Saturday, November 3, 2018

The massive Yankee changes begin with... Hanser Alberto?

In the 2015 American League Divisional Series, 22-year-old Hanser "Radio" Alberto played 3B for the then-walking dead Texas Rangers. He went 2 for 11 with 2 RBIs, and looked like a name to remember. A versatile, RH middle infielder, Alberto had raked in the minors, hitting .328 with 5 home runs, though tanking in a cup of coffee with the Rangers (.222.)

In 2016, he again battered Triple A pitchers (.297) and again failed in a brief fling at MLB (8-for-56, .143). Still a prospect. Still a bright future. 

Then came 2017, which he missed almost entirely due to injuries. This year, he returned to the Pacific Coast League, now 25, and hit .330. In June, the Rangers called him up for four days. In August, they promoted him again - and the next day put him on the DL with a hamstring. Overall, he sucked at the MLB level - 5 for 27, .185, well below Mendoza. For the Rangers, that was strike three. This fall, they waived him.

Yesterday, the Yankees plucked Alberto off the scrap heap, a reminder of why we are now the Retrieval Empire. Odds are he'll never see light of day in pinstripes. He's probably a place-holder on the 40-man roster, who'll be jettisoned for a prospect worth protecting in next month's Rule 5 draft. 

But if you look closely at Alberto, you can almost see Luke Voit peering up from the bowels of the Cardinals farm system - an aging prospect hungry for one last chance. Did I mention that the Yankees currently have no SS? 

I'm reminded of 2012, when the Evils, desperate for help at the 1B sink hole - signed a 29-year-old castoff from everywhere else. His name was Steve Pearce. He went 4 for 25 (.160) and was shipped to Scranton. I wonder what happened to him? 

Like I said, Alberto probably never plays a down for us. At least 23 other teams passed on him, before Cashman made the call. He's a lottery ticket, a year younger than Voit, same age as Greg Bird and Ronald Torreyes. If he stays, he'll probably play 2B for Scranton. But, hey, you never know...


Publius said...

Cash never sleeps. He wants that Governors' Cup back in Scranton where it belongs.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

News, I think: Was reading Advertising Age (print edition) this AM. It comes to me as a relic of my career as a worker bee (now over, thank heavens).

There's a Q-and-A with Ralph Nader on one page of the 10/22 iusse. I tried to find an online link to it, no go. SO: Here's the relevant paragraph:

NADER: I"m a Yankees fan and the in-play radio advertising is so mind-bogglingly intrusive and stupid and destructive of listening to the spirit of the play of the game.

AA: Well, we're always interested in hearing about bad ad experiences.

RN: It's beyond caricature. When Mel Allen did the Yankees, they had the advertising during the inning breaks!

13bit said...

In this case, I happen to agree with that megalomaniacal, narcissistic old asshole. Maybe the first time I have not wanted him to crawl back into his old tractor tire and stop drooling since, oh, I don't know, maybe 2000? Anyway, he brings up an interesting point. Perhaps we should level our seemingly limitless hatred these days towards that crew in the Yankee organization that sells air time. Wasn't it Hal who complained ruefully about how there were forces in the Yankees who were clamoring to sell the naming rights to the Stadium in 2009? He clearly wanted to do it, but was talked out of it. Still, he had to remind us all of the sacrifice he had made in the only currency he values - money.

Anyway, good for you, Ralph. Now, put your diaper back on and get into bed.

As for Hanser - and this is just a reminder of how feeble MY mind is - I cannot get around thinking of "Kayser Sose" every time I read his name. On that basis alone, I am doubtful, not only of his skills, but of his very existence. Remember, the Devil's greatest trick is convincing people he doesn't exist...

Anonymous said...

I read this in Bill Madden's column today.

"Others, however, say it’s still too soon to give up on Sanchez’s vast potential — despite the fact that he’s already become injury prone and last year had perhaps the worst season of any Yankee in history: According to the Elias Bureau, his .186 batting average was the lowest of any Yankee ever with 350 or more plate appearances (breaking the previous mark of .193 by the immortal Jerry Kenney in 1970), and his major league-leading 18 passed balls (in just 76 games) tied Jorge Posada’s club record (18 in 131 games in 2001) for that dubious distinction."

Worse than Jerry Kenney? It seemed like Kenny managed to show up in every pack of baseball cards I bought that year. Him and Pepe Frias. They both went right to the bicycle spokes.

In play ads: I used to hate them because they are so unbelievably obnoxious. But now I go with the flow. "He's safe at home! and if you want to be safe at home, buy a gun. Smith and Wesson the official gun of the New York Yankees."

Doug K.

el duque said...

Nader once wrote a letter to the New York Times complaining about the ads on the Yankee Radio Network, driven by Jeep. I think he was trying to atone for electing Bush.

Alphonso said...

Another stripe for Boone's managerial skills.

Do you think maybe you lose in the playoffs because your catcher hits like Jerry Kenny?

You think maybe the GM has failed the team somewhere?

Having the ice cream sandwich in our line-up is like batting a pitcher at clean-up.

And we have pitchers who hit better than Sanchez.

He is an absolute blind spot in the eyes of Boone and Cashman.

It is like naming Eli as the Giants QB for the next 10 years, no matter who comes along.

Baseball is tough enough.

Pure stupidity makes it impossible.

13bit said...

I think that much of their vision/wet dream/fantasy/plan/strategy has been based on a strong Sanchez - the one we briefly saw two seasons ago - that they cannot accept the need to alter their plan. Flexibility is truly one of the great virtues. Wasn't it MacArthur, who was a wack job, but also brilliant at what he did - the one who pointed out that the Japanese Army in WWII was flawed in its rigidity? If something got fucked up, they were unable to change the plan, adapt, be flexible, etc. Led to some bad juju, for sure. Anyway, if Doug K's quote from Madden is accurate, and I see no reason why it would not be "Sanchez's Vast Potential" is up there with Bird's acronym. Then again, I still prefer ICS to SVP. Maybe we need to start fleshing out a sidebar with an acronym list? Isn't that the kind of thing that fans of hopeless teams and lost causes do?

Carl Weitz said...

13're an astute Yankee observer but not so much as a political observer.

No, Nader was not responsible for Gore's loss. Especially in FL. You assume incorrectly that Nader drew most of his votes from Gore. Not true. He drew evenly from both Bush and Gore. And there are other reasons why Gore lost but Nader had nothing to do with it.

I thought this zombie lie had been killed but I guess like true zombies, you need to place a bullet between the eyes or through the head.

Here is just one factual article on the above:

HoraceClarke66 said...

First, while I never like to delve into politics here, I have to side with 13bit on Nader, a man who I admired greatly for many years, and who my mother considered the one great American hero still living before her death.

Carl Weitz, I've seen polls like that myself and, who knows, maybe they were correct.

But more importantly, Ralph Nader epitomized the infantilism of the modern American left.

You want to build a good alternative to both major parties? I'm all for ya. How do you do that?

Well, you build from the grassroots up. Start by winning school board and city council seats, then work your way to the state legislatures, and then the congress.

Even that won't be easy. You'll need someone with a lifetime of experience and serious chops in community organizing; in bringing complicated but vital issues to the people in ways they can understand.

A man like...Ralph Nader.

He was perfect for the job!!

Instead...we got a pissy, pouty exercise in narcissism, one that spurned any down-ballot development at all. It was all Ralph, Ralph, Saint Ralph, and no one is as pure as little old me. Unbearable—and very sad to see, for a man who actually did good work and saved lives in making cars safer, and the like.

He blew a historic opportunity, when people were especially upset with the status quo, and the old parties. Fie on him, I say! Fie, fie, fie! And fo fum, too.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I also want to say that dear old Ralphie was forgetting about Ballantine Blasts, and what was the White Owl ad?

But I agree, the in-game ads are out of hand,

HoraceClarke66 said...

Bill Madden must be too young to remember Charlie Smith.

I would love it if we could deal ICS for, say, Realmuto, as the rumor mill inevitably has happening. But I doubt that's possible.

And if it isn't possible, we might as well try to revive him, as we sure as hell won't get anything for him now.

In fairness to the Big Spongy Desert Treat, he didn't have a terrible playoffs. He won the one game we took against the Sox, and while his at-bat was not good enough in that Notorious Ninth Inning at least he managed to drive in a run.

And he excelled more than briefly. For a year-and-a-half, he truly did look like someone capable of becoming the next Johnny Bench. 85 extra-base hits, including 53 homers, in his first 672 at-bats. He also threw out nearly 40 percent of runners trying to steal (compared to a league average of 28 percent) and did an excellent job of framing pitches.

His one fault—as a 6-2 guys handling a staff that tended to bounce pitches—was blocking balls, but that hardly seemed like more than a glitch to be overcome or even put up with. Sanchez even at his worst (through 2017) seemed like a much better fielding catcher than Mike Piazza ever was, with the potential to be almost as good a hitter.

Then came 2018. Total meltdown. And that's mostly his fault, but it's also the fault of the Yanks' staff for being unable to motivate him or mend the holes in his game.

Now we're probably stuck with him. We should do everything to try to revive him (unless we really can get Realmuto).

Anonymous said...

Not surprising to see the inveterate middlebrow philistine HC 66, the garrulous old clanking radiator of this blog, recycling deadhead corporate MSM cliches about Nader and the left.

Let's be clear about one thing: The Democratic Party is not the left. It is a faction of the corporate class that finances and runs both major parties. It's the smiley-face faction, the "good cop," that has colluded with the Republicans in ramming down the throats of Americans every reactionary policy of the past generation: welfare "reform," WTO/NAFTA, repeal of Glass Steagall, Commodities Futures Modernization Act (which left derivatives unregulated), Telecom Act (which led to the consolidation of mass media into a handful of giant corporations), the Crime Bill (militarization of local police forces, privatization of prisons), multi-trillion-dollar tax-payer funded bailout of the Wall Street fraudsters, authorization/funding for multi-trillion-dollar overseas criminal aggressions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, ballooning of the National Security State through the Patriot Act and Homeland Security.

But the story doesn't end there: they are at one with the Republicans in favoring fracking and offshore drilling and opposing a carbon tax or any emergency moblization to address the climate crisis. They have conspired with the Republicans to crush single payer Medicare for all in favor of a lobbyist-authored boondoggle for Big Insurance and Big Pharma that puts no limits on soaring premiums, deductibles, and drug prices, leaving tens of millions with no coverage whatsoever and tens of millions more with swiss-cheese private policies that are so expensive the people can't afford to use them.

The Democrats would be a center-right party in Europe. They are a criminal elite every bit as much as the Republicans.

But the doddering old babbler HC66 wants people to keep voting for these creeps and to confine their activism to electing village dog catchers while the planet burns, thus consigning national politics to the K-street duopoly of corporate sharks.

In the meantime, to understand the gravity of the environmental/climate/economic crises bearing down on the planet and the inadequacy of either party in addressing them, see the following:

Anonymous said...

See also this recent interview with Nader in Salon, in which Ralph thoroughly debunks the myths surrounding his presidential run in 2000:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I apologize to all for (inadvertently) helping to convert this segment of the IIH blog to politics.

That was not my intent.

I have memories of Nader that go back beyond 2000. Like 1965, Unsafe At Any Speed. If the phrase "seminal book" has a meaning, that book fits the bill.

I'm not sure how many lives have been saved by Nader, his book, and his activism on automobiles. And a lot of other stuff on which he's been active.

Sure: All that credit due to Nader does not entitle him to a single vote.

However: Things are better on this planet because of this guy. AND: He didn't put money in his pocket along the way, from all evidence anyone has been able to find.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

It may not surprise many of you to learn that I own and drive Chevrolet Corvairs. I currently have two (coupe and convertible). I have owned five over the years. The license plate on one of them reads "UNSAFE" the other says "SAFE".

In 2000, in Fall, shortly before the election, I was driving the convertible with the top down on a warm October day. I pulled up to a stop light at a bike path crossing in Barrington, RI and there were a dozen or so Nader supporters holding signs and talking up his candidacy to people stopped at the light.

When the light turned green, I drove past them at walking speed and, with an enormous grin on my face, shook my fist and said "He was wrong then and he's wrong now!"

I would say that two of the twelve people got my reference to his 1965 book. The others just looked crestfallen that someone might attack St. Ralph. They clearly didn't understand what I was referring to.

I drove away thinking to myself, "My friends, there's a lot you don't understand."

True story. No politics intended, mostly just retribution for him bashing a nice car.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Just for the record: Joe FOB, I completely agree with everything you wrote.

Anonymous said...

Sure--Nader being an authentic, incorruptible progressive doesn't entitle him to a single vote, but the bought-off hacks and phonies of the mainstream Democratic Party are entitled to our votes every two years, as we hurtle toward the apocalypse. Thanks for sharing, JFOB.

Anonymous said...