Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday morning links... to the past and future

It's almost time to honor that bloated, tiresome tradition of predicting the season ahead. In the spirit of the hive mind - and political prediction markets, which have a better track record than national polls - I hereby implore each of you to start pondering the number of wins we should expect of the 2017 Yankees.

If we win more than 88, we probably make the playoffs - or the playoff.

If less than 78, we probably launch a selloff - or selloffs.

If we hit 81 - absolute .500 - we will reach the summit of water-treading, beached whale mediocrity - good enough to float, too lame to swim anywhere.

Late this week, I'll put up a post and ask each of you to lay out a number. So think about the season ahead, and let's see if our ornery community - via group average - can pick the exact number of Yankee wins in 2017.

On that note, let's ponder Alphonso's predictions for 2016. Read it, if you dare. (Oh hell, here's a taste:)

Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabbaths will not be reliable, dominating starters.  Severino will set a record for losses... Eovaldi will give us close to 5 excellent innings every start, and leave, in the 6th with no outs,  4 runs down and runners on 1st and 3rd.

Ok, here are mine from last year. In the comments, a few of yours. Truth be told, we were more accurate last March than we sought to be.

Today, it's quiet across the Yankiverse - almost too quiet. There's the annual plea for the Yankees to assume "Evil Empire" status again - you know, become the Belichick team of baseball. I would say the Redsocks are closer to reaching that distinction, as the team everybody hates.  

In fact, Mike Vaccaro of Jerry Hall's NY Post anoints the Yankees as "lovable underdogs." (Another trope.) He reminds us that writers used to say, "Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel." Hey, isn't U.S. Steel a modern underdog?

Overall, Gammonites today seem to be rallying behind Tyler Wade as the short-term replacement for Didi. Who can disagree? Tell me a more hopeful sign for the Yankees than a rookie shortstop. 

On that note, though... Last night, I watched the last half-inning of the Yankees' walk-off victory over Toronto - a line drive by Scranton's Pete Kozma to score the winning run. The team exploded from the dugout and took turns rubbing Kozma's hair. The guy beamed. It was a meaningless victory, and the players were probably just celebrating the game's quick ending. Still, watching Kozma - nearly 29 - being hugged - (Mason Williams and Donovan Solano led the way) - reminded me that there is more to baseball than slash lines and WARs. In that moment, it seemed clear that Kozma is genuinely liked in the clubhouse. It's quite possible - maybe likely - that the guy never again tastes the majors. But he'll still have started for a World Series champion, and not many players can say that. And if Kozma turns out to be the April replacement for Didi - well - it won't give us erections, but he won't cost us the 2017 wild card, either. 


Unknown said...

Always get a chuckle or two here. Your comments about Pete Kozma are Truth! He continues to be an Elite Defensive Shortstop and a Professional Baseball Player. Younger players are drawn to him and his positive attitude. Kozma is a great role model for them as a player who is dedicated to working hard, being disciplined, and Winning ball games.

Alphonso said...

Which World Series champion discarded him? Are you saying he was a Cub? That would be a reason for affection, as all Cubbies are lovable. And they serve great sausages at Wrigley.

Anonymous said...

Kozma worked the walk off walk in last year's game 2 governor's cup playoff against Gwinnett. Scranton lost game 1, and trailed 1-0 heading into 9th. A hbp and 4 walks later, Scranton won, and went on to win it all.

John M said...

Meanwhile, Greg Bird raised his slugging percentage yesterday to 1.111....AND HE PLAYS FIRST BASE!!

--- Today in Ripley's Believe It or Not

John M said...

By the way, I'm very, very afraid. I just checked Duque's prediction post for 2016 and in the comments, I picked the Yanks to finish in 4th place. And they did.

Another one for Ripley there.

joe de pastry said...

World champion Cardinals SS Pete Kozma