Saturday, July 1, 2017

The cosmic fabric of the Yankiverse is twisting: As Clint Frazier arrives, Chris Carter returns from the afterlife

Tonight, at 7:15 Eastern Daylight Time, the most heralded Yankee prospect since Jesus Montero will make his debut. Most likely, Clint Frazier will play left field, because - as we all know - Brett Gardner made the mistake of getting hot, and thus, he requires benching. 

Meanwhile, at first base, Chris Carter - whom we buried less than a week ago - will resume duties, as if nothing unusual happened. 

Though I've seen Frazier play several times, I'm no scout. The Railriders have denied me the stool and semen samples required for an objective IT IS HIGH analysis. I can't predict his future. This is what we know.

1. Frazier is jacked. He's 6'1", but looks short -his shoulders and forearms out of whack. From the stands, he looks like Popeye - impressive, but then again, so wasn't Shelley Duncan. The guy is clearly a workout fiend. Here is a video of him striking out and then snapping his bat like a toothpick, a la' Bo Jackson. 

2. Frazier is a slugger but with deceptive speed. He occasionally played CF. This season in Scranton, he has 9 stolen bases (out of 11 tries.) But he fans a lot - 68 times this year. (Carter has 72, though he achieved that magical total in about 100 fewer at bats.) 

3. Part of Frazier's allure is his extroverted, maybe arrogant personality. He came to spring training with Susan Sarandon's hair, directly challenging the Yankee grooming rules (which are both arbitrary and outmoded.) He seemed to enjoy the attention. Somebody in the clubhouse leaked a toxic story that claimed he demanded No. 7, a ridiculous notion that was debunked - but revealed Yankee Deep State antipathy toward expressive rookies. His roster picture at Scranton now shows a scruffy, two-day growth. Depending on who's talking, he is either a bad fit for the Yankees - or exactly what we need. But if Aaron Judge is promoted as a smiling, cool-headed, gentle giant, the explosive Frazier will probably get a more confrontational treatment from the courtier Gammonites. I guess it all depends on whether he hits. If he doesn't, they might try to chase him out of New York.

4. The Yankees intend to play Frazier. You don't bring up your system's No. 2 prospect - No. 1, if you temporarily eliminate the injured Glyber Torres - to ride the bench. Thus, we'll be back to four outfielders, with one regularly resting or DHing. Aaron Hicks is gone for three more weeks. The wild card is Matt Holliday, who ate a plate of Oakland food and hasn't stopped throwing up. Frazier's rise means Holliday is not coming back soon.   

5. This could be the last mystical appearance of Brigadoon Refsnyder, whom I have championed for three long years. Two nights ago, after he muffed the fly ball that effectively gave a game to the miserable White Sox, his Doomsday Yankee Clock moved to 1 minute of midnight. I still believe Ref will have a nice major league career - one of these years, he'll hit .290 with 15 HRs - but not with us. I hope Cashman can get fair value in a trade - maybe a solid Single A prospect or two. The guy hits line drives in a home run world. I wish he'd gotten 350 at bats, as the Yankees last year gave Aaron Hicks. 

6. Which brings us to Carter and the festering sore at first base. Last night, it was great to see him lash a two-out, run-scoring single past the shortstop. But in his next at bat, he fanned with the bases loaded, lunging at pitches off the plate. It was as if nothing had changed. But everything has changed!

Holy shit. I cannot remember a Yankee player - ever - who came back so quickly after being waived. He's like one of those characters on The Returned, a creepy French TV show where dead people come back and resume their old lives, as if nothing happened. I mean, are you supposed to sleep with your wife, after you just threw clods of dirt on her coffin? 

Didn't the Yankee teammates read Carter's burial notice in the press? Last night, there was his reanimated corpse, marching to the plate and taking his swings, as if nothing happened. WTF? WE SAW THIS MAN LEAVE. HOW IS IT THAT HE HAS RETURNED, PUT ON THE SAME UNIFORM? HOW ARE SUPPOSED TO PRETEND EVERYTHING IS NORMAL? A DEAD MAN IS PLAYING FIRST BASE! HOW IS THIS NORMAL?

Carter's return raises fundamental questions about the afterlife. Presumably, he sat in Purgatory, watching his phone for three days, and receiving no calls. He looked St. Peter in the eye and waited to be sent up or down. He was on the verge of heading to Scranton - yes, Hell-bound! - when the golden, glowing hand of Brian Cashman grabbed his leg and lifted him back into our universe, our continuum, our living and breathing reality. But did he learned anything? Will he change? Few human beings ever get the chance at resurrection. Chris Carter has returned from the dead. What knowledge can he bring to this Yankee team? 

The last four Yankee seasons have been downright boring. This year, woah, it's fucking crazy.


Alphonso said...

The return of the living dead ( Cris Carter ) is all on Greg Bird.

He, alone, is responsible for the plague that has be-devilied and weakened, forever, this Yankee team.

And he is combing his hair somewhere, in a convertible with a babe at his side, waiting for the garbage truck to crash into his rented car.

John M said...

I've been in Germany the past few days, and will be for a few more, so I've missed a number of games--including the horrific injury. After reading Duque's and Cory's posts, I'm glad I didn't see it. But this fawning over Joey Binders, I don't understand. He shed some tears over a terrible thing. That still doesn't mean he hasn't already cost us at least a few games, maybe more, and will continue on to lose us at least a few more. He may be a real humanitarian and a great human being (10 points to those who just got the Ben Vereen reference from "All That Jazz"), but I still cannot stand watching his sometimes peevish post-game interviews, and don't like the way he manages the team in general. Now, the last is possibly partially due to Cashman throwing his weight around, so I'll give Bindey the benefit of the doubt for some of it, but that doesn't account for all the bizarre moves and decisions.

It is nice to know that he has a real heart under that jersey, but it doesn't change his performance as manager. That's too bad, because it's better to have a smart manager with a heart than one who's an asshole (7 points to anyone who gets the Billy Martin reference).

Anonymous said...




Cory Lidle's Scenic Air Tours said...

I say make the kid get a haircut. Rules is rules.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, John M!! I agree 100 percent on Joey Blue-Binders; as I asked the other day, are we running a youth development and player re-hab organization, here, or are we running a baseball team?? I say, kick Joey upstairs, and let him apply his magic and his wisdom to developing players WITHOUT AFFECTING THE TACTICAL DECISIONS ON THE FIELD. (sorry for stealing your shtick, All-Caps - - it was only temporary, and I'll give it back now).

To Cory's Tours: that facial-hair rule sucks, and it has been around so long, it stinketh badly. The Yankees are not some damned military academy, either - - and that rule needs to be TRASHED - - the sooner, the better. Some teams (I'm looking at you, Boss-Town) are ugly, with or without facial hair - - but it should be a personal decision, NOT a team rule. LB (No J)