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Thursday, August 29, 2019

As if Greg Bird needed another reason to be expendable, then Mike Ford arrived

It's been a while since Greg Bird popped up in my jumbled noggin, like a bad dream without any discernible meaning. He's like one of those ancillary characters on The Sopranos: You wonder WTF happened to him? Did he die? Was he arrested? The years have wiped clean your memory. So, you either IMDB-him, or forget him all over again. Usually, the latter. After all, he was just an imaginary character, a zephyr of the mind. 

But it lingers. WTF did happen to Bird? How did he end up rooming with Jacoby Ellsbury (and Giancarlo Stanton on weekends?) A Google search shows the last mention of Bird came two weeks ago, when Aaron Boone - himself scratching his head - said Bird's troublesome foot was "in and out of a boot," and he was "on a treadmill." That sums it up, eh? A treadmill. Going nowhere.

Listen: I don't mean to rip Bird. Surely, the poor guy is stuck in Hell. In April, he tore his left plantar fascia, the injury that killed Chien-Ming Wang's career, the kind I wouldn't even wish on that asshole Brazilian dictator who's letting the rain forest burn. (Actually, maybe I would wish that on him.) Back in April, Bird was platooning at 1B and getting most of the time because a) we didn't trust Luke Voit's glove and b) the Yankees needed lefty hitters. Also, Bird still had delivered the greatest Yankee moment (not counting tear-filled goodbyes) of this decade: His pivotal 2016 playoff HR against Andrew Miller of the Indians. From there, it's been all downhill.

But let's face it: The story of Greg Bird has gone its last circle around the campfire. And it wasn't a faulty barker that did him in. Bird's death knell has come in the form of Mike Ford, who is the Bird of 2015, without the Henry-Cotto-with-a-Q-tip injury history. In his MLB unveiling, Bird hit 11 HRs in 157 at bats. This year, thus far, Ford has 9 in 105. It's worth noting that Bird - at 26 - is still a year younger than Ford. But the last four seasons have drained his MLB service time to the point where the Yankees will either trade him (for next to nothing) or stuff him in a bottle and put him out with the tide. He's making $1.2 million - which is dip money for Food Stamps Hal - but we know he'll be gone. The only question is what single-A lottery ticket the Yankees will receive in a trade. Can we get back Juan Then? I always loved that name.

Whatever happens, I hope it works out for Bird. These days, he occupies a perch in the Yankiverse that I wouldn't wish on anybody - except for maybe that Brazilian shithead. He's a failed former prospect, which puts him on the chopping block of every furious, indignant Yank fan - ourselves included. It's not his fault. The juju gods screwed him. But Yogi Berra once said he'd rather be lucky than good. Bird may turn out to have been neither. Or worse, we'll never know. 

He'll surely get another ride from another team. Maybe he'll have a month. But he'll always be one misstep away from an MRI. So now, he's just fodder for an off-day. WTF ever happened to Greg Bird? Was it a dream? Yeah, actually, I guess it was.

16 comments:

TheWinWarblist said...

[Sniff sniff]

JM said...

His face told his future--haunted, sleepless, determined yet doomed.

A sad story that should not be told to children at bedtime.

Unknown said...

He did always appear to Have a scowl on his face.

TheWinWarblist said...

I had a foot injury years ago when I was a runner. Plantar fasciitis. Painful to walk, painful to run, painful to even just stand on it. Hurt too much to even wear shoes. Had to completely stop running. That's when I took up rowing. Even with cortisone injections, it took more than a year, almost two, before my foot was better. How does one even tear a plantar fascia?? It's incredibly thick and tough (minds out of the gutters, you lot!). I can't imagine how bad that must be. Every step on the treadmill must be excruciating. What sort of hellish PEDs are they using these days?



Fuck you Hal.

Anonymous said...

SAD STORY.

HE JOINS THE RANKS OF KEVIN MAAS, AND NICK JOHNSON.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Not for nothing, but for all the stupid, thoughtless, ultimately-back-blowing and self-destructive interventions we—and the British and the French—have done since the end of WW II, invading Brazil, NOW, is the one we SHOULD do.

The Amazon provides 20 percent of our air, period.

This is as if another country had decided to start shipping hand grenades to our children, or if Korea's Mr. Kim were actually launching a missile at us every week.

I'm serious. Complete ruthlessness is called for.

Invade the country, put all of its generals, established pols, and the motherfucker land barons who have spent the last two centuries destroying the lives of countless up against a wall. Then hand the country over to the peasants and the working people with a huge, annual check for preserving the Amazon, and say, "Hey, there's more where this came from, as long as you don't deprive us of oxygen."

Of course, this won't be done. Which is why I devote most of my psychic energy to following your New York Yankees...

ranger_lp said...

Rest assured that a treadmill is NOT a baseball activity which is worthy of being on the EL. I feel bad for Greg, but his days as a Yankee are numbered as there is a bigger log jam at first base vis-a-vis the outfield.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Regarding first base:

Curtis Lemay has another year (@ $12 million) on his contract. And: We've got a potential logjam at 3B, with Gio and Miggy. Unless Didi walks, in which case Gleyber moves to SS and Lemay takes 2B. I don't see sitting Lemay. I don't think they should sit Didi, Miggy/Gio, or Gleyber every 3rd game. This is a problem!!! Nice to have, tho.

Ed Incarnate has another year (@ $20 million) on his deal. There is a $5 million buy-out. He'll be 37 next year.

Bird is earning (so to speak) $1.2 million this year. For 2020, he's arbitration-eligible.

Ford makes $555,000 for 2019. Spotrac.com has no info posted on his 2020 status (arb-eligible, free agent, whatever) -- nada.

Voit is earning $573,000 in '19, and remains under "team control" for 2020. He's eligible for arbitration in 21, 22, 23, and 24. There's an awful lot of value here, if he can sustain his output.

And then there's GStanton, who SHOULD be asked to learn first base. There is no room for him in the OF (esp. if you factor in The Red Menace). He can't be the full-time DH, because The Kraken needs to spend some time there. But you know what G is being paid -- more than your entire family would earn if each of you lived 450-525 lifetimes.

Lots to figure out here. You might think Greg Bird will be left unprotected (DFA'd) and Eddy will be paid off the $5mill. That still leaves you with Voit-Ford at first base, Miggy-Gio at third, and a real puzzle as to what to do with the leading hitter (for average - tied with Brantley at .335) in the American League.

AND: I know first base is a position that take some skill. I still maintain that, if the NYYs are stuck with Stanton (and aren't they?) -- putting him the OF is not even a short-term solution.

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

Wow I thought I'd never see the name again on Yankee blogs but then today I read this blast from the past Nick "Crystal" Johnson gets a nod. I like many Yankee fans had high expectations for Greg Bird but sadly he will only be a footnote in Yankee folklore. He'll end up on the All-time Memba Him list! Sad end for the Bird Man.

Anonymous said...

I decided to move this over here because it seems to fit Duque's post just as well. Sorry if you've seen it before.

My All Time Let Down Team.

The criteria is simple. They have to have had potential. Real potential. This is not a team of bad players. This is a team of players who, when they are in the lineup, you watch (at least for a few months) and hope, no, expect a good result, only to turn away in disgust.

I am limiting the time frame to people I’ve seen since I have no idea how disappointing players I haven’t seen are.

And so, without further ado. My All Let Down Team.

1B Greg Bird. – We all know why. (Hon. Mention Joe Pepitone - Hell it’s the title of his book.)

2B Steven Drew Oh those timeless home runs. And by timeless I mean not timely and not frequent.

SS 2014 Derek Jeter (OK I know I’m cheating here but he had no range in the field and no bat but a part of me believed he had glory still in him. He didn’t. Plus, they kept batting him at the top of the lineup. WTF.

3B Youk!

LF Giancarlo Stanton - “Strike Three”

CF Jacoby Ellsbury - Not so much for his at bats as for the lack of them. I can’t actually remember an at bat.

RF - Jessie Barfield

C Gary Sanchez -- This might seem unfair but tell me is there a Yankee at the plate who is more frustrating most of the time. Actually, there is he’s playing Left.

DH: Hensley Meulens – More “Pebbles” than “Bam Bam”


Starters

Pineda
Grey
Vasquez (1 or 2) Take your pick.
Randy Johnson
Kei Igawa

Closer: Kyle Farnsworth


Doug K.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

I assume this will be the final mention of Greg Bird... so I finally decided to google what John Sterling was riffing on with “The Birdman of New York”. I guess he was referencing the Birdman of Alcatraz? “a convicted murderer, American federal prisoner and author who has been cited as one of the most notorious criminals in the United States” who was “ was always in 'dog block' (solitary confinement) or later in the hospital because he was a 'wolf' (aggressive homosexual) who had a bad temper.“. Hmmm!

JM said...

Amazon and the Yankees are buying YES. Plus a bunch of others, including the horrible Sinclair.

Alphonso said...

I cannot fathom how the Yankees agreed to pay Stanton so much, for so many years, for so little productivity. If he were the metaphor for the RAF in WWII, the Germans wold have defeated England in a week.

The Stanton contract will go down in history as the worst deal ever made by a major league GM or owner. The Ellsbury fiasco is a lark by comparison.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, sadly, the Stanton contract is the bigger disaster—and you called it, Alphonso, when the likes of yours truly was celebrating it.

Our one remaining hope: Stanton comes back and has an almost inconceivable season next. Mondo, super-juice, hits-65-homers and-drives-in-150 big. Wins the Triple Crown, etc., etc.

So then, somebody will be stupid enough to take him off our hands.

HoraceClarke66 said...

That's a good review, Joe FOB.

Yes, for starters, Stanton should be made to try to learn some first base. No doubt, he will injure himself doing it, but we have to try it anyway.

I really think the best position for Miggy is OF, with that arm of his. But yeah, then with The Red Menace, that gets crowded. Well, can't be helped: the more options, the better.

But through it all: how the hell do we get any pitching?

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