Wednesday, June 13, 2018

All the talk about signing Bryce Harper has a fundamental flaw: It makes no sense

Now and then, like every hapless lug in this world, I sneak off into my private pleasure pod, open a copy of Yankee Loco Street Stud magazine, and render myself breathless by fantasizing Bryce Harper in pinstripes. Yes, I admit it: I'm human, I have needs. And nobody - not Manny Machado or even Clayton K from LA - thrills me like the thought of a Giancarlo-Bryce-Aaron triple-decker sandwich served piping hot upon my personal home plate. Yowzer!

This week, as Harper encounters a New York destiny that's been touted publicly since his testicles dropped, we can't help but see the future of the Yankees when he steps up to bat. Last night, when he was twice plunked, my reaction was to bark, "No! We don't need him damaged!"

But the truth is, we don't need him at all. 

Studied closely, the centerfold fantasies of a Holy Trinity Outfield resemble the doddering lineups of our darkest Steinbrennerian past. Remember the days of three right-fielders, three Danny Tartabull statues, three looming designated hitters, three eventual Jesse Barfields, each on a 10-year, billion dollar deal - and nobody to roam center or move a runner. We would once again be the airplane with three wings and no propeller, the lead barge too heavy to float, and though we'd occasionally win games by 15 runs, the heart of our lineup would be more than ever clogged with strikeouts. And that's not counting the staggering geysers of money to be launched into the sky and forgotten.

Listen: I'm not in the habit of being frugal on behalf of Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner. Seems to me, if all his assets were weighed on a cosmic scale, his net worth would be closer to infinity than to absolute zero. All this talk about saving on luxury taxes? It's a parlor game, a joke told on the sixteenth green. Tomorrow, Hal could sign Harper and Manny Machado, and he wouldn't even need to sell off one boot-licker from the New York Congressional delegation. That said, why spend a billion dollars on a new Jacoby Ellsbury, when you already have a perfectly good one, currently self-roasting on hot sands of Tampa?  

As much fun as it is to fantasize, I cannot see room for Harper on the Yankees next year, unless the franchise does a dangerous thing - and explodes the roster to create room. The Holy Trinity Outfield is like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. She looks good stepping out of the elevator, but you must deal with the long haul - her body odor, the constant spitting and her love of Trump. Two years from now, you'll be dreaming of somebody else. There will always be an impending free agent superstar to light our imaginations. Like everyone, I always thought Bryce Harper would someday play for the Yankees. But I hope we hold the line.


TheWinWarblist said...

So endeth the JuJu.

TheWinWarblist said...

Benedícat vos omnípotens Ruthus, et Scooter, et Mantleus, et Spíritus Jeterus.

ranger_lp said...

Yanks are big on Florial. And he's a little bit cheaper than Harper...just a little...

Leinstery said...

Drury played 1st base last night! Mark my words I will hate JuJu Bird and Austin straight off this team.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I agree in theory, Duque. Stanton's sobering contract (and performance) should leave us very wary about taking on such an anchor. Harper also seems to be a one-dimensional hitter who gets hurt a lot and often seems to disappear at big moments. We don't need the Third Tenor.

The only caveats are:

—What about our "Mutually Assured Destruction" competition with Boston? What do we do if the Bosox decide to say, 'Ah, reet petite, Jackie Bradley, Jr. hits like Jackie Wilson! Bryce Harper, come on down!'

This is where we really miss having people not Primarily Interested In Real Estate (PIRE) running the Mets. We should be able to count on them keeping Bryce safely in the Straight Fastball League. But with the WIlpons, no can do.

—What about pitching? We still look years away from a championship staff. Sure, we can put the bucks saved on Bryce (Bryce Bucks?) toward a Patrick Corbin signing this offseason. But that would still leave us an arm or two—or three, or four, if the pen collapses—short of winning it all.

About the only asset we'd have to trade, then, would be Frazier—something I would hate with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

All the more reason to get Red Thunder out there and producing, so he joins El Matador and El Conquistador as players too obviously valuable to deal.

John M said...

Bird hits this badly when he's injured. What did you think? One foot operation was going to do it? And that haunted look he always has. The guy never smiles, and looks like he hasn't slept in days. Something is wrong.

At the very least, I think it's time to realize that maybe he's another Hicks, or worse. Potential coming out of his ears, but aside from a brief flurry of wonderfulness, a non-starter. Which is sad. Hicks at least seems to be having a second flurry, which makes him a 5-tool, 2-flurry player, while Bird is a 1-flurry player, with fewer tools. But what potential.

I wonder if Harper can play first base? After all this time of thinking we had that position locked down--if Bird could only stay healthy--I think it's becoming clearer that we don't and he probably can't and even if he does, he might not be the guy we thought he likely was. We might need to get Tino to come out of retirement.

Depressing. As is Sanchez. What happened to these guys?

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

Right again el duque! Add to the rationale, we don’t need him. Nor do we need Manny. Both are great players but we seem to have all the position players we need plus some. Pitching, pitching pitching, that is our need. Specifically starting pitching.

Plus, look down the road 4 to 5 years. We are going to have to start paying guys like Judge,Sanchez, (assuming he gets back on track), etc. We will have hard decisions regarding who to sign long term and who to let leave. We will already be handicapped by Stanton’s contract. The last thing we will need is another , even larger ,mega deal.

TheWinWarblist said...

Hoss, don't worry about a "championship staff." As I recall, we beat the Phillies with three pitchers. Of course, they tried to beat us with only one.


Anonymous said...




HoraceClarke66 said...

You're right, ALL-CAPS, and the injuries are constant, often taking him out 30-50 games a year. That's not likely to be something that improves as he ages.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ghost, not QUITE sure on Manny; I still want to see what the rest of Didi's season is like. Manny is, after all, three years younger.

John M., very funny on the flurries, and I agree that it is depressing.

Maybe Bird's Limitless Potential (BLP) will determine Sanchez's fate, which could be catching once or twice a week, playing some first base, and DH-ing. That would probably save us a roster spot—but again, it all depends on Sancho getting on track again. Right now, this slump is just consuming every aspect of his game.

First things first: Walker must go.

ranger_lp said...

@Horace...wrt on...if Drury is getting burn @ 1B, this is telling me that the Yanks will soon feature a lineup that between Bird, Austin and Sanchez that will have an average batting average below the Mendoza line. Keep playing Romine until he gets cold...have a Mendoza line 1B every day and bring up Drury when he's semi mastered 1B. Send down Bird or Austin then. Makes sense.

Anonymous said...


While not a fan of Walker the truth is the guy hardly plays. So it's not like he's killing us. Unlike a certain first basemen who, like the dodo, might become extinct.

That said, the person he is blocking is Drury. Walker's sole advantage over Drury is his "ability" to be Bird's back up. (Bird is a turd.)

The front office is addressing it by starting to give Drury time at first. I suspect that as soon as they are comfortable that Drury can be a credible back up there you will get your wish.

Drury has most likely leapfrogged Austin as Tyler lost a lot of credibility with his failure to capitalize on his opportunity.

The best bet for the Tylers (Wade and Austin,) is to make like the other Tyler(Toby) and run away and join the circus. At this point, that's as close to the Big Show as they are going to get.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

I just went to RAB and it seems Mike Axisa just wrote some similar things (minus the Toby Tyler reference)and with a lot more thought.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, Doug K., it's good to see that the Walker at-bats have dropped off, and he is no Chris Carter. But yes, he is blocking Drury, who I don't expect to be the next Rogers Hornsby. It's just that we need to see what Brandon—as a young, versatile guy who may have been held back by the migraines—can do now.

If that doesn't work, we should think about Sanchez and/or Stanton on first.

TheWinWarblist said...

Mike Axisa should be put in a pet crate and shipped to Chernobyl.