Friday, June 15, 2018

Happy Lou Gehrig Day

Yes, June 15th is not merely the old trading deadline.

It's also the day in 1923 when 19-year-old Lou Gehrig, fresh out of Columbia's School of Engineering and stuffed full of his mother's legendary pickled eels, made his debut with the New York Yankees.

Columbia Lou played 13 games for the Yanks and hit .423, with a 1.234 OPS. He was then shipped back down to the Hartford Senators of the Eastern League where he hit 24 homers in just 59 games because, well...baseball.

In 1924, Lou made his way back up for another 10 games with the Yanks, in which he hit an even .500, with a 1.122 OPS. He was then shipped back down to hit .369 at Hartford because...Ed Barrow had serious money riding on the Eastern League batting crown?

The Yanks' resident first-sacker, Wally Pipp, had a very good season himself, so the team's reluctance to play the rookie might not have meant much. But considering the fact that the Yanks finished just 2 games behind eventual world champion Washington—and just 1 game behind in the all-important loss column (AILC)—it's not beyond the realm of possibility that having one of the greatest hitters in baseball history on the roster might just have provided the pinch-hit or the fill-in game for Pipp that would have given the Yankees another ring.

I say this this because guess who made another start last night?

That's right, Neil Walker, who gave us his patented, 0-3 start. The Yanks won, of course, so I suppose this leads to the eternal philosophical question, 'If Neil Walker struck out in the middle of a forest, would anyone give a good damn?'

But honestly. How much longer do we have to put up with this guy?

If the Yanks are still rebuilding, Walker should go, in favor of younger, more promising player. If they are going for it all, he should go, in favor of any player, of any age, who would be more useful.

There is absolutely no excuse for him to stay.

5 comments:

John M said...

Hear, hear. Cashman's junkyard signings are fine if they're cut immediately once they serve absolutely no purpose.

Of course, they never are. They linger, and fester, and block a roster spot while deserving kids get stuck in Scranton.

Irrational and idiotic.

KD said...

Only acts of God counteract this dismal trend. We all know who would be playing third right now, if not for the big guy.

TheWinWarblist said...

I fart upon Neil Walker and his ancestors.

TheWinWarblist said...

And come on now, he was only as big as a mountain and as powerful as a locomotive and as nimble as a ocelot AND only hit .423! What the fuck did you expect them to do? Play him!?!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Lou Gehrig, as a kid, used to swim across the Hudson River, and back. I kid you not, That was his recreation.

It's like the Deron Johnson rejection: "Hey, he needs to work on his bunting." Or his fielding at first base, or whatever other crap they told him.

Do you know that Gehrig was also a dominating pitcher at Columbia? It's unclear just how well that would have translated, but various analysts feel he could have been a big league pitcher.

This is the crazy thing about the 1920s Yankees. They had, hitting back-to-back, two of the best left-handed hitters ever, both of whom were pretty good pitchers.Not too damned bad.