Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In Donald Rumsfeldian vernacular, yesterday's Tanaka revelation was a known unknown. Trouble is, there are more to come

Today, the Albert Gore Memorial Interweb is filled with heartfelt shouts of "I-told-you-so."

Pedro Martinez was quick to announce his. My favorite color man, Dr. C. Montague Schilling, will soon add his to the pile. Surely, Mt. Alphonso will erupt. The Right Reverend Lupica and Pope Madden are writing their sermons. The next 24 hours will supply Yankee fans with the kind of seething rage normally associated with Uncle Cooter's afternoon of listening to Rush Limbaugh. Cue the CNN news crawl, Mr. Blitzer.

As you know, yesterday, the worst thing that could happen... happened.

Masahiro Tanaka's arm started barking.

You don't need to be Chicken Little to see the purple sky. Tanaka will miss all of May. He'll rehab in Tampa, then Scranton. A million eyes will watch the circus. He'll get back to NYC, pitch a few games, and then... who knows? Maybe he'll last the season. Maybe not. Eventually, they will cut him, and a 16-month rehab clock will begin... ushering in a new round "I-told-you-so"s. The only question is whether next time, C. Montague Schilling will beat Pedro to the punch.

Before continuing, let me state for the record that I do not blame Brian Cashman. The Yankees had to follow the advice of their doctors. You don't just cut a guy for the hell of it. Trouble is, everyone knew this would happen; the question was when. It was, as old Donald Rumsfeld would say, a known unknown... something we knew that we didn't know. And it's not the only one on the 2015 Yankees.

2015 Yankee Yankee Known Unknowns:

1. A-Rod's hips.
2. Tex's wrist.
3. Beltran. Everything about him.
4. Pineda's shoulder.
5. Gardner's/Ellsbury's always tweakable muscles.
6. The inability of certain hitters to cope with over-shifts.
7. Didi Gregorius' doe-eyed entry into NY cauldron.
8. The entire AL East.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Since spring training, the Yankees have been lugging a bus full of question marks. A nice April spackled-over a few holes. Between now and September, we'll need dry wall.

But as old Rummy once said: Our real concern is not the known unknowns, but the unknown unknowns - the things we don't even know that we don't know.

They are tougher to list. By definition, they are impossible to list. Still, here are a few, offered as a parlor game. I invite you to add others, as your imaginations see fit.

2015 Yankee Unknown Unknowns

1. A wunderkind from the farm. Not Refsnyder, not Judge, not Severino - somebody whose name is not now on our tongues. It's most likely a pitcher, who soars Joba-like through the system, throwing 98 mph with no sense of mortality. We haven't had one in a while.

2. An NYC police shooting or terrorist attack. I don't want to be maudlin here, but - hey - things can change in a hurry, and the Yankees can become symbols of hope - or despair. 

3. A bean ball or come-back line-drive takes a healthy player out of commission, maybe threatens a career. This can rally or devastate the team.

4. Somebody with a choir-boy reputation in a sex scandal. (If it can happen to Cashman, it can happen to anybody.)

5. Juicing allegations.

Keep in mind, these unknown unknowns spin both ways. Some of them can help the Yankees. Adversity isn't always adverse. Thus, let's not forget the ultimate unknown unknown from yesterday's news:

How will Tanaka's injury affect the rest of the team?

Does it open a slot for Bryan Mitchell? Does it rally teammates to do something, or convince Girardi to make somebody into a starter? Does it push a hot poker up Hal Steinbrenner's butt to sign the 19-year-old Cuban pitcher (or make Hal clutch his purse even harder?)

Today, the Yankiverse is full of "I-told-you-so"s. But what will tomorrow bring?


John M said...

Tanaka gets to type 'frist' in his blog's comment section.

Tex Message said...

I knew this was coming and hence felt strangely (eerily) calm when I heard the news. I'm going to try to hope for the best while expecting the worst (still a Yankee fan, after all.)

I don't mean to fan-girl out, but as of right now we still have our solid bullpen, our burst of offense while it lasts, potential for CC to at least improve somewhat... and the hope that Tanaka will return without needing surgery!