'98 Yanks bounce back, take Game Two over '51 Bombers

Torre's team rips Sain (and three of rain)
Pauly's grand slam leads 13-7 rout
Irabu bedazzles!
Series tied 1-1!
Next up: Allie Reynolds v. Dave Wells
SUPERCHIEF v BOOMER

Sunday, December 13, 2020

How to Make a Counterintuitive Trade(s)

 From the red hot - but technically challenged - computer of HoraceClarke66.

 

I refer to the events of December 11, 1975, a date that will live in famy, now 45 years ago to the day. 

 

Well, okay, it was 45 years and 3 days ago. I meant to commemorate this on the day, but I was too busy making latkes for Chanukkah, the Festival of Light. Actually, I was too busy eating latkes my wife made, along with assorted other delicacies. Like all Jewish holidays, Hanukah is really the Festival of Food, save for those Jewish holidays that are about not eating food.


 

But I digress.

 

On December 11, 1975, 45 years ago…well, anyway, Gabe Paul, the first of the various wizards the Steinbrenners hired to make them winners, and promptly fired once they did—

 

(For cryin’ out loud, this family is like something from a German fairy tale: ‘Hey, let’s hire the guy with the mystical power to get rid of all the rats in town—and then not pay him. What the hell could possibly go wrong?’)

 

—pulled off a couple of trades that looked like real stinkeroos.

 

First, Paul traded Bobby Bonds to the California Angels, for Ed Figueroa and Mickey Rivers. Then, he dealt George “Doc” Medich to the Pittsburgh Pirates, for Dock Ellis—it was long called ‘The Great Homonym Trade of ’75’—Willie Randolph, and Ken Brett.

 

I have to say, when I heard about it, the bottom dropped out of my nearly nonexistent, 17-year-old stomach. And I was far from alone. Real baseball men sniffed at the deal, and turned their heads in disdain.



 

      GEORGE "DOC" MEDICH SIGNED 8X10 YANKEES PHOTO #5

 

 Bobby Bonds, playing on one leg, had just run up a 30-30 season for the Yankees—then a rarity (He was only the third man to do a 30-30, I think. Ever.). Doc Medich had had a somewhat disappointing 1975, but he was still the workhorse of the staff, a 26-year-old who had won 49 games over the last three years.

 

And what did we get in return?

 

Figueroa looked promising, but all he’d had was a fine rookie year in a pitchers’ park, the Big A. Rivers seemed like a joke, a centerfielder without an arm, a leadoff man who couldn’t buy a walk; a character who couldn’t do much but run.

 

Ellis was a head case, who had bragged about throwing a no-hitter while on acid. Brooklyn’s own Willie Randolph seemed like a slick glove, but he had batted all of .164 in his 30 big-league games and hadn’t come close to beating out Rennie Stennett, who figured to be Pittsburgh’s second sacker for the next 15 years or so.

Can you say, “Kyle Holder”?

Anyway, shows how much we know. Gabe Paul had taken a couple of outstanding players and neatly leveraged them into a team.

 

Every one of the five players he acquired contributed mightily to the 5 division championships, 4 pennants, and 2 rings our boys won over the next 6 seasons—save for Ken Brett, who for some mysterious reason wound up in Billy Martin’s ever-mysterious and constantly expanding doghouse. And even so, Gabe Paul quickly and efficiently packaged Brett to the Chicago White Sox for Carlos May, who proved to be another valuable lugnut in the 1976 pennant drive.

 

The brilliance of what Gabe Paul did was to work with the reality facing him—Billy Martin was George’s golden boy—and act accordingly.


The likes of Rivers and Randolph fit in perfectly with the sort of ball Billy preferred to play. Figueroa and Ellis—repackaged for Mike Torrez, after one, excellent season in the Bronx—more than made up for the loss of Doc (no k) Medich, who proved to be mostly pitched out. Bonds had some good years in him still, but his production proved easy to replace.

 

In other words, this is how you think outside the box. This is what is needed for a talented Yankees team that seems permanently stalled just short of a World Series—much as it did after 1975.

 

Will Brain will demonstrate this same level of creativity? What do you think?

6 comments:

HoraceClarke66 said...

PROGRAM ALERT!!! PROGRAM ALERT!!! PROGRAM ALERT!!!

The YES Network is actually broadcasting, right now, a special featuring Brian Cashman's annual, elfin rappel down a building in beautiful, beautiful downtown Stamford.

I am not making this up.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Wow. That was horrible almost beyond belief. I wish I could clean that from my brain.

JM said...

A tip of the Hickey to Gabe Paul, a guy who knew how to build a team through trades.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Gabe Paul was best: Lindy Mcdaniels for Lou P. Losers for Nettles, Tidrow & Chambliss. The Rivers & Randolphs trades. Amazing what a good GM to do.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yup. And...speaking of Cleveland...my alternate reality prediction seems to be coming true: the Indians will no longer be the Indians.

There is talk of naming them the Spiders, which I think would be great, but I doubt if they'll do it, due to the Spiders' 20-134 record in 1899.

I would also like to see "the Napoleons"—another old team nickname, after Cleveland great Napoleon Lajoie. Or, since "Indians" was originally a tribute to Lou Sockalexis, maybe "the Sockalexises"?

Nah, no way we'll get that lucky.

TheWinWarblist said...

CLARKSON COLEMAN, SAVE US ALL !!!!!




And fuck you Hal.