Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Behold, the ghosts of Yankee past... the Toronto Blue Jays. So... will they be the Yankee future, as well?

It's dangerous juju, mocking the team you're about to play. Somehow, they get wind of the snide comments you made in the shower, or while driving to the bottle redemption center, and they get mad. Their pitchers, who serve batting practice to everybody else, throw shutouts. (Seriously, Marco Estrada? J.A. Happ?) I've seen this happen, time after time. I've got to stop shooting off my mouth in front of the bathroom mirror. Nevertheless, I'll say it here:

The last place Blue Jays - seven below .500, 10 behind Boston - are the reanimated carcass of the 2013 Yanks. with Pronk, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay. Moreover, they represent the sum of all Yankee fan fears - the team that went for broke two years ago and came up empty, and which now pays tribute to a forgettable past like the acne scars on a jazzercize instructor. 

Look at this tortured lineup, a fly-attracting plate of last week's tofu meatloaf. 

C: Russell Martin... 12 HR, .226 - though he always kills us; it's personal.
1b: Justin Smoke... 31 HR, .299 - squandering a career year.
2b: Ryan Goins... 5 HR, .216 - or somebody. BTW, he's not young - 29.
ss: Troy Tulowitsky, (hurt)... 7 HR, .249 - Jeter at the end, falling, might cost him Cooperstown.
3b: Josh Donaldson... 13 HR, .243 - miserable year, must wish he was traded.

lf: Steve Pearce... 11 HR, .261 - the guy is 34.
cf: Kevin Pillar... 12 HR, .246 - great fielder, peaking at age 28.
rf: Jose Bautista... 17 HR, .214 - he's 36, (though he might kill us).
dh: Kendrys Morales... 21 HR, .251 - and they let Encaracion walk?

Remember 2013? (You might have willed yourself to forget it.) Hint: We signed Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells to replace the aging infrastructure, thinking we could forever contend. Well... this is that. Toronto - squandering a massive local resurgence in attendance and TV ratings - tried to replace Encarnacion with Pearce and Morales (Wells and Pronk), leading to... this.

And today, let's consider it a cautionary note of what can happen when a team goes all or nothing and gets... nothing. Two years ago, the assembled Gammonites marveled at Toronto's brilliant front office - getting Tulo and David Price for the stretch run. Ever since, they've been floundering, scraping the chalkboard as they fall - until now, when they've hit the floor. Make no mistake - they could sweep us, simply because they're so laden with misery cooties that we could get infected. But it won't change a thing for the Blue Jays: They are done for 2017. 

I'm not saying we're in the same boat, thanks to the deadline deals of last July. But the trouble with failing veterans is not necessarily the price you pay to land them. It's how they clog your pipes like a disposal diaper, and you can't replace them without a court order. Witness Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and the - in my opinion - insane decision to get Todd Frazier, a deal that is still stunning in its Chris Carter-circular totality. 

Listen: We are not the 2015 Blue Jays. But we are at our limit for oldsters. If Hal Steinbrenner says he won't accept any more big salaries, that's fine with me. A few more Tulos, and we could be on the mat next year, watching Oakland and Chicago rise, screaming the names of players we marched out the door. 

Wait... I just yelled all this into the bathroom sink, right? I'm not really posting it, am I? The juju, Mr. Kurtz, the juju...

13 comments:

13bit said...

Cashman gave up on the youth movement because he desperately needs a playoff win — any single playoff win — to save his own job. This is not about the team anymore. And if you think he won't throw Joey Binders under the bus in a second, think again.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


I hope someone is compiling "The Selected Verse of Seely":

    which now pays tribute
    to a forgettable past
    like the acne scars
    on a jazzercize instructor.

    Look at this tortured lineup,
    a fly-attracting plate of
    last week's tofu meatloaf.


And to think a hack like Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize...

John M said...

LBJ, you're absolutely right. This stuff is poetry disguised as wiseass prose. If Trump is worth a book...

I'll repeat my Cashman theory here: a lot of trades are made just to show that he's doing something. I don't know that it's true, but sometimes it feels like we make more trades per any three-year stretch than any other team. And they're mostly meaningless, or incomprehensible. (I like Todd Frazier, seems like a good guy, chose Sinatra instead of some dumb rap crap, but really...) That's not even counting the scrap-heap signings that aren't from trades.

He's shaking the bush, is all. Just looking busy. A lot of this stuff has nothing to do with improving the team, although he's helped create multiple situations where he can certainly use that as a valid excuse. He needs to do more than sit on his hands and watch the kids develop. That's his worst nightmare. Better to trade them for established veterans, however mediocre and unneeded they may be.

It's a constant whirl of activity, and nobody in the front office is smart enough to see it, or brave enough to call it what it is even if they do. There are paychecks involved. And most of the other front offices throughout baseball know the drill. Nobody is going to risk their oversized paychecks by admitting that less is more.

It makes me appreciate the few guys who have the balls to wait and watch even more. Their fans don't know how good they have it.

Ken of Brooklyn said...


which now pays tribute
to a forgettable past
like the acne scars
on a jazzercize instructor

Genius, pure GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!

Leinstery said...

That 2013 team was so bad and unwatchable that we actually forget the 2014 team finished with a worse record.

Anonymous said...

HERE'S THE PROBLEM WHEN WE PLAY TORONTO.....

RUSSELL MARTIN HATES US FOR LETTING HIM GO, AND USUALLY MAKES US PAY FOR IT.

NEW YANKEE KILLER.... JUSTIN SMOAK

ANOTHER YANKEE KILLER.... MR. DONALDSON

THE ALL THE TIME, NO MATTER WHAT, YANKEE KILLER.... JOSE BATISTA

AND, THE ANNOYINGLY ALWAYS SEEMS TO HURT US KILLER..... KENDRY MORALES

IT'S JUST NEVER EASY IN OUR DIVISION.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I yield to no man in my hatred of our general manager.

I despise the altercockers he picks up, and I despise how often he lets guys who are at least warm bodies walk off the team for nothing (see Phil Hughes and Joba). Both he and Girardi are addicted to veterans over youngsters, and neither one seems to understand the value of keeping useful utility guys like, say, Solarte or Prado on the team.

That said, I don't think we can really assess the trades—outside of T. Frazier, yes, idiocy, boo, hiss—if we don't know how many of those guys we were likely to lose under Rule 5.

If the answer is a bunch of them, and some of the best, then picking up, say, Gray, Kahnle, and Robertson, at least, may have been worthwhile. (Garcia, I'll grant you, was also idiotic.)

Alphonso said...

When you trade potential for has -beens, you tend to lose.

Brilliant remark number 1 for today.

Anonymous said...

Ref's on the Jays too. Not a lot of playing time thus far but Gibby will probably let him play this week. Why not? If so, will be hard not root for him to spray line drives all ocer the place and to think silent but deadly fuck yous as he pulls into second after a bases clearing double.

Anonymous said...

Horace stole most of my remarks before I remarked them - - good on you, Horace.

Yeeps!! Just saw tonight's line-up: is Headley (batting R, against a lefty) really the best we can do for a DH???? Not to mention, Txrd Frazier (nice guy, maybe, but - - is also in this line-up. URK. Just URK. LB (No J)

Anonymous said...

DOWN 2 - 0 ALREADY.....

BATISTA DOUBLE.

DONALDSON HOMER.

REFSNYDER IS DYING TO STAB US IN THE HEART.

CHASE HEADLEY IS BATTING 5TH (AGAINST A LEFTY).

TODD CARTER JUST HIT INTO AN INNING KILLING DP.

KILL ME NOW.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Alphonso, I also yield to your superior judgment. Much as I was trying to give Cashman and Girardi a break, they are just killing our potential dynasty.

This has become a profoundly depressing team to watch. I would rather have lost guys to Rule 5, than had to watch Todd Frazier, the King of Toms River, play night in and night out.

Nickname Damur said...

Sigh.