Friday, May 28, 2021

With Memorial Day approaching, it's time to ponder the slow death of the Yankees

We can talk ruefully about the Giancarlo Stanton contract, a nightmare of financial constriction that will likely outlast the Covid pandemic, the pop group BTS and - perhaps - American democracy. 

But there is special dung-heap in hell for two contract extensions,  bestowed within 10 days of each other, in mid-February of 2019, upon Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks. 

The deals are celebrated annually in Boston, Tampa, Toronto and wherever Yankee-haters fester, like the tube worms that they are. Today these two eternal, Satan-rendered parchments frame a Joel Sherman thumbsucker in Murdoch's Daily Bigfoot. 

It's worth a read, as long as you don't live near a bridge. Here's a taste:

"... [U]nless Hal Steinbrenner authorizes exceeding the threshold — and he should do that if trying to win a title is truly the goal — then the Yanks will likely have a limited pool from which to choose and/or will have to invest more in prospect capital to get another team to eat dollars."

"... [I]n the four seasons Ellsbury got on the field for the Yankees he played more games for them (520) than Hicks has in six (493). "

I believe I speak for the Yankiverse in saying, "Yeow!" Halfway through the piece, I felt like George C. Scott in "Hardcore," screaming "TURN IT OFF! TURRRN IT OFFFF!" But Sherman nails it: Over 10 horrifying days, which were then applauded as "Cooperstown" Cashman's crowning achievement, the Yankees lashed themselves to a pair of contracts that now rival tickets on the Titanic. 

Before going further, let us remember the sacred IT IS HIGH oath - similar to the pledge by Superman never to take a human life, and that of Lassie to never bite people: We do not blame players for getting hurt. Yeah, some are incredibly breakable, some are incredibly stupid, and some are incredibly inventive when it comes to vitamin supplements - but ballplayers are generally just dumb fucks trying to feed their families. They may be millionaires, but they must deal with billionaires - and their lawyers, conniving shitheads who somehow stole the keys to a key American cultural icon. So... let's not pile the current malaise upon Hicksy or Sevy. Let's just wish them health. It's not their fault.  

Their contract extensions came 14 months after the bloodless coup that brought Giancarlo Stanton and his own wretched contact to Gotham. Ever since, time seems to have suspended itself, with the Yankees perpetually chasing Tampa, or Boston, or somebody. 

We watch our rivals bring forth waves of young players, while we sign burned-out Bruces and odious Odors. The Rays, especially, roll out rookies like assembly line candies in a demented Lucille Ball skit. And before yesterday, who the hell ever heard of Alek Manoah?

Great Yankee teams of the past always possessed several key elements:

1. A solid catcher.

2. A great centerfielder.

3. Lefty sluggers.

4. Homegrown stars.

Yeesh. We just went 0-4. We have no catcher. We have no CF. We have no lefty sluggers. And home grown? The Yankees used to have a Core Four - Mariano, Andy, Jeter, Bernie, and you could add Jorge - perennial all-stars, if not Hall of Fame candidates - raised from puppies in our system. 

Today, here's the list of Yankees who have never known another organization: 

Mike Ford
Brett Gardner
Estevan Florial (up for a few days)
Miguel Andujar
Jordan Montgomery
Kyle Higashioka
Gary Sanchez
Tyler Wade
Aaron Judge

We have a Core One: Judge. And a bunch of injuries. And a bunch of bad contracts. 

So... tonight it's Detroit? Insert sigh. I guess we can always beat the tomato cans. But where is this franchise going?


Anonymous said...

Finally someone how's true human concern and compassion for Aaron Hicks.
A sensitive soul who just needs time to heal, both physically and spiritually.

My major concern for him is whether his golf game will ever recover and will Tiger's niece stay with him if it doesn't?

The Archangel

Rufus T. Firefly said...


I'd say the odds are 50-50 that the wrist injury is golf related rather than baseball related.

I wonder if the brain put a clause in that gift contract to prohibit other sports. Kinda like maybe preventing Boner playing basketball in the offseason, necessitating panic buying of J-Lo's ex.

Sorry, rhetorical question. No need to answer.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard anything about how Hicks hurt his wrist, but I'd wager he did it doing barbell bench presses. They can be tough on the wrists.

If Florial shows anything, the Hicks injury may be a gift from heaven. After all, even when he's healthy, does Hicks ever really play well? After a month or two of struggling, he might get hot for a few days. And then he gets hurt again.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts

1) Down on the farm...

Last night SS Oswald Peraza 5-6, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 K, SB

He looked great in the field when I saw him. So traded for an ageing CF?

2) Florial

He plays well and then gets sent DOWN? That's 10 days right? WTF?

3) Sherman and Duque

Reading that Jacoby played more games for us in four years than Hicks in six blows my mind.


Went to Citi Field yesterday.Great ball park. Better food. Way better experience than Yankee Stadium Las Vegas.

Obviously I'm a Yankee fan for life but given the difference in owners and ballparks... If I had to start from scratch the Mets would get serious consideration.

I hope that thought makes Hal crap his pants.

Doug K.

Platoni said...

Hicks injured his wrist tying ice bandages onto his other injuries. Tying motion is a killer on tendons and such

Anonymous said...

El Duque, excellent post. Just remember who made the brilliant decisions to resign Barren Hicks and Luis Severino. Yes, Genius Cashman. Anyone who thinks Cashman is so wonderful, make a column A and A Column B, He has done much more bad than good. Two questions, do the Yankees actually thin The Barren will return from two major injuries in the past three years and be an adequate player? Will Severino add on to his one half of an excellent season?

DickAllen said...


PS: Doug, you should kill yourself before becoming a Mutts fan. If you won't, I'll do it for you.

TheWinWarblist said...

Doug K., I hate to agree with such an angry character like Dick up there, but if you ever say you're going to become a Mets fan again, I will make sure we cook and eat you at our next Yankee Stadium tailgate.

Tighten up, Man! Get your shit correct!

JM said...

I only went to Citi once, but thought it was so much better than our cement block mall. It made me wish I was a Mets fan, as horrible as that sounds.

As for our incompetent contract offers, it's been said more times than Hicks and Stanton have gone on the IL. Our front office is very, very bad. Management's commitment to winning a ring is non-existent. When it bothers to spend big money, it's usually on the wrong players.

This is our reality. We live in hope that, somehow, the ragtag, chicken wire and masking tape teams that take the field too much of the time will miraculously produce a championship season. We know it's unrealistic, a fever dream of fandom, but it's the only way we can live through the stupidity.

By the way, I think this is how Mets fans felt for umpteen years. I never thought we'd be subject to that. Guess I was really wrong.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

This team has the stench of a thousand corpses,,, and nothing temporary can shake that!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Brain, Levine and HAL are the harpies of Yankee mythology.

"The Harpies of ancient Greek mythology were small, half-human, quite disgusting birdlike creatures, with long sharp claws and faces pale from the pangs of ever-present hunger.

They came in flocks or swarms, evil harbingers of stench and foul decay, contaminating everything they came in contact with. And they were greedy beings, scavenging every scrap of food from in front of those whom the gods had sent them to torment."

Kevin said...

The most obnoxious of pundits, Keith Law, predicted elbow problems for Severino when he was in the minors. Lucky? Maybe. Hicks' had red flags all over him. So here's two guys that the vitriol for Cashman is justified. Stanton? Let's cut out the bllsht. He was coming off a historic season, his health was not a concern. I hadn't come across this greatest of blogs, yet. But the excitement that other bloggers had was hotter than a teenage love affair. And Sherman and Davidoff seemed elated. So we got a probable generational talent for nothing. It's not fair to second guess in hindsight, unless you can point out flaws in logic. Stanton looked to be a steal. In the end, when did Cashman find out that Hal was intent on running a business? Because that is the real issue with Stanton, amiright? Well, what's done is do.

Kevin said...


Anonymous said...


"you should kill yourself before becoming a Mutts fan. If you won't, I'll do it for you."

That's very nice of you to offer to kill yourself in my stead. But don't worry. You are safe. I have no intention of becoming one.

Doug K.

DickAllen said...

Nice try, Doug!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Don't worry. Brain has signed the guy that will take Kluber's place.

Ok, maybe not. At least Boonie won't have to think of a catchy nickname.

TheWinWarblist said...

Awwwwww!! I thought we were gonna barbecue and eat Doug K.! Darn it!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Winnie, fricasseed meat is always tough when it is from an old animal. Better to go for the tender young cuts.

DickAllen said...

True Rufus. And I believe do Doug qualifies as mutton.

Anonymous said...


doug k.

Kevin said...

Here's a cheery tweet from RAB: "18th time in 51 games the Yankees have scored no more than two runs. Only the D'Backs, Orioles, Pirates, and Tigers have done it more often. Those four teams are a combined 73-128 this year".

Short of Hal opening the purse, we'll be damned lucky to make the wildcards. It's almost inconceivable to me that with just under a third of the season that our offense could be so putrid. I have to think that next year 30%-40% percent of the team will be gone, hopefully with Cashman gone as well. Maybe getting rid of The Brain under these circumstances is part of Hal's plan all along. For a number of reasons.... OTH, maybe a Ron Guidry, Roy White, and Thurman Munson suddenly spring from the Waters of the Minors. Maybe I'll wake up and I'm twenty-five again. Which is more likely.

Anonymous said...

The only thing which will get Hal to either sell or spend [or fire Chshmere or Boonie fro that matter] is a financial loss.
You all are very smart, you know what to do to .
The Archangel

Kevin said...

I'm no kid. Team starts to fall out so does my viewing....

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