Monday, August 27, 2018

Bye bye Birdie? Luke Voit couldn't have happened at a better time

Yesterday, I was studying the plucky Rays, trying to discern how such a paltry band of ragamuffins could sweep the mighty Redsock 2018 Hall of Fame Super Team of Destiny (TM.) Alas, they shall remain a modern mystery, an unfathomable mixture of guile and craziness, like Rudy Giuliani. 

For example, at 1B, there was our old pal, Ji-Man Choi, the Korean bowling pin who haunted the eateries of Wilkes Barre for most of 2017. To say Ji-Man has "bounced" around the minors is an insult to synthetic rubber. In 2010, he won the prestigious Mariners Minor League Offensive Player of the Year honor, which is like being named Best Wet Kiss by MTV. But there he is, age 27, batting cleanup for the Devil Rays - and hitting .267, which for a Yankee first baseman lately, is akin to reanimating Ted Williams' frozen head. Ji-Man has 5 HRs in 123 at bats. Not bad. Certainly better than You Know Who.

Then there is Tyler Austin, hitting .316 with 4 home runs for Minnesota, since moving over in the trade for Lance Lynn. For eight years, we watched Austin and wondered what kind of player he'd become. Now, the Twins will tell us. And, good grief, there is even Garrett Cooper, now of Miami, hitting a meager .212 in 38 plate appearances. Not exactly Ruthian, but still slightly better than You Know Who.

You Know Who... Insert sigh here.

The Yankee brain trust keeps voicing complete confidence in Greg Bird, sounding more each day like Sarah Sanders. But this weekend in Baltimore, homers by a Yankee first baseman proved the difference between a sweep and a split, and the two syllable name there was Luke Voit. 

Bird is en route to the status of afterthought, the 25th man on the roster. It's been a long time coming, but it seems as though the switch may have been flicked this weekend. There is no reason why Voit should not play every game, until he shows he cannot handle the job.

So what do we have in Voit? He's 27, a former college linebacker prospect, who is one-inch shorter than Bird, but five pounds heavier. If we get in a fight, Voit will do more damage. Last year, he played 62 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and batted .246 with 4 home runs. This year, in the minors, he was hitting .301 with 11 HRs.

This may be a once-around-the-league fling. If so, fine. God knows, we could use one. Greg Bird doesn't need a day off. He needs a cushion. In a few days, the rosters will expand, and the dugout will fill with bodies. But it's unlikely that another 1B will be added to the mix. It will be Voit or Bird. (Maybe Neil Walker will play a game or two, but my guess is the Yankees will want a full-time defensive 1B, especially with Andujar and Torres throwing Frisbees in the dirt.) 

It's Luke Voit's job to win or lose. The Greg Bird era is coming to an end. Long time coming. But in the name of Ji-Man Choi, it's time to flick the switch.

15 comments:

KD said...

I was so looking forward to years of cheering Greg Bird on. you see, I once had a wonderful male Eclectus parrot that I named "Mister Burd". He was a real character. I loved being reminded of that crazy bird during games. Thinking of Greg Bird now saddens me enormously.

KD said...

Hoping that Voit is a 2018 version of 1998 Shane Spencer. That would ease some of my Birdie pain...

ranger_lp said...

Highly possible Bird doesn't make the post-season roster at the rate that he's currently molting.

13bit said...

“Luke Voit hit that ball to Detroit!!!”

HoraceClarke66 said...

I know, KD. ALL-CAPS and I used to regularly riff on how great it was going to be to have Bird sitting in between the Twin Towers, giving us that great, left-handed dimension.

But if he can't catch up to a fastball...

Voit has already done more than I expected even if—as may well happen—the switch flips back tomorrow. If it does, the Yanks should go to McBroom. If he doesn't work out, they should go to Mike Ford.

They probably won't, which is the usual Coops nonsense: "Performance matters...we're still in the playoff hunt..." blah-blah-blah. But hey, for various reasons too complex for you mere mortals to understand, we cannot add key players to the September roster.

Anonymous said...

CRUSHING DISAPPOINTMENT WAITING FOREVER FOR BIRD TO PRODUCE.

I THINK ALPHONSO WAS RIGHT.

IT'S SAD, BUT HE NEEDS TO GO BACK TO SCRANTON AND NOT COME BACK UNTIL HE HITS OVER .300 THERE.

LOOKS LIKE THE SHIFT IS KILLING HIS CAREER.

IF YOU CAN'T HIT THE BALL THE OTHER WAY IN TODAY'S GAME, YOU'RE NOT GONNA MAKE IT.

HE JUST DOESN'T GET ANY HITS, AND WAITING FOR THE HOMER, DOESN'T HAPPEN NEARLY ENOUGH.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Incidentally, Garrett Cooper has missed most of this season with a wrist injury, but is rehabbing now.

To give Cashman his props, we did get Mike King, a pitcher currently rocketing his way through our farm system, from Miami for Cooper.

KD said...

In today's game, mastering The Jeterian Swing is the only means to prevent the shift from destroying your average (and from destroying baseball, by the way). But that only applies to righties at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees Brain Trust would destroy any lefty that more than occasionally tried hitting to left field.

KD said...

Our short right field porch has turned into a millstone that this team will carry for decades.

The short porch is too tempting a target for left handed hitters. The millennial in the Basement (TM) will insist forever that every hit be pulled in the air. Even pulling a hot liner will be discouraged. We'll have lefties hitting .220 from here on out.

This is blasphemy, I know, but the drastically asymmetrical outfield is a thing of the past. Ruth built the House but he was a one of a kind historic talent.

Move the fence back. It is killing our left handed batters and has to go.

Anonymous said...

Obviously they should ride Voit as long as possible.

Also, how could you not root for a person whose name sounds like a Don Martin sound effect?

I hope he goes all Kevin Maas.

ESPN kept showing Bird in the dugout and he looked like a man having a nervous breakdown. Clutching, kind of strangling his bat. Hair sproinging in every direction. Not good. I hope the NYY has a sports psychologist on staff. I'm not kidding BTW. He looked very bad.

And speaking of a different kind of looking bad. Give Stanton a day off.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Voit is clearly in the zone now. If Boone pulls him for even one day to give Bird another chance, then he's hopeless.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also, KD, apparently The Babe was NOT a straight pull hitter. His power alleys seem to have been to right-center and left-center. The porch was much more helpful to the likes of Roger Maris—or Brian McCann.

Anonymous said...

HC66--In 1961 Roger Maris hit just about the same number of homeruns on the road as he did at home. So how much did the porch really help him? As usual, you just dribble stuff out of your ass without doing your homework.

Anonymous said...

Hey Baby Statboy Incel Moron!

Many of your banal, Asperger-y asides are not so vile - not so interesting, but not so vile - from a factual standpoint.

What makes you so odious is your completely uncalled-for, juvenile and baby-psychopathic anger, hatred and animus towards other people.

You need real psychiatric help. You need real help with your mental illness.

Now, go crawl back in your own asshole, where nobody has to know who you really are.

FU

Anonymous said...

"You need real help with your mental illness," hilariously splattered the compulsively vomiting clown whose only contributions to this blog are . . . repeated demonstrations of the very emotional dysfunctions he comically ascribes to others! Fuck you and your ugly wife and child porn collection and failure children and borderline financial implosion and roiling, sputtering impotence faced with someone smarter and more interesting than you, ya' fucking abject loser. You're just jealous cuz you didn't know that about Maris, and it leaves you in a helpless paroxysm of rage at your own ignorance and insignificance in the world--so insignificant and lost that your only satisfaction in life is typing futile abuse at strangers on the Internet. Whatever turns you on, Loser Boy!

In the meantime, half of what HC66 posts on this blog is incompetent drivel. It's a shame that duque gives him so much space to his metastatic mediocrity and stupidity. He deserves the occasional tart shot to puncture the vast bloat of pretension and omniscience with which he disguises his utter lack of mental discipline and abject lack of real analytical skill.

Now eat shit and die, Loser Boy. The sooner the better.