Friday, November 1, 2013

Day II in Hell: Imagining future glory days for Joba and Hughes

You get used to the flames, the sulfur stench and the lice. It's the reruns of Geraldo that grate on you. Welcome to Yankiverse Hell, the Chad Curtis/Mel Hall wing. Take a pike, folks. We're going to be here for awhile. Like... eternity.

One of the few enduring pleasures is knowing that some guys will escape. I'm thinking of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. I bear no grudges. They logged their time. It didn't work. If ever they return to the stadium, part of me will root for them. Still, I cannot overcome this feeling of dreadful certainty:

Once out of New York, they're going to flourish. Is it just me? Does anybody else have that feeling?

Since they built the new stadium/steak house, Hughes was a goner - just like his fast balls. A fly ball pitcher in a bandbox? Good luck. But give him an expansive outfield, and 10 home runs become outs. That's huge. Plus, he's only 27 - youngest free agent on the list. He could pitch 10 years, and they'll all say the greatest thing that ever happened to him was leaving the Yankees. Ouch, those flames just licked at me.
 As for Joba? We messed him up from Day One. Treated him like a China doll. Worse, treated him like a rock star. Did you see how fat he looked this fall? His next team will tell him to lose 30 pounds or quit. He's going to do so much better outside the Bronx. God, I envy him.

Of course, we Yankee fans - we can't sign with another team. We're stuck with this organization, trapped between the suits and the lawsuits.

In the 1980s, when the Yankees launched the Great 14 Year Barf, one of the first signs was the way players thrived after getting out (Drabek, Buhner, et al) and imploded when they arrived (Whitson, Kemp, et al.) We were a Jonah team. Under Bob Watson and Buck Showalter, we turned it around, started seeing players thrive as Yankees - (Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius, et al.)

Folks, the view from Hell suggests those days are over. And we know when it changed.
 In 2004, some incredible cosmic switch in the universe got flicked. The Redsocks - who have now won three championships in 10 years - became the Yankees.  We became - I'm not sure what.  Maybe we became the Redsocks. But actually, I'm thinking the Toronto Blue Jays (Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, et al.) Everything switched.

Welcome to Hell. This is a tale of our castaways, we're here for a long, long time.


KD said...

for several years now I've feared we were becoming the AL version of the Atlanta Braves. year after year making the post season and then flopping. But I never anticipated that we could devolve into something worse.

JM said...

KD, you're certainly old enough to remember the 80s. I remember the late 60s and early 70s. We can always devolve into something worse.

And Duque is, I fear, correct about Joba and Hughes in every particular. The coaching staff and front office turned Joba into a major head case, and poor Phil Franchise...the stadium itself turned him into a head case, with the aforementioned team staff pushing with two hands.

Next year could be really ugly.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

URRRGGGG!!!! Next year I spend my money on opera tickets cuz the fat lady has sung!

Bard of the bleachers said...

Yeah AJ Burnett flourished for a while in Pittsburg until he got in the postseason and barfed up runs like a cat with a hairball problem. Phil and Joba may go to a smaller market and thrive....for a while. But if you have problems, they'll come out during the game you least want to see them. Like a play off.
Maybe they will serve as a lesson to the Yankees marketing. Let them develop as player first, then launch the marketing campaigns which they'll have to live up to on the field, second.

KD said...

In retrospect, I have to admit I did buy into the "Cashman is a genius" bullshit. I thought we could compete year after year, winning the series maybe one year in four.

so next year, I get to learn something about myself. What kind of fan am I really? A summer soldier/sunshine patriot? or a true Yankee fan, pissed off and foaming at the mouth, but a true fan nonetheless.

If I make it, it'll be because you guys keep me grounded and sane.

el duque said...

Readers of this blog are the Navy Seals, the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns and Joan of Arcs of Yankee fans.

JM said...

Considering this past season and what's coming next, it might be time to become the Cheech and Chong of Yankee fans.

Alphonso said...

Except for me. I'll be watching the Yankees and laughing at their ineptitude.

Derek getting $12+ million to have another declining season. If he doesn't take one for the team and, at minimum, announce that the 2014 season will be his last, I'll sign on with Detroit where Hughes will thrive.

Tex pretending he can still play; pretending that he has learned to beat the shift; pretending that his .233 average is only for April, or May, or August.

Cano, with his $25 million per year, dogging it and failing in the clutch.

A - Rod as our full- time, seed-spitting DH strike out king, whom looks more and more like Travis whatshisname, striking out.

Pineda, recovering from some other surgery. Banuelos getting rocked in A ball.

Watching the faces of the Yankees, as they realize how Cashman has failed them.

Watching another team of old, oft-injured players take 1 of 18 from Boston.

joe de pastry said...

I survived 1965 and 1966, I'll survive 2014.