Thursday, August 9, 2018

Boston beat us on Yoan Mocada and has never looked back

In 2015, the juju gods didn't bother to warn us of the Ides of March. (Great sixties band, by the way.) Throughout spring training, we sat at our consoles as Slade Heathcott, Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela shaped a pleasant Yankee future. Meanwhile, we awaited the prize of March: 19-year-old Yoan Moncada, a Cuban infielder whom we would surely sign. There was supposedly a bidding war with the Padres and Dodgers, but the Yankees had held the most private workouts with Moncada, and everybody knew Prince Hal Steinbrenner had the cash. As a free agent, Moncada wouldn't cost us players or even draft picks. It was a done deal, because that's what the Yankees always did.

Well, we know what happened: The Redsocks outbid us by light years - $31 million for Moncada, plus $30 million more in luxury taxes - this, just six months after they plunked down $72 million on Rusney Castillo, a Cuban outfielder (who is still in Pawtucket.) The Yankees countered by trading for Gregorio Petit.

It was the first time Boston crushed us in a money war, and we didn't even see it coming. 

Another thing we didn't see: It would become a defining event in the future Yankee-Redsock rivalry. 

Today, Boston outspends by about $40 million in payroll, while Food Stamps Hal basically has sacrificed 2018 to lessen his tax load. He's counting nickels, looking to save dimes. Has anyone told him that he's a billionaire?

But hey, let's give Boston credit for more than just spending money. Somebody in their system recognized that Moncada's swing was made of Swiss cheese. Before he became the .220 hitter we just saw in Chicago, they traded him for Chris Sale, the best pitcher in baseball, and have never looked back.

As for the Yankees, we're chasing another Wild Card - the new normal. Yesterday, Baseball America dropped our farm system to 17th in the rankings - the lower tier among franchises. We traded huge quantities of young talent for three three-month rentals - Britton, Lynn and Happ, oh my - yet we've still been left stark naked - starting a rookie pitcher at Fenway and handing right field to a minor league journeyman. 

So last night we beat the tomato can White Sox, and we're supposed to shout? Hooray. We are four games up in the Wild Card standings, a race we never imagined ourselves facing. The new normal. A fight for the scraps.

It all changed in March of 2015: The Redsocks became the Yankees, and we became - well - the team of Gregorio Petit. We're not sure what we are, but it's sure not the New York Yankees.


13bit said...


KD said...

we are Hal's New York Yankees.

John M said...

Wow, these Indian riding gloves are great.

Anonymous said...

So if the Red Sox are us then this will be the last year for them as bloated contracts and an empty farm screw them for a decade.

David Price 30M
Pablo Sandoval 18M
Dustin Pedroia 16M
Castillo 11M
Hanley Ramirez 22.75 M
Porcello 21M

That's a lot of bucks for very little.

You have to hand it to them so far. The main difference is that they seem to come every day to win. Cora has them fired up. Can they maintain? There's still a lot of baseball left. The playoffs is its own beast.

Conversely... we scream all the time to play the kids. And some of them, AnDUjar and Gleybar are really working out (rookie mistakes accepted). Others, Bird and Frazier are not. That's baseball.

If we signed J.D. Martinez (23M bucks a year)we would have been pissed that we signed an overpriced guy on the wrong side of thirty just to be a DH.So spend? Or give the kids a chance?

Bottom line is -- You spend and promote, and every once in a while the kids come through and the vets play to the back of their cards and you win it all. That's Boston right now. Nice mix.

The real issue this year is that Yankees lack intensity. That's on Boone. The record against crap teams is the difference between us and Boston. We all know this.

Yet it's hard to blame the front office for putting together a team that (should/could) win 100 games this year and do it giving Neal Walker WAY more ABs than is stomachable.

BTW I heard on YES yesterday that Aaron Hicks is second in almost all AL offensive categories only to Mike Trout. How is that possible?

Last thing. Right now we only have three guys making over 20M

Stanton 25M (and starting to be worth it)
Tanaka 22M (I still like him)
Jacoby 21M (I hear he is resuming baseball activities. His wife just bought him Strat-O-Matic.)

Soon it will be time to spend again. When we do I'm sure we will be mad, like we were when we got Stanton (because we're not playing the kids!) until we're not (because he's playing GREAT now.)

So... Let's get healthy. Get Judge back. Get Sanchez a giant bucket Acai Berries. And let's, finally, continue to do what we did to the White Sox this week. Dominate the crap teams.

That said, if we fail to spend next year. I will be pissed.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

Doug, that's all lovely consolation, but I would feel a lot better if the Red Sox would lose three or four in a row.

TheWinWarblist said...

I love Strat-O-Matic!

Anonymous said...


Yes, a losing steak would be helpful. Right now they exhibit a "Will to Win" that we don't. Hopefully it becomes hubris and then the juju gads can take care of the rest.

Doug K.

Retired Stratman said...

I love Strat-o-matic too, WW. I also had the college football version. That’s how I found out there is actually a college called “Wake Forest”. Weird. BTW - I still think the 1998 Yanks were juicing. Posada, Strawberry, O’Neill. Hell, O’Neill still looks like he’s juiced. But then, I’m convinced both Mantle and Maris were roidin’ it up in 1961.

Anonymous said...

Do you play basic or advanced or superadvanced Strat?

Anonymous said...

Do you play basic or advanced or superadvanced Strat?

Anonymous said...

I was more of an All-Star Baseball guy myself. I liked spinning the spinner.

Doug K.

Retired Stratman said...

I remember rolling dice, but my memory isn’t worth crap anymore. I think the last time I played it was around 1966. About the same time I was attaching my Nolan Ryan rookie card to my bicycle spokes with a clothes pin.

Anonymous said...

WinWarblist, Doug K, Retired Stratman, and Anonymous,

I have almost every season Strat-O-Matic has issued, plus some bootleg SOM cards printed by a friend who cracked the game company's cardmaking formula. I've put together all-time teams for all the franchises -- basic, players with best individual seasons. Also, for the Yankees, I have a four-team intramural league. That way, the Yankees always win (and it doesn't hurt so much when the Yankees get beat). The four teams are led, of course, by Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle. The four #1 starting pitchers are Gomez, Chesbro, Guidry, and RUSS Ford.


el duque said...

I was an APBA junkie.

Somewhere, I have the Roger Maris APBA card from 1961.

He had a HR on dice rolls of 66, 11 AND 33! Incredible.

Anonymous said...


Your memory is good. Strat-O-Matic was dice. All-Star Baseball (which I liked) was a spinner.

Good pictures. Click on images.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...


Wow! That is seriously impressive.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

None of the Strat players have answered the question: do you play basic, advanced, or superadvanced?

Anonymous said...

APBA has many problems, not the last of which is that its basic chance scheme is too restricted and its pitcher ratings are too generic. Also, it has no way to reproduced a pitcher's flyball/groundball ratios, which both Strat and Dynasty League (successor of Pursue the Pennant) can do. Moreover, it's defensive ratings are team-based rather than individual.

Anonymous said...

Another notoriously complex spinner game was Big League Manager, now defunct. You can now elminate the spinner with the 001-999 dice that come with Dynasty League.

All-Star Baseball was a young kid's game that never claimed to reproduce any degree of real statistical accuracy in its results.

Anonymous said...


That's OK that it was a kid's game. I was a kid. Accuracy and faithfulness to the game didn't matter much to me.

I also liked Bas-Ket. Bas-Ket was a great game but you could say that the lack of defense made it a poor basketball simulation. It made a great sproingy sound when you shot though.

I also used to bounce a Spauldeen into an empty soda case box and taped what the baseball outcomes would be on the slots. So for me it's a pretty low bar as far as sims go.

Doug K.

Retired Stratman said...

I also had that electric football game where the little plastic players vibrated down the field when you turned it on and you could actually pass this little felt football from the quarterback that had a spring-loaded arm.

Anonymous said...

I used to use the electric football game as wall art in my office when I was in my 20's.

The thing I use now is a Kenner Give-A-Show Projector that sits on a pedestal and projects the slide into an empty frame. I change the slide when I get bored.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

This year's goal was to get under the salary cap. We did this. Not to win a World Series.

But next year, the wallets will be open and it's gonna look like Supermarket Sweep. Mark my post...

ranger_lp said...

I had a Strat-O-Matic game from 1966 and 1967. Cards were expensive from what I remember.

I also had a Bottlecap Baseball game that was glued to a piece of drywall. There was also a box of Band-Aids near by also.

Retired Stratman said...

I had the give a show projector, too. But what I really wanted was the Great Garloo, but my parents wouldn’t buy it.

TheWinWarblist said...

We had a 6 team Strat-o-Matic league where every team played a 60 game season. We used super advanced rules which was a fucking pain until they came out with their computer version. The computer kept stats for every player for every year. We had a 40 man roster and a draft every year as soon as the new card set came out. It was glorious. And then we all went off to professional school and or new jobs. We all miss The Calvin League, and I miss The Mighty Stoats of Urbana-Champaign most of all.

Anonymous said...

Those who don't use the cards and roll dice in Strat, superadvanced or no, are not serious people.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it, Stratman! I once met the son of the guy who invented Strat-o. I almost prostrated myself in worship. I also had a friend who became so frustrated at a slump Carlton Fisk was in, in Strat-o, that he benched him.

I remonstrated with my friend: "But it's not like he isn't putting in a good effort. He's a computerized card of probabilities!"

My friend would not budge. I admired his integrity. Or his insanity, I forget which.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And yes, those electrified football games were incredible rip-offs. You line up all your guys, you got your play ready, you switched on the power...and they all vibrated. Just vibrated. Until after about five minutes, your ball carrier vibrated out of bounds for no game.

Horrible scam pulled on children.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug K., I would agree. But the beauty of the way the Red Sox are built is this: the 3 Cy Young winners on their team will probably keep them going for at least another 4-5 years.

All it will take is a marginal performance by the rest of the team to make the playoffs and seriously contend every year. And after those 4-5 seasons, their management will likely have built the farm system into being a contender again.

Our team? It's exactly the opposite. By the time Coops finally wises up and builds a staff out of the system, guys like Stanton will be getting long in the tooth, and even the likes of Judge will be a little past their sell date.

By the way, I want to go on record right now: THIS is the time to trade Judge, in the off-season. This is his peak trade value. The guy will get hurt more and more, at that size, and he will hit less and less, as his .204 average on the road presages.

I love the guy. But that is the cold, hard call I would make.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hal, Russ Ford WAS a helluva pitcher.

One thing on the 1998 Yankees, Stratton: judging by all we know, and all we can know, they were NOT juicing, none of them—this was the year before Clemens joined the team—but did what they did against an already juiced league. Making their feats all the more impressive.

Anonymous said...

Because I am older than just about all of you, I never played, nor knew about, any of those games you mention - - having gone off to university in 1964...

When I was younger, we all would just take our REAL baseballs, bats, gloves, etc., and go to the town's ball-field, and play our hearts out, trying to emulate our idols.

At this point, Hoss-Man, I must adamantly disagree with your suggestion of trading Judge - - peak trade-value, or no. I just wanted to go on record saying so. LB (No J)

HoraceClarke66 said...

LB (No J), you are probably right, and no doubt because of the intangibles.

I love Judge—and so does everybody. And so what if he is probably at peak value?

It goes back to that infamous evening in 1947, when Crazy Larry McPhail—not to be confused with his son, Drowsy Lee McPhail—convinced Tom Yawkey to trade Ted Williams to the Yankees for Joe DiMaggio.

The idea was that each would flourish in a park built much more for the side of the plate they swung from.

Statistically, this would have been a great trade for the Yankees. DiMaggio would play terrific ball for the Yankees through 1950, but he declined significantly in 1951 and retired. William still had a couple of his best seasons ahead of him, and would play through 1960.

But so what? The deal would've ripped the heart out of both teams.

Thank goodness that old chowder head, Tom Yawkey, had the good sense to call up and cancel the trade the next morning, when both men were sober.

So yes, we should keep The Judge. But I will say this: we have already seen the best of him.