Saturday, June 8, 2019

Lookout, below! Without tomato cans to play, the "feel-good" Yanks are a different team

Last night, the Yankees birthed their fourth loss in five games, a stretch of self-inflicted mulligans that has turned the hot streaks of May into distant, Girardian memory. 

Domingo German continued his transformation back into Domingo Jean. Gardy belted a few more grounders, and DH Kendrys Morales once again proved Oakland to be prescient: When the A's ditched him, he was batting .204. For us, he's hitting .186. But hey - old, tired and slow: Isn't that our brand? The Yankees are simply becoming the Yankees again. Stand back, everybody! The glacier is melting.

We all know what's happening. We have eyes. It's turning into another Wild Card season. Do we need to list reasons why this team is struggling?

1. Our starting pitchers seldom make it to the Daily News Fifth. This is killing our vaunted bullpen. Every day, Aaron Boone talks about the return of Dellin Betances - (who, uh-oh, felt soreness yesterday) - but when it finally happens, which Dellin will arrive? The lights out, eighth inning all-star... or the meltdown king, who walks lead-off hitters and then cannot hold them on first? If we don't solve this rotation issue, imagine the state of our bullpen in August. A reminder: Aroldis Chapman has gone onto the DL in both of the last two years. Ka-boom.

2. Our tight defense of May, which won so many games, is failing. The other day, Gio Urshela made two errors at third. Clint Frazier has become a punchline, and RF is his torture chamber. Last night, Aaron Hicks somehow botched a fly to the CF wall - it bounced off his glove - gifting Cleveland a run that basically iced the game. 

3. Our lineup seems to have gone into Waiting Mode, anticipating the returns of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and the resulting team-wide face-lift. Certain people will get traded - (why kid ourselves? it's obviously Frazier.) Our best player, DJ LeMahieu, will become a utility IF. Size 20 shoes are about to drop. Meanwhile, we knew a slump was coming, and now it's here. And don't be surprised if another wave of injuries hits in July-August. We have a collection of players with well-earned reputations for tweaked gonads. After the trade deadline, will "Next Man Up" still be our rally cry? Or will we hear excuses?

4. We're not playing the Orioles and Royals anymore. That 7-1 stretch that vaulted us into first? It came against arguably the AL's two worst teams, (with Baltimore by far - sorry, Miami - the worst in baseball.) It's not as if Toronto is a powerhouse, but the Jays aren't yet tanking for next June's draft. With the exception of home games against Boston - (in the second half, we'll deal with them at Fenway) - we haven't dominated winning teams. 

So... we kick tomato can ass, eh? That's okay. It's how Boston grew its lead last year. It's how good teams win pennants. But if the playoffs were tomorrow, who would be our first-game starter? My guess: Chad Green. (Aka: "Bullpen.") 

Without a rotation, there is no Yankee path to the 2019 World Championship. Even with all guns blazing, this team cannot homer its way to a pennant. 

But hell, we sure do have coins in the couch! We saved $13 million by letting Atlanta outbid us for Dallas Keuchel and - aw, don't get me started. What's done is done. The Yankee scouts don't think he's worth it. The Braves scouts do. Still, our rotation remains a sinkhole, and whomever we obtain from trades will come via another bidding war - this one comprised of our future. Was the magic of May a false read? Did we simply run out of games against Baltimore? We're in first place. Why does this feel so precarious? 


TheWinWarblist said...

Precarious? Because it is.


JM said...

These are the times that try men's souls.

And if YOU want to try some terrific sole, head to Frankie's Fish Farm--the home of the famous Frankie's Fried Flounder and Sole. And oh! those Frankie's fries 🍟!!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

What about this place:

An oasis for decent food in the other Albany (named after the one in NY).

Albany -- gateway to Corvallis. Just take a left at the middle of nowhere.

Anonymous said...







HoraceClarke66 said...

Duque, Duque, don't be silly: Morales isn't hitting .186 with US.

He's hitting .151 with us. The .186 is his combined, overall average on the season.

I know, silly me. Batting average? Who cares about batting average anymore?

The really important stat is his on base-slugging slash line. Which is .318/ .208/ .526.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

His on base is *higher* than his slugging?

That IS impressive. Is that for slowing down the runners behind him?

If he's a KenMor, is the warranty still good on him? Can we return him for a replacement, say a player to be named later (the one we owe the A's)?

HoraceClarke66 said...

According to baseball reference, the deal was for a player to be named later "or cash." So I guess we can give the A's more of the money that we didn't have to give to Keuchel.

Anonymous said...

It's been a strange year so far. No doubt. After a careful analysis of the team's construction and performance I've come to the following conclusions:

1) It all went to shit when they demoted Mike Tauchman.

Sure he was batting .211 at the time but clearly he was one of those intangible guys.

This is the intangible: He was the tipping point in the youth vs. as it's been pointed out "old and slow" locker room.

2) Urshala is no longer striving.

Yesterday Urshala was having too much fun with his pal Lindor. They were making faces, sending signals, etc. What he was not doing was focusing like a lazier beam on making the team and staying in the majors. Because he's made it! The result, two errors.

3) Speaking of focus...

We can beat the really bad teams because they are really bad. They can hold their own and beat the good teams because each game is important. They are not focused against the marginal teams like the Indians and the Blue Jays and so they can be beaten. Notice they beat Toronto to avoid the sweep. Focus. This is on Boone.

4) Everything else.

Not adding pitching because of $$$$ is just stupid. Especially since they've already played the "we're trying to get under the luxury tax" card". We will never fall for that again.

And... oh wait, my 17 minutes are up. Gotta hit the head.

Doug K.

JM said...

They had me with Devils on Horseback and fried oysters.

Albany, NY, of course is the gateway to the great Erie Canal run of former industrial cities on life support, like my hometown Schenectady (it's so much better than 20 years ago!), Amsterdam, Utica, Syracuse (yo, Duque!), Rochester (who was often funnier than Jack Benny), Buffalo...ah, the memories of greatness and urban renewal...

JM said...

I say we go with "or cash" in the A's deal and send them the $20 in cash already.

JM said...

Morales does know how to walk, which is a good thing since he can't run for shit. But a .300 on-base is crap, since basically anyone who can hit .250 will have a higher on-base (not everyone, of course) than Kendie. And a guy hitting 100 points better than him will likely rack up some RBI, which is rare for a walker, ask Jon Snow. So there remains no reason why we got Morales, why we keep playing him, and why we waste a roster spot on him.

Except for making us want Stanton back. He's looking mighty good in comparison. The problem is, we'll probably keep the old washout on the team even then, as "insurance."

Insurance in case someone gets injured again or insurance that our lineup and roster continue to have the life and vitality sucked out of it.

Anonymous said...


I spent a few years on the canal myself. Even had a friend fall through the ice while skating into town for more beer. (Bud not Utica Club)

Doug K.

JM said...

A lot to be said for Ballantine Ale, and Dobler, for that matter. Bud was never a favorite of mine, but when you're 16 and out in the cold, it's amazing.

Anonymous said...

duque--when Keuchel turns out to be a bust--as Harper and Machado have--will you at least have the cojones to admit you were wrong, as you have not had in the cases of Harper and Machado? You keep insisting you were right to covet them, even though they suck big time, and even though anyone who actually studied their performance could have told you that--anyone who analyzes carefully instead of swooning over marquee value, in the manner of callers to WFAN and the daily sportswriter hacks you deride even as you echo their worst habits in your own blog posts.

Anonymous said...

As for Morales--Tauchman would provide just as much offense but would also add speed and a defensive option that the team now lacks but sorely needs. If Cashman were fully competent, among options currently available to the team, Morales would be released immediately and Tauchman called up, pending the return of Judge. If he wanted to put the best team on the field rather than salvage his ego by refusing to admit he was wrong--an affliction that can beset GMs as well as bloggers.

JM said...

I agree with that. Completely.

TheWinWarblist said...

Pork belly fries? OMG yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

TheWinWarblist said...

I remember when 12-packs of long neck Stegmeyers were $1.89. You had to be a motivated drinker to choke down Stegys, but my friends and I could usually rise to that challenge.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Dinkel Acker mini kegs.
RW&B 16 oz. case for $5. (The beer that wasn't good enough to be called PBR)
Case of Matts, if you returned the bottles and the hard cardboard case = $2.80
On the stoop with Heffenreffer 40 oz. quart in the obligatory paper bag. A free rebus in the cap. I still have of bunch of those in a beer stein in my office.

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