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Thursday, March 23, 2017

In shocker, Yanks hand 1B to guy batting .421, rather than the one hitting .108

Yesterday's headline hit me like an obit about a celebrity you thought was already dead. You know... Kirk Douglas... Doris Day... Dick Van Dyke... The Yankees anointed Greg Bird as their 2017 starting first baseman. WTF? This is news? There was a competition? This was, gulp, in doubt?

I mean, for 14 months, the Yankiverse has awaited Bird. We watched him in the Arizona Fall League. He's the only actual 1B on the roster. He hit two years ago. He's hit all spring. He's batting .421 with four homers. And yet... it's news that he's beaten out Chris Carter, the granite-gloved 30-year-old strikeout leviathan?

No, let me rephrase: It's fake news. It's fake because we all know in our hearts that Bird has only beaten out Carter for now. Don't think for a moment 
that if Bird goes 0-10 in a weekend series, we won't see Carter - a DH at whatever position he "plays" - platooning against the next lefty. Hell, it could happen before spring training ends. Mustang is dead on right: Today's Yankee front office would still be playing Wally Pip. 

And it's not just first base. We spent the winter assuming Aaron Judge would get at least 200 MLB at bats, so we could see at last what he's got. Throughout his career, Judge has always started slowly and adjusted. Well, after three weeks in Tampa, the ghosts of Billy Connors seem to declaring a dead heat between Judge and Aaron Hicks, despite the latter's Hall of Fame resume of disappointments. 

Listen: I don't wish bad fortune on Hicks or Carter. Both have roles to play, and if either steps up to have a great season, it's gravy. But the Yankees cannot market themselves as the team of youth, "the Baby Bombers," and then dollop out last year's potato salad, claiming it's fresh. In Carter's case, we have a known defensive liability who, if given the at bats, would threaten all-time single season strikeout records. In the case of Hicks, we see an eternal prospect - now 27, two years older than Nick Rumbelow, fer godsake - who hit .217 last season. Two-fucking seventeen. Yeah, Hicks was working on a decent month when he strained a Willie and disappeared. That's it. For that, he wins a do-over? Two seventeen, folks. With on On Base Percentage of .281.

Well, at least we know that Kirk Douglas, Doris Day and Dick Van Dyke are still alive. May each live another twenty years, happily and in heath! And for now, when Lou Costello asks who's on first, Bud Abbott says, Bird! Next to Gary Sanchez! And with a little fairy dust and elbow grease juju, we could have two of baseball's rising sluggers anchoring our lineup. And here's the news: Unless the Yankees rediscover Wally Pip, we might actually get a chance to see something.

9 comments:

Local Bargain Jerk said...


From yesterday's NY Post:

     Chris Carter whiffed in all three at-bats in a 7-3 win over the Phillies and has
     20 strikeouts in 37 at-bats this spring.


Grade school arithmetic tells you that 20 over 37 means Carter has struck out greater than half his at bats.

Bird is the Word*.


* My prediction for Sterling's HR call.

Anonymous said...

AS I TOLD A FRIEND, A FEW DAYS AGO WHEN I HEARD GIRARDI IN A RADIO INTERVIEW PROCLAIM, "WE HAVE A LOT OF DECISIONS TO MAKE.... DECISIONS ON SHORTSTOP NOW, OUR STARTING ROTATION, RIGHT FIELD, AND SOME OTHER THINGS TOO."
I ALMOST DROVE MY CAR INTO A TELEPHONE POLE.
RIGHT FIELD?
RIGHT FIELD?
DID HE JUST SAY, RIGHT FIELD?????
JUDGE WAS HITTING .368 AT THE TIME....HICKS WAS HITTING .264

NOBODY MENTALLY SCREWS WITH THEIR HOMEGROWN TALENT AND PROSPECTS LIKE THE NEW YORK YANKEES..... THE LIST GOES ON AND ON......JOBA (START OR RELIEVE)....PHIL HUGHES (START OR RELIEVE)... REFSNYDER....JORGE MATEO .....LUIS SEVERINO (START OR RELIEVE).....DELLIN (CONTRACT DISPUTE AND RIDICULE).... AND NOW IT LOOKS LIKE JUDGE (GOD FORBID).

John M said...

This is the problem with being a Yankees fan. You love the team, you want to win, but the management is so horribly clueless, time after time after time, from the front office to on the field.

Duque, one minor correction to your post. Bird won't necessarily be benched if he goes 0 for 10 over a weekend. However, the Genius of Girardi dictates that if he goes 8 for 10 with three HRs that weekend, he will need a "rest."

Anonymous said...

Bird is having a great spring and seems back to full health. Hicks and Judge are both playing decently and hopefully one of them will give us a solid year in right. This is good news from my point of view. But for some reason his site - again- finds a way to focus on the negative and take good news as a opportunity to bash Yankees management.

If you want more than the same handful of readers, you might want to add some diversity of thought to this site.

el duque said...

When the Yankees start winning, this site will become very positive.

No winning, no booster club.

It's that simple.

Tom said...

hey, I thought we were still on our positive-spin kick?

Leinstery said...

LBJ, Sterling has already made his call for Bird.

"There he is, the Birdman of New York" and he may have added "Bird is the Word" as a secondary. I don't remember, 2015 was ages ago.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Leaving all of the to-and-fro aside, the question that might matter is: Will Chris Carter take one of the 25 roster spots on Opening Day?

He's got no utility in the field. Maybe he can PH -- really? The Yankees are so rich with talent that they're gonna dedicate a spot to a pinch-hitter?

Perhaps he could share the DH spot with Holliday(????)....but why?

If Bird gets hurt, Carter could maybe run onto the field to demonstrate how Dick Stuart once played 1B.

Am I missing something?

Mustang said...

"Surfin Bird" came out in 1963. John doesn't usually refer to cultural products that were released so recently.