Friday, November 9, 2018

Maybe it's time to show a little faith (there's magic in the Yanks?)

In baseball, you can either see a 3-2 count as favoring the pitcher or the batter: it's up to you. (Unless, that is, Giancarlo Stanton is batting in the ninth of a crucial playoff, in which case the advantage goes to the pitcher.) On that note, in our upcoming winter of discontent, here are some tidbits of faith that I hereby choose to believe...

I believe Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner will outspend payroll luxury tax limits of 2018. I understand why Cooperstown Cashman lately has been poor-mouthing, suggesting the franchise will continue its self-imposed austerity. If you're planning to bid in a high-stakes auction, there's no point in looking drunk. 

But the big reason for cutting Yankee payroll last year - and it was stated throughout the season - was the need to compete in this winter's free agent market. The Yankees basically ceded to Boston their long-held mantle of fiscal dominance. Hal is not stupid. Surely, he sees that, without some bold signings to improve this team, the Yankees will continue to chase the wild card, and eventually, the Mets will rise, the tabloid back pages will turn blue-and-orange, and a mass extinction event will unfold in the seats of Yankee Stadium. They promised us a reward for last year's austerity. They had better deliver.

I believe Gary Sanchez can rebound as a player. In fact, I think it's wise for the Yankees to give him one more season (or at least through the all-star break.) In the darkest days of Yankeedom, the late 1980s-early 1990s, we constantly traded young players like Sanchez after they disappointed us. (Drabek, Buhner, et al.) Sanchez's problem was his explosive success at the outset of his career, which was always going to be impossible to maintain. Last year, he flat-out sucked. But if the Yankees dumped him, he would instantly become prime candidate for comeback of the year, and they would probably get nothing in return. I'm good with him getting another shot.

I still believe in Clint Frazier. Yes, this is my heart talking, not necessarily my head. At times, something about this guy says 15 home runs and a .198 average. But Frazier has a magnetic personality and a great spirit, and I choose do believe he can someday become a beloved Yankee, along the lines of Brett Gardner. Last season, the juju gods conspired against him in ways that suggested malicious malpractice; two concussions, both with the worst timing anyone could imagine. I think he can make it. But it must happen this year, and the Yankees must at least give him a chance.  

I believe the Yankees need a bullpen overhaul. Everybody knows we need starters. I think our closers have become incredibly scary. Last season, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman embodied the wildest variations in baseball. They could strike out the side or never even record one out. I still have PTSD from El Chapo's meltdown in the lost series in Boston. Frankly, if the Yankees had won Game Four of the ALDS, I wouldn't have trusted our so-called vaunted bullpen to shut them down at Fenway. The Yankees need at least two more quality bullpen arms, and one with closer experience. Chapman is simply not the pitcher he was. We cannot expect him to save us.

I believe Miguel Andujar can play 3B. Listen: A third-baseman like Andujar comes around once in every generation. But if he moves to left field, well, he becomes just another corner outfielder (and Clint Frazier - see above - never sees the light of opportunity.) All season, the Yankees praised Andujar's work ethic. Well, were they bullshitting? Yes, his fielding must improve. I believe he can do it, if the Yankees show a little faith.  

15 comments:

Rich said...

I have to disagree with you on Sanchez. We don't need home run hitters at every position and when it comes to defense, catcher is pretty much the most important position on the field what with pitch framing, the back end of the bullpen not very good at holding runners, and just plain fielding the ball when there are runners on.

I believe we should see what kind of offers we can get for him, it beats having to trade away more kids for pitching.I know last year doesn't help, but we'd be perfectly fine with Romine as the starter.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I'm actually a little relieved to learn of Sanchez's shoulder injury: 'Oh, so it WASN'T just completely some psychotic mental breakdown!'

Sure, I'd still trade him even-up for Realmuto, but I am willing to give him a chance.

Red Thunder, I will have to watch with my hands over my eyes, peeking out through fingers. And I would rather get Machado and put El Matador in left. But I don't think we're spending a red cent this year, so yes, keep Miggy at third.

And by the way, we dealt Buhner and Drabek BEFORE they disappointed us. Oy.

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

Sanchez has hit well his entire career( minor and major league). We would not have made the run we did in 2017 without him. It is worth giving him more time to see if he can get it together, both offensively and defensively.

I think the Yankees are going to spend a bunch of money on free agents in 2019. Although I am not sure $300 plus million over 10years, on any one player, is a good idea. We already have one of those contracts. Adding more of them will make it much harder when guys like Judge hit free agency. The history of those type of contracts show they can be a problem.

KD said...

I too am a Miggy believer. i doubt the Yanks can succeed if they don't work with him and take advantage of his incredible talent. in fact, i blame the Yank's post-season elimination on the horrible negative juju they created when they benched Andujar. The juju gods notice such things. they do not reward the faithless. The faithless are punished. you think it a coincidence that it was Stanton flailing away to make the final out? nope. the juju gods arranged that little bit of juju theater. i hope the faithless Hal and Coops enjoyed the show.

KD said...

i'm happy to be in agreement with Hoss regarding Sanchez. i want to love the guy but thinking he's a turd makes that terribly difficult. i hope that this Hot Stove gives me a reason to flip my opinion on Hal and Coops as well. I'd love to be all in on 2019. Show me a sign. I'll believe anything if only i can see the front office actually trying.

Alphonso said...

I agree that the most incomprehensible, indefensible move of all teams in 2018 was benching Andujar for Walker in the final playoff game.

George S. would have fired Boone that afternoon.

Hal had coffee with him and counted receipts.

For me, this move is forever unforgivable.

As to the issue of Andujar's ability to become a great third baseman and defender; it is odd that he already has so many flaws, yet has risen so high. Correcting major flaws ( like double clutching every throw ) ,at this point, is a challenge. My fear is that "it" ( his propensity to fuck up plays ) becomes mental for him. And if that happens, we shall have another Chuck Knoblach.

And no one recovers from that, until they are parking cars for a living.

Part of the solution, of course, is to have a great first baseman (We don't). But a great defender like " Donnie Baseball" saves tons of infielder errors. And nettlesome baserunners ( reading on an error ) become outs.

I repeat; we don't have such a first baseman. So I would feel better about Andujar staying at third, if we can improve things at first. If not, I am content to have him move to LF. He has all the skills and we cannot lose his bat....otherwise, we lose all big games because the mega millionaire sucks when it matters.

I still want to throttle Boone for being such a dick-head. Fire the twerp!

Anonymous said...

AS WE ARE TRYING TO BE POSITIVE...

COOP IS WORKING FEVERISHLY TO MAKE US ENRAGED.

HE HAS HIS SIGHTS ON THE NEXT AARON HICKS DOLL (FOR SONNY GRAY).

JURICKSON PROFAR.

.240 LIFETIME.

.321. OBP LIFETIME.

SWITCH HITTER.

25 YEARS OLD.

WHY IS HE INCENSED WITH GETTING HITTERS WHO HIT BELOW .250?...HIS OBP. ISN'T REALLY GOOD EITHER.

CASHMAN ALWAYS DOES HIS DEALS IN "PIECE-MEAL" FASHION, WHICH DRIVES ME NUTS.

WHY CAN'T HE PACKAGE GRAY WITH OTHER PARTS AND MAKE A GRANDER SCALE DEAL FOR SOMEONE WHO WE REALLY NEED?

HE WILL DEAL SONNY GRAY BY HIMSELF OR WITH A SMALL FRINGE ADDITION AND GET SHIT IN RETURN, INSTEAD OF INCLUDE , FOR INSTANCE, GRAY, GERMAN, SHEFFIELD, AND ACEVEDO FOR A KLUBER.

NOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING.

HIS "PIECE-MEAL" TRADES SUCK, ESPECIALLY WHEN PITCHERS ARE INVOLVED.

SORRY I KILLED THE POSITIVE VIBE TODAY.

13bit said...

Duque, I love how you can combine rational thinking with magical thinking in the same post. “We shall see,” said the cat.

Anonymous said...

GETTING BACK TO ANDUJAR...

THE DOUBLE CLUTCHING AND OFF TIMING SEEM CORRECTABLE ...

HIS HANDS ARE OK...

HIS ARM IS GOOD...

....AND HE STILL NEVER SCARED ME AS MUCH AS HEADLEY DID ON EVERY SINGLE GROUND BALL WAITING FOR THE "AIR-MAIL" THROW, THAT WAS ALWAYS A REAL POSSIBILITY EVERY GAME.

LEAVE MIGGY AT 3RD, HE'S 23.

LEAVE HIM ALONE!

TheWinWarblist said...


Yes! Yes!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HviIFg9ePuY

Alphonso said...

I am pleased that my rant was interpreted in a "positive" fashion.

John M said...

Nothing is going to change except for the usual Cashman dithering around the edges, whichwill make absolutely no difference except possibly to keep minor leaguers in the minors.

By the way, Cashman sucks.

I'm Bill White said...

I would rather see Babe Ruth’s Presidential Medal of Freedom catching for the Yankees than Sanchez. I’m sorry, a shoulder injury doesn’t make you a sloth. A shoulder injury doesn’t make you lazy behind the plate or on the bases. It certainly doesn’t compel you to swing at bad pitches. Enough is enough. My name is Drabek Buhner and I approve this message.

Anonymous said...

ALPHONSO...

HAVE YOU TRIED THE AMARONE "CESARI" YET?

HoraceClarke66 said...

But a shoulder injury AND a leg hammy leg injury, Bill White? The guy had not oe but two cortisone shots this season, and one last year. And the Yanks just shrugged their shoulders and acted like they couldn't understand it.

Not acceptable.