Monday, May 20, 2019

Today, the Yankees occupy the Iron Throne

Hey, Abbott, who's in first?

Altogether now: We are. Not only that, but get out the electric can-opener, because our next seven games are against the O's and KC. (Then it's the Paddies and, gulp, the Socks of Fenweigh.) By the time we get to Boston, she'll be rising we'll have no excuse for second place. (BTW, Boston faces the Blue Jays, Astros and Indians.) But the dragonic force that razed Kings Landing Tampa is ever-changing, and we cannot even predict the lineup of June 1. Consider the moves to come:

1. Supposedly, (and everything about this Bozo comes with a disclaimer,) Giancarlo "the Other Gio" Stanton is ready to launch a rehab assignment. (Fun fact: Scranton - rhymes with Stanton - visits Syracuse late this week!) Giancarlo has been gone so long now that his absence, like a deadbeat dad, reflects the new normal. But Daddy's coming, and nothing short of a newly tweaked gonad will keep the big guy away. 

It's easy to lash out against Stanton. Our last images are of him fanning on the season-opening series. But he's still a might force, injuries are part of the game, and I haven't heard anybody suggest he's faking it, or that Cooperstown (new nickname: Bran?) Cashman has developed a Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome (which is clearly the case with Jacoby Ellsbury). Our concern is that Gio will return with a turdlike 0-for-20 in the center of the lineup, coinciding with the tip to Boston. I hope the Yankees give Stanton an extra week, rather than rush him back, as they did Aaron Hicks. 

Also, I wonder who goes when Stanton returns? The easy answer is Hammerin' Cameron Maybin, though in the absence of Tyler Wade, Maybe is a valuable chess piece, a man capable of stealing second in a tight game. The sad answer is Clint Frazier, a kick in the balls to our favorite hope, albeit one who is slumping. Change is coming to the lineup that raised us to the Iron Throne.

2. Yesterday, as John & Suzyn creamed over the virtues of Thairo Estrada - his bases-loaded, three-run double had just crushed Tampa - a cloud crossed my psyche: Like Bran Stark, I became the three-eyed raven, the past and future merging, and I foresaw Frazier and Estrada in a package deal for Madison Bumgarner, or some other formerly great pitcher now approaching his sell-date. I've been accused of being a prospect-hugger, (nothing wrong with that,) but imagine a world if the Yankees could avoid trading away their future in the waning hours of July 31. 

I am astounded by the way the New England Patriots now only win the Super Bowl but still have multiple high draft picks. It can be done. You can always contend, without trading away your future. You simply must be smart about it. 

3. I am getting the jeebies about James Paxton's knee. We at IIHIIFIIc have taken a blood oath to never believe the Yankees when they discuss an injury, but it was Big Maple who loudly pooh-poohed his problem when it flared up two weeks ago. Now, he says there is still "something there," which is not what you want to hear when you're counting on the guy to deliver 150 innings and maybe start game one of the playoffs. 

We sit atop the Iron Throne because of starting pitching. But he whose cheeks sitteth upon this perch can ne'er find comfort. At any moment, Domingo German could turn into a pumpkin. JA Happ and CC Sabathia are way too old to be counted on in July. Luis Severino is merely a song chirped by birds in the forest, and Jonathan Loaisiga now looks like an email from a Sudanese prince describing a chance to make a million dollars. The fact is, we are not far from Chance Adams (who pitched well yesterday!), and no amount of china doll sluggers can save us.

We will never know comfort on the Iron Throne. Damn, can bring my Yogibo?  


TheWinWarblist said...

Domingo German is not a pumpkin. He is the real deal.

13bit said...

"You simply must be smart about it."

And therein lies the rub. The brains quotient at the helm of the Death Star is abysmally low. A few marbles rattling around in a coffee can that has a hole cut out in the bottom.

I am going to not give cashman credit for anything anymore, not even some of the scrap heap moves who delivered for us over the past six weeks. Cashman's REAL team is coming back now, in dribs and drabs. If they deliver for us and if we win the Series, and if we do it again next year, I'll stop trashing him and calling out his stupidity and lack of baseball smarts. Until then, the only thing Cashman shows any aptitude for is surviving in the complex world of the Yankees front office.

JM said...

We're doomed.

Yikezz said...

Did you really imply, above, that you’d rather have either Frazier or Maybin over Stanton? (A “deadbeat dad”? What do you even mean by that?). Maybin has a lifetime OPS of .691 and 2, count ‘em, 2 years with a WAR over 2.0. Stanton has a career OPS of .905 and has never put up fewer than 2.6 WAR in a season. And Frazier? 2 weeks of hot hitting and abysmal OF defense and he’s your hero? Do you actually know anything about baseball? Yeah, Stanton is going to go 0fer whatever at some point, and strike out a ton. So what? He’s also going to have a month or 2 with 8-10 HRs and, in case you haven’t been awake the last 20 years, strikeouts aren’t any worse than most other outs and they’re better than some. Grow up, for crying out loud.

JM said...

Ah, another person who really, really understands IIH. Laugh a minute.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love the Jimmy Webb reference, Duque!

HoraceClarke66 said...

We DO know something about being able to read an English sentence here, and Duque did NOT call Stanton "a deadbeat dad." What he wrote was that "his absence" was "like [that of] a deadbeat dad, the new normal."

That is, you get used to not having that income, and learn to adapt. Maybe. But in any case, it helps to read all the words, not just the ones you don't like.

Now, as to baseball: we like The Red Cyclone mainly because he's young, and seems to have unlimited potential. We hope to see him succeed, just as we would have rooted for Mickey Mantle in 1951, even though his lifetime stats would have been far, far below those of, say, Gene Woodling.

We also know this about baseball: study after study says the normal peak age is 28. Stanton turns 30 in November. We fear that he is already on the downward slide.

Last year's statistics seem to weigh toward this presumption, although I agree that they are not conclusive.

OPS? Down 15 percent from the year before.
Home runs? Down 36 percent from the year before.
Strikeouts? Up 23 percent from the year before.

These are not good trends. Combined with Stanton's inability to play the field—and no, unlike Frazier, he's NEVER displayed an ability to play it well—and his frequent injuries, we are not enthusiastic.

Finally, we're back to what has become the obsessive argument over whether or not going for a home run on every pitch of every at-bat is a good idea.

I would argue that baseball, like every other activity in human life, dictates different strategies for different situations.

When you are up in the 9th inning of your team's do-or-die, last stand of the season, and the relief pitcher you're facing can't find the plate with a satellite guidance system, it behooves you NOT to swing at every damned pitch he throws, but to make him throw a strike.

No could do.

Scratch one season of Stanton's stay here. Scratch another third of this year because his overbuilt (and possibly juiced) body could not last through one week of the long season.

Get ready for all the long declining years, in which he gets steadily worse and worse, but people like you tell us, Hey, maybe if he gets on the field again he can hit a really long home run with killer exit velo!

Yes, we know a little bit about baseball. Some of us have watched it for a half-century or more. We're not so easily fooled by statistics.

TheWinWarblist said...

Great. Now we're fisking ourselves.

HoraceClarke66 said...

"Fisking"? Ooh, I like that as a verb!

13bit said...

Can you please enlighten me? I'm still stuck in the twentieth century on some things. I don't know "fisk" as a noun, verb or adjective. We can rule out adverb or article and I'm pretty sure it's not an emoji, but one never knows. What is a "fisk" or "to fisk?"

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I'm coming late to the party, but . . . wasn't there a guy named Fisk played for some dickswipes in Massachusetts?

JM said...

Hoss, you have the patience of a saint.

Retired Stratman said...

According to the ever useful Urban Dictionary, fisking means the following: Fisking is a written argument where one person sequentially addresses each point of an of another person's argument.

This is done in a precise manner relying on semantics and ambiguities to infer a defect in the original point. This approach is tantamount to taking a sentence out of context in order to refute an entire argument.

Fisking does not pay heed to the opponent's thesis as a whole, and thus does not disprove the thesis as a whole.
That bastard was Fisking my posts. So I had to create a hydra to Fisk him. I really fisted that Fisking fucker.

You’re welcome.

TheWinWarblist said...

Am I the only one who remembers Fire Joe Morgan?? Fisking?? It's been a thing for a long time.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

JM, Much more patience than me.

TheWinWarblist said...


TheWinWarblist said...

By the way, this Hap turdlet should be kicked down the dugout steps.

13bit said...

Winnie, please go easy. I lost a lot of brain cells along the way. It's a miracle I can still walk and talk, let alone touch type.