Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Yankees this spring are touting "The Gas Station." Well, it's time for somebody to emerge

Yo, Adrian, we did it. We survived Year One of the great pandemic - a time of doom and Zoom, of Amazon and Netflix, of cardboard fans and elbow bumps. Rudy Giuliani went from being America's Mayor to the reincarnation of Benny Hill, Andrew Cuomo from America's Governor to Pepe Le Pew, and our Yankees - from America's Team to the KC Royals. We no longer fear living under house arrest. And I realize that, if I didn't re-read Gravity's Rainbow last year, I never will. 

A year? It seems like ten. Last March, right around now, the world closed - from shopping malls to the NBA, from March Madness to Opening Day. It seemed like a rolling fog. I thank you for visiting this site, and for all those who comment, even if to tell me I'm full of shit. Without IT IS HIGH - without you - I wouldn't have made it. So, Adrian, if you're still alive... yo, have one on me. 

So... WTF happened during the great lockdown? Once again, the Yankees crapped the bed in October, when pitching is everything, and we never have enough. We still live and die by the home run, and while it works in summer, it's a loser's gambit in the fall. 

Which brings me to today's rant. Last year, before the rug was pulled, the YES team was relentlessly touting a wave of young arms on the verge of reviving the roster. We didn't know who would emerge, we just knew that, considering the sheer size of this thundering herd, somebody would. We foresaw a list of Olympians: Domingo Acevedo, Nick Nelson, James Reeves, Luis Gil, Luis Medina, Clarke Schmidt, Brooks Kriske, Michael King, Albert Abreu, Adonis Rosa, Deivi Garcia, Glenn Otto, Alexander Vizciano, Miguel Yajure, Ben Heller and the ridiculously named Caleb Ort. I picked Adonis Rosa. I mean... fukinay Adonis!

Then, basically, we got zilch. 

Okay, Nick Nelson threw a few innings, and Deivi Garcia - before the wheels came unglued - showed promise. But 30 games into the mini-season, our staff devolved into stems and seeds, tacked together with the retreaded likes of David Hale, Tyler Lyons,  Dan Otero and Nick Tropeano - veterans out of options and pitching for food. Nothing wrong with that. But it's not the jetpacks we were promised. That wave of young talent - it happened all right... with the Rays.

Well, Adrian, yo: A year has passed, and our "fully functional Death Star" is once again touting the new rifles of our farm system. The YES men now call the Yankees' minor league pitching facility in Tampa - - and I am not making this up - "The Gas Station." That's right. The Gas Station. Why?  I have theories...  

1. It's run by old farts.
2. It's fueled with fossils.
3. It fracks.
4. It serves a ripe cabbage stew.

But the official Yankee answer is 5): Through advanced technology, teams of lab-coated pitching experts are building superior spin-rates, arm trajectories and velo within their human eugenic experiments, and the results will bring new forms of "cheese."

The Gas Station. Insert sigh here. 

Will this matter? Yo, Adrian, I dunno.

But we'll soon find out. Yesterday, Zack Britton became the first big name Yankee this spring to go down. (Usually, Yankee injuries come in bunches, so hold on.) He'll undergo elbow surgery for bone chips, and he'll probably miss four months. The real question: When Britton returns, will his sinker accompany him? He'll come back around the same time as Luis Severino. Remember Sevy? Ah, so much has happened - and  stayed the same - over the last year. 

So, Adrian, we made it. And we have "The Gas Station." Yo...


Platoni said...

It was just over 24 hours when this was printed on this here site:


You all jinxed it and I want a refund

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Gas stations are... often robbed.
Gas stations are... where you take a dump between home and final destination.
Gas stations are... loaded up with pringles, cola, and beer.
Gas stations are... staffed by teenagers and midlife losers.

Sounds like “gas station” is a decent analogy.

el duque said...

I suggested in the piece that I didn't want to jinx it.

That's a full awareness non-jinx, which is supposed to provide immunity.


Carl J. Weitz said...

Having high octane doesn't guarantee success if it isn't thrown over or on the edges of the plate which seems to happen with all the Yankee young "power arms" Cashman lusts for. Always too many walks, As opposed to rival teams young pitchers, ours seem to rarely show confidence on the mound. I guess the pressure of knowing one bad outing or one bad inning will send them back to Scranton is too much. And even throwing the ball 101 MPH right over the plate with no movement (albeit at a difficult spot to hit up by the letters) can be hammered by good hitters that guess correctly as Raphael Devers illustrated against Chapman 3 seasons ago.

Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with jinxes. We all knew that somebody would be the first to go down this spring.

I don't know why Britton was re-signed. Most of the flame throwers in this bullpen are not all that good. Can't trust any of them to hold a one run lead. Possibly the most overrated bullpen in baseball. It's a mediocre pen, at best.

For that matter, I don't know why we retained Brett Gardner yet again. Oh, he'll hit a home run every now and then. But he's waaaay past his expiration date. Do we want this team to get younger and more talented or are we just taking the safe route and hanging on to old vets, hoping that this is the year they tap into magic? Dumpster diving Cashman was doing what he does best once again this off season, bringing in broken down old guys. Once again, there doesn't seem to be any discernible plan or direction, and the ability to assess talent and make tough decisions with old veteran players seems sadly lacking.

We'll see how far this takes us this year. My guess is that we'll continue the tedium of mediocrity that we've become used to since 2010. Another lackluster post season exit, no World Series.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Some Thoughts...

1) Ah, Gravity's Rainbow, the Infinite Jest of someday I'm going to take that on. As opposed to Infinite Jest, the Moby Dick of books I will attempt but never be able to finish. As opposed to Moby Dick the Gravity's Rainbow of unfinished books that weigh on me.

2) Let's talk The Gas Station...

Personally, I love it. I think the bullpen will radically improve as the Yankees dangle the promise of free steak knives for every save.

Perhaps relivers entering the game can be given a Mr. President Coin Game type token with the image of former relivers on them that they can collect and turn in for prizes.

" C'mon. I just need Jeff Nelson to complete my 1999 bullpen."


"Crap! Another Dan Naulty. I hope they put me in again tomorrow."

Maybe they can develop special Gas Station Themed Pitches like the "Flying A" or at least bring in Michael Pineda to teach the "Lube Job".

3) Lil' Jinx

While it would seem as though El Duque did in fact jinx the Yankees yesterday with his ill timed mention of their lack of injuries I would like to remind all of you that that is Alphonso's job. Duque just got lucky that's all.

Doug K.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Didn't some beat writer at the NY Post refer to the Yankees bullpen a few years back as "The Holy Trinity of Smoke"? That was about as dumb and much less clever as "The Gas Station".

My prediction? The Gas Station will last as long as The Holy Trinity of..., meh, who cares?

ranger_lp said...

@Doug...I like the Lube Job

I know one person who wont be in the "Gas Station" after the season starts...Luis Garcia...

Anonymous said...

Well, upon reflection, "the gas station" may be aptly named. They'll come in and throw gas-o-line on the fire every time. I used to call our bullpen "the arson squad". Perhaps John Sterling can do a "thuuuuuuuuuuh Gas Station fires up another inferno!" every time our arson squad comes in and blows the roof off the game with a six run inning against Tampa Bay or Houston.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, the Gas Station, chock full of that volatile, deadly liquid that actual Firemen are needed to put out. What a stupid nickname

And "increased velo." Yeah, where did I read Jordan Montgomery, talking eagerly about how great the Yankees staff had been at adding speed to his fastball? A few months later...

Look, arms are arms. There is only so much faster they are going to throw, no matter how many tricks your crack staff of crackpots has up its sleeves. After that, you're just talking about ruining them.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and Carl J. Weitz? I love how the end of your post can be used for almost any year with Machine Gun Chapman:

"as _____ illustrated against Chapman __ seasons ago."

Carl J. Weitz said...

Excellent point Horace. An obvious omission on my part.