Monday, May 17, 2021

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner: Do you really see this team riding down the Canyon of Heroes?

Thus far, considering their trials and tribulations - four starting pitchers recovering from layoffs, a nearly all-RH lineup, the usual injuries, and now a mysterious Covid outbreak - it's a testimony to the talent curve that the Yankees remain in the thick of the AL East. 

When delirious Yank fans assess the team, we all-too-often focus on our woes, our airing of grievances, while overlooking the problems of our competitors. For example, Boston currently leads a lackluster division, but for how long can their big four - Bogaerts, Martinez, Verdugo and Devers - stay molten hot? (Both Bogaerts and Martinez are hitting in the .340s.) It's the Jays and Rays who terrify us, and neither took full advantage of our rancid month of April. In fact, Tampa couldn't seem to beat anyone but the Yankees, and they recently lost two of three to us at home. 

We cringe over Sunday's shit show in Baltimore, but it capped the Yankees' fifth straight series win, and tonight we send out Gerrit Cole, baseball's best pitcher. Soon, Luke Voit surely will break out, and who knows - maybe Clint Frazier or Miguel Andujar will hear the call of the brood cicadas. If Cory Kluber has returned to his old form, and Luis Severino is not a mirage, the Yankees could present the best rotation in the AL East, if not the league. That's. Not. Nothing. 


But does it get us to the Canyon of Heroes?

At this point, another blogger might roll out an avalanche of stats, comparing 2021 with other years, with other teams, with possible trades - you know, fucking factoids. I say, spare me your fucking fact-like factoids! I consider the commenters on this blog to be Zen Yankee Masters, who hear the sound of two mitts clapping, and who offer the unmitigated truth of reasonable hope and abject despair. And I ask you, again... 

Do you see this team riding down the Canyon of Heroes? 

I don't. 

There are things missing, intangibles that between now and October must be addressed. Don't get me wrong. It's not impossible. But things must happen, and if they don't, 2021 will go down as just another lost season in what is already the worst Yankee period since Vietnam/Watergate/Hoss Clarke. 

So, here are my concerns. Am I deranged? 

1. We need a CF. Frankly, this is a no-brainer. Even if he does not need wrist surgery, Aaron Hicks is not the answer. This season has been typical Hicksian: He doesn't hit, he gets hot, he gets hurt. That's the line on Hicks: No hits, gets hot, gets hurt. In our fantasies, 23-year-old Estevan Florial rises to claim the position for the next 10 years. Right now, he's 1-for-8 at Scranton with 3 Ks. If Florial isn't the answer, the Yankees must find one. (And while it's nice that the Yankees aren't pushing The Martian into Single A ball, the fact that coaches must have feared he'd be overmatched is a troubling sign for any of us who have his Cooperstown plaque already inscribed. Just sayin...) 

2. We need a LH bat. Rougned Odor is not The One. We need a motherfucker, a guy that opposing pitchers dread, batting between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton - rather than the rest-stop/port-a-potty that Hicks became. In April, the Yankees seemed to think that anybody batting third would thrive. Didn't work. In fact, it backfired after Hicks floundered, and Jay Bruce proved to be past his sell-by date. They must find a truly dangerous LH hitter. Somewhere out there...

3. Gleyber Torres must still prove himself. The worst part of this bizarre, inexplicable Covid breakout is that it puts Torres, who was starting to hit, on Commissioner Wormer's double-secret probation list. He'll miss this series, and then what? Nobody understands Covid. Will he be fine? Will he be compromised? And will another Yankee test positive? Frankly, this is creepy. How do nine people - yes, it's now nine - all of whom claim to have been vaccinated, test positive? It doesn't make sense, and it leads us to think there's more here than is being reported. 

4. Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner must forego his new Bezos-level yacht and pick up another big salary. The Yankees cannot continually trade prospects for aging warhorses, without Haligator Arms touching his war chest. Soon, various teams will start the tanking process. (Texas might be one.) There will be lefty bats and centerfielders available. The Yankees cannot drain their farm system any further, but Hal can absorb a contract or two. There is no reason for the Yankees to poormouth anymore. In fact, I'm going to start calling it "Hal-mouthing." 

Mr. Steinbrenner, you can make your fans happy and keep the Yankees as New York's marquee sports franchise... or you can stack your dollars to the moon, and go down as a Dolan. The choice is yours... 

The question is simple: Do you want to ride the Canyon of Heroes?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

A couple of thoughts...


1) The Outbreak

I read an interesting article this AM on TheDailyBeast,com about the outbreak.

Basically, it said that it proved the vaccine worked. One coach got mild symptoms and the other infected people were essentially OK and the covid didn't spread like wildfire as it came up against the wall of other vaccinations.

Gleyber would have closely interacted with the rest of the team while infected but they are all good.

So there's that.

2) CF

The question is always, who for who.

Should we trade Frazier and Tallion for a decent CF? That leaves Gardner/AnDUjar in left. And the assumption/ascension of King or Devi to the rotation,

Or AnDUjar/Devi for the CF?

Our lack of viable trade pieces in the minors means a couple of people we were relying on have to go.

It does have to be addressed though. Anyone have a target? Because as Duque said Hicks ain't coming back and even if he did... so what?

Doug K.



Ken of Brooklyn said...

One of our Yankee Zen Masters posted something a few days ago that really really resonated with me, basically, that Hal and Co only need to put out a product that appears to compete, the brand being what it is, as long as they can say that they've made the playoffs, it's been a very successful year. I'm afraid this team will always crash face first into this wall as long as Hal-Mouthing is calling the shots. Though they did splurge for Cole,,,,,

Of course the more frightening thought is that they are doing everything that they think will take us to the promise land, YIKES!

13bit said...

I hear that it's quite difficult to navigate the terrain between the Canyon of Assholes to the Canyon of Heroes. Some would say it's impossible and there are few records of it being done unless you have a magic garbage can two-two way radios.

BUT, aside from that - and you don't need to hear my daily rant about how this team sucks, Hal sucks, Brian sucks, and Booney double sucks. you don't need to hear that - there may be hope for baseball yet...

I just heard from a friend in Kansas who went to a game last night between the Wichita Wind Surge and the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Aside from the heart-warming details of the game and the local kids who were mesmerized, any league that can host teams with those names, must be doing something right.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


I would like to categorically deny that I have ever interacted, in any way (sexually or otherwise), with a Sod Poodle.

(signed) Bill Gates

DickAllen said...

I had Mexican food Saturday and Chinese on Sunday. The Wind Surge has been in overdrive.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, these names are uummm, entertaining.
A former co-worker's son and daughter-in-law were expecting their 3rd child . Both are college educated at George Washington Uni. Since they did not want their middle child to feel "unappreciated" as a middling, they let her, at 3 years old ,select the name of her new little sister. She picked the name "Plum" and that is the f-cking prune's name.
That is why despite our obsession with all things Yankees , it is a waste of our few days left on this planet, cuz with people like those taking the mantle from us we are FUBAR.
I will be returning with the Four Horsemen soon.
The Archangel

Anonymous said...

Archie,

But did they use Brawndo "The Thirst Mutilator" as baby formula? It has electrolytes.

Doug K.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I thought Professor Plum was male. Man, is that kid going to be confused.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I know. Maybe let the kid pick a middle name. But for cryin' out loud...

Anonymous said...

duque's Hall of Follies:

1. On Florial: "Right now, he's 1-for-8 at Scranton with 3 Ks." Small-sample idiocy taken to a new extreme.
2. "We need a LH bat." Do you ever look at batters' platoon splits to see if they can actually hit pitchers who throw from the opposite side that they bat? I mean, Hicks cannot, for example--his debility from the left side of the plate is so extreme that he ought to stop switch-hitting.
3. "Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner must forego his new Bezos-level yacht and pick up another big salary." And this will give duque ample opportunity to caterwaul about taking on the next aging long-term millstone like Ellsbury and Stanton--after all, what's consistency or coherency when you've got blog columns to fill every day?

Anonymous said...

Hey duque et al--where's your vaunted moderation?

Anonymous said...

Canyon of heroes, my ass. The fucking Boston Red Sux have a much better chance of winning it all than us, sad to say. When will Bogarts, Martinez, Vertigo and Devers stop hitting? Well, apparently, they are all better hitters than anyone we have, so why would any of them stop hitting this year? If we want to make the playoffs, we'd better stop bleeding games all over the place. Fat chance of that happening, as we happen to have the greatest puppet in MLB managing our team.

Look, our lack of left handed hitting and lack of an everyday CF only has two possible cures: either bring up Florial and throw him in there and suffer the growing pains of a young player or engineer a big trade and get some lefty bats who can actually hit. I think the smarter move is to bring up Florial right now and see what he has, throw him in there for the rest of the season, whether he hits .025 or strikes out 75% of the time, I don't care. Hicks didn't do much better than that anyway. Gardner won't do much better than that the rest of the way. What the hell do we have to lose?

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

duque-- If you don't re-institute moderation as a defense against toxic compulsive psychotics like the guy above, people will flee in droves from this blog and your precious baby will end up in a virtual trash bin--you know, the kind that your beloved Cashman loves to sift through for washed-up overpriced garbage.

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borntorun999 said...

Amazing how people overvalue Florial

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