Monday, June 12, 2017

"They’re good. It’s pretty obvious,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They’re good."

The professional play-by-play announcer should never mention a no-hitter during the early innings. Everybody knows this; it's kindergarten juju. He can talk around it, maybe note that one team has not yet had a base-runner, but he's not supposed to broadcast it, straight-up, until say, the sixth or seventh, at the earliest. If he jumps the gun, he looks stupid and - more importantly - he jinxes it. He breaks the James T. Kirk Announcers Prime Directive: Let primitive, indigenous cultures play their game without interference from the more-advanced, communicative species. 

Nevertheless, as we all know, The Master doesn't play by those rules - especially if somebody is throwing a no-hitter against the Yankees. When that happens, John is on it by the fourth - mansplaining to Suzyn about the need to overcome dogma and superstition and discuss the dire implications of what is happening. From there, he mentions the no-hitter roughly every 30 seconds, until the threat has been vanquished.

Which brings me to the 2017 Yankees: 

Do we dare state aloud how great this team could be?

Seriously, what do we make of this? Five football score blowouts in a row, over Boston and (the once dangerous) Baltimore. Who foresaw this? Not me. I predicted they would win 83 games. (See all your predictions here; Mike - take a bow!) The Yankees started 2017 as wild card contenders, probably 10 games behind the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM). Back in April, Judge was a coin flip, Hicks was a dog, Severino a disappointment, and "Jordan Montgomery" was probably some guy up for a Tony. Now... holy shit.

Well, here are the possibilities:

1. What if we are for real? Holy shit. We didn't just beat Baltimore. We killed their parents and made them watch. If Greg Bird returns to form, the .203 trench in our lineup, Chris Carter, moves to the bench and becomes a ninth-inning HR lottery ticket. Good grief, we could be watching a team on par with the 1927, 1961, 1998 Yankees. We could win the division, hands down. Even if we lose in October - rendering the season a complete failure, by the way - the worst case scenario: We head to 2018 fortified by Glyber Torres, Tyler Wade, Dustin Fowler, Chance Adams and Clint Frazier, the looming monster of the AL. We could be looking at future all-stars, MVPs, maybe CF monuments. When this team ends, around 2025, there might not be any numbers left to retire. 

2. What if we collapse? Let's start with the obvious: They can't continue what they did last week. They must fall back to earth. Last week, Judge was MVP, Castro came in second, and Sanchez and Hicks were tied for third. What we saw was a lineup with everybody hot at the same time. Usually, what happens next is that they all go cold. (That's where Greg Bird's return comes in, right?) But we still haven't put enough distance between us and Boston, and there is still the injury out there, lurking in the shadows: Somebody tweaks something, and that incredible breakout season becomes "next year..." 

Well, either way... We must have the foresight to enjoy this ride and be aware that something incredible might be happening. Tom Waits once said, "The obsession's in the chasing and not the apprehending, it's the pursuit you seek and never the arrest." The greatest moment is not being there. It's getting there. Aaron Judge's 496-foot home run will be a memory I take to the end. It really happened. 

This week was a great time to be a Yankee fan. The country may be going to hell, but we are watching the birth of Yankee legends. For four years, the Mets have ruled NYC, and the AL East has eaten our lunch. Not any more, folks. Today, I am here to shout it from the rooftops: The whole world stands in awe of the New York Fucking Yankees! 


Tom said...

It would be wrong not to celebrate what's happening here. This is some crazy shit. Can't predict the rest of the season, of course, but this has been some seriously crazy shit.

"Normal" baseball games get me wound up and nervous because of what might happen around the corner. These last five have been wild and crazy cake walks like I've never seen.

It would be unrealistic to think this could continue, but ....

DutchFan said...

It is always great to be a Yankees fan and even more so when a brilliant week like this follows seasons of slump.

Maybe a bit lost in yesterday's euphoria I would like to double-dip this link. It could be a cool competition. Who comes up with the best English translation -

The Pineapple Quiz.

The prize, free Heineken in Rotterdam stands, of course!

I promise to never double-dip again.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

That video is actually worth a double dip. It's great.

I translated the first 1-2 scenes using Google Translate but it's a lot of work and it's cheating (somehow).

I got the basic idea of the message and it's actually really very nice ... and very creative as an ad. As a big plus, it relates to a topic of discussion on this blog.

Thanks for sharing.

DutchFan said...

@LBJ: It is nice - actually I did not mean that you do an actual translation, but create a fake text pertaining to the pineapples we sometimes get inserted. Because somehow, someway there is a weird sort of love we feel for the pineapple that is passed around.

Having said that, this is a great week in Rotterdam. 5 games that I can savor over breakfast - -albeit an early breakfast. On my balcony in the twilight of dawn, drinking espresso and having a croissant. Best baseball week of the year.

John M said...

Far be it from me to toot my own horn, but I was astonished when I took a look at the reader predictions for this season. Mike gets a high score for brevity and, at the time, wild optimism. But while I wasn't 100% (because you can't predict baseball), this wasn't bad, first paragraph aside (at least so far):

92 wins, surprise of MLB. Pineda will falter, Severino will progress but falter, CC will be CC, Montgomery will be pretty good, Adam Warren will return to the starting rotation, if temporarily.

Sanchez hits .280 and the 29 HRs sounds good to me. Bird will be in the same ballpark (nyuk nyuk). But Judge...Judge will go over .300, confound everyone by striking out half as much or less as a percentage of ABs, and has a good shot at over 30.

We'll get stuffed in the playoffs due to lack of pitching. So it goes.

But we'll score more runs than last year. Last year was 680. This year, closer to 800, maybe more.

Ellsbury will start great, and then go down to injury. Gardner moves to center. Hicks might get his best shot for playing time in left, if he can handle it defensively.


Anonymous said...



el duque said...

John M is the Aaron Judge of IIHIIFIIc baseball prognostications.

Alphonso said...

Dear Dutch Fan,

I am the only person on this blog authorized to make up translations of any kind. I am free of the shackles of truth and reality. Always was and always shall be. I have immunity from this blog for anything I say or do. And I am alone in this regard.

I have not responded to your challenge because I had no idea what it was you were proposing, I ( unlike intelligent people like LBJ ) have no clue how to render your link " clickable," much less to use google translate.

If we win tonight, perhaps you could email me a photo of 6 Dutch beauties.

Enjoy the ice skating and the baseball.

I love Heineken and once fell in one of your canals after a tour of the brewery in Amsterdam.

Anonymous said...

Viva, John M!! Give that man a pina colada (that has pineapple juice in it, doesn't it?? Heinekins for all of us!! We must celebrate now, because we cannot keep up this pace!

Tonight we depend upon Massa' Hero Tanaka; please return to being Ichi-Ban, Massa' Hero!! LB (No J)

joe de pastry said...

I am a pessimist.
I have been a pessimist since Game 6 in 2004.
I will continue to be a pessimist until the Yankees beat the Red Sux in a playoff series and win the World Series in the same year.
But I have to admit that I think a slight chance exists for this Yankees team to potentially have a possibility to maybe win the division this year.

Also, I second Alphonso's request for a photo of 6 Dutch beauties.
I'm Italian, but I think Dutch women are the most beautiful in the world.

DutchFan said...

@Alphonso: Point taken and (@Joe de pastry) picture forwarded.

If necessary: I can go up to 21 wins without a blink of an eye.

Anonymous said...

Beg to differ on the most beautiful women in the world, Joe: imho, Irish women are the most beautiful women in the world (and I am married to a woman of pure Dutch extraction, who is also beautiful - - but not up to those Irish red-heads. LB (No J)

joe de pastry said...

I've always been crazy about Irish girls.
VERY close second.

NaRong said...

I'm Italian, but I think Dutch women are the most beautiful in the world.
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