Thursday, July 27, 2017

Oakland is collapsing, and its entire fan-base is waiting to unwrap the package for Sonny Gray

Last night, the Oakland A's - the team of Brad Pitt and the late Sonny Barger - got to savor a wide-awake pineapple colonoscopy, courtesy of 2017's other poster franchise for mediocrity - the Blue Jays of Upper Buffalo. To those who believe that only Yank fans get to experience the Disneyland "It's a Small World After All" moments of psychological waterboarding, I offer this brief glimpse into Hell. 

In the bottom of the ninth, with Oakland's closer nursing a two-run lead, Toronto's Justin Smoak tied the game with a HR, and then Kendrys Morales won it with another. This happened on the East Coast, about 9:30 p.m. out west, so even the kale-fed California children could watch. (As we all know, the only good part of West Coast swings is that the carnage unfolds while we are sleeping.) The A's are now 13 games below .500, dead last in the pathetic AL West, and 9.5 games out of the final, Bud Selig, away-field, one-game, who-gives-a-shit? wild card slot. Today, the fearsome motorcycle gangs of Oakland can look forward to getting swept by a team seven games below .500 and, for the most part, equally unmemorable. Take that, Jax Teller! 

What, you ask, does this mean to the Yankees? 

Well, it means Sonny Barger Gray will soon be traded.

That's the take-home here. If you're Billy Beane - the former hero-genius of Moneyball, who still hasn't won diddly-squat, and whose horrible trade of Josh Donaldson is probably the reason why Jonah Hill lost all that weight - today, you are running black market stool samples of Yankee farm hands into the DNA centrifuge, looking to decode the future. (And, if you're reading this, Mr. Beane, how about Cito Culver! Nine HRs and .244 at Scranton - he's only 24! - a solid MLB utility lug nut!) 

Ah, but electioneering won't work. Today, A's bloggers are holding "Mock Bidding Wars," similar to the snake oil fantasy NFL drafts conducted every spring by the Mel Kipers of the world. Today, A's fans are six-year-olds staring at a Christmas tree, waiting for Beane - remember, he was once Brad Pitt, but he's becoming Pauly Shore - to ride in on the pony. In Yankee terms, they want Glyber Torres. Period. They've come to grips with the Yankees refusing to trade Clint Frazier, but they want a name-brand nobody, and Glyber tops the list. 

Which brings me to Estevan Florial. Suddenly, the world is hearing a lot about Estevan. Last winter, he was viewed as the lone interesting signing from the 2014 international class of 16-year-old cabana boys. (Dermis Garcia, the $3 million wonder boy, is starting to remind people of Jesus Montero.) He's only 19, playing at Charleston - nearly three years under the average age of players in the South Atlantic League. He's 6'1" and 185 pounds, described as physically imposing, and he was the lone Yankee position player selected for the recent Futures Game. He is probably the biggest secret reason why the Yankees traded Blake Rutherford. Over 87 games in the SALLY League, Estevan is hitting .299 with 11 HRs (seventh most in the Yankee farm system.) He strikes out way too much, but he's stolen 16 bases. If everything goes well, his ETA for the majors is probably September of 2020, a cup of coffee. By then, Aaron Judge would be a monument in right, and Clint Frazier - well, let's not jinx this.

But Florial could well play CF for the next great Yankee dynasty, probably the last one in my sentient history.

Full disclosure: I hate trading prospects. Hate it, hate it, hate it. That's my bias, but it comes from rooting for the Yankees for nearly 60 years. In most of these deals, you maybe get a few moments of joy - a win here and there - and then you get ten years of pineapple pain and beer can-crushing frustration. You end up watching a player who revels in the opportunity to pay back the Yankees, the team that traded him. Sonny Gray won't hold a grudge against Oakland; they have no choice. But whatever prospects we trade to get Sonny will never forgive or forget the Yankees. 

Today, Oakland is literally squirming, seething, spoiling for a trade that will save their horrible season. They have nothing else to live for than robbing the New York Yankees - the most hated team in baseball - of our future. This is Billy Beane's mission, his chance to justify the Hollywood parties, his last chance to salvage an increasingly shaky legacy. We, on the other hand, are doing fine. Boston is feeling the pressure of high expectations - they're fighting their announcers. We, on the other hand, are NOT in a crisis. We have young players ready to fill in and overachieve. We have a system that is working. And all I want here is to make one point:

Oakland is the team desperate for a deal - not us. Anything we do... our terms. Not theirs. Our terms! And if it doesn't look like a pony, then lets just ride it away and to hell with them. 


Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

We all lose trades every once in a while.

Tom said...

El Duque: you are on top of your game. the writings of the past week will some day be the Underground Papers that future baseball execs will read with a flashlight in the basement -- banished there by the orthodoxy of the Church of Overpaid Veteran Talent.

Speaking of the Fool's Gold the savvy old vet can conjure -- apparently currently in short supply because Todd Frazier's shipment didn't arrive until yesterday -- remember when former batting champ and permanent angry man Alex Johnson joined the team? Hit a couple over the wall in his first few games but barely made contact the rest of the year. Not sure if Billy Martin was the manager then as there is always a possibility he might have created a less than hospitable chemistry for Giant legend Ron Johnson's brother. I'm with you hoping and praying that Cashman sees that layers of young talent makes really good teams.

I guess Cashman has survived lo these 20 years by mimicking the mgt philosophy of the day. In this new age, the idea is to excise the dead wood. I am an optimist because the Yankees won three in a row so I say Ellsbury gets cut when Hicks returns. (Question: was Hicks good this year or did he enjoy a really hot start that propped his numbers until he got hurt? He seemed fast. I remember that much.)

Tom said...

Answering my own question: Hicks was pretty consistent. It appears he may have sat out three games, came back and stunk for six and then went to the DL for five weeks and counting. I'll bet the Yankees are going to string his "recovery" along to retain both him and Ellsbury to Sept. 1.

Alphonso said...

If Ellsbury can sing, I would sign him on to do the anthems pre-game, and at the 7th inning break.

But I don't thin the Yankees have the nerve to cut him.

There is no reason, however, why he can't be " depth."

I didn't read Duque's treatise today, due to it's obvious subject matter.

But dreaming about not having Ellsbury muck up the outfield is worthy.

Thanks, Mustang.

By the way, can you translate what the Dutch guy is telling us?

Anonymous said...





KD said...

We're all getting tired of Kate Smith, Alphonso. Give Ells the boot or the mic. Sounds like a plan.

John M said...

Yu. Darvish.


KD said...

Don't trust anyone over 30.

Anonymous said...

Hope you're wrong, John - - we don't need a rental to limp into the fabulous 2nd Wild-Card Away Game...and Fuk Yu is a free agent after the Series...Prince Hal, aka Food-Stamps, isn't going to pony up for Yu, OR Me, or anybody that costs (except, of course, Giancarlo Stanton, who we badly need - - or, perhaps Verlander - - maybe he would love another HORRID contract.

I must stop now!! Too painful - - whatever happens, I will probably read about it in next Monday's USA Today - - from an isolated - - and, I hope, cool - - motel room.

Have a good week, everybody, and let's hope that NOTHING happens (except some Yankees wins/losses).

LB(No J)