Monday, April 22, 2019

Austin Romine, lifelong Yankee, saves another home stand

Last year, Austin Romine achieved a batting average 58 points higher than the Yankee "star" catcher, the then-underwhelming Gary Sanchez. In 110 fewer at bats, Romine drove in only 11 less runs. Out of respect for Sanchez - who showed signs of awakening before his recent injury - let's ignore the issue of passed balls. The fact is, since rising through the Yankee farm system as an ugly sister backup to the great Jesus "Ice Cream Sandwich" Montero, Romine has always played understudy to an emerging, yet under-performing show pony, a future Yankee star who would then fail to live up to the press clippings. 

Last year, Romine's 265 plate appearances were the most in his career. At age 30, he has been a lifelong Yankee - a rarity that currently includes Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Luis Severino, Sanchez and Greg Bird. (Something tells me Greg Bird won't make it.) But Romine is a free agent next winter, and - though he's paid $5 million - my guess is that he will seek his last big career contract, marketing himself as a starter for another team, in the manner of Francisco Cervelli a few years ago. (Did I mention that Kyle Higashioka also qualifies as a career Yankee?) 

I write this because yesterday, Romine saved the Yankee home stand and maybe the month of April. He did this not once but twice - driving in the tying run in the 8th with two outs, and then the winning run in the 10th. On the season (only 35 at bats), he is hitting .286... once again above Sanchez (but by only 17 points.) I can't remember a time when Romine hasn't come off the bench to help the Yankees when their starting catcher has been injured. He wears down over the long haul, but in pressure situations, he has been a stalwart. 

Of course, when Romine catches, the bottom of the Yankee lineup sags like Larry Rothschild's balls sac, and even in the current assortment of scrap heap veterans and last-chance minor leaguers, Romine usually bats eighth or ninth. (He hit 8th yesterday.) When Sanchez returns on Wednesday (in California), he will almost certainly bat third or fourth, and Romine will return to bench mode, or maybe as personal caddie to whatever pitcher needs therapeutic counseling during games. (Considering how well James Paxton pitched yesterday, he and Romine might become a thing.) 

Of the 67 catchers who have played in MLB games this season, 25 are hitting below .220, 24 have no HRs, and 18 have driven in one run or less. Yesterday, the Royals' catcher - Martin Maldonado - was hitting .175, though his defense won praise from the YES booth. The fact is, Romine can probably score a three or four-year deal, and as a grizzly, seasoned backup, he will probably catch until his late 30s.

The Yankees selected two catchers high in last year's draft, and they supposedly moved one of their most expensive Latino signings into that position. But none of those prospects will be ready for at least three years. Here's hoping that Romine stays put. The Yankees went two weeks without Sanchez, and Romine did his job. 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

My 2 Cents Worth..

Aaron Judge on the 10 day injury list?

10 days?

My ass feathers!

An easy schedule has masked the Yankees' problems, but that may be coming to an end

This we know: The juju gods are bastards. But the schedule-makers are our friends.

The Yankees are still listing through what should be their easiest stretch of opponents in 2019. Amid the casualty counts and the opening home-stand crowds, they have achieved a 10-10 record... and with a win today, they'll rise above .500. They then launch a West Coast swing that features yet two more tomato cans: (the Angels, 8-13 and last in AL West; and the Giants, 8-14 and last in NL West; they also play the Diamondbacks, 11-10 and 2nd in NL West.) At Triple A, Scranton might face tougher teams.

But now, with Aaron Judge home on the memory foam, can the Yankees beat anybody with a lineup like this?

Gardner LF  LeMahieu 3B  Voit 1B  Torres SS  Frazier RF  Tauchman CF  Ford DH  Urshela 3B  Higashioka C

Ouch. If Frazier and Tauchman slump - inevitable, as pitchers adjust to them - the bottom five offer meatballs without sauce. Mark my words: This is a team ripe for being no-hit... that if, if we faced tough opponents.

Generally, West Coast swings are brutal... the time zones, the long plane rides, the supermodels, the Charlie Sheen after-parties. That said, the Yankees will face two teams that could be into Knickerbockers territory by mid-June. The Angels have Mike Trout and the fading recollection of rally monkeys. The Giants look as if their team was hacked by the Russians. This is when a true Yankee contender would stockpile victories, run up to five or six games above .500. But without their best player - a California native, who would have relished playing in LA and SF - all bets are off. 

Still, the schedule-makers keep on giving. We won't face "hot" teams until we return home on May 3. The Yankees will play Minnesota (1st in the AL Central), Seattle (1st in the AL West) and Tampa (1st in the AL East). All three are early season surprises, and by mid-May, they could be coasting back to Earth - especially the Twins and Mariners. Even the Rays have looked shaky in the last two games against Boston, which seems to be rising after its woeful start.

The Yankees' .500 record doesn't look so bad, unless you pro-rate the wins against the teams they played. They went:

4-2 against the Orioles (now 8-14, last in the AL East.)

2-0 against Boston (8-13.)

1-2 against the White Sox (8-11.)

1-2 against Detroit (9-10.)

0-3 against Houston (13-7.)

2-1 against KC (7-14.)

That's a combined opponents' record of 53-69, a winning percentage of .434. Over a season, that would finish fourth in most divisions. The fact is, the Yankees' dismal, injury-wracked first month has been masked by an easy schedule. And we've got another few weeks of tomatoes. But beware August and September, folks. Let's just hope we're healthy.

News Item: Aaron Hicks to Need "A Whole Spring Training"

...according to our TV booth.

By the spring of 1949, the heel that had been tormenting him since the war wouldn't wait any longer.  They shipped the Clipper off for an operation, but that didn't solve it.  Afterwards, the heel remained "hot," for weeks and weeks—probably some sort of infection.

The doctors told him it could go away all at once, just suddenly one day.  But as the season progressed, all it did was drive the big guy crazy.  He barely went out anymore, just ordered up room service from Toots Shor's.  Missing Opening Day, missing the first two months of the season, all told.

Then one day it happened.  He woke up and the heel was cool.  It didn't hurt anymore.  He could walk on it.  He could run.

He took a coach and the injured, backup catcher, Gus Niahros, up to the Stadium before the Yanks filed in for their game.  Had them throw a few into him, hit him a few flies.  Then a few more.  On and on it went, until his hands were bloody from swinging, his body covered in sweat from the unaccustomed jaunts in the field.

A couple days later, June 27th, the Yanks played an exhibition, the Mayor's Trophy game, against the Giants.  DiMaggio played.  His timing was off and he wanted 0-4, but he drew a walk, and he felt good.

Right afterwards, the Yanks headed up to Boston for a key series, up five games on the Sox.  DiMag wasn't going to go along, it was too quick.  But Toots kept working on him, kept telling him he might as well go on up to Boston, even striking out he'd look twice as good as those other crum bums...

DiMaggio allowed as maybe he'd go up there at least.  Suit up, see how he felt.  Maybe...

He caught a 3:15 flight to Boston, and went right to the clubhouse at Fenway.  Soon after, he gave Casey the nod.  He would play.  The Red Sox watched him limping as he warmed up on the sidelines and smiled to each other:  he wouldn't be running out any infield hits.

Leading off the second inning, his first at-bat of the season, he fouled off 6 straight pitches, then lined a single to left, touching off a three-run rally.  Next time up he hit a two-run homer, high over the Green Monster, for what would prove to be the winning run.

But he wasn't finished.  After a walk in the 8th, he clobbered Vern Stephens, the Boston shortstop, to not only break up a double-play, but also avenge the way the Sox had been trampling the Scooter.  In the bottom of the 9th, he tracked down a Ted Williams drive to the deepest part of Fenway, to secure a 5-4 Yankees win.

The next afternoon, he led a comeback from a 7-1 deficit, hitting a three-run homer in the 5th off ellis Kinder, then homering again in the 8th to put the Yanks up, 8-7, in what became a 9-7 win.

The day after that, a little biplane circled Fenway, trailing a banner that read, "THE GREAT DIMAGGIO." Mel Parnell hit him with a pitch his first time up.  But he hit another three-run homer in  the 7th, hit it off the light stanchion high above the wall, so hard that a metallic "clank" could be heard all around the ballpark, to make 3-2 game, 6-2, and secure a 6-3 win.

He'd finished with 9 ribbies in a series in which the Yanks score 19 runs, and gone 5-11, with 2 walks, that HBP, and 4 homers.

All in all, he played in 81 of the Yanks last 94 games, including the World Series—and despite a September flu that landed him in the hospital.  He hit .346 on the season, with a 1.055 OPS.  His team won the pennant by one game

Nobody said anything about him needing a whole spring training.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Greetings from the Yankees' training camp...

...Where they do such a fine job.

Shaving With Bill

And now it's time for another episode of "Shaving with Bill," in which we discuss the vital Yankees issues of the day with William of Occam, while he takes his morning shave with a straight razor.

So, Bill, another Yankee joins the DL IL.  What's it all about?  A curse?  Bad JuJu?  Karma?

Well, Sherman, I don't know the Yankees from an angel dancing on the head of a pin.  But all mystical speculation aside, the most obvious answer is this:  when over half your roster in on the IL, mostly due to routine injuries picked up in the course of daily stooball action, your training staff is out to lunch.


The actual ancestor of baseball.  You could look it up, as Casey used to say.

But what about injuries such as Severino's aching shoulder?

My point exactly.  Ah, dammit!  Gotta have the smithy sharpen this blade.  But look:  the training staff could not detect Sevvy's injured arm for over a half a season.  Then he managed to strain his late while in rehab.  Who has a training staff like this?  What makes you think they're any better about anything else?

But there is tremendous wear and tear on the players.

Sure.  It's a tough game.  Stooball was never like this in my day.  Just a nice mating ritual between milkmaids and stable boys.  The only time anyone tweaked a gonad was in the hayloft, if you know what I mean.  But all the more reason why you want to carefully monitor your players and their methods.

But we've never seen anything like this before.

Actually, your Yankees are notorious for not taking care of even their best talent.  If you'll recall, the great DiMaggio's debut was pushed back for weeks, back in 1936, because some quack in the clubhouse burned his heel with some newfangled device.  The chump wasn't even fired.  Then there was Mantle blowing the fastest recorded legs in major-league history because of an open sprinkler head.  Over 20 years later, albeit in another park, Elliott Maddox does the same thing.  Who's paying attention, people?

Boy, for a 13th-14th-century monk, you really know your baseball.

Hey, when you're dead you got a lot of time on your hands.

But listen, Mr. Logic:  if it's the training staff, how come this is Aaron Judge's third major injury in as many seasons?  Doesn't this just indicate that he's injury-prone?

He may well be, Sherman.  In fact, every outfielder the Yankees was counting on to make a major contribution this season—Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Frazier—has a disturbing history of injuries.

So how the hell are they supposed to guard against that?

Whoa, watch the language, boy!  Well, logic would dictate signing or trading for the best young outfielder they could find in the off-season.  Was such a player available?

Umm, well....

I mean, maybe the best player for his age in the history of the free-agent market?  Available just for the money, of which your Yankees have plenty?

I see your point.

"Harder it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven," son.  A wiser One than me said that.

Happy Easter, padre.

You too, Sherman.  And let's go Yankees.

Heath Fillmeyer looms on the horizon. You'd think it would be easy. Who's betting?

Today, the the once-mighty Royals of Kansas City - (last place in AL Central) - send out 25-year-old Heath Fillmyer to take on the Death Star, and - yes, I am a bit taken with the name. Heath Fillmyer... haha.

Few activities run more childish than mocking a name, but since when do we act mature? Heath Fillmyer. Haha. He's a mix of Slade Heathcott, Phil Linz and Randy Myers, with a melodious cadence that sticks to your teeth like a mouthful of Dots. Now and then, you must simply enjoy a sequence of sounds: Estevan Florial... Zolio Almonte... Gustavo Molina... Tucker Ashford... Mickey Klutts... Heath Fillmyer...

But here's the caveat. This afternoon, I suspect Mr. Fillmyer will do to the Yankees what most no-name pitchers with ERAs of 9.00 do: 

He'll confound our batters and pitch six to eight solid innings. He'll have the YES team raving about his arsenal of pitches, his command of the strike zone, and his future in the game. And then he'll vanish back to the Heartland, never to be heard from again.

I recognize that this is merely me carping anecdotal crapola. But damn.. it happens over and over. A pitcher nobody knows comes to Gotham, where the Yankees should be poised to beat him like a rented kettle drum, and he throws the game of his life. The juju gods love to do this to us. They make us think our problems are over, and that there is no way in the world we should lose a game... and then comes the pie in the face.

For the record, Heath Fillmyer is not a rookie. He pitched 82 innings last year, went 4-2. He has started two games this season, pitched 8 innings overall and given up eight earned runs. Eight earned runs. We - on the other hand - have won three of four, have Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, and are poised to reach the .500 mark for the first time since the sad first days of the season. Last night, might Tampa lost - (to Boston, unfortunately) - giving us the opportunity to pull within four games of first and the month of April behind us and maybe even go on a winning streak. Our Death Star should be fully functioning. 

But there's that name. Heath Fillmyer. What are the odds? Just sayin'...

Friday, April 19, 2019

So much for momentum, Yanks fall to another tomato can

Damn, it seemed so perfect... Who better to launch a winning streak against than Boston? The planets were lined up, the weather was breaking, our tweaked gonads were shrinking back to the size of kettle corn, the always-lovable KC and the Sunshine Band were coming to town - everything stood in place for a sweet little four-game sweep, while we sang "Shake Your Bootie" to the juju gods. You could feel it. Damn...

Then, nothing... We didn't show up. Not only that, we didn't call in sick. We didn't hold them in the first inning, we blew it in the third, we never figured out their starter, our bullpen topped it off with a floater in the punch bowl - a total team botch job. And to date, that sums up the 2019 Yankees. We fail a lot, and we fail together.

There are whispers growing in the back alleys of baseball that big-spending Boston could actually be in trouble - that its horrendous start portends weaknesses that won't vanish in May. That said, the Yankees are merely two victories away from being miserable Boston, (and we'll soon give them a chance at revenge in Fenway.) As an excuse, the Yankees point to the deluge of injuries, which transformed the bottom of their lineup into a Scranton-Wilkes Barre homecoming. We have yet to string together a decent winning streak, and it looks like none will happen in April, rainy April.

Tonight, we again turn to CC to staunch the malaise. He pitched well last week, so here's hoping that he can deliver his modern equivalent of a Koufaxian masterpiece: Six innings, maybe two runs. By September, his season will look like the redacted version of the Mueller Report - weeks and months blacked out here and there - as his past injuries check in to say hi. 

We stand 5.5 games behind the Devil Rays, who are 14-5, but suddenly without their best pitcher, Blake Snell. He idiotically fractured his toe the other day after stepping out of the shower and trying to move a granite table, which was bolted down. (Who bolts down a granite table, anyway? Isn't it heavy enough? If I had a pitcher like Snell, I wouldn't allow granite in the house; everything would be made of sponge, and he would wear bubble-wrap.) It crashed down on his foot, winning him the 2019 Henry Cotto Q-Tip Award for Darwinian Sport Survival.

Thank you, granite tables, everywhere. (Go ahead, Chris Sale, kick one!) We won't have to worry about Snell in our upcoming tussle with Tampa. But thanks to last night's blown opportunity, we must win the next three, or we'll suffer a split against lowly KC... at home. We are squandering an incredible opportunity to build a lead in the AL East. Another few games like last night, and the back alley whispering will be about us.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The ascent of Clint Frazier is shadowed by the fall of Greg Bird

Admit it: When Clint Frazier comes up, you don't go to the kitchen for more cheese curds. Right now, he is the most interesting Yankee, the marquee act after Aaron Judge. In each at-bat - even when he strikes out - he drives at least one ball hard. He's never over-matched, never looks lost, never appears fazed, never seems to worry. He's clearly capable of [REDACTED-REDACTED-REDACTED.] In this depleted lineup, he should be hitting third.

But but BUT... we've seen this movie before. Last year, it was the Luke Voit Story. Previously, we watched Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres arrive like tornadoes and then slowly settle into troubling cycles of normalcy - in some cases, which we're still trying to discern. (Exactly how good will Sanchez and Torres turn out to be?) Only Judge has managed to maintain his rookie hot streak (and, frankly, he batted below .200 in his first incarnation.) The sad and torturous collapse of Bird - now facing yet another bum hind paw - reminds us of what Yankee fan Hillary Clinton once said: It takes a village of prospects to raise one star player, because all the others will fall by the wayside.

But what about Frazier? Soon, pitchers will quit trying to throw fastballs by him. (As they were doing to Bird.) Soon, defenses will shift according to the mathematical progressions of his swing. Soon, some pitcher will figure out a weakness, and word of it will metastasize throughout the league. 

Much has been said about Frazier's two concussions last year, which defined his season and which still cloud his future. What has been overlooked is his output in Scranton: In 216 plate appearances, he hit .311 with 10 HRs - far improved over his previous season at Triple A (.256 and 12 HRs in 320 at-bats.) In his second go-around at Scranton, he was raking. 

This is technically his second approach to the majors. Like Judge, his first incarnation was less than spectacular. Do we dare dream about this guy? I dunno. He could be the next Shane Spencer. But when he comes up, I hold my water and watch.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Greg Bird is now an official Yankee punch line

Last night, our "fully operational Death Star" crushed poor, sickly, defenseless Boston. We smoked them, we pummeled them, we whipped them, we whupped them, we gave them measles, we shrank their polar caps, we eliminated their health insurance, we burned their cathedral (too soon?) we gave them bad Yelp reviews; we redacted them, unfriended them, ghosted them on Twitter, canceled their Coachella appearance, impeached them in our House of Representatives... it was glorious.

And if we lose tonight, WTF will we have accomplished? A frickin' split. A worthless piece of misappropriated hope, a tie in the first altercation of 2019 - but no; actually, we would suffer a symbolic loss, because the Redsocks are not only playing on the road, in our stadium, but they are staggering incoherently in a tomato can-level delirium. If we lose, they return to Boston knowing that, once again, they won the battle.

But... hey, a win is a win, right? One game at a time, right? An extra day for our 13 injured ghosts to heal, right? Even in a Robert Barr redacted version of the game, they still scored zero. Right?

Oh, idle one night of hope, what hath thou wrought? Dare I think these thoughts...

Maybe Mike Tauchman can cobble together a Hollywood month, hitting like Kevin Costner instead of William Bendix. He's up to .200! But what matters is whether Aaron Hicks' back is healing. Where's the box score to show Hicks in Tampa, swinging a bat? Soon.

Maybe Gio Urshela can hold down 3B for another few weeks, before the gaskets blow and he hits the Mendoza Line. The real question is whether Miguel Andujar can return this season, or if it's time for Cashman to trade prospects for some scrapheap re-enactment of Chase Headley. Yes, I'm sure Chase Headley has grabbed his glove and headed to YMCA. 

Maybe Clint Frazier is here to stay. Do we dare hope? He hasn't crashed into any walls in left field, but he hasn't exactly been Paul Blair, either. One of these days, Giancarlo Stanton will return, surely as the full-time DH. Then what? Does Frazier go in a trade? After all the waiting and hoping, he finally makes it to the Yankees and starts to hit... and then... what? Our outfield heals, and there is no place for him?

And finally... I believe that I speak for the entire Yankiverse in saying that Greg Bird is now officially a Yankee punch line, enshrined in the Monument Park of our collective bile streams, along with the likes of Carl Pavano, Kei Igawa, Javier Vazquez and Jesus Montero. There is no coming back from another Bird foot injury, not with this team and in this town. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me six times, what the fuck is wrong with me? 

If Cashman needs a 3B, Bird must be part of the package. And for God's sake, Yankees, win tonight!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Could The Yankees Actually Lose Gio Gonzalez?

There is an opt-out clause in the minor league deal Gio signed with the Yankees, giving him the chance to return to free agency if the Yankees don't call him up by Saturday.

Talk about another body blow?

Yesterday, Bird goes down with plantar fasciitis (remember when he was caught " gimping " his way to first, trying to beat out a ground ball?).

 Now, we could lose Gio?

 This 33 year old would actually be selling aluminum siding if he weren't left-handed.

If we lose Gio, so goes the season, say I.

My 85 win prediction goes south.

P.S.  I finally got a taker on my $100 bet...some syndicate from Nigeria wants in ( they will take the Yankees, but I have to send $10,000 to an address in Nigeria as " good faith' deposit for the bet. ).

Anyone want a piece?

Bye-bye Birdie

Wally Pippetone?

The feet of Greg Bird have failed him again.

Mike Ford is the new Luke Voit.

It's going to be a long season.

On this day of reckoning, a tale to claim the Yankees' moral high ground

On this glorious day, as we recount the Redsocks' list of treacheries, it is time for the Yankees to reclaim our moral high ground. And here is just such a story:

After years of holding the line, the Yankees recently waived their no-long hair policy for a minor league pitcher named Tyler Johnson. The reason: He's been going his hair long to make a wig for his mom, a cancer patient. 

Bravo for Tyler Johnson. Bravo for the Yankees front office. Would the big-spending Redsocks have done such a thing? Hell no! For starters, they couldn't - they don't have a hair policy. So, they wouldn't have lifted a finger. So there!

Best of luck to Tyler Johnson and his mom. Bravo!

Why we fight: The eternal battle against Boston's Army of the Dead resumes tonight

Tonight, we once again battle the big-spending, hate-filled, deep-state Redsocks - a franchise steeped in racism and violence, which for decades preferred to blame its defeats on a supernatural, anti-God, anti-America "curse," rather than its own failed policies.

These are horrible, wretched, human beings, the absolute worst, whose treasonous attempts to hurt the Yankees are an attack upon America. These monsters in human form should be investigated by MLB and made examples of, by spending the rest of their lives in prison, where they can't do any more damage. They are enemies of the people, and the mere wearing of their illegal "B" caps in public represents a breakdown of basic morality and an affront to our democracy.

Did I mention that they are liars, and anything they say - such as denying the above words - proves everything I'm saying is right! Trouble is, the Boston-leaning announcers on YES never give the Yankees a break. Did you know that the traitorous David Cone, at the end of his career, sold out and pitched for Boston? 

Tonight, as we take up arms against this red tide of human scum, we must show them that we have not forgotten their evil history.

Red Sox complicity in U.S. torture flights

They fed their own fans prison food

They're bigger racists than Joe Torre ever was

Their groundskeepers are thugs

Varitek clawed A-Rod's face, kept his own mask on

Schilling poured ketchup on his sock, called it blood

They decapitate their players when they're done with them

Big Papi had it in for Joba for no reason

They tried to freeze-out John and Suzyn.

They can't lose a game without whining about something.

Damn them. Demand that the pro-Redsock YES announcers give the Yankees a fair break! Tonight, we fight.

The spread is now 300

Right now, Mike Ford is hitting exactly 300 points higher than Greg Bird, .471-.171.

His OPS is 479 points higher, 1.029-.550.

Take way 200 points from each for the difference between the majors and the minors, and you're still talking about a much superior ballplayer.

When the hell do we pull the trigger?

Monday, April 15, 2019

Quick Question...

Now that Giancarlo Stanton is back working with a batting tee, do the Yankees keep records of his strikeouts?

Wanna Bet ??

I don't know a single Yankee fan who is willing to bet $100 that the Yankees will beat the red sox tomorrow.  

Do you?

Oh Dear God

The New York Times reported today that The Ace, James Paxton, has supposedly been tipping his pitches.

Forget for a moment that "tipping his pitches" is now Yankeespeak for, "has suffered a career-ending injury."

The Ace, James Paxton—who, let us not forget, was called "Pettitte times five" by John Smoltz—went on to say that "he has been somewhat overwhelmed by the outsized expectations—his own."

“I think just getting that under control and realizing it’s the same game. I think I’ve been trying to do too much, trying to be better than what I am. I realized I’m good enough being who I am or who I was in Seattle.”

Asked if had "the stomach" for his first start as a Yankee against the Red Sox, The Ace, James Paxton replied:

“I’m sure I’ll be a little nervous going in, having it be my first experience being a part of this rivalry.”

No problem, because we all remember how Andy "One-Fifth Paxton" Pettitte used to say how nervous he was to be pitching in New York and against the Red Sox.

I'm not sure I have the stomach for this...

Close your eyes, and it's 2013 again

In 2013, the excuse was injuries. The Grandyman vanished in spring training. A-Rod and Tex soon followed, and from there, the season morphed into Judy Collins singing "Send in the Clowns."

It spawned the first Chernobyl-level meltdown of the Hal Steinbrenner Era - (we finished third, 12 games out, no post-season, with this memorable lineup inscribed into posterity.) Amazingly, and tellingly, nobody in the front office ever paid a price. The supposed offspring of George Steinbrenner, a man who discarded management suits like chewing gum, made no changes at the top. Nor did he when the Yankees missed the playoffs in 2014. Or when they eeked out a 2015 Wild Card appearance, only to lose. Or in 2016, when they finished fourth out of fifth.

Why no turnovers? It's because of the courage of the front office, in that they never blame injuries.

Nope. They refuse to lower themselves to such a perch. In fact, they announce that right off the bat that, under no circumstances, would they ever blame the unexpected, overwhelming tsunami of injuries that this team has endured. Absolutely never! Injuries are a part of the game, they say, and that's why they built this team with depth - deep, double-deep, down-down depth - so injuries would never be a factor. Of course, nobody could have imagined such a rain of injuries - nobody! But no, the Yankees will not blame injuries, nor will they ever fall prey to such an excuse. The Yankees never make excuses. So, no... they will not blame the injuries. Uh-uh.

Of course, now that you mention it, this has been more than simply a wave of injuries. It's a deluge! And it's shocking - shocking! - to lose Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury and Troy Tulowitzky - the Iron Foursome of Invulnerability! - simultaneously! Why, who could have imagined that these famed workhorses of war would miss one minute, much less a few months? 

So... here we are, languishing at 6-9, nearly six games behind Tampa in the AL East, and the season ahead looks like a dirt road heading to a containment pond. It's only April, yet we're already NOT making excuses like it's September. Tomorrow, we await our first trial by Boston, a team that has simply played poorly.

We have faced one team likely to finish above .500 this year: the Astros swept us. We have played tomato cans - Baltimore, Detroit and the White Sox - and been beaten, embarrassed, at home. Our lineup yesterday featured three career minor leaguers - (Higgy, Tauchman, Urshela) - four batting below .210 - (Higgy, Voit, Gardy, Tauchman) - and a glove man - (LeMahieu) - leading off. Our vaunted bullpen has been cringe-worthy. Our best starter right now is CC Sabathia, who is likely to pitch - what? - a hundred innings this year?

Yeah, it's early. But it feels like September.

September of 2013. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Another First For Cooperstown Cashman!

Yes, it is the first time since 1982 that the Yankees have lost their first series at home!

That was the miserable "Year of the Three Managers," the Yankees' only losing season between 1973 and 1989.  The year they finished 79-83. fifth in their division.


Before that?  You have to go back to 1913, the Yanls' first season as tenants in the Polo Grunds, when they went 57-94, good for 7th place in an 8-tea league.

Did I say uh-boy?

The Beginning of the End

No, not for the Yankees.  That came this off-season, with "The Commitment to Mediocrity."

I'm talking today's "Mexico Series" ESPN game between the Cards and the Reds.

There, right there on the side of the Cardinals' helmets, was printed the name of one of the Series sponsors:  "Ford."

This is so typically MLB, of course, trying out the idea of uni ads in a game played in Monterrey.

But you watch, this is just the camel's nose under the tent.  Soon, we will have to watching a great, steaming pile of camel dung with every game.

Five years from now, sponsor names will be as ubiquitous on MLB uniforms as they now are on European soccer unis.  Ten years from now, the players will look like racing car drivers.  And look for more ads to pop up on the bases, in the outfield, on gloves.

Combine that with the in-game TV ads, the tedious state of play, and the dreary length of most games and you have to start wondering who will watch this game.

Well, if the Yankees had to pick an era to tank, maybe it's just as well that it's now.  It will spare us having to watch all this crap—never mind the mound moved back, starting extra-innings with a runner on second, "openers," etc., etc.....

"Any real Yankees purist should be rooting for CanĂ³ to make it to the World Series..."

So says a Joggy-lover...

Do you agree?

When Sabathia pitches well, the Yankees are transformed (but that's the problem)

Ladies and gentlemen, we ask you to rise, remove your caps and join the IT IS HIGH color guard in center field for a moment of reflection, as we salute America... 

Let us cease our incessant bickering, dickering, finger-pointing and caterwauling, and observe the magnificent gift that Mr. CC Sabathia bestowed upon us yesterday: A fully operational time-machine, which whisked us back to 2009, the last great year to be a Yankee fan. 

Ahh, 2009... Nobody had ever heard of Daenerys Targaryen, or Instagram, or Kickstarter, or driver-less cars, or avocado toast. The Rooskies were our enemy, and the Canadians were our pals. And CC Sabathia was the man we could always count on to break a Yankee losing streak.

Yesterday: Five innings, one hit, no runs. And the end of a four-game barf.

When Sabathia pitches well, the planets line up, the juju gods stand down, and the Yankees play the way Yankees are supposed to play. All is well, regardless of who is perched on the Injured List. 

Trouble is, when CC is hurt, or compromised, or simply pitching poorly, the Yankees revert to being a team with a five-inning starter going tick-tick-tick, while its overly ballyhooed bullpen tries to diffuse the bomb with a claw hammer. And no matter how well he pitched yesterday, it's not 2009, the White Walkers have breached The Wall, the Mother of Dragons cannot save us, and we can never go back.

The fact is, CC was slightly out-pitched yesterday by Ivan Nova, a guy the Yankees dealt for Stephen Tarpley, (who was sent to Scranton the previous night.) In the 2016 midsummer meltdown sale, we traded Supernova for whatever we could get - (the human bowling ball, Tito Polo, was also acquired; he's now rolling around in the Mariners Triple A outfield.) Over the last three years with the Pirates, Nova compiled a 3.99 ERA - a performance that would have made him our fourth starter. (He certainly would have topped Michael Pineda, who is currently 2-0 with the Twins.) But it wouldn't have mattered. We still wouldn't have won a damn thing. 

Still, one karmic quality of being a Yankee fan is that all great Bombers eventually receive a final day in the sun. For some, it comes on Old-Timers Day, and - for sure - CC will receive a thunderous ovation next summer, when his name is called, and he hobbles - bone on bone in his power knee - to the mound to doff his cap.

But yesterday, he made us remember how great a Yankee he has been. Now comes the hard part. You may now put on your caps and sit. WAIT A MINUTE, DAMMIT, WHO OUT THERE WAS TAKING A KNEE?

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Everybody Used to Be Stupid. Now Everybody Is Smart.

Picking up on posts by JM and Anon today, I think we are indeed seeing the misuse of statistics—Sabermetriciousness!—on the Yanks, particularly when it comes to the ongoing practice of batting Judge in the No. 2 spot.

Why is it that, for over a century, power hitters like Judge always batted in the 3-5 slots?  Was everybody just stupid then?

The Sabermetricious argument is, hey, put your best OBP hitter up as often as possible.  But this is just how you fool yourself with stats.

Judge has an excellent OBP in part because pitchers are reluctant to pitch to him.  But if you keep him in the 3 or 4 holes, and put good OBP guys ahead of him, it's all the more likely they'll be FORCED to pitch to him, with guys on base.

Put him in the 2-slot, and they'll be all the more likely to pitch AROUND him—PARTICULARLY if there is 1 out and nobody on (the usual state of affairs with Gardner hitting first), and the likes of Voit and/or Bird hitting after him.

Of course, that will make Judge's OBP even BETTER, thereby leading Coops and co. to conclude that they made the right move.

Voila—this is how you lie to yourself with statistics.

In fairness to the Saber-inclined, one of the problems here is the Yanks are going half-Saber.  There's simply no way under any system that Gardy, with his .298 OBP and his 2 stolen bases this year, should be hitting first.

Bird/Voit should not be hitting so high in the lineup either.  BUT, with your big power/RBI committed to the No. 2 hole, the Yanks don't have much choice there.

A much better idea would be to put LeMahieu, who is hot right now and always was a better percentage hitter than Gardy, and maybe Torres in the 1-2 slots, with Judge following.

That will assure Judge of getting many more good pitches to hit, and while his OBP might go down a little, he will produce many more runs.

Why do the Yankees—and so many statheads—have so much trouble seeing this?

The best OBP guys on, say, the 1927 Yankees were Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  Miller Huggins did NOT bat them 1-2.  Instead, he put Hall of Famer Earle Combs there, a guy with a .414 OBP that year, and a relatively high 62 walks and 15 stolen bases.  Combs scored 137 runs.

True, not everybody was always this smart—or blessed with the likes of Earle Combs.  Marse Joe McCarthy in the 1930s and Ralph Houk in the 1960s insisted on putting guys like Frankie Crosetti and Bobby Richardson, respectively, in the leadoff spot—players who mostly hit singles, for not so high an average (Though at his best, Cro DID draw a lot of walks, and stole a fair number of bases.)

But by the 1980s, the Yanks were back to putting Don Mattingly and the other power bats, such as Winfield and Baylor, in the 3-5 slots, with Rickey Henderson, Best Leadoff Man Ever, leading off.  The results were spectacular.

Similarly, in the Last Dynasty, the Yanks led off with Knoblauch and Jeter, then followed with Paulie-Bernie-Tino.

Sure, this strategy was marred because Chuckie could not resist swinging for the Yankee Stadium fences, but he still drew a relatively large number of walks and stole bases, and scored 117 runs in 1998, and 120 in 1999, before his mind and his game completely blew out.  (I don't mean to be flippant about this; what happened to the Knobber was truly sad.)

So, while even smart baseball guys made mistakes and didn't fully realize what the statistics should have been telling them, were they all stupid?  Are Coops and his minions geniuses?

Look at how this offense functions, and how this Yankees team plays, and you be the judge.


This Holy Father says;

1.  CC will not make it through 4 innings.
2.  ( Fill in this blank yourselves.)
3.  The bullpen will give up the game.
4.  Another tweak will be mentioned.
5. Altar boys can come to my summer camp.

 I am truly hopeful that the Yankees are destined to lose out the season. 

 Winning will not be good for this team.

Looking for offensive surge, Yankees load up with big lefty bats

Feast your eyes on today's lineup against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs Chicago White Sox. 

The current Yankees are a tomato can

Last night, in a confluence of crapola and karma, Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman happened to be talking to the media as the game was called - his fully-operational Death Star losing yet another. The Yankee brain trust chalked up the latest monstrosity to bad "mojo," too cowardly to utter the real word, "juju." 

Cashman tossed the following word salad: 

“We have people who are capable, it is just a combination of, yes, are we hurt? We are are hurt, but we are still capable. But we have a lot of poor play going on simultaneously on the current active roster.”

Translation: Hummina-hummina-hummina.

What Cashman overlooked was the Yankees' winter strategy of pursuing cheap knock-offs to expensive merchandise. While the 36-year-old J.A. Happ was being pummeled by the lowly Chisox, Patrick Corbin was pitching for the Washington Nats. Corbin held the Pirates to one run in seven innings, lowering his spring ERA to 2.84. Corbin, a native of North Syracuse, wanted to be a Yankee. All winter, that was the word around Central New York: the Yankees merely had to make him a decent offer, and he would sign. And the franchise could draw upon a virtually limitless mountain of private and public cash, finagled by corrupt politicos and the simple magnitude of billionaire wealth. It would simply be a few more gold coins on a bubbling volcano of money so vast it can only be seen with a telescope on Mars. But the Yankees went cheap. They went cheap because they wanted to be cheap. And last night, cheap is what we saw. 

Hey, it's almost Easter: Cheap, cheap, cheap...

Of course, it's still early. That's what they say. It's only April. A 20-game winning streak will change everything. And yes, this team has faced a Biblical rain of locusts, snakes and tweaked gonadal sacs. So horrifying are the injury reports that, any day now, I expect to hear that Aaron Judge stepped on a crack, broke his mother's back, and will miss a month. But last night's loss wasn't just a case of poor play. What we saw was a flat-out lousy team. Aside from Judge, here is what we sent out:

A career minor leaguer at 3B, an unknown commodity at DH, a career-back up at C, a slap-hitting 2B, a 2B playing SS, a LF playing CF, a disappointment at 1B, a mystery in LF, an aging starter in his career twilight, a bullpen in distress and a manager known for his easy-going style.

Boston is creeping up on us. At this rate, they'll overtake us next week, in our own stadium - just like last year. 

Listen: Cashman is right; it's a long season. But April might not be a mere bump in the road. We're seeing what we designed, with a little bad juju. We may be facing a meltdown season. Hummina-hummina-hummina.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Your Manny and Bryce Report

The night is bitter
The stars have lost their glitter
The winds grow colder
Suddenly your team is older
And all because of the men who got away...

So campers, time for your first Manny and Bryce report!

Bryce Harper has really been a dynamo for those 7-4 Phillies.  Four home runs in his first 35 at-bats, a league-leading 13 walks and .500 OBP; and a mere, 1.243 OPS.

Hey, Babe Ruth ran up a higher OPS than that SIX TIMES!  Loser!  I would much rather have Michael Tuchman.

Meanwhile, Manny is hitting a mere .245!  But he does have 3 homers, and an .811 OPS.  And the Padres are in first place.

In the field, Manny has a 1.000 FA on 42 chances.  At third base, which he supposedly was unwilling to play.

But WE have Gio Urshela, who everyone in the booth assures us is a WIZARD with the glove!  And who currently has 1 error in 15 chances.  And is batting .200.  With 1 ribbie and no homers.

And that's our report for today!  Be sure to tune in for the next one.  We'll be bringing these to you for  only the next 13 years!

(Where do you think Michael Tauchman will be by then?)

The road gets rougher
The teams you play are tougher
With hope you burn up
The Higgy shows up
There's just no let up 
The live long night and day—

To The Rescue ....

CC Sabathia.



He'll go 4 innings.

As long as we score 10, we have a shot.

Otherwise, the losing streak goes on.

And let me say this;  it is practically impossible to lose to the White Sox.

They have only won three games !

So I say...just keep losing.

If the streak becomes " record level," someone is going to focus on somebody.

The blame will find an underperforming human.

My Mom Is On Vacation.....

So she asked me to swim over for awhile.

Happily, I get to announce the Gary Sanchez news...10 days on the injured list.

Why?  Legs are fat and tight.  Affecting his swing and his foot speed ( swan laughter ).

So Romine moves to number one and Kyle Hyaghashoki ( I ....the black swan....never finished fifth grade, so I don't spell well ) moves closer to fame.

This Yankee line-up is terrifying.

Mr.  Boone; what sayeth you?

Swan guess : " injuries happen in baseball.  Next man up.  No one is going to feel sorry for us."

The problem? It's pitching, pitching, pitching, and the Yankees don't have it

As we wait for Gary Sanchez to go on the Injury List - seriously, folks, should we not expect it? - yesterday's day off provides a chance to wonder why the Yankees are 5-7, and running out of tomato cans to play.  

Of course, it's injuries! Yeah, that's the ticket! (Though it's strained in the case of Troy "Youkilis" Tulowitzky.) But Yankee ERA's have exploded like Measles in Manhattan (great name for a rock band, btw.) Wanna see a black hole? Who needs NASA? Feast your eyes on these stats. 

Hint: The mystery unfolds at the bottom. There, Mean Chad Green has turned into the Green New Deal - his ERA rising like methane above the Siberian permafrost. Aside from a 1-2-3 inning against lowly Detroit, he's been whacked like Trump's palace guards, and Houston torched him for three runs in an otherwise win-able game. Two years ago, Green's ERA stood at 1.83. Last year it jumped to 2.50. He wasn't the same player. Now? Let's just say his career arc resembles that of - uh oh - Tommy Kahnle. 

Speaking of Kahnle, he's suffered punishing outings after looking good in spring training. Last year, his fastball went soft, leading to a Summer in Scranton (another rock band name, btw.) Same with Jonathan Holder: They don't look like last year's model. Add to this army of the dead the venerable Zack Britton, whose "Power Sinker" (heavy metal band) drew raves from the YES team the other night, moments before the Astros gutted him. No matter how you slice it, the world's greatest bullpen has been a bust. 

But wait, there's also "Big Maple" Paxton. You can always tell when the Yankees are disappointed in someone, because their Baghdad Bob spokespeople will note how the player they traded has turned out to be a bust. In this case, Justus Sheffield has been pounded at Triple A - one game, four innings, four runs. Expect the YES team to solemnly (but joyously) remind us of this until Justus improves.

(By the way, Sonny Gray might prove to be an AJ Burnett exception. In two games, Sonny's ERA is 2.89. Ahh, but last night, he left a game in Cincinnati after being hit by a come-backer. He might be hurt. Haha! Cashman strikes again! Haha!)

And, of course, there is JA Happ. As long as the Yankees have him, we technically cannot be "hapless." Maybe he'll get it together. But he's 36 and throws fastballs. So Maybe He Won't (girls' emo rock band.) And that's the best analysis I've got for the most critical element of 2019. Maybe yes, maybe no. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Who Will The yankees Sweep Next?

Something there is that doesn't love a broom:

Is it possible that the Yankees won't win another game?

It could happen, folks.

We can't hit, strike out all the time, bungle throws, get picked off base, turn outs into doubles, convert potential assists into opponent runs, show little hustle or desire, and have most of our long-term contract, big money players in the hospital or chewing pumpkin seeds and watching.

We might have just initiated the longest losing streak in league history.

We should sew a broom emblem on our sleeves.  Like the lightening bolt in " The Natural."  Provide a memory chip for losing.

I could not sleep last night because of this vision;

Frazier had unleashed a perfect throw to third base, well ahead of the runner, to the awaiting Yankee pitcher who was covering the bag.  Out of nowhere, Torres raced over and caught the ball rolling, due to his momentum, toward the third base coaching box.  The pitcher tagged the runner only to discover that he did not, in fact, have the ball.  Torres had it, which allowed the runner to be safe.

It was an athletic play by Torres that was:

1.  Unnecessary
2.  Proved he wasn't looking
3.  Totally fucked up the play
4.  Made the Yankees look like un-coached clowns.
5.  Embarrassed the franchise.
6.  Made all the highlight reels ( for the opposing team and the red sox).

I am ordering 11,000 brooms from Taiwan.  Send me your orders.

Free shipping from Amazon.

The Yankees don't seem to understand: Yes, it can happen here

Yesterday, humanity caught its first-ever glimpse into the event horizon of destiny... the death of a distant star... the angry eye of God... a black hole.

This calls for a Hal Steinbrenner joke, but let's not. Nope. Instead, let's stare hard into the amazing Polaroid Instamatic to the right and recognize it as a taillight of the Tampa Rays, vanishing off into the distance of the Yankees' 2019 season. So long, hope. It was fun, while we knew ye.

Wait a minute, you think. It's early, it's early, it's early... 

No it isn't. Listen: We hot tubbed all winter, assuring ourselves that the owner - eternally rich, as Forbes just reminded us - was pretending to sleep through the auctions for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. When it became clear that the Yankees would not spend their money, much of the Yankiverse actually sided with the Steinbrenners, rooting for the billionaires to save more money. (How is it that fans should feel that way? My best guess: The Stockholm Syndrome?)

Here at IIH, we cursed the cosmos. But few of us foresaw a 2019 Yankees train wreck. Our aggregate projections stand at 93 wins, which could win the AL East. Even now, we tell ourselves it's a long season, and this wave of injuries will eventually even-out. But these Yankees were always a dangling chandelier, and it's time to wonder if 2019 could be killed by tweaks and tears.

And here's the rub: We knew this was likely to happen.

Ten days ago, when he went down, Giancarlo Stanton was supposed to miss only 10 days. He is now starting to swing a bat. Throughout his time in Miami, injuries were the most consistent part of Stanton's game. As soon as the Marlins received a healthy season, they traded him. We knew. 

Last summer, Luis Severino fell off the table. He went from a Cy Young candidate to a guy who couldn't go five in a playoff game. Clearly, something was wrong. Now, he's out with a shoulder strain - an extinction event for power pitchers. They won't say it aloud, but the Yankees must be wondering if he'll throw a pitch this season, or what kind of pitcher he'll be, if he returns. We knew.

Troy Tulowitzky looks like a dream. The Yankees observed a two-day workout, and then decided to balance the season on him. Why? Simple: He was cheap. We needed him to last three months. He didn't last a home stand. But who should have been surprised by this? We knew.

Miguel Andujar was going to be our break-out star. Now, he's lobbing balls in the outfield, hoping his slightly torn shoulder will let him - what? - play 3B? Are you serious? The big issue of spring training was whether Miggy could make accurate throws from third. If he can return - we hope so - will he be a DH? If so, his presence ricochets throughout the lineup, forcing Stanton to play LF, sending Clint Frazier back to Scranton, along with Bird or Voit (looks like Bird.) We didn't know this could happen. But now we do. 

With the exception of Andujar, none of these injuries were unexpected. Aaron Hicks had never played a full season for us. God knows when he'll return, and what kind of hitter he'll be. James Paxton's problem in Seattle? Injuries. Aroldis Chapman's big concern? The knee. Brett Gardner? Wear and tear. CC? Just his cardiac stent, that's all. Yeesh.

Meanwhile, one question looms increasingly loud: Is Tampa for real? The 10-3 Rays are once again showing how a small market team competes with big-spending Boston and Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman. Tommy Pham is one of the most exciting players in baseball. Austin Meadows, 23, is right behind him. Blake Snell is the reining MVP. They are young and hungry - the opposite of us.

If Tampa is for real, the Yankees are playing for a Wild Card, an act that has become tedious. We keep telling ourselves, It's early, It's early, It's early... but that taillight in the distance gets no closer. We sit on the brink of disaster. One or two injuries could turn 2019 into 2013 - the year of Pronk and Overbay.

All winter, we waited for the Yankees to play their cards. Instead, they counted their money. This calls for a Hal Steinbrenner joke. Trouble is, none of them are funny. 

Behold, the Birth of a New Statistic!

Yes, here it is folks!  Much like the birth of a new star.

A new statistic is needed to fully convey the awfulness of the Yankees bullpen this year.

Now, going by conventional statistics, the pen this year is 1-4, with a 3.97 ERA, 2 saves and 3 blown saves.

Pretty bad, right?  Not nearly the Greatest Bullpen What Ever Was.  But still:  just run-of-the-mill, bad week in August in bad.

With my new statistic, though—Collective Bullpen W/L—you get to understand the FULL,unmitigated disaster that our 2019 Arson Squad really is.

With CollBull, your pen gets a "win" if it enters with your team tied or behind, and pitches it to a win—OR if you enter with a lead and preserve it.

Your pen get a collective loss not ONLY if it gives up the official losing runs, but also if it comes in with the other team in the lead, and gives up so many more runs that your comeback falls short.

For instance, in the Yanks' first loss to the Orioles, the pen came in with the Yanks losing, 2-1.  They gave up 3 runs—in a game the Yankees ended up losing, 5-3.  In their second loss to the O's, the pen came in with the Yanks trailing, 4-3, and gave up 3 runs in a 7-5 loss.

Officially, those are 2 losses for the starters, and the relievers don't even get a blown save.

In CollBull, that's 2 losses–for the pen.

ALSO—if the pen comes in, gives up a lead, but your hitters rally to win the game?  That's STILL a loss for the relievers.

For instance, last Saturday—which now seems about a century ago—the pen coughed up a 3-2 lead, but was bailed out by Clint's 3-run homer.

It's STILL a loss for the pen under CollBull.

So, how is the Arson Squad according to CollBull in 2019?

Well, with tonight's debacle, in failing to bail out Paxton the Ace, the CollBull W/L dropped to 1-8.

That's right, our pen has been so dreadful it has even more losses than the team does on the season.  The only legitimate save they had was in beating Detroit, 3-1.

Every other time, the pen has failed to do its job.

I have to go and patent this now.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Masked by tomato cans in the early going, the Yankees now look terrible against a real team

If last night's loss were penned by Shakespeare, the money line would be simple: "Et tu, Gardy?"

Yes, to bleat or not to bleat; that is the question. Thus far in 2019, everyone's favorite Yankee has pulled a Felicity Huffman. His .195 average serves to remind us that last year, Gardy not only lost his lead-off spot in the lineup, but by mid-September he was riding the bench, replaced by Andrew McCutcheon in left.  Last night, Gardy embarrassed himself and humanity by failing to run out a bunt, handing Houston a critical DP. It killed us. He also bobbled a ball in CF - where he looks mystified - letting an Astro take an extra base. At bat, he went 0-3 with a walk and strikeout. Right now, when he comes to the plate, 'tis no method to his madness.

Gardy's screw-ups have set the tone. Throughout our sweep against lowly Baltimore, the Yankees botched routine plays like Lucille Ball devouring chocolates on a speeded-up assembly line. Our base-running was horrible, and if not for Chris Davis appearing in key moments, like the Mothman, we could have blown at least two afternoons. The fact is, the Yankees have lost two winnable games in Houston and look like a team in a leaderless fog. Is it too early for a water cooler to get demolished?

Last night, you saw the malaise everywhere:

Austin Romine botched two pitches, letting runners advance in key situations. If it were Gary Sanchez, we'd be screaming. WTF is wrong with Romine? Is he passed his sell date? His hitting will not justify poor defense. 

Thrill-a-minute Cliff Frazier clanked on two sinking liners in left field, both catchable balls. They changed the course of the game. We suddenly face a new question: Is Frazier's glove too much of a liability... even if he hits?

The 2019 Yankee Hall of Fame Super-Mega-Bullpen of the Century (TM) again flopped. Somehow, the Yankees this spring gas-lighted us into believing a) all our pitchers will return in top form, and b) we are baseball's only team with a slew of flame-throwers. Not only does our bullpen look average, but with El Chapo and Zack Britton showing signs of age, we face a season where no lead can ever be truly safe. And that's not counting the roller-coaster ride known as Dellin Betances, who will soon add to the late innings chaos. A tweak here or there, and this vaunted bullpen could be a problem spot.

Of course, yesterday's real lead was what we've suspected all along: Luis Severino won't be back in May, his shoulder is an enigma, and any return date announced by the Yankees is crapola. He could miss months. He could miss the year. The fate of this season hangs in an MRI, and even then, we won't know what to believe, because the Yankees commonly lie. 

Of course, a half-solution awaits our call. The former Yankee killer, Dallas Keuchel, remains unsigned. With Severino now on the official Yankee Terror List, the reasons why Cooperstown Cashman won't sign Keuchel should be scrawled in blood and hammered into the mast of our sinking whaler.  

We won't sign Keuchel because: 1. Money doesn't grow on trees! 2. There's no room with the great Luis Cessa and Domingo German! 3. We've already signed Gio Gonzalez! 4. We're a few games ahead of Boston! 5, Why sign a free agent why you can trade prospects? 6. Luis Severino has destroyed our faith in players; it's all his fault. 

Yep. That will be new message. Blame Severino, because he signed a big contract and then got hurt. It's always their fault. Right now, the Yankees can put forth only one real hope for 2019: It's early, and all the crap has landed on us at once. Et' tu, Boonie?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I think we should assume....

1.  That Severino will need an extended rest, followed by failure, followed by surgery, followed
 by 1-2 years of more extended rest.

2.  That Hicks is done.

3.  That Andujar will "dick around" trying to avoid surgery, play and fail, and have the procedure.     
Gone for the season...maybe more.

4.  That neither Bird nor Voit will hit much over 200.

5.  That Sanchez will not be hitting big homers against quality pitching.

6.  That the Yankees have the worst hitting and pitching coaches in the league, and are planning to do nothing about it.

7.  That Jordan Montgomery will appear in September, and throw about 70 mph.

8.  That Gardy will burn out, due to effort and too much playing timer in CF.

9,  That Stanton will remain a bum, who kills rallies by striking out and hitting the ball into double plays.

10.  That Judge will be "pitched around" all season, recording an outlandish number of walks.

11.  That Tulo is already done and Didi will have a wasted year, even if he returns this season.

12.  That Mike Tauchman ( is that his name ?) will remain all season, and hit about .185 with no power.

13.  That Tyler Wade will establish himself as " great glove, no bat."

14.  That Cashman will win GM of the year, despite ruining the farm system and trading away prospects for no names.

15.  That Clint Frazier will surprise us or fail.

16.  That we won't be playing after the regular season ends.