Thursday, September 19, 2019

Another gut punch, as hope drains for the home field advantage

The Death Star has nine games left to bypass hot-and-healthy Houston - (one player out this month: Aaron Sanchez) - in the race for home field advantage in the playoffs. 

With a 10-game lead in the AL East, the Yankiverse should not be pondering a sense of impending doom... yet here it is. 

Last night, Aaron Judge jammed his shoulder diving for a ball. He spent the rest of the game flexing and stretching, slapping two meager grounders. We've seen this movie many times. It's played nonstop since March. It opens with a player flexing and stretching, and it ends two months later, following the intermission. Judge is a trooper. He'll probably play hurt. That, in itself, is another curse. 

The road to 2019 will almost surely pass through Houston, where our home runs die at the track, and where - if we even make it - our lineup could be a cruel SNL parody. Can Kate McKinnon do Larry Rothschild? 

Why am I so damn negative? Good grief, after what we've witnessed this year, how can anyone not feel hopeless? Has there yet been a tweak that turned out to be innocent? A guy gets bitten by a radioactive spider: He doesn't develop powers; he misses six weeks. When Aaron Hicks hurt himself in spring training, he vowed to miss maybe three games - exhibition games! He returned in mid-May, and was still hitting below .200 on June 22. Severino? He was originally out until the All-Star break. And don't get me started about Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton. I'm sorry, folks. But when Edwin Encarnacion returned for a week, hit like hell, and then pulled a saddlebag - well - something snapped inside me. The MRI found a tear in my hope gland, and I'm headed for Tommy John lobotomy. I can only hope they remove the part of my brain that clicks on stories posted about Jennifer Aniston's comeback.

Last night, Aaron Judge jammed his shoulder. I ask you: Is there any reason - any frickin' reason at all - why we should not expect this to kill the rest of his season? Tonight, they'll simply announce that he's resting. Tomorrow, they'll say he'll be back my mid-week. Then they'll say maybe spring training. 

This has been the weirdest, most warped, Yankee season in my lifetime. In many ways, it's been the most rewarding. We came to know Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Cameron Maybin, Luke Voit, Domingo German, Thairo Estrada and Kyle Higashioka. They appeared out of nowhere and saved our listing boat. They beat Boston, like the great Yankee teams of yore. But we've always known it won't matter, if we fail in October. 

We kept believing that, at some point, the wave of injuries would end, or at least be shared equally by our rivals. Now, we know the grim truth: That's not going to happen. The fix is in. Jeter wears a slimy suit, and Mariano dines with autocrats. God is a psychopath. 

Last night, Aaron Judge jammed his shoulder. Expect the worst. The champagne celebration won't quite be the same.

32 comments:

13bit said...

I think we're all exhausted.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Huh. Aaron Judge couldn't go more than about three weeks without injuring himself or doing nothing while recovering from an injury. What a surprise.

Again, as with CC: Love the guy to death. Expect nothing.

ranger_lp said...

They are all doing too much work in the weight room. Back in our younger days, these issues didn't exist. Add PEDs to the equation and you have a recipe for a waiting room the size of Macombs Dam Park full of players.

Off topic, if you were Derek Jeter in his playing days, the league would have told him that his "random" drug test would happen in 5 weeks. Enough time to clear yourself up...

Anonymous said...

THE DREADED CC...

AGAIN AND AGAIN.

WE ARE LITERALLY TRYING TO CREATE A ROLE FOR HIM HEADING TO THE PLAYOFFS.

....BUT IT IS NOT STOPPING THE FACT THAT NOW HE JUST CAN'T GIVE US EVEN 3 QUALITY RUN-FREE INNINGS.

OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT COOP AND THE GANG CAN'T BRING THEMSELVES TO DO WHAT JOE TORRE DID TO TINO YEARS AGO.

"SORRY TINO, BUT CECIL FIELDER IS GOING TO PLAY, BUT STAY READY THOUGH."

IT'S UNBELIEVABLE THAT THIS ORGANIZATION IS PUTTING A "FAREWELL TOUR" AHEAD OF WINNING BALLGAMES.

NOW, IT LOOKS LIKE HOME FIELD IS GONE.

WE PLAYED THE CC CARD ALL WRONG FROM SIGNING HIM IN THE OFF SEASON, UNTIL NOW.

ranger_lp said...

One more thing...don't these guys stretch after a workout? If not, makes you wonder.

Anonymous said...

DOMINGO. The investigation is ongoing, but I'll still go ahead and offer a, "Nice job, dumbass."

Anonymous said...

Was not able to post yesterday so this is where it's all going.

Re: CC

Hoss and JM, Totally agree. While there is a lot about him that is truly great, he has been a very bad pitcher for a very long time. I also wonder who his drinking buddy was and how badly did that screw with his career? I have a suspicion but I won't say it because I have no proof.

Re: Benatances Limerick

Tall pitchers rarely are great
All too often they can't find the plate.
While all blessed with heat
Their throws don't repeat.
But at least they can all self-fellate.

Re: Pent before it's too late.

Sorry - it was just sitting there.

Re: Best Record

I agree with Hoss. The sweet spot is one game below Houston and one game better than LA. While Minnesota will be tough... They all will - It's the playoffs. I'd rather see two of the following three gone as quickly as possible Houston (We all know why Plus gives us back Home-field) the A's and Tampa. so it's not that Minnesota isn't worthy it is that of the four playoff teams they are the most beatable. Doesn't mean we will though.

Re: Judge being injured

Sigh. He probably is. But this is just one of those years where there is this insane revolving door thing going on. Judge out means Stanton back. Does the Red Menace play right now? He's better over there.

Luke back means EE out. AnDUjar becomes Gio... Stanton ready to return? Tauchamn hurt. Sevi back. CC gone? (Good) It's all just so out there I'm just going to watch.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Just read the Doningo thing so yeah, Sevi back... means Doningo gone!

It's always a wash.

Unbelievable.

Doug K.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

And another one down...

"The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán has been placed on Administrative Leave under the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy. Per the policy, the initial period of Administrative Leave may last up to seven days, barring an extension."

Platoni said...

As presciently noted, Judge is out of the lineup tonight

ranger_lp said...

@el duque...when you wrote that title "another gut punch", I had no idea you were clairvoyant...

HoraceClarke66 said...

I have to say, this is awfully close to "Verdict first, trial later."

When I heard "domestic violence," I assumed this meant that the cops had been called, or that German had something like, oh, I dunno, shot up his garage while his girlfriend huddled inside.

But according to Klapisch, it was an alleged "slap in a public place." Really? Reported by whom? And on that say-so, German is automatically suspended? At the most critical time of the season?

Don't get me wrong. I think only cowards hit women, I think domestic violence is very serious, and I think all reports of it should be looked into.

But I do hope that MLB has already done some extensive investigating on this. Otherwise, if you're creating a system where someone can call in and say, "Hey, I just saw Roy Hobbs slap his girlfriend in a restaurant," and boom, somebody is suspended and publicly accused...that's a system ripe for abuse.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And hey, while Brian Cashman could hardly have anticipated THIS...it was not such a longshot that German's arm would be barking by this point in the season.

Great idea to never stock up on pitchers, the most irreplaceable commodity in the game.

For the umpteenth time, if we had:

Pat Corbin
Sonny Gray (or some rough equivalent obtained in the trade for him)
Dallas Keuchel

—this is a big ho-hum.

Anonymous said...

I AGREE WITH HOSS!

NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS DOMINGO SITUATION AS OF YET!

PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE TO STOP SAYING "GUILTY" WITHOUT ANY WITNESSES, TESTIMONY, OR PROOF OF WHAT HAPPENED!

SOUND FAMILIAR?

DOMESTIC ABUSE IS AWFUL, BUT AN ACCUSATION ALONE IS NOT PROOF!

HoraceClarke66 said...

And hey, ranger, maybe you were just throwing out his typical case, and if so I apologize in advance. But no need to besmirch Jeter as a juicer.

While I would never say for sure about any player now—one of the worst things about juicing—there is simply zero evidence that he ever juiced, and his player profile does NOT match the classic juicer's.

Jetes' physical appearance did not change (except for a little hair loss), he did not bulk up, there was no sudden, sustained power surge (at the same time that his average stayed up). The guy was pretty much the same player all along, and his career followed a traditional path (for a superstar): very good to start, became even better, then great, then slowly declined.

Which, if was NOT juicing, makes what he did all the more amazing.

It's what Bernie said once, making the (half-serious) case that he should be in the Hall for having played against all these juicers without juicing. He has a point!

Would Jeter on the juice have been Nomar, only better? We'll never know—for which we should give Derek credit.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Wow, poor Domingo. I didn’t realize Chapman was such a bad influence.

TheWinWarblist said...

Hoss, AllCAPS, administrative leave is not a "guilty" verdict. It's period where all parties get to have their say, and hopefully arrive at the truth. Violence against women and children is a human rights violation and public health epidemic. An out of control epidemic. It's not a perfect policy or system. You may be right, for all we know it was Dustin Pedroia who made the accusation. Or that little jerk Altuve. Either way. Stop with the hyperbole. If it was Pedroia, we'll all meet at his house to take a group dump on his lawn. If it's true German abused a woman, hopefully he and she will get the help they need and we'll have to muddle through the post-season without him. It's not like our pitching is going to win any games in October. The lineup is going to have to rake us through.




Fuck you so much Hal for allowing this to happen without Corbin, Lynn and Keuchel in the rotation.

TheWinWarblist said...

Bernie should be in the Hall for that very reason.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

Hmmm... I can almost taste the champagne, courtesy Chateau Gardner!

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

And some Tanaka Saké!

13bit said...

They should drink toilet water tonight and every night, just remind themselves that they are garbage until they win the World Series.

TheWinWarblist said...

Oh bitty! You complete me!

13bit said...

I meant to tell you, Winnie, that I completely agree with your post above.

TheWinWarblist said...

Stop it, bitty! You're making me hotter than Georgia asphalt!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

https://www.choicehotels.com/new-jersey/secaucus/rodeway-inn-hotels/nj297?source=gyxt

Pretty sure this place has a 4 hour rate if you two need a room.

TheWinWarblist said...

Don't be jealous Rufus T. For bitty, I'd pop for overnight at The Ritz. For you? That motel by the NJ entrance to the Holland tunnel. Maybe...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Four Seasons downtown for me Dearie. Very nice.

My company wanted to put up in the that hotel on the lincoln tunnel access road years ago. They actually had an hourly rate posted behind the bulletproof glass. I declined. Work wanted to offer the Ritz Battery Park instead. They wouldn't guaranty the expense report would be honored though. I stayed with a college buddy in town instead.

13bit said...

I am already spoken for, folks, but I appreciate the love.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Winnie, totally agree about the crime. I just hate the process.

"Hey, this is all hush-hush...but we're telling this guy to take a hike."

If it's at a point of naming him, tell us what you got...short of the name of the victim, etc., of course.

I mean, if German had stolen a car and been arrested—an infinitely lesser crime than physically abusing a woman—we would have been told exactly what he did: where, when, what model of car, where he stashed and chopped it. Everything.

But somehow, with this, he is disappeared in the middle of the investigation.

Why?

If he's guilty, throw the book at him. If he's not, then drop it. And leave him alone until you make a decision. That's justice.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And that said...Domingo is probably guilty.

They were reporting tonight that the union was not appealing, which is interpreted—probably correctly—as proof that he done it.

Then fine. Tell him to go the hell home.

But let's have the story. Not a slow, steady leak of innuendo, back by nothing.

ranger_lp said...

@Hoss

https://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/969391/espns-skip-bayless-derek-jeters-uses-performance-enhancing-drugs/

Just speculation...also, not all PEDs are steroids...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yeah, that was some powerful proof Bayless provided, which is to say...nothing.

Jetes DID have a good 2012...but NOT the sort of extraordinarily better year that Bayless is talking about.

He scored 99 runs that year—an improvement over 2011, when he played in 28 fewer games, but far from his all-time high of 134. He led the league in hits with 216...but again, not his top number. He showed a little more power...but far from being twice the number of HRs or whatever Bayless said it was, he hit 15—EXACTLY his average for a 162-game season, and only tied for his 8th highest HR total ever.

His 58 ribbies were not close to his all-time best, he had only 9 stolen bases, and his .316/.362/.429/.791 slash was an improvement over the .297/.355/.388/.743 of the year before...but again, far from his best, and well below his lifetime .310/.377/.440/.817.

Jeter had had a terrific 2009 season, then had slumped badly in 2010, revived somewhat in 2011, and had a better 2012. In other words, far from Barry Bonds, but a bit of a late-career, last penumbra of greatness that is not that uncommon amongst great players in baseball history.

(See Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, The Mick in 1966, Reggie in 1982, etc.)

Bayliss needs more proof. Or, you know, any.