Friday, July 28, 2017

On trade deadline weekend, maybe we should listen to this Yankee team

Last year, in this annual week of musical chairs, the final days before the trade deadline, Tampa swept our old and buttery butts - dealing us three losses so horrific that Prince Hal benched Brian McCann, sent A-Rod to the J-Lo retiree home and traded our three best players to actual pennant races. As a result, Gary Sanchez burst upon the national scene like the Irritable Bowell Syndrome lady, and Aaron Judge received two free months to suck, (which he did) - and to learn major league pitching, (which he also did.) The basic plan for 2017 was to give Clint Frazier and Glyber Torres a year to do the same, and then we'd make our run in 2018. Funny thing about musical chairs and long-term plans, eh?

But during last year's meltdown, I could not escape a sense that the team itself was weighing in, sort of, what should happen. We lost three straight to a team that was otherwise floundering. When that weekend ended, the Yankiverse was a raging forest fire of pitchforks and bile, and nobody - NOBODY - was clamoring to trade for a Todd Frazier or a Lucas Duda. Everybody knew the season was done. That weekend in Tampa showed us who we were. 

So here we are, halfway through 2017, farther along than we ever expected to be, still debating whether to fall back and save our horse for a brighter future, or to whip its ass and go for broke at the home stretch. In these final days before the Aug. 1 tsunami, could it be that the Yankee team is weighing in? (Or maybe the Rays are?)

Last night, Brett Gardner - our de facto captain - almost single-handedly turned a devastating loss into a 50-yard Lou "The Toe" Groza field goal, square into Tampa's young nuts. In Tampa, that loss had to feel like the worst massacre since Hernando de Soto arrived in 1539, and they needed a giant sponge to blotter up the entrails.  

Well, if we've learned anything as fans - (by the way, who says fans ever learn anything?) - it's that one loss - however horrible - cannot break a season. Our worst defeat in game one of the recent Boston series, the game El Chapo pissed away, seemed to end hope in 2017. But then, on the next day, the failing Matt Hollidayhomered in the ninth off their unhittable closer, and we beat the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) in 16 innings, and ever since Boston has wobbled like the Hindenburg. 

One game does not end a season. 

But last night, damn, we got 'em good.  

We walked into their Dali Museum and pissed on the Abraham Lincoln pixel painting, smashed the Chihuly Collection with a ball bat, shut down their bridge and turned Tampa into Punta Gorda with traffic lights. We sent Evan Longoria back to Desperate Housewives. We play three more games against them this weekend, then face Detroit on Trade Deadline Eve. By midnight Monday, we will have a clean picture of 2017. But unless we lose all three - a complete meltdown - we should be viable going into the Monday night shakeout.   

And before I leave, a few words about Mr. Gardner... 

Of all MLB left-fielders, Gardy ranks 11th in batting average (.261) and sixth in homers (18), which is weird since he was never supposed to hit for power. His asset was speed, and he ranks 5th in stolen bases (13.) Statistically, you'd think he's a meh, except for runs scored. There, Gardy ranks 1st - with 66. 

I don't know what happens when Aaron Hicks returns - I mean, somebody in that outfield has gotta go, and we'll be pissed if it's Clint - but trading Gardy is no longer an option. Maybe it never was. Either way, the Yankee team has three more games to weigh in on 2017. Maybe we should listen.


Tom said...

after last night's performance, this reactionary fan will be less pissed if Carrot Top is sent back down for "seasoning." he did not look good in his final four ABs. Tyler Wade? To quote Bill the Cat: ACK!

el duque said...

Yeah, I was bummed by Clint's AB in the ninth. First pitch bouncer. But when I thought about it later, if the infield had not be so drawn in, he would have probably beaten it out - an infield hit.

As for Wade, he looks lost. Those numbers in Scranton didn't write themselves. But he's clearly a guy who needs to play every day. Makes you appreciate Torreyes a little more, eh?

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I agree, Wade looks like he's blinded by the lights, makes me appreciate Torreyes for his poise under pressure.
And I'm digging Clint's aggressiveness, but that got he better of him in the 9th, cooler heads need to prevail when the game is on the line. That said, his energy is a real boost to this team, I'll take that any day over deadwood Ellsbury.

AND, no way should Garner be traded, he's always had enormous heart and pours everything into his performances, it's no coincidence that were undefeated whenever he homers, he's our good luck charm!

13bit said...

Let the dogs run.

The Ghost Of Christmas Past said...

Rumor is Oakland wants either Torres or Frazier ( not Todd) for Gray. Hopefully Cashman is to smart to go for that. That trade would look the Iranian Nuclear deal look good.

Leinstery said...

I read that it's possibly Torres and Frazier for Gray and Alonso. That could be the worst deal I have ever seen. Maybe a Judge for Grandyman deal could top that in terms of terrible.

John M said...

While I wait for Cashman to do something incredibly moronic, I have to say that Gardy was fantastic last night. Amazing.

I'm not up on all the new-fangled statin' that goes on these days, but are there numbers for clutch? Because those numbers would mean a lot.

Poor Tyler needs to spend more time in the wading pool.

See what I did there? Wade? Wading pool?

Just remember, there are worse jokes, and we tend to elect them.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I believe the proper price to be paid for Gray and Alonso is

(a) the piece of tooth that Aaron Judge lost. Great value, possible BIG purchase by Hall of Fame in year 2039.

(b) Ellsbury, Headley, and the old Frazier. Package deal. NYYs can add $120 million to the package as a "sweetener"


(c) a bag of mush. Cashman can be authorized to go on up to 5 bags of mush. OR: He can trade to get Tyler Clippard back, and then add Clippy to the deal as a substitution for any number of bags of mush.

Anything other than that, we're signing up to be losers . . . on this deal, this season, and perhaps the next few.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Well said, Joe FOB!

I agree: our offer should be along the lines of the one that Pacino makes to Pat Geary in Godfather II:

Oh, all right. They can have Cito Culver.

Also: no De Soto jokes. Too soon.

joe de pastry said...

I thought we should have traded Gardner last winter. I was wrong.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't trade prospects, most of whom turn into suspects [Maas, Spencer, Taylor, Bird, Frank Leja and Tommy Carroll, for my fellow early Boomers] when we're 1/2 game behind on 7/28. Sure, hold on to the MOST promising guys [e.g., young Frazier, Torres] but you can't put everybody on the 40-man roster, so if you can trade a couple of others for Sonny Gray, do it, and shock and amaze the Red Sux by stealing the title they thought was theirs.

Anonymous said...

Just release Ellsbury. End of outfield logjam. But that would be too sensible to pass muster with Cashman and Company.

First base--Headley is doing fine. Leave it alone. Or let him continue to platoon with Garrett Cooper.

Starting pitcher: bring up Chance Adams.

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Joe de pastry--EVERY good to great major leaguer was once a prospect. Bernie Williams, Andy Petttite, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Ron Guidry, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio were once prospects. So were many of the fine players that the Yankees traded away for illusory short-term gains: Doug Drabek, Mike Lowell, Fred McGriff, Willie McGee, Hal Morris, J. T. Snow, etc., etc. I'm sure you have a valid point to make somehow, somewhere, but this is not one of them.

ranger_lp said...

I heard that they found Judge's chipped tooth....gonna be auctioned on Steiner Sports...starting bid $100,000.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

After last night's performances, can we have at least a brief moratorium on dreams of flushing away Brett Gardner and Chase Headley? Brett's performance needs no explanation, but as far as first base, when was the last time we had someone so stable there without tweaking something? He also had three hits and a walk last night: on base four times - who was the last first baseman who managed that?

Anonymous said...









joe de pastry said...

Yrs, not ALL CAPS anonymous, some prospects turn in to stars, like the immortal Hal Morris, but most don't.

Anonymous said...

joe de pastry--Stars? Who said stars? I'm talking about just good ballplayers--better ballplayers than the aging washouts that you want Cashman to trade them for. Hal Morris was not immortal--just a superb all-around player. And what did the Yankees get for him? Tim Leary and Van Snider. Do you homework. Don't use adolescent hyperbole in place of facts and logic.