Tuesday, August 9, 2022

On a morning we should be celebrating, a dark and painful loss

We've said this before, but it bears repeating, loudly and without malice. It's merely a statement of fact: 

The juju gods are assholes. 

Seriously. I hope they get monkey pox. I hope they lose everything on crypto. I hope they pick Buffalo Bills in their fantasy drafts, and I hope they cannot sleep at night because those stupid Roomba vacuum cleaners are barging around their bedrooms, and that they mistake dried globs of toothpaste for candy mints, and that they pee down their legs while reading on the john - and other partial payments for their crimes against the Yankees. They deserve to rot in hell. Or Utica. 

Last night, they took out Matt Carpenter - after Nestor and maybe Trevino, the single-most feelgood Yankee story of 2022 - for almost surely the rest of the season. In case you missed it, because who stays up until dawn to watch a stumbling team, Carpenter fouled off a pitch and broke his foot. At 36, his year is done. He'll surely get offers over the winter, but his time with the Yankees might also be done. It aint right, I tell ya. At least he got those standing O's in St. Louis, and his comeback outlasted Kim and Pete Davidson. Still, it's a dark day in the Yankiverse, and I blame those surly, graveyard-shift, minimum-wage deities, who do nothing more than fix ballgames. Assholes. I hope they need to wear compression socks.

(The Yankees won last night, thanks to a gamer performance from Jameson Tailion, and those are words you haven't seen here in a while. Tonight, the ever-faltering Gerrit Cole goes against Luis Castillo, who has become the Yankee Babadook, popping up on doorsteps and window sills. Three weeks ago, he was a throwaway line in a Gammons column; how did we end up on this guy's shit list? What did we do to this guy, aside from not drain the farm to get him?) 

How will Carpenter's loss affect us? Let's count the ways.

1. We need Anthony Rizzo back more than ever. Without the Carp, our batting order lists dangerously starboard. Last night, Anthony Benintendi came alive - 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs - but after Barren Aaron Hicks, he was our lone LH batter. That's trouble, especially heading into the postseason. (Houston RHs: McCullers, Verlander, Garcia, Javier...)   

2. With the trade deadline mercifully passed, we might need help from - gasp! - Scranton. First up would likely be lefty OF Estevan Florial, the perpetual prospect, now 24 and in his second season at the Anthracite Capital. But a dirty little secret is that Florial is slumping - hitting .213 over the last month, with an On Base Percentage of just .276. He's a swing-and-miss hitter, not a grinder, and the Yankees don't seem to think he's a solution. Sad.

3. What about all those the grizzled vets which the Yankees annually stash in Moosic? Where the hell are Chris Gittens and Socrates Brito! (Answer: Nobody knows.) But but BUT... there is someone who actually might be interesting: Ronald Guzman, 27, a former BJs prospect, is hitting .388 over the last 30 days. He's 19-49 with 3 HRs, and he's a hulking LH 1B-DH. I don't want to hype this guy, because he's not on the roster, and I kinda doubt he ever will be. But, well, he's there. Would look good coming off the bus.

4. Quite likely, this could be Miguel Andujar's last shot with Yankeehood. In the last month, Miggy's hit .250, though his mental state must have been awful, having been shipped out and then untraded. He or old friend Tyler Wade - a LH infielder - might get a call. Could Wade platoon with IKF or Donaldson? Maybe. Would it solve the problem? Probably not.

5. Cashman finds somebody off a scrap heap. The trade deadline has passed, but old players are like Marvel superheroes - they never truly leave. Cash's greatest talent has been in finding lost souls - like, well, Carpenter! - who are stumbling through Triple A Twilight Zones, waiting for one last call. Is there somebody out there, perhaps who has contemplated retirement, who plays the OF, who bats LH and maybe even has a track record for the Yanks?

6. Like... Gardy? 

OK, shoot me, but I had to say it. Crazy longshot, for sure. And it makes no sense, none whatsoever. But what a story? Nah. Aint gonna happen.

7. We hope for the juju culling of herds on our enemies. That's right. Don't look into my eyes. I've become what we all despise - a jaded, malignantly vile creature who would sit here and call upon the juju gods to foul pitches off of certain opposing batters' kneecaps. Yes, I revel in my foul, fetid evil. But then again... how many sacrifices to the juju gods must the Yankees make? They have now lost the entire center of their batting order - Stanton, Rizzo and Carpenter - dwindling the offense to LeMahiue, Judge and opposite-field bloopers. (And last night, Donaldson.) We are a beaten up team, hitting the point where minor injuries are season-killers. We've paid our price. It's time for somebody else to step into the target range.

Not wishing anybody particular to get hurt - well, okay, yeah, that's a lie, there's a little runt fuckwad in Houston I wouldn't mind getting shingles - but all I'm asking, juju gods, is to even things up, okay? Do your jobs, but do it fairly. And, by the way, I didn't mean that thing about monkey pox. You guys are great. Really. Love ya. Hey, have you lost weight? 

Monday, August 8, 2022

Did we just lose the pennant over $932,833.34?

 

Poor Scott Floss. His whispy prom beard newly shaven, he looked like an adorable schoolboy when the first batter he faced in Yankee Stadium nearly took him deep. 

He retreated all the way to the third base line, grimacing queasily as the ball he served up dropped just short of the stands.  

Not, let us say, the traditional Yankee closer look. Sparky Lyle or Goose Gossage would have stood on the mound and scowled and glowered that fly down. The Great One, Mariano, would have given it the long-faced look of a mosaic saint, forcing it down with the wisdom of the ages.

Not Floss—seen below preparing for his Social Studies exam. I half expected him to chomp on his fingers as he watched it descend.

Hey, you go to war with the army you got, as the man in charge of making the army better once said. Floss was what we had, acquired dirt cheap from the tanking rebuilding Chicago Cubs.

It's just a shame the Cubbies didn't have available somebody who had pitched in New York before. Preferably under the pressure of a pennant race. 

Maybe, even, someone who had pitched in the Bronx twice before during pennant races, including the last time the Yankees won it all. Who had even been a closer here for a whole season, and had recently become a highly effective closer again, and was so good at wriggling out of jams that his nickname was Houdini.

Nah, no one like THAT was available from the Cubs...were they?

And surely not somebody who the Cubbies would give up for no more than a one-time, 33rd-round draft choice—a 22-year-old pitcher who, in his sixth year of pro ball, was no further along than 3-5 in the Single-A Sally League.


Some goofball who looked, say, like this, just below. That couldn't possibly be the case. Right?







And if it did, there MUST have been a good baseball reason for it all going down like that.  Correct-o?  

Our veteran general manager, nobody's fool, would NEVER have passed up a chance to acquire the likes of Dave Robertson for, well, some fool like the one here, unless there WAS a good baseball reason. At least a very, very good baseball reason.

I mean, it couldn't have been all about the MONEY or anything. Could it? 

After all, Houdini Robertson is only making $3.5 mill this year. You pro-rate that after two-thirds of a season, and we're talking about a mere $1.2 mill. Less, even.

Of course, young Floss is making only $701,500 a year. You pro-rate that, calculate the difference, ipso facto, abracadabra, and you end up $932,833.34, rounding off the final cent.

I mean, they couldn't POSSIBLY have brought in Dross over Houdini because of that sort of money. 

Could they?









New Guy


 Clayton has a nickname.

Nobody likes us, everybody hates us, I'm gonna go eat worms



Yeah, sure, we all know--or strongly suspect--that we end up on the short end of the umpiring stick more often than not. But this infographic shows how Big Ed fucked us at key moments in yesterday's game.

Our pitching stunk, our new pitchers all stunk, we hit like crazy but just not enough to beat our pitchers. Of course. But the umping was pretty abysmal, and it favored St. Lou by three runs (as determined by some formula that I don't know and wouldn't understand even if I did, but I believe it).

This happens, I suspect, a LOT (not the Polish airline). We regularly play with a disadvantage that goes beyond Cashman's management, Boone's antics, the IL, and Sam Donaldson. Think the low strikes called on Judge, the borderline pitches we don't get at key moments just before the floodgates open, and stuff like that there.

Can other teams make similar complaints/whinings/finger-pointing crybaby excuses? No doubt some can. But for regularity (Philips Milk of Magnesia) and painful losses (Keeps is just Rogaine marketed to youngsters), I bet we take the Bizarro First Prize (as opposed to, say, Bizarro Bilinski's) for this.

Wah. Whine. Pout. But we're in no position to overcome disfavortism that targets us.

 

Swept and humiliated, the crumbling Yankees must now overcome Cashman's Folly

Five straight losses since the trade deadline - a wave of deals that was supposed to fortify the rotation and build a stress-free September. Yeah. Right.

Remember our great expectations? YES broadcast a celebratory trade deadline special with Brylcreem Jack Curry. We gorged on the rumors - most notably, that we'd unload The Martian to Cincinnati for Luis Castillo, or pay Joey Gallo's salary and actually get somebody in return. (Actually, we did receive a great future funny trivia name: Clayton Beeter.) We would spend at the deadline, taking on a contract or two, because that's what the Yankees used to do - remember Cecil Fielder, David Justice, Tim Raines? - before Frugal Hal began using the franchise as a family ATM. 

Five straight losses. Turns out, every trade hinged on long term player contracts, with an eye toward reducing payroll. Will it mean a bigger offer to Judge next winter? If this team collapses, it probably won't matter. Judge will want out, and some owner - Dodgers, Padres, Phillies, Mets? - will offer crazy-stupid money, while Food Stamps pulls out his pockets and pleads poverty. 

Five straight losses. Cashman may have just beaten his career-worst trade deadline - even worse than 2010, when he dealt Mark Melancon for a buttery Lance Berkman. (All that's needed is for one of prospects we traded to become a star, and it will be Cash's worst.) 

Worth noting: As part of the deal, if Harrison Bader cannot return for the playoffs, the Cardinals will give us a player to be named later... or CASH!  (Oh, goody, goody, hooray, money, money, money!)  A new boat would help Hal deal with the collapse of his team and impending loss of its premier player. Though we will have Clayton Beeter.

Five straight losses. Was Gallo that popular? And now, as part of the new Yankee parlor game, the team each day trots out a new apologist to explain the Montgomery deal. 



It all makes sense - and then another cog in the deal gets torched.

Yesterday, three newcomers - Frankie Montas, Scott Effross and Lou Trivino - gave up 9 runs between them. Nine. Terrible outings in a big, sellout Sunday afternoon game. Afterwards, the Death Bargers called it an aberration, though Montas' background features multiple red flags, including a sore shoulder, and Effross is among the MLB leaders in games pitched. You can almost hear a "tick-tick-tick" when he comes in.  

Five straight losses. Now, they will disappear into the radio silence of a late night West Coast series.  Jameson Tailion pitches tonight, and they really really really need a big game from him. Any bets? Maybe we can bring up you know who!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Twitter critics are raving about Frankie Montas.

 



Sonny Montas.


 

"Don't lose any sleep."

 

I apologize for my outburst last night, and I thank all here for your supportive and sympathetic comments. 

I would like to put the blame on bad gin, but actually the gin I was drinking was excellent (On bad gin, well, let's just say that outburst might have been a very, very ugly thing.). More than that, I was feeling whip-lashed by all of my chosen television viewing.

The Yankees' "game" in St. Louis, for starters—truly, about as perfunctory and uninvolved an affair as I've ever witnessed from this team—and then also from watching some of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (still, on second viewing a very weird film, not sure just what to make of it), and then watching a traumatic, new episode of ESPN's The Captain.

Yes, you can guess which one that was: the hour that takes us through what was the worst moment of my entire, 56-year, Yankees-watching life: the 2004 ALCS meltdown against Boston. I'm still not over it (obviously), and even if your New York Yankees manage to blow this record, 15 1/2-game lead—which they may well do—it won't be as awful as those four days in October.

What really set me off about it, though, was Joe Torre saying—as he has frequently since—"Hey, I didn't lose any sleep over it."

No, Joe, you did not, because obviously you were already sleeping in the dugout during those four games.

I kid, I kid.  Sort of.  

Trust me, I love Joe Torre somethin' fierce. He seems like the epitome of class and, let's face it, without him at the helm, chances are the whole enterprise comes a-cropper under Mad Old George, and we've spent the last 25 years or so watching the Dolans run our favorite ballteam into the ground (or into New Jersey).

Only Torre could have done such a brilliant job of making that clubhouse mesh, year-in and year-out, AND held off those perennial wolves at the door, the New York media and the Steinbrenners. The fact that Brian Cashman hated him and ultimately deep-sixed him is just one more point in his favor.

That said, Joe was never a great or even a good field manager, and his moves in October probably kept us from winning several more championships. I'm hoping that he is simply protesting too much when he says, "I didn't lose any sleep over it," or maybe trying to be too literal.

Yes, we all realize it's not football, Joe. It's a day-in, day-out game that requires a certain equilibrium. You had that, in abundance. Sometimes, maybe, a little too much. But better—much better, infinitely better—that you were here rather than not.

The whiplash came from Spike Lee almost immediately bringing on former clean-up man and colossal meathead, Gary Sheffield, to make mysterious claims that Torre was a racist—"All I know was that

when I went in to see him in his office, or when other Black players went in, I didn't get what I wanted."

It's hard to know what Shef could have wanted from Joe. Maybe, "Hey, be sure to juice up again, you're batting fourth"? 

Sheffield sure as hell acted as if he never needed anything from anyone while he was here. He was a helluva hitter, but an obvious juicer—i.e., cheater—and I always thought it was an enormous mistake for us to sign him off the free-agent market instead of Vlad, Senior, a man who always struck fear in Red Sox hearts.

Instead, we got Shef, 7 years older than Vlad the Lad, and last seen bragging about how he never watched the games while serving as an ESPN analyst. (Shef, incidentally went 1-17, with 6 Ks, 1 single, and 0 ribbies in the 4 games of the Great Boston Meltdown.)

Sheffield pivoted from his mindlessly vague Torre accusations, when asked by Spike Lee, to say that, essentially, Derek Jeter never had a problem with Torre because he (Jeter) wasn't Black. This was news to Jeets, who has spent a lifetime dealing with the usual nimnuts who gave him hell FOR being Black, of course, but never mind.

Some idiots will strike any pose, throw out any insult, just to be noticed long after their playing days have expired. But I digress!

The one saving grace of the whole show came when Lee asked Jeter and several teammates how THEY felt about that 2004 ALCS—Bernie, Jorge. I was delighted to see that, to a man, they had been infuriated about it. That they were STILL infuriated about it, or so it seemed.

And while I know I've said this before, this strikes me as the key to our fandom, my brethren and sistren:

Ya gotta at least pretend to care. Otherwise, the whole thing falls apart.

It's just a game? It doesn't mean that much? You didn't lose any sleep? Terrific! As my esteemed colleague Doug K. pointed out, then that means the whole game is free, right? 

Refunds at the admissions gate? Money off my cable bill? And since it really means nothing, then y'all are on your way to help starving people in the world somewhere, or donating your every penny to solving climate change, right? Because that means something.

Hey, I wouldn't mind living in that world where games are just games. We'd all just gambol down to the meadow to watch Tots Bader and the other local lads play ball for an evening's fresh air. Maybe we'd even agree to pass the hat for a match played with some real ginger!

And sure, everyone else operates that way, too, right? You go to the opera, or the ballet, or a Broadway show, and the cast suddenly stops and laughs, and says, "Hey, this is all just so much jumping around and singing! We're not bothering with the lines or the orchestration tonight, okay?"

Without a good faith effort, even in the silliest of endeavors, it's just not worth it. (This is why Aaron Boone is not a good manager, by the way, not so much because he follows orders from his silly little boss, but because he can't keep his team involved for a whole season.)

Those guys from the last great dynasty? They've led great lives. They've been showered with riches and honors almost beyond imagining. And you know what? They're STILL mad about how that 2004 ALCS went.

I like that.




Punt This!

Escutcheon by the late great Wes Jenkins. 

The final comment on yesterday's game thread was this from Publius in reference to what the Yankees might be thinking. Basically, he surmises that they are punting August... (Doesn't mean he likes it BTW)

"So, play shit baseball for a while, who cares? Get Rizzo, Bader and Stanton back around Labor Day, then all will be well. A marathon not a sprint, be ready for October, etc., etc. We shall see."

If that's true, then double fuck them. (That’s if they can remember what a double looks like.)

The Yankees refer to themselves as a product all the time. They are. One that fans pays top dollar to see.

It's like a Broadway show deciding to rest their leads, "Hugh Jackman's knees are a little stiff let's let the understudy do a few weeks. We'll have him back in time for the Tonys."

If the Yankees are going to mail it in it might be sound strategy but tickets don't go to half price just because they decide to be half assed. 

The team they put on the field yesterday was an abomination. 

Since we like to do Tom Waits lyrics here’s one from, “The Piano Has Been Drinking”

And the lightman's blind in one eye
And he can't see out of the other

In other words, six guys that can’t hit and neither can the other three.

Oh, guess who got sent down today? Ron Marinaccio. Because our pen is so stellar.

It boggles the mind.

In the meantime, the Astros will pass them this week. The Dodgers already have. The Mets will have them beat by Thursday and I have to sit and read headlines in the NY dailys like, "The not-so secret formula that has led to Mets' major culture shift” and "Max Scherzer Ks 11, pitches Mets past Braves for DH sweep”.

Last…

Gleyber as the cleanup hitter? Don’t they see, (Which is more than Gleyber does. Maybe the Yankees need to do a sponsorship with Sterling Optical so he can get some free glasses.) that he becomes a completely different hitter when he thinks he’s supposed to hit a HR?  

I still think they tried to get rid of him at the deadline in the deal for Lopez except that he wasn’t the deal breaker for us, he was the deal breaker for THEM…


Deleted comments & renegade robots


I just went through the comments for the last couple of days and found a bunch that didn't post, most of them from this thread. Figuring in the vanishing messages over the last month or so, this problem seems to be is—and I'm just guessing—Blogger's algorithm decides that someone is spamming and blocks their next comment. Then the auto-ban wears off for some reason, after one comment or ten. These posts showed up for me, albeit hidden in their respective threads, and I was able to restore a bunch that had fallen away in the most recent period. I don't want to monitor this every day, but I'll try to check back now and then. 

Changing the subject, I would like to announce that from 2023 on I'm going to be a fan of whatever team Aaron Judge is on. I assume that team will be spending to win. This doesn't extend to the Red Sox or Astros, of course; I'm not a fiend. Other owners, have your offers ready. If you sign Aaron Judge, you get a bonus: ME! 

Four straight losses since Cashman's Folly; do we believe what is happening before our very eyes?

Ripley's Flash: Believe it or not, the Yankees still own the best record in the AL and are on a projected path to win 108 regular season games.

Believe it or not, Domingo German might yet fill the vacated slot of Jordan Montgomery, who once again last night pitched well, only to see the Yankees give him no run support. Wait... is that right?

Believe it or not, the Dodgers' Joey Gallo is batting .286 - two for seven - with only four strikeouts since loadin' up the truck and headin' for the Hills of Beverly. Hooray for Gallywood. 

Believe it or not, over the last two weeks, Estevan Florial - poster boy for Yankee prospects lost in the Upside-Down Scrantonverse - is hitting .204. He has fanned 22 times in 49 at bats. In other words, he's ready for the Big Time.  

Believe it or not, Aroldis Chapman has now gone five outings without giving up a run. During this magical, Marianoian streak, El Chapo has walked only one batter and lowered his ERA to a microscopic 4.62. With Clay Holmes looking increasingly knock-kneed, it's only a matter of time before we see the Water Cannon pitching a ninth. Something to look forward to, eh?

Believe it or not, Aaron Hicks has managed to run his incredible, Stygian hitless streak to 32. That's right. Thirty-two. We should get a pool going: How far can Hicksy take it. I'm saying 41. Who's in?  

Believe it or not, over the last two weeks, Hicks, Donaldson, Gleyber and secret Redsock double-agent Andrew Benintendi are hitting a combined .133 - in the newly established WTG - (Worse Than Gallo) - Appreciation Ranking. This Olympian group has 22 hits in their last 165 at bats. They have fanned 48 times - roughly one in three at bats. When the Yankees bottom of the order comes up, it's time to see who's flashing their boobs on Bravo.

Believe it or not, the Redsocks are now under .500.

Four straight losses, and the NYC courtiers still say Cashman won the deadline. Wow. That's Alex Jones-level crapola. 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

This can't Last...


 I am watching Nasty Nestor cruise through 4 innings, but being to struggle.  He is throwing with exceptional effort behind each pitch, and I think to myself, " this can't last."

The yankees couldn't get much done, but they did have a lead.  

All my neurons  ( do humans have neurons?) are lighting up and saying to me," what if we have to go to the bullpen ?"

Who takes us through innings 5-8?

What if it is a tight game at the end,  and time for either Chappy or Holmes?

Holmes now has the look of a guy who had a great run, and was recently delivered back to the real world.  The world of Pittsburgh.  

Now we have lost our first baseman ( another tweak of another back ),  which weakens the defense and the offense. Just think, for a moment, how many great plays Rizzo makes on poor throws and crazy pop flies.  We shall soon see DJ's offense fall off as exhaustion flows over him. He can't pay third, second and first endlessly. 

Gleyber has hit a stone wall at the plate and Hicks knows he is already replaced. As Duque has stated, Hicks is just a bald old guy now. Can't hit a foul ball. 

So we have Judge and what?  Carpenter, maybe.  And  we did luck into a catcher. 

In my opinion, we just used our most reliable starter and we lost.  We can't hold a one run lead. Shouldn't even pretend that we can. 

The gods will have a field day with German vs. Monty today.

And LoCastro sits, Andujar wilts and Florial waits for a chance to go to Japan. 

Cashman should be the one going to Japan. 


Brace yourselves, Yank fans: The worst is yet to come

If you're not yet terrified, nine reasons to reconsider:

1. Since the All-Star break, the Death Barge is 6-9. Six and nine. Over the last month, they are 12-16. This is not "a bump in the road on the Path to Greatness." It's a deep, dark ravine leading to Freddy Nietzsche's Abyss, and it could stain this franchise for the rest of our measly lives. If we blow this... God help us.

2. Clay Holmes has now botched two straight games. He is what Aroldis Chapman was a month ago. He walks batters. He cannot finish them. One more loss, and we face a Goldfinger: ("Once is happenstance, twice coincidence, but three times, Mr. Bond, is Scott Proctor.") Right now, we have no closer. No lead is safe.

3. Aaron Hicks is now 0 for his last 29, with three GIDPs - each one, a Mike Tyson fist to our cabbage basket. Over the last month, Hicksy is hitting .197. Over the last 15 days, .119. It is amazing to say, but he is our new Joey Gallo. Which leads to the ultimate question: Who does Tim Locastro have to sleep with to get a shot? 

4. No trades will rescue us. The deadline came and went. Houston picked up Trey Mancini and Christian Valdez - two certified Yankee killers. We got Mr. Plant R. Fascitis, our own killer of Yankees. (Which leads me to this prospective timeline: Let's say Harrison Bader removes the walking boot next week - Aug. 17. He'll nurse his dogs for a week - Aug. 24. Then he'll rehab in the minors, say, two weeks. That gets him to NY around Sep. 8. He has three weeks to solve a potential "Welcome to NY" slump. He could be a force in October, as long as he suffers no setbacks. One tweak, one bad step, and Bader will disappear until next spring, the Yankees will have gotten nothing - well, actually I think Hal gets some money; way to go, chief! - and we will play - gulp - Hicks.)  

5. No cavalry is coming from Scranton. Over the last two years, the farm system has been effectively neutered and drained - along with being chronically overhyped. When we bundled our best prospects for Juan Soto and Luis Castillo, our packages came up short. We once held high hopes for Anthony Volpe and/or Oswaldo Peraza, who heated up in June. Both have cooled. And if the Yankees don't think Peraza is better than IKF, how much faith in him should we have?

6. Albert Abreu is not Michael King. He is not Chad Green. He might be Luis Cessa. We can pretend that old "Double A" is Cashman's latest "steal," a miracle of the pen. The way the Yes men gush, you'd think we should call in the kinfolk to gather 'round the set when Abreu comes in, to watch him strike out the side. Then, opposing batters treat him like the straits of Taiwan, following Nancy's visit. 

7. Anthony Rizzo has a sketchy back. This should be No. 1 on this list. The Yankees claim it's minor, that Rizzo will soon be back. Sure, I mean, yeah, they never lie, right? If they say he'll be back soon, well, all righty, we'll take it to the bank! Any long term loss of Rizzo would be catastrophic - offensively and defensively. And bad backs are bad news.  

8. Right now, the bottom of our lineup couldn't scare a sparrow, especially with potential malaise Andrew Benintendi hitting .083 and showing the power of an unshelled peanut. And once again, wipe Locastro from your mind. Benintendi must play, regardless of the results. Cashman stole him. He. Must. Play.

9. Soon, the Rays or BJs will either heat up or be jumped by Baltimore. (A very real threat in October.) Realistically, nobody can catch us in the Divisional race. But they could turn up the heat, making us sweat. And come October, as stated above... God help us.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Recalculating

 

This is the usual moment on the annual, attempted drive to 28, when Dad Cashman ends up pulling the family station wagon over to the side of the road and banging his head against the steering wheel.

Silence emanates from the GPS system. Then comes the ominous announcement, "RECALCULATING."

Time for us to make our own recalculations, as Siri's frosty voice gives us a new set of directions, since Cashie was so unwise as to diverge from the obvious plan.


Now that we can safely dismiss all the hooey about how the 2022 New York Yankees might be the greatest team that ever played—they never were, and never could have been—it's time to see what our real chances and real possibilities are.


—A 30th Straight Winning Record: HIGHLY LIKELY. It would be the 97th winning season in the Yanks' 120 years of existence. Which ain't nothin'.

CAN your New York Yankees manage to go at least 12-44 over the remaining 56 games of the season? I think they can—though it's no lock. The Yanks' pitching is coming apart, fast. When that happens, it's like your foundation sliding out from under the house, or an iceberg ripping a long gash in the side of your ship.

It don't matter how nice and fancy everything has been. You're going down, bad.


—Winning 100 games or more for the 22nd time in franchise history: HIGHLY UNLIKELY. True, all this Yankees team would have to do is go 30-26 the rest of the way. Not happenin'. No way they have a winning record from here on in, not with this pitching staff and these unfilled holes in the lineup (not to mention the holes in the ownership box). 

Something that seemed like a slam-dunk just a few weeks ago...has already slipped out of reach.


—Taking the East Division: POSSIBLE. The way the remaining schedule is set up, the Yanks division rivals have to play each other. A lot. That will make it hard for any one team to make a run. But...Boston is sinking fast, and Baltimore could easily return to form. If they turn into tomato cans again, that would make a charge by both TB and the BJs much more possible.

And again—a complete Yankees collapse is more likely than not. The team has already lost nearly one-third of the peak, 15 1/2-game lead it held less than a month ago, after stomping the Sox in Fenway on July 8th. Losing the other two-thirds in two months? Very possible.

Just remember how the 2000 team, exhausted and thinking it already had everything clinched, sputtered down the end of THAT season, going 3-15 and getting outscored by 57-148. And THAT was an infinitely better team than this one in all categories—one with a truly superior pitching staff that would rally to win its third straight World Series.

Coming up right now for our boys is a pretty brutal full MONTH of games, all over the country, mostly against other contenders. This should really tell the tale—and it doesn't look to be a pretty one.



–Best Record in the American League: NO CHANCE. Houston, a better team, is playing like an incredible machine, to plagiarize my favorite track call. They will move past the Yanks like they are standing still.


—Making the Playoffs: HIGHLY LIKELY. That is, can the Yankees finish in the top 40 percent of the AL?

Though yet again, when you don't have your pitching, you don't have just about anything. I wouldn't be THAT surprised if they just went home after Game 162.


—Winning an ALDS Series: POSSIBLE. But this depends upon so much else. IF they don't slip down to a Wild Card spot, or finish as the third-best division winner and get beat in one of the best-two-of-three, play-in series. 

IF the team they're playing has or has not wrecked their own staff getting through an earlier round...IF their opponent has injuries or is exhausted...yeah, it's POSSIBLE. I would not bet your trailer park lot on it.


—Getting to the World Series: ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. Hate to preclude ANY possibility of this happening. As a great man once said, there's no predicting baseball. 

The more short series there are, the more likely it is that the best team—Houston—can get knocked off.  Just look at the Braves back in the day, or the Phillies from around a decade ago. (Hey, Cashman's not TOTALLY wrong about this being a crapshoot!). 

But if it IS Yankees-Astros—again—expect the Yanks to lose this match-up for the 4th time in the last 8 seasons. This year, Altuve won't even to keep his shirt on.


—Winning the World Series:  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Which means NOT getting there might not be the worst thing. Who wants to see us get skunked by the Mets?

Did Yankee fans trade the blight of the Bambino for the Curse of Cashman?



Google-Eyes Gallo is Hollywood's new IT Guy, and other observations about the looming Cashman apocalypse.

Some of you believe Brian Cashman wears Trumpian Teflon Aftershave: That he could shoot a bystander on 5th Avenue and still keep his job. 

For years, I've agreed with you. Now... not so sure. 

I think something has torn the fundamental juju fabric of the Yankiverse - that our incredible spring amped up expectations like never before, and that this team's fate will be inexorably shared with its GM. If the Yankees flounder and fail - as they've done for 13 years - those fake pillars outside baseball's ugliest stadium are destined to topple. Yankee Reality, as we know it, has changed. 

In Tuesday's trade deadline, Cashman traded a solid, 29-year-old starting pitcher and lifelong Yank for a player who - for now, at least - cannot play. If this team falls in October, if the trade for Harrison Bader goes south, it will be a cold and unforgivingly harsh winter in Tampa. Someone will pay, and I doubt Aaron Boone will be enough.

Remember how Fox & Friends used to play for "the Audience of One?" That's how Cashman has survived: In the end, all he ever had to do was appease Food Stamps Hal. And they have so much in common - Hal is 52, Cash is 55; plus, they both owe everything to Old George. They might as well be cousins, identical cousins. They laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike. You can lose your mind.

Still, I do believe this is different. The world has changed. The Yankees no longer own NY. The Mets have a pitching staff made for October. If the Yankees botch this one, Aaron Judge will leave, and we'll end up replacing him with Danny Tartabull and Steve Kemp. If we blow this one, the Yankee Doomsday Clock will hit midnight. Armageddon outahere.  

Other off-day observations:

1. Breaking News: GALLO SINGLES. Incredible! Man's on fire! He's hitting - let's see now, carry the naught - .250! Two-fifty. That's nearly 200 fucking points above his Yankee career! And he singled to the opposite field! And only struck out twice!

Wednesday, Michael Kay took batting practice on Gallo, ripping a straw man claim that Gallo blames Yank fans fans for his failures. I read the interview and didn't see Gallo saying that, but who cares, right? A rant is a rant.

And Kay is right, sorta - I mean, Gallo sucked. Still, whenever a talk show host - who is paid by the bucket of bullshit -goes self-righteous over anybody, it always seems rather creepy. For all his miscues, John Sterling never rips players. 

Hearing Kay's rant, I actually found myself aligning with Gallo. I didn't think that could happen. 

Anyway, he's gone, and we're still waiting for Andrew Benintendi to show us an improvement. I wish Gallo luck in LA. But he better spend next winter retooling his swing, as did JD Martinez, Justin Turner and Matt Carpenter to save their careers. If so, Gallo might yet make it. And if Yankee fans did make him miserable, well, he got paid $10.2 million.  

2. Heading into the dog days, the Yankee staff looks thin as a coat of Windex. For years, they used Scranton as a de facto extended rotation. Today, if and when a starter goes down, we have one replacement: Clarke Schmidt. After him, it's Jhony Brito, Ryan Weber, Matt Krook and the infamous shrinking prospect Deivi Garcia - still only 23, still only 5'9" - now at Double A, moving downward through the system. 

Seriously, after Nestor Cortez, who can we count on? And keep in mind that Nestor he has now thrown more innings this season - 103 - than in 2021 and 2020 combined. Saturday, Domingo German pitches against Montgomery. When I think of that matchup, I cringe. And so should Brian Cashman. Food Stamps may have lived most everywhere, from Zanzibar to Berkley Square, but Cash has only seen the sights a guy can see from Brooklyn Heights. What a crazy pair! 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Brian Cashman is a genius. Just ask the French.


 So Tots Bader, eh? 

What a name. It makes you think of a character out of Damon Runyon:

"So me an' Tots Bader was chasin' after these tomatoes down at his Hotsie Totsie Club, see..."

Or maybe a World War II documentary:

"The Wehrmacht realized that if they could hold the Red Army at the Totsbader Line, they might keep Ruthenia in the Ostreich until the spring..."

But what to make, really, of Brian Cashman's decision to trade a perfectly serviceable pitcher for an outfielder in a walking boot? Obviously, the man is a genius

The French understood already, as they always do, they are far ahead of us, as they were with Jerry Lewis.  


Did you know that they gave Brian Cashman Le Prix de Magritte 15 years ago? 

It's true! 

It was back when Cashman started using first-round draft picks to select already injured pitchers. L'Academie Française understood this as the absurdist take on baseball that Cash meant it to be, when the rest of us were just stupefied.

What Cashman realized was that the sport he loved and had come of age in had become inherently absurd.

Hence his constant preoccupation with Rule 5 Draft. What an absurdity that is, in and of itself! All Cashman has been trying to do is point this out.

For that matter, exactly what is an "Astro"—or even a "Met"? When even the team names no longer make sense, how can we expect anything else to do so?



For those who doubt, have you seen the "City Connect" gear that ballplayers are now forced to cavort in?


Could anything BE more absurd? Or the "special" uniforms, in which our poor players must be driven close to schizophrenia, made to dress up alternately as combat troops and breast cancer survivors?

And what about the balk rule?

Some believe Cashman to be merely incompetent, or engaged in some sort of sinister connivance. But these are always the criticisms of genius before its time.

No, my friends, it is we who don't get it—who don't understand the brave protest he is making against the degradation of the game he once loved.




So Cashman has traded a pitcher for a man in a walking boot. How marvelous!

Surely, this can only be the beginning of a stunning new phase, for this giant in the art of the absurd.

What could be next? We can only speculate.

A groundskeeper, traded for a cockatoo, peut-être? A traveling secretary, for a plate of smelt?

The mind can only boggle.

And could it be that "Cashie," as his adoring fans at the Sorbonne call him, is actually the hidden genius behind the "Three True Outcomes"? An incredible satire in its own right, when we consider that man has only one true outcome, which is death. 

And when he describes the Yankees' roster as an "ecosystem," what could he really be doing, but pointing us to the ecosystem of this earth, that is dying all around us?


No, what Cash-man—a name suspiciously close to "Banksy," no?—has prescribed for us in this troubled world is the best medicine: laughter. Let us take it, before it is too late.





"A blip or a course correction?" ZacharyA on the state of the Yankees

From commenter ZacharyA..

Yankees First Half Record

58-23 (.716)

Yankees Second Half Record (so far)
12-13 (.480)

As a team, the Yankees have hit .266/.360/.498 (.858 OPS) and scored 162 runs in the second half, the most in baseball (by a large margin).

I know there are certain guys struggling at the plate (Donaldson, Benintendi), but the lineup has not been the problem.

It's the starting rotation.

Gerrit Cole (4.97 ERA in 6 GS)
Jameson Taillon (5.18 ERA in 5 GS)
Jordan Montgomery (5.55 ERA in 5 GS)
Nestor Cortes (2.91 in 4 GS)
Luis Severino (4.50 ERA in 2 GS)
Domingo German (6.39 ERA in 3 GS)

Here's the thing I've noticed:

In the first half, the Yankees pitching staff was one of the best at suppressing home runs.

In the second half, the Yankees pitching staff has been one of the worst at suppressing home runs.

April: 0.66 HR/9 (4th)
May: 0.87 HR/9 (5th)
June: 0.99 HR/9 (7th)
July: 1.28 HR/9 (25th)

As soon as it got hot, we started coughing up the home run ball.

So the question: Was July (and August's 8 HR in 3 games) a blip or a course correction?

Cashman's Cooperstown plaque - and his future - might just hinge on Das Boot

In the oxygenated air of 1st place - 34 games over .500 -  it's difficult to go full Chicken Little on any team. You have to work at it.  Today, the Death Barge leads 2nd-place Toronto by 10 games in the loss column, with only 56 to go. We could slide into on a lengthy, Stump Merrill-level losing streak - (as opposed to our current knock-kneed slog)- and the BJs would still need to win at a ridiculous pace. Frankly, they're not that good.  

The Yankees are nearly assured a spot in the postseason. Unfortunately, after Oct. 1, assurances mean nothing.

In fact, out October prospects look rather bleak. Here's why:

1. Geritt Cole is not the "Big Game" ace we wanted. Listen, he's a great teammate, a quality starter, a jolly-good fellow. But he's not Scherzer. He's not Verlander. He's not Kershaw. He's somewhere in the Twilight Zone between Masahiro Tanaka and Jimmy Key, (for you effete cultural snobs, between Selena Gomez and Lana Del Rey.) He could rectify that with a superhuman, Bumgarnerian October. But thus far, in marquee confrontations, he usually flops.

He did yesterday, as he recently flopped in Baltimore, in Fenway and against Cincinnati. As he did in last year's wild card, and the year before that. Any postseason series start with Cole, with or without that sinking sense that his greatest moments came in Houston, and that's Chinatown, Jake.

2. Watching our bullpen collapse has been like observing the plug being pulled on your neighbor's respirator. Sure, Clay Holmes was great, but his last few outings have been Tanyan Sturtze terrifying. Aroldis will never again be the intimidating force of 2015. In any moment, a walk or a bloop single can fling El Chapo off the rails. There is no such thing as a safe lead, and that shall be the reality of our autumn. 

3. Our farm system has been sucked dry from the last two trade deadlines. We have no young arms set to join this team in September and make an impact. We traded them. In fact, for the second year in a row, we have no position players coming up. Here are the stats from Scranton. 

I direct your attention to Estevan Florial, who not long ago was being relentlessly hyped by the Yankee/YES bullshit machinery. That he has not received a shot at the majors is sort of sad, sort of outrageous - considering the play of Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks. Clearly, somebody within the brain trust has ruled that Florial cannot hit MLB pitching. Maybe they're right; I dunno. It just seems like any other team would have given the guy a chance by now - especially when the alternatives are struggling to beat Mendoza. 

These frugal Yankees - who button up their purse whenever a free agent comes knocking - seek to squeeze every last penny from those who've been given massive contracts, even when young alternatives are available. Basically, we have a General Manager who never wants to admit he was wrong.

4. Which brings us to Cashman and Das Boot. You know what's weird? I'll take shit for this, but I've come to like Cashman. He's 55, he's wily, he needs a hairpiece, and he has now run the Yankees for 24 fucking seasons. To young generations, he embodies the Yankees.  

But we've now gone 12 years without a world series, and before 2009 - our last championship - we went 8 without squat. Cash's greatest success was inherited from Gene Michael and Bob Watson, who built Joe Torre's teams of the 1990s. 

Cashman's skill has been to survive at the helm of what was once the most volatile franchise in baseball. In so many ways, the Yankees are his team - not Hal Steinbrenner's, not Aaron Boones. (And I think both men like that.) 

But come October, if the Yankees flub another one, I'm not sure Cashman returns in 2023. The fans will simply go ballistic. It'll be a Jan. 6 insurrection. There's something in that oxygenated air that's more explosive than in the past. We have expectations now. There is no second place. 

Which brings me, finally, to Das Boot - aka Harrison Bader. By all accounts, he's an elite CF, a terror on the base paths, a joy to humanity. He's also a tripwire for Yank fans, based on a phrase that annually haunts us: "Sometime in September." Excuse me, but haven't we heard that one before? Severino? Pavano? Chapman? Stanton?  Sometime in September.  

They say Bader is wearing a boot. He has Plantar Fascitis - one of the worst maladies in sports. If he returns in September, that's just enough time for a "Welcome to New York" slump, in front of a hungry, angry, rage-filled fan base.  I can think of nothing worse.

I'm sorry, folks. We should be much more hopeful than this. But the state of the Yankiverse is in turmoil. It's Cashman's team, and he cannot afford another failure. And right now, who among us thinks we're on a course to greatness? Talk me out of it. Please.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Yes, YOU TOO can be A MASTER OFFICE POLITICIAN!


FEELING frustrated and STALLED in your career???? AFRAID that you job will be the next to be DOWNsized in the Upcoming global/RECESSION/pandemic/GOTTERDAMMERUNG????? Worried that NOBODY is taking you SERIOUSLY???????

Well HAVE NO FEAR! Brian Cashman is here, to tell YOU the SECRETS of being.........A MASTER OFFICE POLITICIAN!!!!!!

Brian Cashman has been the top executive of the New York Yankees for 25 SEASONS. And yet, he has never won ANYTHING ON HIS OWN!!!! 

WHAT'S HIS SECRET????  Want to know HOW HE DOES IT????

How DOES Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman keep the legendarily savage pack of wolves that is the NEW YORK PRESS CORPS from dragging him down and ripping his throat out????

The ANSWER is SIMPLE!

COMMUNICATIONS!

Take, for instance, Cooperstown Cashman's answers to reporters JUST LAST NIGHT, about a trade that still seems UTTERLY INEXPLICABLE.

Read CAREFULLY—and NOTICE, above ALL, how MANY times he says the WORD...

...MANAGER!

“St. Louis needs started pitching and Harrison Bader is one of the elite centerfield defenders in the game. And so he provides a lot of lanes for us — for our manager — when he’s healthy, and we certainly we did a deep dive into his medicals. And there’s a lot of optimism and belief that sometime September-wise, we’ll be able to unpack that present and deploy him as a choice for a manager."


Did you see what Brian did there????  Did you notice how many times he referred to his team's MANAGER?

Why, if you DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER, you might EVEN THINK that it was NOT BRIAN but his MANAGER who wanted to make this awful trade—and the fault of his MANAGER if it doesn't work out!!!!!

WATCH CLOSELY:


“(Hader) is a (standout) defender, a (very fast) runner that can impact our team in many ways at the discretion of our manager, whether it’s coming off the bench to steal a bag or as a starting option in the outfield. He’s a really talented kid who happens to be from Bronxville, N.Y. , so he’s a local guy."


Yes, there's THAT WORD again: MANAGER!

PLUS, we're told that Tots Bader is a LOCAL GUY, just like former Yankees greats Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle, so how can he NOT trade for him?????

See if you can see the TRICK OF COMMUNICATIONS in this NEXT passage:


“It’s certainly hard to get your hands on someone of that caliber, and it takes something to get something, and unfortunately it cost us one of our homegrown players in Jordan Montgomery that we’ve relied on a lot."

YOU'RE RIGHT!!!!!

Almost NOTHING in that last paragraph is TRUE!!!  

Longtime Master Office Politician Brian Cashman can tell you, NEVER SPEAK THE TRUTH, UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO!

(And NOT then, either!!!!!)

Of course it's NOT hard to get your hands on A LIGHT-HITTING, INJURED OUTFIELDER. And NOBODY has ever RELIED A LOT on Jordan Montgomery!!!!!

But don't stop there!!!  Keep POUNDING THE LIES HOME!  

Take this NEXT passage:


“I’m sorry to see Montgomery go. He’s obviously a really good pitcher. He’s a really good person and he’s one of our own (as a Yankees draft pick), so it makes it that much more difficult. But it’s a tough world that I live in and a tough world that this business operates in.”


OF COURSE this is bushwa!  Montgomery is NOT A REALLY GOOD PITCHER. And Brian Cashman DOES NOT live or OPERATE in A TOUGH WORLD!!!!

Rather...it's the world of FRONT OFFICE BASEBALL MANAGEMENT! Where there are NEVER ANY CONSEQUENCES for year-after-year, DECADE-AFTER-DECADE of COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE FAILURE!

Don't YOU want to LIVE in this AMAZING, WELL-COMPENSATED WORLD? Where CRAZY WOMEN AT PARTIES throw themselves even at SHORT, BALD, INCOMPETENT EXECUTIVES????

WELL WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????  This is your BIG chance!!!!  ALL you have to do IS, learn how to COMMUNICATE like a MASTER OFFICE POLITICIAN (and blame everything on those ABOVE or BELOW you!)

Send today for this FREE reasonably priced brochure!