Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The new "Last Person in the World the Yankees Need to Sign"


Doesn't run in playoff games...

Is defiant about it...

You know what?

We don't need him.

20 comments:

Vampifella said...

And yet we'll probably give him an extra two years, 5 million more per year and 2 extra opt outs now because of it. He'll make the Joggy Cano contract look like a bargain.

Nope, stay away. Extend Judge this season with this money. Get him for 10 years and lock him up as a Yank forever. He's more of a poster boy than Manny will ever be and worth the money.

If there is any justice, Manny get under $30 million a year for 7 (or less) years instead of the expected $40 something/10+ years. But then everyone will be screaming collusion if that happens. Better if no one signs him to show that teams had enough of these crazy contracts and rather trot out rookies than overpay lazy vets.

13bit said...

PLEASE GOD NO NO NO NO NO...

Joe F said...

He is ICS soul brotha

apoorplayer said...

"Defiant"? Or just plain honest? Depends on your perspective I guess.

I think when people begin to comment on this situation, they might want to stop and, if they happen to be Caucasian, take a moment and check their whiteness at the door. Many, if not all, of baseball's "unwritten rules" were written by white players, and those unwritten rules ("you hustle on every ball hit") have been enforced on non-white players for a long time. That is breaking down now, and as far as this white boy is concerned (who happens to have a Puerto Rican mother), it's for the better. Personally, I don't consider the fact that he doesn't hustle out every single ground ball to be a problem. That's a white person's perspective, based on a long tradition of unwritten rules written by white baseball players. Nothing a white fan hates more than to see a non-white player "not hustle." This is why Gardy gets a pass all the time - the white boy hustles everything.

Take a tip from Junior "Put your cap on straight", and "let the kids play." And while you're at it, please look at Manny's career stats. He's only 25. In 7 years he'll only be 32.

Sorry to bring up such a delicate topic. But it ain't 1960 anymore.

Anonymous said...

apoorplayer,

As you know even though you are fairly recent to this blog your opinion is both valued and knowledgeable. So I want you to fully understand how deeply offensive I found your remarks.

“That's a white person's perspective, based on a long tradition of unwritten rules written by white baseball players. Nothing a white fan hates more than to see a non-white player "not hustle."

No.

It’s nothing a real fan hates more than seeing any player not hustle.

This is not about white, or black, or Hispanic. This is about not running a ball out in a 0-0 game in the 4th inning of the playoffs. This is about baseball. Being a good teammate. Hustling. Putting your team in a position to win. That should be the standard and it doesn’t have a color.

I don’t know if you were here for the Sanchez incident, but we were extremely critical of him not hustling on a double play ball (one that injured Hicks BTW who was busing ass.) It probably cost us the game.

I can’t speak for anyone here but myself but let me tell you something. I don’t give a crap about the color of a person’s skin and unwritten rules. I do give a crap about not playing the game right.

Not white right. Right.

That’s why I hated the steroids guys. Whether it was Irish Marc McGwire, African American Barry Bonds, Hispanic Manny Ramirez, Cajun Andy Pettite, Jewish Ryan Braun, Dominican Sammy Sosa, Anglo Roger Clemens, Cuban Rafael Palmerio etc. All of them. They cheat. Fuck ‘em. It ruins the game.

I was mad at corn fed Luke Voit the other day for admiring a ball that failed to go out. You want to watch it it better be upper fucking deck. I don’t think it gets whiter than that guy.

We like Gardner because he hustles. He gets the most out of himself. Not because he's white. We love Didi just as much because he plays just as hard. You want to loaf? Do it on another team.

Then again I guess that’s just my perspective.

Doug K.

KD said...

now even trying hard at a game is a race issue? God help us.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


Amen, Doug K.

I have been in many locker rooms where a player was told by another player to "get off [your] ass and fucking play the fucking game". It never mattered what color that ass was or which compass direction the ass faced when kneeling down to pray. It doesn't matter now. Play the fucking game or get out of here.

Thank you.

apoorplayer said...

And yet, Doug K. when Voit did that, no one expressed the opinion that Voit shouldn't be signed or we needed to get rid of him. The issue of PED use is a false equivalent; that argument is not the moral equivalent of lack of hustle. And Sanchez's issues cost runs. And have been repeated on a fairly regular basis. Manny's lack of hustle cost his team absolutely zero, and happened once. Once.

I apologize if you were offended. That was not my intent. And I don't want to hijack this blog with this issue, so I won't pursue the matter. And I understand now that I will be less welcome for expressing an "offensive" opinion that goes contrary to the majority. But I am sure I need not remind the knowledgeable fans here that racism, both in this country and in baseball, has a long and virulent history, and affects us in ways that we ourselves are sometimes unaware of.

I surmise that many of you may be old enough to remember a black Puerto Rican ballplayer named Vic Powers, who was in the Yankees farm system (Kansas City Blues) in the early 1950s. In 1952 he hit .331 and drove in 109 runs for the Blues. In 1953, by July he led the American Association in batting, hits, doubles and RBIs. Yet in July of 1953, when the Yankees called up 4 minor leaguers, Powers wasn't among them. The Yankee management at the time (Dan Topping, Dan Webb and GM George Weiss) said Powers was "a good hitter but a poor fielder", "did not hustle," and was "hard to handle." Powers was an exuberant player and flamboyant personality, known to hang around with white women. He went on to have a 15.5 WAR 12-year career for teams other than the Yankees. My point is that the "hustle" and "attitude" card has been one that's been played by white owners and management since the color line was broken, and played to keep black and Latino players out of the game, and off the Yankees until 1955, when they brought on Elston Howard (who was anything but flamboyant). I simply don't want to see it played here as an excuse to keep us from signing Manny.

KD said...

Is it racist to have high standards for all players on the team, or it racist to have low expectations for some players because of their pigmentation? excusing a player's non-effort because he isn't "white" is about as racist as you can get, IMO. I screamed just as hard at Voit standing there admiring a towering fly ball as I ever screamed at Cano as he jogged out a grounder to short.

I recall reading that the old Negro League players had a pretty high standard of play. Or did Whitey force that upon them? I reject the notion that race and degree of effort are confounded. It just does not jibe with my life experiences.

this is crazy, crazy shit. have to agree with LBJ (as I usually do): play the fucking game or get the hell out of here.

KD said...

apoorplayer, speaking as one who has contrary opinions to most members of this community, try not to get offended by a little push back. ALL CAPS and I are still here and enjoying ourselves immensely. trust me: duque never expects uniformity of opinion on anything.

HoraceClarke66 said...

APP, I think you have a point that white players in this and any sport often get much more of a break. For instance, I do wonder that, if Gardy were black or Hispanic, everyone would be talking so much about his hustle...or complaining about his constant, second-half collapses?

There is a long and well-established tradition of sportswriters and fans attributing white players' success to their on-court or on-field "smarts" and desire, and the success of players of color to...their "natural" ability. And yes, both generally get on players of color for not hustling much more than they get on white guys.

But I will also say that I don't think the hustle issue HERE, on this site, has anything to do with color. We do like to see everybody hustle, period.

I have never seen a scintilla of racism on the part of Doug K., for instance. And I think that the fact that he is offended by the implication he is a racist, speaks very much in his favor. For that matter, I have never seen a hint of racism on this site...save for a weird dislike expressed for Jackie Robinson by a couple people, some time ago.

And again, you yourself will not be in the least less welcome for saying pretty much anything short of personal insult. Speaking strictly for myself, I'm happy to address this or any other baseball issue.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Incidentally, none of this is to excuse any of the Yankees' racist behavior in the past.

Vic Power (no s) was indeed a shameful story on the Yanks' behalf. George Weiss was, sadly, an inveterate racist. His bigotry not only hurt people of color, but also cost the Yanks Ernie Banks and maybe even Willie Mays. (Imagine a Mays-Mantle-Maris outfield?)

The "white women" Power was daring, according to Peter Golenbock, turned out to be his fiancee and later life spouse. These sorts of smears were grotesque, and continued for much too long a time. And unfortunately, the Yankees were far from the only organization to indulge in them.

Carl Weitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carl Weitz said...

There's nothing more I can add to what Horace, Doug and LBJ have stated except to echo their sentiments. Yes, there are still many racists in this country including in the highest levels of our government. You want to see racism? Look no further than the Teabaggers at a Trump rally, the paid minorities standing behind him, excluded.

Apoor....I've been reading this blog for a few years and I honestly have never seen any subtle or overt racism whatsoever. The people here who frequently comment seem to be better educated, more professional and liberal than on any other sports commentary venue I've seen.

I think the reason why many here ignored Voit's transgression is because we generally only berate the persistent offenders. Everyone knows who they are. You should as well.

That being said, I enjoy your commentary and hope you continue to post.

Anonymous said...

app,

A few things.

1) You're not less welcome. We all have our opinions and hopefully are respectful in our disagreements and discussions. I enjoy reading you and am glad you're here. I'm not interested in a flame war. Just a good conversation on baseball, which you started.

2) There's at least one aspect of what you wrote that I understand and pretty much agree with. The "let them play" part. Bat flips don't bother me. (Unless they happen on balls that don't go out - (see my feelings on Luke Voit standing there) You want to wear your hat at an angle? OK just as long as your name isn't Michael Pineda and the further from straight it goes the worse you pitch.

It's a video game world and if having a distinctive bat flip is a form of self expression then sure, go ahead. As long as it doesn't bounce off the ground and hit you in the head putting you on the DL. Then you're an idiot.

Same thing with catching a pop-up. You want to do the split like Gina Davis in a League of Their Own? That was fun. Pop a hammy while doing it? No.

3) Now to the rest -- "And yet, Doug K. when Voit did that, no one expressed the opinion that Voit shouldn't be signed or we needed to get rid of him." First of all most of us called him out but you are correct that no one said he should be dumped. I will say that if he keeps doing it. I don't think he will.

As to Machado, who I was advocating for previously, this is a 300 million dollar decision and ties up the team's finances for years. Having watched Sanchez and been royally pissed off at him I am now hesitant to make that commitment.

There's a reason that a lot of us call Cano "Jogginson" tons of talent, but something about the attitude was off. This year he was suspended and lo and behold the Mariners played better.

Is Machado a cancer? I don't know. But it's worth looking at because of the commitment of funds. Is Harper? Let's look.

4) "The issue of PED use is a false equivalent; that argument is not the moral equivalent of lack of hustle."

Actually I wasn't using it in that way. I was using it to illustrate that I like baseball played a certain way and that cheaters and malingerers have no place in it for me and that these types of behaviors cross all ethnicity.

And last...

5) "And Sanchez's issues cost runs. And have been repeated on a fairly regular basis. Manny's lack of hustle cost his team absolutely zero, and happened once. Once."

Did it cost them zero? What if he busted out of the box and the fielder hurried his throw and sailed it? Now he's on second in a 0-0 playoff game. I guess we will never know.

Also I don't know that it is isolated. You heard what he said in his press conference. Basically this is who I am. Sort of like letting Manny be Manny.

Where have I heard that before? And here's your actual false equivalence... was it cheating Red Sox douchebag Manny Ramirez? Just askin' :)


Doug K.

apoorplayer said...

I will take the invitation offered to try and make myself as absolutely clear as I possibly can within the confined and limited ability of the English (or any other) language.

When I used the phrase "white person's perspective," I used that phrase to indicate a general classification of a subset of the human race. I was not referring to any white person specifically, or in particular. I offer my apologies if anyone here took that to mean himself or herself in particular. That was not the intent. Language is an imperfect medium, and at times everyone needs to speak in general terms in order to make a specific point. If we can't do that, we can't have productive conversation.

As to hustle, I believe in hustle as much as anyone else here. I believe all baseball players of whatever stripe should hustle. Actually, you really have no choice, as the dimensions and physics of the game require no less. I admit that Manny did not hustle to first base in the NLCS. That can't be denied. He should hustle more, and he should probably also stop trying to make useless forms of contact on the bases. I have no argument with those who believe in and preach hustle and good, hard, fair play.

What I am merely trying to point out is that Manny's ONE instance of hustle, and his discussion of this particular aspect of his game and personality, should not be used as an argument not to sign him. This is what this post implies, and I am simply reacting to the post as written. I am also trying to point out that, historically, this is the kind of rhetoric that has been used in baseball's admittedly racist past to exclude players of color from the major league game. I am simply saying, and gently trying to suggest, that we should be very careful about using this kind of language and adopting this kind of attitude when it comes to whether or not we should sign a player.

The use of the word "defiant" is a subjective choice. I did not find Manny's explanation "defiant." And I must point out, again, that it's a word that has a charged past. During the Civil Rights era people of color were constantly called "defiant" because they chose to stand up for their rights. I am not judging the author of the post, and I make the presumption that, like most people on this blog, he is in no way, shape or form a racist. I am simply suggesting that the manner in which he expressed himself has a history, a context, that is real. And I think we need to guard against allowing such types of expressions to creep back into the game.

Manny is an absolutely fantastic baseball player. Why don't we take a look at all the incredible things he's done? Why don't we look at how he was alert enough last night to take second on a wild pitch? Why don't we point to the fact that he ran his ass off from second to home to score the winning run? Why don't we point to the fact that, even when he bobbles a tough play, his arm is accurate enough and powerful enough to make a play at first close? Why isn't anyone writing those posts on this blog in support of signing Manny?

(TBC)

apoorplayer said...

This kid was good enough to break into the majors at 19 and never looked back. You really think in all his career so far he hasn't been a hustler? Is that his career-long reputation? I would like to see the argument for that point of view. If you give him a 10-year contract at whatever million dollars, you should be smart enough to know that perhaps 6 and maybe 7 of those years he will be worth it, and that's really what you're paying for. And yes, he may turn out to be a bomb, but as far as I can see, there is nothing - nothing - in his playing stats to indicate that's the case. You want to sign Bryce Harper? Ever see Bryce not hustle to first base? Ever see Bryce pimp a homer he hasn't hit? Sure you have. Anyone here ever write a post saying we shouldn't sign Bryce because he doesn't hustle? Not that I can recall in my admittedly short time here. And both guys came into the league at 19. But Bryce is brash and cocky; Manny however, doesn't hustle. PS - their career WARs? Harper 27.4, Manny 33.8. Manny's WAR is 6.4 games better than Harper's. You want those extra 6 games? Perhaps the cost of that is a little less "hustle" along with the millions.

To conclude and to reiterate, this is not about Manny's hustle or lack thereof. This is about how the language used here - and again, I am sure it was used without a conscious racist intent at all - can lead us to echo sentiments and opinions that have a charged racist past. We don't use the n-word anymore for exactly that reason. And we shouldn't be promoting the idea that we shouldn't sign Manny for not hustling when that argument has been used in the past to exclude people of color from the major league game.

Mediasavvy said...

Machado will cost 250-300 million. He'll want 10-12 years. He won't hustle at the tender age of 26. What will he look like at 38? You know already, fat, out of shape, dead wood at the end of the bench. Clogging up the roster for the next generation. Finishing out his contract at the Jacoby Ellsbury Memorial Home for Unwanted Ballplayers.

And if he's making 300 million, what will Judge, Severino, Andujar, Sanchez and Torres want when they come up for free agency? Never mind what adding an entitled loafer will do for team chemistry, or all the bad lessons young players will learn from a guy like Machado....

Machado won't just cost 250-300 million, he'll add millions to payroll demands, while his loafing costs the team championships.

Andujar could field with his hands tied, the Yankees would still be better off, when the full price of Machado is considered.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


APP:

...we shouldn't be promoting the idea that we shouldn't sign Manny for not hustling when that argument has been used in the past to exclude people of color from the major league game.

I enjoy your posts and find them thoughtful and well-reasoned but it looks like you and I are going to have to disagree on this one. At the risk of taking your words literally when you were trying to express the point figuratively, I'll say that, if Manny Machado doesn't hustle, I don't want him on my team. I'm using the words "my team" from the perspective of a teammate and not from the perspective of a fan. It was drilled into me by coaches and fellow players that, when you're on the field, you have an obligation to your teammates to give your maximum effort at all times, period.

The comments I made above about locker room "exhortations" aren't fiction. I've watched black guys chew out black guys, white guys chew out black guys and -- admittedly less frequently -- black guys chew out white guys. (There's an interesting sub-discussion we could have on how players of different races tend to police such matters within their own cohort but it would distract us from the main point.)

I played organized football for 12 years, all the way through college. I know about chewing out a teammate first-hand because I've been both the chew-er and the chew-ee. No one speaks figuratively in a locker room or on a playing field. It's all direct and to-the-point. In my opinion, it's because all the players care. Telling someone who's just going through the motions to "Get your fucking head in the game" or "Get your fucking ass in gear" is 100% race blind, or at least it was in my personal experience.


(end of part 1)

Local Bargain Jerk said...

(Continued...)

I had my 40th H.S. reunion a few weeks ago and I ran into a guy I hadn't seen or thought about in years. In high school, this guy wasn't big (IIRC, he wrestled at 158 lbs.) but he played linebacker and he was the toughest son of a bitch on the field. He was like pure steel, nasty-mean and, when he came at you, you knew he was going to flatten you.

He was also one of the fastest kids in the school ... but he had a problem with giving max effort ... God knows why. During track season, he was a record setter and All State (NJ) in the 440yd dash, back when they ran that distance. If you know the 440, it's basically a 1-minute, bleed-through-the-eyes, sprint to the death. This kid's problem was that he would cruise at the back of the pack for the first 220 and then, somewhere on the far turn, when he thought the time was right, he'd turn on the jets and win the race. When we ran against the better teams, his times would improve. When we ran against so-so teams, his times were so-so. If the other team was particularly good, he'd set his records but, otherwise, he was content with "just" winning, not doing his best.

As you might expect, his teammates tried every approach we could think of to move him off the mark. The coaches would yell at him, I personally tried logic, but he only listened to the voices in his head. Some of the black kids used to get on him. They were smart and tactful about it because -- like everyone else -- they were afraid he'd beat the shit out of them if he didn't like the message. They'd say things like "Man, if I had your wheels, I'd light this place up." They were diplomatic (to the extent that a teenage boy can be diplomatic) but their message was clear: "Get your ass in gear."

I stood next to several mothers of black kids at one meet -- I knew them from Pop Warner -- and listened as they said things like "If we could just get that boy to run both halves of the race, we'd have something."

I think I've gone on WAY too long but my point is this: If you've played the games, calling out a player for lack of hustle is just something you do. If you're Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or Charles Schumer or Hillary Clinton or some other national figure who's clearly never worn cleats anywhere then, I agree, calling out someone for a lack of hustle is inappropriate.

BUT, if you've played the games, calling out a guy who's not giving his all is something that you can't even help doing.

I know I can't.

While we might need to disagree on this point, I'll close by saying, APP, don't leave us. You're a welcome addition to this team.