Monday, June 14, 2021

Across the Yankiverse, fans are waking up from The Big Lie

Yesterday, in the bottom of the second, with Phillie runners on second and third, John Sterling offered a frightening assessment for the day. The Master warned that this could be a defining at-bat, because a base hit could put Philadelphia up 4-0 - a hole too deep for the Yankees to escape.

Wow. Think about it. A four-run lead: Game over. 

Sterling wasn't just referencing a dickless Yankee attack. He was reflecting upon a deep, overwhelming emptiness of the team's soul - a death of spirit that runs throughout the franchise. Down by four? Forget it. Runners in scoring position? Forget it. And later, in a 7-0 trench, John and Suzyn barely concealed their disgust when Rougned Odor was thrown out at third, trying to advance on a grounder in front of him - a baserunning blunder common to Little Leaguers and the '21 Yankees.

This zombie team needs to be put down.

Soon - like, tomorrow? - the Yankees either start winning or face a rain of critical abuse, unlike anything since the Chris Carter/Chase Headley era of 2017. TV sets will start flying out windows. Actually, it might be too late. This team has too many holes in its lineup, and the injury bug is not finished. One dark aspect of yesterday's loss was that Aaron Judge - our lone offense, of late - is battling back spasms. Few Yankees win that fight.  

The most amazing aspect of the '21 Yankees is how the front office - with help from YES and a collapsed NYC sports media -sold The Big Lie to their fans. Newsmax and OAN have nothing on this.

We swallowed what the hype machine churned out: That the Yankees were clear favorites in a diminished AL East. We came to believe that a batting order didn't need LH bats, that a pitching staff could be comprised entirely of reclamation projects, that injuries would simply not happen.  

Soon, it will be time to move on from 2021. Ready or not, several dice roll prospects from Scranton will need to be promoted. Disappointments like Clint Frazier and Jameson Tailon will need another go at Triple A, or perhaps a new city. It is genuinely frightening how defeated this team looks, as it heads to Buffalo to face the ascending Blue Jays, with a young and hungry lineup. 

The Yankees now rank 15th in the 2022 Tankathon - yesterday's loss moved them up two slots in the quest for next year's draft. They stand one game above .500... fourth place in the AL East, eight-and-a-half games behind Tampa. Even the Wild Card is starting to look unlikely. 

Yesterday, in just the second inning, John Sterling saw a crossroads. Tomorrow in Buffalo, I suspect he also knows what's at stake. A season on the brink.


Anonymous said...

The firing of Boonie, the worst managerial appointment in Yankee history, must be immediate!! The problem remains that Cashboy gets to choose the replacement, we could actually get someone worse like Tiny Tim who also has no major league experience. My point is that Cashboy has to be fired along with Boonie or nothing changes!! I doubt our baseball ILLITERATE owner has the balls to pull the trigger, I doubt he could pass the Steinbrenner sperm test. This is a leaderless team, devoid of unity, divided by players that refuse to even speak the English language. This team is equivalent to a Stage 4 cancer patient, there is no hope left for survival. While the baton is being passed, it's time for the Steinbrenner's to give Hal a retirement pass to the horse farm in Ocala or sell the damn team to someone who actually cares about the greatest franchise in sports history

Kevin said...

Yeah, it's pathetic when our Great Red Hope, after 683 at bats has a total of .5 WAR, a .240 batting average, a terrible .324 obp considering that he has only 29 home runs, a so-so slugging of .436 (especially considering most of those ABs were during the rocket ball years, an OPS+ of 104. In short, he's a starter on a second division club, on a first division club he's a good fourth outfielder. 'But, but, but he's been jerked around by a malicious front office (strange, given that he was The Brain's fair-haired boy for so long), which is crazy talk that a GM would try to ruin a promising young career. And getting jerked in and out of the lineup is part and parcel of a young player's development (young HOF'ers excepted, usually). I had high hopes along with most of you, but time is starting to run out (maybe not, considering that he's dirt cheap. Pinning hopes on the likes of Tyler Wade because he's fast is crazy talk. He turns 27 this year hitting a robust .197 for his career. Why is he, along with Odor even on the club? Because we have NOBODY in AAA who will be ready for the Majors this year (nice going Brain), although considering all the calamity that has befallen the infield this year picking up Odor for NOTHING was a fairly shrewd move. Finally, I submit for your perusal one Luke Voit, age 30. A late-blooming power hitting first baseman. A credit to the club. But another physical wreck in the mold of Stanton, his high water mark for games played, 118. The only time that he's gone over 100. His style of play has made him one of my favorites, but I won't vest too much emotionally in him, when he becomes a free agent he'll be gone, if not before. One more thing regarding bringing up talented, fast, high energy players who some here are touting. Perazza the shortstop is at AA, there is just NO FUCKING WAY he's ready this year, and probably the following year as well. And Florial, on the scouts' grading cards of 20-80, he has all kinds of moderately high numbers in many categories. For those unfamiliar with the scale, 50 is average. Well, his Achilles heel turns out to be a hit tool of 40. The reports on him is that he has trouble picking up rotation on pitches, and that he is proned to bouts of swinging for the fences, which leads to him to gradually lengthening his swing, with slumps to follow. Part of his issues is that he has missed a lot of time with injuries and covid. Perhaps it's not too late for him to sharpen the tool. I hope so. Of course we'll trade him a little too soon, then that team trades him to Tampa where they know how to coach, and, and.......... The Brain's strategy for the past for the past twenty-plus years has been to go for the uber-athletes, particularly in the Caribbean where they can be bought cheap. Then he drafts high-school (preferably with TJS just completed) pitchers who, at best, make it to the Majors in 5-7 years, same logic with college pitchers. Trying that strategy for maybe five years would be understandable, 20 years is simply being stubborn. He can't get past the idea that great concepts don't always work the way you expect. Very bad flaw for a GM. I could channel Billy Joel's "We didn't start the Fire" naming the can't miss players in 25 years but I might jump in front of a car. But one name, DREW HENSON, ranked for two or three years in all the major "sources" higher than anyone that we currently have in the minors. "Absolute can't miss". OK, time for the bath salts........

mik said...

This zombie team needs to be put down. Enough said.

Say it again.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if John and Suzyn believe, in the back of their minds, that this is their last year. They are so,and rightfully so, depressed.

They are supposed to be selling a product but they can't. They know what a horrible team this is and love the game so much that they can't help themselves.

They are calling it as they see it.

Two old pros who can't take the ineptitude of their employers and the demise of the team and, even worse, of the game they love.

Our hearts break along with theirs.

I've never heard anything like it. The pain is so apparent.

We are listening to an incredible moment in broadcast history.

Doug K.

Piiax said...

So disgusting, so disheartening. Face the music, Hal. You're making a mockery of your once beloved team. When a team has no spirit management has to go. Maybe trade Judge for Girardi (only kidding a little, that's how desperate I am).

Celerino Sanchez said...

There is no need to add anything to this team. The best route would be to sell off and sink to the bottom for a for years, like the Red Sox did. They can get some good draft picks and start over with a whole new management team. Cashman has hung around far too long and the results reflect that. Does anyone really think that some more Odors or Jamie Garcias are going to win a WS. Those are the type of players they will get, so why prolong the agony.

ranger_lp said...

From the rumor mill...

Some snippets...

When asked if he thinks the Yankees will make a trade, former GM Jim Bowden shared a text he got from Brian Cashman:

“We suck but not for long.” -Cashman

So, what are we talking about here? Starling Marte, seeing as he won’t be extended by the Marlins? A package of Pirates stars Adam Frazier and Bryan Reynolds, both of whom are young enough to fit seamlessly onto the roster for cheap?

Alphonso said...

Hal is still raking in the money.

He has never cared about the Yankees.

As long as Boone and Cashman take the heat, he is fine.

Nothing will change.

Hal signed Stanton, remember.

Anonymous said...

The conventional view was that the Yankees were the favorites in the A.L. to make it to the 2021 World Series. Most of us on this blog knew better.

I heard an interview on WFAN late last night. I forgot the name of the beat writer, I think it was Brian Hoch, and he was saying that he'd picked the Yankees to make the WS, blah, blah, blah. It was very interesting that people could look at the same team and come to such polar opposite conclusions. I thought it was a hilarious interview, unintentionally hilarious, like one of those cult classic movies from the 1980's that is "so bad, it's good".

Anyway, the guy described how he'd asked Aaron Boone a question yesterday about whether the players have become complacent so that losing is now accepted on this ball club. And how Boone snapped and blew a fuse.

He also said he's starting to see shoulders sag, a very bad sign that the players know that this team sucks.

The Hammer of God

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hammer, I thought all those guys picking the Yanks to win the AL were delusional to begin with. The reason was the pitching, or lack thereof.

I didn't expect the hitting to be THIS bad—but that may improve as MLB cracks down on the use of Spider Pig.

The pitching, though, was always going to be mess: a highly overrated bullpen that got worse with a couple of highly predictable injuries; a starting staff made up of one genuine ace, followed by Wishin', an' Hopin', an' Dreamin'...and Bushmills Taliesen.

Sportswriters, like a certain GM I can name, are always impressed by past performance—even when it's followed by years on the DL. Sorry, this Yankees team is bound for 4th place and NYY's first losing record in 29 years.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And Kevin, while I do think that The Red Menace was yanked around in stupid ways, it's also true, as you say, that he didn't have the mental fortitude to handle what a lot of young players go through.

What this boils down to, as someone wrote the other day, was that Cashman traded two of the best relievers in baseball down the stretch in 2016, and essentially came up with Gleyber Torres. Oy...

HoraceClarke66 said...

I hear all those names, too, Kevin—and I agree that Drew Henson was the most aggravating.

I've written this here before, but it bears repeating. Around that time, the late, lamented Village Voice had a short-lived but surprisingly good sports section.

Among the regular writers was a young woman, an NYU grad student who just got interested in the Yankees and baseball and somehow got to write about them. Jennifer something, I think—can't remember the whole name.

Around the height of Henson-Hype, she did this whole analysis claiming that Drew was a fraud—that he had these inflated high school stats because he just developed before other kids. 'How can she possibly know such a thing?' I remember thinking, 'and besides, she's a girl!'

Anyway, Jennifer soon left to pursue a higher degree in literature, in England. Brain Cashman, secure in the knowledge that he had the third baseman of the future, dealt Mike Lowell for a handful of magic beans.

That mistake alone probably cost us at least 2-3 titles. And I remember thinking sometime later, 'Our GM knows less about baseball than a walk-on, English lit sportswriter for the Village Voice. Uh-oh.'

Rufus T. Firefly said...

They're old but fit his style:

And the whole sordid tale:

He's a Casey Jones train wreck.

Kevin said...

Horace, that story, to quote Jimi Hendrix, "Is enough to make me get up and, ahh SCREAM"!

Anonymous said...

@Hoss It's too bad about the Village Voice. Sometimes these indie papers knew what they were talking about. The newspaper business has basically gone ka-put. An unfortunate and unintended side effect of the internet. I don't remember Jennifer _______ myself but I trust your memory.

At the time Brain Cashman was hired as GM, I remember thinking that it's not good to have a pencil pusher as a GM. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Brain ever played any kind of organized baseball. And while it's possible that someone who never played the game can still be a good GM, I just didn't like the move, going from Bob Watson to the Brain. What was wrong with continuing with Bob Watson? Why the change, to a guy who didn't seem to have the necessary know-how or experience? Out of all the qualified candidates out there, this is the guy they choose to be the new GM?

As if having a GM who knows less than a Village Voice newbie could get any worse, now the Brain hires people as coaches who have practically nothing to do with professional baseball. We brought in a pitching coach who is basically a computer algorithm, video reviewing, paper pitching guru. A pitching coach who has never pitched professionally. On top of all that, he didn't even have much experience either.

And regarding Aaron Boone, the same question applies. Out of all the qualified candidates out there, this is the new manager of the Yankees? What I heard from the Brain was that Boone was a great interview. No shit, the man can out-talk Rip Van Winkle's wife. But does that mean that he's best qualified for the job? Seems to me that he's best qualified to be U.S. Diplomat to the United Kingdom.

I just don't get it. Does it make any sense to think that such people could put together a championship caliber team? Now, it's true that the team won championships and had a dynasty during the Brain's tenure, but it seems that they were mostly the result of great work by the previous GMs. And in 2009, that was the year that we threw half a billion dollars around to snare a championship. Since 2009, nothing but stupidity and insanity. We've been putting a band-aid on an elephant's butt every year.

The Hammer of God

Carl J. Weitz said...

Hammer...Cashman was an okay college infielder. He got the job as assistant GM for no other reason that his dad was the manager of a horse track that George Steinbrenner frequented and they became friends. He probably gave George inside info on what horses would win.

And tanking is only a good strategy if your team doesn't have a Brian Cashman overseeing the draft.

Kevin said...

Hammer, I believe that Watson was going to leave, his blood pressure was going through the roof. He might have actually already quit. It's been a long time...

Anonymous said...

Kevin--have you considered hemlock?

Anonymous said...

@Carl, Kevin Thanks, had no idea the Brain was a college player or that Watson had health problems.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Contra the logorrheic Kevin--and, in this case, HC66--most teams do NOT jerk their talented young players around the way the Yankees have done with Frazier and others. They bring them up and give them a legitimate shot and an opportunity to learn from their mistakes--unlike Cashman and Boone, who start yanking people from the starting lineup after three days, jerking them around with defensive replacements and pinch hitters for no good reason, etc. This is NOT typical, and is embedded in the Steinbrennerian DNA of the organization. They were even skittish about Jeter--Clyde King didn't think he was ready in 1996--and damn near started the same routine with him. Fortunately, Jeter got off to a fast start. If he hadn't, he might well have been another of the Yankees' trampled young might-have-beens.

Anonymous said...

Here's how the Yankees' nearly sabotaged Jeter's career before it began. Cashman was not at the helm at the time, and wiser heads prevailed, but this shit, as I said, is part of the organization's DNA and will never end until the Steinbrenners sell the team and all the incompetent, panicky, quick-fix assholes like Cashman and Levine and Boone are a distant memory.

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