Saturday, August 10, 2019

Let's Face It: This Dynasty Is Already Over

Maybe it's just all the "Predator"-style hair grooming on the Blue Jays making me think this is a team of super-athletes who are going to be running us over in a few years.

But let's face it: your 2017, New York Yankees Team of Destiny is over already.  We are now in rebuilding mode—even if Brian Cashman doesn't know it.

Sancho was back today—and right back to his one-tremendous-blast, 3-strikeout, .229-hitting mode of play.  The guy who looked like a young Johnny Bench in 2016-2017 is gone.  We have a series of extended EL stints followed by extended slumps to look forward to.

Pretty much the same goes for Hicks and Stanton—provided the latter comes back at all.  Andujar is out for who knows how long, and who knows what we'll get when and if he returns.

Bird is already long gone.  Frazier has been banished for reasons unspecified.  Aaron Judge, who two minutes ago was the face of the franchise, is a hot mess, obviously frustrated, probably hurt, barely able to hit singles.  Again.

The future pitching staff never really did come together.  Instead it dissipated in a welter of bad trades and bad arms.

The one and only member of the Incredible Future Yanks who still seems to have some future left is Gleyber Torres.  And who knows when we'll see him again, either.

Mind you, the rebuilding job has gone pretty well so far.

Tauchman, Gio, and Voit all seem like diamonds in the rough, LeMahieu was a terrific signing (that I sniffed at), Romine and Higashioka have been doing it, Maybin is a great fill-in, and Thairo, Ford, and, yes, MCBROOM! all have potential still.

But this pieced-together, makeshift, thoroughly enjoyable Yankees team is no summer fill-in.  It's the future, as much as there is one.  And there's still not a whole lot of pitching going on.

The failure of this once-brilliant, young Yankees team to ever jell before it expired was due to a lot of different factors, including HAL's refusal to spend, Coops' moronic deal-making, the unfortunate selection of Boone as manager, and the whole absurdity of the homer-or-die approach to the game.

But most of all it has been an appalling physical breakdown.  The Yankees have never had a team come apart like this, much less a team this good.

I can't wait for Cashman's promised investigation into the training and coaching staffs this winter.  I suspect it will go much like O.J.'s investigation into finding his wife's killer—and for the same reason.


Lehigh Yankee said...

I'm not sure what is being said here. Relax, I know the Yankees have lost two in a row to Toronto but they aren't the 2017 Yankees. The Yankees might plan a unique way to pitch in the playoffs. 3-4 inning starters and the rest is bullpen.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hmm...and we saw how that worked today, right?

Lehigh, I would love to get some stats on how the Yanks' bullpen—the real bullpen, that is, with the "openers" added and starters who come in in the 3rd inning deleted—stacks up. But I'm sure that it's not in the top 3 of the AL, and I suspect that it has got steadily worse the more it's been used.

Today, it got outpitched by a couple of completely anonymous Toronto relievers, one of whom surrenders five runs a game. The idea that these guys are the key to anything is a delusion.

HoraceClarke66 said...

As to my main point, it's that the expected core of the new dynasty we all done. It's already on the scrap heap, along with the finishing touch that Stanton was supposed to be.

These guys can't stay on the field, and when they ARE on the field, they are either recovering—and thus slumping—or in the process of getting hurt again. And thus slumping.

Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, Hicks, Andujar, Frazier, Severino, Montgomery, and Bird. They're already done as starters, never mind stars, and possibly The Gleyber, too—ready instead for careers of DHing, pinch-hitting, long relieving, and some filling in here and there.

Other teams, such as the BoSox with their killer B's, Houston, Washington with Juan Soto, and even Toronto with the thoroughly frightening Bo Bichette and Son of Vlad have already put superior athletes on the field.

All is not lost for the Yankees, but they would be much, much better off sticking with the "replacements" such as Tauchman, Urshela, etc., guys who because they are not ripped or ballooned with PEDs dedicate themselves to playing the game as it should be played.

Let the imploded stars of the Lost Dynasty work to get their jobs back. If they can't do it, deal 'em for what you can get.

13bit said...

As Cashman’s A-team returns, we will tank. Trade them all while they still have value and play the guys who got us this far.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thank you, 13bit. That's what I'm saying, only in a much pithier way. Plus, the fact that the pen stinks.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Mets win again, meanwhile, albeit with another big assist from Davey Martinez, who is really a wretched manager.

Kinda fun, though, to watch Fernando Rodney choke it up.

JM said...

I think it's fair to say that our team is streaky.

That you can't predict baseball.

That one weekend we look like chumps against the Socks and the next we look like champs.

That something is really wrong with Judge.

That our pitching is a ramshackle mess and yet our W-L is absurdly good and not all those wins came against Baltimore.

That the pitching has been streakier than the offense and it's been awhile since it put together a good streak.

That the injuries should be investigated by a special Congressional committee with live witness testimony on all major networks.

That we still have almost two full months to go and, you know, Suzyn, it's a long season.

That I'm hoping against hope that the brass and the manager will realize who the real stars are on this team and play them when it matters.

That naming the broadcast booth after a cancer hospital sponsor may not have been a karmically great idea.

Parson Tom said...

JM nails it. The power of his final statement should not be underestimated.

Parson Tom said...

Something's not right with Judge, as many have said on this blog. Or at least something has changed. Here's the statistical breakdown:

Unknown said...

I can’t wait until they win the series, then I will screenshot this article and send it to you daily. No, no. Hourly.

ranger_lp said...

Hey it was our first loss with an opener...Tampon Bay doesn't win every game with an opener...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Unknown, I will be delighted if they win the Series.

But mark my words: if they do, that Series-winning lineup will include Gio, Tauchman, Maybin, Romine, Ford, maybe The Red Menace, and most likely a miraculously revived Tanaka, Sap, or Crapp.

It will NOT include Giancarlo "The Flailer" Stanton, Judge, Sanchez, Hicks, or Bird—at least, not doing anything of note.

That's my point. The new kids are all right. The window has already slammed shut on what was supposed to be the Chef, excuse me, Team of the Future.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks for the stats on Judge, Parson Tom. Interesting piece.

At first, I was glad to see Judge going opposite field. I thought, 'Oh, smart, he's going with what they give him, and he's using that short porch at the Stadium.'

But as this article shows, it's not that at all. He CAN'T pull anymore, at home or on the road, which implies either a physical problem, a real inability to deal with what he's thrown, or both.

The power production is simply way down, period. And it's happening over an extended period of time.

In 2017, he was hitting a homer every 13 plate appearances, and that was even with the shoulder injury sustained at the notorious Home Run Derby, and a resulting, two-month power slump.

In 2018, he was down to a home run every 18.4 appearances.

In 2019, it's down to almost a home run every 23 appearances—and sliding quickly. Plus, he is now in an out-and-out slump, unable to even hit singles much.

The Yanks, with their usual crafty silence, won't admit that anything is wrong. But obviously, there is. Obviously, they have another, overbuilt slugger who cannot stay on the field or stay effective.

Can't wait for that training investigation!

HoraceClarke66 said...

JM, our key to victory is this: score at least 6 runs, and hang on.

That doesn't always do it, but if we don't, we can't count on the starters to get through even five innings, or the bullpen to hold any lead.

That's not a winning formula for the postseason.

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