Monday, June 24, 2019

Blowouts like yesterday shouldn't bother us... unless they awaken the front office

So, another Old-Timers Day - (politically correct name: Golden Citizenry Afternoon) - has now been flashed into our collective memory. Whitey couldn't make it. A-Rod and Clemens are still waiting. John Flaherty remains stuck behind the plate. And once again, the current Yankee team assumed a fantasy somnambulance and crapped the bedpan.

Last year, we lost to Tampa 3-1. The year before, we fell to Texas 7-6. Both games winnable. Yesterday, no way. We flat-out stank. In all three Golden Citizenry Afternoons, the Yankee Present was embarrassed, humiliated and left for dead in the presence of its glorious past.

I think it stems from prep. The Yankees watch the codgers shambling around, three gimlets past 11 a.m., and they see themselves in 20 years, hooked on boner pills and flirting unsuccessfully with the Early Bird Special waitresses at Denny's. Something happens inside them. The engines seize-up. Yesterday, from the opening pitch, we were dead squirrels on the side of the road. Verlander was laughing. He never had it so easy.

But blowout losses are a thing for the 2019 Yankees. Before yesterday, our last defeat came at the hands of the mighty White Sox: 10-2.) It's as if this team bundles three games worth of mistakes into the occasional abomination. If so, we might have to give Aaron Boone some credit. While we were screaming for him to remove JA Happ yesterday, maybe Boone foresaw the stinker coming, put the game on Cruise-Control, and left the Happster in until it was 8-0 - (56-0, if it were a football game.) 

Of the Yankees' nine losses in June, only two were nail-biters - to Toronto and the White Sox. Consider the margins of our last seven losses:





In six out of seven, the scores don't adequately convey the depth of the Yankee malignancies. We didn't just stink; we openly, pungently reeked. In five games, our starters blew up on the launch pad - three mulligans by Paxton, and one apiece for CC and Happ.

Listen: We are in first, Boston lost yesterday to Toronto, and we were freed to enjoy a sunny afternoon on our green-painted concrete lawns. I'd rather the 8-game streak end with a blowout than an 8th inning collapse that evokes the last days of Scott Proctor, preparing to burn his mitt at home plate. The streak wasn't going to last forever. Maybe it's good to be embarrassed at home in front of a sell-out crowd. (Unfortunately, it didn't do any good last year, or the year before.) 

But Happ's continual flops are becoming a thing. Were he a Nestor or a Chance, he'd be sent to Scranton to ponder those wisps of methane the scientists have found on Mars. As it is, he is a five-inning clunker and a bane to our bullpen. The Yankees cannot trade him. They can only hope he figures it out soon.

Because there is one lingering problem with the occasional stinker blowout loss. It ramps up the pressure on Brian Cashman to make a trade. Last year, he brought us Sonny Gray, who didn't even make our playoff roster. Now, we hear the daily drumbeat for Clint Frazier and Thairo Estrada to be bundled up - like the Yankee losses - go somewhere for another Happ. 

Like all of you, I want the Yankees to not just win this year, but two win two or three championships in a row. That's when the modern Yankees can effectively be compared to the Old-Timers from 1999 and 2000. To build a dynasty, the Yankees need young players like Frazier. What we don't need is another Happ. I wonder if anybody sees that? 


JM said...

I'm in Californy with Ellie Mae, mostly sittin' around the see-ment pond. Whoo, doggies, it gets a might warm out here. 100 degrees in the shade, but drier than a five-year-old possum skin hangin' on the porch rail.

This Happ feller ain't no good. Any dang fool can see it. And we got 'im for how many years? Looks like ol' Cashbox got hornswaggled agin.

Well, time's a-wastin' and I need to take the Maxwell over to the runnin' track afore it gets too hot. Lookin' forward to some of Granny's vittles after. Mmmm, mmmm.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Everyone but Cashman can see that, Duque.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Solution to Happ:

1. Start Chad Green 2x a week. In 2018 he appeared in 63 games, 75 innings. Thus far in 2019, 23G 24IP. He's being underutilized.

2. In one of his starts, Nestor follows. In the other, Happ.

3. Means doing something with Maybin, unfortunately, as you need to go to a 13-man bullpen to accommodate this.

4. Rotation thus would be: Tanaka, Green (Nestor), Sabathis, Paxton, Green (Happ), then Tanaka.

Call it the Happless rotation.

You still have 7 bullpen guys to use in this arrangement.

OR: You could elevate Chance Adams and pray, or trade for someone or other (who will suck).

NOTE: I don't thin this is a good idea. However, it might improve the odds of winning baseball games in which Happ appears.

Alphonso said...

I do believe, El Duque, that we meaningless minions see that.

However,our insights are of no practical value.

As to the Maybin comment, above, he is likely "done." His calf will be a 6 week injury and, by then, the magic which he had found, will be long dissipated. He had his run and it was great to watch. But the Ju-Ju Gods take as easily as they give.

The pitching will remain a holy terror. Cashman has a track record finding "available' talent which borders on " dismal." And which saddles the team with " dismality" for years.

Our only hope is for Cashman to play back into the hand of owner Hal and say; " we are going to go with what we have. No point spending any of that hard-earned inheritance."

That means; Give Chance a chance. As well as any other fodder we have as far down as AA.

"You gotta dance with the one that brung ya."

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Lasagna and German are the replacements. Severino and Montgomery are approaching the Ell zone. It's kinda like the Hotel California.


By Granny's 'vittles' are you referring to a corn based product that is liquid?

Just be careful after that 'meal'. Your whittlin' and cypherin' skills may be slightly diminished. Results may vary. Consult your liver surgeon before using.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


"Vittles" is food, like baked possum with collard greens and all the trimmin's.

(The word is derived from "victuals".)

I forgot about cypherin' skills. Those use the gazintas, right?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Mmmmm...possum! Been a while since I had any a that. Almost as long as since I had some decent squirrel.

Hilarious, Duque, and like you I don't mind blowouts as much. They don't leave you dwelling on the thing or two you should have done different.

I think we have to give up the idea that either HAL or Coops have any real interest in building a dynasty. Coops pays lip service to the idea, because he has ferreted out that all the human being think it is a good idea, but he mostly just wants to win now, and conceives of building that winner as putting together a sort of giant jigsaw puzzle, in which endless sorting and re-sorting of the pieces is the key to success.

Not gonna happen—because the hardest part of building a winner is the part that he has the toughest time with, finding starting pitching. HAL's spending limits don't help.

HoraceClarke66 said...

It also doesn't help that the Knights of the Press Box are continually egging on Coops to do just that: bundle Frazier and Thairo and trade them away. Coops listens to them more than he does to us.

The Knights, who don't really pay attention to the game and are always at least 2-3 years behind the curve, still insist the Yanks have a farm system overflowing with prospects easily tradeable for great, veteran pitchers.

I watch SNY's Sports Night fairly often, and their baseball "experts" can usually be found there talking about how they expect the Yankees to go all the way, and how all they have to do is get a veteran starter. I suspect they were saying the same thing last year—when the Yanks had a record 3 games better than it is right now—and probably the year before that.

They alter this with chastising us for seeing the holes in these teams before they do. Anthony McCarron was going on and on the other night about how unfair Yankees fans are to Giancarlo Stanton.

Yes, life is hard for multimillionaires in their early 30s. But once again, this is really about what THEY do NOT see. Even if Stanton were everything the McCarrons of the world believe him to be, he still can't pitch.

ranger_lp said...

Where's Larry Rothschild? Doesn't he need to fix Happ? And Paxton? He don't fix nothing. And he's 65 years old to boot. What old guy can replace him like the Mets did to replace Dave Eiland who was with the Yanks in another life?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

My brother Daryl and my other brother Daryl love possum and greens. Myself, I've sworn off eating possum or anything from the order rodentia. But if it's bovine tenderloin with a red wine reduction, I'm all for it.

Gazintas is wunna dem fantsie enjineerin terms I think.

KD offered skeet shooting at his place. My town is more along the lines of killing old beer cans. Skeet is way too fancy pants.

42.872937, -72.970068 Google or any GPS can find it.
That's the hillbilly abode. We know a thing or two 'bout varmints and critters and such. The most popular no trespassing sign on my road is "survivors will be shot again". I personally avoid those signs, because it would prove prior intent.

Wezil1 said...

I know this is off topic ( sort of) but has anyone else noticed the absolutely hairless arms of a certain Astros Pitcher? Those forearms used to make a chimpanzee blush when he was in Detroit. Now- one super-model later- nothing. Like a baby arm. What gives?
I am sorry- and nobody wants to think about this- but this needs discussed openly. After all, he did make us look pretty bad.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Funny thing with skeet shooting. I knew a kid in high school—a friend, actually—who was a champion skeet shooter. Could hit anything with a gun.

Terrible baseball hitter. You'd think it would be the same skills—hand-eye coordination and timing. But no.

Does that speak to the unconscious fear of being hit with the ball? Or what?

Inquiring minds want to know!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Wezil, I would hate to think of what body parts I would NOT shave to stay in Ms. Upton's good graces.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Tyler Kepner provides some realistic analysis—for once!—from the press box, in the Times today.

Verlander and Cole vs. Tanaka and Paxton is going to mean two wins for Houston, even if they're playing in the Bronx.

And after that...well, Wade Miley and Brad Peacock stack up well against Happ and CC.

Madison Bumgarner won't make a difference, not at his current age. Severino and German are pipe dreams.

Max Scherzer could make a difference—but there's no way HAL is taking on the remaining $100 million or so he's owed. Marcus Stroman MIGHT help, but it's impossible to know what you'll really get from him.

In fairness, while a Corbin or a Keuchel would've helped with the regular season—and thereby helped the bullpen—I don't know if they really would've made a difference in the postseason, either.

The Yankees have once again failed to sign or nurture top starting pitchers—something that has been the case most of this century. As a result, I doubt if they'll even make it to Houston, should they have to face the Red Sox first, and if they do they have absolutely no chance to make it to the World Series—barring catastrophic injuries to the Stros.

Anonymous said...

Yankee "sources" say they will not trade Frazier for a pitcher with less than two years of team control on his contract. That narrows the possibilities considerably.

Also--neither Judge nor Encarnacion is in the lineup tonight. It's passing strange that the team's three top "name" sluggers have to play on a two-in, one-out rotation. Consider especially the case of Judge--he simply appears to be a cipher at the plate now. Period of adjustment? Or is he still hurting? I think that if he gets to the zero or one for thirty-give plateau, some serious reconsideration of his status will be in order.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, as several have said here, I don't see it is so impossible for these guys to stay down in Scranton until they are red hot and ready to come up to the majors again.

JM said...

Klapisch on with John and Suzyn plugging the Empire book. Cashman is the best GM in baseball. Write that down.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I'm sure he thinks so.

Again, I doubt if there is any GM in the history of any major North American sport who has kept his position for so long without winning with a team he built himself (or owning the team—looking at you, Cornelius McGillicuddy).

Joe of AZ said...

Dear Boone

It is now safe to use Holder...


Concerned Yankee fan

TheWinWarblist said...

Joe of AZ, it is only safe if he's going to be pitching in Scranton. You know not the power of the Holder. You know not! Ware the Holder!! BEWARE!!!

Fuck you Hal.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Apparently Joe of AZ has a direct line to the Yankee bullpen.

Holder is warming up.

TheWinWarblist said...

The General just keeps on hitting. He is playing so far above his career numbers he's going to get a nasty nosebleed. And then go 2-4 with a walk.

Fuck you Hal.

TheWinWarblist said...


TheWinWarblist said...

Home run.

TheWinWarblist said...

Two pitches and one homerun. I don't feel bad about the coffee table anymore.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't put Holder in.

With apologies to the late, great Jim Croce.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Trenton threw a no-hitter tonight. Holder did not.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Nice song Hoss.

TheWinWarblist said...

Joe of Az (or should we call you Ma Boone) you are bad. A bad bad bad person. You know it's true too.

TheWinWarblist said...

Bases loaded. Larry goes out. "Challenge him, Holder. Believe in your stuff."

Grand slam before Larry can even get back in his seat.

JM said...

Holder blows. And not in a good way.

TheWinWarblist said...

Suzyn's moan as the ball left the bat ... She really feels for that colossal pile of crap.

Fuck you Larry.
Fuck you Boone.
Fuck you Cash.
Fuck you Hank.
Fuck you Hal.
Fuck you George for dying and leaving us and not raising your sons right, may you rest in peace, you fuck.
Fuck whoever else is there that deserves the fucks.
Which I imagine is a lot of you.
Fuck you all.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

"Fuck you George for dying and leaving us and not raising your sons right, "

That sums it up.

If only Hank was a little bit smarter, the pencil necked brother wouldn't be in charge.

TheWinWarblist said...

How do you not DFA that miserable puke after tonight?

JM said...

Stanton hit one of his patented meaningless home runs, but thanks to Holder, it may be meaningful. Huh.

HoraceClarke66 said...


Look, obviously this guy is either injured or in complete meltdown. Either way, he should not remain in the Yankees bullpen.

He has an option. Use it. And while you're at it, deal Cessa for whatever you can get (international signing money?).

Carl J. Weitz said...

Jesus F Tapdancing Christ....Holder another grand slam followed by a solo shot. WTF? Either his stuff is completely gone or he is more shell shocked than Byung-hyun Kim in the 2001 World Series.

Either way, cut him, send him down to Scranton or wish him into the corn field by midnight.

HoraceClarke66 said...

A couple of telling stats.

Holder has now allowed 13 earned runs in his last 6 appearances. Hs ERA is 6.81.

According to a tweet recently posted, his allowing 5 earned runs without recording an out is the second time he's done this with the Yankees, the first being last August.


How much more does this guy need to suck?

Rufus T. Firefly said...


Into the cornfield sounds good for Holder. Will Robinson told me so.

JM said...

Billy Mumy, one of the geniuses behind "Fish Heads." A classic.

JM said...

And Clank makes an error in right.

JM said...

And it takes Chapman over 20 pitches to put them away. If he does.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I love 'Arty' music.

13bit said...

Jennifer Swindal is the one who should have gotten the team. She is smarter than Hank and truly loves the game. So, blame George for his patriarchal, hidebound mysoginistic ways, not for not raising his idiot sons right. She would have been George The Second. Instead, we wind up with the guy who moans to his shrink about how much he hated daddy and the team, but he can't give up on the easy money - Little Prince Hal, aka "Lord Foodstamps of Scranton", aka "Scrotum Bags of Money," aka "I hate you all." The one, the only, Hal Zeig.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

10-2 in the 8th, and El Chapo gets the save with the tying run on deck.

A win is a win, but...


JM said...

Fuck Boone and Holder. And Chapman.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Pretty funny Twilight Zone reference, Rufus. Hey, do you think Billy Mummy is supposed to be a stand-in for God? Someone who can read your every thought and is never satisfied if you're not sufficiently worshipful and cheery?

You know, sort of like HAL?

Just wondering.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Hoss, credit goes to Carl for bringing it up.

13bit said...

Desperately looking for an answer (we all know what needs to happen to Holder, of course), I went to the Internet Anagram Server - my version of the Magic 8 Ball, and put in the letters "jonathanholder," then watched what popped up. There were many combinations, of course, as you can do a lot with those letters.

The one that popped out at me, though, was a complete sentence: "Lend John A Torah."

Could this be the Universe - with a capital "U" - saying we need to pray for him? Could it mean we need to make him walk the plank? What does it mean to "lend a Torah?" Is that like the equivalent of "sending a love letter" in the parlance of Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet?" Is it the equivalent of "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition?" Or could it just be the way the Gods speak when they want someone to be DFA'ed ASAP?

Only the cornfield knows the answers...

TheWinWarblist said...

DFAing is fine if there isn't a handy cornfield in the Bronx.

Joe of AZ said...


to defend myself ...the suggestion was sarcastic tongue in cheek...

Thought being an 8fucken point lead is safe and it will keep "Surrender" the fuck away from anything remotely close to a competitive game...

To all my fellow fans and specifically TWW..

I prepare my self as a juju sacrifice.

Fuck you Holder...

HoraceClarke66 said...

That is very big of you, Joe, but such a course of action has already been determined. In a few minutes, your doorbell will ring. You should go answer it, and get that pizza you ordered. Yes, pizza: that's what's behind the door, Joe. Not a hooded figure with a large, curved knife. Oh, no no no. That's right, Joe. Go get the "pizza"...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Last 6 games, an e.r.a. of just under 22.

Hope they send him to Cincy to 'save' Sasha Grey's games.

ranger_lp said...

Following tonight’s game, the Yankees optioned RHP Jonathan Holder to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre...smh.

HoraceClarke66 said...


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