Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The "Real" Problem

Last night's game aside, as Duque points out, the Yankee offense is pathetic. 

While it's easy to point at horrific batting averages, a lack of situational hitting, poor baserunning, shoddy lineup construction, and a general lack of talent... I fear that there is something greater at work.

I can't shake the feeling that they just go through the motions... without passion for the game. 

Maybe it's a reflection of Boone's management style. Maybe it's the de-emphasis on weight training (and its anger inducing supplements). Maybe it's the yoga. But something is missing. 

Case in point, their lackluster "bench support gesture". The "tapping the arm thing" just seems sad and pointless. 

Compare to the "thumbs down" gesture or the "dugout roof bang" from years past. This one seems like they feel obligated to do something. 

(I will say this about Odor...he plays with passion. Maybe it will rub off and we will get a good gesture out of it.)

There is a school of psychology (don't ask me which one because I am making this up) that says that the mind is influenced by gestures. 

If so, I humbly suggest that the bench adopt the "palms up, eyebrows arched with head nod" as if to say, "It's about FUCKING time. Let's bury them!"


Doctor T said...

Paul O'Neill is completely correct, the problem with the Yankee offense is Cashman's geek squad and the organization-wide obsession with 'three true outcomes.' An idiot's understanding of the game that - in too many cases - yields 'two true outcomes' (K or HR).

Launch angles, exit velocities and spin rates do not win championships. They don't even win ballgames. They just look good on highlight reels that don't include a dozen strikeouts.

And the worst part is this is how they are training all the prospects. So nobody in the Yankee organization learns how to play the WHOLE game. That's why the Yankees need to go out of the organization to find a complete player like LeMahieu. All the Yankees know how to do is produce guys like Gary Sanchez. Zero 'baseball smarts.' Great tape measure home runs. Sub .200 batting averages and crappy, incompetent defense. Barf!

The geek squad needs to be loudly fired and Cashman needs to apologize to everyone who actually played a game of baseball. This nonsense is destroying baseball and making it more boring than watching paint dry. If nothing else convinces Cashman......... it makes it easy to not buy a Yes subscription or even pay attention to the team.

Platoni said...

I know what the "real" problem is. See, they are supposed to be fattening up on orioles and tigers and ... texans. They're supposed to put on this layer of protective, oleaginous insulation for that inevitable winter we call "The IL" when the big muscle giants take a nap in the Joba Chamberlain Memorial Jacuzzi and the overachieving critters on the team hold the fort until the thaw.

But that is not what is happening and I think I know why. They're avoiding the fattening, not because it messes with their yoga poses or their model pursuing ways. No! It is because they, like Hansel und Gretel, are afraid of the witch. They know SHE'S the one plumping them up for her own nefarious reasons. She's after Stanton's hefty biceps, Judge's corpulent thighs, Higgy's perfect coiffure. She's getting them all plump and juicy. (All, except Gary and Mike. Those guys are ready to eat.)

So, that is why they can't beat these shit teams, why their bats go silent and their best pitchers falter. They seek to avoid the witch, at any cost, including wins.

That or they're a bad team. I don't know. I've started smoking the Cuomo herb earlier and earlier each day. Helps me ignore last nights lowlights.

ranger_lp said...

@Doctor T...Nobody's getting fired...this is the way the game is being's not least for the near just need the players to execute...and they are not...until last night.

The games have become brutally boring. We were promised with the advent of personal computers that life would become better and's done neither. Analytics have ruined every professional sport outside of Cornhole and I don't know if we ever get away from it...

Cashman is not destroying baseball...all the GMs and owners are because they have been sold the notion that these metrics will help teams win games. Of course you know that this all works until the playoffs where the metrics are skewed by playing the same team over and over in a series...but you have to get there and the Yanks have been getting there using these blasted methods.

Michael Kay is right...the Yanks are 4 games over .500 and a game and a half behind first place. You would think the way the Yanks are playing, it's the end of the Yankee Universe. We've all been spoiled by 1998 when we won just about every game that year and the pennant was clinched in June. There's more parity in MLB now so ya gonna have to deal with this or not watch it...and I don't know some days which is better?

I can't figure out these injuries either. Stanton is treated like a rare vase and he still gets injured. Many other players are going through the same. Maybe the conclusion is you're more likely to injure yourself hitting a steady diet of 90+ MPH pitches. Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb never did. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays never did. But players are now...and it's harder to get a hit now because the metrics say throw as hard as you can for 100 pitches or less and don't go through the lineup and third time...that's bad...and then we'll put someone else in there that can top 100+ MPH. The results are predicable...BB, K or HR.

JM said...

All of the above.

Half the team is on the interstate, the defense has been kind of shoddy (with bright spots), the pitching has been better than I thought it would be, Cole can't win every game, and we're a game and a half out. There have also been games when things got kind of exciting.

A game and a half out near the end of May? I'll take it. Nobody is running away with the division, so whatever the stats say, we're all in pretty much the same boat.

This weird optimism courtesy of extra Coke Zero and cigarettes.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

There are several separate issues here:

1. Is the team winning?

2. HOW is the team winning? Do they look like world-beaters (a la 1998) or a group of guys that met each other on the sandlot just before the game started?

3. Is it enjoyable to watch?

4. If it's NOT fun to watch, if that "baseball's" fault -- or that of Hal/Brian/Lorna Boone?


I am a NYYs fan almost from birth (Dodgers left 4 yrs after I was born). Had I asked myself in March if I would mind if the team sucked dog dick AND YET STILL WON, I probably would have said -- no, as long as they win.

But experiencing this is quite something else.

I was thinking last night that the Box Score needs another stat -- at least for the Yankees, and maybe for every team:

Innings in which more than one guy reached base (without a HR). OR: Innings in which the team had more than one guy on base at the same time. Something like that.

You know, the kind of thing that engenders a rally. A bit like last night. One inning a game might do the trick. A solo HR would not count (at least for this stat's purpose).

I don't know how many of those innings we've had this year. But it seems like serious single digits...

Anonymous said...

Where's Tanaka? Fire Hell, cASSman, and Boone!

HoraceClarke66 said...

I agree all around—great observations.

But that Yalie ex-Met put is best: "Too much velocity, not enough command."

That is thoroughly, existentially true in the game today, and most games. Amazing athletes, artificially pumped up to ridiculous extremes, carrying on in brainless submission to a computer-generated, statistical theory.

Give me D.J. falling behind in the count then stroking a bases-loaded, two-run double to right anytime.

"There is more on a ballfield than is dreamed of in your analytic philosophy," as a great man almost said.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also, we need a new expression for when a guy goes over the .100 mark in batting, as Mike Ford did last night—an event that so excited him he forgot to run.

Sure, we have 10 guys "riding the interstate," below "the Mendoza line."

But what about below that?

I propose, "riding the Hadron." For the Hadron supercollider, which is—well, more or less—in an oval shape.

Sure, I thought off other proposals, such as, "on the Robertson," for Oscar Robertson, "the Big O." But I think that associates awful performance too closely with a true basketball great.

Maybe "at the Lion King," for that "Circle of Life" song? Mmmm, too far, methinks.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

For over 100, I offer the 'proof line'. as in 100 proof. per the bottleggers. the last honest business in 'murica.

The new master line will be: He's over the proof line! He's on fire! We'll all call Celino (or Barnes, whichever one is still the official Yankee ambulance chaser) and try to get a part of the "they should have known the uniform was flammable" lawsuit.

Aw, screw it. They'll still be painful to watch.

Kevin said...

The only thing that makes sense to me regarding injuries are steroids. Many people think that to take them is to become huge. Not true! There are steroids which gives the user serious strength and often vascularity without the bloat, although these effects can be blended. There have been very few positive tests over the last few years. Which brings us to a wildcard. It's possible that the chemists have blended slow release diuretics into the formulary, and/or some other masking agents. It certainly could bring on cramps, maybe muscular injuries. I've spent the past forty-five years pushing steel, seen more than even Han Solo. Given the army of kinesiologists, yogis, trainers for every part of the body, ultra slow-mo film, high speed film of swings, ad nauseam....... What's left? A guy like Stanton shouldn't be relegated to DH at his age, Hell, aside from getting his face almost getting sheared off, he's never had a serious injury. Management knows it, hence these McGuffins such as blaming the hitters and pitchers for 'swinging and throwing too hard'. TFBS.

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