Sunday, March 31, 2013

I've Changed My Mind

Happy Bunny Day, everyone !

Since this is a day of major make believe and let's pretend, I've decided to come clean.

I now believe this Yankee team, even if Austin Romine ( our "hands down" best prospect and future all star ) didn't make it, will nonetheless win the AL East going away.


We will win every playoff game, and go a quick 4-0 during the October classic.

Why do I so believe?

-  There is power and depth at every position.
-  We have speed at every level, and can run opponents crazy.
-  This team is strong up the middle, with Nunez, Stewart and someone in center.
-   We have plenty of exciting young players and time for that talent to blossom on the field.
-  Should we have any injuries, we all know that our minor league system is brimming with talent.
-  All of this, and we also have veteran leadership.

Some predictions:

1.  Phil Hughes will return in early April and pitch 7 innings of 1 run ball in his first outing.
2.  When Derek returns, he will go 3-3 with a walk, and steal three bases.
3.  When Tex returns for the first time, he will hit three doubles right over third base.
4.  A-Rod will hit 20 home runs in twenty days, once he is playing third again full-time.
5.  Grandy will hit .320 and only strike out 4 times all season.
6.  Vernon Wells will lead the league in HR's, stolen bases and assists through August.
7.  Ivan Nova will pitch to an ERA of 2.33, leading the majors in that department.
8.  Nunez, despite committing one error per game, will drive in or score three runs per game, netting out as a plus two on the quality player scale.
9.  Robbie will hit into a double play per game, although he will walk 2 times every game.  Netting out as the only quality player we have.
10 Mariano will lead the league in saves, helping the Yankees to win 42 straight games by one run.

It begins on Monday, so we can all sit back and relax knowing already how it is going to end.

I won't watch until Pukilis is replaced due to injury.  But I'll sleep well knowing we have earned this "walk-over."

Thanks to Brian Cashman for such fine work on our behalf.

Yankiverse eyes The Eve of Destruction

The AL East, it is exploding,
Tampa flarin', Toronto loadin.'
Your stopper is so old, his slider's floatin'
You don't believe in waste, yet Vernon Wells you're totin,'
And even the Captain's ankle still aint stopped bloatin'...

But you tell me...
Over and over and over again, my friend
We're not totally whacked...
By A-Rod's pact...
Of Destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say?
Can't you see the lineup starring Lyle Overbay?
If Robbie tweaks a hammy, there'll be no one to play,
We'll have run out of tricks, we'll be using Jason Nix
Take a look around ya, pal!
It's bound to scare ya, Hal!

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
We're not in the grip...
Of A-Rod's hip

Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here, still Michael Pineda-waitin,'
I'm lookin' at this team, I see no domination.
Damn Youkilis at third, there is no explanation!
And David Phelps alone can't save our rotation
When even the Scranton roster is disintegratin'
This whole Cashman death wish thing is just too frustratin!'

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
We're not under the wheel
Of A-Rod's deal...
Of de-struk-shuuuuuuun.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

And now, our annual Mudville update: CASEY ON THE JUICE

By El Duque

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that year.
The lineup had no hitting threats, the fans no cause to cheer.
So when Cooney tore his hamstring, and then Barrows broke his wrist,
The writers started calling for the brass to be dismissed.

The season stood in jeopardy, with one last hope in sight:
If only one great slugger could regain his former might.
One shot of horse testosterone, one jab in his caboose,
The team could get its mojo back with Casey on the juice!

But Flynn had tested positive, and also Jimmy Blake,
Their samples glowed with hormones like uranium yellowcake.
The infield faced suspension, the outfield in decay,
The team was dead unless some source came forth with antler spray.

But Flynn unleashed ten lawyers, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, with much persuasion, had his cousin take the fall;
And with the last indictment quashed, a miracle occurred,
The Mudville nine remained within one game of placing third.

Within the team’s top management, there rose a whispered din;
“We need to find a slugger who can drive some runners in.
“A deep-voiced man with swollen breasts, his beard as thick as rope.
“We need to bring back Casey, with his bloodstream full of dope!”

He’d all but been forgotten, in the pennant race of late.
No team considered signing him; he’d last hit .208.
He couldn’t touch the breaking ball or move much to his right.
He’d shrunken by some 30 pounds; he looked like Betty White.

They found him in a halfway house for former alcoholics,
Where he’d been kicking Andriol and street-sale anabolics.
They offered him a contract that would run from day to day.
But his sample had to come back clean before they’d let him play.

There was ease in Casey's manner, though he tried to be discreet.
The testers watched him carefully; they figured he would cheat.
The sample showed diuretics, high above the zone of red,
"That ain't my urine," said Casey. "Strike one!" the clinic said.

The pundits, amped on Ritalin, fumed fury at the game.
He’d never see another pitch, or make the Hall of Fame!
"Ban him! Ban the juicer!" came a fervent, shouted wail;
And its likely they'd a-done it, had not Casey looked so frail.

With a smile of Christian charity old Casey's visage shone.
He chalked it off to linseed oil, not high testosterone.
He’d suffered from a restless leg, took pills to beat the flu,
But the next test showed growth hormone, and the lab coats roared, “Strike two!”

"Fraud!" cried the gin-fueled writers, and the bloggers echoed “Fraud!”
But Casey’s hired publicist pronounced the tests as flawed.
And now his face grew stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
They knew he’d never let himself score positive again.

The smile is gone from Casey's lips, his eyes like burst balloons;
He’s downed ten quarts of seltzer, after eating fifty prunes.
His body is a furnace, his bladder surely stressed,
And now the world awaits the hard results of Casey's test.

O, somewhere in this favored land the stars are shining bright;
The games are played by people of a normal weight and height.
And somewhere fans are laughing, at peace with what they’ve got;
But there is no joy in Mudville: Mighty Casey’s tested hot.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Holy crap! Does Cashman read this blog?

Where do you think he got that idea?

From this?

"To see the universe in a grain of sand/ And eternity in an hour:" My predictions for the 2013 Yankees

Print. This. Out.

1. April is strong. The scrap heap Yankees are long on scrap and short on - well - "heap," finishing that wordplay, despite lack of meaning. Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells, Ben Francisco, Brennan Boesch and Cookie Rojas - (they coax him from retirement) - bring experienced professionalism and do something the team couldn't do last year: Hit with runners on base. Our starting pitching carries us. We're leading the league on March 31, and the Yankiverse coos like a fat pigeon. Jeter will be back soon, at full speed. The Tonight Show will be back in NYC. All will be right with the world.

2. May is a disaster. This isn't a prediction. It's a fact of life. The Yankees always tank in May. The new car smell of the season fades, and the clubhouse hasn't settled into the long haul. This is the month when fissures show up in the concrete. Nunez throws away a few games, Gards runs into a wall, Cervelli's bat disappears, and the angry bloggers - led by Alphonso - start railing about the delayed Mayan apocalypse. Jeet returns, but his range is compromised. Youkilis' body is barking. We fall into third, but the AL East remains a jumble.

3. June is a crap shot. We are long on crap and short on - oh, hell, why not? - "shot." Grandy is back, but which Grandy? The five-tool gamer of 2011, or the Dave Kingman of 2012, whose only reaction to an overshift is swing for the fence? Tex is still rehabbing, and everybody cringes with each swing. Pineda is throwing in Scranton, getting walloped. (Jesus Montero is hitting .300, and Alphonso mentions it every day.)  Youkilis is out, and Cashman has heroically scoured the waiver wires for bodies. Late in the month, Mariano struggles, launching a new worry, the darkest fears yet.

4. July is murder. Tex and Grandy return, but a fresh wave of injuries destroys morale. Sabathia, Mariano, Andy, Youkilis, Ichiro and Jeter are on the sidelines, and most fans have never heard of their replacements. A-Rod is suspended for 50 games, wiping out his season. He will never again play for the Yankees. Girardi does a masterful job, but at the all-star break, we fall six games behind for the final Wild Card spot, and it's now or never. Rumors are Cashman is looking to trade a package of prospects for a pitcher, and debate rages over what should be done.

5. August is the house-cleaning. The trades happen after a painful losing streak. Grandy goes first. Then Youkilis, then Ichiro, then Joba, and then - yes, OMG! - Robbie. They bring a raft of prospects, which the Yankees immediately elevate. Jeter, Mariano and Andy remain the iconic stars, drawing standing O's with each appearance. Tex has season-ending surgery. The team actually wins a few games and briefly spawns hope for a Wild Card run, but it's too late. An era is ending.

6. September is for hope.  The worst is over, and the Yankees vow to bid heavily on Robbie as a free agent. (He won't return, though.) A few prospects look good. Pineda might be a second starter, after all.  "Mariano Rivera Day" brings a record sell-out crowd. It is followed by "Andy Pettitte Day," another full house. Crowds show up to cheer Joba and Grandy, in new uniforms. Cashman is rumored to be leaving. Jeter announces he will return in 2014, though at 3B. Hal Steinbrenner vows to spend, spend, spend over the winter. The $189 million budget goal no longer exists.

7. October ends early. The Yankees rally and finish ahead of Boston - third place - but well out of the post-season. A sell-out crowd watches Mo save Andy's final game, and John Sterling records a nine-second WinWarble, the longest in history. There is hope for 2014. The Yankees have finally ended the darkest unlucky Number '13. Meanwhile, in Washington, Bryce Harper is getting bored...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Second Day of Overbay

Evidently, Joe has seen enough. Welcome to New York, Mr. Overbay.

Meet the Yankee owner, Mr. Overpay.

So in which direction do you think the Phil Hughes setback is HEADED?

Joe Girardi today re-assured us that the Phil Hughes' back problem is, "not headed south."

"And while he will not be available on opening day, and we can't really specify exactly when he will be back......etc."

So here are my voting options ( pick one, write it down, send it to Mustang for validation and official counting ) :

1.  It is heading south.
2.  It is south already.
3.  It will not go south until later.
4.  But it is going south.

This season.

The three days of Lyle Overbay: Day One

Brian Cashman - continuing his progression toward becoming the Yankee Isiah - has signed Lyle Overbay to a three-day "NBA style" contract.

As of Day One, he is batting .400, and the team is undefeated and untied. 

Yankeetorial: Tim McCarver is retiring, and only one man should be considered for his replacement

Today, the baseball world was stunned to hear that Tim McCarver, at only 71, plans to hang up his vocal chords at year's end. Clearly, the man has another 20 years of anti-Yankee bile-spewing left inside his spiteful, tortured spleen.

We've written much about McCarver's lustful, death-to-all-Yankees diatribes, which rise up from the man's soul on an inning-by-inning basis, prompting him to rant like Randall McMurphy in group therapy, going Harry Truman on the Yankees, screaming like a Mafia widow who has thrown herself onto a coffin being lowered into the earth. McCarver's hatred for the Yankees burns hotter than a billion suns, if they were filled with jalapeno peppers and tiger balm. At age 71, with sex and hearing long gone from his life, McCarver clearly has lived the last 20 years with only one overriding goal:  To utterly destroy and inflict psychological pain on the New York Yankees and their innocent and well-meaning fans. His impending retirement should bring about a day of mass celebrations across the Yankiverse. We should hold a parade down the Canyon of Heroes, honoring all living astronauts, Beatles and ex-Presidents. But we won't. Because we don't carry grudges. Forgive and forget: That's our motto.

THAT SAID...  if Fox Sports intends to have maintain shred of respect within the baseball world, the announcer chosen to replace McCarver must be of the highest caliber known to broadcasting. He must be driven by Jeep, he must be safe and secure, and he must have visited the Hebrew Home at Riverside, which is like a college campus. He must be able to verbally explore the vagaries of life, baseball and celebrity memoirs, and he must be able to predict the unpredictability of each. In short, this superhuman expert of elocution must be capable of extending a WinWarble into the 7.00-second range, if necessary, and be able to explain how a baseball game is different from other sports, because no matter what happens today, tomorrow will have new pitchers. Has McCarver ever ONCE mentioned that?

One man should be considered to replace Tim McCarver in the booth of Fox Sports.

We all know who that man is. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yankees set all-time record with five DHs in lineup

Yesterday's starting lineup vs. Houston:

1. Brett Gardner
2. Ichiro Suzuki
3. Robinson Cano
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. Travis Hafner
6. Vernon Wells
7. Juan Rivera
8. Eduardo Nunez
9. Chris Stewart

Fans vote Vernon Wells signing as worst 2013 omen, even above Youkilis and lack of youth

The people have spoken, and the trade for Vernon Wells is now considered the top Yankee bad omen for 2013. (NOTE: The poll was taken before the signing of Lyle Overbay.)

You chose Vernon Wells over "No Youth" by a tight margin, with "Youkilis," "Jeter limping," "Robbie sitting on generous offer," and "tomorrow's injury" coming close.

Sadly, hardly anyone considered Arod staying in Miami a bad omen.

The fact is, the release of David Adams, the trading of Kramer Sneed, the impending injury to whomever and - of course - the arrival of Mr. Overbay will be the newest omens to consider. And there is still time for another Yankee omen acquisition: "Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name!" The true WORST OMEN will likely occur on Opening Day Eve, when the Yankee lineup is announced... by the late Bob Sheppard. (Ooh! Ooh! Jumpin' Jehovazat! I got an idea, Muldoon! Since the Yankees haven't added young players, there must be tapes of Sheppard announcing all the current Yankee lineup. How about going into the archives and using Sheppard's voice for the entire team, instead of just Derek Jeter! If we're playing to the theme of "NEW FIX FOR 2006!" this is a marketing no-brainer!)

Let's Be Clear

I have stayed away from spring training because that Pukilis person is still a Yankee.  And he remains unhurt.

But a few things are emerging from the fog of spring:

1.  The Yankees are too old.
2.  They will continue to be beset with injuries.
3.  The injuries will be sequential.
4.  The strategy of signing over-paid, slow, basically career-finished players, and making them very happy, continues.  It is as though Cashman's brain has been washed of painful and stupid experiences.
5.  These old guys know NY has better food, women and financial opportunities ( endorsements, tattoo parlors, etc ) than any other city.  So they smile a lot ( see Vernon Wells ).
6. Imagine what it must be like to know that you are washed up ( Vernon, Lyle ), to know that any 22 year old in the minors can, at least, match your productivity, and yet realize that you are the one coming north with the pinstripes, and he ( or they ) are off to the Abu Grave life ( you know what I mean, even if I can't spell it ) of Scranton?
7.  To look out of your suite and realize that your millions are guaranteed, even if you hit in the .100's?
8.  Has anyone heard the name  Romine lately?  Is he still with the Yanks?
9.  Why do we keep any productive youngsters around, only to sell them out later?  Are we showcasing them for a potential trade?  As upside fodder in a deal for yet another future high school baseball coach who played in a world series a decade ago, when he was 29-31?
10.  Do you really expect our pitchers to give up no more than one run a game for the season? For a week?  For a game?  We aren't going to average more than 2 or three runs per game ourselves, and that is only if Gardner has a big year.
11.  Does Ichiro now weigh less than Olga Korbut?
12.  I assume Chris Stewart or Cervelli will start for us.  If it is Cervelli, I give him less than 30 days before he gets hurt.
13.  Has anyone seen a player named Romine?  Is he forcing his way to the starting job, as our top position-playing prospect?
14.  There is not a single position player anyone wants to watch on this team.
15.  Our only hope is that everyone over the age of 31 gets hurt early.  The team could be forced to use some younger guys from our system.
16.  Except there aren't any.
17.  Heathcote ( is he hurt yet again?).  Williams ( if we didn't give him up for Overbay, does he weigh more than Olga Korbut)?
18.  No longer Adams.
19.  We would be smarter to shift to the national league where our pitchers could hit.
20.  This year will be a pathetic and wrenching good-by to so many classy guys who won for us.
21.  Now, forever and a day ago.

How far we have fallen.  The opening series against Boston, instead of being a fierce, must-win battle of superpowers, will be like the first few days of clown college.

Lyle Overbay is the latest Yankee undertaking

Damn. This guy was really something in 2006!
He could be a real find for this wily Yankee ballclub!

Yankees release David Adams so they can continue their mating dance with 1965

Let's assume the Yankees - aka the Retrieval Empire - knows what they are doing. Let's give MGMT benefit of the doubt... old fashioned Yankee ingenuity. They watch the players close-up, while we Klingons of the outer Yankiverse sit in our internet pods, shoveling ether. They are "baseball men." They are the "unnamed scouts" of news stories. They would spit on fan bloggers, as they should. What do we know? They watch baseball games for a living. They can recite the infield fly rule backwards. These are the pros, the masters, keepers of the radar gun, chewers of tobacco, comedians of the back-nine, busters of waistlines, wearers of patent leather shoes, experienced drivers of the road who on a good day can blow a .20 by noon.  They are on it.


That's what they look like from here.

Yesterday, the Yankees released David Adams, the 25-year-old infielder whose mistake in life was getting hurt when the team tried to deal him years ago to Seattle for Cliff Lee. He missed about 18 months of development, but last year emerged as one of the hopes of the - (albeit, beleagured) - farm system, when he rose through the ranks and hit .300 at Double A. He was one of a handful of Yankee prospects sent to the Arizona Instructional League, where he played 2B and 3B and hit well. Several prospect-rating blogs (which, yes, we must take with a grain of salt) put Adams in their Yankee Top 10 lists, and he would have been by far one of the most interesting prospects this year at Scranton - especially considering Cano in his walk year and Arod in his Hiroshima A-bomb mode.

They cut Adams to make space for Andruw Wells. Vernon Wells, I meant. Vernon. The latest addition to a team already being referred to as The Walking Dead.

Let's do a mental exercise. Close your eyes and try to imagine Yankee Stadium in August, the team 10 games under .500... 15,000 people in the seats (most paying StubHub prices; MGMT caved yesterday on that policy too)... and here comes Andruw Wells - VERNON, DAMMIT, I MEAN - batting .232. John and Suzyn are selling Little Debbie. The YES crew is talking about how he's had some "good swings" lately, and that's usually a sign that a player is about to break out of his slump.  Now, add this: Somewhere in Oakland or Washington, where the team managements know what they are doing, David Adams is making a name as a gritty utility infielder with a solid bat. (And while we're at it, let's have Jesus Montero leading the league in hitting.) Close your eyes and imagine the sounds. No, my friends, they are not yelling YOUK.

OK, let's give old Stump and the others benefit of the doubt. We're not there. Maybe David Adams is hurt again.  (He missed much of spring training with a bad back.) Maybe it's a career-killer. Maybe he doesn't have it. Or maybe he'll be snapped up by somebody. All we can do is watch. And never forget. No, my friends. That's something we seem to do better than the Yankee baseball men. They're quite happy to forget. We won't.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed: The Poem

(Note: The Yankees today completed the deal for Vernon Wells by trading to the Angels Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed. The Yankees originally obtained Cayones in the AJ Burnett trade.)

If you find your team in trouble,
A new old slugger's what you need,
Send them packing, on the double:
Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed!

Vernon Wells, he's coming for you,
His bat, it's nearly gone to seed.
He'll hit at least .222!
For Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed!

It's yet another Tampa raid,
That Cashman, he's got some cojones!
Last vestige of the AJ trade!
Kramer Sneed and Exicardo Cayones!

Road Trip?


March 26, 2013: They day the Gammonites explained Cashman's logic

Like penguins marching toward the smell of fish, today's screamer tabs seek to guide Isiah Cashman out from under the avalanche of bad ether that came over the Interthing yesterday, following the revelation that the Yankees - aka The Retrieval Empire - were acquiring yet another over-the-hill former slugger to supplement our current supply. (The Steinbrenner family has a genetic attraction to old hitters, much akin to the way the Kim Sung Il clan likes ex-Chicago Bulls.)

Fans can decry this deal from Hell without having to fear that future calls won't be returned, or that the press box coffee machine will only serve decaf. But the wretches of newsprint have to shovel Cashman's hash.  Thus, today, they trot out some fanciful number-crunching to show that the deal - however much it smells like the essence of Andruw Jones/Austin Kearn/Xavier Nady - won't break the Yankee bank.

Under a headline that says, "Deal for Wells makes $ense for Yankees," George King of the Murdoch Migraine writes: "While the Yankees aren’t going to pay Wells all the money this year, his salary for 2014 will be nominal and could result in a low tax number, a zero or credit when next season’s luxury tax is calculated."

Not to be out-spun, Mark Feisand at the Daily News writes, "Although Wells’ seven-year, $126 million contract has been looked at as an albatross for the Angels, the deal could actually be quite beneficial for the Yankees financially. Despite Wells’ bloated salary, his arrival may help the Yankees achieve their goal of staying below the luxury tax threshold next year."

Let me speak for the Yankiverse is saying, "Hooo-ray."

A couple things, and then I promise to stop bashing Vernon Wells and Cashman. (I'm too old for this.)

1. This isn't about numbers. They can make numbers parachute from planes. It's about a fan base desperate for a young player - one young player - to emerge, and a team that refuses to even give one a chance. Even if Vernon Wells hits in April, we know what'll happen in July: He'll tank and finish the season about .230. He'll do what Andruw and all the others do - suck the air out of the farm system. For the Yankees to bench him, he will have to hit .190 for a month. Only then will he come out of the lineup. How can we - as fans - be expected to continually gin up excitement over such players?

It is demoralizing to root for the Yankees.

2. The Yankees ownership philosophy - like most of the MLB fathers - has changed fundamentally since George's death. It used to be that a baseball owner was the richest guy in town, so he becomes a public figure, he sits in the best seat, he entertains celebrities, and he is the Greatest Fan in the city. He speaks for the fans. He reads about the homeless and cuts a check. He cries in the locker room after winning the championship. He doesn't worry about money. This has changed. Well - actually - one part remains: The owners are still the richest guys in town. (I've said this many times:) They are billionaires who pretend to be millionaires, so we will feel sorry for them. But now, they want to make money off their teams. They want to show they're businessmen - like Dad! And considering that they have monopolies in each city - and a fan base in each hip pocket - they can turn the screws quite effectively. Thus, they lobby for tax breaks - and get them. They screw players - and send them packing. They whine, they wheedle, and - in this case - they spent last winter crashing the Yankees franchise - almost systematically - to cut expenses. They said, "We're saving money now, so we can spend it in the future."

Well, I dunno what they're doing. And, frankly, I don't think they do, either. The Gammonites can crunch all the numbers in the world. The only one that matters is .222. That's what Vernon Wells hit the last two seasons, combined.

It used to be fun rooting for the Yankees. Now, it is demoralizing.

"VERNIE GOES BOOM! VERN, BABY, VERN?" It's time to ponder John Sterling's HR call for Vernon Wells

Oh, Vernon! You're learnin'!

All's Wells that end Wells!

It's Wells-a-poppin' time!

Ding Dong! It's another miracle of the Wells!

That ball has an ice cream chance in Wells!
Something smells! But not Vernon Wells!

It's a new Constitution... straight from Mount Vernon!

RAOW! Feel the claws of the kitty, Wells!

It's a message from Wells: How Far Go? 

Another pitcher has been accepted at Wells College*

*Wells College is located in Aurora, NY. Not far from Syracuse.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Next up, Lyle Overbay? Scott Rolen?

That's what the rumors say. Good grief, this could be the long-awaited, historical reuniting of the famed 2008 Toronto Blue Jays!

Shouldn't we be thinking about John McDonald? David Eckstein? Scutero? Thigpen? Mench. (Damn. Why did we ever trade AJ Burnett?)

2008 Toronto Blue Jays

Yankees to MLB: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Lyrics by Neil Diamond
Inspiration by Brian Cashman
Moment by Vernon Wells

We've been travelling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America!
Never looking back again
They're coming to America!

Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're travelling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today!

My country 'tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Of thee I sing!



The Yankiverse is RAVING over the acquisition of Vernon Wells

IAATM: ... "This off-season has now officially hit rock bottom..."

Sports Illustrated: "... it’s an unappealing set of options..."

Yahoo: ... "Desperation, thy outfit is pinstripes."

Fangraphs:  "... there’s no other explanation except that the Yankees are desperate..."

Bleacher Report: "... utterly pointless and atrocious..."

IIHIIFIIc. "... kill them! Now! Kill all the Yankee brass..." 

Alphonso: "... Tina Fey and Paul Rudd sizzle! An A-plus! Get your admission to 'Admissions' soon..."

No youth, no hope, no plan: Vernon Wells is a Yankee? Where was the money back in December?

In December - as Yankee fans watched Russell Martin, Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano march toward the exit; as Torii Hunter, Josh Hamilton and Melky Cabrera knocked on the door, without so much as a response - Isiah Cashman uttered the famous new policy of the Steinbrother era: "Beggars can't be choosers."

Theoretically, it meant the sons of the owner were instituting a new strategic plan: The team would shrink its payroll to $189 million by 2014 and avoid paying taxes. (If there was a stadium in the Cayman Islands, they would be playing there now.) The Yankees would develop players through its farm system and avoid massive financial debts.

Then it signed Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year contract.

Today, the Yankees are on the verge of assuming the debt mountain of Vernon Wells, a 34-year-old, 230-pound DH, who has hit .222 over the last two years and almost never draws a base on balls. They have done this in an apparent attempt to placate a fan base increasingly angered over such disastrous policies.

Vernon Wells...  dear God, where do you start? Where do you begin to discuss this looming horror show? 

This is the equivalent of the Republican Party in 2008 thinking that all it needed to do to win the African-American vote was appoint Michael Steele as chairman.

This is the late 1980s all over again - when George's reaction to adversity was always to run out and sign a downward spiraling DH. Remember Ron Kittle? Ron Hassey? Matt Nokes? Steve Kemp? Danny Tartabull? Back then - in the days of Richard Dotson - we had two starting pitchers and a six-man DH rotation.

Dammit, look LOOK at our DH depth: Travis Hafner (who doesn't own a glove.) Derek Jeter (who is limping and unable to play SS). Juan Rivera (who can't play first) and now Vernon Wells - three years away from his last big season, when he hit 31 home runs (and only drove in 88; how do you do that?)


A River Ave Blues Commenter Speaks The Unbearable Truth

Pasta says:March 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm
Your opening day line up

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yankees buying abandoned Wells

Obviously, the devil is in the details.

But did Cashman just trade away another Austin Jackson, Tyler Clippard or Ian Kennedy? (Not to mention Jesus.)

Lou Pinella would sure hate to use the r-word. Maybe there's a Hitler comparison?

Waiting to learn what we gave...

Exciting week ahead, as teams start waiving our future lineup

You can feel the anticipation rising. Who will get dropped in other MLB camps?

The horror, Mr. Cash, the horror: Jeter is no longer answering questions, Mariano is having migraines, Andy’s getting whacked, and the Yankee boat drifts ever deeper into the heart of darkness.

Derek Jeter is no longer answering reporters’ intrusive questions regarding his foot. (Generally, those questions must go along these lines: “How are you?” “How do you feel?” “What’s up?”) He’s tired of telling reporters his foot doesn’t hurt. The somebiches don’t listen. The Yankees say Jeter might miss opening day, but he hasn’t ruled it out. The team expects a great year from its captain.

Today’s Murdoch Meat says that Mariano Rivera is suffering from what appear to be migraine headaches. They haven’t affected his pitching. Yet. The team says nobody should worry about this unsettling development. The franchise expects a great year from its closer.

Andy Pettitte yesterday said his pitches were right where they need to be, despite the fact that he was torched in a spring outing, mostly by Triple A batters. Andy repeated past remarks that the Yankees should be the team to beat in 2013, having come within four games of winning the American League pennant last fall. The team expects a great year from its starter.
Brett Gardner is fine, merely battling a stomach bug. Hey… bad clams happen. The team expects a great year from its caterers.

Gonzaga University lost yesterday, but don’t count them out. Mitt Romney suffered a tweaked hammy last fall, but the gritty veteran came within five percentage points of winning the Presidency, and the Repubs expect a big 2013. The dinosaurs were rendered extinct by either a comet or volcanos – we’re still not sure - but don’t worry, folks, they’ll be back. Just give them time.
By now, you’re wondering where I’m going with this. Well… down the Mekong, I guess… with Colonel Girardi in command. That’s where we’re all rolling, folks, so enjoy the ride. You can’t see the enemy, but trust me, they’re in that jungle, watching us.

Oh, hell, maybe they're just sleeping. Maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe Baltimore was just lucky last season, and Tampa has no hitting, and Toronto didn’t really – as Lou says, you hate to use the word “rape” – sexually abuse the Marlins in that trade. Let’s just keep drifting, deeper and deeper into our alternative darkness, ignoring the realities that everybody sees but nobody wants to discuss.
It has come to this, o Yankiverse:

Don’t ask Jeter about his foot. He’s tired of talking about it.
I can relate. The season hasn’t started, and it feels like August 29. No... it feels like 1967.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A few Higgs bosons have returned to their rightful places, and at least for a while, the universe has been restored: Chien-Ming Wang is back with the Yankees

In another universe, Michael Jackson went into rehab, Kim Kardashian forgot to wear protection and Chien-Ming Wang wasn’t running the bases that fateful day in Pittsburgh. Maybe Joe called for a pinch runner. Or maybe Wang didn't run full out. This is a better universe, a more orderly one, because everybody knows pitchers aren’t supposed to get hurt running the bases. In this alternative plane, Wang doesn’t turn the tendons in his foot into a plate of spaghetti. Nope. He never leaves the Yankees, and he’ll be in Cooperstown someday wearing the interlocking NY.

In that other world, debate rages over who is the Yankees ace  – Sabathia or Wang. (By the way, in that other universe, this website supports Wang.) He represents the home grown pitcher – the pride of the Yankee farm system. Without him, God knows where this franchise would be, and what lowly, crappy universe the Yankiverse would inhabit.

Well, you can’t turn back time – not even the Yankees – though yesterday, they tried.

Yesterday, we signed Wang. I believe that I speak for the Yankiverse in saying, “What took you?” The guy deserved more loyalty from us than we showed him, considering all he did in the first decade – and the fact that he remains the only great pitcher our farm system has developed (and kept) since Andy Pettitte. (Alas, Ian Kennedy doesn’t count.)
Wang was a great Yankee pitcher, and for my money, Joe Torre abused him in much the way he did Scott Proctor. I remember one Sunday afternoon when Wang shut down the Washington Nationals for eight innings, but Torre didn’t bring in Mariano, as he would for any other starter. Wang gave up a home run and the Yankees lost the game, and what would have been a great outing turned into despair. Joe always looked for Wang to eat the innings, so his other starters could stay sharp. 

In the dead years of the 1980s, the wretched Yankees were always getting unexpected performances from bit players such as Freddy Beene, Don Slaught and Alvaro Espinosa. Left unspoken was the sorry state of the team. This year looms in much the same way. You can imagine Wang coming up in June and pitching well – considering that he’s 32, threw 32 innings last year and had an ERA over 6.00 – and giving the Yankees a warm, fuzzy feeling. Everybody will feel happy for him when he leaves next winter, parlaying his work this year into a nice contract, which won’t fit Hal Steinbrenner - "the Yankee Clipperr... of Coupons"  and his $189 million payroll.

If fans expect Wang to show us loyalty and play for less… well… I think he’ll be giving us what we gave him.
So get ready: At some point this season, when the Yankees are down by six or seven games, one of our starters will collapse, and word will come from Scranton that Chien-Ming Wang is ready to return to New York. John and Suzyn will celebrate. It will be a joyous occasion, a reminder of better days, and folks will be urged to come early to see him pitch. (Implicitly, they’ll be suggesting that he won’t be around in the late innings.) And that day, the Higgs bosons – or God particles, or maybe God himself – will shine on the Yankees. Come early. For a day, wMichael Jackson will be singing, Kim Kardashian will be in trailer park, and we’ll be in a happier place.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Yankees Injury Report For Friday, March 22

Brennan Boesch, rib cage

Hal Steinbrenner, gout

Randy Levine, butt-rot

Lou Piniella, trench mouth

Eduardo Nunez, spasticity

Joba Chamberlain, self-harm

Rudy Giuliani, swine flu

Andy Pettitte, leprosy, sin

Kevin Youkilis, hurt feelings

Ari Fleischer, Tourette Syndrome

Derek Jeter, senescence

Billy Crystal, loss of appetite, diarrhea, hematuria (blood in urine), watery stool, whitish mucus in the stool, severe rectal bleeding, stomach cramps, projectile vomiting, bloating, excessive gas, burping (sulfurous), disorientation. 

Open letter to Hal Steinbrenner: May we start calling you “Isiah?”

Dear madam or sir,

If I were you, I’d buy one of those authentic Yankee Stadium $18 rain ponchos, the souped-up garbage bag liners, and wear it everywhere. Because vegetables could be flying, and some will be on target. Don't worry about tomatoes. But an acorn squash, that can really hurt.

If I were you, I’d hire a taster. And a guy who carries caged canaries. And one of those stunt drivers from Fast & Furious 10. You need a personal security pod, capable of surviving an A-bomb from A-Rod. And an escape capsule, like Dr. Evil had, so you can shoot yourself into orbit, in case you’re surrounded by irate fans. Personally, I’d have plastic surgery to make myself look like Superboy. Does Bud Selig offer an Owner Protection Program? Do you carry a back-molar cyanide pill?

It’s going to be a long long summer and a short short season. It might end in June, before summer even starts. People can be mean. Even Yankee fans, the most lovingest folks on the planet.  

Sir, the Yankee apocalypse is coming. The team is practically a nostalgia act. We haven’t looked this bad since 1990, and the call-in shows haven’t even begun to throw flaming bottles. Yankee fans will want to eat entrails. There will be massive sections of empty blue in Yankee Stadium - and no StubHub to blame. You trademarked “Evil Empire?” (That makes you Dr. Evil?) Frankly, you should trademark the name “Isiah Thomas II.” Because that’s what fans are going to call you.
Well, as the Garagiolians used to say: You made your bed, now sleep in it.

Supposedly, Brian Cashman is talking to everybody in spring training, looking for a deal on a used shortstop, or first baseman, or outfielder, or third baseman – whatever. Good grief, we’re looking at Chien-Ming Wang (whom we should have signed, out of loyalty, three years ago; why did the Nationals have to do it?) The current opening day lineup - batting seventh, Jason Nix! - explains why we’re turning over rocks. The season looms as a slow-motion re-enactment of last October, and the burning question right now is whether we’ll now do something long-term stupid.

The worst part of this is our lack of rookies. What happened to Yankee rookies? We greatly resemble the sourest days of Isiah’s Knicks – terrible teams without draft picks. (We have draft picks, but they're not the same.) The bugaboo remains that horrible, terrible 2012 trade of Jesus Montero. He didn’t hit for Seattle last year. But if he gets hot in 2013, if he becomes the hitter we figured he would – seriously, sir – ponchos won't be strong enough. You need to invest in that armor they wear in Game of Thrones. Buy a Popemobile. Move to Alaska. Live underground.

Sir, this is going to be a bad year to be owner of the Yankees. The question is whether we’re about to start making trades that bring about a bad decade to be owner of the Yankees. It’s up to you. Do you have the stomach for a bad August? Those kids in Trenton and Tampa – a lot of teams will be happy to take them off our hands in exchange for a Jesse Barfield or Dale Murray, somebody who would cut our margin from 20 games out to maybe 15. Isiah Thomas would make those deals. So would Dr. Evil.  Will you?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Exclusive Spring Training Report: Watching the Blue Jays play the Orioles

I was there yesterday, in the rain and the wind, looking for Showalter, who made sure there was always some warm body between us. He didn’t want to be questioned about why he pulled his starters in the last game of the season – years ago, back when he was with Texas – giving LA the home field advantage. Dammit, he can't forever. But he did yesterday. 
Some observations:
The Blue Jays have a 27-year-old infielder named Emilo Bonifacio, and he's built like a tire iron. He switch-hits, he’s really fast, and he’s going to be trouble. Yesterday, he looked like the next Robbie Cano. He hit a line drive that is still going. After the deal with Miami, the signing of Melky and the trade for Dickey, baseball fans seem to have forgotten that the Blue Jays still have more season-ready youth in the system than we do, and this guy could put them over the top. Be afraid. Be very afraid. There’s a reason they went all-or-nothing: They have young guys on the verge. Anybody who thinks they’re not the pre-season favorite is crazy. And I think optimistic Yankee fans are flat-out delusional. When they see this guy, and what he’s going to mean to the Blue Jays lineup, a lot of people are going to lose hope fast. Like... in April.

The O’s are basically the same team that came within an eyelash of beating us last October. But Manny Machado looks like the next great Baltimore thirdbaseman, and that’s usually good for a world championship. He made three solid plays in the three innings that I watched, before the rain chased every thinking fan to the nearest bar. Last year, he was considered one of the best prospects in baseball. This year, when bloggers put their prospects lists together, they forget that he is younger than most of our Double A stars. This could be his breakout year. Add a .300 hitter with 20 home runs to last year’s Orioles lineup and tell me how we’re going to beat them with Juan Rivera and Brennan Boesch.

Well, I’ll tell you how: Pitching. Neither team showed any yesterday. Make no mistake here. Pitching is our only hope this season. We’re banking on three workhorses who are long past their sale dates – not to mention Mariano, who by rights should be sitting on a sugar plantation, drinking rum. Our lineup – at least through June – is a pale ghost compared to Toronto and Baltimore. Dickey could win 30 games, and if Baltimore finds any arms at all, we'll be so far back they won't see us in the rearview.

Revealed: If Jete is out, the true Yankee Opening Day Lineup

The batting order

CF The fast guy who is usually injured
RF The old fast guy who never walks
2B The Yankee great who will probably leave next winter
DH The slow guy who is usually injured
3B The last vestige of our rivalry with Boston
LF Take your pick, it doesn't matter
1B If he hits .240, they’ll throw a parade
SS The guy who can’t play shortstop
C  Not Russell Martin
SP The aging workhorse who is one pitch from breaking down
SP The aging workhorse who is one pitch from breaking down
SP The aging workhorse who is one pitch from breaking down
RP The closer we cannot replace, even if he is getting bombed

OWNER: The guy the writers say is really smart, but who has assembled the above and next year will offer less.

Correction: The Miami Marlins were not – repeating: NOT - raped

During a broadcast on the YES Network yesterday, it was wrongly intimated that the Miami Marlins baseball team was forced to have violent sex with the Toronto Blue Jays, under threat of bodily harm, during a transaction that involved the stunning ejection of several star players into the lap of Canada, in exchange for many seedlings. This remark did not and does not represent  the views of staff and management of YES Network. However, we do wish Lou Piniella the best of luck in his newly announced bid to capture the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yanks prove Mitt Romney was right: Corps are peeps, and they’ve now gotten an order of protection against ex-lover StubHub

The Yankees yesterday took out a restraining order to prevent StubHub from putting an office near Yankee Stadium, forcing fans who use the secondary market (aka scalping ) site to walk further to get their ticketed printed out. This is the latest tactic in the Yankees war on their fan base, the goal being to eliminate all backers by 2014, allowing the team to reach its goal of Zero payroll.

The order was signed by a judge after studying photographs of the Yankees facial bruises, which the team claims happened last fall, after StubHub pushed Yankees into a doorknob.
In one gripping moment, Yankees broke into tears while describing how StubHub and been seen with other teams, including the Giants and Jets.  The lawyer asked Yankees to explain the black eye, with pictures from last fall’s confrontration.

“Yankees, I want you to tell the court what you saw last October,” the lawyer continued.

 “Well, we were arguing, StubHub and me. We were getting ready for the big series against Detroit. It was a home series. I was so excited. We had talked about it for months. We bought special lime for the field. I was going to be a special time.”
“Yes, and then what happened?”

“Well, I looked out at the stands, and nobody was there. Nobody came. I couldn’t believe it. StubHub had done something. I don’t know what. I confronted him. I said, ‘StubHub, what’s going on? Why have you done this?’ He wouldn’t say a thing. He just… he just… I’d heard others tell me about him.”


“Objection sustained. Look, Yankees, just keep telling what happened.”
“WE LOST. WE LOST IN THREE, FOUR, I DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T REMEMBER HOW MANY GAMES IT WAS. It was terrible. We just lost and lost and lost. And then… StubHub, he didn’t care. He was selling Knick tickets. He was with Yahoo and Google and Yum, and they was laughing. HE WAS LAUGHING AT ME. HE WAS SAYING HOW HE AND GOOGLE WERE AN ITEM, HOW THEY WERE GOING TO SELL MY TICKETS FOR NOTHING, THEY WERE GOING TO GIVE THEM AWAY. And then… I ran at him and… this.”

“Your honor, may the record stipulate that everyone in this courtroom just collectively sighed at the pain and suffering of my client, who pointed to the bruises on the Yankees face.”

“So be it.”

“Your honor. It’s clear to everyone in this court that the witness has sustained major injuries, as a result of StubHub’s impertinent acts. I ask that you grant this order of protection now, forcing all fans of StubHub to stay away from Yankees games, so that Yankees can feel safe on the playing field.”

“StubHub, do you have anything to say about this?”

“Only that I still love her, your Honor. I’ll always love her. I guess it doesn’t matter.  She’s chosen TicketMaster. But that doesn’t change how I feel.”

Today I’m scouting the Orioles v. Blue Jays in Florida

I’ll be on the lookout for that Showalter punkwad, so I can ask once again why he pulled his Texas Rangers starters on the last game of the season, years back, so the Angels would win and get home field advantage over the Yankees in the playoffs. I wanna hear what Mr. Baseball tells people about that day, how he claims to be Professor Old School, then he pulls his starters to determine home field advantage on a post-season.  That man better not ride the elevator with me, or he’ll come out bleeding from the Dumbos; I’ll cuff him with the truth.

I’m bringing zip-locks and a trowel, so we’ll have stool sample analysis for Melky One and maybe that Batista lug who went from Bruce Banner to the Hulk in one season, and because it happened in Toronto, nobody asked questions. Think inquiring minds would have asked in NY?

I’ll be looking for weak links we can exploit during the season. The bulk of my report, of course, will go in an encrypted file to Joe Girardi. I’ll sanitize the rest and post it tomorrow, after I quinine high tails off.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Turncoat Connecticut Governor is the Youkilis of politicians

Gov. Daniel Malloy - so-called Yankee fan - puts on a Redsock jersey.

They're laughing in the Kremlin.

For the record:

According to an April 2012 Quinnipiac University Poll, Yankee fans top Red Sox fans 43 to 38 percent in Connecticut. Over the past decade of polling baseball fans, Yankees have always topped the Red Sox as Connecticut’s favorite team, except for 2008 when they split 41-40.

With one day left in national poll, "A nuke... from Youk!" looks like the fan fave for John's new call

It's not over yet. Karl Rove would demand the final precincts. But Nuke from Youk has a big lead.

The question remains, though... is it too violent?

Are we thrusting the nation toward another war? It's one thing to have "An A-bomb from A-Rod," (though we might never hear another)... are we desensitizing the Yankiverse toward weapons of mass destruction? Millions of people would die in a nuclear attack. How can we, as Yankee fans, cheer an atomic blast, whose nuclear fallout could kills hundreds of thousands more and push the world into a never ending winter?

Or, are we thinking about this too much?
Coming soon, the poll for Brennan Boesch. Is there a weaponized connection?

Calling the Yankiverse: Empty your piggybanks! Through Kickstarter, we can buy the future Yankee outfield

Diehard fans of the former TV show Veronica Mars recently raised $2 million from Kickstarter, the crowd-sourcing investment site, to finance a movie that none of us will ever see, unless we’re lashed into place in some “Clockwork Orange” prison, with our eyes clamped open and aides slathering our pupils with Visine. The funds come from toddlers piggy banks, high-schooler condom money and poor itinerant fishermen in remote villages of China, who have long dreamed of seeing Kristen Bell solve crimes, or do whatever Veronica Mars does, on the Imax screen.

Well, if it’s good enough for Veronica Mars, it should be good enough for Bryce Harper.
It’s time for Yankee fans to put up or shut up! Let’s use Kickstarter to finance a team that our poor itinerant owners, Hal and Hank, simply do not have the money to support.

(By the way, this idea comes from Mustang, who lives for the Veronica Mars flick.)
As we speak, MLB is tightening restrictions on spending – forcing the owners to bank their money instead of spending it on bonuses and salaries. This June, the MLB draft will be expanded worldwide, meaning Latino and Asian players are thrown into the mix. This was the Yankees’ last great chance to spend their extra money, their advantage over other teams. Now, it’s gone. We are all Royals now. Every city is San Diego. Remember how you used to think that, by attending a Yankee game at some ridiculous price, you were at least plowing money into the lineup, and how buying Yankee swag you were helping the owners buy the next generation of Yankees? Well, forget that notion. It’s no longer the case. Your money will simply go into the pockets of the Steinbrenner heirs.
Instead of signing free agents, the Steins will spend the money on more important matters, such as lawyers who can sue Stubhub to keep Yankee season ticket holders from selling their seats at below cost prices, because fewer people are attending games. And the lawyers can sue to retain copyright trademarks on catchphrases such as “Evil Empire,” which fuel Jay Leno monologues and bumper stickers. Or they can pay public relations companies to smooth over the latest steroids investigations into A-Rod, lobby for more tax breaks from the citizenry or set the parameters to sell off more of the YES Network to that beloved scion of New York and America, Rupert Murdoch.

So here’s the problem, Yankee fans. Hal and Hank – billionaires who are pretending to be millionaires – simply have been forbidden to spend extra money on players. That’s why they’ve set the $189 million salary cap next season, why they’re preparing to show Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Curtis Granderson, maybe even Robbie Cano, out the door next winter. It’s not that they don’t want to pay the money. They simply cannot. (Robbie Cannot.)    
So, what if we – the Yankiverse – were to help these penniless street urchins, through Kickstarter?  In the name of Veronica Mars, we could raise, say, $10 million, and buy the best free agent on the market. The Steinbrenners don’t even have to put him on the books. They can officially pay him a salary of one dollar, and plow all the saved money into – how about Lifestyle Lifts! (If the face looks younger, that's what they notice!) The fans can add the player to the team. This way, Hal and Hank will have extra revenue for more creative work by the legal teams – such as, well, how about paying off critical blogs! Hey, put us on the payroll, sirs, and we’ll be happy to write about how well Michael Pineda is throwing off the mound!

Kickstarter, folks. Let’s get this team some money. Now batting, the Yankee centerfielder, number seven… Veronica Mars.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Have A Better Idea For First Base

Face it folks, Tex is done.

Sure, we'll wait 8-10 weeks and go through the drill again and again ( hitting off a tee, taking an xray, sending that blond woman who works the sidelines for an interview, etc), and maybe even give him an at bat in Scranton.

But we are kicking the can down the road, as the USA and the Eu do in economics with respect to their pending insolvencies.  Tex will need the surgery.  And the longer we wait, the greater the pain ( just as with the economics ).

Tex will wind up missing all of this season, and most of the next as well.

So here is my plan;  it involves a bit of a risk but little money.  By the same token, it will sell out seats and make the Yankees beloved, especially in the south:


He is available for nothing and did play HS ball.

What do you think?

If Teixeira is out for the season, Jeter must move to third.

Do the math, folks. We cannot live with the status quo.
If Tex is really gone, as they say might be the case, we can’t expect Youkilis to play 3B all year. He’ll kill himself. He'll play 40 games, then poof, he's gone. That will leave Jason Nix throwing to Andy Phillips, or maybe Tony Clark. No way. We have one hope: That Eduardo Nunez conquers the yips and plays SS. If so, Jeter moves to third, and Youk plays first. We don’t have to trade young players for a quick fix that won’t amount to anything, anyway. It's the only way out.

Jeter to third. Listen: It’s going to happen eventually. Why not sooner, before everything goes down the drain. Or would we prefer to honor protocol and just go down with Jete playing shortstop, next to Jason and throwing to Kevin Maas?

Robbie Cano is having his MVP tournament six months too late

Before anybody accuses me of whining about Robbie Cano, I’m not. He’s our hope. He’s a great Yankee. I would kill for the man. I would waterboard for him. He could marry my daughter. If he asked me to marry him, I would. I'm not coming out or anything, that's just how much I love Robbie Cano.

That said, the ungrateful bastard did nothing, NOTHING, for us last fall in the playoffs, and now he’s MVP for the Dominican Republic Yankees in the WBC? Come onnnnnnnn, somebody’s gotta say it:
Robbie, is that how it works? You strike out for the Yankees and hit for God and country? We are your God and country. Where were you in October?

Don’t get me wrong: I love the man. I’m glad he’s hitting now. These might be his only playoffs  this year. The next meaningful games will come in June, when we’re about to fall out of the wild card race. I’m rooting for Robbie… but, hey, dude… where were you?

Spring Training Confidential: What the media doesn’t want you to know about yesterday’s Yankee game in Bradenton

No lie: I was there. And forget the MSM. The MSM is for babies. They’d have you think the Yanks are dead, just because they are old. Hell, a lot of people are old. Like your mom and dad. Are you picking them to keel over, too? What kind of a person are you?

Unvarnished truths from yesterday:
1.     Travel teams don’t include the tribal elders. Thus, no Jeet, no Andy, no Mo. That left Youkilis as master of ceremonies and delight to all. I swear I’m not making this up. The crowd cheered him in warmups. He clowned with the mascot. He is a playful, efforvescent wood nymph, a mirthmaker full of Yankee tomfoolery. Every little thing he does was magic. He’s not the Boston Youk. He’s the New Youk, the one who loves, not hates. He loves us all. How could the MSM have gotten it so wrong? He’s Regis Philyouk. I feel bad about crushing him between finger and thumb.

2.     When Ivan Nova pitches, the Yankees’ OF should be Paul Blair, Ross Moschito and Mr. Fantastic. All spring, I read how Ivan is throwing with command, how last year was a fluke, etc. Listen: The Pirates thought they were at a driving range. Second time around in the order, they had the guy measured like a wedding suit. If Melky Mesa hadn’t made a disputed catch in CF – more on that later – I gotta think old Ivy wouldn’t have made it to the fourth. Can’t conclude much from one game. But the new Nova? Yeah. Right.
3. The Melkman II! He hit a home run with one hand. It went out like a cannon shot. He stole second base, ran so fast he could have checked Voicemail on the way. He got a break from the umps. He caught a ball, then dropped it. Looked to me a muff. They gave it to him. Then - what a gun. He fired from deep right center to first base, trying to double off the runner. The kind of throw Ruben Rivera made when he blew out his arm. I’m thinking the Melkman can deliver for a month, maybe two, before the league figures him out, and he becomes Odibbe McDowell. In life, he'll hit .230 and strike out twice a day. For a month, he might be our savior. A month. He is now my choice.

4.     Edwardo Nunez will drive us all nuts. He singled, stole second; he dropped a perfect bunt, came around and scored. The guy is fast. But he threw two balls in the dirt from SS. If he is in the field, we need a gold glove at first, and it looks like ours might miss 2013.  

Thomas Neal is a big Jabronski, and fast. Not a standout day. But he’s big and fast. That’s all.

6.     None of the scrubeenies made any impression. But in the final inning, Joe brought in one of the magic beans we got in the AJ Burnett heist. Cajoines is his name, something like that. He pinch ran for Melky, after the Melk was beaned on his butt, a spank so loud we could hear the meat slap in deep left field. So there was Cajoines, whatever, reminding us of the last thing we did with Pittsburgh since... WAIT A MINUTE, THERE WAS ONE OTHER THING...

7.     No sign of the Mazeroski punk. I was looking for him. Somebody said he’s dead. If so, he’s lucky. I brought a necktie. Next year.

8.     The mascots get away with everything.