Saturday, July 7, 2018

Can We Talk?

Games like this evening's, a total waste in terms of things such as entertainment value, are invaluable as an x-ray of the team we actually have, as opposed to the team we would like to THINK we have.

I don't just mean the continuing degeneration of Sonny Gray, who has gone from:

—Pitcher who cannot pitch to Gary Sanchez, to

—Pitcher who cannot pitch at home, to

—Pitcher who cannot pitch to anyone, at home or on the road, anywhere, anytime.

Sonny is just one of those things that happens from time to time, on even the best of teams. He is the Kenny Rogers of this Yankees team, the Big Pus-sy Toad (as the NY Times kept styling it, lest we mistake a perfectly respectable oozing sore for a woman's sexual organ ooo, yuk, gross, eeek.)

Hey, the Sonny Grays of life happen. Just the way it goes.

What games like tonight's tell us is...quiet, hush-hush, shhhh...this team is not that good.

There, I said it!  I'm so sorry!

I know, I know.

It's one of the rare privileges of being a Yankees fan. You actually get to take a little look into heaven. You get a glimpse of what perfection might look like. That's what we thought we had here, a time or two in the last few years.

We thought we had lightning in a bottle.  An outfielder of rare and unusual talents. A first baseman with, well, limitless potential. A couple of amazing kid infielders. A catcher who seemed like Johnny Bench reincarnated.

One of the most astute baseball writers I know, a guy who is big into the new stats and also knows the old game, was still insisting just the other day that "the Yankees will have one of the great 1-2-3-4s in history" when Sanchez gets back into the lineup.

Yeah, I believed the same thing, dude.

I believed it because I was around to see the 1998 Dream Team, probably the best single club in major-league history. I believed it because I had seen the 1977-78 teams, and had read abut the great teams of 1961, and 1956, and 1953, and 1941, and 1936-39, and 1932, and 1927-28, and, oh, you know. That whole Yankee thing, where you get blinded, thinking that anything is possible.

Well, to quote Stephen Sondheim in Assassins, you got to forget about it. It's an illusion.

Let's take a look at the team that was actually on the field tonight, never mind The Gleyber—out with his second major injury in as many years—or Sanchez, whose groin and whose psyche seem to have failed him.

Let's even skip over Bird's Limitless Potential, awful as ever, or the slowly deteriorating Andujar.

Let's go straight to Aaron Judge, a supposedly Ruthian presence, who is now hitting .277, after an 0-5 performance with 3 strikeouts, to add to the 115 he already had on the season.

Let's to go Giancarlo, at all of .264, with another three whiffs, and 117 on the year.

A show of hands now: who would not trade these two for Paul O'Neill and Lou Piniella? I would. In a heartbeat.

They are not Roger Maris. They are not Bobby Murcer, at his best.  Hell, here is Norm Siebern, at his best, AFTER we traded him to KC:

.308/.412/,495/.907.  114 runs scored, 110 walks, 88 strikeouts.

Anyone think that Judge and Stanton are capable of that?

I didn't think so.

Look, this is a perfectly fine baseball team. But it's not vaguely capable of starting a new dynasty. If we go for it all this year, or don't...it doesn't matter.

Judge, a great story and apparently a great guy, and Stanton, seemingly a terrific human being, are not going to lead us to anything.

The horrible little truth is, we'd be better off with Norm Siebern.











10 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


This is the best argument for shedding at least Walker, Gray (and maybe Drury) (and maybe Gardner) in the next coupla weeks -- and going with more kids.

Perhaps also sending Bird down for more seasoning. That creates 5 roster spots, doesn't it? I'm not even thinking about Shreve; put the pitching aside for a minute.

To get this done, someone really "important" in the overall scheme of things must admit he made a lot of mistakes. This has always been an easy thing for ME to do, as I routinely make beaucoup mistakes, and admitting to a share of them is reasonable.

BUT: It might not be something Cashmoney can do. Much less Hal!

There is no cleaning up the Ellsbury matter. Or trading Stanton (not without sending over $250 million with the guy, which I think MLB would stop).

But you doesn't have to give a roster spot over to Ellsbury whenever he's physically "ready." And you don't have to put Stanton higher in the lineup than 7th, duya? At least you can separate the 2 monster strikeout guys just a bit . . . ????

TheWinWarblist said...

I'm sorry, but I cannot talk now; I am inchoate with rage and despond.

TheWinWarblist said...

Warble. Warble warble.

TheWinWarblist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheWinWarblist said...

Why is it that BLP can't hit the ball the other way against the shift? Would BLP be embarrassed by a few more points of batting average?

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Once again I am forced to overcome my unhappiness with last night's debacle and play the role of Pollyannaish contrarian.

This is a very good baseball team. Being the same age as the author (That's you Hoss) I too experienced the Yankee teams he mentioned and right now yes, they are not that. But would I rather have Sweet Lou and Angry Paulie instead of Judge and Stanton? No.

I know, they played with fire and did the grindy little things that wins ball games and certainly put ball on bat and had more productive outs. But, no. Instead of Gardner? Yes. Same type players but better.

Stanton is starting to actually put it together (Four HR in the last three games)and watching Judge throw a guy out from right is worth the price of admission right there. Teams don't run on him. That saves runs. Oh and he can hit too.

Also, "never mind The Gleyber out with his second major injury in as many years" He strained a muscle. That can happen. The other one was a Tommy John off of a freak slide. These two injuries can not be equated and does not make him made of glass. BLP on the other hand is Nick Johnson without the hitting.

The Yankees could be fixed and return to greatness (OK Very Goodness)with a couple of changes on the roster and with the manager's philosophy.

We've all said it but it bears repeating.

1) How the hell do you keep sending Walker out there? I could see it if he were a part of the future but he's not. So no more starts or AB for him NONE. Let Drury play. (Better bat) Let Wade play (Better glove) either one. My father (RIP)used to say, "Stubborn = Stupid" In this regard Aaron Boone is level five stupid. Letting Drury play removes four "automatic" outs a game.

2) Get Frazier up here! As pinch hitter. As DH as a young guy who plays with passion. He is your Sweet Lou. He's your Angry Paulie. He needs to be at a minimum on the bench. If it weren't for the stupid dome he had a pinch hit game winning HR the other day. Stubborn = Stupid!

3) Let the Sonny set. He should never throw another inning for us. It's too bad. I had him down as our 2018 wins leader. I was wrong. I can admit that. Hal and Aaron? Stubborn Equals Stupid!

4) First Base. Double sigh. Duque mentioned a while back that maybe we should stop looking at BLP and think of him more as a professional 1st baseman. I pretty much agree at this point. A real first baseman saves a lot of runs and a lot of pitches. I'm reading about Mike Mousakis, a guy who never played the position. NOOOOOOOOOO!

"What games like tonight's tell us is...quiet, hush-hush, shhhh...this team is not that good."

Yes they are. The 2018 Yankees are not a Super Team. But they are as good as or better than the teams they need to beat. 5-4 vs. Red Sox 5-1 Astros 3-0 Mariners. 2-1 Braves etc.

Maybe they don't win the division. Maybe they fix the rotation and stop being stubborn and win it all. That's why they play the games.

Let's not suffer from PSGS Post Sunny Gray Start Syndrome. It's real but it's treatable. Fill a glass with a nice bourbon and ginger ale and take Sonny Gray... Please!

Doug K.



Alphonso said...

Who the fuck is BLP?

Anonymous said...

Greg Bird AKA "Bird's Limitless Potential" some times called BUP "Bird's unlimited potential" depending on who is commenting.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Good points all around, Doug K., and I should know better than to post after a Sonny Rage start.

But...my anger really isn't so much with Sonny, a lost cause, in this case, as with how our Big Two just disappear so often.

I put this down in part to our hitting instruction (or lack thereof), in part to the New Baseball. But whatever the case, we should not fool ourselves into thinking they are Paulie and Bernie, or Thurman and Reggie, or Mickey and Roger—and certainly not Mickey and Yogi, or Joe and Lou, or the Babe and Lou.

They are players who are going to simply disappear on you on many nights. Which makes me wonder just how much of a "dynasty" we can have.

ranger_lp said...

Sonny Gray has turned into Tyler Clippard. Can someone remind me why we pay Rothschild all this money?