Monday, April 15, 2019

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. 


TheWinWarblist said...

No a dollar, not a thin dime ...

13bit said...

Amen, Winnie.

As for not stooping to blame it on injuries, that's just a fallacious way of the Yankees NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILTY for maintaining an awful scouting department, conditioning staff, and front office. It's a way to leave in place a horrible manager and GM. It's a way to not have consequences for your actions.

There will be a press conference eventually, maybe not until September, where Cashman will allude to injuries. Then, being the big man that he is, he'll utter some other blather, pull up his boots, tighten his jockstrap and "look ahead" to 2020.

I'm not planning to listen to many games at this point. I got my first Sirius satellite radio many years ago so that I would never miss a moment of Yankee baseball while on the road. Now? I'd rather listen to old Clash albums, dub, Mozart, local talk radio. ANYTHING but those assholes who shill the cheapest, most inept team in sports (Knicks excluded).

JM said...

Bit, keep in mind that this is very likely the last year for Suzyn and Sterling. It won't make you listen to all the games, but maybe a few extra.

YES coaxed Singleton back for another year, but then what? If they could get rid of Kay and find another partner for Cone and Leiter, I'd be happy-ish with that.

Question: is it possible to put a GM on the IL?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...



Publius said...

Really think J&S won't be back? Yes, it's the last year of this contract but they've been signing two year deals for a while now. John's up over 80 bit still in remarkably good voice, still calls a good game. His shortcomings are the same as ever. Can't hear any appreciable decline. They really should let him do it until he doesn't want to anymore, including a Scully like attenuation where he doesn't do long haul road trips (Vin wasn't leaving California near the end, and might have only done home games in the last couple years). John's earned it. I might be tempted to reconsider if the successors were John Sadak and Darren Headrick, who called RailRiders games for a few years a few years ago. Great team, always a great broadcast. But they have moved on. An interchangable corporate baritone will come to the Yankees airwaves in due time. Let's hope it's not too soon.

Anonymous said...

LeMahieu has been getting a lot of hits, but he has very little punch in that bat--don't count on a high slugging percentage. And his defense looks average. And he's SLOW. He seems like the kind of guy who excels on mediocre teams but does not have the athleticism--speed and power--to propel a penant contender. Call him the annual winner of the Chase Headley memorial trophy.

Greg Bird will never be a player.

Urshela is one of Cashman's premier stupidities: a guy who has NEVER been deemed a major league talent by anyone, anywhere, until this year, by . . . Cashman, for reasons no one can divine. He sucks.

Meanwhile, Tyler Wade, the team's best defensive second baseman and fastest runner, mostly languishes on the bench, still never having received a meaningful tryout with the team.

And Cashman's prize lefty acquisitions--Happ and Paxton--look like aging plodders in the grand Cashman tradition of culling the scrap heaps of other clubs for those just hitting the downside of the hill--while demoting a dynamic young talent like Loiaisiga, who looks like he would give the team better innings than either of his cherished thirty-somethings.

Brett Gardner is finished as an effective major league player and should never have been signed--a eclipse of sound baseball sense by soggy sentiment. He'll be lucky to hit more than .200, his legs are tired, and his defense mediocre. He should be released--Tauchman, with regular reps, would be a better alternative.

Judge is off to a decent start, but he's not pulling the ball. What's up with that?

Wait for this soggy mess of a roster continue to sink in the AL East. But it should be an exciting race with Baltimore once again--this time a race to the bottom, with Baltimore inching upwards with young talent and the Yankees sinking under the weight of Cashman's invincible stupidity.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Lost in yesterday's latest flop was a very nice game by Aaron Judge.

Excellent catch against the wall to steal away a homer, a terrific throw from center to cut down a runner at second and save another run. At the plate, a run-scoring single and just missed an opposite-field homer.

Why do I think I'm going to be watching this for at least the next five years: Judge playing a quietly outstanding, all-around game, while a mediocre team scrapes pitifully around him?

Oh, right: it's just like the Bobby Murcer years!

Mediasavvy said...

If a factory starts racking up too many injuries, it usually has something to do with workplace safety, dangerous working conditions or the reckless disregard of management.

Yankees have more players (12), for more days (191) and more dollars ($7.9M) on the IL than any other team in baseball. They had 23 players laid up for all or part of 2018, the fourth most in MLB. Between 2015-17, under Girardi, The Yankees fell to the middle of the pack with injuries. What changed?

Someone call OCHA................

Mediasavvy said...

I meant OSHA

Joe of AZ said...

You know what tho no one was expecting the likes of Zoilo Almonte and Vernon Wells to put up monster numbers(except stupid Cashman perhaps)....they played to the talent they were at the time...Girard's teams NEVER looked like the minors of a little league baseball team....which is exactly what this fucking team looks like with fuckin idiot Boone and co. At the helm.

Even before those IL players went IL they were still grossly underperforming All regressed under Kumbaya Boone..which leads us back to the instruction problem of this team...

TheWinWarblist said...

And the Mattingly years ...

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