DEAR NEW YORK TABLOIDS

BOYCOTT MLB ON YOUR BACK PAGES UNTIL THE LOCKOUT ENDS!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Infield


Good morning.  Bright and cheery.  No?

Here is my structure for the new ( and competitive ) Yankee infield.

3B - Urshela 

2B- Torres

1B- DJ

SS- Someone new.  Exceptional defense.  Speed.  Can bunt. Hits .280.  14 HRs.

Bench :  Voit, Kyle Holder ( or Holden ) ...I want to see him play ; Andujar


Tomorrow we'll discuss the #2 position ( currently Sanchez and Hiorodshaka ).


2020 has been an evil beast (a personal reflection)

Two weeks ago, my mother died at 96. Great life, great gal. Lived in the house she was born in right until the end, shouting at the TV while watching the Yankees just a few days before she went.

Over the past 12 months, I've lost my closest cousin (cancer), my best friend (Covid), another friend and former co-worker (heart attack), the husband of another very close cousin (more cancer), and now my mom. That's the past 12 months. Jesus Christ. 

On top of that, much less importantly, I officially became a senior citizen, recently had a partial knee replacement, put on a lot of weight (some of which has mercifully departed), the Yankees continued losing in the playoffs, and...oh, shit, I can't even remember all the minor stuff.

Out of all the minor complaints, though, it's the Yankees that really gall me. Maybe because baseball is something that really doesn't matter, except in how it can help you bear up under all the things that do matter, watching a long home run or well-placed line drive or killer split-finger fastball. And, best of all, seeing the game played well by your team, on a championship level. 

But our team, the Yankees, can't figure out how to do that. Tampa has figured it out with a lot less money. The Dodgers have figured it out, with as much or more money. The Astros, cheating aside, had it figured out, and they're in Texas. But the Yankees? The greatest sports franchise in history? They can't figure it out. One championship in 20 years. The same mistakes, the same tunnel vision, the same lousy long-term deals. The same inferior pitching rotation, though the individuals change.

2021 has to be better than 2020. Doesn't it? 

When I would say, "Well, things can't get any worse," my late best friend would say, "Sure they can."

I hope they don't this time. Just for a change of pace.

THE TEAM OF TOMORROW: Brian Cashman is conducting scouting reports via Zoom.

News on Parade: THE YANKEES ARE ON ZOOM! 

(Dateline: NY.) For big meetings, Yankee pinstriper GM Brian Cashman is videoconferencing, employing the incredible power of Atom Age technology to advance the franchise's pro-success agenda! 

Everywhere, the Yankees are moving forward at the speed of discovery - becoming more than just a baseball team, but a company, a brand and a  marketing concept! 

With the help of top-notch engineers and the latest computer software, they are working to become the Team of Tomorrow.

Right now, management is developing new and stronger algorithms, helping company leaders make critical in-game decisions. Through the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.), each Yankee coach can instantly process millions of bits of information, giving him - or her - a clear advantage on every single pitch.

These incredible analytics allow Cashman to foresee events before they happen, so the team can replace pitchers or hitters without fearing the consequences of human error. 

And all this is happening, Yankee fans, thanks to the greatest magician of the modern age: Mr. Reddy Killowatt.

Yes, it's coming together in New York, Tampa, Scranton, Pulaski and everywhere the Yankees gather. We're tapping into the unlimited resources of electricity - as the team marches boldly into the future!

Next up: AMERICA'S HOPE, THE KARDASHIANS, SPUR THE NEXT PHASE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Mets have a new owner, and he is the richest in baseball

And don't be surprised if he soon oversees the dominant baseball team in New York.  

The Outfield


In a hopeless attempt to change things,  I will propose things.


First;  the starting outfield for next season:

LF - Frazier

CF- Someone good

RF- Judge

A few things to settle:  Getting the new CF.  Keeping Judge healthy. 

And we need back-ups.  

And we need to see if Florial can be a Yankee. 

Give him a full year. 

Next:  the infield. 

Keep 'em or bleep 'em: Today's missing links across the tortured Yankiverse

Four days until the chads start hanging, winter begins, and the first shots are fired upon Fort Sumner, aka the Hot Stove League. Here's the news across a stressed-out Yankiverse: 

Yanks re-up with Zack.  They have exercised  the option on Zack Britton's contract. Good. He's their best closer, also the team's union rep. (I get nervous when teams drop union lug nuts, and a strike looms in 2022.) Now, if only there was a way to ditch El Chapo... 

Yanks ditch Hap and Gardy.  (Wait, is this a Joe R. Lansdale book?) Good riddance to J.A. Happ, who disappointed from the day he arrived in his casket. (Fun Fact: Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney, whom we traded for him, didn't pan out either.) Yankee Stadium isn't big enough for a gopher baller. Plus, the guy is 38. Too old. 

Then there is Gardy, who will be 38 this year. Insert sigh here. I go back and forth, wishy-washy, up-n-down, on Gardy.  It's hard to see him in another jersey, or banging his bat on the roof of another dugout. But - yeesh - even with a strong last week, he still batted .223. Look, he's not Amy Covid-Barrett; the Yankees aren't a lifetime appointment. Now and then, it sure would be nice to see a rookie. Would Estevan Florial do the same... for a lot less money?

A call for the Yanks to sign Indians closer - now free agent - Brad Hand. What's the diff? They won't. It's only October, and Food Stamps Hal is already hitting the talk shows, poor-mouthing and rattling the cup. It's free agent time, and for the next week, the Internet will be jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive. They'll all be wheedling for calls from Cooperstown Cashman. But payrolls will shrink. Remember how two years ago, the Death Star broke its skein of seasons with payrolls over the luxury tax limit? How it meant that we would be able to spend more freely? That ended quickly, eh? We're back to yelling that money doesn't grow on trees, even though - for billionaires - it sorta does. 

A question: Are the Dodgers are the greatest team ever? No. They're not. Who the fuck writes this crap, anyway? Why would anybody even think this? Excuse me: I've got some doom-scrolling to do. 

A Stitch in Time

And after Yankee Stadium III, the House That Hal Built, vibrated and whirled and rose high in the sky under the tractor pull of an alien spaceship...

Your humble correspondent somehow found himself at the same site, high in the second deck between home and third base, in a ballpark that seemed alike but very different.  

"What—where—" he (me) said with his (my) usual, immediate acuity.

"Yankee Stadium, May 22nd, 1963," an old-timer a couple rows down snapped, looking up from his folded copy of the Herald-Tribune. "Where and whattaya think? Say, how many beautiful, beautiful Ballantine Ales you had, anyway, whippersnapper?"

"Of course." 

The park around him looked older, a little shabbier even—but infinitely grander, like a great cathedral in  a poor French town. 

"Nine-teen sixty-three!"

The old-timer looked up at him again, a little more closely this time.  

"Well, don't knock it. It ain't the worst year of the century by a long shot—and you look old enough to have seen all of it."

"You got that right—almost."

"It's a good time to be alive, more or less. The economy's booming. Nobody's out of work, and America's first in just about everything."

"Is that right?"

"Yep. And sure, the president's a womanizing, pill-popping rich man's son, but what's new? Anyway, that whole nearly blowing up the world thing last fall seems to have sobered him up some."

"No problems besides that?"

"Sure, we got problems! What time in the world don't? But we ain't blown ourselves up yet with the A-bomb or the H-bomb. There's the racism problem, but Dr. King just won a big victory down in Birmingham, and now he's going to be goin' all over the north, fighting for the laws to kill Jim Crow. There's even talk of a big march on Washington."

"You don't say."

"That's right—progress is rattlin' on! Maybe too much. There's talk of 'em tearin' down Pennsylvania Station, can you believe it? But there's at least 40 or 50 architect students protesting it—that'll stop 'em for sure. There was talk of 'em tearin' down the Polo Grounds, too, but now with the Mets over there I can't see it happenin'."

"No."

"Yeah, everything's just about perfect, and what's not is gettin' better. Yeah, there's that kerfuffel in Vietnam, but we'll get out of that soon enough. We're not dumb enough to get wrapped up in another Korea."

"Uh-huh. Small crowd tonight."

Around them there were only a few clusters of fans, scattered throughout the vast stadium. 

"Yeah. I guess they're all worn out from the big parade today."

He glanced at the front page on the Herald-Trib, and the big picture there of a tickertape parade for an astronaut named Cooper.

"Yes."

"Quite a thing. They say we're going to the moon in a few years."

"No doubt."

Down on the field the players changed sides. 

"That's one thing that'll never change, though. Your New York Yankees," the old-timer said, with a hint of pride in his voice. "World champs again, and they look better and younger than ever now, with that Pepitone kid at first, and Tresh in the outfield. And those kids, Bouton and Downing, how they can throw!"

"What's the score?"

"Seven-seven." The old-timer shook his head. "Don't know how that happened. Why, they were up, 7-0, headed into the eighth! But then, would ya know it, Boyer—Clete Boyer, of all people!—made a big error, and so did Kubek."

"There's no predicting baseball."

The old-timer gave him an odd look.

"Anyway, here we are in the eleventh with this bunch of bushers from Kansas City. Why, this game's over three hours long already!"

"That a fact. Nice night for it, though."

On the field, a righty named Fischer was just finishing his warm-ups. A familiar figure was striding to the plate, the number 7 on his broad back. He settled himself into the lefthand batter's box.

"That Mantle's off to a hell of a start again. Oh, he's going to win the MVP again this year, you watch!" the old-timer exclaimed.

The first pitch came in, a big, slow curve, and the man in the batter's box timed it just right, his bat bending as he put the barrel on it. The ball flew upwards at an impossible angle, rising higher and higher toward the facade on top of the second deck in left. The heads of the players on the field all swiveling to watch it, but nobody moving a step.

They jumped to their feet without noticing it. The old-timer crumpling the paper in his hand.

"It's going out! It's going all the way out!"

The ball still rising in the warm May night, in the nearly perfect time. 

 





Thursday, October 29, 2020

Randy Pandemic, the Lindor Paradox, and another pointless day in the Yankiverse

Within the Yankiverse, time, as we know it, does not exist. 

It's a primal, subatomic particle thing. I won't go into the science; you'd just get dizzy and barf. Simply stated, the Rizzutons that comprise what we know as "consciousness" flow backwards and forward, simultaneously, creating a time/space continuum where Aaron Small is interchangeable with Aaron Judge, which in turn - whoops, feeling queasy, are you? Just close your eyes, breathe, and think of Yogi Berra, who summed it up by saying: "It gets late early." 

So, in today's links, we travel in every direction, at once. 

Backwards: How Randy Pandemic evolved. The Rays stole Arozarena from the usually astute Cardinals last winter. They dealt three prospects for him and Jose Martinez, whom they later jettisoned. Apparently, Arozarena started doing pushups, quit the Big Macs, mastered a leg kick, and turned into Hank Aaron - at least in September, before the league figured him out. He's 25, and the Rays have him through 2026. (Cheapskates that they are, they'll probably trade him in 2023, when he hits arbitration.) If he's for real, we are screwed.

The present: All-Star catcher and free agent JT Realmuto supposedly doesn't want to play in NY. Take this with a grain of salt. It's what they all say: It's called driving up the price. Supposedly, Realmuto wants to stay in Philadelphia. (Wait, isn't that's a dead giveaway?) The question remains, though, whether Food Stamps Hal will spend $300 million on anybody, even the best catcher in the game. My guess is, no, he won't.

The future: The persisting argument to obtain Francisco Lindor. This involves ditching DJ LeMahieu and trading - gulp - Clint Frazier, two of the most disgusting thoughts imaginable. In fact, it's so tortuous that I wonder: Why do we do this to ourselves? Are we self-loathing Yankee fans? Do we feel guilty for all the money this team pisses away? What is our problem? Either way, some folks in the Yankiverse constantly argue that the team needs Lindor, who is a year away from free agency.  Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't the Yankees main problem that they constantly trade for high-priced players after they have had their best years in another city? Must we forever do this?

The insulting. Oddsmakers pick the Yankees as faves in 2021. Dear God, must we go through this again? It's a recurring nightmare. Have these people no shame? Will they just leave us alone in our misery? Can we grieve? Will they let us fucking grieve? 

Virtual World Series: Mystery Appearances! Surprise Endings! Aliens! And All in All, a Long, Wet Slog...

Field conditions before tonight's Game Seven of the Virtual World Series were so bad that right up to an hour before game time, MLB was considering postponing the bout.  

Then the latest TV ratings arrived:  for Game Six, fewer than 10,000 people outside the Greater New York area had watched the most thrilling Series in year.

"Let's get this dog of a show off the air," Commissioner Rob Manfredmann ruled. "Fox has got to run a special edition of Dish Nation on Thursday!"

Throwing caution to the wind and lefty starter David Peterson against the Yankees, the Mets nonetheless bolted first out of the gate.  Brett Gardner, batting leadoff, stroked a long home run against Yankees starter Deivi Garcia, and Robinson Cano soon followed with a run-scoring double.

Garcia was pulled after three, ineffectual innings—but not before also surrendering run-scoring singles to Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. Clarke Schmidt entered the game—only to give up a two-run homer to the Polar Bear. Adam Ottavino entered the game...only to exit it immediately, when the Yankees in the field behind him sat down in protest and refused to get up until he faked an injury and hobbled off to the dugout. Chad Green entered the game—and gave up back-to-back doubles to Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis, and Amed Rosario.

The Yanks were able to muster home runs by D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge in response, but still trailed, 6-2, headed into the sixth. Another home run by Luke Voit finally drove Peterson out of the game, and a triple by Aaron Hicks added a run against Jeurys Familia, but the Yanks were still down two headed into the ninth, when The Gleyber led off the inning with a long home run against Justin Wilson. 

Two outs later, Kyle Higashioka, the one man standing between Chasen Shreve and Yankee oblivion on the season...managed to reach out and hit an opposite-field single against the shift. Another LeMahieu hit sent Higgy to second—and then a long Hicks double plated him, and sent D.J. scrambling for home—where he was gunned down on a perfect throw from Gardy and a relay by Cano.

Six-to-six, headed into extras. To stop the bleeding, the Yanks had already exhausted Zach(k) Britton for three innings. Thrown in for the 10th out of sheer desperation, J.A. Happ surrendered a two-run blast to Cano. But Judge and Clint Frazier followed with doubles off Toonces in the bottom of the inning, and an Andujar single tied the game.

Back and forth it continued, through ever-rising levels of pitching incompetence. First Cessa gave up a run, then so did Wacha. Holder gave another one—and so did Porcello. Holder could not hold the Mets off the scoreboard, but Lugo was a lugnut against the Yanks. 

Johnny Lasagna and Robert Gsellman both pitched two shutout innings—then both gave up a run in inning number three. Monty was good for two shutout innings—but so was Jared Hughes. Tanaka gave it the last full measure of devotion for one more zero—but so did Steven Matz.

Finally, for the 20th inning, out came the big gun, again. Gerrit Cole, working on no rest, pitched a shutout inning. The Mets countered with...deGrom! Who shut down the Yankees in turn.

By this time, the full house was hoarse from shouting and cursing. At least ten drunks had already tumbled to certain death or worse from the upper deck. The Stadium Club was all out of roast beef AND gin.

And as the game went into the top of the 21st inning, those weird, glowing lights began to encircle the Stadium again. A strange, spherical object appeared high in the sky over the Bronx. Brian Cashman, in his full, eagle-protection suit, ran out on the field, screaming, "They won't take me alive!" before being hauled away by a grounds crew now thoroughly exhausted by their third rendition of "YMCA" on the night.

But everything went quiet, once they heard the music.  

Yankees fans had been pondering for days just who the new, mystery reliever the team had picked up might be. From the very first strains of "Enter Sandman," there was no doubt that the most outlandish rumors were true after all.

He looked almost as slender and lithe as he always had, running with his customary, unhurried lope, the number 42, by special dispensation, still on his back.

"Suzyn, there's no predicting whether one great pitch will live forever," John Sterling gurgled from the Kars-for-Krazy-Katz broadcast booth.

But there he was, out on the mound again. Jeff McNeil took strike three and just walked away, shaking his head. Pete Alonso swung and missed so hard that he pulled a core muscle on his last try. And Robinson Cano hit a broken-bat grounder that dribbled out to The Great One before he could even jog out of the box.

After that, the end seemed preordained. 

It had to be The Machine, D.J. LeMahieu, the most complete and clutch Yankee remaining after the Living Legend who had just sauntered off the mound. He timed deGrom's best fastball just well enough to clang it off the rightfield foul pole, and no doubt that would have brought on an ecstatic celebration, the likes of which had never been seen in Yankee Stadium III—save for the fact that the glowing, colored rings surrounding the ballpark began to increase in size and sound, the spherical object from above swooped lower, and the screaming throngs rushed for the exits.

"Ballgame over!" John Sterling began to proclaim, clutching to his microphone even as Suzie and Clyde hustled him bodily out of the reverberating ballpark.

The last man seen leaving the Stadium was Mariano Rivera, still in uniform, still walking unhurriedly, ignoring the fantastic, impossible, extraterrestrial light show behind him, a small smile playing over his lips.

The only one left behind was Brian Cashman, in his protective helmet, who could be heard screaming to the very end, "No, no! I'm NOT in control of the Yankees! The Yankees DON'T control the universe!"

But his words were drowned out by the great, unnatural noise the Stadium made as it was lifted up in its entirety and carried into the heavens, diminishing with astonishing speed into a tiny dot in the sky.

And in the virtual parking lots, while the Mets sobbed and lamented, "Now we have to wear Amazon penises on our shirts—forever!" and while John Sterling looked heavenward and proclaimed, "Improbable events over! Virtual World Series over! Brian Cashman over! Thuh-uh-uh Yankees win! The Yankees win!"—

—Hal Steinbrenner turned to Randy Levine and Lonn Trost and asked, "Seriously, how many more luxury suites could we get in a new park?" 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

So Now It Begins


Three days from now, baseball teams can begin to make deals again. 

The World Series is over, and a fine team won.  Also, a fine team lost.

The Yankees were neither of them.

But we have reason for optimism.

The Core Anchor of our team is locked in place for seven more, endless years.  You think 2020 was a miserable year?  Being a Yankee fan for the next seven seasons will be highly similar. 

Hal Steinbrenner " jumped the shark" when he gave away Starling Castro ( and more ) to acquire the MVP Giancarlo Stanton.  He was conned, swindled and undressed like a drooling idiot.

Unlike the Dodgers who...no matter what...got an MVP season, and world championship, from adding Mookie Betts....the Yankees got a lot of time on the injured list, a ton of non productive at bats, and a wild card win from adding Giancarlo. And that may be our last one. 

But it is HE ( Giancarlo) around whom we shall now re-build. ( Oh, right.  The Yankees don't do that.  They re-tool ). 

There is no other choice. 

 Hal is obsessed that he doesn't have enough $ billions.  So the $25-30 million due each year to our building block ( almost enough in a single check to pay the entire salary of the Tampa Bay Rays ), is like wearing a huge rock around ones neck, dragging you down to the bottom of the sea. 

Start with Giancarlo.  And re-tool from there. 

Drown slowly or drown fast.

I wonder if Hal was surprised Giancarlo didn't opt out of his contract? 

I mean, he must be a smart business man, right?  How else would he have all that money?

Congratulations to LA, MLB, the NBA, the NFL, and the continent of Australia

Kudos to the Dodgers, celebrating their first world championship since Kirk Gibson could see his toes while standing. They'd get hugs and kisses, if not for the virus. Bridesmaids for seven years, they finally made the necessary addition - Mookie fuckin' Betts! - and won. Suck on it, Boston. And you, too, Hal...  

Today, Major League Baseball also deserves a cascade of glowing praise. Back in August, when the Marlins tested positive, I wouldn't have bet a Raleigh coupon on the 2020 season playing out to a world series. Considering the Bozos who oversee the game - (the extra-inning rule? seriously?) - it seemed only a matter of time before the floor caved in. Today, let's give them credit: MLB  pulled it off. 

And here's to the NBA, which built the "bubble" to protect its players, staffs and families, and held a successful set of playoffs. And - fingers crossed - here's to the NFL, which continues to keep the largest rosters in pro sports. And how about Australia, which just ended a 111-day lockdown in Melbourne, its second largest city; the Melbornites -(which include one of my sons) - now has no current Covid cases - none. Can you imagine that?

They defeated the Beast.

Today, America is smoldering through its worst Covid wave yet, each day bringing the highest numbers of new infections since the pandemic hit. 

The most galling part of this calamity? Seeing how all the death and suffering could have been avoided - if there is enough money in it, I guess. 

We've always known how to beat the Beast. We just didn't bother.  Masks were too uncomfortable. Bars were too important. Besides, when it was other people dying, when it was people we didn't know - well - we either didn't believe it, or we simply  didn't care. 

What we have are excuses. We would not bend to government authority! We would not change our ways! We would not obey restrictions! If necessary, we would reject medical science altogether, choosing our experts based on what we want them to say. Goodbye, Dr. Fauci. Hello, Dr. Oz!

For years on this blog, we've argued that baseball was run by a bunch of old, greedy fools. Well, they pulled it off. Why couldn't America?

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Rays Went Down Looking

Congratulations to the traitorous running dogs of Los Angeles.

It's never a good thing when the team that betrayed Brooklyn wins it all. But I can't say I didn't feel a certain schadenfreude when both Marcel Marceau and Adamseseseses took a called third strike to cut short the Rays' last gasp.

Three True Outcomes indeed.

I suppose if the Dodgers had been as classless as our American League champions they would have played some famous Tampa Bay song to mock the harpooned Rays...except, of course, that there are no famous songs about Tampa Bay. Or Tampa. Or St. Petersburg.

Well, congratulations to everybody for getting through it. It was still a cheese season and the Dodgers are still a cheese champion. But they have, at least, been pretty much the best non-cheating team in baseball for the last four seasons now, and it's time to give the devil his due.

Now, time to turn to our marvelous football, basketball, and hockey teams!




Virtual World Series: Hold the Phone and Bang the Drum! The Yanks Will Play Again!

In yet another virtual nail-biting fingernail gripper, the virtual New York Yankees held on at their pangolin-tainted Stadium to edge the New York Mets, 4-3, and force a virtual Game Seven.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was virtually valiant, pitching six shutout innings, striking out 13, and clinging to a 1-0 lead, thanks to an early home run from Aaron Judge. 

But virtual arm weariness caught up to Cole on his short-rest start in the seventh. With two outs, Brett Gardner dug into his at-bat like a pit bull, fouling off 11 pitchers before finally drawing a walk. Robbie Cano, don'tcha know, followed with a drive so far into the gap that he could jog easily into third.

The lead gone, Ma Boone threw the quick, virtual hook. But the O-Man, Adam Ottavino, was promptly devoured by the Polar Bear, Pete Alonso, who socked a long home run deep into left field. 

Down 3-1, the Mets looked to have clear sailing toward their first world championship since the days when Ronald Reagan was president, Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond still resided this side of hell, and a young man named Joe Piscopo was teaching us all to laugh again.

But after walking Gleyber Torres with two down in the eighth, Mets reliever Toonces Betances bounced a pair of wild pitches to put The Gleyber on third. He then surrendered a run-scoring single to Kyle Higashioka, filling in for Gary Sanchez, who was out with what the Yankees described as a sprained brain.

With Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list and reportedly sought by ATF agents from several states, the Yankees had their mystery reliever, listed only by the unusual moniker of Palacios Jiron, warming up in the back of the bullpen. But he never appeared, as Zack(h) Britton managed to retire the Mets, fanning Michael Conforto after Britton and Chad Green had managed to load the bases.

For the bottom of the ninth, Mets retro manager Bobby Valentine brought in closer Edwin Diaz to relieve Chasen Shreve, after fighting off attempt by his team to physically restrain him. Diaz struck out the first two batters he faced, then surrendered a triple to deep center-left by Aaron Hicks.

Two outs, a run down, and the Yanqui Man of Knowledge was at the plate, Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton had had a perfect night so far, striking out three times on exactly nine swinging strikes previously. But now, on his very first pitch, Giancarlo...laid down a perfect bunt against the shift, scoring Hicks!  

While running out his bunt, of course, Stanton tore every muscle in both legs and had to be carried off the field in agony by his teammates. But that only created an opportunity for pinchrunner Tyler Wade to steal second and third. 

Valentine ordered intentional walks to both Judge and Torres. But Gio Urshela then lifted a twisting, drifting, shifting, teasing, tantalizing pop fly to the Bermuda Triangle of the outfield, one which just barely, narrowly, scarcely dropped onto the outfield grass, between the four Mets infielders and two outfielders running at full speed after it.  

As the Stadium reverberated with cheers and The Master's win warble, Ma Boone had the last word:

"We'll be back here tomorrow."

Ask Polly

 



A refreshing antidote to the nattering nabobs of negativism that permeate this site.

It’s time for a little Pinstripe Pollyannaism (TM) as we open up the Ask Polly Mailbag.

 

Dear Polly,

After watching the Dodgers and Rays I’m starting to realize that the Yankees are a fundamentally flawed organization that will never be competitive enough to win another World Series before I shuffle off this mortal coil.  I spend a lot of time watching, reading, and thinking about the Yankees. Have I wasted my life?

Aging Yankee Fan

 

Dear Ageing,

Cheer up! 

It is natural for people to seek entertainment and you have chosen following sports as your primary outlet.  That’s great!

As to worrying if they will win again in your lifetime. It may seem like you are screwed but they are doing really interesting research on increasing life spans so you might not be as close to death as you think.

Unfortunately neither is Hal and he has a lot more money to spend on stem cells taken from Central American baseball players who think that regular “blood plasma” letting is an elaborate part of the drug testing protocol and is just a part of becoming a big leaguer.  

But…  Great news! Eventually he will turn the reins over to another member of the family.

According to Wikipedia,

“Hal said the family had begun discussing future plans for the family's involvement in the franchise, and that several of George's grandchildren, including Stephen Swindal Jr., George Michael Steinbrenner IV, Robert Molloy, Julia Steinbrenner Vinas (George IV's sister), and Katherine Steinbrenner (Hal's daughter), have expressed interest in running the Yankees”

So eventually there will be a new Steinbrenner at the helm and don’t worry about their ability to spend. 

And as Hal once said to George Michael, “There’s money in the banana stand”

 

 ---

 Dear Polly,

I have done everything the Yankees have asked of me. I’ve taken demotions, been left on the bench in crucial games, cut my hair,  worked tirelessly on my fielding (gold glove nominated!) , cut down on my tweeting, and continue to hit in the clutch yet I still can’t shake the feeling that the front office is never going to give me the chance I deserve. I’m starting to get sad again. Help!

Red Thunder

 

Dear Red,

Cheer up!

The Yankees couldn’t possibly sign Brett Gardner again. Could they? I mean that would just be stupid at this point. We can all agree on that.  So, you will probably get your chance.  Part of your problem could be that for some inexplicable reason some people don’t like people with red hair. For the life of me I can’t tell you why but it’s true.  Perhaps if you dyed your hair blond or went with a nice chestnut brown you would get more starts. Either way. You will be the starting left fielder next season, unless they sign Michael Brantley, but why would they do that when they have you? I mean that would be stupid at this point. Right?

 ---

Dear Polly,

I was heartbroken because i had very small penis, not nice to satisfy a woman, i had so many relationship called off because of my situation, i have used so many product which i found online but none could offer me the help i searched for

Austin


Dear Austin,

Cheer up!

There is a specialist called Dr OLU. You should email him on drolusolutionhome@gmail.com
and give his herbal product a try.

 

What went wrong? I'd say it began with Greg Bird.

Tonight, as the Dodgers chase their first title since '88, and the Rays their first... ever... we can melt into our bean chairs and think of microscopic tweaks - the butterfly flaps its wings in China, creating the hurricane in Louisiana - that might have changed our dismal course of history.

Greg Bird, for example.

I still blame him for our current predicament. Not personally, mind you: Players come and go, and most crap the bed. That said, Bird in 2016 looked as sure a bet as we'd seen in this millennium. Every spring training, he killed. He fielded his position and, at least in the beginning, he hit to the opposite field. Best of all, he batted lefty - a critical component to every great Yankee team: the LH 1B.

Bird delivered what remains arguably our greatest post-season moment in the last decade: His HR off Cleveland's Andrew Miller broke a game three deadlock, propelling the Yankees into the 2017 ALCS. That night, he seemed to explode into stardom. Cleveland couldn't get him out. I would have bet the house: He'd be our 1B for the next 10 years.

Last year, he didn't see one pitch. Not one. 

At age 27, he might be done.  He's a free agent.

We know what happened to Bird - and, yet, we don't. He had a bad foot. The injury kept returning, and he couldn't hit with it. Over two years, with Bird resting his paw, the Yankees tried Ji-Man Choi, Chris Carter, Garret Cooper, Tyler Austin, Neil Walker, Brigadoon Refsnyder and finally Luke Voit, the current first-base lug nut. Most hit lefty. And that's still the issue. 

With Voit at first, the Yankees tilt far too heavily to the right. (LH Mike Ford was terrible this year, leaving us no option.) As a result, we played Brett Gardner in LF, benching Clint Frazier and forcing Miguel Andujar to the mines of Scranton.  Also, we batted Aaron Hicks - Mr. 220 - third, just to break up the RH string. 

Bird should have been our LH 1B, batting third, between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, driving in 100 runs per season.

I am of the persuasion that the Yankees must trade Voit, a popular player who is surely at his peak. But they probably won't get what he's worth, and moreover, we have no young LH prospect ready to step in. We can trade for another veteran! (Sigh. How about a show of hands? Who out there wants us to trade for another veteran? Yeah. That's what I thought.) So... what do we do? Maybe sign Greg Bird? (That's a joke.) He's looking for work. And I'm looking for a reason to believe.

Virtual Off-Day: Madness Reigns! Chappie to DL! The Man of Knowledge is Back! Mystery Reliever on Roster! Weird Vibrations Around Stadium!

A special interstellar sort of madness seemed to engulf the virtual World Series on its second off-day today.  

It started when Yankees ace Gerrit Cole overrode his manager, Ma Boone, and announced that he would go on short rest in Game Six. 

"I told him that even an ace on short rest isn't an ace anymore. We need to win two games, not one," Ma told reporters. But Cole insisted on making the start.

Meanwhile, in more bad news for the virtual Yankees, the team's closer, Chappie Chapman, the Man with the Amazing Melting Hand, went to the disabled list, reportedly because of his perpetually moist paw but also because doctors wanted "to take a good look at his intestinal fortitude," according to the Yankees training staff.

But the most unsettling development had to be the number of strange, psychic/political/extraterrestrial forces that seemed to be descending upon the Bronx, in anticipation of the Yanks' last stand there.  These were many, ranging from FBI reports that entire busloads of Chinese agents—pretending to be tourists visiting the Bronx Zoo—had been seen lurking around the Stadium. 

At the same time, two of Russia top intelligence operatives, named only as "B. Badenov" and "N. Fatale" were said to be in the area. And earlier in the day, while Yankees virtual GM Brain Cashman cowered in his special anti-Eagle bunker, deep in the bowels of the Stadium, "SURRENDER DOROTHY" appeared in sky writing above the ballpark.

All of these events paled in comparison, though, to the gigantic, glowing, humming rings of light that descended from the evening sky and surrounded the House That Bloomie Built, reverberating up and down the Stadium walls before vanishing abruptly into the darkness.

When they had ended, a few stunned observers noticed a lone figure, walking a little gingerly toward the players' entrance, a bat held over his shoulder.

"A hero will arise," he said, "And here I am."

Yes, it was that Yanqui Man of Knowledge, Giancarlo Stanton, looking much the same as he had in his (occasional) playing days before the 2020 season, and his long spiritquest around the continent.

"I had forgotten the first stone of knowledge. That is, to your own self be true," said Stanton, who looked as if he had been pumping iron and models nonstop for weeks.

Soon after he went into the stadium, Ma Boone announced that he would be replacing Mike Tauchman on the Series roster, after Talkie was said to have an extremely painful hangnail, and "more than one" paper cut.

But more intriguing was another roster move the Yankees made, placing reliever Adam Ottavino on the DL, where he was listed as suffering from, "general uselessness."  

Replacing Mr. Zero was...a mystery man.  A strangely familiar figure who nobody could quite place, was seen throwing in the twilight, out in the Yankee bullpen.

"Who is that unmasked man?" several reporters from the national press asked—but only the Stadium shadows knew for sure.

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Yankee hot stove is tepid

As the Dodgers close in, the Yankiverse offers little cud to chew.  Some juicy clods of turf: 

Suggested possible trades.  El Chapo to the Dodgers? Luke for a pitcher? Wouldn't it be sweet? Then again, doesn't LA already have a closer who blows big games? Do they need two? Sigh. A wish list that probably will not happen. 

Foreseeing the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Last year, we were picked clean. This year, we must protect players who never saw a pitch in 2020. Is this be the year we finally lose Kyle Holder? A look at the nobodies from Nowhere. (Note: This site has pop-up ad issues.) 

A call for the Yankees to spend big. Here here! Who doesn't want Halligator Arms Hal to spend his wad. This also raises the possibility of a strike next November. Interesting. The sad reality: We don't seem to get anywhere by spending more.

Didi says Gary Sanchez needs "a change of scenery." From mouths of babes. If the Death Star doesn't move Gary this winter, it means his value is Absolute Zero, which is not supposed to exist. Right now, I'm trying not to think about Gary. It has the effect of a jailer rattling my cage. Calgon Beauty Beads, take me away!

Rooting for Tampa to give us Game Seven. I still believe the best Yankee outcome is for the Rays to win... and then be expected to pay the talent, rather than trade it. 

Be careful what you wish for, Rays fans. 

Virtual World Series: DeGrom is Delightful, He's Delicious, He's De-lovely...He's De-ath on De Yankees. Pence Declares Self "President for Now," Calls Off Search for First Family.

Jacob deGrom sent the virtual New York Mets buzzing out of Flushing with a commanding 3-2 lead in the World Series, shooting down the Bombers with a little help from the ex-Yankees Trio of Wilson, Shreve, and Toonces.

Virtual Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka gave it all he had, nearly leaving assorted parts of his arm literally on the mound. But Tanaka gave up long home runs to the Polar Bear and the Jogging Man that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead they never quite surrendered.

A home run by Aaron Hicks that hit the overhang in rightfield got the Yankees on the board, but that was all she wrote. A tiring deGrom walked two batters with two outs in the sixth, but Wilson came in to fan the mysteriously playing Mike Ford. 

Shreve picked up Wilson in the seventh, fanning The Gleyber to end the inning with two on, then Betances K'd Voit to end the eighth, and finished off the ninth by fanning Gary Sanchez with the bases loaded to end the game, much to the surprise of everyone who had admired the Sanchino's revived slugging this season.  

"You know you're really en fuego when you can get Gary Sanchez out in a big, clutch situation," virtual Ma Boone said after the game. "Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and call Dellin your former-head-case-whacko-turned-Mets-closer."

In other news, Mike Pence refused to invoke the 25th Amendment to certify his succession today, telling reporters, "Let's just call me, 'President for Right Now.'"

P.F.R.N. Pence also confirmed that the search for President Trump, his family, and most of the executive branch had been called off.

"Hey, people go missing sometimes. What're you gonna do? They're adults, they'll find their way home. Now, who wants fried oysters?" asked Pence, commencing one of the more popular features of his daily press conferences.  

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Young Guns?


Yankee writers are already blathering about our pitching staff for 2021.  Mostly, they discuss the guys who we no longer can afford, and who are near ( or beyond ) their best days .  The list typically includes , Tanaka, Happ, Paxton, Ottavio and maybe Britton.  You get the idea. Clean the closets. 

The excitement, trailing behind that exodus, rests in what they are calling the Yankee's " Young Guns."

Well, they aren't very young ( except one ) and they don't have guns. Every pitcher in baseball, today, throws a fastball between 95-100.  A few pop the 100 level from time to time.

We have no exceptional pitchers of any kind.  

Our youngest gun is not trusted by Aaron , our GM or...more importantly...the analytics people.  Those sitting in the gray room with no windows. I refer to Garcia.  I have already forgotten his first name.  Probably the Yankees have as well.  The reason?  He throws in the 90-95 range and he isn't intimidating. 

But everyone else:  Severino ( who may not throw anything until August ); German ( who will somehow have his MLB sanction extended ) hasn't pitched in two-three years and will soon be 30; King, and Schmidt ( who may already be 30 ) are not "special " in any way. Do you know that King has basically a fastball that he moves around?  That might beat my High School on a regular basis, but not the Dodgers.  Ever see him get through a line-up twice?

The best pitcher in baseball, if any of you are still watching baseball, is Walker Bueller of the Dodgers.  He is 26. And he doesn't walk anybody.  

The Rays have a slew of guys 23-26, and they all throw harder than any Yankee, and have better command of sinkers, curve balls and changeups.

We don't even know who pitches for Baltimore or Toronto. But it isn't JJ Happ.

The point is; don't believe the oncoming blather.  The Yankees may get younger and less expensive but they aren't getting any better. 

If Garcia remains a Yankee, maybe there are reasons why he can succeed.  But the Yankees sure don't think so.  I mean pulling him, in the biggest game of his life, for Happ is like trading in your porsche for a civic, to fool the neighbors into thinking you are  rich.

But " we are the Bronx Bombers," you say.  We can outscore anyone. 

Tampa has driven in 70% of their post season runs via the HR. And they hit more home runs than the Yankees when the Yankees were in it.  Tampa's rookie ( Arozarena ) has already broken Derek Jeter's record for hits in a post season, and has more homers than Stanton and Judge combined in a post season. 

And he doesn't hit .220 and strike out. He runs and plays left field. He is healthy, full of energy and reliable. My point is;  they have a rookie who is better than our biggest star. They have two catchers better than either of ours. And so do the Dodgers. 

I am trying to say that the Yankees have been left behind. 

They have become the Joad family of baseball

And the dust clouds are gathering. 


 

As low-budget Tampa soars, the Yankees become a sad, pricey afterthought

Tampa won last night in a rollicking, bizarre, walk-off single - the kind of iconic moment that, if it brings a ring, will cement the Rays' in history. Randy Arozarena is being called the five-tool superstar, and their twentysomething bullpen is full of careers closer to their beginnings than endings.

This is not happy news for the Yankees. Nope, not at all.

In fact, Yankee news these days comes with price tags, loud what-ifs and professional poormouthing. It sounds as though the franchise will be lucky just to keep the 2020 lineup that finished with baseball's 10th best record - one game ahead of the rapidly ascending Blue Jays. 

On that note, I bring you today's links into a Yankiverse still foaming with rage and damnation - a breathtaking exercise in the pleading of billionaire poverty. Everything here must be appreciated as fine whine. Enjoy!

Gardy is lost in the Yankee free agent shuffle. Gee, they'd love to keep their OF lodestone, their iconic player-coach. But, but, BUT... spoiler alert: Money doesn't grow on trees, people. 

The Yanks will play hard in arbitration this winter. They must figure out payment plans for Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres. Who's gonna pay for that?

Didi Gregorius would love to play for the Yankees. But, hey, are we supposed to think that Santa Claus is going to bring him, free of charge?

Yanks will look to "young guns" for rotation. Jesus H. Christ, everybody! Don't you get it. The cupboard is bare! They have no money! 

Yanks will have to exercise option on Zack Britton. But... goddammot... he's gonna expect to get paid. Doesn't he understand?

Virtual World Series: Yanks Cling to Victory by Fingernails, Even Series! Mysterious Messages Flash on Scoreboard!

In a wild, extra-inning contest that featured really excellent, World Series class hitting, pitching, running, and general clutchness instead of just sloppy real-world crap, the virtual Yankees just managed to hold off their crosstown rivals in 13 innings, and avoid falling behind by 3-1 in games.

Surprise Yankees starter Domingo German was unsurprisingly touched for a massive, two-run homer in the first by the Polar Bear, Pete Alonso, and then a double by Joggy Cano that plated Gardy for a 3-0 lead.

But the Yanks chipped steadily away at the lead, thanks to a run-scoring single by D.J. LeMahieu, a run-scoring sacrifice fly by D.J. LeMahieu, and a run-scoring solo home run by D.J. LeMahieu. 

The Mets had an answer to that:  Jeff McNeil tripled in a run against Mike King, and only a fine throw by Miguel Andujar that nailed McNeil at home after a Amed Rosario fly ball kept the Flushing team from extending its lead.  A shuddering blast to dead centerfield by Aaron Judge into the midst of the 7 Line Army, a stunning steal of home by Brett Gardner, and a brilliant piece of opposite field hitting by Gleyber Torres, dropping a double down the line in right...left things pretty much as they were:  tied.

The rest of the way, brilliant pitching by Clarke Schmidt and the ex-Yanks Trio—Shreve, Wilson, and Toonces—shut down all the wild scoring until the 13th, when resurrected Mets closer Edwin Diaz gave up a two-out, two-strike, three-run homer by Luke Voit that left the Mets' faithless streaming for the exits.

But with a closer like Aroldis Chapman, nothing is guaranteed, and two outs, three walks, one hit batsman, and a Brett Gardner, two-run single later, the score stood 8-7, with the bases loaded.  

It was at this moment that the Amazon Field scoreboard went blank, and was replaced by a puzzling message from persons or non-persons unknown:

"CASHMAN: SURRENDER ALL CONTROL! —THE MYSTERONS (WE KNOW YOU CAN SEE THIS").

"Suzyn, there's no predicting baffling extraterrestrial comunications," remarked John Sterling, and several Mets said later that they were distracted by the potentially alien message. 

But it didn't seem to affect the batter, Brandon Nimmo, who belted a sinking line drive that did not result in an ecstatic, walk-off Mets run only because Aaron Hicks made a fantastic, face-first dive across the outfield grass.

"Now THAT'S a major-league ending," remarked Walt "Clyde" Frazier, visiting as color commentator in the Yankees booth.

"President disappears? Alien messages? Something's going on here," concluded Mets manager Bobby Valentine with his usual keen insight into any situation.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Mothballs? Gasoline? Team spirit?

 A question I have never before fathomed...



Nobody in the stands. Nobody watching at home. MLB writhes as America ignores the World Series

Last winter, 2020 looked like the Dodgers' year. They stood out as the clear NL favorite - and then added Mookie Betts. Yeesh. Practically everybody agreed: They were baseball's fucking Kardashians!

And last night, they did what the Yankees have failed to do in this millennium: They humbled Charlie Morton. Tampa can still rebound. But the juju gods may have taken part in early voting: At long last, the Dodgers seem to have ascended. 

But here's where everything went flat: 

We - the Yankees, that is - were supposed to be their final obstacle, and the ultimate confrontation was supposed to save MLB.

Back in March - Covid B.C. - the Gammonites foresaw an inevitable clash between the coastal titans. Yankees v. Dodgers... the biggest names in the biggest markets, a rivalry dating back to Jackie and Whitey, to Sandy and Mickey, to Duke and Joltin' Joe. It roused MLB's hopes. And LA kept up its side of the bargain. It was the Yankees who stumbled like Daniel Jones, the Jersey Giants' modern day Joe Pisarcik.  

So, it's Tampa... Hey, God bless the Rays, best team in the AL. But last night, America was more involved with Rudy Giuliani  in Borat. TV ratings for the World Series have fallen through the dumpster. Game one was the least watched series game in history.

There are no fannies in the stands, and nobody watching on the couch at home. 

MLB cannot staunch its lagging popularity. A NY-LA series would have helped. But it wouldn't be a cure. 

We have four-hour games with barely three minutes of game action. 

We have anemic lineups. The 2020 Cincinnati Reds - who made the playoffs! - had a 2020 team batting average of just .212.  

We have endless bullpens. MLB expanded the playoff rosters, hoping to bring more specialists. But teams just added pitchers.

We have expanded playoffs that include teams with losing records: Milwaukee and Houston.

We have the Astros' scandal, which still reeks. In 2017, with the help of cheating, Jose Altuve hit .346. This year, .217. 

We have games that are home run derbies.

This was supposed to be a huge World Series. The Yankees fell short, which is their new tradition.

Virtual World Series: Cole Train Runs Down Mets, Putting Yanks Back in Series. Also, first family still missing.

Looking to flush the Yanks in Flushing, the Mets started their rookie sensation, David Peterson. But he was no match for the Cole Train, who pitched a virtual complete-game shutout, striking out 12, and surrendering only three hits and two walks. 

All the scoring necessary was provided by Clint Frazier, whose grand-slam home run in the fourth inning sailed high into the second deck in left field. Frazier, recently nominated for a Gold Glove award this year as well as the Nobel Peace Prize, also made a tremendous, bobbling, juggling catch on a ball he managed to both overrun and dive for.

Cole's stupendous effort overshadowed the ongoing search for the First Family off Montauk. Finding absolutely no trace of the Trumps or their many dependents and sycophants, U.S. Coast Guard efforts focused on the reported fleet of mysterious foreign submarines recently cited off the coast of Long Island.

The submarines split up and dived deep—shortly after a rendezvous with a nearby Russian fishing fleet. Coast Guard sailors and officers boarded several of the Russian ships. But while they reported a number of unusual fishermen on the trawlers—one who had a large tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, another who sported a suspicious amount of face work and make-up, another one who was orange—there was no trace of the missing First Family.

"We are in a major national crisis, and I know that all our prayers go out to our missing executive branch," Vice-President Mike Pence told the country in a nationally televised address. He then invoked the 25th Amendment, and laid out his plans for his coming weeks in office.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Sorry, folks, but it's flat-out absurdity to nominate Clint Frazier for a Gold Glove

Yesterday, after MLB unveiled its 2020 Gold Glove nominees, after the shock and awe subsided, I flashbacked to a 1966 sitcom called The Pruits of Southampton. 

Stick with me here, because - yeah, we're taking a ride to Obscurity, USA. 

The show featured Phyliss Diller, channeling Lucy, with a supporting cast of Richard Deacon, Marty Ingles, John Astin and Billy De Wolf - an all-star team of second bananas. (No Paul Lynde? WTF?)  The premise was The Beverly Hillbillies in reverse, the rich family abruptly banished into poverty - (a concept better achieved by Green Acres and, to a finer extent, Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island.) It lasted two seasons and lives today only in tortured boomer memories.  

But Pruits has a legacy,  sorta. It stands as a forerunner to Schitt's Creek , a sitcom starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. As sitcoms go, Schitt's wasn't bad. But this year, it somehow won every single Emmy in the category of comedy. Listen: It was a decent show - not bad; it simply didn't deserve nine Emmys. Somehow, in this truncated, crazy pandemic year, the Emmy voting got skewed.

Today, Clint Frazier is baseball's version of Schitt's Creek. 

Somehow, somebody fucked up the 2020 Gold Glove voting. That's the only explanation for the fourth best fielding OF on the Yankees getting nominated. 

Anybody who watched the Yankees this year knows that Red Thunder upped his game defensively, no longer a walking minefield out there. He made one error in 51 chances. Apparently, some new, Rube Goldberg defensive metric - (the "UZR," don't ask; I'm not going there) - rated Frazier as second best rightfielder in the AL this year. Thus, the nomination... (along with 3B Gio Urshela, who, by contrast, definitely deserves to win.)  

During this year's playoffs, I recall a liner into the LF corner that Frazier nearly botched. He overran the ball, arched backwards at the last moment and snared it. It was a fine play. It was also the kind of play that a major league outfielder has to make. And he made it. But, whew, he came damn close...

This year, in 28 games, Frazier made the plays. For that, I say, way to go! But he could become the only Gold Glove in history to be regularly replaced in the late innings for defensive upgrades. Brett Gardner is a far better fielder. So is Mike Tauchman, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and maybe even Tyler Wade. 

What an insane year. MLB is up Schitt's Creek.

Virtual Off-Day: CAN YANKS RALLY FROM 2-0 HOLE AGAINST METS??? Also, First Family disappears while snorkeling.

While all of New York wondered and trembled at the prospect of the Mets becoming the new king of Gotham's virtual hill, much of the rest of America's attention was diverted by reports that the entire Trump family—the president, first lady, Donald, Jr., Fredo, Ivanka, Tiffany, Barron, and all of their assorted spouses, paramours, goomahs, retinue, servants, and minions, including Hope Hicks, Rudy Giuliani, William Barr, Steve Mnuchin, Kellyanne Conway, Roger Stone, Ben Carson, and others too boring to name—disappeared while on a virtual, early morning snorkeling excursion off Montauk.

While the Trumps and friends had developed a puzzling obsession with snorkeling in recent months, few were alarmed by their decision to go exploring the waters of eastern Long Island. The seas were not very choppy, and the days have been unusually warm of late.

Reports have been circulating that the U.S. Navy spotted unprecedented submarine activity in the area by an unnamed foreign power of late, but these could not be confirmed. Just which foreign power is involved remains a matter of speculation, but a local resident told police that suspicious looking characters in naval costume were roaming the streets of the little resort town early this morning.

"They would come up to you, three or four at a time, in their unmarked sailors caps and coats, and say, 'Emergency, emergency! Everyone must get from street!' " said Whittaker Walt, a television writer who had walked out for breakfast with his drop-dead gorgeous blonde wife and daughter, and badly spoiled young son.  

"I tell ya, we didn't like the looks of it, but we got off the street!"

Other Montaukers noticed the suspicious mariners as well, who had heavy foreign accents and seemed to be stopping every third individual or family they saw. Whether this could have any connection to the baffling disappearance of most of the executive branch remains as murky as the Yankees' pitching staff after Gerrit Cole.

 




Thursday, October 22, 2020

Today's Daily News front page includes a stroke of genius

Wish I thought of this...



Let's deal with reality: Giancarlo Stanton is here to stay

Now and then, deluded Yank fans envision the Death Star trading Giancarlo Stanton for an ace pitcher,  or a star catcher, or a tube of toothpaste. Doesn't matter. They picture Hal Steinbrenner giving a $50 million handshake to some backwaters owner who'll take Stanton and his earth-sized contract.

With Stanton gone, the Yankees could then rotate Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar into the LF-DH slot and live happily ever after. 

Listen: I hate to be the Babadook here, but let's get gritty: Stanton will retire as a Yankee, somewhere around 2028, at age 38, with a nest egg bigger than Delaware. Cooperstown Cashman is never going to concoct a trade, and Hal is not going to finance the mother of all buyouts. Nope.  There is no Santa. There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Syd Thrift. We're stuck to Stanton like Ahab to the whale. Forever. 

Expect Stanton to be the Yankee DH, while we spend the next eight years hearing about the excitement of... Exit Velocity! 

In this 2020 reg season, Stanton hit four (4) home runs. Yes, four (4). He played in 23 games, missing most of the non-year due to tweaks. (He is always tweaking.) His abbreviated season was partially obscured by his hot bat in October - 6 HRs in 7 games. Thus, some fans now fantasize:

1. That Stanton, thinking he's King of Tits, will opt out of his Yankee contract and become a free agent. It's in his contract. He can fly.  But it would mean flying away from more than $200 million. 

Listen: The man's many injuries do not include dementia. Even if he'd won the 2020 MVP, he wouldn't receive such a golden deal in the post-pandemic world.

2. That the Yankees can bundle prospects, money and Steiner collectibles, and trade Stanton to some poor, unsuspecting team. 

Clearly, if Stanton is ever going to go, it must be now. He's 31 - still arguably in peak foliage. If he doesn't opt out, the Marlins this winter will pay the Yankees $30 million. Thus, in theory, some team might think it gets Stanton for a can of beans - Miami paying his 2021 salary - and maybe can bring a world series to long-suffering fans.  Looking at you, Seattle. 

(Unfortunately, the Mariners have a history with long contracts and ex-Yankees: Mister Joginson Cano, for example?) 

So, here is what's gonna happen. Cashman will trade Andujar or Frazier - and anyone else on the rise - and pay Stanton $30 million per year through 2025. In 2026-27, the Marlins will kick in $10 million per year, lowering our bill. Then in 2028, the Death Star will pay a $10 million buyout.

The year 2028... Florida will be underwater, California in cinders, Ivanka will be seeking her second term, and we will bid farewell to Giancarlo Stanton. Anybody wanna bet on whether we'll have a ring?

Virtual World Series: Stroman In the Gloamin' Takes Yanks Apart. Mets Up by Two. Trump Throws Out First Pitch, Heads to Family Vacation at Montauk Motel.

Marcus Stroman showed why the Mets acquired him last year, shutting the Yanks down on one run for the first seven innings. Stroman's old Long Island, schoolboy rival, Steve Matz got them the rest of the way—barely—in a 4-3 victory.

Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery gave the Bombers everything the team could expect from a young pitcher today:  ninety pitches and nearly four whole innings. Monty struck out eight, but also allowed a long, two-run homer by Joggy Robby Cano, and a crucial, two-run single by Brett Gardner.

The Yankees looked to rally, but could muster only a long home run by Andujar off Stromy. They had more success against Steve "Matzoh-Brie" Matz. But after The Red Menace, Clint Frazier doubled in one run and Gio Urshela singled in another, Matz got the Oft-Injured Hicks to end the game on a spectacular, diving catch by Gardy.

Yankees fans slogged home, dumbfounded—a distinct contrast from the festive start to the evening, when President Trump threw out the ceremonial first pitch, to thunderous boos from the Bronx faithful.

"Just because the economy's tanking, the country's being consumed by a mysterious, pangolin-related ailment, and the Dow is now below 14,000, people are upset," scoffed new Trump spokesman Paul O'Neill. "But we've just started to fight this campaign!"

Looking to refresh himself for the final stretch drive, Trump and his extended family motored to Montauk after the game—at least, if the end of the game is defined as the top of the fifth. To the surprise of many locals, Trump and Comp are staying at the old, low-rent, Rough Rider Hotel, recently purchased and renovated by a foreign concern as the Muscovy No-Tell Motel.  

The choice of hostelry is located near a peaceful deepwater cove, and is thought to have been influenced by the Trump family's newfound interest in snorkeling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

It Doesn't Matter...and that's a relief !


Some great beers.

So now all the quackery begins...who to put on the 40 man roster?

The rule 5 draft.  Who do we protect?

The deals with money and who gets adjusted?

What is Hal's budget? Who do we re-sign?

For the Yankees, it just doesn't matter anymore.

Most of the guys we lose are players we never get to see anyway ( like Holder, Florial ).  And when we see them, management doesn't believe in them anyway ( Garcia ). 

Whoever we keep, whoever we lose...third place is third place. 

At least, we need not fret.  If we safeguard some dude, he'll get injured or won't be any good. 

If we lose some no-name, he'll be the next Arozarena ( current rookie MVP for the Rays.). 

As usual, our talent is in the Dominican republic or well below A ball.  Six years away from visibility. 

Who remembers any of our draft picks since Aaron Judge? 

The beauty is;  it doesn't matter. Lose 'em or keep 'em.  

We are third place. Clawing for a wild card game. 

Same old . Same old.  

Enjoy the beer and relax. 

Whatever Cashman and Hal do in the next 60 days does not matter. 

It won't change anything. 

Its just another NY sport team. 

Aroldis Chapman is suing his money-manager for malpractice

 He oughta know. 

Maybe he shouldn't have hired the accounting firm of Devers, Altuve & Brosseau?

In the end, the Yankees simply had no MUTE button

Last night, while it was fun to watch Rays' pretty boy Tyler Glasnow get whacked - (you imagined LA fans nationwide, Jeffrey Toobining in their living rooms) -  Tampa's inability to cap Dodger bats reminded me of just how tortuous this series would have been, had the Yankees made it. At least, we don't have to be humiliated by Mookie Betts. 

But another reason to be relieved is - well - our lack of relief.

Throughout the 2020 post-season, the Death Star never found one lights-out pitcher - a "MUTE" button, if you will - to silence the opposition. 

On our staff, only two marginal mopper-uppers - Michael King and Nick Nelson - threw 0.00 ERAs. (Each pitched two innings.) Our ace, Gerrit Cole, made three starts, 18.1 innings, overall - and surrendered  six earned runs. Cole gave us what he had. But in Game 7, on short rest, he couldn't pitch into the seventh. (Not his fault. If we could have - say - scored four runs, Cole might have gone the distance.  But we didn't... and he didn't... and here we are...) 

Neither our super-sweater closer, Aroldis Chapman, nor our chief set-up man Zack Britton pitched to their pay-grades. Both gave up earned runs - in el Chapo's case, a humdinger. Britton pitched 5.1 innings and gave up two earned runs - as did Mean Chad Green. 

Nobody stepped forward to throw a blanket on smoldering rallies. Nobody  came to raise blood pressures in the Rays dugout. And that, my friends, is the story of 2020: The vaunted Yankee bullpen, hailed in March as the game's best, never materialized. 

Tampa unveiled power arms with 100-mph heat, like the Chapman of old. But the "guns" of the Yankee pen - Ben Heller, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jonathan Holder, Adam Ottavino, Michael Yajure, Albert Abreu, Brooks Kriske - never produced a breakthrough. We spent the year bemoaning the loss of Tommy Kahnle, as if he were a top closer.  (Don't get me wrong: Losing Kahnle hurt, but on the bullpen, he was probably the fourth weapon, and every team in baseball lost somebody.) 

So, what about 2021? Well, add another year to Chapman, Britton, Ottavino and Green, and it's hard to imagine them improving. That means we head into another winter where Cooperstown Cashman will be in his usual element: trading off prospects - (Estevan Florial, Oswald Peraza) and former future Yankee stars - (Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar) -for a bullpen lug nut, whose best days might be behind him. 

Yeah, who wanted to be in that stupid world series, anyway? It's not a real season. They won't be real rings. A parade would only spread the virus. We're better off, sitting at home. Those grapes, they look sour.

Virtual World Series: Mets Bash Yanks in the Bronx! DeGrom Breezes, Tanaka Falters, Woe, Woe!

The virtual New York Mets got off and running in their second ever Subway Series against your virtual New York Yankees tonight, downing the Bombers in a 9-3 romp.

Starter Jacob deGrom had it all virtually going on, limiting the Yanks to just 2 measly singles and no runs before he left after six innings with a 9-0 lead.

"We just wanted to make sure and save him, in case we need to get a couple more innings from him for the clincher in Game Four," said Mets virtual manager Bobby Valentine, the surprise choice to return to the dugout once Jeff Bezos and Amazon bought up the Queens team.

It was typical of the arrogance the Metsies showed all night, with Robinson Cano styling his way around the bases after each of his two solo home runs, Jeff McNeil standing and watching while his towering fly ball against Tanaka sailed high into the upper deck, and Brandon Nimmo turning handstands as he circuited the bases after a rare home run of his own.

The Yankees were able to at least get on the board with a home run by Gio Urshela off Edwin Diaz, and a two-run blast by Clint Frazier against Jeurys "Mop Up" Familia.  But the Yanks could get no further.

Mets centerfielder and spark plug Brett Gardner deplored his teammates' showy play, but reiterated that the team had to pull out every stop:  "I mean, we're fighting for the right not to have penises on our unis."

In one psych effort that went awry, the Mets decided to mock the Yankees after the game by playing "New York, New York" on their clubhouse boomboxes—only to remember too late that they also play in the city.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

In the World Series, New York fans should favor a tie

What do we want? FIASCO! When do we want it? NOW!

Listen: It sucks to be a NYC sports fan - to be drained of hope, to be neutered, to be sentenced year after year to watching your team taken for granted by a gaggle of incompetent billionaires. They say every dog has its day. Not in NY. Season after season, NYC teams come up empty, while small markets hoist flags and trophies. Our votes don't matter.

Well, I am hereby ditching this ongoing NYC barf bag. No more Mr. Nice Fan.

The World Series is here, and as far as I'm concerned, we should turn this into a blog about Emily in Paris. I'm rooting for Epsilon - which is not a boomer drug for Restless Leg Syndrome, but a weather system in the Bermuda Triangle. It needs to grow a pair, soak Miami and then hit Tampa like an Eddie Rabbit memories tour.  

Meanwhile, we need a Covid outbreak on the Dodgers and Rays - maybe the MLB sushi chef? - which halts the WS after six. As Halloween turns into Thanksgiving, Commissioner Cupcakes would declare 2020 a sister-kissing tie, and tell everyone to go the fuck home and forget this season ever happened.

That would be Karma, which is not a Tucker Bowtie slap at the lady running for VP. It's what NY fans need. Let the Dodgers and Rays celebrate a joint championship - with Tampa hosting a White Power seniors golf cart parade through The Villages, while the Dodgers join Gal Gadot in a celebrity YouTube singalong.

LA can shed the "also-ran" rep it has earned over the years, and Tampa can experience the rapture of having to pay players for their work. My guess: Within two years, the Dodgers will have drained all joy from Mookie, and the Rays will have bottled Randy Arozarena and set him out with the Cuban tide. 

We need a tie. We need NO CLOSURE. We need rain and sleet, so that everyone in Florida and California can feel the way we do when Gary Sanchez comes up with the bases full. 

Yeah, I guess I'm a bad sport. The Food Stamps Hal Yankees killed me. The Mara-Tische Giants killed me. The Johnson Jets, the Dolan Knicks & Rangers - the Islanders, Devils, Nets, everybody - they killed me. Does anybody really expect Yankee fans to forgive and forget, and to cheer the next champion? Nope. Take us home, Epsilon. They're all yours.

Virtual Off-Day: Gotham Celebrates Subway Series by Trashing Bryant Park. Success of Local Teams Makes City Explode in Anger.

Ah, who cannot recall the halcyon, pre-9/11, pre-everything days of the last Subway Series, when New Yorkers rallied in rare good humor in Bryant Park? Playfully jesting with each over which of their champion should claim the city crown, urged on in their sport by their popular, Yankee-loving mayor?

Seeking to bring back that heady time, the widely hated Mayor Bill de Blasio organized a similar rally in virtual Bryant Park ahead of tomorrow's all-New York World Series. But this time, there was a distinctly different tone to the proceedings.

Legions of local college students descended upon the park, demanding that the entire celebration—and the Series—be stopped because it only continued the hegemony of European games imposed upon the indigenous American population. They demanded that lacrosse be designated the official national pastime instead (or at least, any game that isn't soccer).

They were confronted by a phalanx of off-duty cops, right-wing militias, and people from Staten Island, led by the transformed Rudy, waving a half-empty bottle above his head, and cackling maniacally, "Kill 'em all!" 

"Say, I thought we were here to talk about baseball!" interjected Mayor Bill D., who then threw himself to the ground to dodge a hail of bottles and brickbats that came from all directions.

As night fell on the beloved park named for one of the city's outstanding men of letters, roving bands of antifa, fa, ultra-Orthodox radio ranters, Catholic secret society cultists, assorted Wall Street thieves, Allies of the 337 Genders, QAnon conspiracists, the ranting leaders of the PBA, SBA, and ABA, disgruntled municipal workers, disgruntled municipal slackers, interested tourists, alienated members of the white working class, un-alienated members of the white working class, the woke, the broke, the last good toke, and even the no-longer-innocent bystanders set upon the park and tore it all to shreds in a matter of minutes.

Later, Mayor de Blasio's office issued a statement condemning all sides. Former Mayor Giuliani made the baying sounds that were the only noises he was capable of making any longer, having further evolved into a gigantic, multi-headed dog.

Play ball!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Just For The Record


I watched the play-offs between Tampa and the Cheaters and, of course, between The Braves and Dodgers ( LA ). 

It worked out pretty well, although I hyperventilated at the thought that the Astros might come back from three down, taking away our record.  It is nice to " own" this humiliating failure. 

So here are my observations;

1.  The Tampa team won because of extraordinary defense,  team speed, excellent pitching and a rookie who makes Judge's rookie year look like amateur hour. 

Quietly, they hit more home runs than the " Bronx Bombers," although they score by every means available. Huge offensive displays are not common for them.. They win 4-2; 4-3. 

Their defenders are worth watching.  The plays are Jeter-like, and beyond. Everyone on that team is like Urshela at his best, all the time  Only faster. 

2.  The Dodgers are also excellent at defense ( a notch below Tampa ), have excellent pitching, and can hit. They can score 11 runs in the first inning. 

The thing about the Dodgers is that they have a deep line-up and bench.  In these Covid series' ( 5 games in a row, 7 in a row, etc ), depth ...quality depth...makes a difference. When the Dodgers needed fresh blood it was first string stuff.  They didn't put up a bunch of slow fat guys who strike out, and can't run or play their position very well.

3.  It made me realize how far below these teams ( and the opponents who lost...Atlanta and the Cheaters ) the Yankees reside. 

Our pitching is basically one starter and everyone else. I saw better rookie starters from the competing teams than Garcia, King, Schmidt or whomever we trotted out, combined.  Our bullpen is 2-3 reliable guys but no one whose star shines above any of the pitchers the Dodgers or Tampa trot out. Every pitcher throws 98-100, so El Chappy is no longer unique. 

In our infield, we have two great fielders ( Urshela and DJ ) and two below average...including SS and first base. What I am saying is that Torres and Voit are not even close to the SS and FB play of any of the four finalists.  They make game winning plays.  We make game losing plays. 

Our catching doesn't measure up at all.  The Dodgers and Tampa each have two guys that are better in every way than either player we suit up with the big glove. Maybe they don't have the "potential upside" of Sanchez.....but maybe we don't either. 

Judge is a quality outfielder and, if he could hold his average up in the .280-.300 range, and remain healthy, he could start for at least one of the finalists.  Hicks is several notches below the CF for any of the four final teams. He doesn't have their speed, their arms, their athleticism, and he doesn't hit as well. And while Gardy is a decent defender, the package pales by comparison.

And when we go to the bench, we are reaching for AAAA guys.  Not potential all stars. Not future starters. 

So the Yankees are not in the class of any of these four finalists...and, by the way, those teams are loaded with youth., energy and enthusiasm. And I don't even know about other teams hiding in the weeds. 

When next season rolls around, I think we must seriously consider," making the wild card round," the top of our game.  Don't give me all the HR stats and that crap.  Don't tell me of our " beastly " line-up showing up together. 

Sure, we'll beat the dogs of the league. But that is it.  That is wild card level. 

As for the big time, we have no chance as presently constituted. 

None at all.