'98 Yanks rally to tie All-Time Yankee series with '51 team

Series tied: 2-2
Knobby, Jeet, sparkplugs!
Gil takes El Duque downtown!
In dramatic appearance, Joe D ignites stadium!
Mo flubs lead, then comes through!
Billy fails!
Next up: Vic Raschi v David Cone!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Do the Yankees think time is on their side? Because it might not be...

Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez says Gary Sanchez last year wasn't having "fun." 

Speaking on behalf of the Yankiverse, I confirm this:

Slogging back to the dugout last season, bat in hand, eyes drooping, head down... Gary seldom looked jocular, mirthful, lugubrious. Rather, he seemed a bit depressed, bummed out... Clapton-Tears-in-Heavenish

It's hard to imagine Gary so down in 2021. I mean, it's almost physically impossible, right? Surely, he'll improve. Can a guy hit worse than .147?

Don't answer that. Soon, we'll know. The Yanks have not upgraded at catcher, and it looks as though we'll ride it out with Sanchez, Higgy and fervent prayer. At 28, Gary would be considered relatively young for a catcher - that is, if he could catch. He'll probably never relive that magical half-season of 2017, but as they say at Lotto: Hey, you never know...

And speaking of Lotto... how about that Corey Kluber! Isn't it fun to imagine him returning at full strength? We'd have two aces - two! - as The Master would say, "back to back and belly to belly!" He'd be great, if he comes back...

Today, I think that about sums up the Yankee fan base: Let's roll the dice and hope that time improves this team. Yes... time. 

Trouble is, I'm not sure if time is our pal.

Here are the Yankees who, based on age alone, would seem likely to improve in 2021.

Gleyber Torres, 24 next season
Clint Frazier, 26
Tyler Wade, 26
Miguel Andujar, 26
Thairo Estrada, 25
Deivi Garcia, 22
Michael King, 26
Jonathan Loaisiga 26
Nick Nelson 25

Let's assume that either Frazier or Andujar could go in a trade. There is also the usual busloads from Scranton - (Clarke Schmidt will be 25) - which every team has. Are we feeling lucky yet?

Because here are the Yanks whose best years, based on age, is likely behind them: 

LeMahieu, (o, it hurts, but it's true) he'll be 32.
Giancarlo Stanton, 31
Brett Gardner, 37 (assuming he returns)
Aaron Hicks, 31
Kyle Higashioka, 31
Zack Britton, 33
Aroldis Chapman, 33
Adam Ottavino, 35

To this, add Tyler Lyons (33) and the various reclamation projects Cashman will sign.  

So... are we having fun yet? Could Gary have a comeback year? Sure. But if he doesn't, we're screwed. Could Judge and Stanton stay healthy? Sure. But if they don't - and they haven't yet - we're screwed. Could Gleyber become a star SS? Sure. But if he doesn't... screwed. 

Look at Tampa or Toronto. You see waves of youth, career years still to come. What happened to the Yankee surge of 2017, when we seemed on the cusp of league domination? We slipped in 2018, faltered in 2019, fell last year, and now we stagger into 2021, with Hal Steinbrenner clutching his wallet. Time is not necessarily on our side. 

Yesterday, J.A. Happ signed with the Twins. Good luck with that, Minnesota. 

Today, we hear the world champion Dodgers might sign Trevor Bauer. Good luck with that, every other team in baseball.

Remember when the Yankees did such things? We added Mike Mussina? We added Jason Giambi? We were the premier franchise in baseball, in all of sports. We were Alabama football. We were Duke basketball. Damn, it was fun.

Unless some crazy intangibles break our way, 2021 could be a tough year. If Gary Sanchez isn't enjoying himself, beginning in April, we might not have much fun, either. 


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Gary will cheer up when he considers that he actually got a RAISE for batting .147. He did worse and got paid more, kinda like the government pay scale
The Archangel

Carl J. Weitz said...

Yes, Archangel, not unlike the many golden parachutes bestowed upon CEO's for driving their companies into the ground. Like Carly Fiorina at HP, Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide Mortgage, Stanley O'Neal at Merrill Lynch, et al. Talk about perverse incentives. Succeed and have to work at lesser compensation or fail and get triple compensation to stay at home. Unlike the above former executives, Gary will, at least, have to show up to the ballpark.

Alphonso said...

Age wont stop, or impact, the fact that we have Giancarlo Stanton for the next seven years !