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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Cashman Says " EvenThe Best Of Our AAA players Suck...."


 Imagine if you will, being a 25 year old baseball player for the AAA Yankee team, hitting nearly .360, and in competition for a "goldfish glove" for outstanding fielding skills  ( I don't know what they call these awards in the minors ), and the GM who signed you basically says;

" You do not represent an upgrade over Clint Frazier,"  .....who is hitting .150, regularly strikes out in key situations, and fields like a three legged saw horse. 

Uplifting?  A confidence builder?  Makes you glad you signed with these losers?

And we have a Scranton shortstop and a center fielder that Cashman just tarred with the same, shit-stained brush.  Hit, run well, defend?  Who cares?

What a guy.  What a motivator?  

It is easy to see why an alert and caring owner like Hal Steinbrenner ( who has never done anything in his life besides breathe ) would keep Brian on as GM , despite obvious failure at every level for now more than a fucking decade. 

Cashman's latest description of his " up and going nowhere " talent also gives every other GM in baseball ( all of whom know better ) the opportunity to low ball every trade, and steal prospects in exchange for worn out old, expensive failures. 

It is so obvious that the Yankees can't win with this ownership and leadership. 

And by can't win I mean...anything meaningful.

Don't get all excited about beating the Angels who have the worst pitching in the AL. 


"Yankees suck!" chants the man who built them.

Short post today... 

Frankly, I'm debating how much energy anyone should rightfully devote to the 2021 Yankees - quite possibly the worst Yankee team in this millennium.

Last night, the Death Barge managed to wallop Los Angeles of Anaheim, suggesting a turnaround moment to the season. 

We beat the Awful Angels - a certified tomato can, three games below .500, 10 games out in the AL West, without their best player, Mike Trout. We produced a stats-padding 11 runs. Hooray. 

It's Hope Week in the Yankiverse. So, we're supposed to forget the last three months? (Remember: Hideki Irabu killed himself during Hope Week.)

Well, I'm sorry, but until the Yankees string together a winning streak against actual contenders,  I am without hope. 

Somehow, the Yankees have reached a hopeless situation: 

They are unable to trade for players they need, and unable to get fair value in trades, if they decide to tank their season. 

It's so bad that the GM, Brian Cashman, says his team sucks. 

And I cannot escape a sense that the worst is yet to come.

Hopeless in Hope Week. 

HoraceClarke66: He did it! He finally did it!

 From the desk of HoraceClarke66...

Sorry to be so late on this, but like everyone else I was caught up in the mad celebrations that engulfed New York City last night.

 Yes, it finally happened:  Giancarlo Stanton hit his 59th regular-season home run as a Yankee, thereby matching his total in his last year in Miami.

 Sure, it took him 3 ½ seasons—not to mention 257 games and 1,115 plate appearances, as opposed to 159 games and 692 plate appearances back in his magic 2017 season in Miami. (A season so magical that he was still able to play the field everyday. Ah, were we ever that young? Was Giancarlo?) 

 But hey, the important thing is he did it, right? 

 The lovable lug from Panorama City matched his old mark (in just 3 ½ seasons!) and who knows what he might be capable of from here on in?  A 20-homer season in 2021?  30? 

 I know, I know. That’s crazy talk. But hey, we can all be proud of what he’s done so far.

 When do the special bonus payments kick in?

The Poetry of Aaron Boone, Volume 2

 THE BRITTON PLAN

By Aaron Boone

We'll see. 
First things first.
Let's see.

Hopefully, 
it goes well. 
If that's the case

Potentially,
he’s throwing a side
on Thursday.

We probably need
at least another one
from that point.

We’ll kind of see
how this week
and the weekend

unfolds.


New York City
6/29/21

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Theirs Is Bigger Than Ours


Tampa Bay is said to ( again ) have baseball's number one prospect.

His name is Wander Franco and he is now 20 years old.

He has already debuted in the majors, hitting a homer and a double against Boston, while flashing a great glove and speed at shortstop.

And while he is not headed to this year's all star game, he is here.  And he is adjusting.

He is described as having " the best bat to ball contact" most scouts ( and players ) have ever seen.

Apparently, one of his big claims to this is he once went 105 straight at bats in the minors without striking out. 

Well our guy, Jessica Dominguez, has already jumped that shark.  It took him one game in the Florida improv League to strike out.

He is all Yankee.  Already. 

 Soon, he'll have a hit. I am sure of it. 

And our guy is still only 18.

Year of the Collapse, report from the Dept. of Irony

 The Seattle Mariners have an ex-Yankee 2B who was jogging out grounders. 

(Manager Scott) Servais also said that second baseman Shed Long was replaced in the sixth inning by Dylan Moore when he did not run hard on a grounder. Long reached via an error by Leury Garcia.

“We have a standard that we are going to run hard all the time,’’ Servais said. “I didn’t think he really bused it so we just made a little adjustment. That’s how we play.’’


Are the juju gods toying with us?

Thanks to Buhner's Ghost.

To stay hopeful, Aaron Boone turns to poetry

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT SLOPPINESS

By Aaron Boone
6/28/21

When we think of sloppiness,
You think defensive side,
Understandably. Or Baserunning.
But 
I feel like a large portion of the season-

(and i think one of the things
that actually fueled our turnaround
in the month of may,
w
hen we really started playing better
we weren't really hitting a lot 
or doing offensively what we thought)

But one of the things that fueled
The turnaround with our pitching
Was I think our defense.
We had tightened things up quite a bit.

I still feel like that’s been better.
We’ve had our one-off games
Here that kind of derailed
That narrative, a little bit
.


TIME

By Aaron Boone
6/28/21

We’re getting to
the middle
of the season.

There’s a lot
of calendar
that’s gone off

the clock.




Monday, June 28, 2021

"A glass is half full kind of guy"


Yesterday, as the Yankees were getting drubbed by Boston, David Cone made the above remark about Michael Kay.

Actually, what he said was, "You're a glass is half full kind of guy today." Not always, just for the day.

The reason Coney said that was because Kay, watching the Yanks get pasted--OK, to be fair, watching Cole get pasted but with the Yanks playing haplessly behind him (not meaning "without Happ")--pointed out that in 2009, the to-be-World-Series-Champions Yankees lost their first eight games against the Red Sox, but then rebounded to win 9 out of 10 against them the rest of the season.

Kay did this while acknowledging that, yes, it sounded a little cheery given the buckets of horror movie blood being spilled on the field by our hapless (and Happless) Boonies. Which, come to think of it, may be a better name than "Yankees" given the way we played like clueless yahoos from Palookaville. Still, Kay felt compelled to note this historical fact as a whisper of hope for all of us drinking ourselves into oblivion so early in the day.

So let's get in the Wayback Machine and look at our mid-2009 situation. Lenny Moretti on AllNY.com put it this way at the time:

In American League Team statistical categories, the Yankees are ranked 1st in Runs, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, and OPS Rating, which combines Slugging and On Base numbers. New York is also tied with Texas for the most Home Runs so far with 132. Their .276 team Batting Average ranks them 2nd in the Major Leagues, just percentage points behind the LA Angels.

Then he broke down the team, lauding Jeter, Tex, Godzilla, and Co., before finishing with this:

The ability to beat the league's top teams also needs to improve as the Yankees are a combined 4-13 vs. division leaders Boston, Detroit, and the LA Angels.

Unless something changes there, even if New York gets into the playoffs, they probably won't last very long if they can not beat the better clubs.

The second quote is just as true today as it was all those years ago. But the first bears not even a whiff of resemblance to our gallery of GIDP- and whiff-happy goofballs.

Like Mulder, I want to believe. I want to take Fat Mikey at face value and say, "Yeah! See? We can just do that again this year!" But no matter how many carloads of Life cereal Mikey eats, I'm not at all convinced. Not with this team. Not unless the Boonies somehow become the Yankees again. Not unless Princess Hal waves her magic wand and makes it all better with power-in-the-clutch pixie dust.

Sure, it's possible. This is nothing if not the streakiest team in recent memory, able to go from zero to pixie in no time and rattle off a string of exciting victories.

It's the braking time that's got me down. We go to zero just as fast and stay there just as long. Maybe longer. If Kay really thinks we can pull off this year what we did in 2009, I want whatever he's drinking in that half-full glass.



We've Got Jessica....Somewhere. Doing something.


 So a real Mike Trout is coming to town, right?  He still plays for the Angels/Halos?

Well, rumor has it, that soon...very soon...our teenage version of Mike Trout will take his first swing with a wooden bat. 

We have been told, when the Yankees signed Jessica Dominguez out of middle school in the DR, that " he is already better than Mike Trout."

I don't want to mention that there are professional sports ( NBA, International Soccer, and University of Alabama Football ) where teenagers have started and starred. 

So it is noteworthy that our teenaged prodigy, and future all star/ Hall of Fame player, is being coddled somewhere, rather than playing the sport for which the Yankees paid him $100 million or whatever it was. 

They are still using nerf balls with him,  and he is hitting off plastic ramp..... learning the rules of the game ( not base running, advancing the runner, or hitting against the shift, however ), and how to interview with an interpreter. 

The truth is;  if Jessica is ever exposed to real players in the real game, he may quickly be viewed as a PR Department's wet dream, and not the real thing.  

Certainly, the Yankees won't expose him to the big leagues until he is a lot older than the shortstop, centerfielder and left fielder we have rotting away in Scranton.  Sitting behind guys who can't hit, field or throw to the correct base.

The Angels, like everyone else in America ( and Canada ) are a lot smarter than we are.  

The smartest guy of all is clearly Shohei Ohtani, who refused to entertain any possibility of playing for the Yankees. And that is why he may be a Hall of Fame candidate.

The walking dead

In 2017, The New York Daily News was reacquired by its blood ancestor, the Tribune Company. This year, the private equity firm Alden Capital—known for slashing newsrooms—bought the Tribune. Go click through the NYDN site for a few minutes and you'll see it's as healthy and vital as Norman Bates' mother. There's the wig. There's the dress. There's Bill Madden.

In 2010, George Steinbrenner died and left The New York Yankees to his kids.

For most of the last 100 years, both institutions meant New York. To pretend that they do today is like eating a whole box of Hot Pockets. All you feel is sick, but somebody made money.





HoraceClarke66: What Genius Got Us into This Fix?

 From the tortured computer of HoraceClarke66:


Even as the Yankees’ equipment truck did its best imitation of a Ben Affleck heist movie, shock waves about the lost weekend up in Fenway reverberated through the Yankiverse. Sort of.

 Hey, the last time the Yanks played this badly up in Fenway Park the rightfielder and the manager nearly killed each other, and the shortstop tried to jump the team.

 This time? Mmm, not so much. 

 There have already been some blood-and-thunder reactions in the sporting press, such as Bill Madden’s column in the Daily News calling for Boone’s head—though to my mind, he was still a head short.

 John Harper, meanwhile, professed himself baffled by the whole situation on SNY, telling us how “This team was built for a championship” and was “essentially the same as the last two [full] years when they won a hundred games.”

 Was it?

 Putting aside for a moment the fact that the last of those seasons was two years ago—a lifetime in professional sports—is this the same Yankees team?

 Not quite. We’re talking a team now with no Didi, no Encarnacion, a very different Andujar playing a new position, no equivalent of Cameron Maybin on the bench. A Gardy who looks 10 years  older. An all-righty lineup versus one that regularly featured 3-4 respectable lefties.

 Harper has a point in that the rapid deterioration of players such as Miggy, LeMahieu, Voit, Tauchman, Hicks, Ford, and especially Frazier and The Gleyber remains somewhat mysterious. But that’s about it.

 The starting staff two years ago included Tanaka, Happ, Paxton, and CC. All were on the downward slide, but still respectable major-league pitchers, and German was having his excellent rookie year. The change here is mysterious to you, Harp?

 But above all, take a look at the pen. In 2019 it was Chapman, Britton, Green, Ottavino, and Kahnle—lefties and righties, all close to or at their peak. Does it really mystify us that Wandy, Lugnut, Cessa and co. don’t measure up?

 Sportswriters, like GMs and Soviet commissars, expect all players to keep performing at their peak value, forever. That’s not how it works.

 But it’s not the writers’ fault that this Yankees team can drop three straight like this up in Boston without a hint of emotion. I’m not saying Ma Boone should challenge Judge to a fight—but right now, any hint of spirit would be welcome.

 If these guys can’t get up for it, why should we?

Monday Funnies - SPOT THE DIFFERENCE !

 

What's the difference between these two drawings? 



Answer: About six wins. 

Unto everything, there is a season: A time to trade, a time to sell, a time to waive, a time to bench, a time to cast away bums... a time to lose, a time to tank.

Yikes. I'm getting 2013 flashbacks - the Obamacare rollout, the Snowden leaks, Treyvon Martin... the year of Lyle Overbay, Vernon Wells, Youk and Pronk - the most disastrous Yankee season in this millennium. Now and then, you reach a moment and it all becomes crystal clear: 

It's happening again.

What did it yesterday was Aaron Judge, who had homered for the only Yankee runs, coming up with the bases loaded and a chance to make it a game. Suddenly, Fenway gulped. The Yankees had a chance at an incredible comeback, the kind that could later be a turning point. 

Judge popped out, of course. I knew he would. You knew he would. He knew he would. Everybody in the world knew he would, and he did. And that's what happens in a clunker year, and this is 2013, the clunker of clunkers, all over again. 

After this weekend, it's clear that the 2021 Yankees are far worse than even we anticipated. Make no mistake: This team could finish below .500.

July will be interesting. There is the Subway Series against the Mets, then the Mariners, Astros, Redsocks (two series) and Rays. There is no cameo appearance by the Tigers, Royals, Orioles or other esteemed cans of tomato. By July 31, the trading deadline, there will be no more waiting on certain players. Unto everything, there is a season... a time to tank.

Around July 31, the Yankees may have to do the single-most painful thing in their last 50 years: Trade Aaron Judge. They might have to do a Mookie. Why? Well, he's 29, he's going to demand a 10-year contract, our owner refuses to spend past the de facto salary cap, and - well - he popped up yesterday with the bases loaded, to the surprise of nobody. 

Judge would not be alone on the block. Aroldis Chapman would go (unless his no-trade clause negates it.) Gary Sanchez is hitting again! He might fetch a middling prospect. Luke Voit? Why not? 

Corey Kluber won't return until September. He's ours. Zack Britton might make it back in August. Would he bring something? Gleyber Torres? Make us an offer. Clint Frazier and  Miggy? Sad to see them go. But who would say no?  

Down in Scranton, the Yankees have a "youngster" (he's 25) named Hoy Jun Park. He's hitting .360 in 30 games, plays SS and 2B and bats left-handed. Bring him up. Why not?  There is a 26-year-old OF named Trey Amburgey. He's hitting .356. He's never moved the needle in prospect rankings, but I wonder: Could Frazier or Andujar hit .356 in Scranton? I mean, how long do we go with these guys? 

Then there is the whale in our swimming pool: Giancarlo Stanton. Nobody will take his contract. He's a Yankee for life. The franchise must simply write off his $30 million annual salary. I say, play Stanton in LF. If he gets hurt, he gets hurt. Insurance pays the tab. We can finish fourth with him, we can finish fourth without him. His best year came in the NL, when he played the OF. What do we have to lose by playing him? 

This weekend, it became clear that Boston is not a mirage. They have bypassed us, and Toronto is next. One of these days, we will feel a breath on our neck and see a young Orioles team ready to whoosh past us, as well.    

July should be interesting. But across the Yankiverse, August and September will probably be football season.  

Oh, one other thing: Boone must go. And Cashman too. There is a time for everything, and tank time is coming. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Don't You Worry...It Is A Long Season


We still have 13 games, head to head, with Boston.

If they are 13 games ahead of us, all we have to do is win those games and we are tied. 

We have players coming back that, according to Boone, are " better than any trade we could make."

He means that underhand/sidearm pitcher Day By Day, and Justin Wilson,  and very, very soon, Severino.

In the meantime we have Krispe or Kripspe who pitched the 9th today, and Abreu who can also play outfield.

And don't Forget, Clint Frazier is on the cusp of .200 hitting and .200 throwing to the correct spot on the field.

Andujar is proving to be a highly tradeable entity.  We lose nothing if he goes. 

And Torres will soon be back at the .240 level, even though his throwing accuracy and range are suspect. 

At the corners we are slow.  I admit. 

But Urshela is a great glove and Voit swings hard, every time up. His pace to first base is record setting.  He would lose a race to first base against guys on stilts.  

Here's a nightmare: Voit is given the steal sign. 

Judge will hit 8 more solo home runs, and strike out 14 more times with the bases loaded, when he is the tying run.

And we have Stanton for 7 more years. 

Hicks will be back next year, and maybe Gardy, too.  

Judging by the numerics, Mike King might just be our most reliable starter for the second half. 

Boone will help these guys " push through. We just have to keep pushing." If only the Yankees were a pregnant cow, although they do run like one. 

So no worries, mates.  This thing hasn't even really started yet. 

Let's just say the season starts when the Mets come to town.

HoraceClarke66: Fourth time is DEFINITELY NOT a charm

From the troubled computer of HoraceClarke66...

Let’s face it:  they’re baa-ack. 

No matter how the rest of this series or even this season goes, like demented cicadas on a hopped-up schedule the Boston Red Sox are back. This makes the fourth tear down and build up of our nemesis to the north since the traumatic events of October, 2004.

 The Carmine Hose have, yet again, built up a genuine contender, and the odds are that they will bring home another ring to Kenmore before our New York Yankees so much as grab their next division title.

 I would blame this on a flip in karma, or the bargain Jake Ruppert made with Mr. Scratch expiring, or some other magical mystery turn. But then I would be just like them, all those Red Sox fans blaming their misfortune on the Curse of the Bambino, or some piano that was pushed into a pond rather than eight decades of racists, fools, and scoundrels filling the front office and the manager’s seat in the dugout.

 Do you remember January 17th, 2002? I do. It was the day MLB approved the sale of the Red Sox to John Henry and Tom Werner. 

 I laughed. Henry and Werner were known at that time as a pair of geeky billionaire vandals, who went roaming around the country wrecking the likes of the San Diego Padres and the Florida Marlins for their own entertainment and profit.


 
All of New England was enraged, just seething mad, and the mood didn’t improve when the Red Sox’ new owners immediately launched a campaign to tear down Fenway Park. Next, they installed a 28-year-old numbers wonk—known mostly as the son of a pretty fair novelist and the grandson and grand-nephew of the men who wrote Casablanca—as the general manager.

 

What a joke! Well, at least we won’t have to worry about Boston for the next decade or so, I remember chortling.

The chortle was on us, of course. The sad reality was that, beginning on that January day in 2002, the Red Sox had smarter management than the Yankees for the first time in about 85 years.

Even after Epstein went off to work his magic at Wrigley, the Sox kept winning. Or rather, they kept on winning, tanking, and winning again.

This now makes four total, top-to-bottom renovations since 2004. All along the way, for almost 20 years now, they have outwitted us.

When the Yanks were picking up the likes of A-Rod and Giambi and…Raul Mondesi, they went Ortiz and Mueller and Millar, and Johnny Damon. While we grabbed Jose Contreras, “The Bronze Giant,” out from under their noses, they were busy developing Youkilis and Pedroia, and snatching up our own Mike Lowell.

 We went Randy Johnson? They went Curt Schilling. And Josh Beckett. They went Dice-K? We went…Kei Igawa.  When we went Giancarlo Stanton, they went J.D. Martinez.   

 When even terrific players and prospect didn’t pan out, the Red Sox didn’t hesitate. Off they went. Babe Benitendi, Jackie Rogers Bradley, Jr., Carl Crawford, David “The Churl” Price—it didn’t matter.

 They didn’t hitch them to some new, multi-year, gazillion-dollar contract. They shipped them out, for whatever they could get. Even a franchise player like Mookie Betts. He won a ring with the Dodgers? That’s nice. The Sox are already well on their way to their next ring, courtesy of Bogaerts and Devers and Verdugo.

 Sure, there have been some small disasters.

 Their 2003 managerial meltdown, and when the Yanks took the 2005 division title in Fenway, on the last weekend of the season. Boston Massacre II in 2006, and how after winning their first 8 games against us in 2009 they lost 9 of the next 10, and the division. The great collapse in 2011, the last-place finishes in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2020. Bobby Valentine.

 But secure in the strength of their farm system and their ability to assess talent at all levels, the Sox roll on, replacing managers and general managers as they leave or stumble.

 But they’ve cheated! I hear you protest. (I have very good hearing.) Yes, they have. The Big Papi Sox were juiced to the gills, and then there was the Dick Tracy two-way wrist radio scandal, and the trash can bangers.

 But so what? Cheating is allowed nowadays, as long as you’re not too blatant about it.

 The 21-century Sox understand that. In fact, they understand everything about the contemporary game of baseball very, very well. Analytics, contracts, payroll caps, young talent, old talent, foreign talent—you name it.

 Above all, they understand how to tear down and build up in the modern game, and how to play for the extended playoff system as well as the long season.

 Hey, you and I may not like much about this modern baseball. For all we know, the Sox don’t either. But they know how to play it. They have rebuilt four times in the past 17 seasons while HAL and George’s favorite office boy spent most of that time polishing his own reputation.

 Indeed, the further we’ve come from the great core built by the Blessed Trinity of Stick-Bob-Buck, the more one-sided the whole contest has become.  2002-2012:  Yanks with 6 division titles, 1 ring; Sox with 1 and 2; 2013-2020: Yanks with 1 division title, no rings; Sox with 4 and 2.

 And counting? We’ll see. Maybe they don’t have quite enough this year, but they’ll be back stronger than ever—while another certain franchise continues to both burn out and fade away. 

 

Fear the worst: Boston could win another World Series

Why are the Yankees like the owners of Champlain Towers in Surfside, Fla?

Before this weekend's catastrophic collapse, they ignored numerous warnings about structural weaknesses in their core. They had opportunities to fix the problems. They just didn't want to spend the money.  

And now, as we grope for one measly win, it's time for the Yankiverse to face yet another terror: 

Boston might do it again. 

Last year, while we chased a ridiculous, half-season, pandemic pennant, the Redsocks surgically tanked - jettisoning high-priced veterans (even Mookie), restocking their farm clubs and finishing dead last - (yes, even a game below Baltimore) - giving them the 4th pick in this week's MLB draft. (Thus, the latest Yankee horror: Could Boston get Jack Leiter?) Their fan base happily accepted this strategy, because it has worked four times in the last 20 years. 

It's time to face the reality: In the modern era, Boston is absolutely crushing us. 

Their team - which we pooh-poohed all spring - is a serious contender to win the franchise's fifth World Championship in this millennium.

The Yankees have two. In moments of pride, we can call ourselves "The 2009 World Champion New York Yankees!"

Often, in open tribal warfare, Yankee fans chant "Twenty Seven Rings." at Boston folks. This is sad. This is like a northerner, entering a Walmart and shouting at the greeter, "War Between the States!" 

People, we are starting to look pathetic. Seriously, fans of other teams no longer go out of their way to give me shit. They feel sorry for me. 

How many times do we watch other teams purposely self-immolate - only to a year later shoot past us in the standings, while we jog in place with former all-starts, four years past their sell-by dates? 

Yeesh. Is it happening again? 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

The Differences Are Obvious


 I have watched the first 3.5 innings of the Red Sox game and am soon to be relieved of that chore by the arrival of dinner guests.

I will not attempt to predict the outcome of tonight's game ( because Boone says our offense will soon come together ), but here is what I see.

1.  The Red Sox make contact.  We do not.

2.  The Red Sox have speed.  We do not.

3.  The Red Sox hustle.  We do not.

4.  The Red Sox make plays.  We do not.

5.  They have 4 infield hits in three innings.  We do not.

No worries.  We still have 14 more games with these guys.

Britton and Peralta on the 10 day

 Thank God we could call up Kriske and Abreu to replace them.

We're doomed.

No Worries


 We still have 15 games against these guys.

All we have to do is win 10 of them and we'll be tied for first.

How have we done in the first four, I just can't seem to recall?

We have a monster line-up.  Lots of guys capable of prodigious "exit" velocities.

Boone says these guys " are very close to showing what they can do."

So why am I still worried?

Duque? 

PS: Lately, even when our "ACE" holds the opposition to two runs and 7 innings, we often lose. Then other guys pitch.

Is Severino back yet?

It's sunny, it's warm, the days are perfect, and we must not let the Yankees ruin summer

Zack Britton is hurt, again. He tweaked something last night. Hammy, probably. The Death Barge will downplay it, of course. But Britton could miss another two months, making his 2021 season a total wipeout. 

Whoopie!

Nathan Eovaldi pitches against us tonight, again. Yeesh, does this guy hold a grudge, or what? Get over it, buddy. Yeah, the Yankees waived you. It's not like you were all that good. Now, you have a ring. Haven't we paid enough? Leave us the fuck alone.

Uncle! 

The Yankees last night struck out 10 times. (As did the Redsocks.) Once upon a time, a 10-K night was the stuff of a Rapid Robert or a Sudden Sam. Now, it's a Lucas Luetge and a Garret Whitlock. It's normalcy. (Actually, it's sorta low.) Last night, 34 Yankees came to bat; 13 of them - counting walks - did not put a ball into play. (For Boston, 32 batters and 14 nothing burgers.) Over all, 27 players came to bat without a play in the field. (In our big inning, the crucial at-bat was a bases-loaded walk.) 

Good grief, is this worth watching?

The Yankees have no player hitting .300 - or even .290. Our HR leader, Aaron Judge, is tied for 16th in MLB. Our RBI leader - Judge - is tied for 58th. Fifty-eighth. (And get this: He's tied with Maikel Franco, a Baltimore 3B who is hitting .208.) We have no speed, no hitter reputed for his clutch play. The games last four hours, with Yankees having built a Gigantic Frustration Machine.

Tedious.  

But but BUT... if we somehow win tonight, Gerrit Cole pitches Sunday afternoon, and we still have a half-season left to make amends for this miserable predicament that we long ago assigned ourselves to - rooting for the NY Yankees.

Well, I am not going to waste any more of this beautiful summer day pining over a dreadful team.  

Crowds in the streets are chanting, "Free Britney!" Sure, why not? But I would add, "FREE US FANS!" 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Boston thread

 


Finally, it's Boston. But as Yogi might say, "It's getting early, late."

 
It's sorta crazy that the Death Barge has not visited Boston yet this year. Already, the Yankees have played:

13 games against Tampa
12 games against Toronto
10 games against Baltimore

and yet... a mere three - (3!) - against the Redsocks. That leaves 16 games, counting tonight, against our new millennium tormentors. Sixteen games. A tenth of the season. 

Normally, on regular meds, I would take this occasion to opine - loudly, urgently and with suitable moisture of the mouth - that tonight begets an absolutely critical series, that the Yankees must absolutely win at least two of three, that being swept would absofukkinlutely end our season, blah blah absolute blah. This would come with my usual Airing of Yankee Grievances. 

Comrades, I'm sorry. It's just not there.

After this weekend, regardless of what happens, the Yankees will still have 13 games  remaining with Boston. That's enough to settle any score, enough to put whatever transpires tonight into a deep memory hole. 

If you were expecting a "Free Britney!"-level screed about Clint Frazier, or yet another wistful take on Chris "Oumuamua" Gittens, I'm sorry. I don't have it in me. 

The current Yankees/Redsocks "rivalry" is a Ticketmaster-inspired hoax. There hasn't been an absofukkinlutely critical game between the two since the 2004 ALCS game seven  -(No, I shan't go there) - the 2018 Divisional Series, when they whupped our sorry asses us in four. Surely, the aging, White Claw-drinking frat boys of Boston will shower us with bile and bite, with spite and spit, but they know in their hearts that it's Tampa they must truly fear. And their most important looming event is the MLB draft, where their fourth pick could be the son of Al Leiter, a selection that could haunt Yankee fans for many years. If only there were a filibuster for fans. To avoid seeing Jack Leiter in a Boston jersey, I would go to the draft and talk until the end of time. But Joe Manchin would shoot me down.

Look... don't get me wrong: Tonight begins a big series - Jack Curry! Keys to the Game!  Look at that O'Neill eat! Blah blah blah. If we beat Boston in Boston, we'll win the Mayor's Trophy, vault back into the thick of the AL East - all the crap we endured in the first three months, it's window dressing at the Gap. Tampa hasn't been right since Tyler Glasnow went down, Boston looks wobbly, and let's not kid ourselves: Toronto - if and when it returns to Toronto - could be scary. (Yeesh, they're somehow still in it, too?) 

Yesterday, we kicked around a tomato can. (Twelve walks in one game? Really?) Tonight will be - well - interesting. But let's not buy into the YES narrative. Whatever happens, it's closer to the beginning than the end. There's a long, brutally hot summer ahead, people. Fires are starting. Buildings are collapsing. Viruses are mutating. God only knows what we'll look like in October. Same goes for the AL East. Sixteen games against Boston, beginning tonight. You load sixteen games, whaddaya get, another day older and deeper in debt...

Thursday, June 24, 2021

A joyous finale in the Bronx obscures some grim realities

Hate to be a party poop. In fact, I seek only love and joy. 

That's why I became a Yank fan, many moons (and Mooses) ago. In my womb-watered years, I watched Mantle & Maris, Yogi & Blanchard, Whitey & Ellie, and concluded - as anyone rightly would - that normalcy in America meant the Yankees always won.  

Okay, I was wrong. The truth is that normalcy in America means the Yankees always play to a far extreme. They either triumph magnificently or lose insufferably. It's either the candy or the lit cigar. It's a psychological trap, one that scars you and, in the end, fosters the type of loyalty that could only be matched by the love of a moose for his flying squirrel.

But here's a spooky reality: 

To this day, I still cannot process wild games like last night. 

Certainly, I am here to celebrate a great Yankee win. (Remember Rule 52: Every Yankee win is a great Yankee win.) Some of today's articles of hope:

1. We won a Michael King game. 

2. Luke Voit is back. For now.

3. Gary Sanchez may be salvageable after all. (Note: I still have PTSD from three seasons of distress. But if Gary could return to a semblance of form, it would be a huge plus for humankind.)

4. We are four behind Boston (loss column) with three games there this weekend.  

5. The strange saga of Rougned Odor continues. Is he a keeper? Is he done? Is he really a clutch hitter? Yeesh. 

6. Clint Frazier... Yeah, I know. Why torture ourselves? Last night, he had a big hit. Double to right-center. What does it mean? Beats me. If Clint were to become the player we wanted (stupidly?), the boost to our lineup would be staggering. But he's still below .200, and how many times have we wrongly assumed he was finally rising from Zolio Amontehood. These days, Britney herself has a better chance of breaking out. 

Then there is the less-than-jubilant side.  

1. Pass the word: No lead is safe. Our bullpen lug nuts - El Chapo, Britton and Loaisiga - just got pissed on. For Chapstick, it's scary. Can you see him trying to hold a one-run lead this weekend in Fenway? A blown save would be devastating, and at any time, he's capable of melting down.

2. We may be approaching a "meh" normalcy from our towers of power - Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. I don't know how to put this, because both have shown positive signs. But if they continue "as is," we are watching two "great sluggers" who hit about .270 with 30 HRs. That's not nuthin,' but it's not the heart of a world championship lineup. We've always dreamed of two Triple Crown threats, back to back, terrorizing the oppo. These days, I dunno. Maybe it just isn't there.

3. People, the team we just went toe-to-toe with is - gulp - Kansas City. K-fukkin-C, with a record of 33-39. And if the season ended today, we would be an afterthought, not even a wild card. 

4. Today, it's Tailspin Tailon. (Which saves him from pitching in Boston.) Yikes, do we need this or what? 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

HFB to EFD

 Per the bench coach the Yankees training table and buffet guy, our esteemed leader ( EFD = El F****** DUQUE )


.......is 47 years old today.

Happy F****** Birthday ( HFD)

So HFB to EFD



Love,

Anon ( see photo )

In one night, the Yankees once again strangle what hopes that seemed to briefly sprout


Aww, shoot, Yankees... you rascals, you got me. My bad... I fell for it... hook, line and stinker. 

Damn. The same ol' joke, from the same ol' Yankees, losing the same ol' way... I shoulda known better. Stupid, stupid, stupid... I'm too old for this. 

They win four of five, come from behind a few times, and there I go - thinking this team would - aww, shoot - what was I smoking?   

Last night, the New Millennium Yankees were on full display. Stranded base runners. A blown lead. Strikeouts. Errors of judgement. In every critical moment, something  went wrong.

But this was no anomaly. This is us. We keep waiting for someone, anyone, to lead us from the darkness. But we're walking in circles. I hate to say this but... 

Clint Frazier is not improving. All these years, we've waited for his inevitable stardom. It may have been a mirage. Last night, he went 0-5 with three Ks, including one in the ninth with the tying run on second. For one brief brain fart this week, I foresaw him raising his average above .200 - (that's a measly .200, mind you) - and securing a corner OF slot. Nope. This isn't working. Frazier needs to go to Scranton, reboot his swing and hit .350. Maybe he can return in September. At this point, Socratres Brito cannot do worse. And we're going nowhere.

Gleyber Torres - 1 for 20 in the last week - may also be reaching a point of no return. It's hard to imagine that in 2019, he hit 38 HRs. (This year, he has three.) For the last three months, the YES announcers have pounced upon every hopeful moment - a base on balls, a line drive, a bloop single - as a sign that Gleyber is back. But he's not back. It may just be that he is a mediocre SS who had a good year and then flatlined. (See Odor, Rougned.)

Last night, the Rays unveiled Wander Franco, reputed to be the best prospect in all of baseball. He whacked a three-run HR - (imagine that, a HR with runners on base!) - to lift Tampa. He's 20. They're already comparing him to Vlad Jr. and Tatis - an MVP-level acquisition. The mere notion of such an impact player boosting Tampa reminds us that their organization is an assembly line of young talent. (Meanwhile, we bring in Odor, Rougned.) The Yankees are only three games (in the loss column) behind Tampa, four behind Boston. But yeesh, these teams are growing younger. 

Today's fear must be for Jonathan Loaisiga, who last night took some tough breaks -  broken bat singles and a hiccup by the normally reliable Tyler Wade. Loaisiga's history is one of perennial injuries. Last night, he just didn't look right. Keep your fingers crossed.

Remember the name Shed Long? He's the 2B we received from Cinncinati for Sonny Gray. We dealt him to Seattle for a minor league OF, now with Pittsburgh. Long homered last night - his second game-winning hit in three nights - to beat Colorado. He's 25. A second baseman on the upswing. What a concept. (We have Odor, Rougned.) 

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Luke Voit 3.0


Okay.  We survived Luke's second extended stay on the IL.

Tonight, he returns to the line-up to face pretty much the same AA pitching he was seeing in New Jersey.

So the question for this audience is: How will Luke " work his way" back in to MLB?

I say, he will not hit right away.

He will take some mighty cuts, and catch mostly air.

My worry is that he swings so hard that the destroys the ligaments and tendons of his upper body. Much as he did when we saw Luke 2.0.

He is also likely to add to the Yankees League lead in " Hit Into Double Plays ."  As he smacks a ball hard, into the shift, and is slow-footed to first base.

But there will be plenty of time for Kay, Cone and O'neil to remark that the Yankees finally have their infield back. 

Luckily, Voit will not need to be productive in game one.  

Cole is pitching.  And the Royals are in town. 

And it is likely better that Voit not get on base, and have to use his legs.  

Who else is feeling good about this?


Which Yankees will show up tonight? The grinders who beat Oakland? Or the team that has folded all year?

As we've heard before... it's deja vu, all over again... 

First time: After a miserable April, the Yankees came alive. They won 11 of 14, beating Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Washington and even Tampa. Remember that historic Bomber lineup? Aaron Hicks in center! Kyle Higashioka behind the plate! And Setback Sevy healing in Tampa. We were on our way!

Then we took time off to suck.

Then came that magical week in late May. Cory Kluber threw his no-hitter. Remember Cory? (I even forgot that he spells it "Corey.") We luxuriated through five quality starts - FIVE! - even one by Tailspin Tailion! We won five in a row, FIVE! With Setback Sevy healing in Tampa. We were on our way! 

Then we lost five of six.

Okay, yeah... we've deja vued this before. It's the part of the movie where Batman beats up the Joker only to find that it was merely a diversion, and Gotham City is now in the clutches of the nefarious Catwoman, who is pissed that Batman refuses to - ahem - have you been following Twitter lately? Seems as though the Caped Crusader won't - um - perform a certain - uh - oral function for the fearsome feline feminist fatale. It's time for our boy to take off that mask. He either steps up or - well - he's Ben Affleck, who - have you been following Twitter lately? - is cowl-deep in a romantic Kekick/Peterson bootie swap with A-Rod. (I'm not making this up. After Affleck - Redsock fan alert - was seen canoodling J-Lo, A-Rod was reported snuggling Affleck's ex. Who is keeping score here? Is this the end of the pandemic, or the end of civilization?) 

Beginning tonight, the Death Barge hosts KC for three big games. (Note: Every Yankee game is a big game.) Already, demented bloggers across the Yankiverse are eyeballing the Royals roster, pondering various players that Cooperstown Cashman should scoop up like a whale gulping krill. Talk was heavy about Andrew Benintendi, until he cracked a rib. But the way some folks talk about trades, you'd think we had an endless supply of prospects, instead of a Scranton outfield of Socrates Brito, Thomas Milone and Ryan LaMarre. Listen: The Railriders cavalry is not coming, unless we want to trade away the rest of this decade for another Lance Berkman (and maybe give up another Mark Melancon.) 

Make no mistake: This is the real Hope Week. The Yankees need to beat the Royals like a rented mule and then put down Boston in its own back yard. The days are getting shorter. The season is no longer young. And Setback Sevy is still in Tampa. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Three Things....


 

.....I never want to hear again:

1.  "RHP Darren O'Day will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday."

2.  "Justine Wilson threw a light bullpen session Sunday."

3.  " Luis Severino played catch for the second day in a row. "

I don't care if Boone says these guys " are doing really well."  

I don't want to see thing 1 or thing 2 in the Bronx.  Ever.

Thing 3 should simply "disappear" until next year. 

 He can show up in spring training and compete with all the other 30 year old things. 

Maybe under a new name. 

Tampa is crumbling, but the Yankees will have to handle Boston, personally

Suddenly deprived of their ace - Tyler Glasnow has a partial elbow tear, aka a "Tanaka" -the Rays have lost six straight and first place in the AL East. That puts Boston in command, with the Yankees visiting Fenway on Friday for three games.

July is near, the days are growing shorter, and it's time for a standardized character assessment test of the '21 Yankees. 

They must beat Boston in their evil lair and show that the zombie Yankees of the first three months have been effectively shot in the brain. Though the YES propaganda arm and the front office will claim this team is contending, there is ample time for the '21 Yanks' to show their signature move: Win a few games, and then give everything back.

But here's something we didn't see coming: A renewed Gary Sanchez bringing clutch hits and sound defense.

Let me repeat the offer of last week:

Mr. Sanchez, we will happily take back every disparaging word we've ever uttered about you, if you continue to play with smarts and spit. We recognize there will be slumps and bumps... just give us smarts and spit, that's all. Smarts and spit.

Among MLB catchers, Sanchez ranks 16th in average, fifth in HRs and  11th in RBIs. He is rising quickly. (In the last 15 games, hitting .313. In the last seven, .333.) Not since his comic book rookie half-season has he shown such positives. This appears to be due to an adjustment in his stance. If so, MLB pitchers will eventually adjust to his adjustment, and he'll need to readjust to their readjustment. But with Sanchez hitting, the Yankees replace a nearly nightly golden sombrero with an extra base threat. In close games - like the last five come-from-behind wins - the difference is incredible.

The last five victories have revived the team and the fan base. No longer does a game seem out of reach, if the opponent scores two in the first. Moreover, the Yankees drew nearly 28,000 on Sunday, about 4,000 more than each of the first two home games, since the Covid restrictions went poof. They now face a certifiable tomato can - the Royals are six games below .500 - a series they must win, if not sweep, to get within striking distance of the wild card.

Then the test comes Friday. It's time for the Yankees to make their move.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

After 70 games, the Yankee outfield may have finally taken shape, and it'll mean more pressure on their marquee player

Happy Fathers Day, everybody (you know who you are...

So we can all start drinking early, let's make this short. 

This season, the Death Barge has asked a lot of Aaron Judge. He bats second, almost never misses a day, and can't even rate a mini-rest, as the DH. He is a fixture in right field, where his defense (my opinion here) is as great as any Yankee since Roger Maris. (See chart. Am I right?) 

Well, Judge's workload may need to grow. 

The Yankees need him in centerfield.

Yesterday, with two doubles and a walk, Clint Frazier showed signs (fingers crossed) of emerging from his abyss. Frazier's next hit will propel him past .200 - a meager achievement, no tickertape, please - lessening his anxiety when the Jumbotron welcomes him to the plate. We can only hope he is finally here. If Frazier continues to fail, the worst-case scenario - that we trade him for a Zolio Ponson, and he breaks out with another team - could haunt the franchise for years.   

Coupled with Miguel Andujar's recent resurgence (fingers crossed), Frazier would give the Yankees two corner outfielders who need to play every day. 

That puts Judge - gulp - in center. 

Thus far, the  Yankee offense has been a disaster. The team must do whatever it can to score runs. That means Frazier and Andujar on the corners, with Brett Gardner - closing in on age 38, and hitting a scratch .212 - as a distant fourth OF. 

Gardy can still bring late-inning defense, pinch hit in key matchups and spell the starters, now and then. Yesterday, his perfect sacrifice bunt warmed the hearts of old-school dads everywhere. He is the de facto Yankee captain. But his days are already getting shorter. He hit .223 last year, with diminishing power. He cannot be our everyday centerfielder.

Judge needs to play CF. Yes, it means more wear and tear on his frame. Yes, it's a gamble that he won't get hurt. And yes, it's certainly no sure thing that Frazier and Andujar will hit. But the All-Star break is barely a month away. It's time for the Yankees to make their move. All hands on deck. And Judge in center.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Aaron's Folly


 Okay, Aaron, think away...

 1.  Let's bury Gittins on the bench.  That homer and his 3 RBIs against Toronto will fade into a memory of AA ball.

2.   Start Odor because he hit a meaningless solo homer.  And is pushing .190.

3.  By all means give Frazier a turn, as he looked good watching strike three ( down the middle ) last night. 

4.  I'm going to be sick....  actually, its better than watching. 



Afternoon ball thread

 


Suzyn has had ENOUGH!

 She's sick and tired of calling games from a monitor. 


Night in the Bronx: A half-full stadium, a prodigal son, and a rare moment of scorn from John & Suzyn

One superpower of modern Yankee teams is their ability to flounder. 

Whenever they seem on the verge of breaking out - of launching a winning streak - they magically bring forth a clunker. 

You wonder if or when this proclivity will ever affect game attendance, that is, the bottom line. Probably never, right?

Last night, the Yankees held "Re-Opening Day" in a city delirious over the perception - right or wrong- that the pandemic is history, the beer is free, anybody be mayor, and the good dope is back. Washington Square is a nightly Woodstock. The Boss is coming back to Broadway. With the Death Barge coming off a sweep in Buffalo, if ever the time seemed ripe for a full Yankee Stadium - 55,000 and up - it was last night. 

Well, they drew about 24,000. That's a Cleveland v Tampa Tuesday night crowd.  

Dismal turnout for a dismal team.

There can be unrelated reasons for the mini-crowd. Maybe fans aren't ready to cut loose. Maybe they don't trust newly opened health guidelines. Maybe they're stuck to the couch. Maybe this re-opening caught them by surprise. I dunno. I'm just sitting with the channel changer.

But here's a thought: Maybe the Yankees just don't look like anything special. Once again, last night, they fell on their faces. I've come to think Cashman doesn't need to find a lefty slugger or a fifth starter. What he needs is 100 games against Baltimore. The Yankees beat on tomato cans, then turn into Logan Paul against a solid team. I think the fan base knows this. 

The 2021 Yankees are a lousy product. If they were a shampoo, your hair would fall out on the third day. I wouldn't go to a game if I lived across the street and the internet was out. It's getting hard enough just to listen.

Nice to see James Kaprielian last night, though it hurts. All game, both YES and the The Master discussed how the Yankees traded the former first-rounder for Sonny Gray, and how it's taken Kaprielian years to make The Show. They framed it as a long, hard, heroic journey, and certainly, that is a valid narrative.  

But I think the Yankee-affiliated announcers conveniently short-sheeted the ongoing horror of that deal.  

In 2017, Oakland dealt Sonny to the Yankees at the deadline. We gave up Kaprielian, Dustin Fowler (now with Pittsburgh) and Jorge Mateo (now with San Diego).

Sonny had been a rock in Oakland - an ERA of 3.43 and a winning record. But in NY, his ERA rose by 30 points, and he went 4-7. Yikes.

The following year, he was worse - an ERA of 4.90. Thus, we shipped him to Cincinnati, where he then became an all-star and a Cy Young finalist (a 2.87 ERA.) 

Basically, in that deal, we received nothing but pain. (By the way, we traded Sonny for Shed Long, a good-looking 2B with the Mariners and a draft pick, which turned out to be TJ Sikkema, who has missed the last two years.)

Fuck me. In those deals, nothing worked for the Yankees. 

As we head toward the July 30 deadline, with a shaky team that might be better served by tanking for next year, I sure hope the Yankees remember Sonny Gray and James Kaprielian...

Because, gulp, Jameson Tailon looks like the next Sonny Gray.

Last night, both John and Suzyn were uncharacteristically critical of Aaron Boone's decision to pull Tailon with two outs in the fifth. Suzyn wondered how Tailon can ever gain confidence when the team shows none for him. John agreed. It's rare for the twosome to question a managerial decision, and - natch - they quickly chug-a-lugged their words when reliever Wandy Peralta recorded the third out. (A long drive that took Brett Gardner to the wall - foreshadowing what was to come.) 

Well, Peralta faced one-too-many batters, surrendering the three-run HR that sank the Yankees. So it goes.

I wonder: If a bad team sucks in a half-empty park, should anybody care?