Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Raul Redux?

The New York Post says the Yankees are mulling the idea of signing 41-year-old Raul Ibanez. Frankly, the New York Post says a lot of things, which often seem sourced by a Magic 8-Ball. Still, this is probably true: It's hard to prove Brian Cashman isn't mulling something. As Descartes said, "I mull, therefore I am." So... let's do a little morning mulling of our own.

Who wouldn't want Raul? In Yankee Stadium, he'll hit 20 HRs blindfolded. He's a threat in the clutch. As long as he doesn't have to play OF, he could probably hit .240. That's Grandyman territory. We could do worse. Plus, if they sign Raul, they probably won't sign Beltran, too. Makes sense.

But I'd like to mull a secondary question: Why are we always stuck with the last incarnations of ancient veterans? We did it with Andruw Jones and Travis Hafner, and now with Vernon Wells and Ichiro. Our batting order may look destined for Cooperstown. But it hits like it's headed to Utica.

We sign these old guys, stick them in the middle of the order, then go through soul-crushing, month-long slumps. Meanwhile, we never get to see what, say,  Chris Dickerson or Zolio Almonte could do. The old guys hit .220, without power, and frankly, we could have gotten that from younger - and maybe ascending - players. We do this over and over. I guess it's the Yankees way.

Mull this: Do we do it because of our barren farm system? Or is it partly the cause of our dead system? Because the Yankees seldom give young players much of a second glance.

Last spring, the hitting of Ronnier Mustellier was a pleasant surprise in Tampa. He got hurt, missed a month, then vanished in Scranton, when they moved him to 3B. He was never heard from again, and he probably never will be. David Adams came up to the Yankees, hit well for a week, then slumped - as most kids do - and poof, he was gone.  He now seems an afterthought. Will he ever get another shot? And what about Austin Romine? He was terrible at first, then hit in August and September. If we sign Brian McCann, does he spend another year at Scranton? In fact, all three could be at Triple A this year, taking up space. (Hey JR Murphy, don't sell your apartment in Trenton.)

If we sign Ibanez, another roster spot goes to an old old old man, and throughout the system, another set of opportunities disappear - at least until August, when we throw in the towel. Out with the new and in with the old! That is the Yankees way.


Fred Sanford said...

Lamont! Get out here, son. Seattle brought us another load of scrap.

JM said...

The Yankees have been doing this for so long, I can't remember when they didn't. There was that small window back when George was out of the game, then came back with Torre in tow. Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Bernie, Andy...all young guys. Since then, pfffft. Torre became the blueprint for Yankee managers: play the old and/or expensive guys and let the young guys basically sit. Then Cashman would trade them.

If the Yankees think that only winning the WS is a successful year, then why do they continually do the same crap that keeps them from doing it? (The buying rampage of winter 2009 excepted. Although those guys sure got 'old' fast.)

Regardless of what Harold 'Hal' says (Harold...jeez, the only way he wouldn't have gotten punched out every day after school was to never go to a typical school), they're still trying to get under the magic number for next year. After that, I expect them to sign whoever they can, have a $500 million payroll, and probably still get killed in the ALCS because their scouts did such a great job.


Roger B. said...

Perhaps the Yankees could sign him for a contract laden with incentives, such as, Raul would apply for social security midway through the season and allow the Yankees a credit for benefits collected. Also, the Yankees could require Raul to pay out of his signing bonus a transport van to bring him and his wheel chair to and from the Stadium. And the Yankees could use his senior discount while purchasing condiments for the Clubhouse post game spread. You can't put a price on leadership, but you can get into movies half price on Tuesdays if you are old enough.

Alphonso said...

I would give two more years of seasoning to Raul, before we sign him as a Yankee starter.

not YOUR momma said...

Roger B: We seniors never buy condiments. Just ask the owner of your local diner.

JM said...

That's true about the condiments. And keep you eye on the little plastic containers of half and half, too.

Rogerb said...

Free condiments! Think of the savings! Too bad mustard doesn't count toward the 189 million.