Thursday, June 8, 2017

For better or worse, we now have Chris Carter for at least another month

First, a brutal, self-deprecating admission: Since that winter day when the Yankees signed Chris Carter with their last million of spare change, he has topped my personal High-Horse Shit List. It's not that I rooted against him. (In the Yankiverse, that remains the Prime Directive: You never root against one of ours.) But I saw Carter as the quintessential scrap-heap acquisition - (see Vernon Wells, Garrett Jones, Pronk, Youk, Sori, Ichiro, et al) - who, like those cuckoo birds that take over other species' nests and eat all their eggs, drags us down and steals at bats from hot prospects, such as Rob Refsnyder. (Okay, that's a joke, sort of. I still DO like Ref.) 

As the Yankee strikeouts have mounted this year - and let's not kid ourselves: they pose dire implications for this team - whenever Carter strode to the plate, I saw him eating the eggs known as Greg Bird and Tyler Austin, and I would transform into an outraged Nicolas Cage. Trust me here: There is nothing more savage and hurtful in the Yankiverse than when I channel my outraged Nicolas Cage. It's like Bruce Banner turning into the Hulk, melded into a drunk Lindsay Lohan hissyfit, written by Alphonso, after a morning of Jack and Coke. Oh, the humanity. 

But back to Carter. Truth be told, Chris hasn't in any way hurt Bird or Austin. Injuries took them out. Carter has proven to be a better glove than advertised, and despite striking out a zillion times, many with runners on, he has never shattered a water cooler, pissed on an ump or blamed anybody else. He's been a class act, almost Granderson-esque, while striking out 40 percent of the time. 

Last night, Carter had his Yankee epiphany - that Giambi moment, when he bonds with our death bed memories. That it came against Boston probably ensures Carter will stay at least through July. (Note: This morning, Trump's lawyer released this statement: "Chris Carter has been completely and totally vindicated.") But barring a setback, Greg Bird should soon return and take over first base. That will relegate Carter to platooning or pinch-hitting, and we all know that free-swingers like him, who live and die by streaks, are generally doomed in such roles. As for Tyler Austin, he now needs to hit .450 at Scranton, and even then, he'll probably spend 2017 rotting in a dugout next to Refsnyder, Mason Williams, Jake Cave and the cast of Modern Family. We'll have Carter, swinging and swinging.

Well, we always wondered what a Carter hot streak would look like. Now, we'll see. He's hit two HRs in two nights, and the umps screwed him out of a third. (I was amazed they didn't overturn that call; it really was awful.) He banged a double off the wall and made a nice stretch on one of Headley's loopy throws. We're about to see what $3.5 million buys you in the month of February. Let's cross our fingers and hope the guy hits a few more before the lights go dim again. Maybe he can lift his average to - say - .220, a plateau that sadly seems to have taken on a new respectability in this modern K/HR world. 

Another confession: I'm happy for the guy. Last night, when they jobbed him of his homer, he just smiled. It reminded me: It's never fun, waiving a veteran. I hope he keeps hitting and hitting. But I wonder if we've just been gifted another 50 strikeouts, each one a Fleet enema. Tonight, maybe we'll see. The hottest hitter on our team is Chris Carter, batting ninth. Come on, Chris! You've been Giambied. You're a Yankee now. Keep it going. Let's do this!


Tom said...

Please take a bow. It is clear that this blog is an influencer, a Yankee baseball think tank whose ideas seep through the thick skulls of management as they plan their strategies.

How else to explain the sudden change in the lineup last night? el duque writes a post in the morning recommending that Hicks bats second and within hours Girardi posts a lineup with Hicks hitting in the two hole. Just as President Trump seems to echo the ideas batted about by the fine folks at FOX & Friends in his Twitter stream, our fearless field leader appears to be checking in here for the three-dimensional chess strategies that will help the Yankees maintain and stretch their lead in the AL East.

Best of all, this new IIHIIFIIc influenced lineup generated a resounding 8-0 win. Cause and effect!

Take a bow! Hell of a thing.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I agree with Tom, take a bow El Duque, your officially The Supreme Influencer of Yankee Stratagem!

Along with a blow out win 'ovah the Sux, we were also treated to the RARE IIHIIFIIC shoutout from The Master, a PERFECT night of Bomber baseball!

John M said...

I criticize CC, he becomes Cy Young. I question why we continue to play Carter, he hits a 3-run dinger.

Juju. Or is that reverse juju?

At any rate, I'll now say that Headley should be benched or simply cut from the team, and Refsnyder belongs back in AAA. Also, Judge hit a lot of HRs in April, hardly any in May, and he's doing crap in June. Sanchez was a Maas after all, forget about him. Call up a kid to take over.

Flashes in the pan. We're doomed.

el duque said...

I refuse to take a bow for a Yankee victory.


Leinstery said...

Duque, what if you and the binders are somehow linked? Like you are the reincarnated version of Sophanisba and the binders house the soul of Masinissa. As an act of penance for betraying you to the Romans, the binders take your advice.

As the Master would say, anyways. I came here to make a different point. You wrote "He's been a class act, almost Granderson-esque, while striking out 40 percent of the time." You should have written it this way, "He's been a class act while striking out 40 percent of the time, almost Granderson-esque." The way you wrote it doesn't quite drive home the point that the Grandyman did, and still does for the Mets, strike out 40% of the time.

Also, I loved Garret Jones. I only remember him for those homeruns he hit in Seattle, no negative memories.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, John M - - after eating that crow pie yesterday, I will second everything you said: Sanchise is out of it, bring up Higashioka; Judge is flailing, bring up the Red-Head; Ref has lost it - - we have plenty of pinch-runners, so send him to Brigadoon (or SWB, whichever is closer); Headcase Chaseley is done, stick a fork in him; play Torreyes, and bring up Wade. Big Mikey has lost it - - re-try Cessa. There, by God (or Gods, or Goddesses)...take that!! I might get to like baked crow, yet. LB (No J)