Wednesday, August 15, 2018

To Dog-Pile, In the Second Sense

Introductory Digression

Northerners say "dog-pile" while Southerners use the expression "pig-pile" -- apparently since 1880 -- when referring to the same concept. lets us know that the noun dog pile refers a thing that is "formed when a group of people jump on each other, often done as a children's game or in athletic celebrations."  The verb dog-pile, however, means "to gang up on a person in mass criticism."

I started to write this post with a sentence that began "I don't mean to dog-pile on the guy, BUT...".  Then I had second thoughts and I wondered if I was using the expression correctly.  

I was.

Continuing with the Actual Dog-Piling

I'm of course talking about "mass criticism" of our own Gary Sánchez.

Duque wrote this morning:

I'll admit it: I have permanent PTSD from the image of Sanchez jogging to first last month, in that horrifying loss, when he was thrown out on what should have been a game-tying infield hit. The Yankees made an excuse for him; they put him on the DL and blamed his hamstring. Well, I don't buy it. The guy's signature style of play has been to loaf. Frankly, it's why he fails to block so many pitches in the dirt: he simply doesn't throw himself into it. 
Our awesome commenter, who goes by "Doug K", made a brilliant comment the day after the game.  His comment ended as follows:

We can live with knuckleheads. We can live with overweight pitchers with rubber arms. We loved the Toe Show because that guy plays so far above his skill level if he wants to do a talk show in the dugout – go right ahead. He plays for keeps.
What the game does not tolerate is lack of hustle. 
Aaron Hicks busted his butt to not get thrown out at second. Game tying run. Team in a pennant race. Came up limping a little bit. Gave 100% 
Gary let down the team, the organization, and the game itself. They can’t get rid of him immediately. We all know this. But...
Next time a ball is hit to right on a tag play Judge will throw to the catcher. That’s the beauty and strength of the game. But he will no longer be throwing to a teammate. And that’s just sad. 
...And that's just great stuff, Mr. Doug.

While Duque and Doug K. were both traumatized by Sánchez' lollygagging with the game on the line, I blew a gasket at the way he handled a passed ball in the early innings.  I wrote:
If you look at the way he lackadaisically waddled after the passed ball, it had nothing to do with being injured. It simply didn't occur to him that the runner might go for it. Even if Severino had covered home instantly, there's no reason to let your opponent force you into a play at the plate like that. Severino's heated discussion with him in the dugout said it all.
Not as eloquent as Doug K or Duque, but those guys are tops.

Dog-pile Digression #2

With his "boy-I-sure-do-like-cookies" puffed jowls, has anyone else noticed that there's a passing resemblance between Gary S. and the cartoon character Baby Huey?

Watch the tape of that guy loping after the passed ball and you'll see what I mean.

Ok, Back on Topic
There was an article in yesterday's NY Post with an awkward "yes, we have no bananas" headline:
Is Gary Sanchez Not the Right Catcher for These Yankees?
With a headline like that, and still being PISSED about that game, I was predisposed to agree with everything the author might write.  All the same, I really wasn't ready -- at all -- for a single sentence in the article to go right up my nose sideways.  That sentence was:
The polarizing catcher spoke with the media Tuesday afternoon and said he has been watching as many of the Yankees’ games as his rehab schedule allows.
I mean, WHAT?

This guy is paid $620,400 per year by the Yankees and he's not even watching the games? Let alone playing in them?  I mean, he's a catcher, for crying out loud.  If he can't play, he should be watching his batterymates.  He should be looking at their mechanics, seeing if they're tipping their pitches (cough, Severino), and generally being a good teammate.  Which, apparently, he's not.

And PLEASE don't tell me, Gary, that your rehab is scheduled most nights at 7-10pm.  It's HOGWASH that you can't watch games because of rehab, unless by "rehab" you mean "lying poolside with fresh-cut cucumbers slices stuck to my closed eyelids."

And, even if your rehab is somehow scheduled during the middle of Yankee games .... record the freakin' games and watch them later.  Grrr.

It seems true that this guy has checked out, if he was ever checked in.

So, Duque, and Doug K, the NY Post and many others are dog-piling this guy and I don't mean to join in but -- sheesh -- they're paying him $620K and he can't even pitch in and help his teammates, even by watching television?


Rufus T. Firefly said...

Maybe he should be watching the Marlins games?

Joe F said...

Dear Mr Boone...
I hope you've looked across the field tonight and learned from a superior insighted manager..on the PROPER TIME TO TAKE OUT A DAMN PITCHER.....hint: It's not AFTER the dreaded 2 run bomb when ur oirchr CLEARLY doesn't have it.

I get that failures happen...but the inability for this manager to learn from them and make ADJUSTMENTS is INSANE....

13bit said...

Sanchez - the "lack of hustle" thing - the shades of Joginson past thing - it all comes down to one thing, and I'm talking beyond "lazy." "Fat," "lazy" and "stupid" are three words that a any of us can throw around towards anybody else, but this is a bigger concept at work here. It's about selfishness. Selfishness versus selflessness. The difference between being a team player in a team sport OR being a selfish sack of shit who can't see past his own testicles. We have seen plenty of overweight players who hustled - although when they really want to up their game, are up for a contract, or want to finally win, they will get into shape. Even Babe Ruth had to make that grave decision one offseason - hot dogs or immortality. Stupid players can still do well and still hustle. Lazy players should never make it to the big leagues. In fact, I don't believe the ones we call "lazy" start out lazy, and I do think there's a lot of validity to the emerging philosophy around here lately that says "don't give a teenager a million bucks." All of these things, though, are subservient to being selfish.

I have to go to bed. I'm not going to proof the above. I'm lazy, getting fat, and feeling dumber by the minute.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I agree, 13bit. But, interesting thing about Ruth: He worked out like crazy. UNTIL the Yankees ordered him not to.

Sure, Ruth always overindulged when it came to food, women, and booze. But he was probably what we'd call ADHD, or something similar today. He always liked to be moving, doing stuff.

In the offseason, the Babe was one of the first guys to hire his own trainer, and he would put in his road work, ride horses, chop wood, lift weights, all kinds of things.

Then, sometime in the 1920s, if I recall correctly, the Yankees—afraid he'd hurt himself—actually put it into his contract that he could not do a thing in the offseason. Not even play golf. Sure, the Babe probably violated that sometimes, but he couldn't put in his regular workouts anymore, and he got fat and his legs atrophied.

Sure, as it was he still played pretty well until he was 40. But who knows? Maybe he could've gone to 45. That was the Babe: he was just unworldly.

HoraceClarke66 said...

As for tonight's sad excuse for entertainment:

—Can you imagine paying MLB prices to see that crap? I think it has to be the single most uneventful Yankees game in the last 2-3 years.

—How many games is an Andujar home run going to be the only run in for this team? I know we're up to at least 2, and maybe 3. And people actually talk about trading him? Who the hell else would hit?

It's not like these are garbage-time dingers after we're completely out of it, either—no Roy Smalley specials. He hits them when the team's still in it. And that lonely run sits there all by itself on the scoreboard.

—What kind of sick, twisted individual hits Neil Walker with a pitch? What the hell is the point?

—I guess the Luis Cessa Era is going to be somewhat delayed again.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and did Tampa actually pitch someone named Chad Roe tonight? Or did I have that wrong?

HoraceClarke66 said...

So Philly actually knocked off the Invincible Sox tonight. Not that it much matters for the race anymore.

The Yankees' "strategy" seems to actually be to coast along now, thinking the Bud Selig game in a lead pipe cinch. When everybody comes back in mid-September, we'll get two weeks of corporate spin: 'Hey, weren't all those injuries terrible, but now we're back with a solid chance to win it in October!'

Trust me, we won't. If we do hang on to make the play-in, we will be one and done. And that's just as well.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

At 2:10 -

dogs in a pile.

Joe F said...

Let's trade Sanchrz....for BIG Al....that kids gonna win. Heart and hustle award before Sanchez finishes his dessert....Long live the ice cream sandwich!

ranger_lp said...

Hard to believe we're all talking gloom and doom and we have the second best record in all of baseball.

KD said...

Chad Roe? That reminds me..

y'all come to the NJ Shad fest next year!

John M said...

For the year, Ranger, you're right. For the past couple months or so, we're a .500 team, more or less.

Basically, we had a great 30-over run in the first half and then did nothing.

Alphonso said...

Just because I renamed him Jesus, after a former top prospect, Yankee catcher, doesn't mean I am dog piling.

Just because the ice cream sandwich has re-entered my conversation, doesn't mean I am agin' his act.