Sunday, June 30, 2013

To end dreadful heat wave, send Yankees back to West Coast

For a change, let their bats do something positive: Cool the country and save lives.

Vernon Wells already knows his way around Death Valley.

More snapshots from Hell

Snapshots from Hell

Yesterday was such a horror show that the Yankees teams played each other in the Gulf Coast League - and neither won

Yankees 1 had the home field advantage. I can't help but think Yankees 2, desperate to reach .500, feel they got a raw deal.

Let's just hope it doesn't devolve into a bean ball war and bench-clearing brawl.

Revelation 2013

I don't think this had any influence on my revelation, but I started drinking at noon yesterday.

That's not any big ideal because it was Saturday, right?

So as I watch Phellps leave the game, trailing by nine runs, I felt this " sense of " awakening" come over me.  True, I was still drinking, but I had popcorn and a spicy meat stick as sustenance.

As the game wore on, and I watched Romine kill off yet another potential run-scoring situation by hitting into inning ending double play( another potential "big" at bat for the struggling rookie ) it suddenly hit me:


True, our overall record has not yet slipped to their level, but that is only because we had a mirage of a start to the season, and they were revealed as a flawed, re-building team from day one. And they had the guts to announce it.

But we have descended toward them at a faster rate than they have scratched toward mediocrity.

  Let's take a look at some team by team "macro's":

1.  They have the best young pitcher in the national league ( Harvey ).  He is a true ace, even though he has 9 no-decisions to go with his 7-1 record.

2.  We have no ace.  CC Sabathia has become a shaky number two starter or, more realistically, a quality number three.  What is he now, 6-5?

3.  The Mets number two starter is the hot shot rookie they just activated ( my hangover causes me to blank on his name and I am too lazy to search their roster  ).  We have a pretty decent number two in Kuroda but, like most of the team, he is pitching on fumes at age 37+.

4.  They have Neise and Dillon Gee ( I think these are their names ), both legit number fours with upside potential.

5.  We have Hughes, Phellps, Nova, Warren and Pettitte.  Who can assign numbers to these masters of inconsistency?

Revelatory Note:  Andy is having a sad end to a brilliant Yankee career.  He is living the classic story of the kid who won't give up.  The iconic player who stays in the game too long.  Baseball may have to embarrass him to get him to , "spend more time with his family"....again).

6.  The Mets can often score a lot of runs and get some big hits.  Anyone want to compare Cano's numbers  ( our star ) to David Wright's numbers ( their star )?  Don't do it because you will lose confidence in Cano.

7.  We have about six, starting position players hitting below .200.  If you want to see a big hit at a big moment, in a big game, watch the Cardinals.

 Last night, our latest rookie sensation call-up from Cashman's well of failures ( Almonte ) flies out with the bases loaded in the first inning; our "trade-bait" young catcher later nubs  a charity hop grounder into a double play with two on and one out .  David Adams finally singles when it doesn't matter ( his first hit since May, I think ).  Al Gonzales is the only latin player in the majors who can't hit or field.

8.  And oh, yes, the Mets did sweep us earlier didn't they.  We wrote that off as a "bad spell," but now I see that it was a harbinger.


Revelation 2013:  we are, as you read this, worse than the worst team in the national league.  The Mets are a team with young talent to draw upon and to develop.  They made a great trade ( Dickey ) earlier to secure more, highly praised prospects.  We trade people like Mark Melancon who is now becoming a leading closer for someone else.  In return, we have nothing.

Okay, none of this is a surprise.  It isn't even a revelation.  It is just pathetic.  It is Cashman's folly.

The next loss will probably drop us below Tampa

We could easily be in last by the All-Star break, and it would be the most humane thing that could happen.

Instead of trading for more aging veterans, could Cashman have the courage to press the "DISMANTLE" button?

“I don’t care what our offense is doing. When you give up nine runs, it’s a big hole to dig yourself out of. "

Let the comforting words of David Phelps lead us all toward peace.

Peace, my dear Yankees. Peace.

Close your eyes, everyone. That's right. (Figuratively, otherwise you can't keep reading.) You're going to feel a little poke. It will burn for a second. Don't worry. It will bring warmth.

You will see a white light. Follow it. Don't be afraid. It is the white light of happiness.

Yes, you'll suffer no more strikeouts. No more popups. No more being hurt by the other teams. The nightmare will have ended.

When we awaken, we'll have a payroll of $189 million, an outfield of nobodies, and no concerns. There will be no booing. There will be no anger. It will be spring of 2014, we won't recognize anybody on the field, and we won't even feel like complaining. We will be free. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Big 1-2-3 inning by Joba has Yankees feeling good! (And other happy thoughts)

1. Mr. Utility, Eduardo Nunez, played three (3!) innings yesterday in Tampa!

2.  Randy Ruiz, a veteran DH we signed last week from the Mexican dirt leagues, went 5-for-8 yesterday for Scranton!

3. Jeet is now taking batting practice and is said to be virtually tied with A-Rod in the race to see who can come back to New York first!

4. Yesterday, in the Gulf Coast League, Yankees 1 beat Yankees 2 by a score of - who cares?, did anybody bother to keep score?

5. Joe Girardi learned a valuable lesson: that putting David Adams at 1B, so Alberto Gonzalez can play third, doesn't work!

6. Despite a grueling team schedule, Mariano is rested!

7. It's tick season, and there is still no cure for Lyme disease!

8. Next winter, the Yankees can slash payroll to $187 million, and nobody will even care!

9. There is no God! We are mere mathematical abstractions in a vast computer-generated firmament!

10. Vernon Wells got a hit last night!

11. Our basement flooded last week, and we're walking around in a maze of junk piles inside our house, which is great for making play forts!

13. We've got another whole half-season to play!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Question For Today

How many games are we likely to win when we get two hits per nine innings?

Chien-Ming Wang, yin-yang Yanked? What went so way Wang wrong?

Last night, something went Wangy in the universal time and space Yankee matrix.


No, that was not a YES Classic maiden voyage of Colter Bean. It was the comeback by Chien-Ming Wang - the Yankee cloaked in Blue Jays garb - which went blooey in the shadows of Boston Strong testosterone. After a one-two-three first inning, the Wang Man couldn't throw strikes or miss bat meat in the second.

I don't know what this means. I. Do. Not. Know. What. This. Means.

But I've dashed off, higgetty piggetty, some thoughts:

a.) I was rooting for Wang. I think all Yankee fans were, especially when pitching against Boston. Wang was a great homegrown pitcher, and we all felt pain watching him lift Toronto from the depths of hell.

b) He can't have many more starts like this. Nothing deflates a team like a two-inning blowout in game one of a big series. We certainly know. Personally, I still fear Toronto more than Boston. Jose Reyes might ignite the Jays the way Alex Rodriguez or even Derek Jeter cannot in NY.

c) Boston just keeps rolling; it's as if the juju gods are in their pocket. Fortunately, it's June - still too early to forget the Yankees and just root for Big Papi to stub his toe on Pedroia. That will come in September.

d) Could this mean - gasp - that Chien-Ming gets a second act in New York? Yes, this is fantasy land. But the Jays won't give him a long leash. If he gets whacked, they'll dump his act faster than you can say Thomas Neal. Maybe the Yankees would bring him home - (unless they're mad at him). Who knows? Could he pitch out of the bullpen? One final Chien-Ming fling? Hideki Matsui made it back. The Wangster should, too.

Come home, Chien-Ming: You were never meant to be a Jay.

Is it A-Rod's hip that is barking, or could it be his tender feelings?

Yankee fans live in perilous times. Our mortal enemies, from above and below, have sworn not only to destroy us, but to steal our prospects and raise them as Mariners or Brewers. One mistake - one Drabek for Rhoden deal - and the franchise could be hurtled back to the great displacement of 1984 - the year of the Doomsday Georges: Orwell and Steinbrenner.

Yesterday, we cycled between hope and despair. Against a middling lefty, our marshmallow batting order couldn't even make a peep. Once, Jim Leland called us "Murderers Row and then Cano." Today, we are "Cannery Row and then Cano." We are the saddest team in baseball - a fan base as polarized as the U.S. electorate - half hoping Alex Rodriguez will save us, and half preferring to never see him again.

And now, his feelings seem to have been hurt.

A-Rod started a firestorm Tuesday with a seemingly harmless tweet that offered hope for his return. If the guy eats a peanut butter sandwich, he gets blasted as a jelly-hater. The Yankee brass reacted as if it had been hacked by Edward Snowden. Apparently, all "news" must be sanitized - or "Jeterized" - before being troweled out to the hungry public. The latest line says, according to sources - (i.e. Brian Cashman, speaking on voice distorter from his Cone of Silence) - A-Rod told the Yankees he might not be able to play this year, or ever. A day earlier, he was giddy about returning. Now, he's changed his mind. So there!

I have no inside track on A-Rod or Cashman or anybody. But if you have ever dealt with a six-year-old child, you have dealt with all of them. This is the classic reverse-polarity positive-negative "I want cake, no, I won't eat it and you can't make me, OK, I will have a piece" line of tantrum-throwing, which happens whenever somebody didn't get enough naptime and has become cranky. It's fitting that A-Rod would use it. It's sad that the Yankees do it, too.

Way I see it, the Yankiverse has two big days left on its '13 calendar:

1. The day Jeter returns. This homecoming gala, probably in late August, will bring blessings, speeches and tears. Maybe they will give him a car. Maybe virgins will toss flower pedals in his path. He will draw an historic ovation, and if he gets a hit - hopefully, the pitcher will David Price the situation - the celebration will last into the following evening. But the game won't matter. The Yankees will probably be so far out of contention that it's equal to an exhibition victory, a marketing ploy for 2014 bobbleheads. Or... maybe not... because of the biggest day of the century:

2. The day A-Rod comes marching home again. Hurrah. On this day, news networks will break from hurricanes or Presidential press conferences to cover A-Rod's first swings from the batter's box. Half the country will expect a sniper to shoot him down. Half will be rooting for it. The ovation will be thunderous, as cheers and boos compete. Whatever he does will go down in history. If he hits a homerun, I hope they have enough security to keep hordes from storming the field. He will either lead the team to a brief run, or his failures in the heart of the lineup will brutally end the Yankees' chances. But this will be the fulcrum point of our season, and I suggest - the magnetic reason we long ago became Yankee fans. The world will stop, and everybody - especially those smirking Redsock fans - will watch.

This will be baseball's moment of truth - that is, unless Bud Selig nixes it. I'm thinking he won't: There's too much money to be made, and MLB will lose big if both NY teams are booted from contention by August 15. Still, you never know. Selig - who embraced the excitement generated by the home run record surges of the 1990s, allowing the nation to forget his disastrous attempts to impose a salary cap, which led to the players strike - has built a huge operation around crushing any star who hits too many home runs and makes too much money. That the lords of baseball once happily looked the other way on steroids will be left to the Howard Zinns of history. There will never be another A-Rod. There will never be another George Steinbrenner. But George Orwell? I think we'll see plenty more of him.
So get ready, folks. The Yankee events off the field are already obscuring the nothingness that happens on Cannery Row. We live in perilous times. Might as well enjoy the ride.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Hard Truths

While the Yankees battled with their cast-off line-up, and their pitchers over-delivered, the Yankees managed to compete pretty well for a while.

They even held first place for several weeks.

But the truth is;  this is a minor league team that would come in 2nd or 3rd in the International league.

Some hard realities:

1.  Some of us predicted Tex was done for the year before he came back for a week.  Now it is reality.

2.  A-Rod is likely to be a terrible DH.  His hip will not let him play regularly again.

3.  Nunez disappeared forever with a nagging, minor injury.  The really bad news is that it won't make any difference if, or when, he returns.

4.  Almonte will not get another hit in the major leagues. His run as a prospect is over.

5.  Adams will never hit above .200.  Get ready for him to disappear.  They are using Gonzalez, for Pete's sake, and he hits about .135.

6.  Kelly no longer can strike anyone out.  His magic is finished.

7.  Pettitte can't get the big, critical, game-changing outs anymore.  He is 43.

8.  If Cashman and Girardi expect Overbay to play the entire season, with no rest, and not get hurt,
     they are dreaming.  Since we have no talent in the minors, we will execute a trade and give up    someone who later surprises everyone and becomes a quality player ( like Ian Kennedy ).

9.  Romine is a non threat and apparently will remain so.

10.  Joba is just a junk heap.  We won't be able to give him away.  What kind of cheeseburgers has he been eating, anyway?

If we expect nothing from this team, we won't be disappointed.

Expect nothing in 2013.

And that's the hard truth.

Silence of the Lambs

The planets have lined up: Today, the Yankees pitch Phil Hughes - maybe for the last time - and Toronto sends the Yankee Yin-Yang - Chien-Ming Wang - against Boston

The Mayans only missed by six months.

Today, the universe is poised for a Yankee juju kill-shot:  Phil Hughes and Chien-Ming Wang both start for their respective teams.

Hughes has been an ultimate disappointment - so disappointing that the Yankees can't even get anything of equal disappointment value in a trade. So disappointing that if he throws a shutout, it will be disappointing, because nobody will dare suggest he's found his stride. Nope. It's just a random occurrence, a happenstance, the disappointing result of incalculable magnets at the atomic particle level. His next game, we know what he'll do: Disappoint.

Wang is the ace we disappointed. This spring, he wanted to return to the Yankees. We signed him to a contract that paid about $35,000 a month. Then we sent him to Scranton for two months. Have you ever spent two months in Scranton? It might be worse than Syracuse. Two months. What can you buy for $35,000 a month in Scranton? The mayor's daughter? A coal mine? Wang pitched well. Really well. In late May, he was named International League Pitcher of the Week! OK, that's sort of like winning a daytime Emmy. But it beats getting hammered. Nevertheless, the Yankee brain trust said Wang wasn't ready. They stood in the lab suits, checked the stool samples and said he wasn't throwing hard enough. They wanted to pay him another $35,000 and have him stay another month in Scranton. He refused. The Blue Jays offered him a $500,000 contract and gave him a shot. It was Scranton or Toronto? Which would you choose? On the day Chien-Ming started with Toronto, the Blue Jays launched an 11-game winning streak. That whoosh you are about to hear is the sound they'll make passing us. Tonight, he faces Boston.

Take a good look at both pitchers, folks. You will see our past, present and our future. It might not be pleasant. Juju kill shots aren't necessarily pretty.

On Day Two of the Yankapocalypse, the zombies start scaling the wall

Yesterday, the first sprinkles of fire rained upon the Yankiverse. Everywhere, children were crying, as old people desperately searched for their channel-changers. Michael Kay and Paul O'Neill pondered the end of time, while John and Suzyn edged closer to the abyss and looked over the side.

"This is very frustrating," Suzyn said, as the hordes of hell began scaling the Great Yankee Wall.

Make no mistake here: We are dead. Nobody survives this movie. Not even Brad Pitt. Last week, everybody knew Teixeira was lost for the season, just as now everybody knows A-Rod won't return, and Jeter will never again play shortstop for an extended period of time. It's not that I am some oracle. It's just that we all know how apocalypses work. We've seen enough to know that, when you lose a Granderson on the first pitch of spring training, and then re-lose him barely a week after his return, the Fates have reached a decision: The sky is falling, pal, you can run or dig. And for now, all we can do is watch. In apocalyptic movies, the 3-D special effects are always worth seeing.

Yesterday began with tabloid accounts of Brian Cashman's impending psychological meltdown. Here is a bean-counter who spent the 1980s working the Xerox machine and being screamed at in 3 a.m. phone calls; he shinnied up through the system and consolidated power, like a Frank Langella movie presence. Now, with his midlife crisis sirens publicly blaring for three years - the stalker, the building-climbs, the leaps from planes - he's "popping" with public obscenities. Last night, in front of the cameras, Cash looked so calm and cool, as he graciously apologized for his foul words and joked about protocols and "reality TV." Ho ho effing ho. Off camera, what's he like? You wonder if he hasn't gone raving, butter-melting, 3-a.m. phone call insane. And could you blame him?

Then there is Mr. Hyde --A-Rod -- himself a mental foreshadowing of Miley Cyrus at age 40. He was seemingly overjoyed by a medical expert - maybe the only one in the world - who suggested Alex is ready to go back, be a star hitter for the Yankees and maybe reclaim Kate Hudson. He has been working hard in Tampa. Lots of pushups. Nobody has ever accused A-Rod of slacking in workouts. But he's like a bad writer working on a novel - it's not going to matter. Nobody will ever read it. Instead, they're reading today's tabs, which say that -  according to "sources," (almost certainly Cashman, back to wearing his cloak of invisibility) - A-Rod is not ready to start his rehab. Both the Daily News and Post today feature aggressive narratives suggesting that A-Rod will receive a lifetime ban or retire from the game: That he will never play another inning. Do you not think he is going batty?

This converged on a perfect night of horror, when the Yankees were effectively killed by their replacement 3B, the earnest and innocent bystander, Jayson Nix.  In another era, Nix could be our Luis Sojo - a solid backup IF and contributor. This year, trying to replace both Jeter and A-Rod simultaneously, he is drowning without even a bar of soap. Last night, he botched two bunts, leading to a 4-run inning, and later grounded into a DP with the bases loaded. It was as if the baseball gods wanted us to glimpse the future.

But I prefer the sounds of Hell. Last night, John and Suzyn rode a roller coaster between hope and despair. If you haven't been listening, you owe it to yourself to tune in. It is like being inside the bi-polar head of Amanda Bynes, while she decides whether to eat a cheesecake. One moment, with the Yankees scoring, they reach unprecedented peaks of ecstasy - we are, after all, only 2 out in the loss column! The next moment, my god, what are those things climbing up the wall?

Ouch. Did you feel that sprinkle? It felt... hmmm... hot. Something is coming, folks, and it's not the All-Star game.

You know what they say: Keep your friends close, and your channel-changer closer.

Breakfast links

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Suzyn: "They won't say it, so I will...

"This is very frustrating."

(Spoken after Joba gives up a 2-run HR to Nelson Cruz.)

The Master's response to those who say he's down on the Yankees? A 7.48 second Win-Warble!

He slammed this last night after Ichiro's walkoff HR.
By God, this is what Win-Warbling is all about.
Here's what it looked like. (NSFW)

That, my friends, is one whale of a Win-Warble.

Cash v. A-Rod: A war between the two biggest reasons the Yankees are in this mess... is a war we cannot win

Last night's big Yankee victory - (Note: Every Yankee victory is a "big" Yankee victory) - was overshadowed by off-field news, and I don't mean the jubilation of hearing that some Atlantic Coast Conference football team - (Syracuse! again?) - will suit up for the ever-shrinking Pinstripe Bowl. Nope. It was about the latest food fight between baseball's wealthiest team and richest player. And it came from Johnny Cash, himself.

For years, everyone viewed Brian Cashman as a mild-mannered family man. One day, out popped Louise Meanwell, straight from Basic Instinct, transforming him into a party lugnut from Hangover III. (And when we become perfect, we can judge him.) Still, I never thought we'd hear Cash cuss in public. I thought he was too cagy. Last night, he told reporters Alex Rodriguez should "shut the fuck up."

(By the way, I struggled over whether to print the word or use the slimy "f--k up" or "(eff) up" - or all the variations that allow writers to seemingly rise above the barnyard mentality. Frankly, they don't belong on a higher level. Everybody who makes an issue of foul language should quote him all the way; otherwise, they're just third grade tattletales. And - yes - I'm no better.)

From here, the war between Cash and A-Rod makes the Yankees look cheap, bitter, stupid and in trouble. Nothing good can come from this, unless you root for Boston.

First, A-Rod is hardly the first player to join the New Millennium and start a Twitter account. My understanding is that most MLB teams want players to interact with fans, and Twitter is one part - albeit a vapid one - of the process. The Yankees were always slow on this. They prefer control. They have a former TV announcer as manager. They have their own network - the Yankee version of Fox News - to broadcast a daily message. They never warmed up to Nick Swisher's willingness to say or do anything. They prefer guys like Jeter and Mo, who - as much as we love them - might go their entire careers without ever saying anything controversial, or maybe even memorable. That's OK, I get it: NY is a hellhole of skanky reporters, each one looking to drive a wedge between teammates (Reggie v. Thurman, Mo v. "Don't Shush Me" Joba, et al.) And this little battle seems to be based on the argument over who gets to hold the microphone during Karaoke Hour.

A-Rod yesterday tweeted that he'd gotten great news: his doctor has cleared him to play in rehab games. He announced it, quite possibly thinking the Yankees would react with applause. After all, the team sucks right now. I can't help but think he was blindsided last night by Cashman's angry reaction, which was basically to tell A-Rod the Yankees don't want him, don't want to pay his salary, and they're happy with Jayson Nix and David Adams anchoring the infield. (I think the AL East is happy with Jayson Nix and David Adams anchoring their infield, too.)

This baffles me. All season, I've believed we had one hope - yeah, one fleeting hope: that A-Rod would find 60 games left in his body and bat. Now, you sense the Yankees don't want him at all - they're content with third place - scoring 2 runs a game and no hope, as long as they can escape paying the guy the money they foisted upon him. (You'd think he held them at gunpoint.) Now this.

For the last four months, A-Rod's story has been shadowed by the presence of the MLB investigation into PEDs. I always assumed that - at the bottom line - the Yankees stood in A-Rod's corner. Once upon a time - (remember how they backed Steve Howe?) - they always backed their players. Now, jeez, I dunno. It looks like they want MLB to suspend him, so they can fight him in court and maybe save money. You can have any opinion about A-Rod you wish - it's as good as mine - but I say this is no way to run a baseball team.

Have we learned anything from the last 12 years? It's easy to start wars. It's much harder to stop them. Launch World War A in court, and the subject might blow up in directions you didn't expect - or want.

Lately, I've spent a lot of time lamenting the death of old George, who generally loved his players, even if it sometimes meant horrible trades. I'm sure many of you remember the dark days - the 14-year barf, when everything George did backfired. It took him years to be a successful owner. Maybe Hal and Hank are going through that period. Maybe vindictiveness is part of their DNA.

But a team at war with its marquee player is a team headed for trouble.

And mighty Duke playing in Pinstripe Bowl won't burn away the shadows.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Has The Master lost hope?

Normally, the Daily News' Bob Raissman rips John Sterling for being a shameless Yankee whorehound. BAH.

Now, he claims that The Master has given up on the 2013 team.

Well, Mr. Raissman, you are wrong - quite wrong -  Chien-Ming Wang Wrong.

The Master does not give up on the Yankees. Understand? He might not like what he's seeing. He doesn't like the digits on the Little Debbie scoreboard, or the inability of certain Yankee batters - at times, a simple ground ball will  do the trick - to drive in Yankee base runners. And it really bothers him when umpires, for whatever reasons, won't even give the great Mariano Rivera the benefit of the doubt on a corner of the plate! It should bother anybody who cares about the game of baseball!

Anybody who thinks the Jeep-driven John Sterling has given up on the 2013 New York Yankees doesn't know the Jeep-driven John Sterling or the 2013 New York Yankees! Maybe this Raissman keyboard-jockey needs get a call from accident attorneys Cellino  & Barnes - that's 1-800-888-8888! - to remind him of what can happen on the roads.

Last month, John announced flatly that the Yankees will re-sign Robbie Cano, there is no doubt, take it to the bank. A-Rod is coming back. And Grandy, and the Captain.

Write this down: The Master has not given up on the Yankees.




Introducing the IT IS HIGH All-Time Monster Team

The batting order (with help from Mustang and Moose)

2b Invisible Man (gets lots of seeing-eye hits)

3b Dracula (good with bat)

The Blob (that's not booing; that's the fans yelling "Goo.")

cf Evil Clown (makes circus catches)

rf Leatherface (knocks the cover off the ball, then wears it... or, gulp, flashes leather)

lf (Platoon: Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde (switch hitters) 

ss Wolfman (loves to chase balls)

lb 50-foot woman (good at stretch)


sp Godzilla (brings heat)

sp Frankenstein (has live arm)

sp Mummy (occasionally unravels)

rp Doctor Phibes (doctors the ball)


Freddie Kruger (solid cut-off man) 

The Manster (double-header)

Creature from Black Lagoon (never leaves ducks on the pond)

Mothra (gives it a ride)

Jason (kills the umpire)

Dick Cheney (bush league tactics)

The Fly (creator of infield fly rule);

Hideous Sun Demon (day games only)

Klatu Robot (five-tools:... crush buildings, death ray, shield against missiles, make time halt, hit for average)

Good news for everybody in baseball except Yankee fans: There's another high-priced Cuban free agent that we won't sign

His name is Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez - (yep, a three-name Cuban! Fidel didn't even have three) - and both the Dodgers and Redsocks sent suited poohbahs to watch him pitch and measure his - well - thighs. He is a 26 year old right-hander who stands 6'3" and looks menacing coming off a bus. And every Yankee fan in captivity wishes Old George were still alive.

Of course, Hal and Hank will only work the combination lock to their fanny pack - (which they bought with Pepsi Points) - for a bargain, such as Corey Patterson, whom we signed last week for six bags of Doritos. (They promised to keep him in chips.) Right now, our idea of spending is to tromp across the beaches of the Cape Cod League with a magnet, pulling up bottle caps and an occasional Alfredo Gonzalez. We aint gonna do no bidding on a three-name Cuban.

Sad part is that this is one of those free agency quirks that won't affect Bud Selig's organizational payroll spending cap -- you know, the price-fixing rules that are allowed because baseball is not a business, it's a game, a fun sport, the national pastime, and our struggling owners - each a treasure - need help if they're to make a go of it against the cut-throat players and agents. This is a loophole that Bud's lawyers missed - Cuban refugees over a certain age with a certain amount of experience don't have to sign for movie money, and it doesn't put a team over the spending limit.

So they will have to bid on him.

And if the Yankees were still the Yankees, we would make an offer. Since we are the Royals, we won't.

So... good news for LA, Texas, Boston, Toronto, et al. They can supplement their rosters. Meanwhile, Hank and Hal will hole up in their bunker pod, watching 3D reruns of Yankee Classics and counting their coins.

The short seasons have started, and - correct me if I'm wrong - I haven't seen that we've signed the big lug, Aaron Judge, whom we drafted number two. He was supposed to be on the verge of signing - but there's been no official announcement. Last year, the same thing happened, and we later found that an MRI on a kid's elbow allowed the Yankees to nickel and dime him down by about $100,000.

Once, when there was a delay in a signing someone, you assumed it was a Scott Boras type, pushing the Yankees for extra money. Now, you just figure it's the Yankees, armed with some DNA test they took from a McDonald's sipper straw, which shows the guy is likely to get scurvy and thus, they should spend less.

Where have you gone, Jose Contreras, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yankees trade copyrighted trademark "Evil Empire" for "Walking Dead"

Unfortunately, they'll soon have to drop the zombie nickname, because the World War Z corpses actually show decent speed.

You can win the pennant with zombies who climb walls like Ichiro.

Which Yankee team in the Gulf Coast League should we root for?

This year, in one of the few pleasant surprises, the Evil Empire is fielding two teams in the Gulf Coast League, the rookiest rookie league north of day care.

Way I see it, we can't lose. At times, the Yankees get to play with themselves.

But on those play dates, when Yankees 1 play Yankees 2, who should we root for?

Whose side are you on? Yankees 1 or Yankees 2? (I pick 2s, because they're underdogs.) But it's not easy.

Yankees 1 have in CF Adonis Garcia, one of the Steinboys' cheapo Cuban signings, the ones destined to go nowhere. He's short and impressed everyone with his name in spring training, then tweaked a gonad. Presumably, he's on rehab. If not, he's an old man in a rookie league. In other words, Jerry Morales.

Yankees 1 also have Austin Aune, the golden boy of the 2012 draft, playing RF. This is sort of sad. Last year, in the same league - (yeahp, he's repeating) - Aune played shortstop. Right field? Ugh.

Yankees 2 is comprised mostly of Latino nobodies. There is Nathan Mikolas, a third round pick last year who - like Aune - is repeating the Gulf Coast League. Last year, he didn't hit a lick - (that's .149, if you don't believe me). Soon, more recent draftees will show up.

Nine out of 10 will never see Triple A. But, hey, count me in on the days the Yankees play with themselves.

Feeling healthier in rehab, A-Rod is now up to tweeting three times a week

In Washington, DC, when scalping tickets, the crime is not using StubHub

I'm really glad this guy wrote about his horrible treatment:

I am talking about the unspeakable crime of trying to resell tickets to a Washington Nationals makeup baseball game.

Implicit in this story is an underlying reality: If the writer hadn't complied with everything, this Barney Fife cop could have clubbed him, plopped him in jail or a weekend, charged him with resisting arrest, or done almost anything -- and, of course, the guy would have gotten away with it. There would be no recriminations. In fact, it's interesting that the writer does not identify the cop by name.

I don't know how the Yankees handle ticket scalpers. Over the winter, they tried to knock out StubHub - but apparently, it was not due to a philosophical opposition to scalping: They just wanted the market all to themselves.

(Insert eternal sigh of disillusionment with humankind.)

When you ponder legalized scalping, legalized betting, lotteries everywhere, casinos everywhere, narcotic-level addictive prescription drugs, TV ads for liquor, sanctioned government reading of email, acceptance of wiretapping, and the need to sing "America the Beautiful" in the seventh inning of baseball games, rather than go a full nine without loudly reaffirming our support for the flag - well - what can you say without just sounding like a sore loser?

Face it, folks: We lost. All we can do sometimes is write about it.

Here Is The Real Question.....

What happens when Pineda is pitching a simulated game to A-Rod, who is taking simulated at bats?

The Yankees Old-Timers Day is still a month away

Last night, after another miserable day of watching the '13 Ghosts, I had a few too many and did what I vow never to do, before August:

I drunk dialed the AL East standings.

Well, see for yourself: clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right. As John would tell Suzyn, "just one game behind Boston in the all-important loss column!"

Thus, we will accomplish what in April was heralded as The Prime Objective: To be in it at the All-Star break, when $500 million of hormone-enhanced and surgically repaired beef arrives in port: A-Rod, Grandyman, Pineda, et al. (Jete, though? Not sure.)

Unless MLB detonates an A-Bomb from A-Bud - smack in a pennant race, over the union's lawsuits - well... yes, Virginia, there is an Alex Rodriguez. He shalt appear unto us in human form, and he shalt playeth again.

Sorry, folks, but once again, our fates are inexorably tied to the Mighty Quinn. Think July 19.

By then, the league will have found a hole in Zoilo's bat, and the sell dates on Hughes and Joba likely will have expired, without bringing anything beats a draft pick in the chicken salad sandwich round next June.

By then, we will be viewing our free year of Vernon Wells like a free subscription to a local daily newspaper that no longer comes each day, (which is to say you've forgotten  it exists.)

By then, Ichiro will platoon, David Adams will be in Scranton. Boston will drop, and Toronto will have soared past us - the Detroit Tigers of the East.  By then, we can watch the Slade Heathcocks and Mason Williamses on their quests to .250.  And we can celebrate Michael Pineda's radar gun readings - while he gives up runs at Trenton. They won't matter. Nothing will truly matter.

It is the curse of the Yankee fan that we depend on aging mercenaries who - if they ever do make the Hall - will likely wear the hats of other teams. Sorry, folks. But it's all about A-Rod.

Our destinies are intertwined, like Batman and the Joker. Yesterday, in the Daily News, Billy Madden quoted doctors who say A-Rod's hips will never stand the pressure. Madden knows insider baseball, but in terms of medical issues, it's like Slap Maxwell writing on national security. Nobody knows what A-Rod will do. No doctor. No writer. Not even A-Rod. Nobody.

So here we go, once again, brace yourselves, everybody. We're one game out in the loss column. Soon, the season will be in his hands.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to El Duque

From all the Yankees hitting below .200, we wish you many happy days.

I know that 83 seems old, but you can still "pick it."

All the best.  Just don't inhale too aggressively when ready to blow out the candles !

We tried to win today for you, but one run was our limit.

Chien-Ming Wrong again: How did we let Wang go?

Write this down: The worst thing that ever happened happened on June 2, 2013.

That day, as Kim and Kanye prepared to birth their devil child and Americans began their snoopy eavesdropping on the privacy of the National Security Agency - which has secretly thwarted dozens of terrorist plots. (I can relate because - well - I too have thwarted several) - the Yankee season, and perhaps the Yankee empire, collapsed.

Ever since that date, when the Yankees allowed Chien-Ming Wang to sign with Toronto, we have been adrift, while our losses have been piling up like apologies from Paula Deen.

Yesterday, Wang again pitched into the seventh inning, and Toronto again won. Their season has turned. Canada, which can't even win in hockey, is smiling again. Why? Because we thought - bogusly - that we had so much pitching - no, too much pitching - that we didn't need another solid major league starter. No, when we got up in the middle of the night to pee, we were stepping on pitchers - they were infesting Yankee Stadium. Everywhere you looked, there were pitchers - in the refrigerator, in the showers, behind the water cooler - oh, we needed to get rid of them.

And, of course, Phil Hughes was doing so well! Why, he was on the cusp of regaining his All-Star touch. And the "kid," Vidal Nuno had been sent to Scranton despite pitching so well, and then there was Michael Pineda, who's motto is "Always on the way!" Oh, the last thing we needed was a former great Yankee pitcher who was trying to make a comeback with his old team.

 Now, we're waiting for Ivan Nova, which is like waiting for bunion surgery.

Chien-Ming Wang is pitching for the Blue Jays. Gah. That's all I can say. Gah.


Today, as baseball celebrates Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium, America will be treated to a symbolic duel between its two top “Whiteys,” assuming we exclude that crazy sheriff in Arizona.

The Yankees will welcome the return of 84-year-old pitching legend Ed “Whitey” Ford, who was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1974.

Meanwhile, news outlets will recount week one in the trial of 83-year-old James “Whitey” Bulger, the legendary Boston mobster, drug kingpin, murderer and snitch.

It’s rare to find two men with such politically incorrect nicknames suddenly competing for the public spotlight. (Of course, this could happen at Old-Timers games, when appearances by ex-Yankees “Sudden Sam” McDowell and Mickey “Mick the Quick” Rivers may conjure unsettling images of sexual dysfunction.)

But two Whiteys on the same weekend? That’s not only racially insensitive; it’s downright confusing. Thus, we at IIHIIFIIc have compiled a brief guide to America’s two top Whiteys.


Whitey Ford: 16 years of outsmarting major league hitters, 236 career wins, 10 times named to All-Star game.
Whitey Bulger: 16 years of outsmarting national police manhunt, 19 career murders (alleged), appeared 16 times on America's Most Wanted.


Whitey Ford: “The Chairman of the Board,” “Slick”
Whitey Bulger: “Thomas F. Baxter,” “Tom Harris,” “Mark Shapeton,” “Thomas Marshall,” “Rat.”


Whitey Ford: Lawrence "Yogi" Berra, Mickey "The Mick" Mantle, Billy "The Kid" Martin.
Whitey Bulger: Edward “Balloonhead” Halloran, Steve “The Rifleman” Flemmi, John "The Executioner” Martorano.


Whitey Ford: Joked that he struck out Willie Mays in 1962 All-Star Game by doctoring ball.
Whitey Bulger: Joked that he “color coordinated” the body of Louie Litif with green underwear and a green garbage bag.


Whitey Ford: Hurled two shutouts in 1960 World Series against Pittsburgh.
Whitey Bulger: After Tommy King was shot in head, propped up body in car, covered wound with ball cap and drove to Dunkin' Donuts.


Whitey Ford: Couldn’t pitch game seven of 1960 World Series, which Yanks lost. Always regretted it.
Whitey Bulger: Stopped at intersection and shot wrong McGonagle brother, between eyes. Apologized to family.


Whitey Ford: Often dueled with Red Sox slugger Petrocelli.
Whitey Bulger: Faces 32 charges from Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act of 1970.


Whitey Ford: "I didn't cheat in 1963 when I won twenty-four games. Well, maybe a little."
Whitey Bulger: "Alright, if they want to play checkers, we’ll play chess. Fuck 'em."


Whitey Ford: Served in U.S. Army 1951-52 during Korean War
Whitey Bulger: As federal prisoner in 1956, volunteered to take LSD as part of C.I.A. experiments.


Whitey Ford: "One of the greatest pitchers to ever step on a mound."
Whitey Bulger: "Could teach the devil tricks."


Whitey Ford: Bum shoulder, 1967.
Whitey Bulger: Tip to authorities by Miss Iceland of 1974.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stuff I care about

Stuff nobody cares about. But this guy. And this 1978 Yankee handout schedule.

By the way, on that date - June 21, 1978 - the Yankees lost to Boston 9-2.

Curse of Wang continues today?

Chien-Ming Wang, the Yankee China Yin-Yang, pitches for the streaking Blue Jays this afternoon.

He. Should. Be. A. Yankee.

We all know this. Everybody knows it. There is no doubt. There is no debate. It's obvious. It's painfully clear.

He. Should. Be. A. Yankee.

Since the moment we let him go, our juju hasn't been worth a fart. Everybody can see it. If they're not talking about it, it's only because they know it.

He. Should. Be. A. Yankee.

Why do we always have to go through the entire MLB service roster before giving rookies a chance?

This week, as usual, the Evil Empire (TM) set course firmly in the direction of both heaven and hell.

For starters, the storied organization of the Babe, Mick, Joe D and Yogi went out and signed Corey Patterson, Brent Lillebridge, Randy Ruiz, Yoshinori Tateyama and Mike Zagurski. (No word on Sidney Ponson.) This zombie pillaging of the scrap heap has become the hallmark of the modern Yankees:  Never pay premium prices when you can find 10 factory rejects instead.

And we've been rewarded - for a while. Unfortunately, just as we congratulate ourselves for being so smart in signing somebody, he reverts to form and kills us.  This week, we spent God knows how much money - in nickels and dimes - because the owners won't pay big ticket players.

At the same time this week, we finally gave a chance to Zoilo Almonte, the star of the last two spring trainings. Last night, he gave us an injection of youth and hope that the team has not seen since - well, David Adams.

All right, Almonte had a big day. So what? Who knows if he'll be any good? Who knows what his future will be?


That's the beauty of Zoilo Almonte! We don't know what he'll do! 

From day one, we knew what Ben Francisco would do: Flounder. It's what he'd always done.

We always knew Vernon Wells would hit a slump - he hit .220 last year.  Same with Travis Hafner, same with all the scrap heap veterans: Their ceilings are well defined,  visible to everybody else in baseball; we just look the other way.

The worst part of being today's Yankee fan is the constant churning of bum-rods. 
This week, I personally gave up on Vernon Wells: Yep, I started rooting against ol' Vern. I concluded that if he gets a base hit, it will just hurt us, because it means another week or month of torture, watching a tired old veteran play out the final act of his career by taking down the Yankees. It's the opinion I reached last August on Andruw Jones, after watching him systematically kill rallies for two months.

Zoilo Almonte: What a refreshing sight.  At last, somebody's whose ceiling is not set in stone, a movie whose outcome cannot be predicted. He's almost a reason to watch. And frankly, until A-Rod and Jeter -- the ultimate mysteries -- there aren't many reasons to care.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jim Bakker's July 4th Plans Will Take Your Mind Off The Yankees For 61 Amazing Seconds

Help: My sons need a name for their band. I'm trying to think of a cool, subtle Yankee insider phase that will catapult them fame. Well?

Cletus Boyerus.

Driven by Jeep.

Jesus Montero.

Right Field Porch.

Evil Empire.

Georgie Juice.

The critics are raving about this exciting Yankee ballclub!

The verdicts are coming in. This plucky Yankee ball club is making a name for itself!

New York Times: "... stagnant and inefficient... By the time the Yankees came to bat in the eighth inning, only a small fraction of the announced crowd of 37,649 remained..."

ESPN: "... scary bad... anemic... Bronx Bombers -- and we use that term loosely..."

Daily News: "... the AL East basement is looking pretty big in the window..."

Joel Sherman: "... deploying lineups that would shame Scranton Wilkes-Barre..." 

River Ave: "... didn’t put up much of a fight... completely overmatched... ridiculousness..." 

John Sterling: "... really needs the return of its captain...  A-Rod, too...."

IT IS HIGH: "... This is World War Y...  Shoot them, chop up the bodies, burn the corpses, bury the ashes, and explode a nuclear bomb over the grave... If this virus spreads, we're all dead..."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dear Mr. Cashman: Since we just lost a Chinese phenomenon named Chien-Ming Wang, how about signing a new one? His name is Manny Ramirez

Yes, sir. That Manny Ramirez.

He's done in China. They loved him. They named candy bars after him. But he's done. He's not interested in Japan. Still angry about Pearl Harbor. He wants to come home. To America. To NYC. He wants to hit in the majors. He says he can do it. Who knows? He's just Manny, being Manny.

Sign him, sir. Sign him before our enemies do. Sign him tomorrow, if you cannot sign him tonight. Sign Manny, and start printing the tickets.

Understand? Sign Manny; sell tickets. It's that simple. I need some reason, any reason, to keep following this wretched, tiresome team. Everyone does. A lineup where Jayson Nix is batting second inspires no hope. Besides, how bad can Manny be? How much worse can he be than Vernon Wells? If he goes 0-4, he replaces guys who are going 0-5. It's a wash, a write-off. Sign him.

Pull the trigger. Make Manny a Yankee. Come on, Cash. Where's your gambling instincts? Roll the dice. Sign him. Now.


One of the Yankee top draft picks signed for $20,000 - less money than he would have gotten to join the Army

In the sixth round of the recent draft, the Yankees picked John Murphy - a 5'11" shortstop from Sacred Heart University. This season, he led the team in all major offensive categories and came within three hits of setting the all-time school record. He is my official hope to someday replace Derek Jeter.

To bring him on board, the Yankees will shell out an incredible bonus of... drum roll, please... $20,000.

Twenty thousand dollars. No misprint. Twenty thousand dollars.

Don't get me wrong: $20,000 is some fine beer money. We're talking bread - you know, dough, skamootz, gaboolla,  hroooooogh.  For $20,000, I'll do things that are best not described in a public post. (Contact me.) But - please correct me now - didn't we always hear about fat, lazy, prima-dona kid athletes who were being horribly overpaid by pro teams? Weren't we - as fat-chewing blowhards - entitled to whine about how American youth wants everything - all the toys and candy - without having to swim a river of excrement to slit our enemies throats, as we did?

Listen: The storied New York Yankees - a team valued at more than $2 billion, not counting the YES Network, which is worth more - just signed their sixth round pick for less money than a qualified U.S. Army recruit receives under the bonus incentive enlistment plan ($40,000.) 

This all-time Sacred Heart shortstop, Murphy, could have done better if he knew how to run a drone.

By the way, another pick - Tyler Webb - taken in the 10th round, signed for $30,000. Yes, thirty thousand.

The reasons they receive such dirt cheap bonuses are complicated. MLB has established elaborate guidelines that limit how much teams can pay for talent. Other industries call this - "price-fixing," but because baseball is a sport - not a business - the rules are different. Murphy and Webb receive such small bonuses because they are losers: Yes, they chose to stay in college and graduate.  What fools! As a result, they had no leverage. It's a wonder they're not paying the Yankees $20,000! (Moral of the story: Kids, don't stay in school.) By paying these guys so little, the Yankees can pay others more.

(By the way, here's a proposal: Next year, if the Yankees pick me in the sixth round - I can still go to my left pretty good - I will pay the Yankees $1,000! Thus, they not only will save all the money for other picks, but they'll have actually more!)

What's happened here is that the owners have fixed it, so every team can pull out its pockets and say to kids, "Jeez, we'd love to pay more, but we can't." And all teams are equal - good news for fans in such baseball hotbeds as Houston and Tampa.

Is this good, bad, whatever? I dunno. But I'm rooting for this Murphy kid to get a chance. And from now on, if a kid at Tampa buckners a routine grounder, you cannot scream about him being overpaid. I've lived to see a black U.S. President, a roving robot on Mars, and now a sixth round pick of the New York Yankees who signed for $20,000. Wow.

R.I.P. Yankee fan James Gandolfini: At least you don't have to watch this team fall apart

A great man and Yankee fan died yesterday. I'm talking about Tony Soprano. Yes, I know... critics used to talk about some guy named James Gandolfini, who supposedly "played" Tony. That's ridiculous. Anybody who ever watched the show could see that it wasn't an actor playing Tony. Somehow, HBO managed to get a real, live mob boss. I don't know how they did it.

The Yankees were Tony's team. Any Redsock moog who set foot on his show could end up in the East River. And Tony was a faithful fan, unquestioning of Derek Jeter and Mariano, not an angry one, like Alphonso, who at times is sort of the Westboro Baptist Church of Yankee fans. Of course, Tony followed the Yankees back when, for better or worse, they embodied his own swagger and bluster. They embodied the ways of their owner.

They still do, by the way. It's just that the current boy owners do not swagger or bluster. They just say, "Ka-Ching!" whenever they can cut payroll or skimp on players. It's a common phenomenon for billionaire heirs: To prove themselves worthy of the old man's inheritance, they commit themselves to making their own fortune. And - if it makes us feel better - the Yankee owners surely are making plenty.

Yesterday, they watched future star Yasiel Puig, age 22, go Tony Soprano on them. 

The Yankees could have bid on Puig last winter. Instead, they clutched their wallets. They passed on Puig, as they passed on Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Soler and others. If old George were alive, it's not hard to imagine any - if not all - in Yankee uniforms. But the boys kept their money and, instead, managed to wheedle from the California Angels a free year of Vernon Wells. Which is what we get. A free year of Vernon Wells.

The Steinbrothers get away with this because of the best thing that ever happened to them: Kei Igawa. Whenever a free agent turns up on the international market, all they need do is yell "Kei Igawa!," and nobody complains, when he signs elsewhere. Kei Igawa! Kei Igawa! Kei Igawa!

In that mysterious last episode of The Sopranos, it wasn't a hit man lurking in that restaurant; it was Kei Igawa. We'll never know what happened to the family. But I think Igawa forced them at gunpoint to go to Japan.

Frankly, I think Vernon Wells is trying to kill me. It's the way he stares at me from the TV. He knows where I live. Of course, he delivered the clutch popup yesterday, which the Dodger pitcher mangled. But in game one, he struck out with the bases loaded. And in game two, with a runner on third and one out, Wells hit two popups - one managed to get into the seats, foul - while the other fell harmlessly to the centerfielder. But, hey, we have a free year! Batting cleanup. He's hitting .224. Right now, batting Vernon Wells cleanup is like scheduling a colonoscopy for Christmas morning.

Rest in peace, Mr. Gandolfini. Great actor. Terrible loss. Maybe we should establish a protective cordon around our celebrity Yankee fans - the way veterans thwart the Westboro Church at funerals. I'll take Tea Leone!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I know what Tim McCarver would say about all these A-Rod headlines...

This is just the kind of off-the-field controversy that baseball doesn't need.

You can't just shave an ape and call him Graig Nettles: Youkilis was bad juju from the gitgo

The Youk era ended yesterday in a splash of agate. The Retrieval Empire announced that he will undergo back surgery and be out 10-12 weeks. That puts him returning in September, along with half the population of Scranton. By then, we will either have solved our 3B dilemma, or it won't matter.

What possessed us to think you could take the most hated Redsock, shave him and suddenly change him into a Yankee? Apparently, Cashman thought Youkilis was Eliza Doolittle, and that with some Gillette Foamy and fancy new duds, the street urchin could be taught to walk and talk like a real gentleman, and even fool the AL East.

But all anyone saw when Youkilis wandered to the plate was a Redsock goon in a Yankee uniform. He was no Audrey Hepburn. Kristie Alley, maybe. Alphonso never accepted him. And Youk never had a transitional, walk-off moment, when he wins the game and becomes a part of Yankee lore.

Now, he is gone.

Some things were never meant to be. We should ponder that today, when we watch the ever-troubled Don Mattingly manage the wrong team.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Poll Over! Youkilis Over! Alphonso Wins!

The Yankee Future As A Piece Of Natural Art

Here is today's quick review of the amazing young, position-playing talent that has had game experience this year in pinstripes:

Dave Adams - .213
Nunez ( unfortunately, still not recovered ) - .200
Neal ( Don't bother to learn his first name ) - .200 ( strikes out 60% of at bats )
Corbin Joseph ( converted from second to first ) - .167
A.  Romine - .132 ( one of those catching prospects the whole league wanted, remember?).

And these are the best young players we have.  By young, I mean 26 and older.

No one has any speed, no one is known for their outstanding arm, no one has any power, and no one has a keen batting eye.  Nunez can either catch or throw, but not both.  Dave Adams was wanted in the Cliff Lee non-trade.

This group, which is "head and shoulders" above any other position-player Yankees in our minor league system ( which is why they got the " call ups "), is our future.

Let me know if you see any of these guys on the lists of hot young prospects now in the majors.  Let me know if anyone lusts for them as a teammate.  Let me know if they get two pages of coverage ( for their baseball talent ) in the NY Times.  Let me know if the other teams in the AL East ever stop laughing.

Let me know if any one of them ever amounts to anything more significant than cleaned-up road-kill.

Nice work Brian.  Who is your chief talent scout?


Yankeetorial: It's time to review the fundamental laws of the Yankiverse

Some of us, myself included, seem to have forgotten the unified theories govern our existence on the Yankee astral plane with the likes of Jeet & Mo and - yes - Vern & Pronk. We need a theological oil change.

Let's ponder and remember the basic rules of Yankee fandom.

1. When a Yankee is hurt, double the recovery time. I'm startled that some bloggers and Yankeetillectuals actually seemed to think Teixeira would be returning to the lineup by, say, Wednesday. Hahahah. A Tampa Bay Devil Ray might be back by Friday. Not a Yankee. When a Yankee is listed as "day to day," that means "out for a week." A 15-day DL stint means three weeks, minimal. In the case of Youkilis, quadruple everything. Come on, people, we're better than that!

2. Yankee youngsters are never "young." Some of us - yes, me too - now and then get giddy because some lugnut at Scranton batted .400 last week. We want to see the "kids." We have to remember: Yankees don't have "kids." On another club, a guy at Triple A might be 21 or 22. Our Scranton roster is comprised of mature goodfellows between the ages of 25 and 34. Melky Mesa is 26. Dellin Betances is 25, as is Vidal Nuno. The other day, the Yankees promoted a rawboned "kid" named Graham Stoneburner to Scranton. He's 25.

3. It's not 2005. We would go undefeated if this was only 2005. Sadly, it's not. Some of us - yes, I'm guilty - have a tendency to dismiss the last few years of a player's career on the grounds that he wasn't a Yankee, so they didn't happen. Take Vernon Wells. Please. (Badaboom.) In May, I wrote a lusty, musk-scented love post to the Vernster - so frothing with Yankee longing that I suspect he still carries the printout in his wallet. In essence, I welcomed him back to 2005. Now, we're seeing his Wellsian numbers and - guess what - they are what he did last year in Anaheim. Which is why he is a Yankee.

4. Consider what the other teams have. Yes, some meat-cog in our system is always hot; but dare we compare ours to theirs? God, no. This year, we will field two Gulf Coast Rookie League teams. Thus, on certain days, we are guaranteed a star! If one team gets no-hit, we have a pitcher who threw a no-hitter! Our dreams have come true. Trouble is, if you compare what we have with what they have... ouch. 

Three days ago, the Redsocks promoted 20-year-old SS Xander Bogaerts to Triple A. He is 6'3," runs like a cheetah, and he was hitting .310 at Double A, among the league leaders. If he were in our system, trust me: We would be going NUTS over him. Instead, we bloggers blog about Tyler Austin - now up to .272!  Pathetic. (BTW, the Redsocks have a 3B named Cecchini who is ripping apart High A, and will soon hit Double A. Again, we have nobody having a year like this at Tampa.)

5. When we stop spending, we drift. This is maddening. Why, why, why? We all want the Yankees to be Oakland or St. Louis - to built an organizational powerhouse that wrangles great teams out of inexpensive players. But for reasons that must be institutional - or maybe intrinsic to the Yankee culture, itself - we cannot get there.

Listen: Cashman is no fool. Not only that, he's relentless - Reid Brignac, fer kricesakes! But without an open checkbook, we constantly sputter to a halt. In the last two years, the A's picked up Cespedes, and the Dodgers picked up Puiig. They were too expensive for us. We signed Adonis Garcia and Ronnier Mustellier, the cheapo versions. And here we are. 

6. It could be worse. For all the negativity, we're within striking distance. The fulcrum of every season - July - is two weeks away. Nothing that happens this week - regardless of how good or bad it seems to be - can eliminate us or guarantee us anything.

Them's the rules, folks. Deal with it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

For the Yankees, it's all so Chien-Ming Wrong

I understand why we let him go. If you love someone, and you are destined to only bring pain to them - like Lon Chaney or that Wolverine guy in the X-men movies -  it's the only thing you can do.

So we let Chien-Ming Wang go to Toronto - we just sat there at the kitchen table, trying not to cry, staring into the whiskey bottle, while he filled his duffel, walked to the door, turned one last time to give us a smile... and marched out of our lives. 

And we have sucked door knobs ever since.

Two weeks ago, we were so knee-deep in pitching that we didn't even make Wang a counter offer. Nope. We had Vidal Nuno (now injured), Adam Warren (now in Scranton) and the emerging nation known as Michael Pineda (who pitched really well in his simulated game, I mean, Cashman says he was dealing, it might have been a shutout, one of the finest simulated games pitched all year, a quality start, no doubt) and we have Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Wow. That sounds like something Jack Nicholson would type in a Stephen King movie. Chris Bootcheck as our long man... Chris Bootcheck as our long man.Chris Bootcheck as our long man.Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Chris Bootcheck as our long man. Chris Bootcheck as our long man.

Sorry about that. What the? I can't escape the font! IT'S HAPPENED: I'm stuck in a Stephen King movie! It's called "WANGSTARTER." It's about a pitcher who makes a deal with the devil; he'll make a comeback with his old team, but they throw him overboard, and he comes back as a ghost to cut off their heads. Wait: That's no movie. That's it. That's now. Chris Bootcheck IS our long man. And Chien-Ming Wang last night threw seven shutout innings for Toronto. Seven shutout innings. We should have him. Everybody knows this. He should be pitching for us. God knows this. Everybody knows this. We watched him pack his bags. We watched him walk out the door. We ran to the window and watched the cab take him to the airport. Why didn't somebody say something? Why didn't somebody stop him? Swept in Oakland. Nearly swept in Anaheim. 

We're never going to get another shot at Chien-Ming Wang making a comeback with the Yankees. Chris Bootcheck is our long man. 

Chris Bootcheck is our long man.
Chris Bootcheck is our long man.
Chris Bootcheck is our long man.
Chris Bootcheck is our long man.  

A little bit ironic, doncha think? Yankees sign Yankee hater

It's like RAYYYYYYY-AYYYYNE on your wedding day.

The Yankees have signed Ian Clarkin, the high school lefty whose pre-draft, speed-dating, up-close-and-personal, just-me-being-me video made it clear that he hates, hates, hates one team: the despicable New York Yankees.

Frankly, I find this refreshing. First off, we've signed so many bums over the years, and the first thing they blather is how much they loved the Yankees, back in the glory days of - what - Horace Clarke? 

Secondly, if it mattered what kids think, Bryce Harper would be a Yankee now - instead of when he's 37 and arthritic.

The only concern is that this is the second first-round Yankee pick in recent years to be named Ian. (It would really scare me if we had a second Cito or two Slades.) The last Ian - Kennedy - turned out to be pretty good - for the Diamondbacks. Hopefully, we keep this Ian - even if just to mess up his Yankee-hating head.

Yankeetorial: There is a solution to the 2013 Yankee nightmare: Jeter plays third, A-Rod moves to first

Spoiler alert: I saw the movie. Tex gets the shot, it restores his super powers, he beats Zod, beds Lady Gaga, wins the big game and - uh-oh - eats the red kryptonite-filled cheesecake. His wrist turns to PVC pipe. Ballgame over, season over. The movie turns out to be a remake of the Jose Bautista Story, starring Woody Allen and Fernando Lamas Jr.,  as Before and After. Coming soon to home video.

Listen: The Yankees aren't known as great truth-tellers. When it comes to personal self-disclosure, the team would make the CIA look like Anne Frank. But nobody in the Yankiverse cares. We fans expect them to lie. We prefer lies. It shows they're trying to win ballgames, dammit. If Boston knows Tex is hurt - as we do - they'll have an advantage - not sure what it is, but screw 'em: Lie to us, everybody! Tell us Tex is fine! So... the Team Diogenes announces that Tex is OK, it's just a dream sequence sex hickey, and he's coming back. If the wrist pops after a few games, oh well, he tried. Waiting two extra weeks for season-ending surgery won't matter. His next appearance will be in spring training. And then... let the lies of 2014 form on our tongues!

So, our lucky '13 season - whatever is left - hinges on Jeter and A-Rod returning after the All-Star break, probably to a team five to 10 games out, in a jumbled division. (BTW, I don't buy the notion that A-Rod will be suspended; MLB would have to exile dozens of players, a veritable nuke in the middle of the Love Bud's precious pennant race, and each call must withstand the union's appeal; I think they'll wait until winter, when games are not being played during the interim, but - obviously - I'm Sgt. Schultz here: I know nothingk.)

So, here are two great hitters in the twilight, healing from major dings, and we need them every day. We already have a full-time DH (though Col. Travis better start hitting like one.) Let's look at each.

A-Rod: Much of the wear and tear on our boy's hip comes from charging bunts and throwing off balance. Move him to 1B, and he almost never needs to throw (as Jason Giambi proved.) He's played it before. He could platoon with Overbay or be replaced for defense. If A-Rod hits, he has a 1B-worthy bat. Face it, folks: This is our one hope. Yes, it's crazy, but who else do you suggest? Dan Johnson? Kyle Roller? Youk? (Hey, you want another spoiler alert?)

Jeet: Realistically, how many back-to-back games can he play at SS? The wear and tear on an ankle during double plays, pivots and guys barreling into him - every routine grounder, we'll be holding our breath. By comparison, 3B would be a cakewalk. Come on, folks, he's got to move someday. Ripken moved to 3B. It added three years to his career. Next spring, if Jeet's ankle is strong, he can come back and finish at SS. This is the only move that makes sense. I greatly fear that if Jeter tries to play SS next month, it will be painful to watch - moreover, painful to implement. It's practically a suicide mission.

Move Jeet to 3B, A-Rod to first - and let Youk warm up pitchers between innings. No, it's not a perfect situation. And let's let Tex play 1B until the kryptonite cheesecake is delivered. But once Tex goes pop, who plays 1B? Overbay? Love the guy. But there's a reason we signed him off the waiver wire.

OK, I know what you're thinking: I know nothing about the mechanics of each man's injury and - more importantly - the dimensions of their egos (which are wrongly believed to be larger than mine.) Maybe neither will sign on for such a move. (But I would, dammit; to help the Yankees,, I WOULD.) Maybe Girardi and Cashman have better ideas. But I sure hope we don't start dealing prospects for another short-term fix, because, my friends, we're teetering on the brink of the Isiah Thomas Guidebook to Sports Management. And I think Jeter and Arod have been around long enough to know that in NY, only winning matters.

This may not be the best move for either. But it might be the team. Hear those bells clanging, folks? They toll for thee. That's the fire alarm. In an emergency, you break glass. Time to grab the hammer.

I'll save el Duque the time (and anguish) of posting this ...

... but if you didn't notice, Chien-Ming Wang pitched Sunday for the Blue Jays. Threw strikes, Seven shutout innings.

And, oh, by the way, the Jays have won 5 in a row. A week ago, they were 9.5 games behind us; now, they're 5.5 back.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Victory! (I think)

Excuse me, but I need to soak my head in a bucket of ice water.

We held on - fingers to chalkboard - to beat the Los Angeles, California, Angels of Anaheim, basically because they ran out of young players in the ninth inning, and had to send up old Albert Pujols, who is practically as ancient as Mariano.

I worry when balls keep dunking in against Mo. That's what happened. Nobody hit him hard, but he couldn't get them out, either.

So we return home with a victory but no certain 1B, facing a divisional race that will go down to the wire.

If Teixeira is done for the year - and who are we kidding? considering our luck, of course, he is! - I have a plan to save the Yankees.

I will elaborate tomorrow. The bucket of ice water is ready.