Monday, August 7, 2017

Joe is right about Sanchez

Friday night, the new "Golden State Warriors of Baseball" played so wondrously crappy that Joe Girardi actually stopped being Joe Girardi. 

Let's think about that... because you can say a lot of things about Joe Girardi, but you can't say he ever stops being Joe Girardi. In fact, of all the Joe Girardis we've known, he is by far the most Joe Girardiish. Some would say Joe Torre, at the end, was more Joe Girardiish than Joe Girardi. I disagree. Joe Torre was just being Joe Torre, even if at times, he displayed future Joe Torre-Girardiish characteristics, such as turning Scott Proctor into a human dishrag. But I digress... 

Friday night, after the Olden State Warriors flubbed another game, Joe Girardi became Joe-Billy Girardimartin. And damn, it was overdue.

The new IIH avatar?
Before continuing, I recognize that to speak positively on this site about Joe Girardi - even as Joe-Billy Girardimartin - is tantamount to running naked across a driving range while carrying a "HIT ME FOR FREE BEER" sign. (I should replace my John Cusack "Say Anything" avatar with someone appropriate...) Many readers want Joe Girardi to be Stump Merrill - that is, gone.

(My official view: Worse people could be running the Yankees. For every Joe Girardi, there are three Gene Mauchs. Also, the rot stems from the top, where we have a nepotistic billionaire who cannot stick to a plan, aside from his preference for being back-slapped in the old boy owners' club, rather than ruffle Bud Selig's nylon hair. For better or worse, the true son of George Steinbrenner currently owns the Dodgers. They are the modern Evil Empire. We are the Evil Also-Rans.)

Nevertheless, Friday night, Joe Girardi publicly criticized Gary Sanchez - as much as Joe Girardi ever publicly criticizes a Yankee - for being Matt Nokes. That is, for being a DH masquerading as a catcher. (I would have added that Sanchez needs to stop lunging for pitches the way a certain ex-reality TV star once claimed to grab ladies' crotches; but I'm no Joe Girardi.) Time will tell if it works. It would be sad if it doesn't, because unless Sanchez improves his defense, he'll be on a rail car out of NYC before Christmas. The Yankees won't go with a Matt Nokes behind the plate. Neither Joe would ever accept such a thing.

So here's the deal: Even though we are officially challenging for a post-season berth, the Yankees remain in a shifting, experimental rebuilding mode. We are still sorting things out for the long haul, and the clearest example of this was our decision not to replace Greg Bird at first base. Clearly, the Yankees still see Bird as the long range option; thus, the namby-pamby way we addressed the black hole at first, by moving Chase Headley there and hoping for the best.

But the big questions of the future still remain: 

Is Bird our first baseman? (Because we have nobody else right now in the system.)

Is Sanchez our future "Core Four" Yankee catcher? (Because we have nobody else right now in the system.)

ow good will the Aarons - Judge and Hicks - really be? (Because we have a pile of future outfield prospects in the system.)

Clint Frazier? Tyler Wade? Miguel Andujar? Will we see enough of them - or any of them, in the case of Andujar - to determine their their long term value? 

And, going forward, perhaps the most important question of all: 

Is Joe Girardi - being Joe fucking Girardi - the right guy to pilot what we hope will be the next great Yankee team? Make no mistake: Joe Girardi is a fine fellow, a great human being, a pleasure to be around, a joy to all. Is he a great manager? The next two months, folks... the next two months...


Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ. On the list of problems the Yankees have, Sanchez's defensive shortcomings are way down the list. Can he improve? Probably. Even without improvement, will he provide enough offense to at a minimum even out his defensive shortcomings and be an above league average catcher for the next 5 years, barring injury? Almost certainly. Is he a proud man who might not take kindly to being publicly ridiculed by a no-stick borderline starter and yes man for an organization which, for some fucking reason, seems downright hostile to cost controlled young talent? If not, he should. Yankees management is a disgrace.

KD said...

Joe hates catchers that hit so much that he actually prefers Romine Lettuce to Sancho. He also never forgave Posada for taking his job.

JM said...

As Anonymous noted, Girardi was a borderline player. He helped "train" Jorge and then hated him for having more athletic ability than Joe ever had, so when the time came he humiliated one of the Core Four mercilessly, and sounded like a two-faced jackal whenever he talked to the press.

I've never forgotten that, and maybe that's why I continue to despise Joey Binders to this day.

Now, here's another catcher with powers and abilities far beyond those of shrink-wrapped Joe. Last year, everyone was all goo-goo over Sanchez being such a terrific catcher at such a young age, with a powerful arm and quick reflexes. This year, after returning from injury, he's still got a gun for an arm but his defense has suffered for some reason. Hard to say why, maybe it's related to the injury somehow.

Girardi is sadistically screwing with the kid's head, of course. How dare he be more talented than the great Girardi (who, by the way, is a fanatical weightlifter and physical fitness freak, still trying to show that he's good enough).

If Sanchez comes out of this OK, I hope he remembers. Somewhere down the line, he'll have an opportunity. Maybe just a lukewarm comment or a veiled criticism at the right moment. Maybe a poisoned thumbtack in the skipper's jockstrap.

But remember, Gary. Remember.

Anonymous said...

From one Anonymous to another--amen. The Yankees have long had an organizational pathology about their own young talent, dispelled only during the Buck Showalter interregnum, which lasted just long enough to build a dynasty.

Cashman and Michaels et al. are idiots. This will never change.

Anonymous said...



13bit said...

At this point, consider that Cashman is playing balls to the wall for a playoff spot NOT for the team, but to SAVE HIS OWN SORRY ASS. This shlub, who inherited the dynasty from Stick and Watson, has never really done anything. At some point, if he doesn't put together a winning team - and I'm not counting the store-bought version a la 2009 -Hal will wake up and can his sorry ass. He wants to win now to save his own skin. To hell with the youth movement! To hell with rebuilding! To hell with patience! We need results now or Cashola will find himself unemployed. I know you might think I sound crazy here, but I'm beginning to think this is more plausible each day.