Wednesday, August 8, 2018

'Twas a Famous Victory

Word is that last night was an important win, which is true if you consider beating a kitten to death with a wedge of cheese to be a great victory.

It's true, as somebody on YES said, that if you're going to play four hours of baseball, you might as well win. But what a four hours! Any kids who watched that game will certainly become...hockey fans.

I know the injuries don't help, but it's grating to see just how bad and sloppy this team's entire approach to the game is.

I can't remember ever seeing a Yankees pitching staff, for instance, that bounced so many balls in the dirt, or on which the pitchers so often seem to be throwing to a spot diametrically opposite from where the catcher has set up. Just before Abreu hit that game-tying home run off Cashman's Brilliant Mid-Season Acquisition, Britton bounced a ball so far in front of the plate I thought I had somehow switched to a cricket channel.

Situational hitting aside, almost no one on this team seems to have even a vague idea of the strike zone. It's like that quote from Woody Allen's music teacher, when he's playing the bass in Take the Money and Run:  "He had no concept of the instrument. He was blowing into it." I'm often pleasantly surprised these days when Yankees hitters are holding their bats at the correct end.

In the field, the whole team looks as though it could use another spring training month. Simply catching the ball, from Bird's failure to do so against Boston to Stanton botching a routine flyball last night, is suddenly beyond their capability—a suggestion that there is a growing lack of concentration on this ball club, as much as anything else.

More specifically:

—Only a genius such as Brian Cashman could have reduced a team with the depth we saw in the spring to this. Sure, Higgy got robbed of a home run last night, and he had a great frame of a key Sonny Gray pitch, but come on. This is what we're down to now behind the plate? (I take it that Romine is hurt again, not having played yesterday.)

Shane Robinson in the outfield? And Luke Voit, I will give him his props, had a key hit last night, which is more than you can say for Greg Bird since maybe last October, but the guy looks like that idiot child of Giuliani's who kept acting out during his inauguration. It is time for him to seriously consider salads. It is time for us to seriously consider McBroom.

—None of us can know, of course, whether Goldilocks Chapman's troubles are of heart, head, or arm, but the idea that this guy will ever boot us home to a world championship is delusional.  He couldn't find the plate because he'd had too much rest, but then he was too tired to go last night? Whatever. He's yet another soap opera character who needs to be off the show.

—Watching Brett Gardner take that broad, desperate, sweeping, utterly powerless swing over another breaking ball last night, I had a sense of deja vu. Where had I seen that before?

Oh yeah: in just about every Brett Gardner start, ever. Yeah, the guy does a lot of good things, but he never should have been a regular, or a leadoff man, and his average strikeouts over a 162-game season—119—are simply not justified by his average number of home runs—11—in same. Time to bid Gardy a fond farewell after this year.

—I cannot adequately describe how profoundly depressing it has become to watch Neil Walker play baseball.  Worse, even, than Chris Carter or Brian Roberts, in their Yankees stints (Okay, sure, not as bad as the stygian depths of Stephen Drew. But still.). As a National Leaguer for marginal clubs he just seemed excruciatingly dull. Now I marvel at his ability to live down to the worst possible outcome.

Walker is like the short-order cook of the Yankees Ptomaine Diner. "Need a strikeout with that? Right away!" "Want a double-play to kill off the inning? Coming up! And how about some pie?" It is inexplicable to me that he is still on a major-league team.

—Maybe it was just the lighting for the postgame presser, but Aaron Boone seemed as though he'd taken a little less of his daily horse tranquilizer dosage last night. But still. We need him to get mad, to get happy, to get something.

When we finally pulled that mangy dog of a victory out of the river of toxic defeats last night and brought it home, all I could think about was what I did NOT see.

That is, I did NOT see anybody vaulting over the dugout guard rails, and running out to pound Sonny Gray on the back and high-five everybody else, the way a certain Mr. Derek Jeter used to do. Granted that nobody on this Yankees team has the status or the leadership qualities that Jetes did, what we need is for their manager to pick up the slack.

He should have been out there, in wee small hours of the Chitown night, pumping a fist and screaming encouragement. Maintaining an even keel is fine. At other times, you need to shout.








4 comments:

ranger_lp said...

Quoting unknown: "A win is a win is a win..."

HoraceClarke66 said...

True enough!

Anonymous said...

I'M GONNA VENT.

I WATCHED THE RED SOX GAME LAST NIGHT AGAINST TORONTO. [I BET THE JAYS WHILE IN AN ATLANTIC CITY SPORTSBOOK].

THIS IS ON TOP OF THE 4 DISASTROUS GAMES I JUST WATCHED AGAINST US.

I HAVE TO SAY THIS [AND IT HURTS]...

THE RED SOX PLAY SO MUCH HARDER THAN US.

THEY HUSTLE SO MUCH MORE THAN WE DO.

THEY MOVE AND PLAY WITH MORE URGENCY THAN WE DO.

SANDY LEON MAKES AN AMAZING PLAY LAST NIGHT ON A SWINGING BUNT WITH THE BASES LOADED..HE HUSTLES LIKE HELL UP THE 3RD BASE LINE, AND IN ONE MOTION, HE FIELDS AND TAGS THE RUNNER COMING HOME FOR THE OUT. TORONTO HAD BASES LOADED, 0 OUTS, AND DIDN'T SCORE AFTER THAT PLAY.

RIGHT THEN I REALIZED THE EFFORT OUR MAIN CATCHER GIVES.

NIGHT AND DAY.

MOOKIE BETTS PLAYS 2ND BASE, RF, IT SEEMS THEY CAN PUT HIM ANYWHERE AND IT'S NO PROBLEM.

WE NEVER SEEM TO GET AWAY WITH THAT OR EVEN TRY IT WITH OUR PLAYERS [NO LESS OUR STARS].

WE PUT STANTON IN LEFT INSTEAD OF RIGHT, AND HE LOOKS LIKE HE'S ON ROLLER SKATES, READY TO FLOP.

THEY MAKE BETTER CONTACT THAN US, AND HIT IN THE CLUTCH SO MUCH BETTER THAN US.

IF THEY GET A RUNNER ON 3RD WITH LESS THAN 2 OUTS, MORE THAN LIKELY, THEY ARE GOING TO SCORE THAT RUN, NO MATTER WHO GETS UP TO BAT, UNLIKE US, WHO DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

I SAW WHERE HOSS WROTE HOW UNDERWHELMING THE LAST 5 GUYS IN THE RED SOX LINEUP ARE, AND I AGREE.

....BUT THESE YANKEES MUST REALIZE, TO WIN, THERE IS A PREMIUM ON HUSTLE, AND HEART, AND URGENCY.

RIGHT NOW I SEE IT WITH THEM.

I DON'T SEE IT WITH US.

WHEN I SEE GLEYBER NOT BUSTING IT DOWN THE LINE, THAT'S WHEN I SAY, "SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT HERE."

MAYBE OUR MANAGER IS TOO SOFT?

PLEASE, NO MORE BINDERS, BUT HOW ABOUT SOMEONE IN THE MIDDLE OF BOONE AND GIRARDI?...TOO LATE NOW.

LOOKS LIKE BOONE NEEDS A "KICK-ASS/PEACE AND TRANQUILITY COACH" LIKE WILLIE HORTON WAS FOR BILLY MARTIN.
AS FAR AS DISCIPLINE GOES, BOONE DOESN'T LOOK OR SOUND LIKE HE HAS IT IN HIM.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You are spot on, ALL-CAPS!

I would say it starts with the manager. Their manager ignores the New Baseball nonsense, encourages situational hitting, puts on plays, and generally motivates his guys.

Our manager, needless to say, does not.

But our manager is our manager only because our GM is our GM.

Our GM is why Boone is managing and not, say, Cora or Meulens or Beltran or half-a-dozen guys. Their GM not only hired Cora but quietly got 3—count em, 3!—former Cy Young winners on the staff, a fine additional starter at the trade deadline, and a bullpen that boasts only 1 star but is consistently devoid of drama and lights out. Like Charlie Brown, we got a rock: Shane Robinson in right field.

But then, why is our GM our GM? Because our owners just see the Yankees as a cash cow. I'm not saying their owners are Mother Theresa, but they know that winning is part of keeping the fan base.

Sure, with one-third of all teams making the playoffs, and at least one-third tanking at any given time, the Yanks could still get hot some October and win it all. But there is no strategy at play here whatsoever.