Thursday, October 18, 2018

The new world order: Boston is on the verge of its 4th World Championship in 14 years

Twenty-eighteen was supposed to be the Year of the Yankees Ascension. We would make the next step, reach the World Series, maybe win the first of several rings. We had the new Core Four. We were the team to watch, if not to beat.

Instead, we watched Boston compile perhaps its greatest team in history, with young stars still reaching their peak and an owner willing to spend whatever it takes. Today, we blather on talk radio on whether Gary Sanchez is our future catcher, or what loose change the team might get for Sonny Gray, but it cannot mask the bitter reality: We may be entering one of the most humiliating periods in the franchise's history... with no end in sight.

This season, Boston on payroll spent $233 million - about $40 million more than what we once loved to call "the Evil Empire." That includes nearly $30 million to  Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo, two complete losses, which Redsock ownership shrugged off as the price of doing business. Meanwhile, the Yankee front office can't seem to get over the wasteful contract of Jacoby Ellsbury. Our owner spent all of 2018 obsessed with keeping payroll below a luxury tax reset, and now the question is simple: For what? 

This winter, Boston faces the loss of the following free agents: Joe Kelly, Drew Pomeranz, Craig Kimbrel, Ian Kinsler, Stephen Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi and Brandon Phillips. In other words... not much. If you view Kimbrel as a steadily  collapsing war horse (easily replaced on the market), the only loss of consequence would be Eovaldi, the mid-season rental, and don't be surprised if Boston re-signs him... because their goal is to win, rather than beat the tax man. 

Lately, Yankee fans are expressing hope that our owner will splurge on payroll this winter, looking to stay competitive. What are we smoking, that would make us feel this way? The team could well sign the enigmatic jogger, Charlie No-Hustle, aka Manny Machado - to play the compromised position of SS and basically fill a giant hole vacated by Didi Gregorius' injury. But if we make such a bold move, akin to standing pat, watch Boston match it by signing a high magnitude player for an open position (catcher, first base, or second base.) They have the team to beat for a long, long time. We have a few young players of note, but none like Benintendi, Betts, Bogaertes, Martinez, Sale, Porcello etc... nothing close to their rotation. 

They are rolling into the World Series, folks. Four world championships in 14 years? Boston may be on the verge of a dynasty. And we'll play the Wild Cards.

(P.S. Wow, did Houston ever get screwed last night on that home run call against Altuve. The ball was clearly in the seats. The fans did what fans have a right to do. It was nothing like the Jeffrey Maier call, which the new rules were supposed to prohibit. Insane. But as a rule of thumb, whenever a call goes for Boston, or in any way against the wishes of Yankee fans, you can be assured Joe West had something to do with it.) 

10 comments:

Vampifella said...

I'm holding judgement until I see what they do this offseason. I think the Yanks has too many needs and will spread the money out on their typical bad short contracts and will try to keep close to or under the cap again rather than a Dodger-like spending spree on everything they need.

Realistically they need a two infielders, a better backup (or starting) catcher, two starters, five relief and maybe one more outfielder. Just those alone could cost the Yanks 80 to 120 million in 2019 if they decide to go with mediocre players. I don't see them spending another 70 million to get two top names with all those needs.

I'm thinking that they'll budget and say that they are planing to pay their rookies when it's time for them to get bigger contracts. Of course when it actually comes time to do that, they'll let them walk quoting that Stanton (and someone other mistake) is costing them too much and there is no room in the budget.

Basically I don't think the Yanks are going to spend like the Dodgers or Sox no matter what.

Anyway, I groaned when I saw Joe West. How the hell he's always around messing things up is beyond me. But the call was right I felt. Mookie would have caught that one. I'm so hoping he'll bolt when it comes to his free agency in 2021. Just in time for Ellsbury's contract to end but he'll probably get 40 to 50 million a year and the Yanks will still be cheaping it up.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You are so right, Duque—and Vampifella.

And the amazing thing is, what a complete turnaround this is. Not only did all the experts (save for the reliable curmudgeons here) see the Yanks as the Team of Today and Tomorrow at the start of the 2018 season, but well into the season we ere gloating over how weak Boston's farm system seemed, how they looked to be on the verge of collapse.

The injuries the Yankees suffered were one thing. But completely wiping out the farm system, and standing by with a shrug while vital pieces inexplicably self-destructed...it is, I think, the worst mismanagement of a Yankees team ever, including the years of the Mad King.

13bit said...

Hal hates baseball. He is more into money. He will do whatever it takes to keep the team profitable. Unfortunately for us, the fans, that does NOT necessarily mean winning.

Dead-on, Duque, with your assessment.

Sad days, months and years ahead.

To those Boston fans reading this and chortling with glee, I salute you. Now you know what it means to truly be an evil empire. I only wish our old Emperor were still alive and spending assloads of money the way you are. That's what you WANT in an owner, not a cardboard-faced tight-assed hyphenated pea-brain such as we have.

TheWinWarblist said...

It's looking more and more like a Torino Class 8 asteroid strike JuJu for me this World Series. It doesn't have to be a world killer. Just big enough to obliterate Chavez Ravine or the Fens.

Or both. The asteroid could break up in the atmosphere over North America, can't it?

Ending the frustrating JuJu.

Anonymous said...

WHAT I AM AMAZED AT, IS ALL OF BOSTON'S WORST AVERAGE HITTERS, STILL GET HITS IN THE CLUTCH! (CHRISTIAN VASQUEZ, SANDY LEON, JACKIE BRADLEY JR., BROCK HOLT).

UP AND DOWN THEIR LINEUP, THEY ALL KEEP GETTING CLUTCH HITS.

ON THE OTHER HAND, OUR LINEUP DOES THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

I MARVEL AT HOW NO ONE, IN THE PLAYOFFS, (INCLUDING OUR #3 THRU #6 HITTERS), CAN DRIVE IN A RUN WHEN IT COUNTS, OR EVEN IN A REGULAR SEASON GAME WITH THE BASES LOADED AND NO OUTS.

IT'S AMAZING...THE ENTIRE LINEUP ROUTINELY DOESN'T GET IT DONE.

WE HAD 10 YEARS OF AROD IN THE CLEANUP SPOT AND HIS CLUTCH "METER" IN THE PLAYOFFS (TAKING AWAY KATE HUDSON'S 2009 SEASON), WAS ABOUT A 0-1 OUT OF 10. DISASTROUS. HE KILLED US IN THE PLAYOFFS IN THE CLEANUP SPOT, LETS BE HONEST.

ARE WE DESTINED TO HAVE THE SAME PLAYOFF FATE AND DISASTER FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS WITH THIS NEW INEPT-IN THE CLUTCH- CLEANUP HITTER?

SURE LOOKS THAT WAY.

I REMEMBER MY FATHER SHAKING HIS HEAD, AFTER ANOTHER AROD FAILURE IN THE PLAYOFFS,STATING,- "GEEZ, IN THESE PLAYOFF GAMES, JUST 1 CLUTCH HIT CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WHOLE SERIES. HE JUST CAN'T GET IT DONE."

HE IS A KINDER MAN THAN ME.

I KNOW COOP CAN'T OR WONT TRADE STANTON, BUT HE AND BOONE BETTER FIND IT IN THEM TO LEARN FROM THE PAST AND AT LEAST MOVE STANTON DOWN IN THE LINEUP COME PLAYOFF TIME.

GOT TO TRY TO HIDE THE WEAKNESS. (CAN YOU IMAGINE, $300 MILLION, AND WE GOTTA "HIDE THE WEAKNESS")??.

NICE PICK-UP COOP.

KD said...

*snark on*
ALL CAPS: you don't give Yankees management enough credit. they do recognize and definitely can hide a weakness. They benched Andujar, didn't they?
*snark off*

Anonymous said...

Often when I sit down to read this blog and offer my daily participation I consider it one of the highlights of my day. I relish the chance to engage with peers and get my thoughts on the Yankees down formally.

I like the vicissitudes. Going from "Sign Manny at all costs" to "Avoid Manny at all costs!" And maybe back again. Because we are all correct and, of course, all wrong.

This is sports. The only "safe" non contrived drama. I say safe because politics is dramatic and interesting as well but the consequences are much greater. If the Yankees never win again it doesn't REALLY matter. Well, it does to us but it's not on par with say, the end of the American Republic.

Yet here we are at an interesting crossroads... Duque correctly points out that the Sox are run by an aggressive owner who seems to understand that it is about winning.

They are and will be formidable for the rest of our lives as there are no small number of us who watch our cholesterol and PSA numbers in the only standings that really count.

Additionally, 13Bit rightly points that our owner hates baseball. I've said before that this is an issue with the Yankees being his sibling rival and the one he lost to. This will not go away. And, as numerous others on this blog have pointed out, we are royally fucked until he dies or sells the team.

So we are stuck rooting for a product. The upside is that we will never be a bad team. The market won't allow it. We will win a championship again because we will make the playoffs regularly and the playoffs are a crap shoot.

But the existential question and the one that I am struggling with is... why should we care?

It is enough to root for cost controlled above averageness?

I'm going to try to answer it over the next few days (Along with all the other existential issues on my plate.) and if I figure it out I will let you know.

Doug K.





Anonymous said...

GOTTA LOVE BENCHING ANDUJAR IN OUR FINAL GAME, KD...

THE ONE GUY WHO ACTUALLY MAY HAVE MADE CONTACT IN A BIG SPOT...

ARE WE GOING TO TURN ANDUJAR INTO ANOTHER BRIGADOON REFSNYDER?-(ONLY ON A GRANDER, MORE DESTRUCTIVE SCALE)?

STAY TUNED BROTHERS....

Ken of Brooklyn said...

You all are 1000000000% spot on about this, especially 13bit. And I don’t even think Hal cares enough to hate baseball, it seems to be merely a money making venture that fell into his lap. He strikes me as having a reptilian shareholders-meeting detachment concerning ‘his’ team and the game, and that’s why I’ve stopped going to the stadium for the last 4 years. I know I’m just one person and not even a drop in the bucket, but I’d rather listen to The Master than line that guy’s pockets with money that will NOT be put back into the club. I don’t see how this ends until the team is sold, and that probly won’t happen for a long long looooong time, if ever.
Preying for our WinwArbler’s asteroid to make an appearance. Dark days my friends,,, though I’m going out to look at art tomorrow, to cheer myself up!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Right on, ALL-CAPS. And this is why I always loved Reggie. Obnoxious and unbearable as he could be, he always wanted to be there in the big moments. All these big boppers since..not so much. If Stanton finds the big moments overwhelming...well, what is the point?

Everything must change with this Yankees team...but nothing will change And what then?