Tuesday, March 30, 2021

You want pessimism? I got your pessimism right here!

 From the brilliant mind but diseased computer of HoraceClarke66...

To steal from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, there is a mysterious cycle in the lives of sports teams. They reach certain peaks when they must win, or decline.


Little did we know, that peak for the current version of your New York Yankees was in 2017, when they came within one game of the World Series and fell short. This was due in part to rampant, still unpunished cheating on the part of their opponent.  But still.


Left to do the little things needed to get that team over the hump—find the right role players, make a deal for the right starter, augment the already strong bullpen—Brain Cashman failed, as always fails. The team’s fate was sealed when the real brains of the operation, Gary Denbo, followed Derek Jeter to sunnier climes.


Teams win championships, in every sport, with defense. This means, in baseball, pitching. The Yankees don’t have any. None that we can count on, anyway.


We have one reliable starter. One. We have zero, nada, no reliable bullpen arms. Not a one, right down to our closer, Aroldis Benitez Chapman.


Sure, Jameson Talleson could win 20 games. So could Corey Kluber, or Domingo German. The chances are infinitely greater they won’t win 20 games between them.


With the rest of the team, it’s the same old, same old. These Yankees cannot avoid injuries, and they cannot avoid the bizarre, total meltdowns of players who looked like budding superstars just a couple years ago.


Our catching is a disaster, with Gary Sanchez suited up and sent out there again like Don Quixote. Brain missed numerous opportunities to deal him, including in one instance for the best catcher in baseball today, J.T. Realmuto.


The infield has just been severely weakened by a critical injury to the best home run hitter in baseball last year. Brain will doubtless waste months on dubious replacements such as Jay Bruce.


The Gleyber started down the Sanchez road last season, and looks completely unequipped to play shortstop, the position where he was supposed to be a superstar. Instead, the Yankees are likely to be about the only team in baseball WITHOUT a superstar at short—and again Brain has cleverly failed to come up with a single, reliable infield backup. LeMahieu and Urshela are the only functioning cogs we have there—and even the stalwart Gio is coming off an injury.


The outfield looks awesome—on paper, which is where most of it usually remains. Sure, healthy seasons from Judge, Hicks, Frazier, Andujar, and The Millstone could carry this team alone, even without pitching, catching, or an infield. Not going to happen. Perpetually injured players do not get stronger with age. I’d say it’s even money that Gardy will play more OF games than any other single player on the team.


And as our Peerless Leader has noted, there is nobody in the wings, no minor league system to speak of. 


Sure, as many of you have pointed out, the Junior Circuit is not exactly full of titans this year. But I’m with Duque on this, too:  Those other teams have stables full of young players, who are not constantly injured and who won’t fall apart inexplicably, irretrievably, as ours do.


My pick:  Yankees, 77-85, as the death spiral of this consistently overrated and mishandled contender begins. 


For all of MLB:


AL East:


Tampa Bay—They may be small, but like Walt Whitman, they contain multitudes. They lost their two best starters? Watch three or four more rise out of their top-ranked farm system overnight. They still have Roid Boy Randy Arozarena—and Wander Franco will be the breakout shortstop in this division.


Toronto—The Florida sun will only help them. Their Heirloom Sluggers got into shape. Pencil them in for play-in spot.


NYY—Nuff ced.


Boston—Rebuilding, though, I’m sure.


Baltimore—Man, it’s hard, just to live…



AL Central:


ChiSox—Mostly because I just love writing, “ChiSox.” Also: “Pale Hose.”


Minnesota—Why not?


Kansas City.


Cleveland—In the midst of decomposing.


Detroit—Got a hell of a hockey team.



AL West:




Seattle—For the other wild card, as the Brain’s disastrous Sheffield deal comes back to bite us.


Anaheim/L.A.—Still not an Otani believer.


Houston—On the way down.


Texas—Still rebuilding.



NL East:


Metsies—Well, I wouldn’t bet my testies on them. But I think this is really one of their wild and whacky years. Hope so—it’s the only thing that will get the Family Steinbrenner in gear.


Atlanta—For a wild card.


Miami—As Derek continues to overachieve.







NL Central:


St. Louis—A competent organization in an incompetent division.











NL West:


L.A.—The Dodgers dynasty continues. Yecch!


S.D.—The other wild card.











Toronto over Seattle.


San Diego over Atlanta.





TB over Toronto, 3-2.


ChiSox over Oakland, 3-2.


TB over ChiSox, 4-3, in the lowest rated ALCS ever.



L.A. over S.D., 3-2.


Metsies over St. Louis, 3-2.


Mets over L.A., 4-3, as the town turns orange and blue.



World Series:


Mets over TB, 4-3.


You heard it hear first.


Ken of Brooklyn said...

WOW> that's truly brutal Hoss, LOL! Part of me is hoping it's some kinda 4th dimensional negative JuJu strategy at work, though unfortunately, it ALL sounds very very plausible>probable>inevitable.

DickAllen1964 said...

I would like to suggest that both mind and computer are equally diseased.

Anonymous said...


Respectfully submitted:

I get the pessimism to a certain extent. This isn't the strongest Yankee team and it has some deep flaws but this is a team that won 103 Games in 2019 and played .550 ball last year.

Is their personnel so different that they would drop to 77-85? The first losing record in decades?

Sure our starting pitching is weak but we weren't fond of Happ, and the oft injured Paxton was... oft injured. Tanaka? Loved him but he hadn't been dominant in a while.

So when our soon to be oft injured Kluber takes his place will it matter? Is the absence of Clark Schmidt and difference than the... wait for it... absence of Clark Schmidt? Ditto Sevi.

If anything, Devi as the number six and the return of German (who won 18 in 2019) is better than what we had last year as the number 5.

The bull pen is the bull pen. I don't worry about Chapo until the weather gets cold and the games get important. So he should be better than avg. until then.

Now to the regulars.

ANYTHING We get from Stanton is an improvement. Ditto Judge. Ditto Gleyber etc.

Frazier gets more ABs that Gardy. Hicks is Hicks.

Basically what I'm saying is, the team is the same or better so why the radical drop off? It's not 1965. Same manager. Who is the aging superstar that's going to drop off a cliff? Judge was never Mickey anyway.

Ok so Sanchez is Jake Gibbs. But aside from that?


As you went over the other teams you concluded, much like I did, that there's not a lot out there. So who are we losing season series to to drop us under .500?
Tampa? OK sure, take it. Toronto? Maybe, but I'll give it to you. Chicago? I could see it.

But that leaves all the KCs, the Orioles, The Tigers, Seattle... the rest of the league.

I think they win the division. Maybe they don't. Most people here think at least wild card. But a losing record? Nah.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hey Doug K., you make some good points. And the weakness of the league may buoy the Yankees yet. And yes, if everything works out, they could take the pennant.

But almost any team, in any given season nowadays, could win it, "If everything works out." Given that, I think that in predicting a season, you have to look at what's most likely to happen—and what's most likely isn't pretty for this team.

There are now gaping holes in the lineup now, with little to patch them over. Sanchez as Jake Gibbs? I wish! Gibbs was a strong defensive catcher whose average was never within 60 points of Gary's .147 last year.

For the other starters, after years of injury and decline, I think the most likely result is...injury and decline. What was freakish about the drop-off of the 1965-67 teams was that all sorts of relatively young players suddenly got hurt or went south. For the Yankees, the team's most promising young players have been trending that way for several years now.

But it always comes down to pitching. Yes, we didn't much like the staff last year—and I think it would have collapsed completely if it had had to go more than 60 games.

Now? Well, you could say we're coming in on a wing and a prayer...except that we don't really have a wing. Even if the likes of Kluber and Taliesin defy expectations, they're not going to be able to go long, and the pen is so depleted that there's little to back them up.

As Randy Newman would say, "I could be wrong now...but I don't think so!"

Anonymous said...

Games scheduled to be played in Atlanta need to be boycotted, by the home team and the visitors.

The same applies to the All-Star Game: it MUST be moved out of Georgia.

Who’s good at screaming here? Alphonso, I think. He needs to write, on all our behalves, a screaming letter to Rob Manfred.

I know you’re trying to keep this site politically-clean, but what just happened there is a fucking crime against humanity.

Repeat after me:


Anonymous said...

Hoss, I think your negativity is starting to infect me. I picked this team to win 88 games and finish in 3rd place. But after reading your posts, yeah, I can definitely see all four wheels coming off halfway through this season. As you said, injury and decline. They all seem to get old younger and younger now. All over baseball. 29 is old now. 32 is positively ancient. So injury and decline is certainly the most likely scenario for this team. If they peaked in 2017, then three years later, you'd have to believe that they're positively ancient now.

I hope you're wrong that they'll not even play .500, but falling on our faces and the Mets winning the World Series might be the only thing that will dislodge Cashman and kick ownership in the pants to bring in real baseball people to run things here. Mediocrity is tough to endure for long. Sometimes tanking is necessary to get smart new blood.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

I sure hope I'm wrong, too, Hammer. I would love to see Jameson, and Kluber, and even Sanchez show me I'm a fool. But I just can't see it happening.