Monday, August 21, 2017

The "race," as it now stands

Note: The two hottest teams in the race - Minnesota and Texas - were "sellers" at the deadline. 

We Need The Darkness....

It is no co-incidence that today the land goes dark.

Were I an old sheep farmer in the middle east, 5000 years ago, I could have used this knowledge to make myself rich and powerful.  The fearful, ignorant people around me would comprehend that I, and only I , speak to the Gods ( or God ) and can make the light disappear and re-appear.

But there would be a price.

  Fealty and earnings.  I would get a fancy robe, and a scepter with a golden orb on top.  I would walk about the land and, for complete and total loyalty ( forsaking all others with robes and scepters ), promise to return things to normal in about 2 hours and 38 minutes.

They would love me, worship me, and believe me forever.  Because I controlled the sun, the moon and the heavens.  Pretty much everything.

But that was then, and this is now.

The Yankees are in the dark.  Cashman and Girardi are in the dark.  Hal has always been in the dark, ever since his father used to make him cry and wet himself for being such a wimp.  For being a loser. For not understanding that the Yankees are his God.

Today, there is no game.  The moon's shadow will come and go but, still, there will be no game.

Probably this is best.  No game means we don't fall six games into the snarling pit, leading to hell.

No game means we don't add to the humiliations.  No game allows everyone to focus on something else.

Everyone gets a day to breathe.  To take a deep sigh.  To reflect.  But not to dream.  Not to pretend some mystic in a fancy robe and a scepter is going to get us out of this downward spiral.

Embrace the darkness.

It is all you are going to get.

Dear Mr. Girardi... How have you been? I've been fine. There are few things I would like to talk about...

First, I'd never tell a major league manager how to do his job. Never. I mean, what the heck do I know about running a baseball team? (Though 18 years ago, I did co-pilot the Gold Warriors of the Jamesville-Dewitt Little League girls tee-ball to an undefeated season; and 9-year-old princesses can pose serious clubhouse egos.) 

You have the experience. You know the juicy insider stuff. You probably have Brian Cashman on a phone text thread. Me? I'm a nothing burger, a total schlubb, who last month wanted the Yankees to stick to the rebuilding plan, rather than go for broke. What lunacy. Do you realize that a big reason we traded Blake Benintendi Rutherford for Todd Frazier was to keep him from going to Boston? And if they had snagged the Todd Father, they likely would have kept Rafael Devers at Pawtucket, the same way we are miring Miguel Andujar in Scranton. Crazy, huh? And here's something equally nutty: Before being traded to NY, reliever Tommy Kahnle - a career 3.75 ERA - was arguably due for a slump. And that's what we got. A little bit ironic, doncha think? 

Anyway...  I noticed how after yesterday's loss, you've remained pluckily adamant that Aaron Judge must bat third, that Aroldis Chapman is improving, and that things are turning around. That got me to thinking. Here are some notions that have nothing to do with baseball. They are merely things I've learned from my long and pointless life. I hope they make sense.

1. The definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over again, without changes, after it's long been proven not to work.

2. Sometimes, when everybody says it's raining... it's raining.

3. You can never trust a rich man to do anything but want to accumulate more money. That's how he became rich.

4. Sometimes, a change can be just as good as a vacation.

5. No matter how you explain it, defeat is a kicked ass.

6. If humanity has learned how to put cheese in a pretzel, it certainly ought to be able to stop war.

7. When it is the darkest, the stars come out.

8. Somehow along the line, gerbils got a bad reputation. There's nothing wrong with gerbils. I'd get one, but what's the point?

9. Scum rises to the top, so there is hope for all of us.

10. It's a good thing they print credit card numbers on our credit card; otherwise, I'd never remember it.

11. Mark my words: All these micro-breweries will bring our downfall. When a six-pack of beer costs more than the minimum wage, this country will see a revolution!

12. A really smart guy - say, an ex-baseball manager - could make a lot of money by selling fast-food deviled eggs. There are no really great deviled eggs out there. (In one sitting, I can go Cool Hand Luke on a dozen.) Think about it.

13. One more thing. Think this: Homemade, artisan, organically grown, $10-per-ounce non-dairy creamer! There is money to be made outside of baseball.

Take these thoughts for what they are worth. I am - like most readers of this blog - am a bit off. But one final bromide: In the world of the sane, the insane man is king. So... how about trying something a little crazy?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Second place.

We won two out of six against them.

Twilight of the gods...


Tonight, in heaven...

It's time we had a talk about Aaron Judge

A year ago, they said he'd flop - too long a swing, too much strike zone, too frickin' big. For three months, he proved them to be idiots. Then came July. 

Over the last 28 days, Aaron Judge has hit .185 with 5 home runs and only 7 RBIs. Seven. That number should terrify every Yank fan, because it came with Judge batting third, heart of the order - leaving runners on base in droves while setting strikeout records. If the season ended today - for him, I almost wish it would - he'd finish with .286, 37 homer, 80 RBIs and a bunch of MVP votes.

But nobody chants "MVP" anymore, and if he goes another month of hitting like Betty White, we might start hearing it shouted derisively. I did some math. If Judge hits over the last six weeks the way he did over the previous month, here are what his totals will look like:

Batting average: .265.
Home Runs: 42
Runs Batted In: 87

Jeez, he won't even break 100 RBIs. We will have witnessed a Kevin Maasian collapse. I know, I know - this is more doom and gloom than anybody needs after a victory in Boston - but he struck out three times last night, and his ongoing meltdown - I believe exacerbated by the Yankee p.r. machine's ALL RISE "Judge's chambers" in right field - should have Yankee player, coach and fan panicking. We may be looking at the next Chris Carter. It doesn't matter that a home run travels 500 feet - it's still just one run.  

Hate to say this - should have my mouth washed out with Brillo - but when this guy comes to bat, I now feel a sense of - well - Judge dread. If ever a guy needed a few days off...

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How do you think....

...the players feel when they score 4 runs to get the ," game back in hand," and then the pitching staff gives it right back?

...Tyler Austin reacts when he re-habs for three months, after re-habbing for a season, goes 2-4 and finds himself sitting again?

....the Cooper boy feels after he hits .400, plays great defense, and then gets a fake injury card
to, " disappear?"

...any young Yankee player feels about his future, when he watches Gerardi and Cashman do everything they can to acquire and play old, tired, marginally useful players, instead of using our own aggressive, exciting young ones?

....The stupid announcers feel when they can't say enough about ," the perfect bullpen Cashman has fashioned, " and then it falls apart like a drunk peeing himself?

....Cashman's boss feels when he sees that we gave up 6 of our top 10 prospects for unproductive, old players with expensive contracts. and the team can't stop losing within the division ever since the trades?

...the Boston fans feel when they see Judge humiliated, Chapman humiliated, and the Yankee team embarrassed on their field?

....any of us can remain normal when we watch other teams succeed with youth while we bury our success in that regard, and refuse to learn from our mistakes and the obvious success of others?

...any of us are going to watch another baseball game in 2017 with the Yankees in it?

This is madness, everybody. The Yankees are building a DOOMSDAY LOSS machine

We were warned. We read the ancient prophesies. They said that humankind was not supposed to dabble with certain fundamental fabrics of reality. We were supposed to leave them be, or we would face terrors the world has never seen. It might come from artificial intelligence, or alien contact, or deathly spores in the permafrost: It doesn't matter. People, listen: THIS IS NOT A MEGHAN FOX MOVIE! THIS IS REAL! Somehow, Hal Steinbrenner has fiddled with the cosmic machinery, and we now face the out-of-control, exponential growth of the YANKEE DOOMSDAY LOSS MACHINE, an insidious device that has broken through its moorings and now, each few days, creates a more soul-crushing, Alex Jones-terrifying Yankee loss, just as we assure ourselves that nothing - NOTHING - could be worse than the losses we've endured before. Folks, this is Fukushima! This is the super-volcano! This is Cloverfield - a 200-foot-tall, radioactive Randy Levine destroying Manhattan. Run, people, RUN!

I'm telling you, Monday's eclipse is nothing - ZILCH - compared to what's coming. You think Aaron Judge and Aroldis Chapman are the two Yankee Horsemen of the Apocalypse? We still have two more to identify. Today, it might be Dellin Betances. Tomorrow, Greg Bird. LISTEN, GODDAMMOT: The Matrix is torn! The inter-dimensional portal has been jimmied open! The monsters are here! We are hurdling toward a loss so devastating, so overwhelming, so beyond our imaginations, that the very pillars of Yankee reality - Celino & Barnes, WB Mason, you cannot predict baseball - are about to sprout arms, legs and dicks, and crush the Yankiverse while wearing those Fourth of July MLB clown stirrup socks with the stars and stripes. Run! RUN!   

Can't you see it? Every few days, the Yankees do the flat-out, over-the-top, God-gone-mad impossible - they blow a game in a way worse than anything Yankeekind has ever seen. They mount a heroic comeback, take the lead - and then piss it away. They bring forth strategic meltdowns that, were these Stephen King books, would be dismissed for credibility. And it's getting worse! It's building toward something! IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN SOON!

Remember last Saturday's loss, when El Chapo surrendered the ninth inning homer to Rafael Devers? That was the new worst loss of the season, replacing the July 22 debacle against Seattle, when we tied the game with two outs in the ninth, only to see Adam Warren - (dear Adam Warren, they got to you, too?) - flub it in the tenth. That replaced the July 14 loss to Boston, when we came back to lead by one in the ninth, only to watch the Chap Man give up two runs without even recording an out. And that replaced... no, stop me, I can't do this - NOOO, I JUST SAW SOMETHING IN THE WINDOW! IT WAS THE NEXT LOSS! THE HORRIFYING, MONSTER DEMI-LOSS! IT WAS HORRIBLE, THE EYES LEERING OUT OF A PINEAPPLE HEAD! IT WAS GRINNING! DEAR GOD, SAVE US! IT'S OUT THERE, I TELL YOU! IT'S WAITING FOR US, AND IT'S GOING TO BE WORSE THAN ANYTHING WE HAVE SEEN!

Don't you see it, folks? Forget the wild card. The Yankees are heading toward the Doomsday Loss, a defeat so unbelievably soul-crushing - it will be the loss that eliminates us from the post-season, and which ensures the Hall of Fame futures of Dustin Fowler and Blake Rutherford - the loss that suspends the laws of space and time. After that loss, the Yankee Kraken will appear, and the statue of George Steinbrenner - (hey, alt-right and alt-left, want a statue that everybody would be happy to see pulled down?) - will come to life and march the streets of Tampa in search of Bobby Meacham's reanimated corpse. It's going to happen, maybe this weekend! It's coming, people. Disconnect your TVs. Dig holes. Hide in the mountains. You've been warned.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Well, there's always next year

But I can't take much more of this...

I just can't watch many more Aaron Judge strikeouts.

And if Aroldis Chapman needs to be "straightened out," maybe he should do it in Scranton.

Calling America: The Yankee alt-Left needs help

This season, our alt-Right has dominated - basically because if you add a 40-homer RH slugger and a 30-homer RH catcher, you could win the NL East with the cast of Gilmore Girls. 

But without the mysterious Greg Bird - the mayor of March - our alt-left lineup simply never got its act together.  

Let's say we were to play in - oh, here's a wild possibility - a one game wild card! 

Assuming each team would send its ace to the mound - (it's possible they won't have that option) - here are the likely pitchers we'll face:

Angels: RH Parker Birdwell (7-1, 2.88)
Royals: LH Jason Vargas (14-6, 3.45)
Twins: RH Ervin Santana (12-8, 3.28)
Rangers: LH Cole Hammels (8-1, 3.48)
Rays: RH Alex Cobb (9-8, 3.80 or RH Chris Archer, 8-7, 3.84)
Orioles: RH Dylan Bundy, (12-8, 4.17)
Bleu Jays: RH Marcus Stroman (screw the stats, forget it; we're done.)

Five of the seven are RH. 

This is bad.

If they throw a LH starter at us, we can send the Yankee alt-Right, which looks like this:

c Sanchez
1b Tyler Austin, [D.B.] Cooper, Chase Headley, (who skews leftward), Todd Frazier 

2b Starlin Castro (healthy)
ss  Ronald Torreyes (but forget it, we'd never bench Didi)
3b T. Frazier? Headley? Torreyes?
lf  Clint Frazier (healthy and hitting!) 
cf Aaron Hicks
rf Aaron Judge  

dh Matt Holliday? 

Here's the Yankee alt-Left (facing a righty)

c Sanchez 
1b Greg Bird? (fingers crossed) Headley, Gi-Man Choi?
2b Tyler Wade (forget it; he's been awful)
ss Didi
3b Headley, Wade (see above.)

lf Hicks
cf Gardy or Ellsbury (don't laugh, he's starting to hit)

rf Judge
dh Gardy or Ellsbury (oh, go on, laugh) Holliday.

Trouble spots: Our sluggers bat RH. Unless Greg Bird returns with an impact, we will be particularly susceptible to a right-handed starter.

Which is why we better win the Division.

Thanks For Your Assistance, But.....

Dear Mr. Mitchell,

The bus to Scranton/Wilkes Barre leaves today at 8:45am.

At 6:14am tomorrow is the time it will arrive.

There are a lot of stops along the way.

You have until then to gather your things.

Possibly load up on deli food and some Orange Nehi.

Are you confident that pitching is what you want to do with your life?

You still dream of the big leagues?

Pitching in that critical ninth inning, protecting a lead in a big game?

Your ticket is at the " will call" window.

Have a reflective trip.

Coal is King !

Love to you and yours,

Brian, Joe and Hal

Imagine a best of seven series against the Redsocks to determine the fate of the division, and that's what's about to unfold

Comrades, this is it...

Tonight, we face off against a horde of armed, torch-wielding, neo-Redsock Bostonian supremacists, with little more than clubs and helmets (though I trust somebody will bring a few spray cans of testosterone.) 

Since mid-February, back when a resurrected Yankee-Redsock rivalry was merely a fleck of Steinbrennerian toe-jam on Randy Levine's gin-soaked tongue, we have awaited the last two fateful weeks of August like that asshole DJ's hand, as it prepared to grope Taylor Swift's butt. This is it, people. No tap-backs. The juju gods are about to decide 2017, once and for all.

Between now and Labor Day, we play Boston seven times - the last four in NYC over the barbecue weekend. It's possible that these games won't change much in the standings: If so, Boston wins. Either way, the dye shall be cast. We won't get another shot at Mookie and Dusty without winning a one-game Wild Card, and none of us likes setting a season full of eggs in such a flimsy paper basket.

Tonight, the young, innocent Jordan Montgomery goes against the vile Drew Pomeranz, who needs to be whipped like the rented mule he became last season, when the Redsocks traded for him and immediately started whining that San Diego sold them damaged goods. This will be the toughest test yet for Monty, entering the Fenway snake-pit against a lineup that saw him only last week. We want him to be the next Andy Pettitte. That's a lot to ask of a rookie. But if he gives us six innings and a fighting chance, he'll be on his way.  

Tomorrow, it's CC against Chris Sale, the latest god of Boston, a match-up that normally would strain all hope. But the last time CC pitched at Fenway - the only time this season - he fired six shutout innings and gave up 2 hits. Dare we believe in that knee brace? Or will it be one of those Fenway debacles, when we embarrass ourselves on national TV?

Sunday, Sonny Gray faces that dangerous Boston pitcher, To Be Determined. Frankly, I always fear TBD, because, throughout the years, nothing regularly unhinges veteran Yankee lineups more than some career minor leaguer who steps from the fog of a Calgon Bath Oil commercial. TBD always seems to rise to the occasion. As for Sonny, well, by Monday's eclipse,  we should know everything about the guy for which we traded three of our top ten prospects. 

And let's be real here: At least one of these games will balance on the shoulder of Aroldis Chapman, the looming Yankee contractual pariah. We simply won't have enough bullpen firepower to give him a free weekend with the Netflix password. He'll have to pitch sometime, and the Fenway crowd will mock him like Queen Cersei on her Walk of Atonement. He'll either rise to the occasion or... dear god, I can't think about it. Too painful. It starts tonight. Big game tonight. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Stand back, world, because plucky Hal Steinbrenner is reaching for the stars!

To dream the impossible dream.
To fight the unbeatable foe.
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To win the wild card under Joe...

So there you have it: Hank of La Mancha's 2017 impossible dream is to reach "the playoffs." Anything else is failure.

I wonder how his dad would have viewed that?

Considering the dynamics of the American League, to reach the magical 2017 wild card game will require at least finishing five games above .500. 

They had a catcher playing third last night, and we never bunted

Jeez, I gotta quit trying to figure out this game. Maybe it was a brilliant move last night - like blowing Watson's computer mind by leaving your queen unprotected - not testing Met catcher Travis d’Arnaud, while he stood knock-kneed at third base. Surely, that's what the Mets expected of us. d'Arnaud hadn't played 3B since Tee-Ball. They scratched two infielders, forcing the emergency defense. It was gift-wrapped for Jacoby Ellsbury, leading off. Just lay down a bunt, exploit the rift, take the gimme. Nope. Never tried. Nobody did. Not once.

Yeah, Gardy sacrificed in the seventh, but not for a hit. With each batter, the Mets moved d'Arnaud around the field, trying to hide him. When he played third, we never even tried. Billy Martin must have been churning in his grave.

Well, we won, right? So why complain? Win, and the what-ifs vanish into the box score like ants into tall grass. All I know is that when Ellsbury led off the game, I'd have bet the house he'd bunt. If it worked, he would have blown the gaskets of every Met pitcher: They're going to kill me with bunts. Even if he failed, they would have had to pitch high and tight. We never tried. Nope. Not once. (And by the way, in the post-game show, nobody asked Joe why we didn't bunt. Not exactly Jake Tappers, the press corps.)

But we won, right? We won without El Chapo or the Toms River Miracle (TRM), who played as defensive replacement. We beat a dead team that, if it played in the AL East, would be chasing Toronto. We kept pace with the '17 Redsock Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) which - speaking hopefully here - just might be peaking too soon. There are tweaked gonads and slumps yet to come this season, and nothing ruins a September slog more than remembering how hot you were in August. 

I particularly wonder if Chris Sale can keep carrying them. Yeah, he's Cy Young right now, but three games ago, his Matrix cracked: He gave up 7 runs in 5 innings. Thus far, Sale has thrown 168 innings - within last year's pace (226), but that was most he'd ever thrown. He's a workhorse, for sure. So was David Price. The Redsocks are congratulating themselves for rearranging their rotation to have him face us twice more before Labor Day. Fine. That's a lot of pressure innings. They claim Sale gets better the more times he sees each batter. But if we reach the playoffs, it would be four times in five weeks. (Of course, they can play Doris Kearns Goodwin at third, and we won't bunt.)

Any three-game win streak gets me drunk and delusional. I set the World Series rotation. Here's my dream scenario: 

Greg Bird returns and hits as in spring training. That puts us on a level with Houston, Cleveland and - gulp - the Dodgers. This is our lineup.

1b Bird
2b Castro
ss Didi

3b Torreyes (though Joe will play Headley, or the TRM.)
c Sanchez
lf Gardner/C. Frazier (Joe will play Gardy)
cf Hicks
rf Judge
dh Hot Hand (Matt Holliday? Headley. Clint. The TRM.) 

Four man rotation: Sevy, Sonny, CC and Sink (as in Kitchen Sink)
Bullpen: Betances and Robertson as closers. El Chapo? I wouldn't let him near a one-run lead for the next five years.

And if the Mets tonight play Choo Choo Coleman at third, will somebody, for god's sake, please bunt? 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Keeping with the day's political bend...

Ladies and gentlemen... I give you...


This is what I meant in the earlier post

You know... this is all so crazy... 

Coney's Keys to the Game!

"She's a superstar at what she does, a great singer and actress and Alex is a superstar in baseball. Any advice coming from them, I'll listen to them."

Gary Sanchez credits dining with J-Rod (or is it A-Lo?) for breaking out of his slump. Seriously. I'm not kidding. He actually said this. And it makes sense. I can imagine J-Lo explaining the intense preparations she went through during the filming of Gigli and Anaconda, the sacrifices she made to achieve greatness. Gary had to be impressed.

On an unrelated note - and feel free to yell at me for going semi-political here - but I saw this Fox still shot this morning, and I can't get it out of my head.

Take a quick glance. This is Fox's version of Coney's Keys to the Game!

Before you start in on me, I'm not just ripping on Fox here. Both sides - many, many sides, in fact are at fault. Many, many, many sides. Many, many, many, many, many sides.

Sign of the Eclipse-alypse: New York tabloids achieve once-in-lifetime singularity over punny Sonny

If you're for a reason to await the Rapture, here you go!

Just days before the looming Solar Eclipse-alypse, the New York tabs today achieved the exceedingly rare, once-per-1,000-years, back page singularity... with a headline pun about someone named... this is scary... Sonny.

I'm not making this up. Here is today's rear end of the Daily News.

And here is the Murdoch Post.

What does this mean? Nothing, of course. Who believes in ancient prophesies! Not me. It's just a wad of nonsense! Nevertheless, over the next few days, my postings might be delayed. I'll be selling my house and possessions, cashing in bank accounts, and moving to the million-year-old salt caverns located a mile below Seneca Lake. I'm not sure if the new digs get YES broadcasts. 

Sonny and Scare. Why didn't I think of that?

Yankiverse stumped over the mysterious disappearance of Garrett "D.B." Cooper

Gather 'round, chitlens. I'll toss another piece of furniture onto the fire and tell a tale that'll girdle your innards. It happened back in '17, the time before the war, before the floods, before the Bryce Harper contract apocalypse. Some say this story foretold the catastrophes yet to come - that dark period when Yankee nicknames were actually pasted onto jerseys that held no pinstripes. Settle down, kids. I know this sounds disturbing, but try not to pee yourselves. This really happened. Let me tell you of the mysterious disappearance of Garrett "D.B." Cooper. 

Who was he? Nobody really knows. He appeared as a tall, baby-faced stranger, probably the result of plastic surgery. They say he came from Colorado Springs. In fact, records suggest he was leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting - .366 with 17 home runs - that is, if you believed the fake sports news. It was late July that year when he suddenly turned up in New York City, reputed to be from a trade for someone named Tyler Webb - one of several interchangeable "Tylers" known to populate the Yankee roster.

He quickly blended in, going 0 for 7. In his third game, Cooper doubled off of Boston's David Price, causing him to be immediately replaced by pinch hitter Brett Gardner. The next night, against Minnesota, Cooper went three for four with two doubles. During his brief July incarnation, D.B. had six hits in 26 at bats, including three doubles and a triple. He helped the Yankees "win" the trade deadline, becoming universally acclaimed for their front office savvy, and being named the "Golden State Warriors of baseball." This happened by acquiring the Toms River miracle Todd Frazier - which caused Cooper to be sent to central Pennsylvania to toil in the newly resurrected coal mining industry.

Little Johnny, throw that plastic resin chair onto the fire. No, don't worry about the fumes. Just breathe in the other direction.

Where was I? Oh yes, eight days later, the phone rang in a certain Wilkes Barre coal yard, and D.B. learned that he was being summoned to Toronto, to play against the Blue Jays. Over the next four days, the story goes that he went 8 for 14, with two doubles and four RBIs, raising his average to .359! 

And then - poof - radio silence. Never to be seen or heard from again

It is said that D.B. went out alone in the wild streets of New York City, searching for a bagel and cream cheese. Did he fall into the river? Did he disappear into one of the underground tunnels, where lost souls are said to still be waiting for their trains? Was he spirited away by the violent hipster mobs who roamed the streets, protesting racism while searching for the perfect IPA? Nobody knows. He simply was gone. Gone. 

To this day, theories abound on the fate of D.B. Cooper. Some blame the disappearance on his inability to hit solo home runs during blowouts - a team requirement. Others say he vanished after realizing he could never replace sluggers like Frazier (who went on a white-hot 3 for 20 tear during that same August period, lifting his average to .210!) and the suddenly reborn Chase Headley (who went 5 for 22 - that's .224, not to mention one RBI!) He simply vanished into the wooden bench.

And there you have it, kids - a Yankee mystery for the ages: 
What happened to D.B. Cooper? I guess we'll never know. So, Johnny, it's turning a bit colder. Toss that Wild Card flag onto the fire. Yes, I know it's made of vinyl. Just breathe in the other direction. Say, anyone want to hear the story of Jorge Mateo?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I cannot watch Aroldis Chapman sweat any more

El Chapo is melting down, literally. 

And you thought CC sweats? This guy's a running faucet. I don't recall him sweating so vividly last year. He's the Jonestown Flood. We should start building an arc.

I think he hurt himself tonight, breaking to first on the last out. If ever there was a 10-day tweak sent from heaven, this might be it. He needs a break, and so do we, before the season floats away.

North Korean dictator is right about one thing...

Let's give Kim Jung-un credit:
He knows the front office blew it by trading for Todd Frazier.

Why has Trump been so slow to denounce the deal?

Mm-mm... how refreshing it is to find a more poorly run franchise than the Yankees!

For whatever it's worth, Curtis Granderson is a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny. Dammit, I mean that: Which NOBODY can deny! If the Grandyman ever runs for president, he has my vote. (Ooh-ooh, jumpin' jehosiphat! I just thought of something: Last night, when Curtis homered, did John Sterling sing the Grandyman song? If not, he should have.) But whenever Curtis comes to bat in a Met uniform, my privates spontaneously wriggle with glee. Imagine how depressing it would be if the Grande Canyon were still our CF? He's 36, slow as Lyme Disease, and has hit below .240 in five of the last six years - a ceiling so made of concrete that it's a wonder to still be standing.

Last year, Curtis hit 30 HRs with - gulp - only 59 RBIs. Figure that. Thirty homers and just 59 RBIs? So he homered last night against us - his 18th on a year in which he has only - wait for it - forty-eight RBIs. And here's a shocker: Last night, when he hit is, there was nobody on base. 

Same with Humanis Centepedes, their hitting version of Aroldis Chapman. Last night, Cespedes homered - 15th on the season - driving in his 37th run. Thirty seven. Guess what: A solo shot.

It was as if we were playing ourselves, but an older, weaker, dimmer copy.

In the comic book The Flash, his arch-villain is the Reverse Flash - a bad guy who found the Flash's full-body leotards and dyed the colors backwards. That's always been how I view the Mets... the Reverse Yanks. It's not that they're evil - actually, we're the evil team - but they provide a fun house reflection of ourselves. Last night, with Grandy as DH, they appeared as our time warp, astral duplicate from 2013. For a while, they matched us with solo home runs, until we out-soloed them - Judge, Hicks and Sanchez - driving in, gulp, three runs. 

Listen: I'm not complaining about the HRs - which were more than the rest of the team accomplished. (Hey, Gardy, maybe next weekend, the back of your jersey should say "1 for 5.") And I'm not officially mocking the Mets: They could sweep the next three and win the little coveted 2017 Subway Series. Anything is possible, especially with El Chapo inscribed into marble as our closer. Still, it's nice to play a New York-based team, which means that - regardless of the sport - everyone - be it Carmelo, Odell, Tim Tebow or whomever - is always swinging for the fences, because in Gotham, that's what brings the moolah, bread, scratch, schmegira, spawgioleego... the distilled liquid demigreeb! 

So last night we beat a team with Curtis Granderson leading off. Batting fifth was the famed slugger Wilmer Flores. Entering the night, the team was 12 games behind in the NL Wild Card race. In other words, we played the single-most important reason why the '17 Yankees have owned the NY tabloid back pages. There was no competition. If anyone is unhappy with Yankee management, all they need do was hold their noses and look in the direction of Queens. It's been a reverse year for the Reverse Flashers. But if we compare ourselves to them, remember: It's a false read in a cracked mirror. They're us, just a bad version. And if we don't sweep this thing, shame shame shame...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Which is worse? Having Chapman for five, or knowing Boston will have Devers for 20?

Give Joe Girardi credit. Last night, Jiltin' Joe did the impossible: He achieved a new gold standard for excruciating, pineapple-up-the-butt, worst-loss-of-the-season defeats. 

I mean, the man is an artist. I thought Stephen King could plot a horror story. He's nothing, compared to Girardi. For a while, I believed Tom Coughlin - ex-coach of the NFL Jersey Giants - was the all-time master of last-minute, out-of-body, waterboard-worthy defeats, the human P.T.S.D. nightmare that would haunt me to the deathbed. Not anymore. It's Girardi, the new King of Root Canals. Somewhere out there lurk rich, troubled Yankee fans who will someday pay great money to have Girardi dress up in black leather and poke lit cigarettes up their gum wads. But for me, his greatest weapon of pain will not be fire and ice, or the rack or the rat cage mask. It will be his acolyte, the greatest horror that Shark Week ever produced - the unspeakably toxic Aroldis Chapman.

Let us stop for a moment and let those horribly odious five syllables sink in to your cortex: 

Uh. Rall. Diss. Chap. Min. 

It's a horror movie incantation. It is literally summoning the demon, calling for Mephistopheles himself to appear in a cloud of rosin. It is by far the most terrifying moment in any Yankee game (though the words "Now batting: Aaron Judge," with runners on base, is rising in agony.) Even if El Chapo succeeds - even if we win - we will be subjected to a wide-awake colonoscopy, the game saved by some incredible defensive gem. And we have him for five years - the longest and most expensive ($69 million) contract ever given to a reliever... and this by a front office that was publicly disavowing long and expensive contracts. For five years, we will watch this tattooed buffoon - sweat cascading in buckets - until someone swallows the money and trades him for a can of dog food, allowing Foodstamps Hal, our billionaire owner, to justify cutting payroll. 

Uh. Rall. Diss. Chap. Min.

I mean, it was incredible. When the Yankees took the lead in the eighth, with Dellin Betances in complete command, the first wild thought glanced off my brain: Surely, Girardi wouldn't just go back to the book and subject this game - this series - this season - to another El Chapo ninth? The definition of madness is to perform the same task over and over, long after it's clearly not working. Would Girardi actually bring in Chapman, as if nothing has happened, as if the Yankees have a closer?

Because we don't. The Yankees have 20 blown saves in 44 save opportunities. That's a conversion rate of 54.55 percent, the second worst in all of baseball. Only Texas, which has been destroyed by its bullpen this year, is worse. And yet to hear to the YES team talk, our bullpen is stocked with Olympian gods, the greatest of which is - gulp - the closer from Hell. The stat for a LOSS cannot fully describe the depth of Chapman's malignancy. He doesn't blow saves. He blows entire weeks. He's 29, going on 35, and he's already a dying arm bordering on head case.

Which brings me to a second ugly revelation from last night's torture chamber: Boston's willingness to play a 20-year-old 3B, while we put our stock in another generation of "cagey" vets. The other day, a friend asked why we often see other teams with 20-year-olds, but our rookies arrive closer to age 24? I mean, the modern sports world is brimming with kids. The NBA routinely drafts college freshmen - the one and dones - at 19. They had to ban NBA teams from drafting kids out of high school, because it was becoming so successful, it threatened their free college farm system. But when it comes to promoting youth, the Yankees always have an excuse not to.

This year's excuse is borderline brilliant: The Yankee front office - geniuses, all - had built such an incredible farm system, so brimming with prospects that the franchise had no choice but to trade a few, or we would lose them next winter in the Rule 5 draft. Therefore, barely three weeks after giving up on Chris Carter, who was hitting .201, we upgraded with Todd Frazier, who was hitting .207. And Miguel Andujar - age 22 - remained in Scranton, hitting .320.

You can say that our "baseball experts" know more than I do - and you're certainly right. But if these guys are so smart, why do we keep doing the same thing, over and over? Boston - with more to lose than us - brought up a youngster, Rafael Devers, while we traded four of our Top 10 prospects to make a wild card run that - given our current trajectory - might not last to Labor Day.

Give Joe credit. Just when you think it can't get worse, that the Yankees cannot torture you more over a nine-inning span... the incantation takes form, and you see Old & Sweaty warming in the pen. Howl, howl, howl. UNCLE! I say UNCLE!