Thursday, October 31, 2019

Summer is over. Three treasonous Yankee truths on the first day of winter

1. They're calling it the greatest dis in sports history: The Nats to Bryce Harper. Today, Nat fans are taking pinata practice on him. 

For the record, if anybody cares, Harper this year hit 35 HRs, batted .260 and drove in 114 runs - 12 more than any Yankee. This came after a tortuous first half, when Harper slumped and was relentlessly booed, even in Phily. He is 27. 

I whined last winter, when the Yankees walked away from him. And seeing as how 2019 was the year of Next Man UP - with Cameron Maybin, Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela - none of whom cost the Yankees a handful of magic beans, this certainly shows what I know. In the future, disregard anything I say.

Then again, unless I missed something, the Yankees didn't win this year, did they? And in the post-season, whenever a rally approached, we came upon the middle of the lineup. Does anybody want to look up how our 3rd, 4th, and 5th batters fared? I don't. 

2. Let's not forget that the magnificent and wondrous 2019 World Series - seven games of heart and soul, an instant all-time classic, according to Fox - was a War of the Tanks. 

Both franchises built their teams by simply sucking for an extended period of time. It's the one tried-and-true method of American professional sports.

Washington finished last from 2008-2010, resulting in first round draft picks Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon. Houston tanked from 2009-2014, resulting in first round picks George Springer, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman. This is how you do it: Finish last for three to five years. Write this down: The O's vs the Marlins in 2024. 

The closest the Yankees came to a full-scale tank was late summer of 2016, the first half-year of Gary Sanchez, when they a) ditched A-Rod and b) traded Carlos Beltran, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for ransom of prospects. Without this tanking, Gleyber Torres would be in Chicago. But the Yankees didn't go all the way. They finished only four games below .500. Thus, they didn't draft in the top ten - but 16th. 

Thus far, no superstar stud has burst from the 2017 June draft. The Yankees top selection, RHP Clarke Schmidt, could reach the majors this year. But he's no Brendan McKay, taken by the Rays (who really know how to tank, and who drafted 4th that year.) In his first MLB game in June, McKay pitched a perfect game into the sixth. In September, he hit his first MLB home run. Yep, that's no misprint: He is a pitcher/DH, believed to be a generational talent. McKay is 23. Like I said, Tampa knows tanking.

3. Interesting that the Yanks might replace Larry Rothschild - 65, and one of the oldest pitching coaches in baseball - with Chris Fetter, a college coach, who is 33 - certainly one of the youngest.

If it happens, it will comes on the heals of the team hiring a "Director of Pitching Development" (Department of Silly Walks?) last June from a think tank of modern analytics called Driveline Baseball. On its website, the company touts "World Class Pitching and Hitting Training Driven by Data." I believe they are developing the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America.

For better or worse, this reflects Cooperstown Cashman's continued evolution toward super-advanced analytics - a trend he embraced after the Meltdown Apocalypse of 2004, and Hollywood's ensuing infatuation with Moneyball. (I mean, Brad Pitt!) Before then, Cashman scuttled around in the shadows of Stick Michael and Bob Watson, who were more inclined to spit on the floor and decide things by the smell of fear. 

I have no judgement on this. It's way too soon. But baseball dynasties are always tied to some slight edge over the competition that comes from the top. The powerhouse Toronto Blue Jays of the 1980s were created in part by Epy Guerrero, a superscout who beat the bushes of the Dominican Republic, getting a foothold there before the rest of baseball realized the explosion of talent. The Yankees built their 1990s teams in part by becoming the first franchise to fund itself through its own TV network, YES. Oakland's Billy Beane (Brad Pitt!) is credited with Moneyball, though his de facto protege, Theo Epstein, built Boston into a new millennium power through the same means. By the way, the Redsocks still own us.

Who knows where this will lead? Not me. Not on the first day of winter.


13bit said...

1. The Yankees cannot win at the tanking game because we have inept people doing the baseball operations. We can't seem to draft our way out of a paper bag.

2. This year should prove that a starter game, or whatever you want to call it when you use 5 relievers and no starter, is a BAD IDEA. Let me tell you something about cool and interesting baseball ideas and gimmicks: If a strange gimmick had any merit at all, Casey Stengel would have done it. That's the ultimate metric. He was a cagey, wily, clever S.O.B.

3. The teams with the best rotations were in the World Series. Even though it seems like they brought back juiced balls for the last two games, it was pitching that decided it.

4. Brian Cashman is a moron who demands total obedience and needs to be right at all costs. Certainty will kill you. Just read the Greek myths.

5. Hal Steinbrenner doesn't care about winning. He cares about making money. Sometimes, the two overlap, but they usually don't. Hal has transmission fluid running through his circulator system. He has no feelings. Only money rouses the tiniest tingle at the base of his penis, and even that lasts for mere seconds.

6. The Hot Stove League has officially begun.

7. I'm already sick of these fucks. That new potential pitching coach? Really, Brian? Oh yeah, I forgot...

TheWinWarblist said...


13bit said...

that's an impressive line of text, Winnie. can you send a laser beam into Hal's head and lobotomize him so that Jennifer takes control of the team?

Anonymous said...

What a shame the Asstros lost....hey, Bregman, take your bat home with you, and sleep with it.....Altuve, yeah, you got happy face Chappy, but Jose, can you see the Nationals celebrating in YOUR stadium? Verlander, Mr. 0-6 in WS play...go home, sleep with Kate...wait a minute, that ain't no punishment.

TheWinWarblist said...

Bitty, the day you read about Hal begging rushed to Columbia Presbyterian with a mysterious neurological condition is the day I have the ability to frickin' laser beam his head.

TheWinWarblist said...

Verlander, Mr 0-6 in WS, go home and have Kate dump you for Strasburg, you big loser.

TheWinWarblist said...

Divorce you!!

Anonymous said...

Yes the off season has arrived and with it my acute Baseball Seasonal Affective Disorder. (BSAD)

This year I've created a lifeline to help me though the first few weeks with my Happy Yankee Thought series and today I have a good one courtesy of

Happy Yankee Thought #10 (Collect Em All)

I don't know who he is. I don't care who he is. They should absolutely sign him!

He should be our left fielder.


Package Frazier, and Urshala (who I believe is a pumpkin and it's after midnight)for a really good AAA Center fielder. Then bring him up.

Give 3B to DJ.

Give Didi the qualifying offer (as mentioned above)

Trade Stanton (pay 50-75%)get really good AA Pitching and a #4 Starter.

Let AnDUjar DH. (and play 1st and third as back up)

and sign an ACE!!!!!!

OK now I need to order a sun lamp off of Amazon.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

Doug K., we are here for you. Rest tour weary and worried head on my ample and comforting bosom. We just have to move bitty's wee little head a bit and there'll be room for both of you

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