing. We don't have to live with it seared into our consciousness.

Okay, now... Chase Headley?


Anonymous said...

Headley should get on a bus this afternoon.

Tom said...

About Headley, I am wondering how exactly he hit 31 home runs in 2012. What sort of deal with the devil did he make? Certainly it paid off for him when he got a four-year, $50 million contract from the Yankees. But having watched him the past three years, I do not see the physical strength to knock 31 out of the park. This year for instance, he's connected four times. None of them was Ruthian, but they counted. Mostly, his "long drives" don't even reach the warning track.

Look at his career stats and he's wonderfully consistent, except for his "career year." The more I watch him struggle at the plate, and in the field, the more I wonder about 2012. I guess I'll get a reprieve from this torture for a few days because of his balky back. But once he's ready to go again, last night's hero, Torreyes, gets put back on the shelf and Headley trudge will out there day after day for more sub-mediocrity.

Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

Though he Was An Eyesore Striking Out A The Time, chris Was Better Than Expected At First Base. AdvertIsed As The Man With The Iron Glove He Turned Out To Be A Guy That Was Sort Of Adequate At The Position. He Did Not Commit A Enormous Amount Of Errors.

So All In All He Was Not Really A Disappointment.
So He Deserves The Kind Send Off This Blig Gives Him.

FOr Yes, he Seems To Be A Gentle Man.

Alphonso said...

Chris Carter does seem like a nice man. Who tries sort of hard. He was better defensively than advertised, but the bar of merit for him was low. He will ride the bus into the sunset with a three million dollar pay stub for this season which, even in my lofty world, doesn't suck.

Thanks be to the entire nation state of Holland that Tyler Austin is ready.

I should mention, just for the record, that first base is not his natural position, and he does not have a lot of experience over there.

But with Greg Bird still doing his best Nick Johnson imitation, he is our last, best hope.

For our Dutch Urban Farmer: Nick Johnson was an amazing first baseman who came up through the Yankee organization but, for a variety of reasons, was never healthy while a Yankee. Always injured. He offered every hope and delivered nothing.

Vunderkind !

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

My thoughts go to the opposing teams' pitchers. Up to now, they could count on two "automatic outs" -- Hedley Lamarr and Mr. Car-terr.

That, plus maybe striking out Judge a few times.....and while Torreyes was outtasight last night, he probably does not inspire fear. Plus, Gardy -- when he ain't hot -- looks old.

Now, assuming Austin can just hit .247 and strike out fewer than 2 times every 5 -- the opposing pitchers have to work just a bit harder.

That eventually (game by game) pays off. Maybe.

Anonymous said...




KD said...

can we please copy Houston? They are proving that a team can have power without massive amounts of strikeouts. They've transformed McCann. Now look at him!

Are Yankee players actually ENCOURAGED to hit into the shift? "Don't let them take away what you do best " is probably how our sluggers are being coached.

Anonymous said...

Amazing!! Duque got his wish, and I got mine, too!! We have a new 1st-baseman, and the "old" Tanaka did show up last night.

I think I've got it, re: Tanaka: We have to arrange to pitch him in high-pressure situations every time: probably the best one is when he knows he's on Japanese TV - - next best is against our fiercest competitors (witness what he did to the Beantown Bums in April); do NOT - - I repeat, do NOT - - schedule him to pitch against a below-.500 club - - he will snooze through it, and give up multiple taters.

The Yanks continue to play poorly against sub-.500 clubs (as they have for my entire short-term memory span), and play their best against the best-rated clubs; thus, I have SOME hope against Houston - - just, please, do NOT schedule us against any tomato-cans!!!! LB (No J)