Wednesday, July 12, 2017

With Seattle's Ben Gamel looming as a star, it's time to call the cards on Jacoby Ellsbury

Let's call the current horror show exactly what it is: The Curse of Jacoby... summoned from the Haunted House of Hal. 

It goes this way: Because the Yankees will not trade, bench or waive the mediocre Babadook known as Jacoby Ellsbury - a CF with no arm, power, ability to hit for average and ever-declining speed - we must banish anyone who threatens to make us uncomfortably aware of this team's systematic, self-inflicted malaise.  

Over the last decade, a series of plummeting hitters past their sell-dates is the phenomena that most defines - and stinks up - the faded Yankee brand. Remember Stephen Drew? Lance Berkman? Andruw Jones? Vernon Wells? Alphonso Soriano? Garrett Jones? Billy Butler? Ichiro? Pronk? Chase Headley? In each case, we fans received the chance to watch a highly paid vet flail away into obscurity because - well - that's what the Yankees do!

For the year that he is having, Seattle's 25-year-old OF Ben Gamel deserved All-Star consideration. He is hitting .323 with 4 HRs and 29 RBIs - (Ellsbury: .266, 4, 17) - and is considered the league's third top rookie, after some guys named Judge and Montgomery. Last fall, we traded Gamel for a can of beans - two dirt league pitchers so low on the development ladder they would show up as pixels on Cashman's disco-night, lady-prowling contact lenses. Last fall, we told ourselves that we had no choice but to trade Gamel: After all, we'd lose him in the Rule 5 draft because - well - nobody can get rid of the Babadook.  

Nope. Ellsbury must play CF, because - well, cough - his, cough, contract. The documents themselves should suit up and play CF. He will play over Aaron Hicks. He will play over Clint Frazier. He would have played over Dustin Fowler, but we were spared that assault on righteousness by the horrible knee injury Fowler incurred two weeks ago, one of the many recent signs of the impending 2017 Yankeeapolypse... which could reach Doomsday Clock levels by the end of the week.

Last August, for the first time in Prince Hal's nepotistic stewardship, the Yankees broke with his signature tradition of hiring limousines to collect 5-cent bottle deposits. The Yankees gonged A-Rod, benched Brian McCann and told Tex to square up his post-retirement plans. The result was one of the most enjoyable Yankee resurgences since the Jeter-Mariano era. But now, once again, our colon is stopped-up with high-priced vets - the human embodiment of Immodium-A Soft-Gels - who offer us little more than a one-game Wild Card chase. Ellsbury - with his 4 HRs, often batting fifth - represents the largest and most undeniable lost turd of hope.

Ben Gamel is a rising star whose ceiling has yet to be defined. Meanwhile, we don't have the guts to bench or release Ellsbury, because it would open management to a slew of Dolan-esque tabloid back pages.

This weekend, the Yankees go to Boston, which jettisoned Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig and Pablo Sandoval, regardless of their bloated, exhaustive contracts. Ellsbury will be facing his old team, his old town, his old fans. He should also be facing his last stand. Either he becomes a force worthy of playing CF for the New York fucking Yankees, or we should cut the tether - however painful or embarrassing that such a move may be. We don't need to trade another Ben Gamel and keep another Babadook.

9 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


This is about Hal's appetite. Fortunately, he appears to be willing to eat the 2nd half of the $3.5 million paid to Carter for this years.

Is he willing to chew and digest all of what's in Ellsbury contract? No one is going to want this guy in.a trade, EVEN IF we send $10s of millions over with him.

My bet is that this is a dish on which Hal refuses to bite. I would really like to be wrong . . .

JJ in MA said...

Hear hear Duque on the Ellsbells issue. If he's not even hitting line drives to move runners, there's no point in him being on the team. Every time I watch him throw from center it just gets sadder.

Agree with you as well on the likes of Pronk, Headley, Soriano, etc. in the realm of rent-a-vets, but I was kind of sad to see Ichiro on that list. Granted that's how we got him, but though his defense had diminished for sure, he still made some great plays, was fun to watch and could provide clutch hits, which as I believe that was the era of Jeter grounding into double-plays in what seemed like every other at bat, was much needed on that team at that time.

I know he did his best work for the Seattle Starbuckers, but still, he's arguably the best hitter of his generation and it was great to see him in a Yankee uniform for a couple seasons. Even if it was just a ploy to get those radio ad dollars rolling in from Sapporo, it was a big hit.

You're not wrong about how he got there, but Ichiro had way more to contribute to the team than Andruw Jones or Billy Butler for sure.

Buhner's Ghost said...

You forgot to mention Gamel's stellar defense and flowing locks that wouldn't fly in Yankeedom.

John M said...

I'm with JJ on Ichiro. I've never understood why Girardi's misuse of him ended up as somehow all Ichiro's fault. He batted very well against lefties, which of course meant that Joe used him much more often against righties. Because, you know, that's when you use left-handed batters. And although he wasn't as fast as he once was, he was actually faster than most players on those Yankees teams and could play better defense than half the outfielders (and that's being generous to the other outfielders).

As for Gamel, that was awful, and Duque is 100% right about why we got rid of him. Stupid, stupid, stupid, but exactly what we've come to expect from the idiots in the front office.

If only we could trade those guys.

KD said...

I seem to recall a certain red sockian third baseman that we hired that should also be included in this list. Ugly, bad back, cost millions and he hardly ever played.

Duque must have suppressed that sad memory.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh the days of Youk. imwas on a lot of acid them. Thought I conjured the whole thing.

JJ in MA said...

The Youk thing had the extra layer of hilarity because of his feud with Joba Chamberlain.

joe de pastry said...

I will never understand the Ichiro love.
He was a singles hitter who rarely walked.
Yes, with his BA, speed, and defense he was once an excellent player, but even then he was overrated.
As a Yankee, he was mediocre. I know a lot of readers of this blog don't care much about statistics, but as a Yankee Suzuki's OPS was .679, 12% below the major league average for all non-pitchers, including back-up catchers and utility infielders. Even Ellsbury, whose signing I'm not defending, has a .709 OPS as a Yankee.

Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

Nobody picks the Elsberry