Saturday, December 15, 2018

In his brief incarnation, Andrew Miller proved to be a great Yankee, and I for one would love to see him return

Three springs ago, for a brief blink in time, the Yankees assembled perhaps their greatest set of closers in history. The Yes Men and the grovelin' Gammonites called it "NO-RUN-DMC," (a rare Yankee nod to the Bronx as birthplace of rap) - but, sadly, it didn't matter. 

The early season 2016 Yankees were a miserable team with few games to close, and the famous big three - Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman - languished, unused, in Scott Proctorville, until the roster was dismantled in late July. For the first time since the days of Syd Thrift, the Yankees consciously decided to tank, launching the most defining period in the evolution of the current team.

For me, the key to that bullpen - and to today's Yankees - was the middle man, Andrew Miller. When he signed a four-year deal with the Yankees, Miller was almost certainly the game's most dominant closer. But when Aroldis Chapman arrived - distressed merchandise due to a domestic violence incident - Miller graciously accepted the role as set-up man. In doing so, he set an example for Betances and every Yankee: The team came first. 

When the Yankees sent Miller to Cleveland, he understood. Miller pitched the Indians to the brink of the World Series - going toe to toe with Chapman, who won it for the Cubs - and I still wonder if the Yankees, just 6.5 games out when they dismantled the team, blew up the team too quickly. (If you remember, once the Yankees ditched the dead wood - Code Name: Alex - Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge led a huge resurgence. Had they kept Miller and Chapman, could they have gone on a run and made the playoffs? And from there, could they have - SHUT UP, DUQUE, STOP YOURSELF! COME TO YOUR SENSES! YOU CAN'T GO DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN!) 

Where was I? Oh, yeah... Andrew Miller. Great pitcher, great teammate, great Yankee.

But last year - listen: there's no polite way to put this - Miller crapped the bed. He tweaked his hammy in April, went on the DL, then returned with a bum right knee - tendinitis. He missed more time, then returned, then suffered a left shoulder impingement. All totaled, he threw just 34 innings with an ERA of 4.24. He's 33. Yeesh. Call the glue wagon. The days are getting shorter.

But wait. He's still Andrew Fucking Miller. Supposedly, the Phillies want either Miller or Zach Britton - a lefty to balance their RH bullpen - and they plan to spend like Sheldon Adelson at a GOP cattle call. At 30, Britton might be a better gamble. Also, Boston could pop into play. The Redsocks might chase David Robertson - also 33. All three will follow the dough. This is the last big contract they'll ever see, and they know it. Robby wants to stay in the Northeast. Miller wants a no-trade clause. Britton will want the most years. 

Prediction: Cashman will sign whichever is the cheapest - then try to fortify the bullpen via the impending Sonny Gray trade. I can't say that's a bad strategy. Here's what our bullpen could look like:

El Chapo
Dellin
Miller/Britton/Robertson, or another free agent

Mean Chad Green
Jonathan Holder, "the Holder of Holds"

Sonny Gray trade acquisition
Kahnle, Tarpley, Heller, Cessa, Johnny Lasagna, the cast of "Glee"

Hey, that's not bad. It might even be capable of "bullpenning" a few games, a la Tampa, copying the Rays' latest horrible innovation. (Has anybody noticed, but Tampa always has a terrible team, and they're reaction is to constantly come up with ways to make games longer and more boring?)
For whatever it's worth, though, I would hereby take Andrew Miller in a heartbeat and launch NO-RUNS DMC II, close my eyes and think of August 2016, what might have been, as the Yankees chase a (SHUT UP, DUQUE! STOP IT, YOU FOOL! NOOOOOOOOOOO...)

12 comments:

Local Bargain Jerk said...


Thank you for referring to those three guys as "NO-RUN-DMC" and not the "Holy Trinity of Smoke" which the NY Post tried like hell to get us to adopt.

I still get bowel chills whenever I think about it.

John M said...

Chapman is very iffy. Miller is very iffy after last year. Betances is good but kind of iffy around the edges at this point. Robertson and Britton are the ones we should keep. Add Miller, sure, why not?

Oh, because signing everyone who's a free agent will cost money.

Cripes, I'm sorry. I lost my head there for a minute. Like thinking they'd go after Harper (remember when the Yankees wanted lefty batters who could take advantage of the short porch?) rotate him in the outfield and at first base sometimes, and Machado, who I find somewhat distasteful but he hits a ton. But of course, we'll find a cheapo infielder who can't hit to cover for Didi and stand pat on the outfield because we signed Gardy.

Yeah, it's gonna be a whale of a season.

John M said...

And as I'm Bill White commented the other day, why do we follow this team?

TheWinWarblist said...

SHUT UP, DUQUE! STOP IT, YOU FOOL! NOOOOOOOOOOO...

I will stipulate to that.

13bit said...

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so faaaaar away...now it seems as though they've come to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday...

Anonymous said...

Yeah it would be cool to have them together again but as far as trading them the first time... let's not forget that we ended up with

Miller =

Red Thunder
Sheffield who became Paxton
Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen

Chapman =

Gleyber Torres,
Adam Warren
Billy McKinney (with Brandon Drury) who became J.A Happ
Rashad Crawford.

Not too shabby!

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

COOP MAY HAVE ANOTHER DOPEY "GENIUS" SURPRISE FOR US.

REMEMBER, COOP HAS THAT AFFLICTION RIGHT?

REACH FOR NATIONAL LEAGUE PITCHER.

ADAM OTTAVINO.

I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THIS GUY OTHER THAN HE HAD HIS FIRST REAL GOOD YEAR LAST YEAR FOR COLORADO....BUT HIS CAREER ERA IS 3.68...SCARY FOR A RELIEVER THAT PITCHED HIS ENTIRE CAREER IN THE N.L..

PLUS, HE IS 33. (WHO KNEW)?

HE ALSO RECENTLY SAID, "I WOULD STRIKE BABE RUTH OUT EVERY TIME."

MY REACTION?

STAY AWAY.

WITH MILLER/BRITTON/ROBERTSON, WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE GOING TO GET. THEY ARE ALL AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTLE TESTED.

NOT THIS GUY.

STAY AWAY.

FAR AWAY.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Intriguing stuff about 2016, Duque. A sudden championship like that out of nowhere, and who knows what we might have done the following season? Spent the kids on Verlander in 2017, mayhap, and taken another one??? And then last year might have been all the more rational...

ENOUGH! As you say.

What is even more depressing?

Cleveland and the Cubs picked up those guys for more than they wanted to spend because they had not won a ring for, respectively, 68 and 108 seasons.

It's the sort of thing that franchises desperate to finally win one do...knowing that it will appease their fans for another generation or so.

Trouble is, the Indians did NOT win it all, and Cubs fans have reportedly become impatient with the team's stumbles since.

But the bigger question is, are we now in that mode? Looking to make any sort of desperation deal, especially since our tightwad owner won't let us pick up the low-hanging fruit that is right there waiting for us?

Is this one more way in which the Yankees are now just like all the other teams?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also, for the record, I don't think we'll sign any of those three. Our Death Star commander will tell us that we have six, six relievers on the 40-man roster already, dammit, so what do we need with one of them??

And I do remember Miller's incredible attitude. I think he once said something to the effect of, 'Hey, I'm getting paid a fortune to do what I love, why should I complain about how I help the team?'

Guys like that don't grow on trees, sad to say.

Carl Weitz said...

Speaking of, Doug, I guarantee we will see Adam Warren Part III next season. And why not? He fills any role quite well.And Cashman disrespects him like a rented mule. Plus he will come cheaply.

The Yankees need to sign Robertson for 2 or three more years, tops as he can perform in NY and the AL East. Britton will be back to regular form next year because he should be 100% again. I don't trust Tarpley or Heller. The Yankees supposedly have a couple of kids that throw really hard with just one other decent secondary pitch which should be enough for one inning or for just a batter or two.They may have a sleeper in Chance Adams there, too. Sign Attaviano as well. The bull pen will be killer

13bit said...

I'd almost put money - if I were a betting man, which I'm not - that we are going to see righty-hitting "I don't like to hustle" Machado in pinstripes within two weeks, that Miggy will be gone, and that Red Thunder will most likely be gone. Let me go polish up the crystal ball some more.

Anonymous said...

CARL WEITZ IS RIGHT.

GET READY FOR ADAM WARREN PART III....

IT WILL REMIND US OF THE GODFATHER PART III...

SHITTY, AND FLAT.