Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The "Judge's Chambers" thing in right field is a horrible mistake

Listen: I donna wanna be a downer. I wanna do the hopey thing. I wanna see a 2-1 count as half-full, not half-empty. If the scoreboard says "MOO," I wanna make cow sounds with my hands and mouth. I donna wanna be the crotchety old perv who always reminds people that Hideki Irabu killed himself during Hope Week. Nope. I donna wanna be that guy. 

But this "Judge's Chambers" thing in right field? Too soon. 

Way too soon. 

I donna recall Reggie getting a special section in right. (Wait: I do vaguely recall something about a "Reggie's Kids" bleacher area, but it would have happened long after he'd won acclaim in Oakland and Baltimore.) I donna remember Paul O'Neill having one. I'm all in for Aaron Judge - he's the biggest hope in Hope Week - but this bleacher thing is a craven p.r. marketing ploy - a notch above a bobblehead night or the rally monkey - orchestrated by a franchise that used to own NYC and squandered its success via 10 years of pole-dancing management hubris. Now, to cash in quickly, we're piling tons of needless media pressure on a kid - yes, Judge is still a growing boy - who hasn't yet swung a major league bat in the month of June. Bad idea, Yankees. Too soon. Way too soon. Does nobody else see this? Are we all such cheery band-wagoners that nobody wants to address this? WE'RE SETTING THIS GUY UP AS A YANKEE LEGEND, COMPARING HIM TO JETER, PUTTING HIM ON A PEDESTAL AND PREPARING TO PUSH HIM OFF. IN A TIME WHEN WE SHOULD BE DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PROTECT HIM FROM HYPE, THE YANKEES ARE CRASSLY TRYING TO INFLATE HIM. WHAT'S NEXT? A MACY'S PARADE BALLOON?

Bad idea, folks. Too soon. Way too soon.

I joke about "Babe Benintendi" of the Redsocks. On April 23, he was hitting .361 and ready to go straight into Cooperstown, if you listened to the nearest Boston fan. Today, he's at .287 - having hit .230 in the month of May - and he no longer bats third. It's a long, hard season, folks. He'll have plenty of time to turn it around, but first, he'll have to close up the hole in his swing that pitchers have learned to exploit.

Listen: I donna wanna get too down here. The Yankees are nine games above .500 and leading the AL East. Let's be wise enough to appreciate when the going is good. But here is a little reality.

1. Without that eight-game winning steak, an otherworldly carnival of timely hitting and great starting pitchers, we would be in fourth, a game behind Boston. 

2. Several players who soared during that streak - Chase Headley, Austin Romine and Ronald Torreyes, in particular - have crashed to earth. In Headley's case, it might be a career death spiral.

3. Our bullpen, which we were touting as the best in baseball, is on the verge of complete collapse. No lead is safe anymore. Adam Warren is getting clubbed, and without Aroldis Chapman, we simply are not the same team.

4. And we still cross our fingers whenever Judge comes to bat. During that eight-game streak, he hit 4 HRs and drove in 10. He started it batting .211 - finished it at .276. He's been the source of Yankee pride, even (ridiculously premature, in my opinion) being compared to Jeter. If the Yankees lose, but Judge goes 3-4, I'm happy, in a weirdly triumphant way. We so desperately need a homegrown slugger, and here is a kid with all the glory in front of him; already, he outshines Holliday, Castro, Didi, even Gary Sanchez. But one of these days, Judge is going to hit an 0-for-20 slump - they all do - and every time he jogs out to right field, he'll see the people in the robes and wigs, and his stomach will only grow tighter. 

Too soon. Way too soon. Bad move, Yankees. The first rule of Fight Club was always, you don't talk about Fight Club. Bad move. Will rally monkeys be next?


KD said...

Too cute by half. What's next? Bird comes back and gets hot for a month and we get a "Bird's Nest" in the upper deck? Come dressed like a bird! (but please not a blue jay, a cardinal, or an oriole.)

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

Agreed, way to soon.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I have empathy for the Yankees' PR and marketing team. They have nothing to sell, really -- other than Judge, Sanchez, and some of the guys coming up thru the minors. I do love how Brett Gardner plays the game, but I can't see anyone creating a marketing campaign out of his past and present exploits.

Headley? Carter? Ellsbury? Not really.

Maybe Didi and Starlin? Maybe. But Didi is not Derek. And Starlin clearly is going to be traded for something or other, this year. Can't lure ticket-buyers with those 2 guys, at least not right now.

And the pitchers: I do love Dellin B. But after that, it's hard to envision using any of the starters or relievers to attract people to the Bronx.

So what's left? Sanchez or Judge. And maybe Gleyber when he gets to the majors.

OF COURSE, what the NYYs did is premature, and probably stupid. Your post, Duque, made me think of Shane Spencer in his (15-minute) heyday.....was there a marketing campaign tied into him.....?

KD said...

One of my irrational fears is that Judge turns into Shane Spencer.

Tom said...

last night during that disgusting loss, YES kept the cameras on Judge when he disposed of a piece of gum, and Michael Kay practically jumped out of his seat with the breaking news. The young slugger made an out, and now he's going to dispose of his chewing gum. Oh, boy! What a fine young man. And did you see how excited he was after Headley Lamar poked that double to left. Oh, my! What a gamer; even though he just struck out, there he is cheering on his teammates.

Good Lord! Please show some restraint and wait for Pope Francis to bless the kid before sending him to heaven.

Mike said...

I agree... and by the same token I think it's far too early to append the word "sucks" to the words "Jordan Montgomery".

Tom said...

oops, sorry. the Headley double went to right. It was hit about as hard as his more typical tepid ground ball to short or second, but he swung so late he squeezed it down the line.

joe de pastry said...

Totally agree.
Love what Judge has done so far, but the hype is way over the top.
I'm actually getting sick of seeing him on my TV when he's not batting or chasing down a ball hit to right field.

ranger_lp said...

Yanks have had fans masquerading as empty seats recently...anything to sell tickets..

Anonymous said...