Tuesday, August 14, 2018

With seven weeks left, leaks are forming in the Yankee barge

Well, now we know if Zach Britton will revise his dominant, all-world form of 2016. He won't. In fact, he's borderline awful, and because we surrendered so much to get him, we have no choice to keep wheeling him out and watching the fireworks. 

We are still learning about Gleyber Torres' attention span, which comes and goes. It's still not clear how low his batting average will fall before reaching bedrock. Over the last 30 days, he is hitting .154 and playing dismally in the field. That talk about Rookie of the Year? Not anymore.

We're getting a crash course in Miguel Andujar's defense, which falls somewhere between Bill Buckner and one of those immobile billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Two months ago, he looked like a future Yankee touchstone, enough to quell talks about Manny Machado. Now, he just looks like a stone. Or maybe a first-baseman, which might not be a bad thing because...

Ahh, crap, we're also learning about Greg Bird. For a while, we told ourselves he was back, breaking out and ready to become a star. Then, the world intervened. Over the last 30 days, he's hitting .210, and the Yankees are quietly looking for platoon options. (Though I think we also learned about Luke Voit.) 

Luis Severino? Still waiting. Gary Sanchez? Flip a coin. Aroldis Chapman? Let's not go there.

Here are the batting stats for the last 30 days.

As for pitching? Check out our "vaunted" bullpen over the last 30.

Remember when Domingo German showed so much promise? When was that, two years ago? Three? No... just two months? Where have all the flowers gone? What happened to that bullpen? The last two weeks have brought out more revelations than Omarosa's tapes. 

And this we know...

1. They can lose to anybody, regardless of how bad the other team is.

2. For a highly touted bullpen, they cannot hold any lead. 

3. There is no help coming from the minors. 

4. They are one more injury away from catastrophe. Imagine a tweaked gonad by Giancarlo, or Didi, or Hicks... we would be done.

It's a learning curve, right? Well, we have learned a lot. Come October, we may have to learn to love football. 


Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

WAIT! Help has already come from the minors -- in the form of TOE.

When he was sent down (June) the ream was 47-22 and in first place.

Now 74-44. The record WITHOUT a TOE = 27-22.

Things will almost certainly improve now, doncha think?

KD said...

God help me, I fear The Gleyber has come down with Sanchez Disease. declining output, desultory play, perceptible expansion of girth. It's all there, fellas. I seen it. with my own two eyes! I seen it!

13bit said...

I agree with everything you say, Duque, except for the second to last line, the "we would be done" comment.

We ARE done. Let's just accept that and enjoy this unpredictable game for the rest of the happy season.

Life is beautiful. Cash rules. We are amazing. Just one snapped twig away from an epic run straight to the World Series.

I love everybody.

JM said...

The thing about Andujar and Torres: they're rookies. Their season is usually over by now. They've never played this long into the summer, and that means their bodies and brains are just not used to this yet.

It might sound like an excuse, but I don't think it is. These are young guys, dealing with the most games they've ever played in one season over the longest length of time. It's kind of like living in NYC and having a third-floor walkup, then moving to a fifth-floor walkup. Trust me, those last two flights will nail you for a good while until you adjust.

The bullpen, however, blows. Chappie supposedly has that knee problem. Britton could be washed up. Cole isn't the answer. Good thing we got rid of Warren and Shreve. *cough*

But the bullpen, and even the rest of the team, is a good illustration of the limits of managing. To me, Boone isn't very good, but really, he's not much different than St. Joe Torre, who I still consider the luckiest man (well, maybe Casey) to serve as Yankees manager. (Huggins and McCarthy? Maybe. Hard to know from this distance.) Right now, a lot of the moves Boone makes or doesn't make end up in disasters large and small, for the simple reason that the players don't come through. In the golden years of the late 90s, I can't begin to count how many times I heard some TV announcer say how brilliant Torre was because he made a questionable (or highly questionable) move, yet it paid off.

That had about 2% to do with Torre and 98% to do with the guys he had on those amazingly great teams. He did make a lot of goofball calls, but the players were magic. They came through in the clutch--offense, pitching, defense--a ridiculous number of times. Boone, though perhaps more hapless than Torre overall (it is debatable, though), doesn't have a roster that does that. So it's easy to criticize him. (I know I sure do.) Yet Torre got sainthood, even though his true managing skills were made visible by the increasingly flawed teams post-2001. (His pre-Yankees managerial days, with mediocre teams, were equally revealing.)

If this team was as good as 1998's, or 1999's, or 2000's, I think Boone would be getting crowned as a genius when all his very iffy moves panned out. He might even be getting to do some Bigelow tea commercials, like Torre. Who is the single reason I will never buy Bigelow tea.

And to those who say this line of thinking means I don't think managers are very important, you're half right. I think they're usually not as important as they're made out to be, but only because there aren't many who actually make a difference on the plus side.

If I was ever in position to do so, I would never turn to CohnReznick, either.

Anonymous said...

cASSman's team (and Hell's)!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We've been waiting for Boston to regress to the mean but it turns out it was us.

Bring up Sheffield. Why not?

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

If we win the wild card, wont matter what Boston did during regular season. The master would say..."this is why you play the games..."

Vampifella said...

Aside from the Yanks woes, it's interesting to see that the Astros are failing just as much as we are lately. They are merely two games ahead of the A's now.

It would be a riot if the Astros fell behind the M's and got knocked out of the Wild Card entirely. Sadly the M's are playing too much like the Yanks and they really cannot pull a necessary 10 game win streak to make that happen.

It would suck if we had to face the Astros for the Wild Card as I just don't see them being able to win that. Their chances are far better against the A's/M's.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Uh-oh. 13bit has got happy!!! This must be stopped!!!

We cannot have HAPPY people on this site!

HoraceClarke66 said...

John M., I agree with you about managers in general. But I think there is a huge gap between what you do as a field manager, and what you do as a clubhouse manager.

Field manager: Hey, this ain't football or even basketball. Let's not forget, back when Bill Veeck had St. Louis Browns fans openly vote on what the manager should do next? The Browns won.

I will say that I think Casey Stengel was probably the greatest manager ever, because he was adept at bringing to bear the Yankees' greatest advantage—depth—at a time when much of the American League had caught up to their starting talent.

Clubhouse manager: This can mean everything. Torre was indeed, I thought, a bad field manager who got worse with time. But he made himself into a human shield for his players against the Mad King, at a time when Steinbrenner had made building and sustaining a winner all but impossible in New York. i think he deserves his HOF slot for that alone.

Motivating players is, I think, especially difficult these days, without the old whips of fines and benchings. Players make so much money now, it's hard to bully them into anything. Which is fine. But I think that Ma Boone is also failing at the more subtle tasks of keeping them alert, motivated, and trying to improve their games.

I know it's not easy—but from the evidence on the field, he ain't doing it. I would replace him at the end of the year, but I doubt if he is going anywhere.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Vampifella, this Yankees team is what Teddy Roosevelt once called "a dead cock in the ring" (Meaning the fowl variety, of course.)

Once it gets those 82 wins, it's fine for me if our largely disengaged heroes forfeit the rest of their contests and head for home to take up full time whatever it is that they find so much more absorbing than the entertainment they get paid millions of dollars to provide.

I don't see them winning a one-game play-in...but if they do, it would result in an immediate Red Sox sweep, with the final game at the Stadium. Yay. That's a sight we all can do without.

I'm hoping that, somehow, Cleveland can win it all this year. Been too long for those guys. But in general, I'm rooting for my second favorite team after the Yankees: Not the Red Sox. If Not the Red Sox takes it all this fall, I will be happy.