Monday, June 11, 2018

Yankees make good on threat to boycott ESPN

Take that, ESPN! You wanna play hardball? Wanna screw the Yanks on Sunday night? Go ahead! But you won't see us. You'll get nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Priebus!

Last night, the Yankees sat their star, Aaron Judge, pulled their ace, Luis Severino, after five, and basically told ESPN to fuck off, losing to a team that peaked a decade ago. The Yankees became a team of the Three True Outcomes - minus home runs. What a sad, boring night.

Let's not panic over one loss. The Mets couldn't keep losing forever. You know what they say about the broken clock... Still, in the seventh, down by two, who didn't think we would rally? Even in the ninth, with a runner on first, I was looking past the hopeless Gary Sanchez to and maybe even the Golden Sombrero, Aaron Hicks. That's what happens with winning teams; even the fans don't give up.

But two things here... 

1. What's with Sanchez? Last night, Arod claimed the Yanks must "get him back on track," whatever that means. Let's face it: Nobody thinks we should trade him or even bench him permanently. But batting him fourth? And playing him as DH when he's not catching? I'd welcome Clint Frazier in such situations, though the 25-man roster imposes limits. But when Sanchez comes up, hope circles the drain, and it's been that way for a month. 

Back in spring training, a few Gammonites claimed that Sanchez had mounted a strict regiment to up his game, become a team leader, make himself baseball's best catcher, blah-blah-blah. These days, those stories seem laughable. The other night, in game two of the Subway, he couldn't handle a Chapman fastball right down the middle, prompting the ump to call it a ball. It led to a walk, which nearly discombobulated El Chapo. You can't drop fast ball strikes right down the middle. We need Chapman to be combobulated.

In baseball, it's become common for young players to explode onto the game with record-setting hot streaks - Trevor Story, Cody Bellinger, Jackie Bradley Jr., etc. - and then come down to Earth. Truth be told, we still don't know the baseline seasons for Sanchez, Greg Bird, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks and - yes - even Aaron Judge. For Sanchez, Bird, Hicks and Judge, 2018 may we be the season that defines them as players. And some may not be the players we hoped for.

2. Last night at Trenton, Jonathan Loaisiga - officially the hardest Yankee name to spell - continued the new Yankee mini-tradition of sucking in the spotlight. Rumored to be ready for a call-up next week, replacing Masahiro Tanaka, Loaisiga went two innings and gave up four runs. It was his worst outing of the year. 

There is speculation that the Yankees had already told him he is heading to NYC, so the outing meant nothing. But it seems as though when any of the Yankee pitching prospects gets near the Big Phone Call, he goes out and gets walloped. 

Last night, the Mets looked like a Yankee team from 2014, old players on their last gasps. But if you could press a button and magically switch the two starting rotations, I suspect the Yankees would make that deal. That's the one area where the Mets didn't recruit old-timers. Let's hope the Yankees stick with the young arms... and that at least one of them steps up.


Parson Tom said...

last night was pathetic. did Ryan McBroom contribute to our hubris? Sanchez needs to sit until he can hit better than Romine. Perhaps he's the trade bait -- a slumping future star who will blossom elsewhere -- we could use in exchange for a front-line starter? The

Separately, A-Rod is a babbling fool. On Joey Bats before he struck out, "He's got a lot of baseball left in him, and he keeps himself in great shape and he's still going to be a big run producer." To which, Ms. Espinosa replied, "His numbers suck and he's really sucked quite badly for a couple of years because he swings and misses nearly half the time." Like a politician, A-Rod doesn't miss a beat and says, "Yes, but he still might be valuable insurance against lefthanders." (Quotes verbatim.)

Perhaps worst of all, he spent a minute praising Jason Varitek as a such an amazing and fantastic catcher. The reason the Yankees lost the ALCS in 2004 is because A-Rod was such a fool as to let Varitek give him a face wash with his catcher's mitt, which revived the Boston fighting spirit and led to the stupid Cowboy Up shit. A-Rod is an asshole and he needs to go away.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I blame Dr. Ogudugu (not to be confused with Dr. Odumodu).

He reared his ugly head here:

In addition to being a doctor (of the witch variety I'd guess), he is also a Nigerian prince by the sounds of his phone number.

He cursed us last night with the game, and doubly so with the announcing. I never thought I'd think that Jessica Mendoza was the best announcer in the booth. Last night, I did.

Anonymous said...

Well put Duque.

Sanchez has gone from Sanchize to Sancheese. (Swiss) holes in every part of his game. I think it's mental. I think he needs to be the man. Maybe he'd be better on a less star studded team. They should bench him or send him down so he can get his priority straight. If he can't he may need to go. But last year it seemed that if Judge did well he disappeared. This year you've got several story lines that are "more interesting" than his "greatness" AnDUjar, Gleybar, Stanton... Other guys doing things that only the Mick and Joe D did.

Then there's Bird. someone here mentioned that he's always either hurt or getting his timing back but is actually not good. Either way whether physical or rust he's not good... he's not good.

and Parson Tom... Wow were they bad in the booth. When Sevi was struggling and piling on the pitches in the first it took them forever to notice he was at 27. finally Ms. Mendoza got around to it. I suspect that she would have earlier if not for A-rod's incessant prattling about NOTHING. I get mad at or find Coney and company funny but they tell you more about baseball in 1/2 inning then these guys did in nine. all they did was basically read press releases about the players. And the skipping of Gleybar's entire at bat so we could see Frazier talk to Arod and then kids in Little League. WTF!

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Also, I blame Boone as well. Move Sanchez, Bird, Didi down!

Romine (or Hicks)
Hicks (Sanchez)

Move them back when they come out of it. But the current line up is just stupid.

Doug K.

KD said...

Doug K,

A Yankees fan in my office says the exact same thing as you. Sanchez is jealous of Judge and the attention he garners. I laughed her off but in retrospect, the idea has merit.

Do we have a decent AAA or AA catcher to serve as a backup for Lettuce? Maybe some team will take Sanchez as a rehabilitation project in exchange for a young arm. Sell Gary on his upside. He is talented. It's his attitude that makes him a poor fit for this team.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Parson Tom, that A-Rod remark about Varitek sounds absolutely nauseating. Glad I was in transit.

Doug K., I think you're right that the lineup is bad now, and it has been for some time.

Re: Sanchez, I wonder if there's some way we can pry Realmuto out of Jeter's hands. Maybe Realmuto and old friend Caleb Smith for Sanchez?

And Doug K., you're quite right about Bird, too. Most games, we now have big, black holes at catcher, first base, shortstop (where Didi is rapidly reverting to mean), and at least one outfield spot. Expect that to get worse as Judge's jammed thumb continues to ail him because the Yanks won't put him on the DL.

HoraceClarke66 said...

If the Yanks actually wanted to make the rest of 2018 a useful experience, they would DL Judge now, call up Frazier, and spend much of the rest of the year figuring out if Drury, McKinney, and a bushel of those minor-league arms have anything, or if we need to sign up Machado or Harper, as well as Corbin.

Sanchez should be benched immediately if Jetes won't bite. If he can play his way back, great.

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

El Duque, good obversation about not knowing the base line for some of our key young players. I agree with the view that Sanchez , at this point, is a liability . Right now Romine is the better catcher and the one I would rather see behind the plate in a key game. That catch is ( no pun intended) , Sanchez has the greater potential. He has a rocket arm and significant power .

Before Sanchez made his debut with the Yankees, there were holes in his game. While I hate to weigh one comment too much, he did make a telling comment during his early success . He talked about how he was now a father and he has new responsibility. He went on to say that this has caused him to focus more and it was time for him to deliver. I had two thoughts when I heard that. First, good you are growing up and getting focused. And second, why the fuck haven’t you been up to now.

Making a long story short, my concern is that Sanchez is one of those guys with immense talent whose default position is not giving the 100+ percent effort it takes to excell on the major league level. While we shouldn’t lose sight of the player he can be, it is time to send him a wake up call . That can take many forms, but needs to happen.

Anonymous said...

DL Judge? The team leader in HR and RBI? WTF?

And why do the Yankees need another round of Drury to "see what they've got"? They have the evidence of several major league seasons to see that he's a mediocrity.

13bit said...

I agree with whoever said the problem with Sanchez is between his ears. There's a lack of focus. He has the potential, but so do many others. Bench him for a while. Thinking about whether or not he gets his first big contract one day can have a galvanizing effect on one's concentration.

HoraceClarke66 said...

DL Judge because that's what you do with players who are hurt.

i know that Ma Boone said he wasn't hurt, that he just "wanted to give him two days off" to keep him fresh.

Right, that's what you always do with your big slugger who has just come out of a slump to hit the game-winning home run. You make sure he has more rest than ever, so that...what, exactly? He can rust up again?

Last year, Judge was a stone killer in April-June, and again in September. In July-August, he completely fell apart. Batting average crashed, OPS crashed, he struck out 80 times in 52 games. Absolutely dismal.

Huh, some of the more perceptive scribes asked, this seems to coincide precisely with the All-Star Game Stupid Home Run Derby, where we were assured he DIDN'T hurt his shoulder.

Before the All-Star break, in the previous eight games in July, Judge was10-28, a .357 pace, with 3 homers, a double, and 4 ribbies. The rest of the two months, Judge bats a COMBINED .179, with little power...and then, yes, admits at the end of the season that he hurt his shoulder.

What the Yankees had told us was, to quote, well, The Judge in "The Natural," a pure canard, a prevarication, a lie.

I say, skip the tsuris this year. Let Judge's thumb heal, and let's see what Frazier can do in the meantime.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I admit, I don't have huge hopes for Drury. But after his great start, Didi continues in free fall, not even reverting to mean so much as finding new depths to fall to.

I say, let's see if the Gleyber at short and Drury at second can work. If it can, great. Deal Didi for a pitcher. If it doesn't, deal Didi for a pitcher and sign Manny.

Bench Sanchez, and deal him for Realmuto if you can swing it. If you can't, well, he'll make a decent back-up catcher.

Enough already with the swing and miss crew. They're not even fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

HC66--Are you an orthopedic surgeon? Even a lab tech? Have you seen the x-rays?

Drury is a long-proven mediocrity. Why do you want to beat that dead horse?

Are you clairvoyant? You're sure that Didi won't get hot again?

You're absolutely certain the the huge sample size of Sanchez's last two seasons is a mirage, and that the smaller sample of this season's slump is the reality?

You write as though the Yankees were 2-8 rather than 8-2 in their last ten games.

You've issued enough orders in one post to rival General Rommel in a WWII movie.

Prescription: A nice hot cup of chamomile tea.

Anonymous said...


Didi is batting .275 in the last two weeks. That's your definition of free-fall?

Do you ever fact-check anything before posting?

Parson Tom said...

Every player, even great ones, has holes in his game, bad spells and slumps. Sanchez, Didi and, to some shorter extent, Bird, have proven that they are above average major leaguers -- or better. I am such a fanboy that I start screaming "off with their heads" when they can't seem to do anything right. But these are our guys. This is what we wanted. Personally, I do not want Machado, Harper or any of the other free agent superstars who come with the huge contracts. I'm a Yankee fan pretty much regardless of the moves Cashman makes or doesn't make, but I'd rather root for a team of homegrown players -- and for some reason I'm including Didi in that description -- than another batch of past-their-prime-but-expensive All Stars. To name just a small handful of guys, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Raul Mondesi and Gary Sheffield, for instance, were never particularly endearing, probably because their sell-by had expired. As a fan, though, I reserve the right to make contradictory statements frequently.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I completely agree, Parson Tom. I've always preferred a homegrown team myself, and I dread the "prison," as I think Duque or Alphonso called it, that the ginormous, long-term contract can easily become for player and team alike. Nice as it was to see Stanton finally do something, we're far from out of the woods with him.

But that's why I'm eager to SEE what these guys can do.

I love Didi. I love Sanchez and I love Bird—though so far, our first baseman does not actually seem to be Greg Bird, but a fellow named Bird's Limitless Potential (BLP).

We don't really know if any of these guys are going to work out yet, so I'd like to see as much of possible of them so that we know who we can trade and who we need to replace with a free-agent signing or trade.

Thus I think it's ridiculous to make Judge—and maybe Didi, and maybe Sanchez—play through a debilitating injury for the second summer in a row, when this would be a perfect opportunity to get a look at Frazier or even McKinney.

If Didi is hurt, which I think he might be, then let him rest and recover, and let's see what Drury can do, now that his migraines are supposedly a thing of the past. If Sanchez is hurting, let him catch once a week or so until he gets better, and be grateful we have Romine there to start.

I do remember all of those guys from the oughts, and I thought most of them were indeed a waste. Even Matsui, dedicated though he was, was a player past his prime who broke down after a couple of good-but-not-worldbeating seasons.

But the question remains: do we have the next dynasty here, or a crew of pretenders? Let's find out.