Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Damn Yankees" in reverse: Can anybody solve the mystery of Mike Tauchman?

Of all the nobodies - the career minor-leaguers, the Triple A leftovers, the non-Stallone expendables - who somehow walked in off the streets to save the Yankees this summer, Mike Tauchman still baffles me. 

I mean, there'd been signs that Gio Urshela - a few years back, a top prospect - had something to offer. Luke Voit had arrived last September, and Cameron Maybin has been around for 12 years. Each faced his last shot at The Show, and we shouldn't have been shocked by their success. (In fact, hardcore fans who follow the Yankee farms over this lost decade have regularly ripped out their hair over the franchise's refusal to promote from within, and its swinish preference for aging vets on the way down. Anyone who watched Mike Ford bash International League pitchers all summer was not surprised by his key HR last night. To them, what's surprising is that Ford got a chance.) 

But with Tauchman, well, I throw up my trembling hands. I hereby ask the assembled juju gods of Gomorrah and the Gammonites of Gotham: How did they find this guy? Seriously, how did he get here?

How did Colorado not see him? Who on Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman's staff - some beery old scout with a clipboard? or some nerdy vegan with an algorithm? - latched onto this 28-year-old nobody who was hitting .274 at Triple A, and said, "That's the one!" Who is responsible for obtaining the best current OF on the first place Yankees?

Yeah, you read that right: Because that's what Tauchman has been. When he comes to bat, I raise the volume on The Master or scramble in from the kitchen to face the TV. Over the last 30 days, Tauchman is hitting .429 with 5 HRs and 17 RBIs. (Only Encarnacion and Didi have more RBIs, and each played in several more games.) On the season, he's hitting .294 with 9 HRs. 

The guy hits lefties (.418); he hits righties (8 HR); he plays solid defense in all three outfield slots; he runs (3 SB.) Fans love to ponder the Death Star lineup with a fully healed Giancarlo, but let's get real: At his best, Stanton will be hard-pressed to deliver the numbers Tauchman has compiled. And when Aaron Hicks returns from his latest tweak, forgetaboutit. He'll bring the usual 0-for 20, as he rehabs himself back to normalcy - which falls somewhere around .240. 

So... I ask you... How did the Yankees find this guy? Who picked him out of the police lineup? Who decided he was worth a 24-year-old relief pitcher, Philip Diehl, whose ERA in Triple A is near 6.00, and who was clobbered in two MLB games with the Rockies? Was it Cashman himself? Was it instinct or number-crunching? Did somebody make a deal with the devil - a Damn Yankees in reverse - and are we looking at a Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo? 

Of course, another question looms: How long will it last? Tauchman won't hit .400 the rest of the season. One of these days, a pitcher will find a sore tooth, and from then on, the dentists will pick and probe it whenever he steps to the plate. 

Until then, let's enjoy the mystery. In fact, if there's another Tauchman out there, I'm all for keeping secrets. And if the Evil Empire is now the Retrieval Empire, I'm good with that. Mike Fucking Tauchman!

30 comments:

JM said...

The sad thing about this year's team--no, no, not the rotation--is the sad thing about most Yankees teams. No matter how good young and/or unknown players prove themselves to be, if a highly paid veteran comes off the IL, he's back in the lineup no matter how much better the replacement has been. This has never changed, under Torre, Girardi, or Boone. If Tulo had actually recovered, he would be playing. Stanton is going to bump somebody if he ever comes back. Hicks was, I think, batting .240 when he got hurt this time. Who goes when he returns? If Voit gets back, doesn't Ford go? If not him, who?

In September, they can all be together in the bigs, but when the postseason comes, Stanton? No Tauchman? Or no Maybin? No Ford? No Valera?

You know the answer.

Rufus T. Firefly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rufus T. Firefly said...

First, what JM said.

Second:
"Mathematical odds of coincidental behavior: 4.34 million to 1"
I think a real statistician might take issue with those odds, but then again, we didn't panic when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

(typo corrected, grammar - not so much)

Anonymous said...

Actually in 1393 triple A at bats he hit .309, with a .378 OBP and a .872 OPS. So he has a little 2b power because he did not hit a lot of HRs but in Yankee stadium the power numbers go up. He is a find but the analytics in the minors point to possible mlb success. Go work by Yankees analytics team.
Mike H.
Saratoga NY

Yankee Daddy Roger said...

Another aspect of this Season of the Unexpected is the performance of the team on the whole in bringing home runners on base. How much less frustrating, and how much more enjoyable, is it watching Tauchman put the ball in play, LeMiehieux (sic) put the ball in play, Gleybar put the ball in play, then watching Stanton flail away at strike three with runners on. Sure, there are still strikeouts, but less of a sinking sense of deja vu when we get a runner on second with no outs. All teams are fun to watch when they are winning, and frustrating to watch when they are not scoring, but Hope Week has lasted all season with these unexpected contributions from these unexpected contributors.

Sorry to be so positive, but it has been fun, and I will enjoy the moment, without dread of the inevitable return of Our Strikeout Leaders.

13bit said...

Just spoke with Death Star ticketing and the tickets "are in the mail."

Those of you who are gathering on the 12th will get payment instructions soon.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

How close are the seats to the beer vendor? And the loo?

HoraceClarke66 said...

There's a difference between the beer vendor and the loo? I never realized that before...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

In-flow and out-flow.

As Data would say, simple hyrdraulics.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Duque, I don't know where Tauchman was hiding, either. But it has been some months now since a Mrs. Michael Alphonso, who is employed at the Molly Pitcher Service Area near Cranbury, New Jersey, has filed a missing persons report with the New Jersey State Police regarding her husband, described as a fanatical (if dour) follower of the New York Yankees...

"Came a long, long way
To be with us today!
With arms of steel like Hercules!
Feet as fleet as Mercury's!
He'll fight for us
Do right for us
He's Hammerin' Mike from the Jersey Pike!"

TheWinWarblist said...

Loo? Loo? Really? Loo? I'm going back to listening to Goth and Dark Wave.



Fuck you Hal, in all black with moody background music.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Winnie,

In honor of the football score (American type) games across the pond. Splash the boots and all that.

Chip chip!

Leinstery said...

I wonder if it's people like Tauchman and Voit that causes everyone to apply the Yankee tax. Coops is admittedly great at turning trash into treasure, especially over the last few years starting with Didi. Are other GM's so tired of this shit that they seek to penalize him for turning career minor leaguers into monsters that they demand Gleyber for pitchers with ERA's over 4 and might be good?

13bit said...

The tickets, if this were a movie, would be called "Where Eagles Dare."

LBJ and I were kind of shocked at how few were available when we were ready to bite the bullet. That's probably because it's a makeup game. My guess is the stands will be pretty empty, but who knows? The good news is that we'll most likely be sheltered from the sun and any rain. If you really want to know what's going on, you could bring a radio or binoculars. A telescope and a satellite receiver are handy as well. More good news it that they're pretty inexpensive. The air is clean up there, as well. The bad news? THERE IS NO BAD NEWS!

Since most of you are meeting at the bar ahead of time, I'm sure you'll be sufficiently primed to just PIP - or "pee in place," as we used to say on SEAL TEAM 6. Just let it go. I'm sure there will be beer and a WC handy. Or, if Red Sox fans are sitting in front of us, we can just piss on them. Okay, I'm sinking quickly. Pull it together, man!

Okay, I'm back. Great seats, great company, bring some baby wipes and an adult diaper and all will be fine.

Our original block was unavailable, but we decided it was more important that we sit together - essentially three rows of 6 - than to have a killer view.

We also may have two extra seats available, but I'll have to consult with LBJ first to make sure of it. If we do, we can make some kind of public announcement here.

Anonymous said...

I thought WC Handy was dead. I'm a huge fan of the St. Louis Blues and own a number of versions. Including a great Afro-Cuban one.

As to the 12th. I know that I'm not going to be there but here is my 2 cents.

If the stadium is going to be as empty as you think it will be you can always move down. Well, you could when I was a kid.

Actually if the Yankees know it's the IIHIIFIIC gang they should put you in Judge's Chambers.

Doug K.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

That reminds me of the joke about two guys chatting in the old folks home:

"Boxers or briefs?"

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


I would like to second what Leinstery said just above. I was thinking the same thing myself.

It's almost as if the other 29 GMs have been reading Cashmoney's clips and saying (at least to themselves) -- "Oh, yeah? If you're so Effing good, let's see you progress in the playoffs without one single solitary 6-inning pitcher."

The bet here is that he ain't (and the we ain't). But, as the All Praise Tauchman main blog posting shows -- you never know.

Anonymous said...

To Leinstery's point as well...

If he asks for a minor league player you can bet that they go back and give the guy a real look. I think Billy Beane used to have this problem.

"If Cashman wants him he's better than we think." Makes it tough all around.

Doug K.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Any seat surrounded by huckleberries is a good seat.

ranger_lp said...

We can resurrect journeymen position players and get them to improve their hitting, but we can't fix a pitcher. We don't have Dave Duncan, or Brent Strom. No, we're lucky enough to have Larry "man boobs" Rothschild who can't fix a baseball game or a faucet, or a car. FML. FYL.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I can't wait, 13bit! Thanks again for handling all this!!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Meanwhile, Mrs. Alphonso reports that her husband was last seen in the company of that leggy chorine who used to hang around with Bob Fosse (Ray Fosse's older brother), and some fast-talking, out-of-town jasper who resembled that guy on "My Favorite Martian," only without the retractable head antennae.

Hmm, curiouser and curiouser...

Ken of Brooklyn said...

THANKS 13Bit, just give me the heads up on how much and where to pay for the seats,,,, I CAN'T WAIT, and bazillion thanks to you and LBJ for handling all of this!

Retired Stratman said...

Hoss - “fast talking out of town jasper” - LOL! I’d like to know what kind of conversation goes on while they’re loafing around that hall.

TheWinWarblist said...

Leggy chorine, an aspiration of mine for many a year. Alas, I have the height but my feet are more like pickles than dancing implements.

Chorine. I love that.



Fuck you Hal, with a choreographed kick line. And not in the good way.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

We're going to have EIGHTEEN attending?

This is great!

We're going to need name-tags or at least a scorecard. I already forgot who Hoss was.

el duque said...

Looking forward to Monday. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE.

13bit said...

I know realize the tee shirts should have read “Annual Huckleberry Convention.” Alack and alas! Next year...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

The 'leggy chorine' wouldn't be the one and only Suzyn, would it?

Come to think of it, leggy chorine and Yankee player seem to go together like Reese's peanut butter cups, in a wool uniform sort of way.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


We are working on a draft email now for August 12th logistics. It's been a crazy week for work, so we (i.e., me) are running behind.

There are indeed 2 extra seats if anyone wants to invite a friend or any other reader/contributor wants to change his/her mind and attend. Please let us know here or reply to the email that will arrive shortly.