Wednesday, February 14, 2018

People keep proposing trades to kill the Yankees

This morning, Ken Rosenthal - the 5'5" human bow tie - outlines a three-way, Groupon-inspired, Rube Goldberg-machine deal that would send Manny Machado to the Yankees for the remaining season on his contract, and all you need to know is that it will not happen - and in the current Philippines, people would be shot in the streets for proposing it. Why do sportswriters do this? Fentanyl? Are they genetically predisposed to disrupting the Yankees? Are the Russians, bored with American politics, now looking to meddle in the AL East? 

Not a week goes by without some Gammonite ginning up a plan for the Yankees to trade Glyber Torres or Miguel Andujar for a big name on a cruise ship-sized contract, which ends next winter and would leave the Yankees protecting their gonads with duct tape. Every conversation with Yankee fans reaches the same conclusion: The fan base loves loves LOVES the idea of two ascendant rookies in the lineup, even with the understanding that both could fail. It's fresh air, it's the unbridled hope of youth. With luck, the Yankees could win divisional championships and maybe a ring or three. Why in God's name would we trade Torres or Andujar, without even unwrapping their gift boxes to see what's inside? Nobody wants to tamper with this team, aside from sportswriters who cannot resist ways of de-fanging the Bombers.

I believe the Yankiverse must make peace with Jacoby Ellsbury as the fifth outfielder, regardless of what he's being paid. It doesn't matter whether he starts in CF or comes in as a late inning pinch runner. It. Doesn't. Matter. The fact is, he's not a bad player or teammate, and the current outfield logjam could be blown up instantly by injuries, making Ellsbury critical to the 2018 season. We have him, folks. He's not going anywhere. Who cares what he's being paid? Let's see what happens. 

Regardless of how the rookies look or the outfield shapes up, there are still six weeks left to ponder the relentless carnival train of nightmare trade ideas that will be presented whenever a Gammonite realizes he has nothing to discuss. We made it this far with two rookies. We don't need to trade for a year of Manny Machado (who wants to play SS anyway.) Let's keep our fingers crossed and away from the nuclear button.


KD said...

These are the guys who'd draw a card after being dealt a King high straight flush, hoping for a Royal flush. Wouldn't want them making any decisions regarding the Yanks but would love to see them on poker night.

Anonymous said...

I read the trade proposal and it's level of suckatude is off the charts.


Yankees trade OF Billy McKinney, RHP Ben Heller OF Jacoby Ellsbury, 3B Miguel Andujar, RHP's Chance Adams and Freicer Perez, and cash (Ellsbury's salary) for ONE YEAR of Manny Machado.

Wow! This is so stupid I can't even spin it and write something funny.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

EXACTLY, Duque! I think somebody in the Baltimore front office must have pushed this idea to Rosenthal.

Interesting, isn't it, how the criticism of the Yankees for spending too much and grabbing too many superstars is almost relentless...and then, when the team tries to turn over a new leaf and build from the ground up, all these Knights of the Press Box can propose is that...the team spend a fortune on big, aging stars.

No doubt, so they can just have another column to write, saying how stupid the team was to do what they suggested.

But then, that's what this country is all about now, isn't it? Personal brand over everything? If you still have any doubts, see the Obama portraits. All about the artists, nothing to do with the subjects.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I would say, though, from looking at comments occasionally on other, lesser sites, Duque, that much of the fan base is NOT down with both Torres and Andujar starting.

The main reasons for this are a tour de force of illogic, and tend to center around the following:

—Whatever will we do if the rookies are complete failures?

—It would be best if they "won" their jobs in competitions with the likes of Todd Frazier and Neil Walker, instead of being "handed" them.

—With the team so close to winning a World Series, we shouldn't take a chance on inexperienced players.

—One rookie good, two rookies bad.

In other words, we should just forget pretty much everything that worked so well last year.

I have a theory as to why such nonsense is so widely believed, and I think it goes right to the heart of the new statistics...

HoraceClarke66 said...

"WAR, uh-huh,
Good God, y'all, what is it good for?"

Well, not absolutely nothing. But not nearly what it's supposed to be.

I was intrigued by the notion that Todd Frazier compiled a plus 3.4 WAR last year, despite hitting .213 and striking out 72,000 times. So, fortified with copious amounts of Woodford Reserve, I looked at the WAR ratings for the rest of AL third sackers last year.

It turns out, third basemen in the American League in 2017 were like the children of Lake Woebegone, all of them above average—or nearly so.

Of the 23 different players who spent any considerable amount of time at 3B last year in the junior circuit, exactly 2 had a negative WAR: the dying Kung-Fu Panda, and Tyler Saladino, who did a miserable job of replacing the Toddfather in Chicago last year, and hit all of .178. He was supposed to have accounted for a little less than one loss—negative 0.9—the worst 3B performance in the league.

There were also the 0.0 ratings of Trevor "Baseline" Plouffe, and Luis Valbuena.

Everybody else: positive.

Positive almost no matter what kind of game they played.

Our own, dearly departed Headley?

Yep, he was a plus 1.8. He did have a negative 0.9 defensive WAR for making 13 errors in 86 games, but his amazing hitting more than compensated for that.

Yunel "Pablo" Escobar on the Angels, who hit .274 with 7 homers, struck out almost as twice as often as he walked, and made 12 errors in 87 games at third for a .938 pct.?

Oh yeah, he was a positive addition to the Haloes, if only at plus 0.4.

Oakland's Matt Chapman, who hit .234, struck out almost THREE TIMES as often as he walked, and made 13 errors in 84 games? Why, he was a positive 3.6, a stunningly good addition to any team, because he had 14 homers.

The point is, all of these guys are measured NOT against each other, but that theoretical replacement player from Triple-A.

Well, fair enough, right?

Except that Chapman came UP from Triple-A—and actually started the season in High-A ball.

It was much the same for our new nemesis, Boston's Rafael Devers, who started 2017 in Double-A, made it to Fenway, and compiled a positive 1.8.

In other words, WAR tells the fans that pretty much anybody in the majors already is automatically going to be much better than any minor leaguer. Even though, every year, minor leaguers come up everywhere and immediately disprove that assumption.

This is why everyone is hankering for more "veterans" to stink up the joint, at huge salaries.

"Say it again
WAR, uh-huh, what is it good for..."

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and in the Times...

Aaron Boone's press conference actually made it in! But so did Real Madrid's woes, in an even bigger, Rory Smith column.

For the year: Soccer 24, Yankees 6; for February, Soccer 9, Yanks 5.

ranger_lp said...

Anonymous I don't think we give up enough players in that trade proposal...we need to give up more...jeez....

13bit said...

It's so painful - as a longtime Clash fan - to discover that Peter Gammons covered "Death or Glory." I cannot even begin to seek out and listen to the rest of his album.

John M said...

Horace Clark reveals why statboys are more like religious fundamentalists than Einsteins.