Friday, August 16, 2019

Economists fear Aaron Judge's regressive batting average chart signals impending recession

If Aaron Judge is the global economy, we better hurry up and get to Mars.

The terrifying real chart above signals Judge's plummeting batting average over the last 30 days, and if you stare at that steep precipice at the far right, keep in mind that it's come with 24/7 reassurances by the YES network, the Sloan Kettering Cancer booth and the clown court Gammonites of Gotham - speaking in chorus that any day now, any second now, Mount Aaron would erupt with a hitting streak of Ruthian Judgeian proportions. And then...

You don't need to hear what happened last night. But I need to speak it. The world witnessed nine innings of man/boy slaughter, a crude, torturous reawakening from the non-Orioles section of our schedule. It began with a horror show from our starter, and it ended with our 1B/DH hurling our best single inning of the game. It was that bad.

It also began - as all Yankee games seem to do these days - with high hopes being lavished upon Aaron Judge, the official marketing icon of the New York Yankees. In every pre-game show, the YES propaganda machine tells us how Judge took special batting practice today, worked on rearranging his somethingorother, and looks ready to break out of his slump... any day now, any minute now, any second now! And then...

Last night - as if to place a cherry atop the giant Yankee turd sundae - Judge took home a golden sombrero, four strikeouts, along with his 0 for 5. He left four runners on base and withered his average to .256. In the seventh, his body language suggested a little girl lost in the forest. He fouled off two fast balls right down the middle, then watched a third strike bisect the plate, as if he were trying to make sense of Marianne Williamson. For me, Judge is starting to invoke memories of Jesse Barfield, whose pop-ups had the Scooter constantly lamenting how he "jyuuuuuuuuuuuuuust missed that one... I'm tellin' ya, Seaver, if he'd gotten a hold of that one, it would have gone out." The thing about Barfield - as it has been about many "sluggers" over the years - (thinking Mayberry, Soriano, Tartabull) - is that there comes a point when their home runs almost become counter-productive, because they merely mean another extended period of at-bats. We're certainly not there with Judge. But by this time next week, if he's in the .230s, it will be time to evacuate the residents of Chernobyl.   

I believe Judge will eventually break out. I'm just not sure it will happen this year. What terrifies me are the words of Carlos Beltran, who - after Judge suffered his lateral strain early this summer - reflected that he once lost an entire season due to the same injury. Judge has pooh-poohed that thought, saying he feels fine. But .256 and dropping - and waning power - well, that says otherwise.

I don't know what we can do about Judge. Playing Baltimore masked the problem. Against elite teams, we cannot have a golden sombrero sitting in the number two hole. Strangely - and you can mark this as merely the rantings of someone who just suffered a 19-5 beating - I find myself wondering if Giancarlo Stanton can return with some pop. Because Stanton is going to make a final appearance and - good God, he better not be another Barfield. 

How is that Martian mission looking these days? Another game like last night, and you can sign me up.


TheWinWarblist said...

Last night's game was disgusting.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, and Dr. Howard all said Judge was ready to come off the EL. Yes, but he wasn't ready to pull the ball.

JM said...

Judge needs a break. Sit him for a couple games, let him get his head straight. Or IL him. Or something. This coming on the heels of the Sanchez flameout--which seems to have ended, he's hitting solo homers again--OK, he has some other nice hits, too--anyway, it's really weird that the supposedly two best hitters on the team (we all know the best hitter is really DJ LeMay, but he doesn't hit 50 home runs, so...) have such extended stretches of not being able to hit. In fact, if you take away the first year in the majors for each of them, they don't really seem to be cornerstones of the team, much less the future of it.

This has been the weirdest team the past few years. Can't we just clone DJ, Gio, and Torres a couple times apiece and be done with it? Having three of each would be just fine.

Now, about the pitching...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I missed the start of last night's game. I checked the score and decided to miss the rest of it also.

ranger_lp said...

There is a rule in MLB that you can't play 162 games in a season against Baltimore. You can look it up....

Lieber said...

Definition of an economist (or a Yankee manager): Someone who says it's too soon to take a wait-and-see approach.

HoraceClarke66 said...

JM, I keep saying this until I'm blue in the face:

—Nobody gets better, for any extended period of time, on your New York Yankees. The coaching and training staffs seem to be completely incompetent.

—There is something very, very, very, very wrong when an entire young, promising team is all broken within two years of debuting.

Bird, Judge, Sanchez, Severino, Andujar, Montgomery, Stanton—not to mention several others—Florial, Fowler, Chance Adams, another thousand or two pitchers—who never got to break out.

I don't think there's a precedent for this in major-league history. I know there isn't one in Yankees' history.

Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...

Hoss, While I am loathe to disagree with you I'm afraid I have to take issue with some of what you wrote above.

"Bird, Judge, Sanchez, Severino, Andujar, Montgomery, Stanton—not to mention several others—Florial, Fowler, Chance Adams, another thousand or two pitchers—who never got to break out"

Bird: I'm afraid that Bird's foot bone is not connected to his ankle bone and more closely resembles the bones in ortolans and should not be spoken of in polite society. don't blame Yankee coaching. Blame his parents for lousy genetics.

Judge: As JM once wrote to me "shhhh" but NO JM I will be heard! :)

It is my opinion that Judge (and other semi-permanent occupants of the EL took "enhancements" as part of their weight lifting,
mislabeled "body building" regimen and it weakened their muscle something or other and left them susceptible to tears. Don't blame the Yankee coaches. Blame his pharmacist.

Sanchez: Stupid is as stupid does. (When he gets pull happy) Don't blame the Yankee coaches. Blame his ego.

AnDUjar: Uh, the guy broke DiMaggio's hitting records as a rookie. Don't blame the Yankee coaches. Blame The coach in the DR that taught him how to run the bases.

Stanton: I would like to blame Derek Jeter for foisting this guy on us and taking advantage of Coops but everything I've read about him shows that he is a truly wonderful person. So I'm sure he made the trade so that Stanton could experience that moment where he too can "thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee" So don't blame the Yankee coaches, So, See Judge (above). Not the judge above. He's injured not dead.

Fowler: The dude hit a wall! And sadly so have I. So, I'm going to skip to the end...

Montgomery, Adams, Another thousand or two pitchers—who never got to break out: Blame Rothschild. Face it the guy sucks.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

True enough, Doug K. Though in Sanchez's case I'm referring to his groin AND shoulder injuries last least one of which reoccurred THIS year.

As for Judge, I think maybe his body is too big for baseball in any case. But in reference to ALL-CAPS: I think the "tired of hitting singles" thing is a mirage.

Like you, I thought Judge had matured as a hitter earlier this year, and I saluted his willingness to go the other way.

But not ONE pulled homer all season, even before the latest trip to the EL?

This strongly implies that he was already hurting. And that now he is hurting even more, which is why he cannot even hit opposite-field singles.

What drives me crazy is all the nonsense we have to hear from the Yankees before they come clean on this. "Oh, he doesn't have his top hand right." I don't know how these guys lie this blatantly, this often. Tonya Harding would be impressed.

Lady and gentlemen of the jury, I give you the following scenario:

—Judge hurt the oblique either in the off-season or in spring training.
—Judge tried to play through it, with some success for awhile.
—Judge could no longer go on, because of the pain, and went on the EL.
—Judge has come back too soon, and reinjured the oblique.

Please plug the above sequence into your computer, and refer to it over the next 4-6 years we have to look forward to of "mystifying," months-long Judge slumps, in which he "just doesn't have his top hand right."

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and El Matador, Andujar? He seems to have hurt himself thanks to the stupidity of the Lords of Baseball, who decided in all their wisdom to harden the bases, and make them less mobile.

Thank goodness, too, because that was everybody's big complaint about major-league baseball.

Don't you remember all those bleacher arguments and fights?

"Wow, hasn't the pace of play become pretty interminable? And look how much I paid for this special extra-long Rat Dog!"
"Never mind that! Can't you see the bases are too soft? And aw-fully wiggly!"

Nonetheless, it's not like the Yanks' crack medical team ever did anything to help him or anyone...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I remember ChingMeng Wang was the first to complain about the bases being too soft.

Anonymous said...


They probably hardened the bases to make it easier to put advertisements for Spiderman 5 on them. When people got mad and they abandoned the idea they forgot to un-harden them.

Judge may be too big for baseball. My money is still on supplements and the lack thereof, messing with his power, timing and as the root cause of the injuries that you correctly identify.

Doug K.

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