Thursday, June 13, 2019

Will somebody please, please, please, take Luke Voit aside and tell him to ditch the Home Run Derby?

Before I launch, a few choice words about Mr. Luke Voit:

He is the Yankee 2019 Thus Far MVP... a breath of fresh, mountain air... the Second Coming of Lou Piniella (in that he arrived late in MLB)... our first-baseman through 2021... a true American League All-Star... and as close to the Yankees' heart and soul as a player can get. Without him, we are in third, looking up at Boston. 

But he's about to make a serious mistake. 

I'm referring to Voit's stated desire to compete in the All-Star break's annual Home Run Derby, which is to baseball what Taylor Swift is to gangsta rap. Luke thinks it would be fun to jeopardize his back, shoulders, hips and timing for the national audience that is still channel-hopping in search of The Big Bang Theory. And if anyone can do it - and not hurt himself - it could be a guy who does one-armed, 135-pound bench presses on YouTube. 

Also, I get it that Luke can use the money. He's earning the MLB minimum, $573,200. This year's Derby-winner payout will be $1 million. I don't blame him for wanting to feed his family. The Derby could end up paying him more than the cheapskate Yankees.

But it's a bad idea. Why?

1. Nobody gives two craps about the Home Run Derby. He might as win Dancing With the Stars. I don't remember who won last year, or most years. What I do know is that Joggy Cano once won it, testifying to the notion that you don't need to be a home run hitter to win the home run derby. It means nothing, beyond selling ads on ESPN.  

2. As we all remember, Aaron Judge went into a huge slump following the 2017 home run derby, which he won. He lost his timing and nearly his mind. And everybody drew a direct correlation. As a result, Judge turned down invitations to compete last year. He didn't want the distractions. And that's exactly what the Home Run Derby is: A big, huge, awful, sickening, disgusting distraction. Nothing good comes from it.

3. If Luke competes in the derby, the entire NYC Gammonitic Infundibulum will immediately rev up its notorious Speculation Machine, wondering if and when Luke will hit a slump. This is just the kind of thought process that turns an 0-for-4 into a 1-for-20, and causes statisticians to start disregarding the season's entire first half. He'll be playing with fire... and for what?

Here's what should happen. Someone in the Yankee brain trust - how about Randy Levine, who should be Trump's Chief of Staff! - should tiptoe up to Luke's locker with a gym bag filled with $1 million is cash. He should leave it with a note that says, "For winning our Home Run Derby," which is exactly what Voit has done during the first half. 

He should not be thinking that, to pay the mortgage, he should jeopardize the second half of 2019, and/or his future. 

In a nutshell... Screw the fukkin' Home Run Derby, and screw baseball's infatuation with homers, which is turning the game into tedious, four-hour marathons. The Yankees need Luke Voit fresh for the second half. And he still needs a full year to prove himself as the Yankees premier slugger - more than Judge, more than Stanton, more than any of them. He doesn't need to wow the ESPN announcers. He's too important to risk. Will somebody please, please, please tell him that?

(NOTE: It's since been reported that Seattle will pay $8 million of Encarcion's salary, and NY will pay another $8 million.)


Unknown said...

Don’t you remember the bullshit that was the HR Derby last year in DC...? Knowing that the Nats has had Harper for 7 years without anything to show for it and that he was about to flee DC via free agency, they allowed him and his roof dad to cheat their way to a win.

It was a clown show, bro

Unknown said...

*** Roid Dad. Fucking autocorrect.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Maybe they can have Carlos Santana win it this year in Cleveland. I loved his set at Woodstock!

JM said...

I'd go with Alvin Lee, Rufus, but that's just me.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Is he in the home run derby?

He's not in Cleveland (R&R HOF). And he's not composing anymore.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

...and I'm more of a Little Feat and Jerry's Kids guy.

Speaking of guitarists who are no longer composing.

Alphonso said...

I also believe Judge's muscle pull, which has kept him out pretty much for the season so far, can be attributed to all those swings in the HR derby.

If Voit does it, he better win the $1 million, because his career will end.

HoraceClarke66 said...

What about Joni?

"You know I'm goin' on down to Clev-e-land
Gonna join in a home-run band
Gotta get my soul back to the land..."

HoraceClarke66 said...

Meh. Voit's already showing signs of reverting to the mean. Better him than our mercurial receiver.

I still say, name Giancarlo!

Local Bargain Jerk said...

...and I'm more of a Little Feat and Jerry's Kids guy.

Speaking of guitarists who are no longer composing.

Those guys are currently decomposing.

Bah dump bump.  Tisssssssh.

Anonymous said...






Carl J. Weitz said...

Did you know Larry Fine (Larry of the 3 Stooges) was at Woodstock?
Metro NYC residents will surely remember Alison Steele, The Nightbird.

Rare recording of Larry Fine at Woodstock: LOL

HoraceClarke66 said...

I do remember Allison Steele! One of those adorably pretentious DJs of the era.

I believe she was on the same station with the great Vin Scelsa, whose autograph I have.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Vin Scelsa.."An Idiot's Delight" I believe it was called . On Sunday morning.

Vin, like most accomplished NYC DJs jumped from station-to-station. Usually between WNEW, WPLJ, WLIR and towards the end WXRK. Steele might have been on WNEW at the same time as Vin....and perhaps at WXRK as well. Many are now on Sirius/XM. One such DJ Carole Miller was a real Babe in the early 70's (and a lawyer as well). I heard her recently and she barely has a voice. She had a rough time in life. She got married to Mark Goodman one of the original MTV VJ's, got abused by him physically and emotionally and then contracted throat cancer.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

For the record, I never went near the brown acid.

Anonymous said...

MORE GOOD NEWS--Yankes apparently concoct an injury for Morales as a way to dispose of him gently and recall Tushman. This is what should have happened at the outset:

HoraceClarke66 said...

I believe I listened to them back in the WNEW years, Carl. And come to think of it, Steele's show might have been syndicated.

But yeah, I met Scelsa maybe 12-15 years back. Very nice guy, really unpretentious and likable.

Anonymous said...

The undisputed all-time champion of pretentious DJ's is Jonathan Schwartz.

TheWinWarblist said...

Vince Scelsa was a loveable look.

TheWinWarblist said...

Allison Steele, the night bird!!

Carl J. Weitz said...

Anyone listen to Jean Shepherd, the old ad-libber and storyteller on WOR. He could really spin a yarn. I used to pretend to be asleep but listen with the earpiece on a small transistor radio. He was a rabid White Sox fan.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I love Schwartz's show, and what a baseball fan! He wrote a terrific little book—adopted from his SI piece on it—about the 1978 playoff game.

It was, I think, the best book ever on what baseball is like for true fanatics such as ourselves.

He seems to be a difficult personality, though, which is sad, even if he is a Sox fan.

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