Wednesday, March 31, 2021

“Some things that happen for the first time/ Seem to be happening again…”

From the keyboard of HoraceClarke66...

Getting into the groove of our sudden outbreak of show tune lyrics—and with apologies to Rodgers & Hart—I want to take us back…back…back to the head days of 2017, when we were rockin’ to the song stylings of Bruno Mars, and a young funny man named James Corden was teaching us all to laugh again…

Spring training.  The Bird is back! 


Greg Bird, returned from a year out for shoulder surgery, is back in the Yankees’ training camp and bashing the ball all over the yard! Bird racks up 8 home runs and a 1.654 OPS in the Grapefruit League, leaving Pinstripe fanciers drooling over the prospect of his monster, left-handed bat between sluggers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez for the next 10-15 years.


Then:  Disaster strikes! 


Bird fouls a ball off his foot near the end of spring training, bats .100 in his first 19, regular-season games, and hits the DL again. And again. And again. And again. And again.


What to do? With his usual, diabolic cunning, Yankees ace GM Brain Cashman has anticipated just this turn of events, and has cleverly signed a back-up 1B, Chris Carter—the 2016 NL home run champ!



Well, you know the rest of the story, folks. Carter, who had hit 41 dingers with Milwaukee the year before, also struck out 206 times. The ultimate, “three true outcomes” player, Carter hit all of 8 homers with the Yanks as Cashman stuck with him through two, dreadful months. 


At his very worst in clutch situations—2 outs, RISP? .154!—Carter even threw away at least a couple games with his glove at first.  He struck out 76 times in just 208 plate appearances, and batted .201 before he departed—never to play in the majors again.


Hmm, maybe there’s a reason why a rising team simply cuts bait with a guy who led the league in homers. But what the hell, right? It didn’t cost the Yanks anything and it could have worked.


Cut to four years later. Luke Voit, our stouthearted first baseman, goes down with a knee injury. Who could have predicted that? Just because he played almost all of 2020 with a brace on his leg?


Well, never mind. 


Do we give another shot to Mike Ford, who played at sub-Sanchezian levels in 2020, but did have a .919 OPS in 2019 and gets a lot of walks? Do we try AnDUjar there? Do we pick up a player somewhere?


Of course not!   


The answer, of course, is Jay Bruce. Another, washed-up National Leaguer who is 3 years older than Carter was, looks like a piece of ancient Greek statuary around first base, batted .198 last year, and has never hit 41 home runs in his life!!


What’s the definition of insanity again? Or maybe this is the definition of pleasing your tightwad boss. Whatever.


“Some things that happen for the first time/ Seem to be happening again…”



Anonymous said...

Wash, Rinse, Repeat. And so it goes.
The truth is like poetry and nobody likes f-ing poetry.
The Archangel

Dantes said...

Ford can’t hit and Andujar is on the dl.

JM said...

We're doomed. Although I have to say, 2017 turned out to be exciting, until we benched the exciting guys in favor of the plods who were on the injured list. Then we swanned.