Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Learn the fundamentals

Buffalo News (New York)
October 28, 2012 Sunday

Mike Harrington is, as usual, right on the mark. This time, regarding the pathetic collapse of the Yankees.

We Yankee fans know that injuries were a factor in this year's demise, but injuries are a fact of life in professional sports. Yet the problem is more systemic. Harrington shows that arrogance and lack of concern for fundamentals of the game are also key reasons for the downfall. 

Sports franchises always walk a thin line between the financial bottom line and striving for excellence on the field. The Yankee Stadium "experience" has become a gouge for the ordinary fan (and indirectly for the taxpayers of our state) and it won't get better. Dissatisfied fans are beginning to vote with their pocketbooks and are making their displeasure known by cascading "boos" down on a substandard product. 

Perhaps we Bills fans can take notice!

Yankee GM Brian Cashman's remark about long counts and "bruising the ball" are also revealing. We can see that this long ball mentality did not pan out very well. I like Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, but when opposing teams shifted defensively against them, rarely did they take advantage and not try to pull the ball as Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez did.

The great Ted Williams left an example of how to deal with these defensive hijinks. Maybe it will sink in as the Pinstripers watch someone else in the World Series, again.

Tim Ellis

NYC: Help is on the way!!!

Bizarre interlude about the Yankees during Carnegie Council Forum on "Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad"

I am not making this up. The Yankees are the ultimate metaphor.
Carnegie Council Transcripts and Articles
October 23, 2012 Tuesday 2:46 PM EST

The speaker is David Lesch, an expert on Syria:

LESCH: One of the questions I m often asked these days is: Can the opposition and the government ever get together on any particular issue right now? My answer here today is that my wife Judy, in front of me, was raised in northern New Jersey as a New York Yankees fan [laughter]. I, however, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and am a Baltimore Orioles fan. We are still together and happy [laughter]. I m glad the Yankees won the series because it s always best that the wife be happy in these instances. So, there is hope. There s only slightly less animus there than what s going on in Syria.

Yankeetorial: The Robbie Option - not Arod - looms as the nuclear bomb in our future payroll

Years ago, I read "Baseball and Billions" by the Wharton economist Andrew Zimbalist, and I've never since felt one shred of sympathy or respect for the rich slimeballs who buy or - for the most part, inherit - their way into the National Pastime. It's all rigged. They can never lose. When you hear them poormouth, never forget it: Everything is rigged, so they never lose.

For example, teams get to write-off bloated longterm contracts to bloated aging stars as depreciating assets, like a mansion that caved in. There's a formula for it. By A-Rod's final year, he'll be a $25 million paper loss to the taxman. To the Steinbrothers, those four HRs and the .205 batting average will be worth every penny.

But A-Rod's salary will still count to MLB's new operating agreement, so the owners have it both ways: They write off the salary to the U.S. government, while limiting how much they can pay their employees, via the MLB government.

Which brings us Robbie Cano.

Two days ago, we exercised our $15 million option on Robbie. We had no choice. Look at these golden, Joe Morganesque numbers:

The guy has been our best player for three straight years. If Girardi batted him third in 2010 and 2011, he could have been the MVP. He's two hot weeks away from aTriple Crown. He's 30. He's got at least five solid years left. But he's going to want a contract that goes much longer. He's going to want A-Rod money. And when he gets it, I hope Yankee fans are like those creeps who put nooses around their necks while masturbating - because we will be strangling ourselves with huge deals.

One other point about Robbie's numbers. This year, his HR totals reached 33, most in his career. But his RBIs plunged - by 24, to below 100. How does a guy who hits 33 HRs and bats .313 in the Yankees lineup fail to drive in 100 runs?

Listen: I love Robbie Cano. We all do. But this is where Bud Selig's reality wolf comes knocking at our door. In five years, ten teams will have the same payroll as we do. Maybe the Steinboys will toss in a few extra nickels, so they can claim to spend the most - that seems to be their job, nowadays - but the MLB government regs are going to kick in. And they were meant to do to the Yankees what Hurricane Sandy did to the Northeast.

Robbie Cano might be our Atlantic City. Get to the shelters, folks. A big storm is a-comin'.

Letter to the Editor: Choke!

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

The Yankees are lucky George Steinbrenner isn't alive and running the team: he would strip these pretend Bronx Bombers of their pinstripes faster than you can say "Choke." 

They lost the only ounce of heart and courage they had when Derek Jeter went down, while making every Baltimore and Detroit pitcher look like Cy Young reincarnated. They have humiliated themselves and their fans.
Long Branch, N.J.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Losers make excuses

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

As a Yankees fan, I have this to say about Derek Jeter's injury:

Winning teams overcome injuries. Losers make excuses.


A week after the lights went out, the lights go out

We warned everybody. We told the world: Bad stuff happens when the Yankees lose. Look at history. Look at every period of war and famine over the last 90 years, and you'll find misery accompanying every period of Danny Tartabull and Bob Shirley. It's in the book, folks.  You can look it up.  But did the world listen? No. The weather be damned, Detroit wanted its flag. Earthquake or none, San Francisco wanted its ring. Now, the power is out. Well, it went out two weeks ago.

What now? What do you say after this? Words in a blog - who cares? They're just words in a blog.

For the record, folks, IT IS HIGH is not a real Yankee blog. It is a satire of a Yankee blog. We never take ourselves seriously, except in one capacity: Our love for the Yankees. That is not satire. Which means - according to the rules, as we see them - that we have as much integrity as any Yankee blog. Maybe more - if we don't take ourselves serious, even when we sound like we do. Confusing? You should see it from this end, comrades. But we go on. We always go on.

But today - as we wait for the big blow to come our way, around 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Cronkites - all we can do is miss that Great Escape that the Yankees not long ago provided: The Master crooning a victory, that damn Pedro Feliciano tweaking a gonad, Mariano mulling a comeback, Joba on a minitramp with Lil Joba - ahhh, that perfect world, where nothing matters but a base hit. It would be so nice to have that world now. But it's over. The lights are out.

Bad things happen when the Yankees lose, folks. You could look it up. Maybe next year the world will understand.

(And, dammit, ONE MORE THING: We need to sign that Japanese kid who throws 100 mph. We've sat out the last five years of big ticket free agent prospects, and that's not the Yankee way. Where the hell were we on that Chapman kid? Where the hell were we on Yu "Whirling" Darvish?  Where the hell were we on Humanis Centipedis? Jorge Solar? Dammit, WE NEED THAT JAPANESE KID WHO THROWS 100 MPH. COME ON, STEINBROTHERS, YOU'VE GOT THE MONEY. YOU CAN'T NEED ANOTHER NEW KITCHEN. HOW MANY NEW KITCHENS CAN YOU INSTALL. PEOPLE OUT THERE  ARE SUFFERING? LOOK AROUND! WE CAN'T GO BACK TO 1984. EITHER PAY THE MONEY OR SELL THE TEAM TO SOMEBODY WHO WILL. THIS IS THE NEW YORK YANKEES, NOT THE SACRAMENTO BEES. FOR GOD SAKE, DO SOMETHING. YOU'RE STARTING TO PISS US OFF. IF WE HAVE TO, WE'LL WADE TO THAT STUPID NEW STADIUM AND KEY YOUR CARS, OR SOMETHING. WE WANT THE KID. NOW.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Letter to the Editor: They rolled over

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

Everyone has an opinion on the Yankees' embarrassing ALCS showing. What cannot be debated is the entire team's carefree demeanor throughout the playoffs. This is about a group of men who showed no heart, no fight and no passion for the game. They rolled over and played dead, a huge smack in the face to every loyal Yankees fan. 

Mamaroneck N.Y.

Letter to the Editor: "Absolutely useless!"

Buffalo News (New York)
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor:

The Yankees have been eliminated and gone into hibernation. Unfortunately Cano, Rodriguez, Granderson and Swisher were already there long before they were swept by Detroit. Let's face it, without Ibanez's heroics, the Yankees wouldn't have gotten by Baltimore. Along with occasional contributions, Teixeira, Suzuki, Martin, and decent pitching kept the Yankees in most games.

A-Rod was absolutely useless while failing miserably to drive in runs when the opportunity was there. It was either a strike out or hit into a double play. I shuddered every time he came up with runners on base with one or no outs, hoping he would strike out so as not to hit into a double play. Granderson gave Rodriguez a run for the money to see who could strike out the most. Cano and Swisher were also big failures.
The Yankees are going to have to find a few consistent hitters over the winter. The old timers, Jeter and Ibanez, are not going to be around much longer.
Don Weimer

Have you looked closely who built the SF Giants? It just happens to be the Yankees in exile

Thank God we didn't have to play the Giants. It would have taken them two games to sweep us in four. We wouldn't have gotten a hit - not one - and the Giants would still be batting in game two. The lead would be something like 104 to 0, and Nick Swisher would be pitching for us. Girardi would still be keeping A-Rod on the bench - resting him for the critical moment - and our best hope would be the hurricane.

How did they build such a team without spending $400 million on payroll? Because that's what it would take us.

Keep in mind that Brian Sabean, the general manager who built the Giants, is a former Yankee administrator. He's the Brian that couldn't handle working for maniacal old King George. We kept the Brian that maniacal old King George preferred. Hmm.

And holy crap! look who else is up there in their baseball operations: Dirt Tidrow is the vice president of player personnel. Along with Felipe Alou, a special assistant, and guess who is the director of player development? Go ahead, guess. How about Fred Stanely. That's right. Old Chicken Stanley. I'm not making this up. Chicken and Dirt.

And - OMG - guess who is the senior adviser  of scouting. Joe Lefebvre! Remember him? The next Mickey. And, of course, the pitching coach is a fellow we know well - Mr. Righetti.

Meanwhile, we turn our organization over to Dopey Dildox, up from the Dayton Doinks, the drafter of Brackmans and traders of Jesus. For $200 million we're not in their league. And all this -- after they jettisoned Melky. Ouch.

Oh well, at least we know all our front office personnel will return next year. And we didn't have to get swept in two.

Letter to the Editor: A thought about A-Rod's success

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

Wouldn't it be nice if Alex Rodriguez could hit the ball as successfully as he hits on women? All that notwithstanding, I don't think he should be traded. The Yankees can't receive equal or even near equal value. Just like Derek Jeter, maybe A-Rod too, can have a bounce-back year.

Scarsdale N.Y.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Don't come back

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

After the Yankees lost to the Tigers, Alex Rodriguez was quoted as saying, "I'll be back."

I hope he meant for Old-Timer's Day.

Stewart Manor, N.Y.

Open Letter to Detroit Fans Everywhere: Welcome to our world!

Dear Madams and Sirs,

Didja feel a little queasy last night when Miguel Cabrera strode to the plate with the bases full?

Did you vomit when that Giants leftfielder nobody ever heard of dove into the corner and speared that line drive?

Did you start wonder if you caught something from the Yankees when your hitters kept popping up?

Well, amigos, you did. You caught A-Roditis. It's contagious, it's fatal, and it's common in October.  It brings about a complete emotional disillusionment, braced with the revelation that you spent the last eight months channeling your hopes and dreams into something that was doomed, that was pointless and - like Bernie Madoff's fortune - never even existed. It was all an illusion, a TV series, and in the end, nobody got off the island and you still can't figure out the plot.

Friends, welcome to New York. Welcome to 0-4. Today, we are all Met fans.

OK, you've stopped reading this. It hurts too much. I understand. But for those of you who are courageous enough to continue, here is the pathetic tape loop that keeps replaying in your mind: All we need is a couple hits! We've done it all year! Once Miggy snaps out, everybody will! We can go to San Francisco with the momentum! We can still win this thing!

Oh, God.

Listen: We were there. I know it hurts. I'm so sorry. It will get worse. The next few nights - you're going to revisit every single pitch - if this ball bounced differently, then that ball wouldn't have been hit that way...   It won't get better for a long time.

Last night, we heard the scattered booing.  Joe Buck and Tim McCarver don't understand why fans would boo. We do. You're booing God. You're booing the universe. You're booing life. Summer is over, my friends. That big, exciting TV show, the one that absorbed you, it's about to get canceled. Now batting, the rightfielder, Nick Swisher...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Letter to the Editor: "A tragic figure in the eyes of Yankee fans"

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

The Yankees' treatment of Alex Rodriguez during the ALCS is an embarrassment and disgrace to not only A-Rod but the best fans in the sport. A player of his talent should not be publicly humiliated and emasculated.

We all know A-Rod's history and some of the questionable decisions he has made. However, making him the scapegoat at the expense of the betterment of the team is unacceptable. There is no way possible that the Yankees are better with him sitting on the bench. Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi need to move on. I have lost all respect for both of them, and they have done the impossible: made A-Rod a tragic figure in the eyes of Yankees fans.
Matawan, N.J.

Letter to the Editor: Rage, rage, rage against the storm

The New York Post
October 21, 2012 Sunday

Dear Editor

I have never been more embarrassed in my life to be a Yankees fan. I can only hope the Steinbrenners and Randy Levine issue a public apology to the fans, because we're owed one. We're also owed a new manager, new hitting coach (goodbye Kevin Long!), and a large chunk of new players. This postseason has been a complete joke and has embarrassed this city. George Steinbrenner is probably rolling over in his grave. 

New York, N.Y.


We warned you that bad things happen when the Yankees lose.

The day after we were eliminated, Sandy formed.

Deal with it, humankind. You brought this on yourself.

In the last line of today's A-Rod story, the NY Post lays out its agenda for 2013

In '13, our No. 13 had better hit, or he'll face an axe-wielding Rupert Murdoch in a hockey mask, according to today's Bigfoot Sightings Roundup.

The Post story says in Game One of the Detroit meltdown, Joe Girardi called the press box to forestall the announcement that he was pinching hit for Alex,  so the slugger wouldn't have to endure the embarrassment that others do.

Good story. No problem with it. But I hope A-Rod reads and memorizes the last line:

If Rodriguez is unable to find his swing and power again, no amount of phone calls will be able to protect him.

Yes. Hit, Yankee, or the Swift Boats will be advancing. You thought that story about handing the autographed ball to the bikini model in row six was "laughable?" Wait until they have you siring Chelsea Clinton's love child. 

Hit, Yankee, or you'll end up on Murdoch's shitlist, above Barack Obama, Madonna and the entire Muslim religion. 

Hit, Yankee, or the NY Post is coming for you!

Ahh, why would anybody want to root for another team?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sandy is coming: Will it be Koufax or Duncan?

Yankeetorial: Mariano is having second thoughts? Good.

I know this is blaspheme, but for once, let's not be cheerful and optimistic: Does anybody really expect Mariano Rivera to come back in 2013 and pitch an entire season at the level that befits his career? Because I sure don't. I think there's a better chance of Ann Coulter winning a sportsmanship medal at the Special Olympics. When Mariano shredded his knee last spring, it broke our hearts - not because we lost him for a season - but because we lost him. Period. 

He made a few feel good comments about coming back, so  the crowds could cheer and the writers could tweet, IF ANYBODY CAN DO IT, MO CAN!

Yeah, right. Listen:  Nobody can do it. That's the rub.

Andy came back this year at the ancient age of 40. He couldn't last the season. (Partly due to bad luck, yeah, but the fact is, you don't heal fast at 40.) Roger Clemens came back 44. (God knows what he was injecting.) He went 6-6 and seldom lasted into the sixth. Do we really want to see a compromised Rivera being lifted for Cody Eppley?

Next week, Raphael Soriano may head for the hills. So be it. That's his choice. We've gotta replace him, and we can't wait for Mo.

In fact, I think that's what Rivera is telling us: He might try to come back, but maybe only the second half - if that. We better have somebody to save the saves.

Frankly - and we will launch this conversation soon - it's time for the Yankiverse to debate whether 2013 should be viewed as a rebuilding year: That is, write the bastard off, cut the payroll now, and think about the 2014 team with Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, et al.

And maybe a pitching coach named Mariano.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Should Swisher join Grandyman and get some new Prada frames?

The official Yankiverse rumor line seems to be that Nick Swisher is gone from the Tankees. I'll believe it when I see it. 

Swish has always been a likeable, bi-polar West Virginia mope who drank the Kool-Aid of Gotham like mother's milk, and set himself up for a post-baseball career as a sitcom walk-on, card show lugnut or ESPN smiling caballero.  He won't be happy in KC or SD - or any place without celebrity entourages.  It's either New York or LA.

I'm figuring the Mets don't bite. The Dodgers and Angels don't need another OF. That leaves Swish deciding whether to play one more year with the Tankees or spend the rest of his life in a Cleveland of the mind. Frankly, I think he'd rather get himself a new pair of Pradas.

But here's the rub.  I don't think the Tankees want him back. I think they say so in public. After all, he's a popular guy, he hits in the regular season, and he's not the team's only headcase in October. I just think Cashman has moved on.  Swish didn't bring the kind of numbers that befit a multi-year $70 million deal, the anticipated birthright of anybody who hits 20 home runs -- and it just won't come from us.  
Either way, here's the problem: Our rebuilding plan starts with whatever Swish decides. He's got to choose whether to take a one-year package - we will tender him an offer - or head for the money hills of Pittsburgh or Tampa. If he decides to come back, everything we do - from Ichiro to Grandy to Brett Gardner - changes. We'd basically be stuck with him. But there are worse scenarios.

I'm just pondering the day he returns in a Rays uniform.  I hope they're safety glasses.

Will Fox Sports turn the mike over to Verlander's juju, as TBS did against the Yankees?

Not that it mattered, but in Game 4 of last week's Yankee bed-barf, Ernie Johnson and the TBS contingent from "Cougar Town" did their best to make sure the Tigers would be playing in the 2012 World Series.

With the Tankees down by four, they interviewed Justin Verlander, wearing a Bill Belichick headset, in the Tiger dugout. Verlander had nothing to say. They talked with him anyway. That's TV. So be it. But while the listless conversation bloated onward, Verlander made no secret of his intentions: Since opening weekend, when a similar dugout interview launched a Tiger rally, Verlander has used these headset moments as personal juju... to trigger Tiger rallies. And the toady TV networks have complied.

So it went in last week's Game 4. Except this time, Verlander broke the rules. Ernie Johnson had asked all his questions, which were something slightly above the level of, "What kind of tree would you be?" He thanked Verlander for his time. At that point, the pitcher announced that he was not going to take off the headset. "You don't have to talk to me," Verlander said. But he intended to keep the interview alive, because it had "worked" all season. 

An impartial organization would have told Verlander that national television is no venue for the practice of godless, vengeful anti-Yankee juju. So what did TBS do? They giggled with delight that Kate Upton's rumored boyfriend was willing to spend a few more minutes saying nothing with them. They went along with Verlander. They allowed him to prattle and whinny until the Tigers scored a run - in essence killing the Yankees chance of a comeback. On the final out of the inning, Verlander said, "My job is done." He yanked off the headset in triumph, knowing he had co-opted a major network and pulled off juju on national TV.

It's hard to imagine such one-sided bias on national TV in America - that is, until you turn to election coverage. Fox Sports is the Fox News of baseball, with the Yankees being Obama. But with the Yankees gone - thank you TBS - Fox tonight will have the opportunity to speak with Verlander. Obviously, the pitcher will be seeking to atone for his peformance last night.

Will Fox give him the soapbox, the juju bully pulpit, to change the outcome of the World Series?

Do they like tigers in "Cougar Town?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sing along with the Brady Bunch's salute to the 2012 Yankees

Next year, Grandy's new look could be quite the style-setter

The Yankees are sending Curtis Granderson to get his eyes examined. In some circles, 200 strikeouts are viewed as a sign of blindness. Who knew? Maybe last week, the Grandyman was seeing the 1963 Dodgers pitching staff. It was all a blur to him.

So, now he'll go recite an eye chart. This has to be the best Yankee news since Dellin Betances threw a walkless inning in Arizona. (Note: I'm not sure whether Dellin Betances has thrown a walkless inning in Arizona. I was just stretching for something that sounded like good news.) If Grandy returns next year, he'll be the new Grandy, the office worker nerd Grandy, maybe sporting  a pair of Versace frames!

But the question is, should he come back? Frankly, I'm tired of guys with limitless potential turning into homer-happy swingers. I know it's easier said than done, but if Grandy cut down his swing - hit 20 less home runs and hit 40 batting average points higher - he would double his stolen bases. He could be the complete player that Austin Jackson is becoming.

On second thought, I like this Tony Burch look.
 What is it with NY that turns players into cardboard cutouts? By mid-September, I was starting to view  a Grandy home run as a negative. It simply re-established in his mind that he could homer his way out of a terrible slump. I thought he was smarter than that. I though he had shown the 2011 critics he was capable of adjusting, and that he wouldn't turn into Jack Cust. I was wrong.

Hmm. Maybe the Kate Spade look. When Grandy smiles, the pitchers won't know what hit them.

So now 200 strikeouts later - the third straight season that his whiff totals increased - someone decides to have his eyes examined? Well, if I have to see the Grandyman flailing again in 2013, I might want to pluck my eyes out. He either comes back as a different player, or they should trade him for a chicken wing. Whomever plays CF - even Chris Dickerson - will hit 20 home runs, and we wouldn't miss the extra 20.

The Yankee march to Number 28 continues! From whatever vantage point he watches, at least Grandy should be able to see the trail. The devil wears Prada. Maybe so will the outfielder.

Redsock fans cap perfect season with the rise of Marco Scutero

Some cross-dressing toadies throughout the Yankiverse - (by "cross-dressing," I mean they wear Met clothes) - want to gobblegobblegobble how 2012 was a success, how we won the division and hit a bunch of home runs, how we obtained Chris Stewart and watched Jason Nix bloom into a major league backup. Hoooo-ray.

Here in Yankee Reality Land, we measure success by championship rings or - in a pinch - complete Redsock crappings of thy bed. Don't gemmie wrong. I'll take a ring over even the kind of Redsock collapse that makes the Mayans disappearance look minor. But this year's Boston crapdown was truly exquisite. Those guys came through for us.

I'd given up expecting more. I figured when they botched those final games in New York - letting us beat Baltimore - we had crushed the last brown marrow from their sniveling, polished white bones. I was wrong.

I didn't see Marco Scutero becoming the MVP of the NLCS and the poster boy of plucky undersized ballplayers everywhere. He could have made a fine 2B in Boston, if not for the presence of Teacher's Pet. So Scutero got scrapped, and now he's Mr. October.  (Actually, that should be Nick Swisher's nickname. You with me?)

Once again, Boston represents the gift that keeps on giving. As we watch George Kontos, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke play in the World Series - (while we send Curtis Granderson out to have his eyes checked, his eyes checked!) - it's nice to know the Redsocks will be there next year. And with Big Papi, too! On a two-year deal! Yayyyyyy.

Funny, but when Boston talked about overhauling their team with youth, I didn't see David Ortiz hanging around until 2014. Maybe he and Grandy will get new glasses. I'm seeing 400 strikeouts between the pair of them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Letter to the Editor: How about them Mets!

The Daily Gazette
October 21, 2012 Sunday
Schenectady/Albany; Final Edition
Dear Editor:

I applaud the person [Oct. 9 letter] who pointed out the coverage of the New York Yankees vs. the Mets. I, too, am a Mets fan, and it seems to me that whether they do well or poorly, it only makes the front page of Sports if the Yankees have nothing going on.

It saddens me that we only recognize one New York baseball team. The Mets might not have done as well as we wanted this season, but they did have two outstanding pitching records set, as well as David Wright setting his own personal record.

I really hope that next season, both teams get equal time on the front page of the Sports section.

Trish Harrington

Letter to the Editor: No East Coast fan superiority anymore

Los Angeles Times
October 20, 2012 Saturday 

Dear Editor:

After watching all of the Yankees fans leave these exciting playoff games before the eighth inning, can we put a moratorium on any letters from East Coast transplants proclaiming that they are better sports fans than we are?

Dave Moore
Santa Ana

Joel Sherman fires on the fans

In today's Murdoch Muse, Joel Sherman savages the wealthy, silent and increasingly nonexistent Yankee Stadium fan base as "a Dockers-and-loafers crew that isn’t likely to unsettle the opponent."  He blames the high pricing structure, forced by the gilded new stadium, and the team's annual success, which has made winning ho-hum.

Drug addicts become used to the dosage and have to keep increasing the amounts to get the same high. This is where Yankees fans are now. Winning 95 games and a division and having the best record in the AL and setting a team record for homers and advancing a round in the playoffs is not enough. The only acceptable high is a championship.

Sherman has a point. But the negative sounds of silence stem from far more than victory-fatigue and millionaire pricing. I like to think the people who visit this website are as stoked with Yankee passions as they once were for the Mick, as for Thurman and yes - even Danny Tartabull. It's part of our psyche. We celebrate every Yankee win. We give the team our passion.

Trouble is, the Yankees don't seem to value this kind of fan any more. They only seem to care about the big money guy, the corporate honcho, and - folks - that's a real problem. This isn't about the fans' priorities. It's the organization's priorities that need to be looked at.

This is a team that looks at empty seats and blames StubHub. This is a team that's still selling dirt from the old stadium. This is a team that never embraces passionate fan web sites. In fact, it's more likely to try and shut them down, because nobody can figure out a way to make money off of them.

Secondly, there was something horribly wrong with this team all season, and diehard Yankee fans knew it. (John and Suzyn certainly talked about it.) Nobody drove in runners. Nobody hit in the clutch. We belted home runs. But anybody watching closely knew what kind of October was coming: When the pitching improved, we would watch the zeros accumulate. And that is what was so frustrating. That is what sucked the air out of Yankee Stadium. That is what brought the boos. This was not a bad week. This was a team without spirit.

The fans did not boo because they've become too used to winning.

They booed because they'd become too used to watching these batters fail when it counts.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Letter to the Editor: People are talking about this plucky Yankee team

Hartford Courant (Connecticut)
October 18, 2012 Thursday
Dear Editor:
In reference to the front-page article "For Fans, That Old Swagger Is Gone": Cry me a river! The Yankees are playing for the American League pennant, for goodness sake, and The Courant claims that the "old swagger is gone"? Maybe it's the whiny fans that have lost the swagger. They are not filling up the stadium and are booing their team when they do not hit home runs. It could be the $250-plus price tag for Yankee Stadium seats that are keeping the fans away.
Stop being such crybabies. This was not a front-page story.

Sheila Church

Letter to the Editor: "I have always been a Yankees fan..."

The Times of Trenton (New Jersey)
October 21, 2012 Sunday 

Dear Editor:

I have always been a Yankees fan. The antics of the owners, the late father, George Steinbrenner, and now his sons, always amazed me with their lack of class.
The current A-Rod situation ("A-Rod epoch ending ugly," Oct. 18) is a perfect example. Selecting him as the reason for their current failure is nonsense. They know, and we all do, that they made a bad deal on the man's salary and now they want to wiggle out of the deal by dragging him through the mud.

They did the same with Derek Jeter last year, and he fooled them by his superb performance this season.

Come on, boys, grow up and show some class.
Tim Eames

The curse of the Cuomos?

The Daily News did some investigative juju reporting this week and has uncovered a terrifying truth:

The Yankees never win the World Series when a Cuomo is running New York.

Andrew will rule Albany for at least the next four years, when he runs for President.  In fact, the Yankees could face the Cuomo Curse throughout the entirety of A-Rod's contract. 

Welcome to 1983 again: The new international free agent salary caps have kicked in, so don't expect the Yankees to buy their way out of misery

Everyone knows how billionaires love-love-love capitalism and hate-hate-hate commies - you know, like Obama and George Soros. Hell, they didn't get to be billionaires by organizing co-ops. Nevertheless, something happens when they buy baseball teams. Then, they turn pinko. Things like top-down artificial salary caps make sense. Last year, they managed to put one into place on the international free agent market.  Thus, the days of the Yankees being the Yankees, exercising their financial might and paying the most for overseas talent - them days be ovah.

I say this because two young stud Japanese pitchers have announced plans to come to America. They'll pitch against us soon. One is a high school wunderkind, the other is still in development stages. Last year, we might have signed them. This year, forget it. We have no money, because of the cap.

The Yankees have managed to screw themselves into the worst of all worlds. We are oldest, craggiest and most injury-prone team in baseball. We are the organization that -  due to the high prices of home games - cannot afford the luxury of a two or three-year rebuilding phase. And we cannot spend our way out of the doldrums, as we did in 2009 and basically throughout the 20 years. Our ownership has ceded control to a cozy front office, which in turn ceded control to players with long-term contracts, which mean we the fans can only just sit there and watch the turd pile collapse.

Look at Baltimore. Look at the ages of their lineup. If they do nothing next season, just watch TV and play with the kids, they will improve.  Same with Toronto and Tampa. At least Boston adopted a rebuilding plan, though it might take two centuries. We are on the verge of tumbling back into 1983 - yes, Bill Cosby is king, the Thompson Twins are recording, and we face a long, dark stretch of failing seasons and high payroll, with anger gurgling throughout the fan base and the Mets rising to become New York's signature team.

It amazes me when people think this cannot happen. Look at history, folks. It always does. 

How can we avoid it? Well, if Michael Pineda turns into Justin Verlander, that would help. But he didn't undergo Tommy John surgery. It was his shoulder. (In other words, good luck, pally.) And one of our kids - say, Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams - quickly rose through the system to become the star Austin Jackson should have been, well, that would help immensely. Trouble is, we don't let kids rise through the system like that. Our lineup is too bottled up with contracts and home run hitters.

Folks, the problem isn't A-Rod, or Grandy, or Swish or any one person. This collapse didn't happen in a week. It's taken years to crumble, and despite the assurances from Hal and Hank that they are not happy, there are new rules in place. The billionaires have spoken. Che Guevara lives!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

In other news, Murdoch thinks this guy is going to last nearly as long as A-Rod

Roger Ailes for four years?
He can still go to his right.

Time to start thinking about nominees for Yankee October Employee of the Month?

The usher who pimped for A-Rod.
The guy who warmed up Swish in the infield, so he didn't have to hear the booing.
The math whiz who calculated all of Girardi's successful matchups.
Lance Armstrong, for taking away a few headlines.
Honey Boo-Boo, for giving the Yankee fan base a new name.
Kevin Long.  Why bother with an explanation?
Raul Ibanez. Hey, did he ever meet Scott Brosius?

Who Agrees With This?

I believe our AAA team would have fared better against Detroit than the Yankees.

Earliest Prediction of the 2013 Season

Last night, I had 4 manhattans and a brain flash:

The 2013 Yankees, despite all the "fluff and flutter' we shall hear during the next several months, will remain substantially the same team as we had this year.

Likely, the average age will be higher by a tick or two.

Sure, someone in uniform and someone wearing a tie will be sacrificed to the unemployment line.  But the core of the team won't change, and will be a year older and a step slower.

As Duque points out, there is " dick" in the minor league system for the Yankees.  If anyone should be fired, it is the group of fools responsible for talent evaluations and talent development.  I could do the job better from my home.  

What does it take to fail at every level and with every decision?

Who can name me a draft pick of the Yankees in the last 5 years who is showing/having impact for the Yankees?

The chances of this team having a young star next season is less than the odds of winning the lottery.

We'll have Alex, Granderson ( maybe with glasses ), Derek, MO, Andy, Ichiro, Kuroda  possibly Ibanez....blah, blah, blah.  There will be some 34-36 year old replacement for Swisher, but if you expect to see a group of fast, hungry, talented youngsters, dream on and move to France,

The rhetoric all winter will be about our great pitching staff, although our best performer in
2012 ( Soriano ) will likely be in Boston.  Then MO gets hurt again and.....well, you know the trend.

So prepare yourself for another round with, essentially, the same old, failing crowd.

 Only, this time, we don't get past Baltimore.

Yankeetorial: Forget the debates about Joba and Chris Dickerson, folks. Housecleaning has to start at the top

Minutes after our latest national embarrassment became official, the Yankiverse began buzzing over whether Swish will return, or who will close next year if Soriano flees - the usual talk radio crapola. The fans began pieing A-Rod, designated lynchpin to the two worst collapses in Yankee history, but let's look closer, folks, because there's somebody else here, too. Nope, not Jeet or Mo. He's the guy behind the curtain, the one we're always grateful to have.

He may be the worst straight-up GM trader in modern baseball history. Quick: Tell me a deal where we won? (The Swisher-Betemit example is getting stale.) His only world championship came after writing the largest stimulus checks for free agents in history. His personal foibles have landed him on the back pages - quick: tell me what other franchise would keep a guy after that? - and his investment in certain players - hello, Curtis; hello, Pineda - limits his ability to make the changes that must be done.

It hurts to write this, because I like Brian Cashman. Everybody does. He got a raw deal on the tabloid grist - though he brought it on himself - and I remember when he represented the lone voice of objectivity during the Tartabull/Mel Hall madness days of King George. But Cash needs to get out of New York - just to save his soul. He needs to go to another team, to escape the shadow of the Steinbrenners and the obscene, wasteful payroll.

And the Yankees need him to go, too.

The Baltimore Orioles went 16 years in turmoil. Then one day, Buck Showalter arrived. The Redsocks changed when John Henry bought them and cleaned out the country-clubbers. The Yankees need a similar turnaround. It doesn't start with Chris Dickerson. It starts at the top.

Did you see the rightfielder for Detroit? He's 21. They gunned him through the system and stuck him in the lineup - a better lineup than ours. Look at the youth sprinkled through San Francisco and St. Louis. Our farm system this year gave us next to nothing. David Phelps is 25, as is Cody Epply - whom we signed off the scrap heap. That's it. That's all we got this year. And that's all we likely can expect next year, until maybe September when the coffees are being distributed.

Folks, that's an organizational collapse on par with the batting order's October.

Folks, the trade of Jesus Montero represents a management collapse on par with the batting order's October.

Folks, the Grandy deal, the Tyler Clippard giveaway, all of these trades that went south on us, and will continue for the next decade, they represent an administrative collapse on par with the team's October.

We need a new guy at the top. And just such a person is out there.

Tony LaRussa built the St. Louis Cardinals. His managing days are over. His life and his baseball career are not. This is a quintessential GM - law school degree, everything -  just waiting to be called, courted and brought to New York. Yeah, he might say no. Who knows? I certainly don't. But then again, he might say yes. Tony LaRussa would be our Buck Showalter - GM, not manager - and he bring to the Yankees an entirely new culture.

Because the one we have now is guaranteed to collapse. Again and again.

Well, OK, I take it back. We can run out and sign the top three free agents, like we did in winter 2008-09, and bludgeon our way to a championship. But then we'll pay for it in long-range contracts. 

I mention Tony LaRussa because he is clearly competent. But he's not the only one. The Yankiverse seems to think Brian Cashman is the only fish out there. This is ridiculous. The great teams of 1995-2000 were developed by Bob Watson and Gene Michael. There are baseball men out there who can restore this franchise. Just because Cash is loved by the sportswriters - he is a straight shooter who seems to return calls - does not mean he should get a free pass from them. 

In another city, say San Diego or Houston, Cashman could restore his reputation and his life. He needs a change of scenery.

And we need somebody new at the top.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I don't know how we get rid of A-Rod, but I know who should be playing third next year: He's a kid named Jeter

Let's face it: We're stuck with A-Rod, unless he lowers the boom and says he wants to leave. Even then, it's dicey. We cannot spend $20 million per year to pay for another team's thirdbaseman, and that's what it's going to take: A full-scale buyout.

But think this: Derek Jeter for two more years at shortstop. It doesn't parse. His legs will break down. His ankles will break down. He needs an easier position. Second base is out. The corner outfield slots won't work. He needs to play third.

Think about it.

Come Home, Little A-Rod

Sure, we booed you, threw dollar bills at you, reviled you on talk radio, laughed at your transgressions, reveled in your post-season ineptitude. But now, as you seemingly reach the bottom of the perpetually empty barrel, we will take you back. We will cuddle you and make you whole again. We will even move in the left-field wall for you, and lower it. We will schedule bobblehead nights for you. We will even bring you back to Jesus.

All you have to do is agree to play some first base and DH when asked. Sit out against tough right-handers. Keep your pants on. Never drool in public. And, of course, convince Cashman to pay at least $100 million of your salary for the next five seasons. And take Chone Figgins, of course. After all, the Yankees will need a new third baseman who can hit .180. And he's only owed $9 million.

You're never loved as much as you're loved by your first team. Come home, Little A-Rod. Seattle will comfort you.

"Watching the Yankees Make Outs"

Roger Angell:

Here’s what we saw around home plate, starting in late September: Curtis Granderson spins to the right, drops his head, and becomes suddenly smaller as he turns toward the dugout. Nick Swisher makes a little backward lean as an inside fastball goes by, throws up his head as the ump punches him out, then smiles knowingly as he heads back to the bench. Robbie Cano, grounding out to second once again, maintains unconcern or maybe disconcern as he slants off toward foul ground after the out: he’s an evening dog-walker out there, in no hurry to get home. A-Rod, popping up, takes a backward step, bumps the upper part of his bat with his fist—bad bat—turns left and lifts his chin on departure, as if he were counting the house. We Yankee fans know all this by heart; watching the Yankees make outs is what we’re really good at now.
The New Yorker 

Who Do You Want Back?

All the newspapers that still publish on pulp give readers today a,"keep or dump" poll for each member of the infamous 2012 Yankees.

 Here are the people I checked as "keep" :

1.   Ichiro - he is a pro with a year left. Too bad he'll never realize his dream of playing in a world series.

2.  Martin- he will be a great back-up when Jesus Montero is ready to start at catcher.

3.   Soriano- even if MO returns for a season, he'll quickly see that the days of, "big save moments" are gone for him. Someone has to be here when he packs it in. And who, besides Derek, was a more reliable Yankee, and did his job exceptionally wel in 2012?

Which is why the Yankees will let him go to Boston.

4. Brett Gardner- he can't stay healthy, but he is fast and is not a quitter.

5. CC - a solid number 2 or 3 starter.

6.  Hughes- if he comes back from back surgery, he might help in the bullpen.

7.  Joba - we need amusement and distraction of some sort. He provides it.

8.  Hiroki - another professional who did what he was paid to do.

9.  Derek- a sad, but dignified swan song awaits our great hero.

10. MO - let him go out healthy. But we would be better off trading him for some young talent.   What, exactly, is there to save in a 75 win season?

11.  Robertson - gritty and good. Overworked to a fault by Joe.

12.   Pettitte- personally, I think he should retire and spend time with his family. There will be no point in winning 15 games and finishing 4th.  But he has earned the right.

 13.  Logan - we won't have any other lefties in the bullpen next year, either.

 Everyone else ( including Joe, Robbie, Tex, Grandy, A-Dork, and the Hank and Hal disasters can be dealt to Seattle for more broken down, alcoholic drivel.  Let me just say this, too;  you will not want Pineda back either.  There are too many bars in Manhattan.

 As for the free agents the fabulous front office signs next year:
 they will all be 35+, former stars who can't play anymore and don't really care. The money and the groupies are just enough to keep them around.

We need to sign 24 year olds not 37 year olds.

Aux Armes Citoyens !

To arms, Yankee citizens !

I promise you that in spring training, 2013, Robinson Cano will be smiling and laughing; A-Rod will be spitting pumpkin seeds all over the field and collecting phone numbers from teenaged girls, Ganderson will be visiting a hospital for children of the corn, and all will be fat and happy in Yankeedom. Tex will again be working on opposite field hitting.

 I am assuming Swisher will already be elsewhere, perhaps pitching in Mexico.

Talk will be of "coming back" and "settling things."  You'll hear phrases like "focus, finishing, fighting and redemption." Joe Girardi and Cashman will talk of, "Getting back to Yankee baseball."

The Captain and Andy and MO will again play baseball as it should be played.  The others will be paying lip service to their financial advisors.

Here is our response:

1.  Every Yankee who egregiously failed in this playoff season, and who remains a Yankee in
2013, must be booed, wherever they are and for whatever they do.  Always. No quarter may be given, ever.

2.  Their failures, mental and physical, must "live in infamy" amongst Yankee fans.  I am willing to fund monuments in centerfield to eternally commemorate their ineptitude.  Yankee fans must, "never forget." Such a monument will place their disgusting performance next to our most honored Yankees. Through this contrast,  the stain of their playing careers will be etched in Yankee lore forever.  By a special grant, never will this new monument be washed of grime or pigeon crap.  A fitting tribute to these inept excuses for ballplayers.

3.  If Cano hits a walk-off homer against Boston, boo him.  If Tex makes an incredible defensive play, boo him.  When A-Rod comes out of the dugout, boo him.  If Granderson hits 3 homers and drives in 6 runs against Detroit, boo him every time.

4.  Let these failure/cowards know that they will never again be liked, much less loved, in NY or anywhere Yankee fans exist.

5.  If you see them on a street, or in a restaurant, shun them.  Use amish techniques or Mormon torture.

6.  If you own their jerseys or autographs, burn them publicly.  Get photos of such rituals in the papers. If you have children or pets, never buy a jersey bearing the name of one of these losers.

7. Go viral with our disdain. Post jersey and autograph burnings on U-Tube and Facebook.  Put them on Al Jazerra.  Enlist our enemies to boo these infidels ( that should be easy ).

7. Make them regret that they chose baseball as a profession.  The "Black Sox" team members will rank above them in history.  Make them understand that they are traitors to the game and no longer are welcome.

This needs to be national and forever.

These players ( I use that term derisively ) must learn that they no longer have, or can have, a positive legacy.  They have no reputation, any longer, as ballplayers, other than for cowardice and failure.

They did the worst thing you can do in sports;  they quit.  And they quit often and early and everyday.

When they leave the game, we can cheer again.

People are talking about this talented Yankee ballclub

Miami Herald: "... manhandled..."
New York Times: "... will be reviled... a punchless spectacle of October..."
New York Post: "... the last shred of baseball dignity... stripped away..."
Lupica: "... dropped out of a fourth-story window..."
New York Daily News: "... startling team-wide lack of mental toughness... the complete lack of fight with the season on the line..."
Newsday: "... Mercifully, the Tigers ended the debacle..."
CBS: "... Alex Rodriguez needs the Witness Protection Program..."
Lohud: "... What is Yankee baseball exactly...?"
Girardi: "... "It wasn't one guy, it wasn't two guys, it was a bunch of guys..."
Cashman: "... massively disappointing..."
River Ave: "... they didn’t put up much of a fight at all..."
El Duque: "... first, waterboard, then castrate; detain families, surgically delete all records that they existed... and then start cleaning house..."

On top of everything else, none of the reporters had the decency to tell A-Rod he had some goop hanging down his chin

In the post-game gaggle, A-Rod every question posed to him.  But nobody even bothered to say, "Hey, man, wipe your chin."

Guy can't buy a break. I wouldn't blame him if he wanted to go elsewhere.