Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nothing frustrates like the 2014 Yankees, team of the living dead

Full disclosure: Last night, I failed in my mission. Under enemy fire, I ran like a coward from my post. I could not watch.

We had a 3-1 lead, with the O's crapping their bed. Then - suddenly - as it always happens with the '14 Yankees, time suspended itself. For four innings, we lapsed into sleep mode: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3... When I came back, Baltimore led 4-3, and there was no reason - no hope, no juju, no nothing - to watch. We all know the outcome of a one-run deficit in the seventh inning. It's over.

From there, the Orioles tortured us, like a cat with a shrew. All hope for this team - and next year's incarnation - drained from me like lukewarm water in a tub.

We have Carlos Beltran for two more years. Imagine that. I can barely hack the sight of him now: Grounder to second, grounder to short, grounder to second.  Teixeira is a shell of his old self. Ichiro is painful. Does anyone expect CC to ever be an ace again? Recently, a friend lectured me about the Martin Prado trade, how I shouldn't oppose trading prospects for gritty players like him. He's so versatile! Yep, he can hit .189 at three positions. We have him for two more years, at $11 million per season. Great. We traded the best power hitter in our minor league system - with everyone immediately assuring us the guy would never be any good - and we now have Martin Prado. I am so happy I could cry.

Last night was yet another reminder - as if we needed it - of the dipstick reality of the '14 Yankees: They are a perfect .500 machine. If they win four, wait a few days, and balance will be restored. Whenever they raise hopes, they soon crush them. A week ago, they beat the mighty Tigers and welcomed the tomato tins of Cleveland with a thrashing. Ever since, they couldn't hit a floating potato chip with a tennis racket. This team is a mirage, a practical joke played on us by reality. And we keep falling for it.  

Right now, there are only two Yankee stories worth discussing. One is the team's refusal to allow Kate Upton to exercise her First Amendment rights and wear Tigers swag in Yankee Stadium. I hope she sues, and it goes to the Supreme Court. My guess is that she came to the stadium wearing a Detroit t-shirt, and some perverted Yankee official - I'm betting Randy Levine - told her to take it off, hoping to catch a glimpse.

The second story is the looming auction for the 27-year-old Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who is finishing a tour of tryouts. By next week, Hal Steinbrenner needs to cut him a check for about $65 million. But it probably won't happen. When you talk about big ticket Cuban signings, the Dodgers did Puig, the A's did Cespedes, the Reds did Chapman, and the Yankees have Havana's Pride of Scranton, Adonis Garcia. Our idea of a big ticket Cuban is $250,000. We're a few zeros off.

My guess is that Boston's management right now is giggling hard, knowing they have a war chest of loose cash, waiting to top whatever Hal offers. They can do this, in part, because we owe Martin Prado $22 million over the next two years. And our best power prospect is in Arizona.

The Yankees need Rusney Castillo more than the probably know. They need to give their fan base a reason to have hope, because if you look at Triple A Scranton, nobody makes you think the '15 Yankees will be any different from this utterly black bottomless pit of a team. The converted outfielder Rob Refsnyder might be a decent 2B someday, but we'll be playing Prado - as we did Alfonso Soriano through July. And we'll still have Beltran and Tex, clogging the middle of our order like a pound of cholesterol lodged in a fat man's heart.

Last night, we realized something horrible: There isn't enough juju in the Yankee fan base to save this wretched team.

And the reason is simple: For juju to work, you must believe. 

Who can believe in this sorry team? Truth be told... not me.


JM said...


God rest their souls.

KD said...

I couldn't look away in the late innings. It was like watching an accident develop on the Turnpike or I-95. An accident that I'm a part of. It was almost in slow motion, the demise of this team in Baltimore. And we are done. We are. And now the fear for next year is settling in. what I would give for the Yankees to become a smart organization.

Next year, "Hope Week" should feature some of us wretched Yankees fans, moping around in our Ellsbury jerseys without pants, just hoping for a decent team. Hoping that our aces either get healthy or new ones emerge. Hoping that our ancient position players will find their old groove. Hoping that the spring training phemon isn't a flash in the pan. Hoping, hoping, hoping for... SOMETHING.

Is there anything more pathetic than Hope? Hard work, action, and sacrifice is what I want to see from this team, not hope. To paraphrase my grandma, Hope in one hand, shit in the other. Grandma, bless her soul, was very astute.

KD said...

if you want to see delusion, go to the Yankees web site and check out the first picture they present from last night's game.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Listening to Suzyn's pre game show, she interviewed the announcer for the Birds. He described how Baltimore over the winter built a team with depth, adding power hitters who could step into DL vacated roles so they could always stay competitive.

And then, we have the Yankees model,,,,