Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Is Something Afoot?

While we were sleeping;  

     - a few more ballplayers have " opted out" of the planned 60 game season.

     -  Giancarlo and Aaron are still not recovered from their injuries

     - a few more teams have added players as " fodder " to their rosters, as emergency replacements

     - the number of Covid cases, and hospitalizations, is soaring almost everywhere.

     - a coherent national strategy remains in the hands of the Taliban

     - Brian Cashman is building a bunker. 

     - the Steinbrenner family has re-located to their penthouse in South Korea

I'm just saying....I am still of the opinion that this baseball season is simply not going to be. 

Unless, of course, they play all the games in a country like New Zealand.  

You know, where they know what they are doing....

Plague Theater: David Cone's final out

"He's all alone out there."

Today's voice of baseball belongs to Ian Desmond

He's done for 2020. 

Baseball's Kaepernick?

Yankees sign a cheap infielder because they can

The first non-COVID story of 2020 summer camp unspooled this weekend: The Yankees signed infielder Matt Duffy off the scrap heap.

He's 29, bats RH and plays almost anywhere. Last year, Duffy appeared in 46 games, hit .252 with a homer. In 2018, he hit .294 and played the season at 3B, so maybe he brings a bit of a Scott Brosius vibe. One blog compares him to Gio Urshela, at least before Urshela learned to hit. Who knows? But it's nice to see the Yankees making moves again; I have a feeling that by mid-August, teams will be tossing around players like confetti, looking to cut their losses. 

My guess is that guys like Duffy could be particularly valuable because of the virus. At any time, the flu could wipe out a team, or at least send its starting lineup into quarantine. Thus, can you ever have too many utility lug nuts? Not this year.

Some say this means Miguel Andujar will move to the OF. That seems to be a lot of speculation over a minor signing. Right now, with Aaron Hicks healthy again - (until he gets hurt) - the Yankee outfield looks like a crowded subway car. Until someone gets sick. And that's the mantra for 2020: Okay, until someone gets sick.

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Get to Play Baltimore Again, and All Is Right with the World.

Hitting the road after their tough series win over the virtual Cubbies, the Yankees got to travel to their equivalent of Disneyland for tonight's game, coasting to an 11th straight win over the Baltimore Orioles, 9-5.

In a rare start, Jordan "Field Marshal" Montgomery, still building up strength in a left arm that was never all that strong to begin with, turned in his best performance of the season so far.

Monty outflanked the Orioles' "hitters" time and again, striking out 9 in his six innings of work, and faltering only in his last frame, when he gave up a three-run homer to rookie infielder Ryan Mountcastle, the heir to Mountcastle Manor, in Castle's Mount, England, who spurned his estate and vast family fortune to come to the U.S. and show the lady who spurned him that he really can play baseball.

"I'm doing this for the woman I love," said Mountcastle, and vowed:  "I shan't return to England until I have led the Popinjays to a gonfalon!"

Mount castle's blast made the score 8-4, but the Yanks already had the contest well in hand.  Gleyber Torres hit two more home runs against Baltimore, of course, and was joined in the endless, Blair-Witch-Project circling and re-circling of the bases by Mike Ford and Gary Sanchez.  A bevy of Yankees relievers mopped up what was left of the game, mostly with grenades and small-arms fire.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Demilitarize the Yankees


Plague Theater: Coney throws an "F-Bomb" on YES

Wait for it.

It's almost time to find out who's hurt

By week's end, we should know whether Giancarlo Stanton tweaked somethingorother while healing from his tweaked whatever.

We'll find out which Aaron - Judge or Hicks - is leading in the race to be Giancarlo II, and whether Big Maple James Paxton's back is ready for its contract year.

The Yankees have gone 110 days without a workplace injury. 

Get ready, folks. It's almost time for some revelations.

Virtual Baseball: Hicks' Licks, Picks Nix Hendricks' Six. Then He Takes Kimbrel to the Tumbrel.

In a thrilling ESPN Virtual Game of the Virtual Week tonight, the Yanks rallied for a 4-3 winning after being no-hit for six innings by Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.  

The big blows—and the big grabs—came from newly restored Aaron Hicks, starting in centerfield for just the second time this season.  Hendricks had picked his way neatly through Yankee bats for the first six innings of play, surrendering just three walks, and buoyed by a first-inning, three-run homer by Anthony Rizzo.

In the seventh, though, Hicks marked up the previously clean slate of the Pint-Size Grizzly hurler, smashing a three-run, game-tying triple to the farthest depths of left-center field.  But the Oft-Injured Hicks, as he has been dubbed by Yankees fans everywhere, was just getting started.

In the top of the ninth, he dazzled again, robbing Addison Russell of a hit with a risky, diving catch just off the grass, then taking away a potential, two-run homer from Javier Baez, leaping over the top of the fence in dead center to steal the titanic blast away—all in support of Tommy Kahnle, making a rare ninth-inning appearance.

In the bottom of the ninth, with two out, Ursa Minor Craig Kimbrel, doing his usual vulture routine, made a two-strike pitch too good, and Hicks golfed it into the second deck in right field.  

"His greatest game?  Well, I guess since last year," Manager Ma Boone said afterwards.  

"We get our kicks, rootin' for Aaron Hicks," said the newly Frazierized Suzyn Waldman. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Plague Theater: Dave Righetti faces Wade Boggs for the final out

"Don't think he doesn't know it."

Virtual Baseball: Darvish Whirls Past Yanks, Ending Streak. Cubs Rake the Maple.

The Virtual Yankees' 12-game winning streak fell short of 13 tonight, as Yu "Whirling" Darvish was staked to a big lead and held on for an 8-7 win tonight.

The Pre-Adolescent Bears rubbed the bark right off the Big Maple early on, with solo homers by Wilson Contreras and Jason Hayward, and a grand slam off the bat of Anthony Rizzo powering Ursa to a major, 8-3 lead.

Darvish was soon brought back to dharma, though, thanks to homers by Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, and a three-run triple by Aaron Hicks, starting in centerfield for the first time all season.  Back-to-back singles by Hicks and Torres, and a walk to Miguel Andujar loaded the bases against Cubs reliever Pedro Strop in the ninth.

But Rizzo's flat-out, diving grab of a line drive off the bat of Gary Sanchez put an abrupt if unsatisfying end to the game for Yankees fans, who consoled themselves by firing major fireworks at the elevated train behind the Stadium.

After the game, Jesse "the Body" Ventura held his first East Coast rally in the infield, drawing literally dozens of excited followers.

Current presidential polls put Ventura second in this year's presidential race, with 14 percent of the vote.  With the Dow now approaching 50,000, President Trump holds a commanding lead with 69 percent, while Democratic frontrunner has moved into positive numbers for the first time, with 2 percent.  "Don't know and don't care" made up the rest of the poll.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Plague Theater: Don and Ruben... "OOOOH, HANG ONTO THE ROOF!"

And "Put some mustard on it!"

Once again, The Onion leads the way

Today, holy shit, do we need a laugh or what? I got nothing, zero, zilch. I need an underground bunker. All night, even in sleepy Syracuse - (rhymes with sheer abuse) - you hear fireworks, like percussion grenades. 

So here's our best shot. The Onion.  

Thirty-two years ago in Madison, Wisconsin, it began publishing satire based on the notion that nothing is funnier than old-fashioned truth. All-time fave headline: "Rotation of Earth Throws Entire North American Continent into Darkness."

So, without further adieu... a few baseball truths, according to The Onion...

And our competitors...

And a few more...

And this.

Jubilent baseball world awaits
July 24 Opening Day 

Wait. That's not an Onion headline. That's... gulp... real? Oh, fuck.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Make It An Even Dozen, Nudge Little Bears Behind Tanaka.

In a crisp, virtually well-played game tonight at the Stadium between two leading, World Series contenders, Masahiro Tanaka just managed to edge old friend Jon Lester, 4-3.

Lester struck out 11 Yankees and looked dominant at times.  But the Bombers keep rallying all night long.  A two-run homer by Mike Ford tied the game at 2-2, a solo shot by The Red Menace, Clint Frazier, brought the Pinstripers even again, at 3-3, and a Gleyber Torres just poked a single through a drawn-in, Chicago infield plated what proved to be the winner in the bottom of the seventh.

Tanaka managed to last eight innings, in search of what would have been a league-leading third complete game, surrendering only a two-run homer and a run-scoring double, both by the miniature Ursines' hard-hitting first sacker, Anthony Rizzo, but finally had to be hauled off the mound by Manager Ma Boone and the Yankees' crack training/rasslin' staff.

On came the Ice Man, Aroldis Chapman, who walked the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, then struck out Baby Bear star Kris Bryant on a devastating sinker, and induced streaking Wrigleylander Kyle Schwarber to smoke a grounder that Torres turned into a gorgeous, game-ending, twin killing. sparkling entree of a double-play.

As if the team's 12th win in a row wasn't treat enough, Yankees fans welcomed back old favorite Aaron Hicks, who managed to pinch-hit a single and play an inning in centerfield without visibly damaging anything.

Plague Theater: Mickey walks off on the Cards

Off the knuckleballer, Barney Schultz.

Don Mattingly is trending on Twitter, but don't worry; it's not what you think