Saturday, May 12, 2018

Maybe it's not 1998 again

Yesterday, Mike Axisa - River Ave's relentless human copy machine (in a good way) - compared the '18 Yankee Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM) to their 1998 counterparts. This happened in his weekly mailbag as a request from some Yank fan deliriously, pants-pissingly potted from the last two weeks. Among Mike's rulings: Gary Sanchez over Jorge Posada and Sonny Gray over Hideki Irabu - which, considering last night, is sorta like preferring lice to crabs.

Listen: I don't fault anyone for being flophouse drunk (hiccup) from the recent (hiccup) streak, week, whatever (hic). But this 1998 comparison crapola needs to stop, at least until July. You can compare positions, but teams are a different story. On May 12, 1998, Joe Torre's Yanks led the AL East by 3.5 games with a 25-7 record. (Today, they are 26-12 and tied; Boston lost last night.) Three weeks later, they'd lead the division by nearly 10. With all due respect to the last two glorious (hiccup) weeks... 

I watched the 1998 Yankees, I knew the 1998 Yankees; boys, you are not the 1998 Yankees. 

For starters, the grim underside of Gary Sanchez is that, unless he starts putting more balls into play, he is a sub-Mendoza Line catcher with shabby defense, and already one starter prefers Austin Romine behind the plate. This is not to bury Gary. I believe he is the game's best offensive catcher, and if he somehow learns pitch-blocking skills that most backstops master by Triple A, he should be the game's best catcher, period. But right now, as John tells Suzyn, Gary is scary! Not always in a good way.

Didi Gregorius is strapped into a roller-coaster unlike anything he's seen before. After winning the AL Player of the Month award, he's 0-for-29, with an average teetering toward meh-ness. Last night, with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, he popped out to RF, and you could feel the air whoosh out of the stadium. We thought this was Didi's breakout year. Now, it could become the season that defines his ceiling. Surely, this the slump will end, but Didi's time in the three hole could be dwindling, as we look more and more to Greg Bird as the LH bat between Judge and Giancarlo.

Tyler Austin, the hero of Fenway, looks doomed. Once Bird returns, with Neil Walker performing well in utility roles, Austin will almost surely be sent to Scranton, if not traded by Cashman for some rookie league lottery tickets (which actually have yielded serviceable prospects.) In game three against Boston, Austin struck out with the bases loaded, a crushing moment in a winnable game. He simply hasn't shown swagger since the suspension for the brawl, and his time is ticking down. 

Another decision looms on Miguel Andujar, whose hits now seem to be of the infield variety. Yesterday at Scranton, Brandon Drury hit a grand slam and played both ends of a doubleheader. His migraines can't be THAT bad. I believe Andujar has a higher long-term ceiling; he looks like a young Adrian Beltre. But if the Yankees lose a few games - even if it's just a natural correction - Drury could be on the way, with Miggy returning to the mines. This team will lose some of its vigor.

Finally, Sonny Gray. What to say? Last night, he was trending on Twitter (not in a good way.) Yesterday, hours before the game, Axisa compared him favorably to the Fat Toad. The bar is rather low, I guess. But these comparisons to 1998 - (hiccup) - let's take a rain check.

7 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Questions + Answers:

1. Sanchez isn't perfect. So what? Aaron Boone's lifetime BA is .263. So what? Sanchez ranks #11 in RBI in all of MLB right now (#7 in the AL). You don't LIKE that? You take THAT out of the lineup every 5th day? Really?????

We should say: Let Gary be Gary (and use Romine every 9 days or so).

2. Sonny Gray needs to go to the bullpen immediately. Not later, now! Think it will happen? Who starts instead? There are a number of candidates, including -- "I don't care, anybody but Sonny."

3. There's a guy in the bullpen (Cole) who hasn't pitched since the last days of April. Thus far, he's NEVER pitched in a NYY uniform. It's May 16. Why is he here? Isn't there some better use to which the NYYs might put that roster spot?

SUSPICION: Is he there because Cashmoney obtained him, but Boone doesn't want to use him? Is there another explanation?

4. Chris Sale stuck out 15 Blue Jays last night; his team lost anyway. The Evil Sox are 9-and-10 since their initial run. Is it possible that TORONTO is the team the NYYs will end up rivaling this year?

I apologize for this rant. I was in a sour, sour mood watching Gray last night. I didn't expect perfection, I DID anticipate a competitive performance by the way. My mood only brightened a bit this morning, when I saw the Sox-Jays game result.

Anonymous said...

BRANDON DRURY IS STRIKING OUT AGAINST AA AND AAA PITCHING AT AN ALARMING RATE!

ALARMING!

FORGET ABOUT THE GRAND SLAM YESTERDAY.

IF WE SEND ANDUJAR DOWN, I FEAR IT MAY BE THE END OF THIS MAGIC CARPET RIDE.

IT WILL CRUSH ANDUJAR, AND POSSIBLY THE TEAM, AS WE ARE PROBABLY REPLACING OUR EVERYDAY 3RD BASEMAN WITH SOMEONE WHO IS NOT AS GOOD A PLAYER, ( DRURY MAY STILL BE PHYSICALLY COMPROMISED). CHECK OUT HOW MUCH HE IS STRIKING OUT.

I DON'T CARE ABOUT DRURY'S MAJOR LEAGUE "EXPERIENCE".

ANDUJAR SEEMS TO HAVE THAT "CLUTCH" GENE. (SOMETHING WE NEED LIKE AIR).

ANDUJAR PUTS THE BAT ON THE BALL AND MAKES CONTACT.(SOMETHING ELSE WE NEED LIKE AIR).

ANDUJAR IS ADEQUATE IN THE FIELD AND GAINING CONFIDENCE.

IS CASHMAN GOING TO PULL A "REFSNYDER" ON ANDUJAR?

WARNING: IT MAY CRUSH US.

TheWinWarblist said...

So now we have hysteria. And everything is right with the world. Joe thinks RBI are a valuable metric and we should ignore everything else. ALL CAPS ANON has completely lost his fishizzle. And it's May 12th. The season is long! Oh so long, you walnuts! Pace yourselves. Take some of the lithium you've been prescribed. Please. We will get through the long Summer and Fall. Together. You freakin' walnuts.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

Headline on today’s Yankee’s homepage:

“Betances confident results will change soon”

Future headlines:

“Betances says check is in the mail”

“Betances' doctor: It’s just a cold sore”

“Betances promises he won’t cum in your mouth”

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I read somewhere that Drury has options.

If that is true, keep him in Scranton for now.

An injury will happen to straighten all of this out.

Anonymous said...

Neil Walker performing well in utility roles? Compared to whom? Marv Thronberry? With the one-third mark of the season approaching in two weeks, the guy has ZERO home runs and an overall offensive profile somewhere to the south of the Mets' pitching staff. As for Austin's batting performance, it sagged precisely AFTER BOONE STOPPED PLAYING HIM REGULARLY.

You're beginning to sound more and more like a party-line Gammonite every day, duque.

Anonymous said...

WARBLIST TELLING US TO CALM DOWN???..LOL

YOU'RE THE GUY PUTTING HIS PANTS ON OVER HIS HEAD!

I'M JUST PLAYING.

LOVE THE WARBLIST.

YOU KNOW ME....

I'M IN YANKEE HYSTERIA FROM DAY ONE SPRING TRAINING, UNTIL OUR 4TH WIN IN THE WORLD SERIES.

BEEN LIKE THAT MY ENTIRE LIFE, (AS INFANTILE AS IT IS).

DON'T CARE.

IT'S IN MY BLOOD.

NEW YORK YANKEE BASEBALL.