Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tyler "the Yankee" Clippard is returning to the fold

But nobody's saying what we gave up for him. My guess: It's one - maybe, gulp, two - of the young outfielders at Scranton. (Ben Gamel, Mason Williams or Jake Cave.) Definitely need an opening for the kid we got from Cleveland in the Miller deal, and Aaron Judge will soon be playing again (and Aaron Hicks will soon be disappeared by the CIA.) 

Did A-Rod, by striking out four times last night, save the franchise?

There is chatter today that the Yankees' second loss last night to Tampa convinced Hal to open the floodgates. If so, Alex did his job...

Andrew Miller - the first piece in the sell-off - is now a Cleveland Indian

We received a 21-year-old, can't miss, Triple A centerfielder, which creates a huge logjam in the Scranton outfield. This is the kind of earthquake than brings after-shocks.

Stay tuned.

One game above .500, let the trade winds blow

Let it rain, let the storm winds blow, let the clouds unleash their fury, let it happen - today.

Let Gardy go. Let Beltran go. And CC. Let's say goodbye to Ellsbury, Tex, Pineda, Eovaldi, Nova, McCann, Headley, Castro, Miller, A-Rod, I don't care, let them go, turn them out, blow it up, burn it down, I don't care, I don't care, do you understand me? I've lived and died over the Yankees for 60 fucking years, and do you understand me? I. Honestly. Don't. Care.

What we have are the last junk remnants of Hal's one-shot, checkbook 2009 championship - a move to placate his dying dad and justify the millions of taxpayer dollars that went into the new stadium. What we have is a casserole of old players who happen to wear Yankee uniforms. Is Ellsbury a Yankee or a Redsock sleeper agent? Is McCann and Yankee or a Brave in disguise? Starlin Castro - with the worst on base percentage of any 2B in the American League - is he a Yankee or Stephen Drew with makeup? Chase Headley? Gimme a break. I'd still rather see Yangervis. And don't get me started on Aaron Hicks.

Let it happen. Let them go. The trade deadline ends today. I hereby state that I'm hoping Tuesday's lineup includes Ben Gamel, Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and whatever we pick up in return for opening the gates. We might not win. But at least we will be playing Yankees. And maybe there will be a future for this boring, horrible franchise.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Yankee Stadium In The News

Forgive us, o Yankee juju lords, for we hath sinnethed

Mmm-mm-mm, a loss.

A delightful, masterful, wonderful, perfectly and strategically placed loss.

Like an Arnold Palmer three-wood, shot between the nylon wickets of a Sports Illustrated cover model, 300 yards and into the cup. Bingo. Our second magnificent loss in a row. We're heating down, making our deadline stretch walk. A loss to Tampa, not an easy thing to do. A loss in front of Moneybags Steinbrenner, who surely watched from the home theater at his Florida death star, "Hal-A-Lago."

A beautiful loss. A dominating loss. We got behind early - the first Ray up homered - grabbed ourselves by the neck and never let go. We hammered those nails into our coffin - from the inside. The game was never in doubt, thanks to Ivan Nova, known as "Old Unreliable."

Today, the papers say Ivy has probably thrown his last game in Yankee stripes. If so, it was his greatest. Let the record show that Nova exploded when it counted: He gave up five runs in four and a third innings, a towering hiccup in a "must lose" series - arguably the most important in this decade. With Nova pitching "lights on," this game was always in jeopardy. Bravo.

But last night's loss was a team effort. When you tally 10 hits, you run the risk of randomly clumping a few together, causing dangerous runs to score. Fortunately, the Yankees placed them surgically. They did no damage. Every starter but Chase Headley left at least one runner on base. Jacoby "2021" Ellsbury left five. (I shudder to think where we'd be if he gets injured.) Also, Mark Teixeira had a huge night: One for four, lifting his average to .191.

We came through. We lost. We're back to two above .500, five losses down in the Wild Card, and behind four other teams. We're back to nowhere, going nowhere, from nowhere.

Yesterday, the Tweet world exploded with the "rumor" that the Washington Nats have decided to cough up their all-world pitching prospect - Lucas Giolito - for Andrew Miller. I guess it's a start. Cashman will wheedle for more - (last July, when the Yankees wanted San Diego's stopper, Craig Kimbrel, we offered our then top prospect Jorge Mateo, plus several others) - but my guess is it's all over but the negotiating. We certainly won't trade Miller for one kid who might tomorrow become a Tommy John stat, but the fact that the news was leaked means we're in negotiations - and hopefully, the flood gates will open.

Last night, if Hal had any remaining hopes about some 2016 Hollywood miracle, they went up in a super nova. Thank you, Old Unreliable. You came through in the clutch.

All right, let's make it three in a row.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Psssst.... Pass the word... tonight... REVERSE JUJU INTERVENTION

Bottom of the sixth. Tampa up. Assume the positions and think:

Rays rally.

God have mercy upon our souls.

This is it.... the weekend of truth

This weekend in Tampa, the Yankees face perhaps the most important three-game series of this decade. Think that's crapola? You're wrong. It's an understatement.

Factor in the long-term talent on the line, along with the potential free agent class of 2019, and this ridiculous trip to Tropicana could be the most important three-game series of the next decade, too.

I know what you're thinking. I've gone Chicken Little. I've been smoking the Astro-Turf again. Well, this isn't just me. Across the Yankiverse, the urgency is everywhere. Here's George King in today's Daily Murdoch. 

When the Yankees’ 2016 schedule came out, who would have believed three games with the Rays in late July would carry so much weight?

There is one glitch, though, in King's assessment. George says the Yankees need to win in Tampa.

He is completely wrong.

We need to lose. Preferably all three. Three blowout losses to the lowly Rays - I'm hoping for two shutouts and a shoot-out - (I don't root for the Yankees to be no-hit, though that would get the dirty job done) - with homers from Tex, Gardy and Beltran in the finale, on July 31.

The stakes have never been higher. If we sweep the last place Rays, we will climb to 5 games over .500 - giving the illusion of a team within striking distance of contending for that final Wild Card berth, the door prize of mediocrity. If we win all three, Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner can sit on the pink brocade john cover and read comic books for the rest of the summer, thinking he once again put a contender on the field.

Ah, but if we lose to the lowly Rays, realistic hopes for 2016 will vanish like sewer water draining from the sludge pond.

Lose, and Food Stamps will be pressed to sell at the Aug 1 deadline, to break up this miserable monotony of a lineup. Lose, and the Yankees can actually start building for 2018 and beyond, so maybe we won't find ourselves in the exact same position next July - chasing the final Wild Card berth, while our once-arch enemies - the Redsocks - rule the Division.

By Monday, Tampa will have begun retooling through trades. The question on every Yankee fan's mind is whether two years from now, we will still be here, treading water, while the Rays are battling for a division.

Two nights ago, the YES team actually had us playing scoreboard baseball - in July. They gobbled and cooed about the Yankees being only 3.5 games out of the last Wild Card berth (though behind four teams and barely ahead of Seattle.) Well, I have news for the YES men:

The glass IS half empty. I'm already playing scoreboard in another race.

Today, there are 13 teams with more losses than the Yankees. The worst 10 in baseball will go into the winter able to sign free agents without surrendering their first-round pick in next summer's draft. Right now, we have 49 losses. We are tied with the Mariners (also with 49) for 14th worst record. We stand just three losses behind the White Sox, Royals and Rockies (all with 52.) The A's have 55, and the Angels have 56. With a three-game debacle, we can gain ground on each of them.

Instead of rooting for the last remaining Wild Card berth, I'm ready to root for the Worst 10 records, because we are just as much contenders for that thorny crown of shit.

Listen: It's horrible to be sitting here in July, rooting for the Yankees to lose. I apologize for this traitorous post. If that Republican oil can in New Hampshire is a Yankee fan, the one who wanted Hillary lined up and shot, he would probably want me waterboarded with hot oil. But our problems are long term. Our pitchers are not going to be instantly transformed by Larry Rothschild. Our old sluggers are not going to be suddenly become 28 again. If we win these three games, it won't mean a goddamn thing to the outcome of this season. But if we lose, who knows? If we lose... there is hope.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Time to move some merchandise

Well, so much for the Hoosiers/Mighty Ducks/Bad News Bears winning streak narrative. We remain two games above .500, and here are some numbers to chew on:

For the Yankees to win 90 games this season - the traditional bar signifying a memorable team - they must go 38-12 the rest of the way. They must win eight out of every ten.

What a joke.

Of course, we're not chasing the divisional title. The Astros last year took the majestic Away Field One Game American League Wild Card Berth with 86 wins. Two years ago, the A's took it with 88. Let's imagine that MLB - run by the socialistic billionaires - is inexorably moving toward pure statistical parity. Thus, thus 85 wins could take the coveted Wild Card nothing sandwich. To get to 85 wins, the Yankees must go 33-17. They need two out of every three. Not impossible, I guess. Do you believe in Bigfoot? Fairies? Mermaids? A-Rod?

To imagine such a streak requires magical thinking that strains the limits of juju. We must believe that A-Rod and Tex will suddenly get molten hot, that Pineda, Eovaldi and Nova will continue - for the first times in their careers - to pitch lights out consistently, and - here's the craziest notion of all - that nobody will get hurt.

What's maddening here are the under-stories of the Yankiverse. Interesting things happening below the surface. Tyler Austin, a 24-year-old former 1B prospect who was pretty much written off by fan blogs - is killing it at Scranton. He hit his 12th HR last night and raised his average to .323. Yes, it's nutty to get an erection from Triple A box scores. But Tex can't even climb above .200. Could Austin do worse?

We look at under-achieving Yankees and wonder: How much worse could the youngsters do? Brett Gardner seems to be stuck at .260 with no power and diminishing stolen base numbers. How much worse would Ben Gamel or Mason Williams be? Brian McCann, who homered last night, can't solve the over-shift. Would Gary Sanchez be that much of a letdown? (I'm not even sure I buy the "McCann as team leader" line; every catcher is a team leader.)

We have a week to trade the bloated contracts and dead weight that has reduced this team to rubble. A few wins have done nothing to change the reality: Do you see this team going 38-and-12?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Once again, having made a trade, Cashman is toast of the town

First, this disclaimer: I like the Chapman trade. We had to deal him for somebody, and a 19-year-old shortstop offers us at least three years of hopeful minor league box scores, and he's less likely to visit Dr. Andrews. But this explosion of acclaim for Brian Cashman? I dunno. We can't say who "won the trade" for years. Anything can happen. Adam Warren could be done, the kids could turn out to be Ruben Riveras, and El Chapo could bring the Cubs multiple championships. Still, across the Yankiverse - where much of the media is either Yankee-owned or angling for jobs with the franchise - the chirping voices extolling Cashman sound like Putin talking about Trump.

Empire Writes Back: "It's called the art of the deal and Cashman managed it brilliantly."

River Ave: "... this deal is as good as it gets. The Yankees played this perfectly."

Pinstripe Alley: "... excellent work by the Yankees GM, and shows how truly under-appreciated he is."  

This, after one day. One day. And let's be honest: It's all predicated on prospect lists and Yankee bluster.

Listen: I'm not saying writers are cooking-up praise, looking to curry favor - (wait, "Curry" is an interesting word, since Jack Curry moved to YES from the Times) - but with newspapers collapsing, working for a team-owned Yankeeganda mill does offer security that no honest journalist with a family can overlook. (Also, I like Curry; don't mean to hit on him.) In this economy, I wouldn't blame anybody for jumping ship on Rupert Murdoch or Charles Foster Kane. And if you're a writer who now and then thinks about leaving the Daily Planet, the last thing you want to do - subliminally - is trash the people who might hire you.

Again, anybody can look at this trade and say Cashman did great. I just get suspicious when a choir of angels forms in the sky to give the Yankees an Oscar, or a Pulitzer, or the Nobel Peace Prize. The Yankees haven't won a goddam thing since 2009 - Boston has two rings - yet some writers actually think Cashman belongs in Cooperstown. (I'm not making this up; Sports Illustrated suggested it.) I know some fans think this web site is too negative about our chosen obsession. Well, that will change, folks... if we start winning.

If the two teams' situations were reversed, if the Yankees had traded - let's say, Jorge Mateo, Mason Williams, Jake Cave and Chad Green for Chapman - I can't help but think today we'd be hearing inside source whispering about Mateo's attitude, or some purple blemish on his butt, or a thicket of reasons why the others had no future with the Yankees. (In fact, the Yankees now have arguably a log-jam of young shortstops and outfielders, and it's worth asking how they will get playing time. I guess Mateo is now a 2B? And what about last year's first rounder, SS Kyle Holder? They drafted him for his glove, not his bat. Is he now irrelevant?) Most of the media looks at the Yankees in the way Fox News assesses Republicans.

Again, I'm not whining about this deal. It seems like a good move, and it beats sitting on our hands. Maybe much of the goody-goody stems from the Yankees being hot. (That will change soon.)  But unless Chapman tweaks a gonad and misses September, this trade simply cannot be assessed for a long, long time. Let's hold off on the Canyon of Heroes, okay? And what the hell is Ruben Rivera doing these days? Still stealing Jeter's gloves?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More, Cash, more!

To almost universal applause across the Yankiverse, Team Torment raised its white skivvies yesterday - trading Aroldis Chapman - while the brass claimed, ridiculously, that we are still "in the hunt." Brian Cashman stressed to reporters that the 2016 Retrieval Empire is still a contender, though he didn't specify what we're contending for.

That's because it's the One Game Wild Card Away Field berth, the shitty door prize of Major League Baseball. It's like the Golden Globes, where everybody who shows up gets an award. After five long months, MLB has effectively eliminated from the Wild Card race only nine teams: Tampa, Minnesota, Anaheim, Oakland, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, San Diego and Arizona. Everybody else is a contender, sorta.

But let's be real: Even if the Yankees go on an out-of-body winning streak - say, taking 15 out of 20 - it will not change the fact that they traded their closer for an excuse to check box scores at Trenton. If the Yankees do come close, it will just make El Chapo's absence more painful. What if the bullpen blows the last game, causing us to miss the One Game Wild Card Away Field prize? We'll go to our graves thinking Chapman would have saved us. We might even blame Geyber Torres.

Frankly, I doubt this team gets within a Hollywood restraining order of a wild card berth, but we'll still be thinking of what we might be with Chapman. That's not good for my lumbago. Fearful of this team landing on a perpetual Treadmill of Trouble - the Purgatory of .500 - I have been close to actually rooting against the Yankees. That's no way to be.

In pro sports, you're either all in, or all out. Yesterday, the 2016 Yankees made their choice. I'm fine with that. But now, what I fear is Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner second-guessing himself - he did it in the past, chasing the $186 million payroll cap - and trading youth for some old slugger. (We already have plenty, they just became slugs.) The Yankees must unload more bloat. Hal has made his bed of rusty nails. Now, he should sleep on it.

Gardy must go. I say this with respect and love. He deserves to be in a real race. We have two Gardy clones - Mason Williams and Ben Gamel - at Triple A. (That's not counting Aaron Judge, who could be back next week; I'd almost forgotten how quickly young players heal.) They need a chance. We may not get much for Gardner. It doesn't matter.

McCann should go. He's not the hitter we signed. The defensive over-shifts took 30 points off his batting average, and the 30 HRs we figured - they're not coming. We thought he could play out his contract at first base, but he's not a good-enough hitter. He's no slouch as a catcher. Last night, Austin Romine delivered two hits. He's played better than McCann, and then there is Gary Sanchez - perhaps our best prospect - who doesn't need another year at Scranton.

One of the three starters - Nova, Pineda or Eovaldi - should go. Let's hope they keep pitching well. The better they throw, the more we might get. But if we've seen anything about this trio, it's that they run hot and cold. Also, their contracts are running out. Trade one, at his high point. Go with the ghost of Luis Severino.

Of course we should trade Tex or A-Rod, but why bother? We'll get nothing in return - their contracts are poison - and we'll disrespect two tribal elders. Then there is Carlos Beltran, who might bring something. He's a free agent next winter, and I can't imagine the Yankees re-signing him or even making a qualifying offer. It's time for Hal to man-up and play for the future. The Redsocks have been doing it for years. If we play our cards right, we might actually win something in this decade.

Monday, July 25, 2016


El Chapo to Epstein's Cubbies for the Gleybermeister, a lottery ticket, a Zolio Almonte and Adam Warren.  No, not this one.
The Adam Warren who is not Brian Mitchell. (Whatever happened to Brian Mitchell?)

We won two out of three against San Francisco. 
But win or lose on the trade, this is a better day than on either of those victories. 
For the first time in way too long, the Yankees are looking to the future.
Push the button again.

John Sterling today must be in a fevered, anguished state

He is wondering if he'll need a home run call for someone named Gleyber.

Abandon All Hope

The Yankee home stand was too good.

Hal will not be proven wrong.

 He needs the rest of the season to prove he is not a cheap, do nothing, dullard.

Tune in next year, to the older, slower version.

For now.

Give up all hope.

Nothing good will happen.

The opportunity train has just abandoned us.

So who the hell is Gleyber Torres, and should we be rooting for the Yankees to get him?

The Internet/Twitterverse/lie machine says Gleyber Torres - (yep, Gleyber, who does that to a kid?) - a 19-year-old Cubs' minor league SS, is the supreme bejeweled payoff for giving Theo Epstein the chess piece that can finally bring a World Championship to the Wrigley end of Chicago - courtesy of Hal Steinbrenner's ineptitude.

In the high A Carolina league, the Venezuelan Torres is currently hitting .275 with 9 HRs and 19 stolen bases. He bats RH and would be the second Cubs infielder sent to NY this year because of the young talent overload at the mother ship. This is what happens when teams systematically retool - they end up in first place with prospects to trade. Between now and August 1, let's hope the Yankees deal away more high-contract bloat than merely Aroldis Chapman, the third closer on a team that seldom closes. If you heard Suzyn Waldman's pre-game show yesterday, she practically pitched in the towel on 2016, describing the wisdom behind a trade or two, and asking listeners if they really believe this team is World Series caliber. She doesn't, and I doubt John disagrees. They don't disagree on much.

Obviously, we have no inside source on this deal, and it could be another Hillary email of misinformation - (seriously, Cashman almost never flags a trade before it happens) - but Torres was scratched from yesterday's lineup, a move widely believed as confirming his new destiny.

If it's true, Torres brings to NY a Mel Kiper-esque rankings pedigree: He's listed as the Cubs No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline - and he's No. 24 overall in baseball on that site. This would make him immediately our highest rated prospect. (Jorge Mateo, with his recent attitude adjustment, is ranked 26th, though he ranks first in Yankee hype.)

Torres signed with Chicago at age 16 and has hit about .290 at every level. (His MILB career average is .285.) He bats second, strikes out a bit too often, and - thus far this season - hits righties better than lefties. He's 6'1," which means he could fill out and hit HRs. He's probably three years away. I'm already thinking of 2020, when Didi would move to third. (Mateo has already been moved to 2B, and their other once-high SS hopes - Cito Culver and Kyle Holder, both first-round picks - also are playing other positions, suggesting they've been relegated to future utility roles - ugh.)

Last winter, we gave up two decent prospects for El Chapo (plus two organizational lug nuts). Neither made any Top 100 lists, if that's what floats your boat. I think the rankings are parlor games, but you have to be concerned. For example, Boston has three prospects ranked even higher than Torres - one being Yoan Moncada, Hal's ultimate crime. Yes, these rankings are crapola. But sometimes, when everybody says it's raining, it's raining. .

This still could be the worst Yankee decade in history, the lowest ebb for a once-great franchise. We've quietly ditched Hal's once-strident notion that the Yankees must contend every season. We're facing a team that could easily fall apart and lose 85 games. It's time for the front office to show guts and do what's right. And by that, I mean by trading other pieces, including CC, Tex, Gardner and even the great and mighty Carlos Beltran. Suzyn knows it. Cashman knows it. Everybody knows it. Gleyber Torres? Bring him over. It's time to break glass.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Today, we start trading the "Core Bore?"

Yesterday, the 10th inning was a waterboarding session. Bases loaded, one out, game on the line - no, season on the line. For a moment there, I actually started to think the Yankees could turn everything around, take 2-3 from San Francisco, bypass Detroit and Houston, and climb into the race. Then Brian McCann hit a first-pitch pop-up to short LF, ending my brief hallucination.

So much for that.

This morning, Ken Rosenthal is claiming the Yankees will trade El Chapo, and that the move is imminent. Nobody knows where Chapman will go, or what feast of future disappointments he'll bring. (That's the pessimist in me, which still holds sway.) But it better be more than Rookie Davis, who is pitching well (8-3, 2.68) for Cincinnati's Double A farm team, and Eric Jagielo, (7 HR, .220 at AA) who is still a former first round pick. As long as we receive more than we gave up, I guess you can say trading for the scourge of women and garage-doors was a positive transaction in the thick and stinky ledger of mediocrity.

If Rosenthal is right, let's hope it opens the floodgates. I want Aaron Judge playing RF in August, but that requires an opening. I want Gary Sanchez catching, and it too requires an opening. I want Luis Severino to get another shot, and that requires - well - actually nothing, because there are plenty of openings on this staff. Most of all, I want to see Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner's self-imposed contract deathbed period - in which I'm Not Cheap won't bid on anybody, until the money bloat clears, a timeline that currently extends through 2017 - to be crunched into the next three months. We cannot sit through another year tethered to the contractual whales of Tex, CC, A-Rod, Ellsbury, McCann, Headley, Gardy, etc. - the "Core Bore." It's house-cleaning time. Trading only El Chapo holds the strange tinge of settling on a scapegoat. If we're throwing in the towel - which is exactly what I hope we do - trading Chapman and keeping everyone else is more like throwing in the Kleenex.

A LH OF named Ben Gamel is hitting .300 in Scranton, now for the second year. He's 24. He has little power but decent speed. Is he going to die in Pennsylvania? Probably. Gamel is not the player I would clear a highway for, but I'll happily watch him in September and dream. The fact is, I'm tired of this team. I'm tired of veteran players - rented Yankees - who swing at the first pitch with the bases loaded and one out, with a season on the line. I don't mean to heap all my bile on McCann, but that's what he did, and we have a rising young catcher who needs MLB playing time. We don't need two more years of McCann... which is what we now face.

Yesterday's brutal loss reminded every Yankee fan in the world what this team isn't - a world champion. No more playing for third place. No more settling on scapegoats. There is nothing worse than a .500 Yankee team. That's what we are. It's time to put this dog down.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The inversion fantasy

Last year, we sat on top of the world during the first half. In fact, we were doing great at the end of July, at 57-43. July was a good month.

And then came what seemed like The Collapse, ending the regular season lamely and culminating in the pathetic one-game display where everyone was on Xanax. 

On the other hand, we finished 87-75. So really, The Collapse wasn't exactly a collapse. We just went 30-32 in the second half. At the end of August we were 72-58, the same number of games over .500 as were were two months before. At the end of September we were 86-72, again 14 over. And we finished in October, 12 over, going 1-3 in four October games.

In essence, we didn't collapse in the last couple of months. We just were intensely mediocre. We were basically a .500 team. The plus side of the season record was all logged by the end of July.

Here we are in 2016, and so far it seems like an extension of those last two months plus. We have put in almost all of the first four months of the season, and we've basically been a .500 team.

And here's the fantasy. Somehow, for some weird reason, 2016 becomes a mathematical inversion of 2015. Instead of starting off like champions and then falling into mediocrity and rarely getting the key hits and exceptional performances down the stretch, we've spent four months in mediocrity, rarely getting the key hits and exceptional performances. OK, been there, done that.

Let's say that, counting today's game, we go 3-5 the rest of July. We end the month at 52-52.

Now, fantastically, let's say we spend the next two months semi-terrorizing the majors. During August, September and the few games in October, we go 14 games over .500, 36-22. We have a pretty tough schedule during that period, but instead of folding we play up to the standards of the competition and then some. (Which we've done on the downside, playing down to the standards of the supposedly easier teams in the first four months.) We end the regular season at 88-74.

That would be one game better than last year, but it would seem miraculous and we might even have a shot at the actual wild card and not the one-game crap shoot. We'd also be going into the playoffs with momentum, as a team that gelled in the last third of the season and got the timely hitting and pitching and plain good luck it needed. Does that team lie down and die against its playoff rivals? Probably not. Can it get to the World Series? Probably not, but maybe. Can it win the World Series if it gets there? More probably not. But, ya never know. Crazy things happen if a team is hot or lucky at the right time.

Remember, it's just a fantasy. The inversion season. Highly unlikely. 

Highly, highly, highly unlikely.

This Is Pissing Me Off.

If this damn team keeps beating the league leaders, I am going to intervene.

I though I had done enough, but the Yankees are beating everyone.  They are getting early leads and hanging on to them with the nine up, nine out bullpen.  Even when imperfect, it is enough.

So if nature won't do it, I will.

This team must sell old wood for prospects.  We have to have a reason to think the future will be better than the present, or the immediate past.

Now other hot teams come in and catch the flu, or take a ride on their worst losing streak of the season. So the Yankee's performance against them looks good.

Looks are deceiving.

This Yankee team, if left intact, simply spells total disinterest for next season.

Watch me work.

A great Yankee week. Why can't we enjoy it?

The Tankees have now won seven out of 10 - a juju-fueled stretch in which they still lost ground to Boston (8-2) and picked up one measly game against Baltimore, Toronto, Houston and Detroit (all 6-4). In short, we didn't make meaningful ground in any meaningful race. To rise in the exciting Wild Card Away Game berth competition, we must go 7-3 or 8-2 consistently - and that's a word seldom associated with the likes of Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi.

Sadly, all we have done is give the Yankee front office a reason to stand pat at the trade deadline - or worse: Deal prospects for some ancient vet.

The horror, Mr. Kay, the horror: Your team is hot, and you can't even celebrate.

I hate to be a broken record here, but this hot streak - actually, a lukewarm streak - could not come at a worse time for the future of the Yankees. All season, I've rooted for the Yankees - until recently. So what happens? They win seven of 10.

This is what Hell looks like.

Supposedly, the White Sox are pondering the trade of Chris Sale, the best pitcher in the AL. Boston is ready to pounce. They have prospects to trade - possibly Yoan Moncada. If so, they would cash in on their investment from the auction of two winters ago, when Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner clutched his fanny pack and called in sick. This is what happens when a team actually develops a farm system. Over the last few years, when you compare the organizational success of NY and Boston, it just doesn't seem fair. What the Yankees do well is congratulate themselves. They do it better than any other professional sports team in America. But Boston could trade Moncada, and its farm system would still be comparable, or maybe even superior, than ours.

Meanwhile, Yankee fans are supposed to wait for the gold-plated international class of 2014 to inch its way through our meat grinder. Two years ago, the Yankees went on a spending spree for 16-year-old Latinos - a horribly amoral system, if you think about it. (But, hey, morality is nothing we associate with the Yankees.) The youngsters - now 17 and 18 - are moving glacially through the Gulf Coast and Appalachian leagues - (does anybody know where Pulaski is?) with anonymous scouts surely changing their swings and throwing motions. One extremely wealthy player named Dermis Garcia - seriously, that's his name - is hitting HRs at a Balboni-esque pace. But he's a long way off and strikes out at a Grandersonian level. It would probably be 2020 before Dermis or anybody is near the MLB level. In the meantime, we cannot spend big on any Latino talent - MLB has rigged the system; this year was San Diego's turn to buy up the sweet sixteens - and with "I'm Not Cheap" pinching his purse on free agents, we should just sit and wait. For the next two seasons, maybe three, we can root against Boston and chase the vaunted Wild Card Away Game berth.

Seven out of 10. Damn. This should be exciting, a reason for hope. It's not. How horrible have things become, when you can't even celebrate a winning streak?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Winning, getting nowhere

For a few days, I almost felt the Tingle. That is, I almost started to believe. Silly me. But that's what the Yankees do to you. That's how they control you.

They win four straight, knock Uncle Buck out of first, and suddenly, Michael Pineda is Jesus, resurrected. You almost feel the Tingle... Four in a row. Could they do it? What if this is 1978 again? Can they do it? They were really behind in 1978. Could they? (Answers: No. It's not 1978. No. This is different. No.)

In a weird way, ardent Yank fans are aligned with Trump supporters. We want to make the Yankees great again. We think this team is a complete disaster, and we trace every problem to ineffective leadership. We've seen enough of this administration. We want a top-down overhaul. We want Food Stamps Hal indicted for his crimes against the Yankees. We're not going to be "servile puppy dogs." It's time to tear up old trade agreements and make new deals. Don't ask us about specifics. We have no specifics. (Besides, we don't want to reveal our plans, so the Redsocks don't know what we're doing.) We just want deals. Good deals! Better deals! We want to build a team, and we want Mexico to pay for it.

But there is a problem with deals: They don't always work. If we trade Andrew Miller - the great Andrew Miller - we better damn well get somebody great in return. We don't need four rebuilt versions of Humberto Sanchez. I cannot imagine the Yankees holding onto Aroldis Chapman, considering that he'll soon become a high-priced free agent, (whom Food Stamps won't sign.) But we can't just give the guy away for another Aaron Hicks. We must shake up this roster and this team. But more importantly, we must shake up this franchise...

Watching us take three of four from the O's was a strangely painful experience. At times, I actually rooted for Baltimore. The wins didn't matter - I can't see the 2016 Yankees doing anything memorable - and a few wins could allow Hal to justify trading prospects - (Luis Severino - the Malasian Flight 370 of the Yankees - as the next Manny Baneulos?) - and sacrificing our future, even more than it already has been. When I look at 2017-18, I see Boston's lineup - with Yoan Moncada - as the AL East power, the way the Yankees used to be. We've been waiting on our farm system now 10 years. We have Dellin Betances, a converted starter, and not much else. The problem isn't the Yankees 25-man roster. The problem is a 25-man masthead full of family meatballs and heel-clicking sycophants. Between now and August 1, the trade deadline - every win comes with a cost. Feeling the Tingle will be one scary sensation.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I am officially in despair, and at a loss for words.

This team is driving the bus down the thruway, straight into oncoming traffic.  And having a party in the aisle.

One or two more shutouts by Yankee pitching, and the talk will be of winning the AL East.  And it is still only July.

The big three didn't even have to pitch last night.  Chasen Shreve brought plenty of firepower against an Orioles team that has turned to glue.

Where we go from here is anybody's guess.

 But the little rich boy, who never achieved anything positive on his own, is smiling and cackling.  He is looking in the mirror and seeing a prince.  He is dying his hair orange.  He is thinking, " If I can pull this off, then I should run for President.  I don't have to do anything to prove worthiness.  All I have to do is be upbeat, tout my billions, and make promises.  My money will be my competence."

Thanks, dad.

If the Yankee fans want action, he'll give them action.  He will start by announcing a new trade agreement.  A Yankee-focused agreement in which the Yankees get all the good players.  Where the people we give up in any trade are losers, who don't contribute anything to this team.  Yes, sir.  He will make the Yankees great again.  Just by promising to do that.

The weaknesses we despicable fans see at the core;  the old and eroding talent, the lack of resources, the crumbling infrastructure of our farm system; the terrible contracts.....all will, overnight, be reset, and restored to former glory.

The little rich boy will deport ( the trade agreement) all of the complaining losers (e.g.  Gary Sanchez,  Mateo, Mason Williams, Severino, etc ) and bring in established, proven leadership. That is to say rich , white guys who are already wearing championship rings.

Those are the names who can still attract the fans to the stadium.  And keep my economy rolling.

What I see cannot be happening here.  We are being tortured and, if this continues, humiliated for not being able to see.

Go Yanks.

Boston fans are loving this incredible four game Yankee streak

There are already whispers of the Tankees looking to add a big, middle-of-the-order slugger for the September Away Game Wild Card Berth race. And why not? We're now only five games behind Baltimore, Toronto, Houston and Detroit for the Away Game Wild Card Berth. If Tex gets hurt, we'll need to add a Braun or a Mauer to our lineup. Maybe we can trade Luis Severino or Aaron Judge, and pry loose Steve Pearce. We're two above .500 - best record since April! Four in a row! Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda - they're like money in the bank! Let's say it out loud, everybody: This team is a genuine Away Game Wild Card Berth contender!

Those smirking Boston fans... disregard them. They won't be smiling when this rising Yankee team takes the Away Game Wild Card Berth, and then roars through the playoffs. We're like Trump: Critics won't be smirking when ISIS is destroyed, the illegals are gone, Hillary is in prison, and corporations are reopening all those empty factories to offer good-payin' jobs! Nope. We're going to make the Yankees great again, starting now... with the Away Game Wild Card Berth!

Listen: The way Nova, Eovaldi and Pineda are pitching, Hal should sign them to long term deals. Same with Headley, I shudder to think what he'll demand two years from now, as a free agent. Also, we'd hate to see Jacoby Ellsbury playing against us, conjuring up catcher interferences with his Svengali bat. Add a few years to his contract. Last night, even Aaron Hicks hit a home run, though it curved foul at the last second. Lock him up!

Those snickering Redsock fans... don't look at them! They're just laughing because we knocked Baltimore out of first. Forget that half the O's team has the flu. That's what you get for sending so many players to the All-Star game. The Yankees are back. We're on the candy-paved road to contending for the coveted Away Game Wild Card Berth - our fourth consecutive year, by the way! That's right, nay-sayers. Four straight years as contenders! Not. Too. Shabby! That talk about selling off old-timers and trading for prospects? Who needs it? We're the Yankees. We never have to rebuild. We're always good. It's like magic. And if we don't secure that Away Game Wild Card Berth this year, well - dammit - we'll come back next year, even harder. One of these years, we're going to win that Away Game Wild Card Berth, and fly the Away Game Wild Card Berth flag over historic Yankee Stadium, home to mystique and aura... now in its seventh year.

Those Boston fans, ignore them. We're two above .500! Stand back, everybody, so you don't get hit by the buttons popping from my shirt due to Yankee pride. Four in a row. U-S-A! U-S-A! I'm so happy I can barely type. U-S-A. U-S-A. Calgon Bath Beads, take me awaaaaaaay!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LOCK... HIM... UP! LOCK... HIM... UP!

For allowing the Yankees to miss the playoffs for three straight years. What's the verdict?


For being chinzy on payroll to lower luxury taxes, and then caving in on the policy so nothing is accomplished. The verdict?


For allowing Yoan Moncada to sign with the Redsocks...

"GUILTY! LOCK... HIM... UP!  LOCK... HIM... UP!"

This May Be Worse Than It Appears

Suddenly, the Yankees are creeping into contention not just for the one-game, wild card play-in, elimination round.

Two more humiliations of a confusingly impotent Oriole team, and the Yankees will be
 described as, " back in contention."

If we get closer to the Orioles, closer to first place, people will begin saying, " and it is only July.  Any team can get hot.  Why not the Yankees?"

Ownership will start looking for short-term upgrades that might push us right into the thick of things. And keep us there, just on the outside looking in for years.

Our meager and highly limited list of minor league " prospects" can quickly be decimated in a trade, orchestrated by the dullest blade in the drawer:  Brian Cashman.

Think I'm over-reacting?

Most Americans don't believe the " electorate" is dumb enough to elect Trump as President.  I think this is a real possibility, not to mention a real danger.

Certainly the Yankees, too, are capable of danger and delusion.  Hal Steinbrenner, who inherited everything and has done nothing smart, absolutely believes in fairy tales.

This Yankee rally may have dire implications for the future.  Just like the upcoming election.

This may be worse than it appears.

No arguments here, just sayin'

This guy is having one hell of a year. Last year, he was terrible. With us, he was misused and middling. But this is pretty incredible for a 42-year-old. Maybe Donnie showed him a thing or two. And he's playing for an actual contender.

I've always liked the guy (you may have noticed). Stays in great shape, keeps his bats in custom carrying cases, coming up on 3,000 hits, had that 10-year 200-hit streak, attracts cute Japanese women to the stadium...hope the Marlins hang in there and knock out the Nats, if not more.

Good luck, Ichiro-san.

Great strategy, eh? Base the future of the Yankees on the most recent starts of Nova, Eovaldi and Pineda

In the early days of TV, when Barney Fife and Corporal Agarn reigned as lovable icons of the police/military power structure, one typical American vision was the Zenith that miraculously healed itself when the repairman - (they made house calls back then) - came to the front door.  The vertical hold suddenly corrected itself, and the picture looked crystal clear... as long as Mr. Fixit stood over it. Then, when he was gone, it went back on the fritz.

Today, the Yankees are an old, blown picture tube. As our owners ponders a full-blown sell-off - the first of this millennium, and, frankly, the first since the 1960s, when Elston Howard went for Pete Magrini and Ron "Klimmer" Klimkowski. (Fun fact: The most Ellie ever was paid - in 1966 - was $75,000. Adjusted for inflation, it would be worth $560,000 today.) - suddenly, the picture looks fine. I'm Dickens, He's Finster is no longer bleeding into My Mother the Car.

Trouble is, anybody who has watched the Yankees in recent years knows the reality of Ivan Nova, Mike Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and CC Sabathia: They pitch well for a few starts, then turn into Camp Runamuck. For every solid performance, there will come an ensuing market correction. The tube is shot. Disney's Wonderful World of Color won't last.

I'm just saying what we all know: Any brief winning stretch will be followed by a bunch of clunkers. In the long run, the Yankees will either take a bold move into the future - that is, trade off a pile of veterans - or we will languish at .500 for the rest of eternity, or until somebody makes a reboot of The Double Life of Henry Phyfe.  

Right now, I get the feeling the Yankees will do a modified sell-off: Aroldis Chapman will go, but nobody else. There are many reasons to trade El Chapo:

1. He's a free agent next winter, and Food Stamps Hal will never offer a long-term deal. (He throws so hard that it's probably a bad idea anyway.)

2. We really don't need three closers.

3. Several teams are hot on him, suggesting a bidding war.

4. We traded two solid prospects for him, and we need to get more than simply a draft pick next June.

Listen: I always root for the Yankees to win. I cannot do otherwise. Therefore, I hope we sweep Baltimore. Also, I want to showcase our players for teams that would take them. But Hal Steinbrenner needs to man-up and understand that quality starts are an illusion. Ivan Nova can look like Sandy Koufax one day, Sandy Duncan the next. I hope we trade him. Beltran is a great player. I hope we trade him. Tex has been a solid Yankee. I hope we trade him. Gardner is my favorite Yankee. I hope we trade him. A-Rod? CC? Miller? Need I say it?

Right now, the only thing that matters in the Yankiverse is who we get at the trade deadline, and whether they will do in the future what this team is incapable of doing in 2016: Winning a World Series. Until that happens, my tube stays off.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A thought about Yankee values

I've been thinking about what it means to be a Yankee fan. 

From a young age, the Yankees impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say, and keep your promise, and that you treat the Yankees with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily play. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to the children. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many other Yankee fans to follow. Because we want our children Yankee fans in this nation to know that the only limit to your Yankee achievements is the strength of your Yankee dreams and your owner's willingness to pay for them.

God bless the Yankees, and God bless everyone.

.500 Team Draws Triple-A Crowd

Who could we get?

A prospect? A pitcher? A bale of hay? Five magic beans? Who?

The Worst Outcome Is Becoming More Likely

All of a sudden, Ivan Nova is pitching like the 20 year old Doc Gooden.

The team is still restricted to two runs per game on most nights but, suddenly, that is all we need.

We are playing the AL East leaders, a team that devastates others by scoring a league leading number of runs per game.  They are the best in virtually every offensive category, including runs scored from the 7th inning on.

But last night, down 2-1, they all struck out or hit soft liners to Gardy who, while he can't steal a base, can turn on his amazing speed and catch up to sinking fly balls.

The Orioles were rendered impotent.  Buck Showalter was pulling out his hair.

And little, " do nothing for his money," Hal Steinbrenner could sip his imported bordeaux and contemplate again calling the news media, to convey his pithy messages of optimism

The trade talks, however,  are in danger of drying up or, worse, reversing.

The opportunity to recognize what this team is and to lay a foundation for the future, deteriorates with each Yankee win.

The Orioles must start playing like the Orioles, or we are going to start dealing prospects.

There is fear in the land.

Behind rising star Ivan "Super" Nova, plucky Yanks reach magical .500 mark

Over his generic seven-year career, Ivan "Super" Nova has been AL Pitcher of the Month (August 2013) and among league-leaders in winning percentage (2011) and shutouts (2013.) Likewise, he has statistically excelled in giving up wild pitches (2011 and 2016), earned runs (2012) and home runs per nine innings (2011). He has won 52 Yankees games and lost 38. His lifetime ERA is 4.43. Basically, he is the consummate fifth starter... a serviceable major league arm, an oaken plank of varnished mediocrity.

Whenever Ivan pitches, we face a dice roll that he could throw lights out, or get treated like a mariachi band at a Trump rally. In a typical Nova outing, he throws zeros for four innings and gets torched in one. Also, we've come to know that if he throws a quality start - or even strings two together - he'll follow them up with massive clunkers. He's either Super Nova or Ivan the Terrible. And in the end, no matter what he did last night, he'll soon revisit the baseline "meh" that is Ivan Nova.

Last night, he threw six strong innings, allowing Joe to use the Big Three and refilling Hal Steinbrenner's flask with electric rainbow Kool-Aid.

If the Yankees take this series against mighty Baltimore, rest assured that the Yankee brain trust will do what it does every July: Declare success, congratulate themselves, retire a uniform and trade prospects for a thirty-something former (think 2009) All-Star.

Lately, a chorus of bloggers and print writers has contended that the Yankees must hold a yard sale at the MLB trade deadline, now just weeks away. They say Chapman, Beltran, Miller and maybe even Gardner should go. I'll believe that when I see it. Because the Yankees have now gone seven years with Ivan Nova, and like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown's kick, they still seem to think he'll turn the corner any day now. It's fun to drink Kool Aid, eh?

I haven't gotten to the point of rooting against the Yankees because - well - I'm as bad as Hal: I see A-Rod whack a home run and think, he's back! hooray! watch out, world!... even though we know he still can't even play first base in a pinch, and yet we're stuck with him for another long, hot summer. How bad is he going to be then? Yeesh. I dunno.

But I do know Ivan Nova. And if the Yankees have learned anything over the last seven years, today would be a good day to trade him. Is Jesus Montero available?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Yanks Win In Biggest Disaster Of The Season

Everyone knew that the fire sale would open today, as long as the Red Sox swept the Yankees in the nationally televised game last night.

Instead, Tanaka pitches great, and a 3-1 win was secured by our trio of ace relievers.

Just, exactly, what the fans did not want to happen.

Now, the little rich boy can sing again, " how great a team this is, and how confident I am that we will be in the playoffs and, from there, anything can happen."

There will be no need to get some long-term value ( prospects ) by trading guys on active roster.  True, players like Beltran and Chapman will walk at the end of the year and we'll get nothing, but they will keep us in the fight.  This is the same kind of long-term thinking that caused Hal Steinbrenner to, " bid against himself in the fight to re-sign an over the hill, no longer steroid-using, A-Rod for another 10 years."

What a deal that was, eh?

Chinese water torture is what we used to call it.  Not good ole USA waterboarding, but the slow, drip by drip road to insanity.  One boring drop at a time.  Until the listlessness and annoyance is so over-whelming , even the most ardent Yankee fan will yell, " I give up.  I'll tell you anything you want to know. I'll believe what you want me to believe.  I'l say what you want me to say.  Just turn off the fucking water."

The Yankees, of course, scored all their runs in one inning last night.  Ever other inning was like watching the sand shift at the edge of the Sahara.  Slow and unnoticed.  Piercingly uncomfortable but relentless.  Soon, one is blinded to the reality of any movement whatsoever, even while the sand is never truly idle.  Just deathly boring to watch.  The mind is so numbed that the appearance of an asp is welcome relief.  Yankee baseball, 2016.

So, this morning let's all raise a glass.  We are back in the game.   Our team persevered and showed  their mettle, on the biggest July game ever played by the Yankees. We are only a game under .500 and can breathe a sigh of relief.

For those of you hoping to land ( and perhaps get a chance to see play ) a few actual prospects in our inevitable march to the fringe of the one game play-in, I say;

 " This is the Yankees.  They never do anything smart.  Give up your dreams of being competitive in the future.  Enjoy the mud-soaked mediocrity right now.  And wallow in it."

The little rich boy who has never earned a dime, or done anything useful, was right again:

"This is a great team.  We don't need to do a single thing.  Hal will make the Yankees great again."  Just by being the little rich kid who does nothing.

Waist deep in Big Muddy; will the big fool say to push on?

Tom Yawkey bought the Redsocks in 1933 and ran the club for 44 years. His racism is legendary. Boston became the last team to integrate, and while generations of just and earnest Redsock fans pined over their tough plight, the cause of it was not a curse by Babe Ruth or a "chosen" status from the gods - it was the scumbag legacy of their "beloved" owner. The phrase used most often to define the Boston team in 1968 was "country club." Yawkey never traded his faves. So they just kept losing, until finally he went away.

We are now 1-2 since the All Star break, and the Yankee fan base is torn about whether to even want victories - because we fear a winning streak will inspire trades of prospects for veterans. But for all the glandular secretions and the gnashing of tusks, last night it hit me that Hal Steinbrenner probably feels absolutely no pressure to change a damn thing. Odds are, he won't.

Over the last nine years, Happy Owner Hal has shown little taste for the dirty job of demanding excellence. When Lonn Trost made an idiot of himself this spring, describing his goal of keeping low-levels out of Yankee luxury boxes, he didn't get the hook. Why would he? Randy Levine sounds like a political oil can every time he opens his mouth. Brian Cashman has now been Yankee GM for 18 years - eighteen years - yet the farm system still sputters. That's the organization he vowed to build. Under what metric is Cashman considered successful? Joe Girardi has been our manager for nine years; does anyone think he won't return in 2017? (For the record: I don't think this team is Joe's fault. But what managers out there have such job security?)

Likewise, I suspect in 2017 we will again see A-Rod, CC, Ellsbury, McCann, Headley and the entire cast of Glee. Don't be surprised if the Yankees make Carlos Beltran a qualifying offer, or give Tex another year to salvage his career. Listen: These guys are all millionaires (Hal is a billionaire) who live in Westchester County and send their kids to the same schools. They dine together in the same restaurants; their wives swap recipes for potato salad. Hal isn't going to fire anyone in the front office. Good god, they are the people who insulate him from the scum - from fan websites like us, and from players who ride the Scranton shuttle for five years and then get discarded. These are the people he most cherishes - the ones who always say yes.

Reporters have been telling us the next 10 games would be critical to the future path of the Yankees. But - as Randy Levine says - we don't know a damn thing about running a team. It's just somebody's opinion - and not necessarily Hal's. There is no reason to think he will take up the unpleasant task of admitting defeat, cleaning house and starting over.

Listen: I don't think Hal is a Yawkey-style racist. (Frankly, the Yankees have their own historical demons on that front.) But Hal has the Yawkey "country club" spirit. He doesn't like to trade away beloved pets.

So... last night, we won. Of course, I'm happy - we beat the goddamm Redsocks, goddammit - but the damage is done. In game one, we let their new bullpen guy - Brad Ziegler - get acclimated to the AL East. We should have destroyed him. In game two, we allowed their eternal prospect - Eduardo Rodriguez - to become resurrected. We should have sent him back to Pawtucket. We won one of three. We are back to a game below .500. Everybody knows this team is an abomination on the Yankee legacy. But only one opinion matters, and he runs things in his pinstriped pajamas.

Can't even celebrate a win over Boston. God, we are screwed...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

LBJ vs. Three Superior-As-All-Hell Massholes and the Listless Bastard Yankees

In the comments to this morning's shock Alphonso post, esteemed contributor Local Bargain Jerk left the following detailed account of his harrowing Saturday at Yankee Stadium. In the particulars of his struggle, he bears witness for us all.

Here's my rant.

I went to that miserable, meaningless, torpid, piece of shit excuse for a baseball game yesterday. I went with my girlfriend, who couldn't care less about baseball and a guest of ours from Russia who'd never been to a baseball game. I thought it would keep their heads in the game if I taught them how to score.

That's a good plan, except when you find yourself saying over and over, "Ok, that's a 6-3. Ok that's another 6-3. Ok, now that's a flyout to 7." Over and over and fucking over.

Seated next to us were 3 doughy older people from metro Boston. They were all decked out in their shitbag team regalia. I decided to be polite.

They were 3 of those provincial, parochial, insular, and annoying New Englanders who think their way of life is the bee's knees and all the rest of us don't have a clue. You know the type I mean: the kind who believe that meaningful life doesn't exist outside their stupid I-495 bypass. They showed up with a fucking superior attitude and were dissing everything around them.

Right from the get-go, I knew we weren't going to be able to see anything in front of us that would allow me to make a spirited defense of The Yankee Way.

So I decided I'd just be friendly, versus trying to give them grief. Early on in the game, Pedroia came to the plate and I said "I hope you guys don't mind, but I'm going to stand in front of you during Pedroia's at bat." They looked at me and said, without any hint of levity or friendliness, "Why not? Everybody else is." The bastards were serious.

I decided not to speak to them after that. In the 7th or 8th of the horror show of a game, the patriarch came back with a load of cheese fries. When it comes to ballpark food, I'm not into anything other than a couple of dogs and maybe a bag of peanuts. I'll tell you, however, this guy's cheese fries looked pretty darned good. His wife even said, "Tom, those look good." And, rather than deigning to say ANYTHING positive, this pathetic little Masshole dweeb said, with his pathetic little Masshole sneer, "Well, they'd better be good. I had to walk 16 sections just to get them."

All this from 3 superior-as-all-hell Massholes. People whose team plays in that pathetic little shitbox known as Fenway. You know, the ballpark that looks like it was put together by the Little Rascals. Where, on steamy August nights, if too many guys flush their urinals all at once, they all overflow and sheets of piss run out the door across their uneven promenade. And after walking through the piss back to your seats, you have to sit sideways to fit your legs in. The place where the beer comes in 16-ounce cups only.

It hit me then that these 3 dipshits had no interest whatsoever in watching the game. They had taken their little tour bus down to Yankee stadium and their sole mission was to gather evidence and war stories to bring home to bitch about to their like-minded, provincial, parochial, and insular little Beantown friends. I could just hear the patriarch saying "An I hadda walk SIXTEEN freakin' sections just to get some friggin' french fries and all the people were doin' was standin' up and blockin' our view and it was so bad the guy next to us even joked about it."

And, the whole time, I'm trying to convince the two people who I went with that it's fun to watch baseball.

While we sat in front of a field on which nothing fun was happening.

The game utterly and totally sucked. Three up, three down, no hope, no nothing.

Headley's solo home run in the 8th was "whipped cream on horse shit", as my friend's dad used to say.

It was hot. It was humid. The Yanks are in a torpor but I fully expect the listless bastards to pound the Sox tonight 16-2. Why? Because it will allow that fucking clown Randy Levine to say, "See? We're buyers!"

We went out for dinner after the game and I had way too much to drink.


We Did Our Best

I fell asleep for most of the game.  A neighbor had come over with some of that, " single malt" stuff.

I never know what to call it.  It seems demeaning to call it scotch.

All I know, is that you drink it neet ( neat?).  And you want more and more of it.

When I looked up, we were down 5-1.  Then, things got really exciting.

The Yankees had no baserunners and made no threats, but Chase Headway  ( by this point, I dont even want to get his name right ) launches a solo homer to right center.  A Ballentine Blast.


The Yankees had fulfilled their two runs per game allotment,  and quietly, meekly, went to bed.

Hal, of course, is still wildly optimistic and upbeat about this team. He and his genius management team have done too much to build this fine example of a team, that he is not about to look negatively on our prospects.  Nor is he about to spend any money which, by the way, he has never done a single thing to earn.

If I had been in school with him, I absolutely guarantee I would have punched him bloody.

Joe Girardi is getting that same look Dick Kotite used to get when he realized the Jets were soon to be 2-12.  His eyes begin to look like those of a fish.  Everyone is looking to him for answers, but the cupboard is bare.  An empty head.

And now Joe's head swivels, as if he is looking to see or find something that can change things.
It is the swivel of desperation.

Even in his dreams, he can only find Mel Hall.

Keep on this track, and we have a shot.  If the Yankees win today, Hal gets to pretend that other kids still like him.

90 down...

Interesting that an article on the Hellspawn Network is all about the Yankees' mean reversion. Any win streak balanced by a losing streak, two steps forward, two or three steps back. I think Alphonso is ghostwriting on the side.

Also more and more articles about how the team should be selling into the trade deadline and start rebuilding with The Kids from Scranton (soon to be a major motion picture starring Huntz Hall).

Beltran is on the trading block, so they say, along with Arnoldis and CC.

44-46. We have 72 games still left. Do we have to play them? We don't have to watch or listen to them, that's for sure. Last night I eschewed the game for binge watching "Apocalypse WWI", which was only slightly less gut-wrenching.

A reminder that in 1966, we were 40-49-1. It might seem like a fairly large gap in a way, and the 1966 season record may ultimately be out of reach (19 under), but you never know. Our second-half schedule has been rated the toughest by somebody at Hellspawn, with 58 games against teams over .500.

19 under isn't really a total stretch.

Tonight, it ends

Last winter, the socialist billionaires who run MLB came up with a great idea for the death-grip heat waves of July: They'd pit the fierce traditional rivals, the Yankees and Redsocks, in a Sunday night barn-burner. Boston was rising, and the Yankees always contend for something. What could go wrong?

From their standpoint: Nothing. Truth be told, most baseball fans get their wish tonight: They can watch close-up the demise and humiliation of the once-great Yankee brand. They can witness the floundering mediocrity of once-great stars like A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia - players who squeezed a few extra years onto their contracts, looking to sweeten retirement. They get to see the rotted fruits of Hal Steinbrenner's mismanagement, turning the most winning franchise in sports into a listing barge full of crap.

Tonight, our season effectively ends. Tonight, Boston gets to make the kill stroke - the dagger to the heart - that pushes this lifeless mess from the ventilator to the afterlife.

I say, let it happen.

Yesterday, John and Suzyn were apoplectic - once again, channeling the frustration of the Yankee fan base. Suzyn says the Yankees must turn to A-Rod, put him in the middle of the lineup and let him hit. John says the Yankees must move runners - they cannot simply rely on solitary home run balls, which was the only scoring they did yesterday.

Mike Axisa at River Ave noted that they sent 33 batters to the plate - 11 of them with only two-pitches in the appearance. This was supposed to be a Yankee-Redsock game, where two teams grind on each other. What happened? You know what? I don't care.

Tonight, it ends. Good riddance. Football, anyone?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just Hope The One-Game Win Streaks Don't Begin Today

Yankee excitement is everywhere.

We came back from 5-0 down.

Gardy went 0-4.

Nine guys mustered 4 hits, most of them by Beltran.

A-Rod is trying to learn first base.


Forget the next three series. Being swept at home by the Redsocks is all we'd need to know.

We've touted the next nine games as a trial before the 2016 Yankee Supreme Court. Many of us have already issued our verdict: Guilty as charged. We think this wretched team would be better off losing - collapsing, exploding, launching a front office civil war and then maybe starting over... sort of the fan version of Brexit. Trouble is, we won't deal with the real problem: We won't get a new owner.

After last night, I need no 10-game litmus test.

If we're swept by Boston at home, bang the gavel. The season is over, and like they say in the car ads: Everything must go!

For weeks now, I've hoped for a reason - some reason - to believe in this team. But if Boston sweeps us at home, forget it. This wouldn't be a case of us going to Fenway and sweeping them. We'd just go there and face yet another pounding. We are in Year IV of the Great Barf - it might last several more seasons - and if Boston sweeps us at home, it will be emblematic of our current status. We will stand naked before the NY media: No longer viewed as a good team going through a tough stretch... but a full-blown, Stage 4 algae bloom, and the most humane act is a chlorine shock or - maybe, better - just to pull the plug on this sorry mess.

Last night in the fifth, after watching another steaming Pineda meltdown, I was even ready to douse John and Suzyn - who fumed between in-game ads over the 5-0 debacle. Then, suddenly, we rallied for three runs, offering hope for one of those 1990s, spirit-lifting comebacks that once epitomized a Yankee-Redsocks game. Could it happen? I had to watch. So we went down like lambs, 1-for-10, swinging on first pitches and striking out on full counts. Horrible.

Nothing can fix this team. Nothing suggests a season of destiny.

Still... there is a special dung heap in hell, if we're swept at home by Boston...

Friday, July 15, 2016

"Mets games have never drawn more viewers than Yankees games at the midway point of the season." (Until now)

When the 10-game season restarts tonight, the luckiest fans on the face of the earth - those 900,000 out-of-state Comcast subscribers who cannot watch Yankee games - will be spared the malaise. Today, Richard Sandomir of the Times puts some numbers on the Yankee downfall.

Through the All-Star break, Mets broadcasts on SNY are averaging 278,078 viewers, up 39 percent from last season at the same time, and almost 27 percent more than the 219,205 watching Yankee games on the YES Network.

The Mets above the Yankees? WTF? Aren't they supposed to be a disappointment? The Mets above the Yankees? How does this happen? HOW?

Well, the Yankees have built a Perfect Storm of mismanagement.

Bloat. The billionaire heir, Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner, won't add meaningful free agents until the old ones are used up and discarded. Contracts run the franchise. It's why we went nearly the entire 2015 season with Stephen Drew playing 2B, and why management throws up its hands at the DH slot, which now has three hamstring-challenged candidates - A-Rod, Beltran and Tex, (oh my.) The worst of the contracts end in 2019. Until then, well, fans, who are the Mets playing tonight?

Rot. On any given night, we field the oldest team in baseball. If this were 2011, we'd be the All-Star team. Now, we're a geriatric unit. After four years of missing the playoffs - (I don't see the one-game wild card as an actual post-season) - we're still getting older. Moreover, if we go on a brief winning streak over the next few games, we might actually trade prospects for yet more retreads, in a ridiculous attempt to chase another expanded wild card mirage. It's hard not to contend for that final berth, so we can always delay the apocalypse.

Hubris. Somewhere in Hal's inherited head breeds the misguided notion that the Yankees never need to rebuild, or look to the future, or go all in on a Cuban - (How could he let Boston outbid us for Yoan Moncada, HOW?) and everything will always fall into place. After all, they're the Yankees. He grew up drinking the Kool-Aid. He lives the mythology. That's why the YES network demands a higher broadcast rights fee than for any other team, and that's why the brass was so gobsmacked when Comcast called its bluff. Most of New Jersey has missed this Yankee collapse. Lucky for them.

So Yankee attendance is down, back page attention is fleeting, and hope is almost nonexistent. We are seeing Yankee fans actually root for this team to lose, in the hope that fundamental changes will be made. Is this a microcosm of the general election? Are we the Trump voters, the Brexit supporters, of the Yankiverse?

When I watch or listen, I still root for the Yankees. I want them to win. But I can't take it anymore. Whenever Pineda walks a leadoff batter, or we leave the bases full, I want us to be humiliated. I want Hal to suffer. Sadly, I don't think he does. I think he's somewhere, de-balling a race horse or sailing on his yacht, carefree and banking more money, the metric by which he measures his success.

Well, it's not working. For anybody. And the Perfect Storm is far from over. It's just beginning. Tonight, some harsh winds are gonna blow. That darkness to the west, it's coming our way. It's going to be fierce...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream

Use the All-Star break wisely. Light one up and listen to this 50-minute remix of Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows", in celebration of the album's 50th anniversary.

Hey, it beats watching the news.

Like, wow, man.

Donald Trump Is A Liar

This is what he teased to the New York Times in early June:

Donald Trump has some ideas for how to jazz up the Republican National Convention, and he previewed one at a rally here on Friday evening: a “winner’s evening” of sports celebrities and champions addressing the convention rather than politicians.
“We’re going to do it a little different, if it’s O.K.,” he told the crowd. “I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot.”
A "winner's evening" of Trump Likers has got to include Paul O'Neill, right? And Johnny Damon? I mean, Trump wants to own the Yankees (and we want him to). He would never overlook two champions of the Bronx "who like [him] a lot."

The speeches they'd give. That O'Neill whine, sawing through a fractured description of the meals he ate in Cleveland. Damon's halting "likes" and "you knows." Those two great winners' nuanced takes on trade with China.

Well, stop dreaming. The schedule is out, and we don't get "winner's evening." We get "Benghazi evening." We don't get Paulie. We don't get Johnny. All we get is two athletes who don't even play baseball. And one of them is a football player who doesn't even play football.

The New York Times again:
Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and [Jamiel] Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator Cotton, [Rudolph] Giuliani, Melania Trump, [Joni] Ernst and others.
Night 2: A focus on the economy: [Dana] White, president of the U.F.C.; Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a vice-presidential possibility; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Night 3: [Pam] Bondi; [Eileen] Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Eric Trump; [Natalie] Gulbis; and the nominee for vice president.
Night 4: [Tim] Tebow; Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman; Gov. Rick Scott of Florida; [Peter] Thiel; [Thomas J.] Barrack; Ivanka Trump; Donald J. Trump.
If Yankee-free Benghazi Night is all we can expect from a Donald Trump presidency, then I'm with her.