Monday, April 8, 2019

In April, Yankees can pooh-pooh concerns about a HR offense, but in October, it could be a different story

Yesterday brought a delightful, innovative, new 2019 Yankee experience: 

Tomato Can Torture Porn.

When I dropped in, we were leading by four, Domingo "Jean" German hadn't allowed a runner, and the YES barkers were bellowing "PERFECT GAME!" it to the juju cosmos. By the seventh, we were wearing leather body suits and brandishing our cat o nine tails, while the O's blubbered their "safe" word: Showalter. Our lone concern was whether Aaron Boone would need his A-list bullpen. With the bases loaded, we had the good fortune of seeing Chris Davis stride to the plate. Not long ago, he would terrify us. Now, it was almost embarrassing. He watched strike three as it smoothly bisected the plate.

And there it was: Our past, present and future.

When a slugger loses his edge, he slides fast, and he falls far. Think A-Rod. Think Tex. Think Pronk, Alfonso, Vernon Wells, et al. Think of all the big names and anemic batting averages that occupied Yankee lineups over the last 10 years, like bellies pumped full of air, and all the dead Octobers that resulted.

Yesterday, the Yankees belted seven HRs en route to a 15-3 massacre, and don't get me wrong: I ain't complainin.' 'Twas a lovely afternoon, a champagne brunch with a fling in the flowers and a nap among the nipples. But of the 40 Yankees who came to bat, 19 produced either a homer, walk or strikeout - in other words, a guy jogging rather than running. It was like a basketball game with nothing but foul shots, or a football game full of holding penalties. It took three hours and five minutes to torture that tomato can, and in the end, the stands were as empty as the industrial parks of Syracuse. 

The baseball lords are rightfully worried about the excessive length of modern games. This year, as an insult to minor league fans, they have installed an extra-innings system that puts a runner on second with no outs. To the legacy of the game, it is an abomination - yet another sign that a) they don't care one iota about small cities and b) they have no clue about the traditions that most of them simply inherited from birth. 

The problem with baseball is not that a few games go extra innings, or that it takes too long for a pitcher to throw an intentional walk. The problem is that every hitter seeks to grind his at-bat to at least seven pitches, and that the game has turned into a tedious funeral train of strikeouts and walks. 

Yesterday, in the post-game show - (why was I still watching?) - Boone was asked if there is "such a thing as too many home runs." He said no, of course, but not after hesitating. Because there is such a thing, and everybody knows it. 

The team that lives by three outcomes dies by it, as well. When home run hitters face good pitchers - that is, when October arrives - it usually does not end well for the team wearing the Catwoman suit. We can pad our numbers against Baltimore, and yesterday, that's exactly what we did. Congratulations to all. I ain't complainin.' But something's gotta change. I never thought I'd say this, but right now, we could use a Jacoby a lot more than a Giancarlo. 

But hey, let's get to the juju. In the last two days, I've posted home runs by former Yankee prospects, and the results have been astonishing. So here's another, Juu gods, I hope you're watching.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Duque,

One silver lining. At least the guys that hit the HR's yesterday were for the most part young, Gleybar, Sanchez, Frazier. The time they reach Chris Davis' age (and inability to hit) won't come up for a while. I think the Yankees also had five hits in a row at one point. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Still, your point is well made.

Doug K

TheWinWarblist said...

While the O's blubbered their "safe" word: Showalter.

So endeth the lesson.

JM said...

Wasn't Shelly Duncan the pixie-ish actress with a fake eye who did Wheat Thins commercials?

Oh, right. Sandy Duncan.

One eye would make it tough to hit a curveball, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

KEEP CLINT IN THE LINEUP!

NO REST!

NO BREATHER!

NO "HARD SURFACE TODAY, SO OFF TOMORROW" BULLSHIT.

NO "TOUGH RIGHT HANDER, OFF DAY TODAY" SHIT.

NO "DAY GAME AFTER A NIGHT GAME" CRAPOLA.

JUST KEEP PENCILING HIM IN EVERY DAY.

IF YOU WANT TO REST HIM FOR ONE GAME, AFTER 8 OR 9 GAMES IN A ROW BECAUSE OF THE CONCUSSION CONCERN, FINE.

IT'S A FUCKING 3 1/2 HOUR BASEBALL GAME, WITH FRESH AIR AND A BEAUTIFULLY MANICURED FIELD!.... IT AIN'T FACTORY WORK!

KEEP PLAYING HIM!

HoraceClarke66 said...

" 'Twas a lovely afternoon, a champagne brunch with a fling in the flowers and a nap among the nipples."

That is simply brilliant, Duque. And thanks for the clip of Shelley's Bombshell.

So much of being a Yankees fan has been just that—a packed house on a hot summer night, amidst the unmatched variety of people who are my fellow New Yorkers, watching a loping giant tomahawk a ball into the distant gloaming—that I wonder why I complain at all.

Then I read about how "Brian Cashman won his 2,000th game" yesterday, and I remember why.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Didn't Sandy Duncan marry her eye surgeon. That's what we were always told, anyway. Or was it just Hollywood propaganda?

HoraceClarke66 said...

And Duque, you are quite right that the trouble with the modern game is nothing some simple rule change will fix, but how we approach it.

For instance, the Oriole already have used 16 pitchers on the year, and I'm sure they carry what has become the usual complement of 13 at any given time.

So, the reason to leave Dan Straily out there for parts of 3 innings was...what, exactly?

Straily's outing went like this:

Double
Single
Single
Lineout to right
Walk
Foul pop
Flyout
Home run
Groundout
Walk
Home run

That's 11 batters faced, five hits, two walks, two home runs, five earned runs of his own and one inherited runner scoring.

The guy before him, Mike Wright, was nearly as awful.

What is the point to devoting over half your roster to pitchers—but STILL employing several of them as mop-up men?

But surely, you say, Dan Straily is a young kid who must learn to pitch in the majors.

No. He's a 30-year-old journeyman, who had a pretty good season starting for Cincinnati in 2016 before his arm or whatever went, and he moved on again. Mike Wright is 29, a guy who has bumped around the Orioles' system since 2011, compiling a lifetime, 5.99 ERA in the majors.

WTF?

Why are so many teams—including, sometimes, the Yankees—trotting so many time servers out there? Why are you carrying so many arms if half of them are just rotten meat you're going to fling to the dogs anyway? (No offense, Straily and Wright.)

How about this: carefully cultivate young pitchers everywhere, and teach them how to pitch—not just throw as fast as possible—as early as you can.

Make it so they can turn in a reasonable appearance even when they don't have their best stuff. And teach them to go 2-3 innings—if they're middle relievers; 7 if they're starters—so you can fill up more of the roster with badly needed bench players.

Anonymous said...

"Endeth"--are pretentious biblical locutions the thing now among emotionally warped transvestite-porn addicts and mediocre suburban group-practice Babbits?

Anonymous said...

Is trick-baby stat boy too predictable to even be an asshole? Am I too disinterested to even look up his personality disorder? Does he contribute anything to this discourse, even when he's trying to blend in on other posts? Would anybody save him from drowning?

TheWinWarblist said...

I was a competitive swimmer and a lifeguard. I saved others from drowning.