Monday, September 21, 2015

Yankees unveil startling new concept: A hitting secondbaseman who can be replaced in late innings for defense

On August 1, when Brian Cashman - Sports Illustrated's candidate for the Hall of Fame - traded a pair of promising lugnuts to Seattle for Dustin Ackley, the saddest part of the deal was finding that Ackley no longer played 2B. Over the last two years - since Robbie Cano jogged into the Starbucks City - Ack had been banished to outposts of the Mariner realm where you'd expect to meet John Snow. The Yankees didn't even suggest that he could play 2B. They touted him as a utility keepsake, a replacement for The Great Nothingness, Garrett Jones. It seemed a pointless upgrade.

Well, thank God for the deal! Ackley promptly tweaked his lumbago - a juju blessing from the skies - because it forced us to promote Greg Bird. Over the last six weeks, Bird has nearly negated the loss of Mark Teixeira - at least statistically. Last night, Bird hit his 8th HR - his sixth this month, which is as many as Tex hit in both May and June. The Yankees' real loss has been in Tex's glove and his George Clooney-like lineup presence. Of course, Bird may still be the Second Coming of Kevin Maas, or Mili Vanilli. Time will tell. But when you consider the franchise's refusal to inject rookies into races, it's almost a karmic thunderbolt that Bird is even here. Thank you, back of Ack!

But wait, there's more! Lately, Ackley has started at 2B, where presumably he's rusty, if even competent. Last night he hit a three-run HR and, in the late innings, was replaced by Stephen Drew, the worst Yankee pickup from Boston since Kevin Youkilis - (who is probably the worst in history, past and future.) At least Drew can field. (Though he screwed up a big game two weeks ago.) This is what Yankee fans have hollered about all season, only with Jose Pirela and/or Rob Refsnyder. Pirela is a line-drive machine that Reggie Jackson pronounced the best hitter in spring training, until he went Minnie Minoso on a CF wall. Refsnyder is a line-drive machine who homered to beat Boston in Fenway, then was soul-crushed by being dispatched to Scranton for sins that apparently involved failing to genuflect in the presence of somebody's pet turtle. So we endured another two months of Drew, lashing DP grounders into defensive over-shifts, and the Yankees' bottom third of the lineup became a day trip to Camden, New Jersey.

Well, not this weekend. Joe Girardi - in his worst season season managing the Yankees - finally woke up from his Stump Merrill seance re-enactment. Joe has apparently figured it out: It's better to have a hitting 2B and then use a defensive replacement, as opposed to absorbing another 0-4 from the whiffle-ball bats of Drew and Brendan Ryan. What a concept: A 2B who hits! It's like getting an extra inning each game - three outs that might be converted into a run. Of course, when we face a lefty - like tonight - we'll probably go back to the invisible bat of Brendan Ryan. But you can dream, right? Maybe John Snow is alive!

Write this down: We can take two out of three in Toronto! We can walk out of that miserable snowy wasteland one loss down with 11 games left. Dammit, I'll take my chances with Adam Warren, Luis Severino and even Ivan Nova (who always disappoints when you expect something, and then surprises you when you don't.) We used to eat David Price for breakfast. Severino has something to prove. And our second glimpse of Marcus Strohman won't include those 1,000 ccs of adrenaline he had from six months of waiting. And who knows! Maybe we'll see a hit from our secondbaseman! Wouldn't that be incredible? Folks, I'm telling you: GIRARDI IS A GENIUS!


Tom said...

Obviously, Ackley deserves a 10-year contract.

ceeja said...

Let the JuJu gods note that we, of course, have no chance whatsoever against these big bad Blue Jays and especially against David "Cy" Price, who is unhittable and who is the best acquisition in the history of the MLB trading deadline. We shouldn't even bother to play the games, but should, instead, save the fragile arms of our starters for that fantastic one game wild card playoff.