Thursday, February 22, 2024

Do You Know Me?

 

Do you know me???

Here are a few clues:

I'm 28 years old, a left-handed power hitter who generally plays centerfield, but also won a Gold Glove in right (I can also play first, in case your starting first baseman has a history of mysterious head injuries.) 

I suffered a bad injury myself that left me as a shell of my former self for three seasons, but before that I was Rookie of the Year, MVP, and a Silver Slugger winner. Last year I was all recovered, and won another Silver Slugger and Comeback of the Year.

I batted .307 last season, with 26 home runs, though I have hit as many as 47 homers in a season. And even with those 3 bad years, my lifetime OPS is .829.

Who am I?

Do you know me???

I will be 28 in May. I am a left-handed outfielder who is also a power hitter. Though maybe "power hitter" is an exaggeration, as I have never hit more than 13 homers in a season, and my lifetime OPS is only .765.

I was supposed to be the next great centerfielder once upon a time, but I haven't played center since 2021. I did finish 12th in the MVP voting—in the Covid season. 

Who am I?


Do you know me???



I'm 31, and one of the very few pitchers ever to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues. I won the second award just last year.

My lifetime ERA is 3.20, and it has been as low as 1.89 and 2.25, in my Cy Young years.

Ring a bell?







Do you know me???

I'll be 33 in May. I'm a pitcher, too. But my lifetime ERA is 3.65 (and 3.95 last year), and my lifetime won-loss record is just one game over .500.

I stand just five-foot-seven, and I have a history of getting into silly internet feuds with fans, general managers, and pretty anyone else I can antagonize.

Who am I?





Do you know me???

I'm...

Oh, of course you know me! I'm Jordan Montgomery, and I used to pitch in the Bronx. 

My lifetime ERA is 3.68—and it would probably be much lower if anyone had ever taught me how to pitch here. Instead, I had a terrific postseason last year, helping the Texas Rangers to a World Series championship. 

The Rangers don't seem to want me, but I'm still just 31 and looking better every year. Don't you want to see what it will take to get my wife and I to come back to New York? I sure was hell would!

Gee, does it seem to anyone else that the Yankees are settling for second- or third-best this year...only because of money??? Nah, nope, couldn't be, impossible!

One week into camp, health-bent Yankees are marvels of fitness and wellbeing

Okay, everybody... ALL ABOARRRRRD!

Stow your baggage! That's you, Doug K. Down that hoagie, Hoss, else it goes in the Putin. Chug your Bud Lites, ladies, and stand away from the unbolted Boeing door. Flight attendants, check the overheads, flush the loos and assume the pregnant stork position: 

This Yankee '24 train, or plane, or motor scooter - whatever - it's leaving the station...

After one week of Gammonitic scrutiny - 1 percent of the precincts reporting - we have BREAKING NEWS from the IT IS HIGH SITUATION ROOM/KOSHER DELI: 

WE ARE PROJECTING THE YANKEES WILL WIN THE 2024 AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST. 

Okay, maybe we're jumping the juniper. It's early. But but BUT... one week into Camp Hellbent, I challenge anybody, anywhere, to gimme one stinkin' reason why we should not be ejaculating great glowing gophers of hope. 

By this time last year, as you may recall, the Yankee Posturepedic had been permanently shat. We know the culprits: Rodon, Nestor, Sevy - a Bataan March of tweaked tushes and strained breadbaskets. That was then. This is - well - not then. We're taking our O-o-o, Ozempic!, plus the little pill with the big stow-ree to tell. We're bundling our home and car insurance. This is Week One, and everything is Liberty-Biberty!  

I'm serious. Last year, after one measly week in Tampa, we'd already lost Nestor Cortes and Frankie Montas, and Carlos Rodon was just warming up for his season-long disillusionment. 

Right now, no Amber Alerts. Everybody is healthy - (sorry, Scott Effross, you weren't here long enough to be "missing.") Let's enjoy this, while we can.

Both the Mets and Orioles - two rivals we must vanquish in 2024 - have already lost aces. (Kodai Senga has a "tired arm;" Kyle Bradish a strained UCL.) Boston looks baked. The Jays and Rays slept all winter. And fuck Jose Altuve, he's a year older with nothing to show for it. Meanwhile, we are pillars of nutrition and hygiene. 

Yeah, Aaron Judge says his bum toe must be "maintained." Nobody knows how Slim Gio Stanton will hit without that bowling ball he was lugging. The future of Anthony Rizzo remains as foggy as his head was last July. 

Fukkit. I. Don't. Care. 

Strap in, everybody. We're going for a ride. This train don't pull no doubters, this train...

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Carpe Diem!

I spent yesterday thinking about JM's reminder that every season could be our final one and that we should enjoy it. I couldn't agree more. 

This last year saw my 96 year old  mom moved to an assisted living facility in another state, the almost total wiping out of the old guard in the neighborhood I grew up in...  people that I still called  "Mrs. and their last name",  and saw my prostate cored out like the inside of an avocado by a thulium laser as I became the living embodiment  of the joke... 

I went to my doctor and he told me he needs a blood sample, a urine sample, and a stool sample and I said, "Take my underwear." 

The entire experience was massively disconcerting but in the end...

(Note the wordplay in "but" and "in the end" when talking about prostate surgery -  One day, when the study of  IIHIIFIIC is a curriculum requirement at Utica College, these will be the kinds of things that get focused on. 

El Duque's, "Across Camp Hellbent, sunblock-smeared Gammonites stand in awe of the rock-ribbed backstories that now gush from every tap. If Ponce de Leon could see this, he could die in peace, having found the Fountain."  is a three hour lecture right there. 

… but in the end, despite looking a little too much like the chubby guy on the Depends box for around a month and a half, I am happy to report that taking a leak is back to the twenty to thirty seconds it should be, and that includes washing my hands. (Most of the time.) 

No longer do I have to stand there humming "Red River Valley"," The Erie Canal", and other water themed songs in the hopes that my bladder will take the hint and join in on the fun. 

By now you are asking one of two questions... Where can I sign up to get my prostate nuked? Or What does this have to do with the Yankees?

Carpe Diem! 

It's Spring Training and I'm going to use this time to fully embrace the hope. I'm going to buy into what I previously called out as bullshit as recently as my comment on the last post. 

"Nestor Cortes strikes out Yankees’ Juan Soto three times to ace first spring test"

https://nypost.com/2024/02/20/sports/nestor-cortes-strikes-out-yankees-juan-soto-three-times/

Yes!!!! Nestor is Back! 

So Soto struck out three times. He was just being a good teammate. Giving Nestor a little confidence as he works himself back into shape. 

And speaking of shape... Stanton's new exercise program looks like it's paying off! Sure he can no longer dead lift random drunk women in nightclubs... unless they are anorexic supermodels. I'm pretty sure he can still do those... 

This spring is about showing the world that he can still be a "ballplayer" he's going to run, hit, field, throw, catch, lay off the low and outside pitch and reclaim the job of cleanup hitter that he inexplicably never had to vacate despite hitting below .200. 

"Yankees camp has been buzzing about DJ LeMahieu" - The Athletic

Hey, he had a great second half! 

Rizzo? Concussions heal. 

Aaron Judge says: ‘There might be another move on the way’ for Yankees as free agents linger."  - NY Daily News 


Plus MLB is making the players wear new uniforms! 
















How cool is that! 

Face it, there's a lot to be excited about but I'll stop now because, nature calls and by G-d I'm ready to answer. 

The Yankees have five starters. Why could they possibly need Blake Snell?

Sometimes, for wanton self-pleasure, I imagine Hal Steinbrenner rising from his desk, shredding the NY Post and going bonkers berserk, flinging office tchochkes  - his WORLD'S BEST DAD mug, the REGGIE bobblehead, the click-clack toy, his fidget spinner, his POGs and Magic Cards, whatever he can grab- at a cowering Cooperstown Cashman. "WHADDAYA MEAN WE NEED ANOTHER STARTER?" he rages, reaching a level of emotion unplumbed since his last Barry Manilow concert, during the opening cords of Mandy.  "WE ALREADY GOT FIVE!"

And, dammit, Hal's right. In this techno era, you need five, and the Hellbents currently can check that box. There is no need to sign a Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery, another starter, at least until we've used up the ones we already have. 

Every team needs pitching, pitching, pitching, and - frankly, as currently constructed, the Yankees don't look dadgum awful. With a little luck and some string ties, who knows how far this starting five can go?

But but BUT... let's set the Wayback for Feb. 21, 2023 - one year ago, to ponder what can happen. 

Last year, around now, the Yankees presented the deepest starting rotation in baseball: Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas and Nestor Cortes. Five legitimate Cy Young candidates, five former all-stars, five pitchers on the verge of great seasons. And behind them: Clarke Schmidt, Michael King and Domingo German. A depth of starters unknown by any other team.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, how about everything? Montas, Severino and Rodon didn't make it out of spring training. Cortes went down in May. German blew up in July, and long before June 1, Schmidt was our No. 2, and we were down to Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez, both of whom had been ticketed for a year in Scranton.  

We can pleasure ourselves because Rodon and Cortes are currently throwing well, but here's the reality: The Yankees are a tumbling domino away from Clayton Beeter and the cast of Succession. Our rotation, for now: Cole, Schmidt, Rodon, Cortes and Marcus Stroman. After that, Luke Weaver? Yeesh. 

We can have great hopes for Chase Hampton and Will Warren, but both need time at Triple A, rather than to be thrown to the Vlad Juniors and Gunnar Hendersons of the AL East.

That's why Scott Boras is holding out on Blake Snell: He knows elbows soon will start barking across training camps, and the price of pitching will only rise. 

For me, I'm hoping the only Yankee elbow to boink is Hal's, after he throws his WELCOME TO MYRTLE BEACH mousepad at the wall. You can say the 2024 season hasn't even begun, and yeah, you're right. But the Yankees are already standing on thin ice. Shoes are about to drop. A rain of them. An "atmospheric river." We better have an umbrella. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Soto Question

I've been hearing and seeing a lot of carping lately about Juan Soto. Namely, why would we spend $31 million plus to have a guy for only one year? (And give up a slew of young pitchers plus Higgy to get the opportunity.)

The argument seems to be that if he's just a rental, it was stupid. Because if we can't lock him up for the rest of his baseball life, it's just not worth it.

I don't get it.

The kid is amazing, a great hitter. He and Judge...well, that's going to scare the shit out of every team the Yankees play.

Yes, we could have used the young pitchers. Especially, to my mind, King.

On the other hand, the problem last year wasn't so much the pitching. It was the offense, which was terrible. I mean, once Judge stubbed his toe, we sucked. Putting Rizzo out there day after day when he had a concussion was stupid writ large. Stanton sucked, again. (And watch this year. I bet he still sucks, but just takes up less room doing it.) The kids all sucked, thanks to the ace coaching staff who fucked up their swings.

We needed a big bat. We got Soto. We also got Verdugo. Yes, I would have preferred signing Bellinger, but there's a pretty big risk there. He had a great year after falling apart. Can he keep up the production? Nobody knows.

At least Vertigo is a lefty. Prime porch material to go along with Soto.

And keep in mind, Vertiginous is likely a placeholder right now until J'asson D'ominguez, the Martian, comes back. Unless he flops after surgery, he's our center fielder now and in the future. Judge is just filling in at the moment, which is not going to destroy his fragile frame any more than running back and forth for years destroyed Scottie Pippin or whoever else you plug in there.

And yet...and yet...I hear the cry echoing throughout the land that Soto might or probably will be a rental, and we should somehow feel bad about that and worry about what might happen in 2025.

Well, I'll tell ya. We're all gonna die, and most of us can see the finish line from where we sit. Does that mean you worry about that and just give up and not enjoy your life to the fullest (within the limitations time has wrought)? So why do people sit around and moan about Soto being a rental (which, for all we know right now, he might not be at all, depending how the season goes)?

My advice is to ignore the nattering nabobs of negativity, those Yankee fans who insist on thinking like Mets fans. Carpe diem. I say, carpe annus, and I'm not talking about Porn Hub.

Enjoy this season. It could be the only one we have Soto and Judge together. For any of us, it could our last season, period.

Don't fuck it up for yourself.



 

Skinny Stanton, the Snell staredown, and a new flamethrower light up Camp Hellbent

Like Frampton long ago, Tampa has come alive. Every morning, it's like Dorothy stepping into Oz. Every returning vet, every emerging rook, every tool in the box, every dingleberry in the shower - it's cause for unbridled hope. 

Such is the beauty, the wonderment, of pre-spring. 

Across Camp Hellbent, sunblock-smeared Gammonites stand in awe of the rock-ribbed backstories that now gush from every tap. If Ponce de Leon could see this, he could die in peace, having found the Fountain. Yesterday, Juan Soto gave his first press conference. (That's what they do; like Ari Fleischer, they call press conferences.) He said nothing, but nobody cared. The stars walk a mowed red carpet, posing in their midnight blues and projecting one grand assurance.

Everything will be okay. 

Everyone will be a star. 

This year will be different: Everything will come together.

So, enjoy the joy. Meanwhile, here are the trope storylines...

1. The dieters. Seen the shots of Giancarlo Stanton? He's dropped a stone, maybe more. (O, o, o, Ozempic?) Weight loss - the fading superstar who quit the kugel this Christmas - is one of the great traditions of spring. Long ago, we saw it with CC Sabathia. Later, Gary Sanchez. It's the first sign that a slugger or ace recognizes an existential threat to his career, that even though the spring days are getting longer, his time in The Show is growing shorter. 

This week, both Giancarlo and Carlos Rodon reported looking as toned as Miley Cyrus. Let's hope it works. For both stars, it's sorta now or never. If Rodon doesn't bounce back from 2023, he probably never will. And if Giancarlo flounders, the Yankees will disappear him. He's faltered now for two years. As Auric Goldfinger said, "Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, and three times is enemy action." The Yankees cannot win with a DH who hits .190. 

2. The last hope. Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery remain holdouts, and - frankly - WTF? (Especially Montgomery, a perfect fit in Texas. What is wrong with the Rangers?) 

Either would greatly elevate the Yankees' chances in 2024. In fact, it's so painfully obvious, so abundantly clear, considering the thin rotation, which is likely to crack before opening day. Apparently, runner-ups and wild cards will be Hal Steinbrenner's legacy, and he's okay with that. 

Every day, sportswriters squeeze out copy suggesting the Yankees are still in on Snell, even though Hal insists they are done. It's like kids on Christmas morning, holding out for the pony. At this point, I hesitate to even mention the rumor. It will just hurt more when they sign with the Jays or the Mets. 

3. The fireballer. In this case, it's Nick Burdi, a 31-year-old, RH, non-roster invitee who has been kicking around the majors since 2018, never throwing more than 10 innings in a season. He's 6'3," 225, so the worms will know he's out there. He's impressed the Yankees, and good for him.

I Googled the guy. This I know: The issue has never been his ability to throw hard. It's all about the ligaments, the things that go pop in the night. If his arm holds together, Nick Burdi can help this team. Remember that name. And light a candle for his gaskets. 

Everything is beautiful. Spring is coming, everybody. Peel me a grape.

Monday, February 19, 2024

The most intriguing Yankee in camp might also be the most tradeable.

Whenever I ponder the endless possibilities of the 2024 Yankees - (which is every second of every minute of every hour of every day) - I hit a reboot snag on the cherubic image of Mr. Alexander Brady Verdugo. 

For starters, his mere presence in Tampa makes little sense.  The Yankees traded three minor league pitchers for him, and it's not even certain he has a position to play. If Trent Grissom plays CF - the preferred defensive scenario - then Juan Soto moves to LF and Verdugo mines splinters. That's a combustible situation, because Verdugo is not above complaining about management. 

The trade for Verdugo came days before the bigger move, which acquired Soto for a tranche of young arms. At the time, it seemed a stopgap, in case the Soto deal collapsed. Ever since, the Hellbent Yankees have been raking the methane fields, scrounging for pitchers. You can almost imagine them trading Verdugo - a fun scenario, now that he shaved his beard - to alleviate the dearth of pitching. But I doubt Brian Cashman wants to admit he made a mistake, so Verdugo is here to stay, at least until August.

But here's the crazy part: 

I can't dispel the notion that Verdugo is the most intriguing player in Tampa. Here's why:

1. He'll turn 28 in May. Agewise, he's entering his prime.

2. This is his contract year. Next winter, he's a free agent. 

3. He's a grudgy type - outspoken, edgy, a partier - who never forgets an insult and will likely hate Boston forever. 

4. He bats LH. This winter, Cashman finally realized the insanity of a RH-hitting lineup in Yankee Stadium.

5. He seemed to always hurt us. I hated to see him in clutch situations.  

6. Maybe - just maybe - this could be his career year. 

Let's explore that hallucination. Verdugo is a career .281 hitter who slid last season (amid a teamwide Redsock collapse) - to .264. BTW, that would still have placed him third on the Yankees, who were certifiably pathetic. (Gleyber led the team with .273.) He hit 13 HRs, and that's the knock: Little power. But he'll be hitting in Yankee Stadium, not Fenway. He'll have the Porch instead of the Monster. 

Let's imagine that all the above reasons converge to bring about Verdugo's career year. Here's what his numbers could look like: 

15-20 HRs, (previous best: 13.)
75-89 RBIs. (previous, 74.)
Batting average .310-.315. (previous, .308.)
10 stolen bases (previous, 7.)
An On Base Percentage of .380 (.367.)  

Those would be all-star numbers. Verdugo would likely end up hitting leadoff. Yes, imagining career years is just a parlor game. He could shit the bed. But if you're pondering the Yankee lineup, searching for hope, you have Judge and Soto... and then what? A bunch of maybes. Wanna imagine DJ LeMahieu (at 35) having his best season? Or Anthony Rizzo, 34? Good luck with that.

Verdugo is approaching the greatest chance of his life: He could play LF in Yankee Stadium, with a short porch, with protection in the lineup and a pile of games against the franchise that traded him. Come October, a contract of gold could be awaiting him. Is he smart? Does he recognize the opportunity? I guess that's what we'll find out.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Top Ten Meaningless Storylines of the Week in the Yankiverse

They're all just dangling, shiny objects, but here goes anyway...

1. Carlos Rodon has lost weight.  

2. Aaron Judge wants to bat third. 

3. Potty-mouth Aaron Boone says team is "hellbent" to win. 

4. Nestor Cortes' injury, which nobody told us about, won't be as bad as we didn't fear. 

5. Cashman is relentlessly churning waiver fodder - McKinley Moore, Jordan Groshans - to improve Scranton roster.

6. When anyone mentions Blake Snell, the Yankees yell that they're done spending. 

7. Jose Trevino's strained calf again proves Yanks can get injured anywhere, at any time, doing anything. 

8. Clean-shaven Alex Verdugo looks like adorable kewpie. 

9. The Yankees won't offer contract extension to Gleyber, won't get a chance to do one with Soto.

10. As Yanks go for broke in '24, Mets seem to be building for long term.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Sit down for this. Brace yourself. It's time to spew blaspheme about Brian Cashman

Before continuing, a warning: The post you're about to see contains words and images that some readers may find upsetting...

I suggest you take a seat. Do you use blood pressure medication? Take it. Maybe a shot of Buffalo Trace?  Breathe. Close your eyes and go to a happy place: You're running barefoot through a field of erect nipples. Okay, are you ready? Here goes...

Brian Cashman is right.

There, I said it. The world didn't explode. The floor didn't cave in. No Satanic trumpets blared o'er the hills. Don't worry: I won't say it again. You don't go taunting the Beastmaster. But Brian Cashman - yes, our Brian Cashman - is absolutely right in refusing to trade Spencer Jones and/or Jasson Dominquez for the missing link to 2024, a starting pitcher. Make no mistake: He is doing the right thing for the Yankees, even if it is not the best move for his job security.

How can I speak such blaspheme? Easy. It's true. 

For better or worse, the 2024 the Hellbent Yankees have built an all-or-nothing roster, balanced on key players entering their "walk" years. This includes Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo and Gleyber Torres, all central to the batting order. 

The Yankees are all-in for the coming season, but it might not be enough. They appear to be at least one starter short, and Hal Steinbrenner is refusing to spend more. That leaves Cashman with one recourse: Trade a top prospect for - say - Dylan Cease of the White Sox. Such a deal would instantly make the Yankees favorites in the AL East according to the lapdog media - (with a few exceptions: talking to you Mike Axisa and Joel Sherman) - and a YES team of analysts who should know better.  

Thus far, Cashman is holding the line, refusing a trade. He could push the button, invoke the memory of Clint Frazier, and secure a starting pitcher. He is holding back at his own peril. 

This is his Crunch Year, or as Mel Brooks would put it, Springtime for Cashman in Germany. If the Yankees flop, I gotta believe Cash disappears. Those barnyard photographs of Hal that he keeps in his safe? They have lost their punch due to AI deep fakes. If the Yankees shit the bed in 2024, mark these words: Cashman will be operating a McDonald franchise in 2025. He cannot afford to miss the playoffs two years in a row. 

So, he can trade the remaining Yankee seed corn, further depleting a farm system that has already been seriously drained. In a way, he has nothing to lose. Those prospects won't reach stardom for years, and he might not last that long. 

We rank on Cashman all the time. He's our go-to whipping mule. Now, let's give the guy some credit: He's refusing to push the button on a bad, long term deal. 

Okay, open your eyes. You're no longer in that meadow of blossoming areola. You're back in Jersey City, or Lackawanna, or Ashtabula, and the engine light is still regularly flashing on your dashboard. Nothing has changed. But dammit, the world has been transformed. A miracle has happened. Cashman is right. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Hellbent Yanks have many worries, but none about Giancarlo

The older you get, the more you view relatively short timespans - say, four years from now - as Eternity. 

I mean, who bothers to ponder 2028? By then, the caps will have melted, the asteroid will have hit, the super-volcano, the space nukes, the Taylor-Travis breakup - WWIII, the aliens, AI, "everything bagels" - something will get us. Four years from now? If we're lucky, we'll be sitting in a rehab cafeteria, eating creamed corn, watching Gomer Pyle. 

Which - "Surprise, surprise, surprise..." brings us to Giancarlo Stanton. 

At age 34, Giancarlo has finally reached The Precipice. 

If he doesn't hit in 2024 - if he begets another .190, hobbling, injury-pocked year - he will officially become a pariah - a Bonilla, an Ellsbury, a Sandoval - a podcast punchline to be remembered for his franchise-killing contract, and the premier reason why Hal Steinbrenner will never again splurge for talent during his sorry-ass time as owner of the NY Hellbent Yankees.

Listen: We can list the keys to 2024, but Stanton aint one. 

If he doesn't hit, so be it! If he's wallowing below the Mendoza Line on June 1, the Hellbents simply must ditch him - in any way possible. DFA. Salary dump. Ozempic overdose. Doesn't matter. What they cannot do is waste another season waiting for a slugger who has lost his ability to turn on a fastball. It happened to Ryan Howard. It happened to Mo Vaughn. It happens all the time. What you don't want is to prolong the experience, to yank off the Band-Aid slowly. 

If Stanton doesn't hit, no problem! Just free him. "Liberty-Biberty!" Absorb the payroll hit. It's called "the price of doing business."

The Yankees will pay Stanton $106 million through 2028. That includes a $10 million buyout and $20 million, which will be paid by the Marlins - (thank you, Jete) -  who in 2017 were so desperate to disappear their then-MVP that they opted to pay partially for his final two seasons, which they knew would be abysmal. 

Look, okay... yes, there is a chance Stanton will mount a comeback. This is America; anything can happen! Three years ago, he hit .273 with 35 HRs. He claims to be working harder than ever, with a new approach to hitting. (Heard that one before.) If so, good for him! 

But the worst thing the 2024 Yankees could do is face another full season of Stanton hitting .200, batting 4th or 5th, and clogging the DH hole so other hitters cannot rest. 

We finished fourth last year.

We don't need to worry about Stanton. 

Stanton needs to worry about Stanton.  

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Not a pitch has been thrown, but Yankee injuries have begun

Yesterday, pitchers and catchers cameth unto Tampa - aka: The Big Guava - and the Yankees immediately lost one of each.

1. Scott Effross - a bullpen lug nut penciled in to chug 50 to 70 innings in 2024 - was revealed to have undergone back surgery in December. This follows his Tommy John cutup in 2022, weeks after Cooperstown Cashman obtained him in a trade for Hayden Wesneski, (currently competing for the Cubs rotation.) Effross could be back in June. Or never. He's 30. Just sayin.'  

2. Then there is Jose Trevino - the all-star reserve catcher and feelgood story of '22 - who somehow, (taking out the garbage?), tweaked a calf last month and will miss the opening games of spring training. In a normal, meaningless February, this would barely be a blip upon the Death Barge firmament of meaninglessness. But recent springs have shown us something about setbacks: They breed like feral cats. So, I suppose we should wait and see. 

In theory, we can spin Trevino's olden calf as a plus: It will push the Yankees to use their young catchers, most notably Austin Wells, with the A-team rotation. Obviously, we at IIHIIFIIc are "glass half full" creatures of positivity. Trouble is, it's Day One of the First Days, and already the calves are creaking. 

For months, we begged Prince Hal to finish winter with a flourish, to sign Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery and enter 2024 as kings of the AL East. Well, those pleas went nowhere.  

Instead of making a sizeable splash, the Yankees yesterday signed 32-year-old Lou Trivino - who came in the disastrous 2022 Frankie Montas deal - to (sorta, anyway) replace Effross.

They also traded a 19-year-old lottery ticket pitching prospect to Milwaukee for 27-year-old lefty Clayton Andrews. He'd been DFAed by the Brewers, so it was one of those "gun-to-the-head" trades that Cashman loves. 

Last year, his third season at Triple A, Andrews pitched to a 2.52 ERA. He was called up to Milwaukee for an audition, and he got absolutely bombed - 3 innings, 10 earned runs. So it goes. And now... space nukes? Call 007! Calgon Bath Oil Beads, take me away!