Tuesday, January 31, 2017

MLB to Cardinals: Skate, little bird, skate!

Can you imagine the outrage that would have been directed at the Yankees if it turned out that Brian Cashman had been hacking emails of the Toronto Blue Jays for nearly three years?

That's what the Cardinals did with Houston, and today, they're being fined a measly $2 million - (clam dip money) - plus two low-level draft picks. They won't even lose a first-rounder, because they had already forfeited it to sign free agent Dexter Fowler. (Which, come to think of it, made signing him much easier; they figured to lose the pick anyway.) Sweet.

Close your eyes and imagine the reaction if it were the Yankees.

Pitchforks and torches.

Let us take a moment to pray for the people of Scranton

This is the new logo for the Scranton RailRiders - aka "The Baby Bombers."

The Scranton CradleRobbers?

Joe Buck is delusional about why Yankee fans dislike him

A classic Joe Buck anecdote yesterday to Howard Stern: Explaining why Yankee fans hate him, Joe retells a 2010 incident when A-Rod tweaked a paw during a pre-game talk. 

"He says, 'Hey Joe, and he's starting to say, 'Is that your boy?' And Lance Berkman, who was playing for the Yankees at the time, hits a rocket. It crunches him right under his knee. He goes running out one-legged into center field. He's rolling around in the grass in center field grabbing his leg... And eventually one of the players said, 'I know how he got hurt. He was talking to that Fox guy, Buck.'"

And that, dear world, is why Yankee fans hate Joe Buck?

Insert sigh here.
First, I would propose that one reason Yankee fans dislike Joe Fucking Buck is because of stories like the one he tells to rationalize why Yankee fans hate Joe Fucking Buck.

Secondly, Yankee fans don't hate Joe Buck. Hate is too steroidal a word. To me, he's a meh, a radish, a medium dislike, a who cares? It's been years since the Yankees dominated baseball, warranting his smug moral condemnations on behalf of Middle America. Yesterday, Joe claimed he roots for the Yankees, because they bring higher ratings, and I suspect there is truth to this. With the Yankees being so mediocre, why bother ripping them? It's not the same.  

But back in the great years, the Mo and Jeter years, Joe's St. Louis views were always on display - though deftly subtle, and you had to listen carefully to hear the Yankee bigotry in his voice. In Oakland, Jason Giambi was a beloved teammate; in New York, he was a stone cold mercenary. In Boston, Roger Clemens was a hardscrabble workhorse; in New York, he was an angry boar. In Toronto, David Wells was quirky; in New York, he was exactly the kind of off-the-field controversy that baseball DOESN'T need! 

Look, I can't prove this on tape. Frankly, I haven't the energy to prosecute the guy. But back in the good days, it just seems that whenever the Yankees got a lucky bounce, or an ump's decision went our way, Joe would be furious. He would never let up. It wasn't that the ump missed the call; it was that the Yankees had stolen something, that a great injustice had occurred, and that's what the Yankees always did. It didn't help that Tim McCarver - a former Yankee announcer who left on bad terms - was his broadcast mate. McCarver didn't hide his distaste for George Steinbrenner - (by the way, most of baseball shared it) - and together, the two could jab the Yankees like Fox News on Hillary. 

The other thing about Joe Buck is that, despite his Midwestern upbringing, he's as big city as they come. He's no small market guy. He is an comfortable with wealth and power as with the $1,000 suits he wears. He is the consummate pro, the pure company man. I can't recall him ever even remotely criticizing the powers that run MLB and the NFL. In his eyes, the owners are great men, never to be questioned about their roles in work stoppages or hiding brain disease. He looks so young and clean - and he deftly personifies industries with incredibly brutal and corrupt undersides. 

So now he says he roots for the Yankees? Bullshit. It's just words and smiles. If he just came clean, just said he hated the team as a kid and will always fight his childhood instincts, I might forgive the guy. And if want to save his soul, particularly with the NFL, he better someday start taking a stand about head injuries, brutality and the holding of cities for ransom - (See San Diego and - well, whaddaya know! - St. Louis.) Don't hold your breath.

Some of you cringe at my support of John and Suzyn, with their blathering pro-Yankee slants. But for all their negatives, at least John and Suzyn are honest. Joe Buck... he's just words and smiles.  

Funny. I'd forgotten about that time A-Rod got hurt. Joe Buck thinks that's why we don't like him? Wow. A message from Mars.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hubris continued: Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) has greatest bullpen, too!

We should cancel the season, concede to Boston and defend Scranton's Governor's Cup.

Quick question

When are they going to play the Pro Bowl?

Yankee radio in-game spoken promotions, ranked by obnoxiousness

Spring games are a month away, which means John and Suzyn must be honing their in-game promotion voices. As much as we can't wait for sounds of baseball, let's steel ourselves for the avalanche of new radio crapola. In an average game, we hear 60 promos, each one a nail driven into our heads. Not all teams do this, by the way. It's the Yankees tradition to monetize everything.

So, as we speak, salesmen are fine-tuning the ad time that will turn every 2017 broadcast into a crass geyser of corporate greed. In the spirit of resistance, I say Yankee fans should now be demanding a better AM radio product.

With that in mind, I'm offering the Top 10 Yankee In-Game Radio Promos... Ranked by Obnoxiousness. 

10. “The Rally Moment of the Game... by Rally BMW." This is insidious. Are they bent upon ruining the suspense of every game? There's two outs, two on, the fulcrum point approaching... and they piss all over it by stuffing in an ad. Brilliant. 

9. "The fifteenth out of the game... a fifteen minute call to Geico." It's usually read by Suzyn. Who cares about the fifteenth out? This copy hasn't been changed in - what - fifteen years? For God's sake, can we do something differently? Could she read it in a fake English accent, like the TV lizard? Anything. Please. Spare us.

8. "The asbestos law firm of Levy, Phillips and Konigsberg..." The notion of predatory lawyers recruiting cancer victims in the pre-game show, while "sponsoring" the names of the umpires... Wow. Is there any limit to what the Yankees will do? When I hear this, I remember my grandmother, a lifelong smoker who paid the price for it, and who spent her final years listening to Yankee games on AM radio. She would have been so vulnerable to these lawyers, who so cravenly advertise to people in distress. And yet, they're not the worst, are they...

7. "This call to the bullpen..." It can be Aamco. It can be the Tri-State Ford Dealers. It can be 1-877-KARS-4-KIDS. This is the game's biggest tune-out, because it's a prelude for a 60-second commercial break. If I'm driving, upon hearing those words, I change the channel. Worst part: When the game returns, the pitching change will be sponsored by the New York Smokers Quitline or the New York Lottery - postscript to the break. Cuomo should go to jail for adding to this crap.

6. "Bigelow tea... the official tea of the New York Yankees." This Bigelow lady has the audacity to shill her product in Boston as the official Redsock brand. How can they do this? There's no law against this? There's no fundamental sense of right and wrong? She could advertise in Aleppo as the official tea of ISIS.

5. "And Castro slides into third safe and secure. And you can keep your family safe and secure with New York Life..." This feels like the longest, most drawn out, of all promotions, because no matter how hard he tries to sound interested, John is always a dead man talking. It comes after a big hit - a Yankee player is safe! and it's the immediate letdown. Instead of describing the outfielder's throw, or the close play at third, John lapses into this death decree. Horrible.

4. "Peerless boilers... because that adds up more money in  your pocket." What do think we are, fifth-graders? Like we walk around with our money jingling in our pockets? Like I'm going to buy a boiler?

3. "Celino and Barnes... injury attorneys, dial eight-eight-eight-eight-eight-eight-eight." Ambulance chasers. Yep, the Yankees deal with ambulance chasers. But the worst part is that they actually sing this stupid jingle during their ads. Listen: I've lived more than 60 years. The reason I'm not afraid of death is because it will finally end the stupid jingles that still bounce around like superballs in my head. ("You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.") This is the dumbest jingle ever. It's like the satire of a jingle. Eighteighteight, eighteighteitghteight....

2. "The Hebrew Home at Riverdale... I've been there. It's like a college campus." Every game, John tries to personalize this bit, by attempting to sound sincere. It doesn't work. He always says the same things. You can hear him emoting, putting extra effort into this, and I suppose at one point, he must have actually gone to the place, probably for some meet-and-greet. I dunno. But make no mistake: This is John's lowest moment as an announcer.

1. "Yankee radio network driven by Jeep." Every half inning. I hear it a million times. This is the ultimate masterpiece of repetitive brainwashing. I say it at home. Naturally, I own several Jeeps, having bought them on impulse, during Yankee games. They sit in the yard. Sometimes, I'll listen to the game in them, pretending to drive. I'll honk when John says those words. The neighbors don't know. They must think it's the Indian Point Power Report. Spare me another year of these.

All right, that's it, I'm going for a walk... into one of CityMD's six convenient locations...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday links: Glyber ranks third in hot 100

Our secondary logo?
Cub fans are starting to carp about the price paid for Aroldis Chapman. Ingrates. All he did was break the dreaded Curse of the Billy Goat. But Glyber Torres is No. 3 on MLB Pipeline's list - (which is not Baseball America's list or Keith Law's list; man, these are like competing belts in pro wrestling) - and, get this, it's all based on his performance in the Arizona Fall League. That's nuts. Remember Eric Duncan? He killed in Arizona. Slade Heathcott? A scorpion king. Balls fly out of that desert air, and every February, the Yankees drink the Kool-Aid on some kid who turned heads on the Peoria Javelinas. Anyway, we placed 7 prospects on the top 100, tied with Atlanta. Future Hall of Famer Andrew Benintendi is No. 1, and Yoan Moncada is 2. The Cubs, for all their whining, still had five. (That's what 20 years of losing builds.)

Luis Severino has been working on mechanics with Pedro Martinez. Good for them. I've said this before: We should sign Pedro as a coach, consultant, door man, bartender or - best idea - a YES announcer. Bear with me on this. First, Pedro is funny. Second, he certainly knows baseball. Third, and most importantly, we'll turn him. Money is the greatest brainwash. (Mad Dog Mattis says he'll get more with a pack of cigarettes than a waterboard.) After a few years with Michael Kay, Pedro would be singing along with Yankee jingles, living to bark a promo for Cellino and Barnes. It'll be a psychological victory, which, frankly, we need. As for Severino, we gotta keep reminding ourselves that he's only 22 - same age as the immortal Babe Benintendi.

You never have too many logos. (Note to self: More logos!) The Scranton Railriders - (formerly the Red Barons and the Empire State Railriders, when they played on the NY State Thruway) - have adopted a second logo - Baby Bombers. Good for them. I still remember when they held the contest to name the team, as if it were Lassie's new puppy. "Railriders" won over the Scranton Blast, the Scranton Black Diamond Bears, the Scranton Porcupines, the Scranton Fireflies and my fave, the Scranton Trolly Frogs. I'm not making this up. Baby Bombers, huh? Okay with me, until the mother ship signs Nick Swisher and sends him down for another go. That will look a little weird, no? But Burnt-Out Bombers isn't quite so inspiring. And Trolly Frogs lose again.

The Yankees have been hosting "Captains Camp" in Tampa, where prospects mix with legends such as Tino, Andy and A-Rod. They learn which fork to use, how to calculate a 25 percent tip and techniques on approaching babes in the box seats. In the end, Jeet takes everybody out for dinner. Gift basket, maybe? Good deal, all around. We've come a long way from Billy Connors.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday sausage links: The resistance grows

The rebel alliance is gaining strength. We shall prevail. The cap will fall. He will not divide us. He will not divide us. He will not divide us...

Another voice - a more spineless toadie appeaser - weighs in. 

Some aren’t so crazy about the MLB Spring Training garb, especially the almost zebra-like bill. However, it’s only for a short period of time … we think.

A Twitter poll claims two out of three fans like the hat. Clearly, millions of illegals are voting for the cap. We must crack down. He will not divide us. He will not divide us... 

Yankees place six on Keith Law's Top 100 prospect list. But here's the rub: Boston has three in the top 20, including Babe Benintendi, Number 1, who bathed all winter in Super Soldier Serum, according to the allegedly Boston-leaning Law. The previous top dog, Yoan Moncada, falls to 17, making the Chris Sale deal more a bargain. Our six are Gleyber Jeter, Justus Sabathia, Clint O'Neill, Aaron Jackson, James Clemens and Blake - um - Rutherford -  last year's first-rounder, whom Law adores. Jeez, it's only a list.

On another note, someone argues that Gleyber should be Number 1 on MLB Pipeline's list, to be released today. Frankly, I'm not sure Yankee fans should want their man to be top of the heap. Isn't that how you ensure disappointment? Offhand, I can only remember one Yankee prospect who was ranked Number 1: Brien Taylor. Let Benentendi have his moment. Boston is a tough city for expectations, am I right?

Murdoch's Post blasphemes God. There is a dung heap waiting in hell...

Friday, January 27, 2017

Yankee fans at the vanguard of protest

Ugliest thing I've ever seen

I am hereby moving the Yankee Doomsday Clock another minute toward midnight. (Midnight blue, that is.)

This is the 2017 Official Yankee Spring Training Cap.

Why are they doing this? Does Putin have something on them? How is this happening? Have I been transported to some Bizzaro Superman planet, some alternative universe where Spock has a beard? What is going on here? Will the first glimpse we get of Gleyber Torres have him wearing this cap? Are we the Florida Marlins? Is this Candid Camera, and somebody's going to step from behind the curtain and we'll have a laugh together? Did somebody slip a roofie in my coffee, and when I wake up from this dream, will I have had sex? I WANT ANSWERS FROM HAL: WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?

In the year twenty, twenty five, if Joe is still alive...

In the year twenty twenty-five,
If Joe is still alive, 

If Cashman can survive, we may find...

In the year twenty twenty-five...
Ain't gonna to tell the truth, tell no lies,
Everything you think, do and say
'Pends on what Greg Bird did today.

In the year twenty twenty-five...
Won't need no John and Suzyn as our eyes,
Gonna be gettin' tired o' the wait
Sitting 'round for Dillon Tate.

In the year twenty twenty-five...

Chapman's arm hangin' limp at his side,
Girardi's got no one to close
Dietrich Enns - good as it goes...

In the year twenty twenty-five...

Might have to bring George back to life,
To get a true free agent fix,
And finally quit on Aaron Hicks.

In the year twenty-one-ten...
If Jeet's returning, he oughta make it by then,
He'll look around at this Yankee hell
And say, "Guess it's time for Hal to sell."
Woah woah.

Through this eternal sludge,
Still candles lit for Aaron Judge,
Somewhere out there, that Yankee team.
It's still twenty seventeen...

Yankee Doomsday Clock edges closer to midnight, but let's forget armageddon and ponder the lineup

If we're still here come April one, the former Evil Empire will take to the battlefield, and all our cancerous political lesions will magically heal. The Yankiverse shall be united once more behind Dear Leader Kim Jong-Hal in our quest.... to win the 2017 AL Wild Card! 

It will, however, be a tough slog. For all our winter moves, last September's flimsy rotation remains frozen in time. On paper, we remain one decent starter shy of a post-season, yet too far from success to trade for Jose Quintana.

Still, if Winston Churchill or Princess Leia were running the Yankees, they would rally us to stand up and resist the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM). So let us fight them in the dugouts, fight them in the bullpens, and paint them in the corners - with CertaPro Painters, because painting is personal. Hear hear. Let's ponder the lineup!

The lineup:

cf Ellsbury
lf Gardner
c Sanchez
dh Holliday
1b Bird/Austin
ss Gregorius
3b Headley
2b Castro
rf Judge/Hicks

OK, Magic 8 ball, what's the verdict?


Hmm. OK. You may be a cheap, painted snow globe, but dammit, 8-Ball, you're right again. It's too early. We have three massive uncertainties, around which the Yankiverse orbits.

They are Sanchez, Judge and Bird. Sanchez, Judge and Bird... 

For the Yankees to win, Bird must become a slugging, lefty 1B. If his 2015 September was a fluke, or if he cannot return due to the shoulder injury, we are yesterday's clams. Look at the last five hitters in our lineup. Not one can truly protect the right-handed Holliday. If Bird hits, we have a chance.

Of course, Sanchez won't repeat his historic last July. He was plummeting at the end, and we don't know how far his average would drop. Was he an illusion? One year ago, we were penciling in Bird for a breakout 2016 - and then, poof. I cannot even suggest Sanchez will be a star for fear of jinxing him. Yet in our lineup, he bats third.

And then there is Judge, whom I believe Girardi will bat ninth - Bernie style - at least until he shows something. If Judge can hit lefties, he could save this team. My fear is that he'll be platooned with Aaron Hicks - two words that scald my soul. In the name of Jackie Bradely Jr., the Yankees will trot out Hicks for another try. Minnesota gave up on him. I guess we can see what happens in Tampa, but if he starts on opening day, I'm calling Cellino and Barnes.

Sanchez, Judge and Bird. If together they can hit 100 HRs, we can win that wild card. But if they flop, dear God, if they fizzle and flump... it means at least three months of pain and disillusionment, fear and loathing, leading to another trade deadline sell-off - (Tanaka, CC, Holliday, Betances) - in a decade of Redsock domination.

If that is, we're still alive. Doomsday could be looking pretty good.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When he comes to NY, King Felix crops Yankee swag

Seattle cops yesterday caught a guy with Felix Hernandez's engraved watch, and when they asked him to explain how it got it, he went "Humina-humina-humina..." At the suspect's home they found a 2000 Yankee World Series ring. And the plot, as they say, thickened.

How did the guy come to possess a Yankee championship ring? Was Clay Bellinger selling? Was he part of a major baseball player burglary ring?

Nope. Turns out, the ring was a cheapo knockoff. King Felix pitched at Yankee Stadium in July 2015 on a day when all fans received authentic replicas of the 2000 ring, and Felix probably swiped one with the five-finger discount. (Or maybe he bought it off a fan, who knows?)

You never think of MLB  players collecting swag, but I bet it's one of the perks. Everywhere they look, their world is filled with crapola that someone would buy, if given the chance. They could have sold Jeter's final Yankee clubhouse turd on eBay: I can imagine Steiner Collectibles putting out tasteful limited edition slices in pinstriped frames at $99.99 apiece. If CC wipes his butt, the towel is worth money. If he autographs it, the price skyrockets.

Of course, the great scrounge was former prospect Ruben Rivera, who cropped Jeet's glove in spring training. The kid was derided for it and traded to - hm-mm? - Seattle. If you think about it... could you blame the guy? Here's a teenager up from nowhere: Imagine how much that glove was worth?

Of course, for that transgression, Rivera will forever be a punch line on this blog. In fact, it's probably the only thing about his dismal career that merits being remembered. As Donald would say: Sad.

No cosmic judgments here. Our celebrity obsessed culture went off the rails a long time ago. Plus, there's a market for everything: We sell our garbage to China. So, when even a millionaire star like Fernandez sees a decent piece of swag, he thinks, "Hm-mm, why not?"

Oh, one other thing: Let's hope it's as close to a World Series ring as he ever gets.

Curt Schilling dons his bloody sock against the ACLU

There is something uniquely satisfying about the idea of Curt Schilling telling the American Civil Liberties Union to "shut up."

I mean, there's a poetry here - a convergence of hypocrisy, self-righteousness and panty-raid masculinity, which has become a trope of political bomb-throwers, right and left.

Conservatives, know how you love to mock liberal snowflake celebrities? Well, Schilling is your Madonna. Every time he spews, such as to compare all worldwide Muslims to Nazi Germany he hurts your cause. Yesterday, he told the ACLU, "Shut up."

Listen: I come from a right-wing family. No lie: My dad rooted for the Cowboys and Rams, because they were the cities that got the Kennedys. But get this: As a Conservative, he respected the ACLU. It fought in the Scopes trial. It defended the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Commies, the Nazis in Skogie, the right to privacy, freedom of speech and religion... When everybody else goes with the wind, the ACLU stands its ground. In the end, the cops won't save us. The politicians won't. It'll be some book-toting dweeb who can still recite the Bill of Rights And Curt says, "Shut up."

Every time Schilling opens his mouth, the Redsocks' 2004 comeback develops another canker sore. Every time he spews nonsense, Redsock fans lower their heads in shame. They'll never be free of the guy. And if they disagree, Curt just says, "Shut up."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Didi Gregorius is going to the Selig Cup, and ya know wat? I'm okay with it

Yesterday, Sir Didi of Elfstedentocht announced plans to fulfill his lifelong dream and play for the - huh - Netherlands in the upcoming Bud Selig "Let's Ruin Some Poor Sap's Career in March" World Baseball Cup, making him the first Yankee Dutch treat since - c'mon, you remember him - Robert Eeenhoorn. While I believe the Yankees should do everything short of a Tiananmen Square sitdown to keep their players out of this meaningless global fiasco - (we donated Mark Teixeira to the cause, and he was never the same again) - I'm okay with Mr. Gregorius donning his silver skates and serving his Sia-haired, dyke-plugging, drug-abusing, wind-milled homeland. Here's why:

1. He won't play SS, because Xander Bogaerts is also a Dutchman. Thus, Didi could move to 2B or 3B, positions he wouldn't be allowed to touch in Tampa, because of the worldwide implications. Dear God, if he played third, it would deny Chase Headley some at bats. And 2B? What would it mean to Starlin Castro's peace of mind? Frankly, I don't think either fits into the Yankees' long-term strategy, if such a plan exists. At some point in the next few years, Didi will move to 3B or 2B, and a kid will fill his wooden shoes. 

2. If he does tweak a gonad - worst case scenario - the Yankees can bring up any of several SS prospects, such as Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, Tyler Wade or Kyle Holder - for a month. Yeah, most - especially Torres and Mateo - need seasoning. But Holder recently was voted the minors' best defensive SS, and Wade hit .259 last year at Double A. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to throw someone in the pool and let him swim. This may sound stupid, but lemme say it: I'd actually rather see these kids struggling in NY than rotting in Scranton.

3. Last year, Didi was probably the most selfless, consistent and Jeteresque player on the Yankees. He did his job every day, without fanfare or drama. If he wants to play for his country, well... Nu komt de aap uit de mouw! (Let the monkey pee on your arm.) Hell, the Dutch ain't gonna win anything. All they'll do is pay their way. Didi and Dellin Betances should fill our Selig body count quota. But if anybody else tries to go... Tiananmen Fucking Square! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Yankees need to trade for this guy

Oakland A's reliever John Axford has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man.

He can - (gasp!) - predict the Oscars.

Boston is already smirking

It's bad enough that the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) has already won the 2017 World Series, but the "Hub" is also celebrating next month's Super Bowl victory by the ever-cheating Patriots. Boston has won nine sports championships since 2000, and today's Globe asks whether all that success has become Trumpian.

When candidate Donald Trump said, “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning. . . . ” Could he have been talking about us?
Until now, I didn't give a golden shower who won the Lady Gaga Bowl. Oh, I probably would have rooted against Boston out of habit, but I hate the NFL hype machine, and I don't have it in me to get juiced up on behalf of Atlanta - a city I only know from in-flight layovers. Now, I'm ready to do some nasty juju. I mean, somebody has to stop this Boston cavalcade of crapola.

Since 2000, the Patriots have earned, now, seven Super Bowl berths, and won four; the Red Sox have won the three World Series in which they appeared, in 2004, 2007, 2013; the Celtics have played in two NBA Finals, winning in 2008; and the Bruins made two Stanley Cup Finals, winning in 2011.

For some time now, New York City sports has been a flat-out disgrace. Good God, the Knicks are easily the worst pro franchise in all of sports. But the worst part of NYC is that, in some opposing fans' eyes, we're still viewed as fat cats, undeserving of all our success. We "buy" pennants. We take wins for granted. We are used to high-priced superstars. What a joke.  

Right now, if every NYC sports team followed the Yankee lead - dump oldsters, go with youth, and rebuild - we might have a championship or two in the next five years. But let's not kid ourselves. In NYC, nobody plans for the next five years. We're lucky to plan for the next five minutes. In this millennium, Boston has eaten our lunch. And by this time next year, they might just have two more championships on their skyline. Our "arch-rivals," folks. 

And the problems all stem from a raft of second-generation owners who have never gone hungry in their lives, who have never known what it's like to need a paycheck, and who take for granted the loyalty of their fans.  

When they have no answers, everyone asks questions

You can tell it's a news dead zone...

Answer: Yes, he could.

Answer: Yes, he could.

Answer: Allow more fights.

Yes. It could.
Answer: Yes, it could.

Answer: I dunno, but proper grammar would be a start.

Monday, January 23, 2017

America first? Not when it's in Selig's fake tournament

In March of 2013, playing for his country rather than his team, Mark Teixeira tore his wrist like a sheet of typing paper. Tex was competing in the World Baseball Classic, one of former commissioner Bud Selig's great enduring failures. (Bud's plan to put logos for Spider-Man 2 on the bases was never implemented.) That year, Tex played in 15 Yankee games, batting .151. Our regular 1B became Lyle Overbay. We finished third in the AL East, 12 games behind Boston. And good-hearted, patriotic Tex, at age 33, would never be the same. (In 2014, he hit .216.) Now, at age 36 - three years younger than Carlos Beltran - he's out of baseball.

Would Tex have shredded his wrist during a regular, lazy, lollygagging, stoner spring training, while banging around Tampa with Hulk Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge? We'll never know. He went off to fight for Selig's fraudulently nationalistic marketing scheme, and now he's a case study in how to wreck a Hall of Fame career - and also one of the many gifts Selig gave New York City in the commissioner's quest to make his family's Milwaukee Brewers the norm for MLB franchises.

Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka decided not to pitch for Japan in Selig's World Cup, which starts March 5. Thank God! As Japan's ace, Tanaka's fragile, partially-torn elbow would have carried the weight of national pride, when sold for profit. You can imagine him throwing seven innings in a meaningless March contest, walking off the mound with a throbbing elbow, and his 2017 season - along with the opt-clause next winter, which will cement his family's finances forever - swirling down the drain.

We now have one Yankee committed to the games. Dellin Betances will pitch for the Dominican Republic, unless - as I hope - Cashman talks him out of it in the upcoming arbitration hearings. Fingers crossed. We've given our share. Talk about fake news? This is a fake tournament. Why should we subject any of our key players to a 15-hour plane ride to South Korea - part of the plan - or to a super-heated spring schedule drawn up to stoke foreign profits?

By the way, none of the fabled Four Horsemen of the Redsock Apocalypse - Sale, Price, Porcello and Whazzisname - plan to pitch in the World Cup. They'll stay home and sit in the spa. Right now, the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) will send Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaertes, though here's an alternative fact: Pablo Sanduval - aka Slenderman - is said to be pondering such a move.

We should pull the plug on this event. We gave our country Mark Teixeira. Does anybody even remember who won the thing in 2013? Or the last time it was held? No more. Nothing. Nada. Yankees, go home.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yankee Gammonites are coming to the rescue

This is weird. Today, bloggers across the Yankiverse sound like de facto coaches, hoping to save this team from itself. I'm not making this up. We've got Woodward and Bernsteins exposing Yankee flaws to the great disinfectant of sunlight. Check this out...

Now, the first mistake Ellsbury makes is probably the most common imperfection one could see in a hitter’s swing. The front arm is completely extended immediately which usually leads to a hitter being slow to the ball which consequently leads to them being late on a good fastball.
This is truly exciting. If Ellsbury just clicks on the site, he'll learn about his problem and start hitting like its 2005 again. Of course, if he clicks on this site, he'll get this advice: "SWING THE FUCKING BAT, YOU GODDAMM REDSOCK-BLOODED PUSSY."
Here's another from today's Yankiverse.
In '05, his release points were spread out rather widely. He had different angles and positions for his pitches. This map shrinks in 2016. The narrowing of his release points correlates with his ineffective performance.
Great. Just great. Charts and graphs. As if Girardi already hasn't already overwhelmed these guys with his binders. I say this: "EITHER THROW THE FUCKING BALL WITH AUTHORITY, OR BUY A HOUSE IN SCRANTON. I DON'T CARE. JUST NO MORE WASTING TIME."
Then there's this. 

During the 2016 campaign, Judge used different leg kicks and placed his hands in different spots. And as he enters spring training prior the 2017 season, his swing remains a work in progress.
Uh-huh? Way to go, coach. Judge fanned in half his plate appearances. Think he needs to cut down on strikeouts? You might just be on to something.
Three weeks until pitchers and catchers. Calgon Bath Oil Beads, take me away...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday sausage links

We are experiencing the gassy indigestion of January, when nothing is happening, everywhere, all the time, simultaneously. The NFL is digesting Lady Gaga. Hollywood is chewing on the Oscars. Sports Illustration is slobbering over its swimsuit edition, the polar ice shelves are cracking, and the Yankees will hit Tampa in less than a month.

Here's a quick look at the news vacuum across the Yankiverse.

From Mattingly to Mantiply. Brian Cashman heralds the acquisition, loss and re-acquisition of Joe Mantiply, who might just be this year's Billy Traber! Mantiply is the latest in a grand tradition of soft-tossing situational bullpen lefty candidates, taking his place behind Chasen Shreve, Tommy Layne and Richard Blier - names that make Big Papi want to reconsider retirement. Joe Mantiply is 25. Ladies of Scranton, put on your faces.

Hal playing cheapo with Dellin. It doesn't grow on trees, people. Looks like the Yankees will go to arbitration against Betances, trying to wrangle a extra dimes out of the guy. He wants $5 million - a pittance compared to the waste on that roster - and they countered with $3 million. You'd think middle ground is a no-brainer, eh? Nope. But in that 8th inning, it'd be a sharp drop to go from Betances to Mantiply.

Chase Headley has grown an off-season beard. (Talk about crying out for attention.) Is he dreaming about another city, another uniform, another face? We still have him for two seasons and $26 million.

Keith Law names Yankees the second best farm system in baseball. A little disappointed here. We trade our three best players, plus Brian McCann, two years after lavishing $30 million on Latino teenagers... and we're second? (Atlanta is first, Padres third, followed by Pirates and Dodgers.) I shouldn't care. When somebody has nothing to say, they put out rankings. Last year, Law had us in the middle of the pack, at 13th. He says we are "loaded."

NYC now has two El Chapos. One is the notorious, gun-toting drug lord. One is the notorious, gun-toting Yankee closer. And Trump is President. Will Randy Levine get an ambassadorship? If so, I'm rooting for Syria.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A brief, fleeting moment in time

Yanks still lead in Hall of Famers

In the next few years, we'll add Jeet and Mo. Boston will move up with Papi and Pedroia (and Benintendi!) Would CC make it as a Yankee? How about Clemens and A-Rod? I'm a bit worried about the New York Giants making their move - especially if Strahan and Eli Manning get the calls.

Love the new prez or abhor him, there's one common approach to Inauguration Day

It's actually the same approach that works whether the Yankees are great or they suck. Like Luis Sojo, it's very versatile.

Great news: Cashman says Yankees "looked into" signing Edwin Encanacion

So did I. The wife and I were thinking about hiring a pool boy, someone who could clean the vomit off the decking after one of our charity balls. Edwin's name came up. We checked on him, thought long and hard, but in the end decided against signing him. It's hard to pinpoint why. We both felt it wasn't the right fit.

We went through the same process with Rich Hill, by the way. Fine fellow. Seemed a capable young man, and my wife liked the size of his hands. (I don't know what that was all about) But in the end, we passed.

It's good to know the Yankees front office thinkers think about these thoughts. I hear they also thought about Yoan Moncada, once upon a time, but decided to think against it. Oh well, at least they are thinking. I think it's good that they think, don't you?

Wait. Here's a thought: Lady Gaga as bench coach? Should we think about it? We can put on our thinking caps. It's always good to look into thinking about things. It means we're doing our job, our administrative work, as administrators and thinkers of thoughtful thoughts. The work of a blogger is never done, though. No, sir. Like Cashman, I'm always on the lookout for things to think. I think I'll go think some thoughts now.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In the dead zone of Yankee news, the real immortals appear to be named Steinbrenner

Yesterday, the great gray Gammonites - exercising their final power in a news collapsing universe - elected to the Hall of Fame a Ranger, Astro and an Expo. Once again, the Yankees were ignored. Technically, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez once farted through pinstriped pants, but neither were of-the-cloth of Yankeehood, and both breathed NY air at the end of long careers. To get elected, Roger Clemens must die, and it's starting to look as though Mike Mussina and Jorge Posada were figments of our imagination, like all those world championships. Drug deliriums, that's what they were. Remember when Posada doubled down the line to save the Yankees in the Aaron Boone game? You dreamed it. All those rings, all those moments, you were tripping. That October, the sportswriters in Houston, Dallas and Montreal had already moved on to football.

We are in the Dead Zone of news. It still hurts to even think about the Giants and Jets. The Knicks remain a disgrace to humanity; I wish they would move to Aleppo. The Rangers? They're not even the most famous team named the Rangers. The Mets' winning curve is over, which leaves the Yankees to fill the void with crapola. We sign a 25-year-old Korean 1B for Scranton: It's like putting a man on the moon. YES is selling tickets on Gary Sanchez's month of August. He might be a solid catcher, but he's not I-Rod.

So, this morning, adrift on this vast sea of nothingness, I found this depressing tidbit in the NY Post. Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, daughter of the Demigorgon, told a reporter: "We’re all in. I hope we own the team for eternity.”

Listen: It's rare that we fans get to ponder eternity. The long term is a harsh concept in sports. A few seconds ago, I was all in on Ross Moschito as the next great Yankee. Wasn't it this morning that Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy were on the verge of stardom? Blink and 20 years go by. Where the hell is Sheriff Cowley? Think he'll ever pitch that no-hitter?

Yankees come and go. But the Steinbrenners plan to own me eternity.  

Listen: I don't hate the Steinbrenners. For all the negativity that pops out of this site, all Hal has to do is win. Everything will change. That's what the Yankees are supposed to do: Win, dammot, WIN. Right now, Boston is the Yankees, and if the Steinbrenners expect gratitude from Yankee fans, while we're looking up at the Redsocks, well, aint gonna happen.

So the Steinbrenners plan to own me forever? Well, at some point, they say the universe will cease to expand, the Big Bang will reverse itself, and time will flow backwards. Derek and Mariano will grow young. Jorge Posada's double in the ninth will come after Boone's home run. We will pace our circles in the carpets, and Ross Moschito will again patrol centerfield, the way he was supposed to. All that is dead will live again. But the Steinbrenners will still own eternity. We cannot kill what never lives. Four weeks until pitchers and catchers. It can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cutting through the ridiculous hype on Clint Frazier

I'm weary of the incessantly upbeat Yankeeganda about prospect Clint Frazier. It's creating an expectations game that is unfair to the kid. Nothing he does will ever be good enough. It's not right.

Therefore, to tamp things down, I'm using the standardized preliminary data-curve methodology - including game video, workout regime, psychological tests, stool sample analyses and aural-areola evaluations - to calculate career projections for Frazier. I do this not to show off my computing skills, or to place myself on some pedestal of technological wizardry - the last thing I want is to make this about me - but to help Yankee fans get a realistic handle on what to expect. (Scientific Note:  I am calculating the "traditional" measuring sticks - HR, RBI and batting average - rather than the WAR, BAPID, and FUBAR analyses, which I generally prefer. The margin of error here is 3.3 percent, plus or minus.)

(*denotes league leader)

2017 (23): 7 HR, 21 RBI, .252.
2018 (24): 23, 59, .268
2019 (25): 43, 109, .282
2020 (26): 49*, 139*, .301
2021 (27): 61*, 145*, .310
2022 (28): 22, 76, .312 (injury)
2023 (29): 57*, 129*, .306
2024 (30): 54*, 142*, .292
2025 (31): 43, 120, .283
2026 (32): 48*, 135*, .289
2027 (33): 45*, 142*, .267
2028 (34): 27, 101, .249
2029 (35): 43*, 145*, .299
2030 (36): 49*, 138*, .287
2031 (37): 40, 130, .283
2032 (38): 28, 101, .254
2033 (39): 16*, 43, .287 (Asteroid shortened season)
2034 (40): 28, 101, .256
2035 (41): 12, 78, .234
CAREER: 730, 2,200, .293

2040: First-ballot Hall of Fame
2041: Becomes blogger for IT IS HIGH
2052: Elected U.S. President
2060: Achieves Immortality
2525 (If man is still alive): Picks son, picks daughter too, from the bottom of long glass tube.

Potential episodes of A-Rod's new TV show

A-Rod may get a TV makeover show, where he schools ex-jocks how to stash their cash in off-shore accounts and bogus public housing projects, the way he does.

"With no more games to play or big paychecks to cash, the future can often look bleak to those athletes struggling to adjust and adapt. But help may be on the way. From executive producer Michael Strahan and hosted by Alex Rodriguez, "Back in the Game" (working title), pairs ex-athletes in serious financial distress with money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet."

Episode One: "Called for Clipping." After Joe "Sheriff" Cowley learns about the incredible coupons in his Sunday newspaper, he and Alex go on a wild Dollar Store shopping spree!

Episode Two: "Mm-mm, Meat." Alex and his daughters stage an intervention for penniless Sidney Ponson, teaching him how to collect, dress and cook roadkill pigeons.

Episode Three: "Just Your Size." Alex hits the flea market to buy clothes for Roger Clemens' family. (With special guest Brian Cashman.)

Episode Four: "The Happiness Pyramid." Financial guru Lenny Dykstra outlines an investment strategy guaranteed to double Aaron Small's wealth.

Episode Five: "Controlling the Pulse." Alex shows Heathcliff Slocum how to cheat on a lie-detector test.

Episode Six: "The No-Show Job." Alex reveals the secrets of doing a television show while supposedly working as a full-time coach at $20 million per year.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cashman hits the scrap heap

There's nobody happier in this world than Brian Cashman at a flea market. It's his nirvana, his Calgon Bath moment, his golden shower. He wanders through aisles of junk and finds an old lamp that says "Maximus Super Beer." He doesn't need it. He has no place for it. His girlfriend will leave him. But hell, it costs $2. How do you walk away from a Maximus Super Beer lamp for two dings? It'll haunt him. So he buys it. And then the lamp pitches 110 innings for us. How can a lamp pitch 110 innings? It's a metaphor, moron. Jeeze, do I have to explain everything?

So yesterday, Cashman signs a lamp, who also happens to be one of the great names in Obscure Yankee History: Ji-Man Choi. He's from Korea, you'll be surprised to know. He'll cost us $700,000 - the baseball equivalent of $2. He plays first base, hasn't hit a nickel in the majors, already was suspended for PEDs, and he's now with his fourth team... at 25. This is not his first flea market.

Last week, the Angels - one of MLB's worst teams - dropped him from their 40-man. They had taken him from Baltimore in last winter's Rule 5 draft. He hit .170 for the Angels and - get this - at one point waived him, offering him back to the Orioles, and Baltimore said, "Nah, you drafted him, you keep him, no touch backs." Are we getting a picture here?

But but BUT... the Angels are run by Billy Eppler, Cashman's old buddy. Maybe Epp pointed his old boss to that lamp in the pile and whispered "Maximus Super Beer," which is a great memory from my youth. Consider this: The Ji-Man last year hit .346 in 53 games at Triple A. If he had done that in Scranton, we'd be penciling him into Monument Park. Hey, when you play the NY Lotto, you never know. Besides, that Governor's Cup isn't going to defend itself down in Moosic.

I'm figuring Ji-Man - he bats LH by the way - is the ultimate fail safe in case Greg Bird and Tyler Austin fall apart. And frankly, we need fail safes, because neither of those is a sure thing. In fact, after Dellin and El Chapo, I don't see any sure things on the 2017 Yankees. So I'm going to have a Maximus Super... "Maximum Stupor," we used to call it. Mm-mm. Beer.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Deadline for Tanaka contract extension moved back to July 31

Somewhere in the microscopic print, Masahiro Tanaka's lawyer stuck a 2018 opt-out clause in his Yankees deal. Thus, next winter, he can tell the Yankees, "So long." (What? You thought I was going to say "Sayonara?" Racist.) And if next year he pitches the way he did last season - well - it'll probably be, "Adios." 

Therefore, I believe next winter:

1. He will invoke his freedom to hit the open market.

2. He will make this decision while wearing the uniform of another team.

3. He will do it with the possible notion of returning to the Yankees.

Yeah, this is a stretch. But consider this: While we hope the Yankees will shock the entire world and win the AL East, let's deal with reality: They face the unbeatable Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM), which is favored to win the World Series and Super Bowl. They are, after all, the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM.) And Benintendi too!

So, if we're lucky, 2017 is a Wild Card year. And if we're not lucky, come July 30, Hal, Brian and Skip might hold another incredible, mid-summer, everything-must-go sell-off. They would auction off Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, the last call for CC Sabathia and the crown jewel - one half-season of Tanaka. If he's pitching well, Tanaka could bring a haul of prospects similar to what we received for Aroldis Chapman. 

Yes, we are entering Year II of the rebuild, um... the system-wide gonad tweak.

So, it's time for the Yankees to be lavish. We have to think like Trump. Our players deserve the best of everything. I'm talking about clubhouse massages, lobster buffets, heated swoosh bidets and ultra-fast internet porn - the amenities that separate the Yankees from the Milwaukee Brewers. If we do that, we could pull another El Chapo - and lure Tanaka back in 2018. Best of all worlds, right?

You're right. It won't happen. Once traded, most players don't return. But I believe this is why the Yankees are not renegotiating Tanaka's contract, while they have an exclusive shot at him: They don't know where we'll be on July 30. 

Oh, and if somehow, on that day, we find ourselves ahead of the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM)... well... holy shit, forget everything. And Benintendi too!

" For decades, he was not invited to Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium, supposedly for having written about Mickey Mantle’s drinking habits. In 1994, after Bouton sent a sympathy note following the death of Mantle’s son, he got a surprise voice mail from Mantle, telling him he was never hurt by the book and had never asked the Yankees to exclude him. That tape is included in the auction."

Jim Bouton - 77 and hampered by a stroke - is selling his Yankee memorabilia, and the star, of course, is Mickey. And you can see why The Mick's plaque in Yankee Stadium says he was a great teammate.

It' was buried in yesterday's Gray Lady between NFL crapola and NBA box scores.  Why do they even bother with NBA box scores?

Note: In a photo caption, my newsprint version wrongly described Bouton as a "mediocre" pitcher for the Yankees. No way. NO FUCKING WAY. As a rookie, Bulldog Bouton had his issues, most notably in the first inning. So he problem-solved it: He pitched an imaginary first inning in pre-game warmups, and it worked. And you know how Mel Allen could tell if Bouton had his stuff today? He would count the number of times Bouton knocked his own cap off, throwing to the plate. Ahck, memories. What good do they do?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday breakfast links

We're half-passed January, which in upstate NY is like being midway through a keg of Genny Cream Ale: Your head's spinning, but the serious shit is still to come. Nothing - absolutely zilch - is happening in the Yankiverse, or for that matter, anywhere. The NFL playoffs are a dead zone, not one game worth watching. Yesterday, I saw LaLa Land, winner of the prestigious (think Pia Zadora) Golden Globes. If that's the best movie of 2016, Nick Rumbelow was our Cy Young starter. Wednesday, the Hall of Fame will announce a new class of non-Yankees, fueling our rage against the cosmos. In the meantime, the cosmos is winning, and here are links to the existential nothingness that haunts each waking moment...

Matt Holliday talks with NY Post, blames hia crapola 2016 on hips, ground balls, price of tomatoes, etc. “It was weird I didn’t walk as much. I think it could’ve been some slight mechanical flaws that were not allowing me to not recognize pitches as well. That would be my first inclination as to what the problem was. But could it have been a year where they just threw me more strikes? I don’t know.” Huh. Who's running the Post these days, Jerry Hall?

A Fox Sports fan ranter calls Joe Girardi "Master Juggler." "Will he be remembered as the bridge that enabled the past to meet the present, with ease and solidarity? Or will this season descend into chaos with veterans crying about reduced playing time, with the younger guys saying the same because they’re not being given a chance to prove their value to the team?" Jeeze, those are good questions. It will soon up to the Master Juggler to provide answers.

Daily News ranks its "Top 10 Most Intriguing Mets, Yankees." Noah Sydergaard is No. 1. Well, when there's nothing else to write, do a list! How about the Top 10 Most Earnest Mets, Yankees? (Brett Gardner, No. 1) The Top 10 Most Unearthly... (Aaron Judge?) The Top 10 Wacky... (Matt Harvey?) Jeezus H. Montero. The Top 10 Lists about Mets, Yankees. 

After 146 years, the Greatest Show on Earth is closing. Wow. Now this is news. It looks like I won't run away and join the circus after all. Barnum & Bailey, gone? I blame all those clowns across America who spent last Halloween trying to lure kids into the woods. You can't be doing that, and still make families happy with balloon animals. 

Well, back to the Genny Cream. Up here, we call it "the Green Death." I think I'm gonna need another keg.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Yankees best player will be paid $5.1 million next year

Yesterday, Didi Gregorius agreed to a settlement, avoiding arbitration.

Last year, he hit .270. 20 HR, 70 RBI and played a flawless shortstop.

You could argue that Gary Sanchez is the Yankees' best player, but I'd prefer to see him for a full year. Gardy? Ellsbury? Nah. Maybe El Chapo or Tanaka, or Delin... but pitchers are a different beast. The fact is, it's been a long time since the Yankees found a player as fiscally valuable as Didi.

So... trade him?

Architect of "repealing and replacing" Yankee Stadium tapped to guard America's Interweb thingy

High-tech wiz will clean up Interweb
Sixteen years ago, Rudy Giuliani became a national fixture, sitting in the first base box seats, yelling at baseball's last great team, the New York fucking Yankees. This happened in a ballpark that Rudy was working to raze. More than any other political oil can, he brought us the new Yankee Stadium, with its magnificent disco and $3,000 seats.

Sixteen years. Hard to believe, eh? Throughout that period, Rudy constantly ran for President. At one point, his own top cop, Bernie Kerik, was tapped to be U.S. Director of Homeland Security, though he ended up in prison for felony tax fraud. Rudy - "America's Mayor" - never left the national Fox News stage, and his undying loyalty remains a defining part of Yankee Conservative Republican lore. Fun fact: Randy Levine once worked for him.

Now, at 72, Rudy faces his final marquee role: He'll do what Trump calls "cyber." He'll keep America from being hacked. It's perfect: To fight hacking, get a hack! I can picture Rudy on the job: "Okay now, where is the mouse? Is this the cookie? Why isn't this opening my hotmail? Uh-oh. Did I do something? The thing isn't blinking. CompuServe never did this, not once. I hate these things!" 

Of course, it's patronage. Trump threw him a bone. And yeah, the Dems are no better. Still, this has a brilliantly devilish component, a form of creative chaos. After all, Trump made Ben Carson - an obvious Surgeon General candidate - the head of HUD, of which he knows nothing. And het's giving Rudy - who surely knows a thing or two about urban administration - a job in computer security. I guess NASA had no openings?

I get it that this is politics, as usual. I just thought they'd find something less nakedly craven. My bad.