Friday, March 6, 2015

Yankee 2015 colonoscopy continues: There's always a catch

First, a confession: I like Brian McCann. He's a chunk, a lugnut, a goober. He plays hard. He looks mean. He shaves his head, even though he's bald. He got hot last July and showed why we are paying him so much money. Of last year's three free agents, he's the keeper. (The trouble with Ellsbury: Seven years.)

Last month, McCann said something that should be digested as more than the usual wintery smegma that dribbles from a player's mouth. He vowed to adjust his swing in the face of defensive overshifts. He'll bunt or hit to the opposite field, rather than swing harder and try to hit 200 home runs.

Last year, the Yankees faced more overshifts than at any time I can recall in 50 years. They neutered our biggest hitters, because they didn't - our couldn't - react. It was ridiculous. It was almost condescending. Lou Piniella would have altered his stance. So would Thurman Munson, Paul O'Neill, Bernie, Willie, Yogi, Scooter, Jeter... they would have changed their ways to get on base and get something going. Our "sluggers" just swang away.

If Peyton Manning steps to the line of scrimmage and finds 11 DBs in pass coverage, he calls a run. If Carmelo Anthony finds five defenders guarding him, he passes - uh, actually, no, he shoots - bad example, sorry. You get the picture. If a player cannot react, he is a loser.

Brian McCann could become this year's de facto captain. All he needs to do is lead: Lay down a bunt or two in situations where a baserunner is more important than a HR.

Fingers crossed.

Behind McCann is John Ryan Murphy, and I still don't know why he warrants a middle name; it's not like he shot a president or anything. Two years ago, "JR Murphy" was the future, our lone prospect worth pondering in September. So, what happened? Same as what happens to everybody. The Yankees sent him back to Scranton, where he floundered, got hurt, wasted his time and now he's a year older. Moreover, he's a younger version of Austin Romine, who four years ago was such a decent catching prospect that the Yankees traded Jesus Montero. But then they sent Romine to Scranton, where he floundered, got hurt, wasted his... ahh, you know the deal. Ugh.

Now, the future is supposedly Gary Sanchez. In 2012-14, he was generally rated as our Top Prospect (along with Manny Banuelos). He crapped out last season in Trenton and was even booted off the team for two weeks. They say he's a new man, ready to behave! We'll see. This will be his first full taste of Scranton. And we know what can happen there.

No comments: