Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The days are still getting shorter, but Yankee poormouthing is at summer solstice

Today's rumors from the Winter Meetings - the meatless, meetingless meetings of meaninglessness - suggest the Death Barge is ready to punt on Masahiro Tanaka, a free agent who is one contract shy of lifetime Yankeehood. 

This is horrible. 

Last month, Tanaka turned 32, still young for a warhorse. His fastball may have softened, but there are ample reasons to believe he can develop a resurrection pitch - a tweaked splitfinger or drop-dead changeup - and throw into his late thirties. He remains a great competitor, capable of rising to any occasion. As the Yankees weigh plans to maintain Brett Gardner's 10-year legacy - (a worthy thought) - it is, frankly, incredible that they would let Tanaka, after seven years, walk.

Last year, an enigma season, Tanaka started 10 games, going 3-3 with an ERA of 3.56. Not bad. Not great. But considering the lack of starters after Gerrit Cole, there is only one reason why the Yankees would play footsie with a pitcher of Tanaka's spirit, skill and stature.

Our owner is pleading poverty.

Our billionaire owner.  

Okay, I get it: I don't have access to the Yankee spreadsheets, and it's easy to gripe about Steinbrennerian finances: It's not my money. Also, I get it that the Yankees are apparently all-in on re-signing DJ LeMahieu - (so say the rumors) - at a price tag north of $100 million. Fine. But if signing LeMahieu means ignoring the lack of pitchers, maybe the front office should just consider tanking in 2021? We can hit 300 HRs. It won't matter. How many 12-11 games can we win?  

It's reasonable to think the most profitable money machine in sports - when deprived of a season - loses the most dough. Yes, the Yankees have suffered from the pandemic. But every team - and every billionaire owner - has faced the same lockdown. The Yankees can scream about lost revenue. They are part of the chorus. (And nobody screams louder than billionaires, eh?)

In recent days, two Yankee pitching "targets" - Lance Lynn and Charlie Morton - were signed by hungry teams who intend to win in 2021. Lynn is 33. Morton, 37. 

Having basically rested a year - he threw only 48 innings, barely a month's workload - Tanaka has an excellent chance for a strong 2021. He has only known one MLB team. Remember how we thought he'd need Tommy John surgery due to a partial tear in his elbow? He pitched through it. Never skipped a beat. He's a gamer. He has never tarnished his Yankee legacy.

And if the Yankees let him walk, because Food Stamps Hal feels light in the wallet, mark these words: We will be sitting here next December, wondering what the fuck we were thinking? 

Should LeMahieu learn to pitch?  


Unknown said...

Amen to this.Hal sees this as his chance to go under the cap. The Yankees will finish third with this staff. With our window closing let’s just go for another ten years without winning.

TheWinWarblist said...

Fuck you Hal.

JM said...

I had wondered about DJ's pitching chops a while back. It might be worth looking into.

Hal thinks home runs put fannies in the seats, which may be true. But losses don't, and playoff losses really don't.

Anonymous said...

A few things...

1) Tanaka Is Not An Alte Kaker

(Yiddish for old shitter but used the way we use "old fart".)

Yes they should sign Tanaka! As stated, he's only 32. We need at least one more guy who has been there and has the heart of a champion. 2/25-28 seems fair.

Besides,I don't want to see him in Texas or some other G-d forsaken place.

2) Musk Rat Love

Just an off topic FYI. Texas just signed flamethrower Elon Musk.

We will miss him here in CA. Especially the couple of billion dollars he would have owed the state and, to be fair, the guy is pretty amazing.

That said, inventing a home flamethrower in a state that regularly catches fire was not his finest moment.

3) A Tanaka Shaka.

Shaka Cohen. Shaka Cohen. Shaka Cohen.

I'm sorry. I'll stop now.

If he has to leave I would prefer if he signs with the Mets. Yes it would be weird. But, because I like him, I wouldn't want him to have to get used to a new city. I don't hate the Mets anyway.

Now if he signs with Boston or Tampa Bay then fuck him. Let's hope it doesn't come to that

Doug K.

Alphonso said...

I'm sure the Yankees got a lot of the money Congress allocated to the poor and unemployed.

Mis-allocated, I should say.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great points all around, Duque.

Yes, when you're the richest teams in baseball you "lose" more—on paper, at least. But it's really the LEAST wealthy teams that have foregone a bigger pct. of their wealth. Yet they are signing guys, while the Yankees won't.

Tanaka is a risk—but not a huge one. As you point out, Duque, he's had nearly a year off, which should help his Damoclean arm,

Good to hear about D.J.

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