Friday, November 22, 2019

Question of next spring: Is Ford a better idea?

By now, you all know that the Yankees finally hollered "ENOUGH" and jettisoned the four-year fantasy known as Greg Bird. It was fun - imagining Bird as the slugging lefty 1B, a necessary part on almost all Yankee championship teams. 

You must go back to Chris Chamblis - that's 40 years ago, folks - before we find a big righty 1B on a relevant Yankee team. The others hit LH, or in Teixeira's case, both ways. In 2019, our lack of a lefty slugger - (with the failure of Didi Gregorius) - left a hole that was never filled. We wanted Mike Ford named to the playoff roster, but the Yankees figured old Edwin Encarnacion was money in the bank. Oh, well... that's China Town, Jake. 

But for now, the Yanks' 2020 big LH slugger is, gulp, is Mike Ford. Period. (Didi gone, Mike Tauchman still a question, and Gardy - at 37? - I dunno.) 

The Yankees cannot win with an almost entire RH-hitting lineup. So, is Ford the answer?

Born on the 4th of July, Ford will turn 28 next season. Last year, in his second season in Scranton, he ripped up the International League - .302 with 23 HRs in 294 at bats - and would have been MVP. Nevertheless, folks were surprised when the Yankees freed him from Scranton: He was starting to look like a career minor-leaguer. 

In early MLB stints, he looked befuddled. I recall him slamming a liner into the right-center gap, where the SS - in the over-shift - easily tossed him out at first. I remember thinking, "So much for this guy." But in September, Ford caught fire: .353 with 3 HRs. Over the last two weeks, he hit .500 (7-for-14.) He looked okay at 1B, though his burly, Greg Luzinski frame looks ready-made for DH. Our last memories are of him bashing MLB pitchers.  

But here's the realty: That could be a mirage.

Ford has yet to go twice around the league - only 143 MLB at bats. We've seen newcomers look Ruthian - (most notably, Bird) - then settle into inconsequential lanes. Can Ford platoon with Luke Voit? Sure, if we want to carry two full-time 1B. But when Didi leaves, the infield dominoes shift - LeMahiue to 2B - and we could end up with a problem at 1B. 

No Yankee team ever survives a problem at 1B.

I'm not saying the Death Star should have kept Bird. I'll back the experts here and hope that protecting a wave of young arms will carry the day. But one reason Bird was expendable was a perceived logjam at 1B. Well, folks, that jam has been broken. And come next spring, if MLB pitchers have compiled a Steele Dossier on Mike Ford, we could be the ones taking the golden shower.

The lazy way of looking at the 2020 Yankees is to think that Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar will both return, full strength, adding 70 HRs to the already potent lineup. That alone should put us over the top. Well, I dunno. 

The Yankees could have a lefty-hitting problem. Wow. Is that crazy, or what? 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris Chambliss batted lefty.

JM said...

How can we not have a lineup stuffed with lefty swingers?

And I don't mean Fritz Peterson.

KnickerBlogger said...

Is it really a problem? Last year the Yankees OPS vs RH last year was .820 which is a tad below their team OPS of .829. If they only hit against RH pitching last year, their OPS would have still been third in the league.

Yes a good LH hitter or two in the middle of that lineup would be awesome, but I'm wondering how much awesome? In an odd way, because the Yankees hitters are so good it might be diminishing returns.

Anonymous said...


I like him. We know he can reach the seats if not his shoes. Here’s what one scouting report says…

“Time to find out what the Ford Fairlane may do. The Barra 190 engine within the Ghia has a maximum result of 190kW along with a maximum torque of 383Nm, that'll see you flying along in the very best rate that is more than 200 km/hr.

The Barra 230 V8 engine in the G8 and Restricted forms of the Ford Fairlane, nevertheless, is even better, due to a whopping maximum torque of 500 Nm plus a maximum result of 230kW. It is not for nothing the Ford Fairlane is regarded as a muscle-car.”

Also, after dealing with the insanely fragile Greg Bird and the surprisingly fragile Luke Voit it’s nice to have a… someone more reliable. Yes he eats a lot but...

“The newest variants of the Ford Fairlane are nothing like the gasoline-guzzling monsters of yesteryear; nevertheless, the Ford Fairlane is really a large car and consequently may be thirsty.

The safety functions in the newest variants of the Ford Fairlane are considerably improved, and contain the Intelligent Safety System; driver, front-passenger and side airbags, pyrotechnic and pretensioned seat-belts. Optional safety equipment comprise a first-aid kit, a fire-extinguisher plus a safety triangle.”

And lastly, I have to acknowledge his downside. Apparently there are some clubhouse issues. I’ll let Roger Ebert take us home.

“Through this human shrubbery strides Fairlane, a cigarette always dangling from his mouth. (He must go through cartons every day, since he never smokes more than the first half-inch, and he lights some cigarettes just so he can disdainfully throw them away.)

Fairlane, like Clay himself, uses the language of insult and aggression, and the screenplay's uncounted obscenities bark out of his mouth as if he were an angry dog - a dog that can only say the same thing over and over again and hope that you will understand him.”

Despite that I vote yes.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PLAYOFFS, KNICKSBLOGGER...

WHEN WE FACE A GERRIT COLE, A JUSTIN VERLANDER, OR PERHAPS A WALKER BUEHLER, IT'S GONNA BE SLIDER, SLIDER, SLIDER.

GOODNIGHT.

ASTROS HAD LINEUP BALANCE. (BRANTLEY L, ALVAREZ L, REDDICK L)

NATIONALS HAD LINEUP BALANCE. (EATON L, SOTO L, CABRERA L)

WE BASICALLY HAD GARDY.- (DIDI AND HICKS MISSED TONS OF TIME AND IMO, THE 3 OF THEM ARE BELOW THE QUALITY LEFT HANDED HITTERS WE NEED).

COOP CASHMAN HAS ANOTHER OFF SEASON TO ADDRESS IT. (DIDI IS JUST ABOUT GONE, BTW).

LETS SEE IF HE AND HIS METRICS TEAM CAN FIGURE IT OUT.

I'M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH.

Anonymous said...

ALERT!

I JUST READ A DEAL THE YANKS ARE CLOSE ON...

WE GET LUIS CASTILLO. (FROM THE REDS).

WE GIVE UP:
DEIVI GARCIA
CLINT FRAZIER
J. HAPP

WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?

I JUST DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT CASTILLO.

SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE THE KIND OF DEAL COOP LOVES.

HE JUST CAN'T STAY AWAY FROM NATIONAL LEAGUE PITCHERS, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN BURNING HIM FOR 20 YEARS.... IT'S AMAZING.

el duque said...

Ooops on Chamblis. You're right. He did hit lefty.

That means we go all the way back to Moose Skowron.

Anonymous said...

ALL CAPS,

Happ and Frazier are fodder. The first is a salary dump (What they do with the savings is the real question) and Frazier is a goner anyway. (The issue is are we getting the best return.)

So the trade is Deivi for Luis.

According to Baseball reference dot com Similar pitchers at his current age (26) are/were


Michael Pineda (981.0)
Dick Tidrow (980.1)
Danny Salazar (979.9)
Vance Worley (978.4)
Jameson Taillon (978.0)
Jake Odorizzi (977.9)
Tex Carleton (977.3)
Ian Kennedy (977.1)
Anibal Sanchez (976.9)
John Farrell (976.1)

So it seems like a huge overpay. I vote No.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

Over the top of what??

JM said...

Whaddya got?

13bit said...

That trade is testicles in a blender. Fuck you, Brian.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yeah, seems like too much to me.

Yes, Chambliss was a lefty, which led to the bizarre platoon of Chambliss and Spencer, lefty and lefty. But we then did go to Bob Watson, who had one good season for us and was a terrific postseason hitter.

But I digress.

Ford is the real deal. He's smart, which of course REAL BASEBALL MEN don't trust. But he's always been an on-base machine, and now he seems to have made himself into a power hitter.

He's like some kind of scary alien in a movie. He keeps adapting and gaining skills. What's more, his floppy disc body is a virtue. Nothing is pulled so tight that it will pop.

Incidentally, Greg Luzinski played 1,821 games in 15 years. Giancarlo Stanton has played 1,162 games in 10 years.

In other words, Giancarlo Stanton would have to average almost 132 games a season for the next five years to match The Bull. Anyone want to bet that he'll do it? If so, I'll take that bet.

Anonymous said...

Chambliss and Spencer were never platooned. They were both on the Yankees in 1978 (Chambliss started 154 games at 1B, Spencer 8) and 1979 (Chambliss started 132 games at 1B and Spencer 22).

HoraceClarke66 said...

Good point. I guess Spencer was more of a DH/PH. But still. Why two lefties?