Sunday, August 22, 2021

From our own DickAllen: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."


From the tortured desk of our own commenter, DickAllen:

It was the worst of times. It was the best of times.

What are we to make of this season? Our illustrious GM saw fit to start the season with a pitching staff of cripples and nary a left-handed bat in the lineup. Then he added to the mess by hiring a nice guy with no coaching or managing experience at all. Hell of an interview though. They actually admitted that part in public.

We watched in horror (or at least I did) as an expensive, old, and rickety team lurched from tantalizing wins to horrific, last minute defeats made worse by my own belief that this team was capable, if everything went according to plan, of winning the division. I know. I know. Everyone else here thought it was a mediocrity at best and a dung heap at worst. And nothing went according to plan. The first half of the season had most of us considering homicide or suicide. The Yankees were a plodding, dull bunch who couldn't bunt, didn't have the first idea of how to run bases, stood around waiting for home runs that didn't materialize, and when they had a lead, couldn't hold it. In short, it was a mess.

Then, the unimaginable happened. The Office Boy who calls himself a General Manager (an ambiguous term in itself) made a series of bewildering, almost maniacal moves to improve the team and miraculously, improve the team it did, and thanks to a series of COVID-related IL stints, this misfit bunch started winning and has kept on winning much to our collective astonishment.

Some young upstarts who, much like in 2017, were forced into service began doing the kinds of things baseball players are supposed to do: they began to hit the ball, throw the ball, and catch the ball. They took the extra base. Stole some of them too! The turnaround was so sudden and unexpected that most of us are either still in shock or denial.

I myself am not falling for this Phoenix. My memory is not that short. Like all of you, I've watched in horror and indignation as Boooooone, who in spite of the New York Murdoch's insistence that the Yankees turnaround is due to his calming hand at the wheel (a complete load of festering turd), still needs to go find another job. And in spite of this miraculous turn of events, The Office Boy still needs to go too. For him to have hired a novice manager was a disaster waiting to happen (as it already has), and for the Yankees to start the season with no left-handed bats was unprecedented in the history of the New York Yankees. The first half of the season was a total failure. You know the old saying: you can't win a pennant in April, but you can lose one. And if this team doesn't win the division – which in theory it still could, they are currently four back and have three games with the Tampons to end the season – it is the failure of the GM to put together a balanced team during the off-season. The Yankees might very well have lost the division in April

As much as I hate to say this, I have to give The Office Boy some props for the trades he made to correct his glaring mistakes. But only some: trading for a guy like Andrew Heaney was a disaster of a move – no one is going to convince me that one good game covers all sins. Part of this resurgence is due to the fact that the team has been forced to dig down into the minors for help. There was no plan in that. Teams like Tampa and Oakland regularly replenish their rosters with youth while our prospects, such as they are, find the light of day in other cities. Cashman is an absolute disaster of a GM – he's still an intern as far as I'm concerned.

All in all, I don't know which team to believe in – the shit show that was the first half or the best team in the majors right now. The team is winning against a soft spot in the schedule, but I can't help but feel like it's peaking too soon. This gravy train won't last and the pennant race doesn't begin in earnest until Labor Day. Where will they be then?

I guess time will tell. As a victim of popular culture, my head is always swimming with useless trivia and memories of television shows past and the only thing I have left is this:

Will the real New York Yankees please stand up?



Carl J. Weitz said...

To Tell The Truth, (Hahahah..get it?) Cashman had little to do with the infusion of young, hungry and old-school somewhat talented players who exhibit fundamental baseball skills. Like stealing a base, moving a runner over, bunting, etc. It wasn't his plan to bring up quality players who know the game. Had injuries and Covid not reared their ugly heads, they would be buried at Scranton and Somerset. I give the GM zero credit for that. I will, however give "The Brain" his due for getting Rizzo and Gallo for what looks like a low payment.

I think the Yankees have a good mix of speed and power and some decent former high draft choice starters that seem to transition to bullpen rolls rather easily-up until now, that is. And if Sevy does make it back in a few weeks, his spot will likely be as a high leverage relief pitcher. He has done that before. We shall see.

I think the Yankees will make the playoffs and have an outside chance to overtake Tampa. Again, time will tell.

13bit said...

Every year, we move mountains to "make the playoffs" and then, every year, we crap out in grand fashion, while other teams - teams that have methodically been building themselves up over years, advance. And you are right, Carl - Cash has only ever deviated from his own meta plans when forced to by extreme circumstances.

TheWinWarblist said...

Sometimes you win, sometimes you win, sometimes it rains.

DickAllen said...

Ah, Win! You got that reference!

Thank you. My day is complete

Anonymous said...

Well stated. And as was said before, Brain gets no credit for putting out a fire he started.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

A stopped clock is right twice a day...

Kevin said...

A SOFT SPOT in the schedule?!

HoraceClarke67 said...

Ghost of Hoss here.

Interesting debate on Yankees past and present, gang.

—Was Reggie a "true Yankee"? I would say yes. Not in the Holy Trinity of Babe/Joe/Mick, but then who is? Reggie wanted to come here, and didn't want to go, and big as his ego was, he put up with a lot of nonsense and didn't let it break him. He's a true Yankee in my book.

HoraceClarke67 said...

—Doug K., much as I love your stuff, Sevvy a potential "Disaster"?

No way, Jose. The guy was one of the best pitchers in the majors for 1 1/2 years. Then the Yanks insisted on pitching him with a bum arm. The fact that they gave him a big contract doesn't bother me; it's the least he deserves—and it was for $10-11 mill a year. Hardly a huge payday for a pitcher now.

I doubt if we'll ever see him again. But I share the daydream here that he can somehow come back and be the closer.

HoraceClarke67 said...

And A-Rod almost a disaster, Rufus?

I dunno. He certainly was an annoying distraction. And in the end, came off as rather unsavory.

But in 12 seasons with us he had a .900 OPS, hit 351 homers, won two MVPs, led us to our last ring, and played a Gold Glove third base (though they gave the actual Gold Gloves to Jeter).

Was he a juicer? Sure thing. And somehow, it doesn't seem to matter if you're a big, jolly juicer like Papi. It makes no sense that A-Rod has been singled out on this.

And I tell ya, annoying as he is...What happened was that Coops saw a chance to acquire him, called up Jeter and asked, 'Are you okay with that?' Jeter said he was.

Obviously, he was lying. And while I worship the ground Jetes walks on and I can certainly see why he hated A-Rod's guts, that didn't do us any favors.

Jeter either should have said, honestly, 'I despise the guy, and if he comes here I will be as cold as possible to him," OR

...He should've said, 'Yeah, sure, I'm okay with it, and for the good of the team—and as the captain of this team—I will not only welcome him but even move over to third since he's the better shortstop."

Well, I get it. That's not Jeter's way. And it wouldn't have been Joe D.'s way, either. But I don't see where any of that is A-Rod's fault.

13bit said...

Is Hoss gone and is "Ghost of Hoss" actually Hoss?

I'm getting tired of nebulous identities here.

Anonymous said...

Go-Ho (That's the Ghost of Hoss if hipsters ran the blog),

(And 13Bit, I'm pretty sure Ghost of Hoss is Hoss. His computer issues are such that he can't sign in as himself anymore. Notice that El Duque had to post his writing for a while now.)


Go-Ho, I would downgrade (upgrade?) Sevi's contract to "Unfortunate." because he was great. (So by the way were all the other Disasters just not for us.) But truth is he hasn't pitched, isn't pitching and ain't gonna pitch.

The thing I will give you easily is that because of the relatively small amount of money given to him compared to Jacoby, or A-Rod, or Stanton at least it didn't screw up the Salary Cap uh, Luxury Tax threshold too much.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

DickAllen, what a great piece! "The first half of the season had most of us considering homicide or suicide." And the end of the season may do the same thing again. But we'll see. So you may have been right after all that this Yankee team can win a championship this year. Two big trades to bring in lefty bats made the difference, along with the youngsters coming up from the minors.

While I give Cashman credit for making those two trades, as Doug K. said above, Cashman merely put out a fire that he started, so he's still nothing more than an intern. Until he sorts out the mess over the winter, he'll be the office boy.

The Hammer of God