Monday, June 7, 2021

Last night's Yankee loss could be a tipping point in 2 ways

 I think it's possible that last night's loss could end up being the most significant game played in MLB this season, for two reasons.

1. The horrendous, what-the-fuck-was-that third-strike call on Odor. Ninth inning. Two outs. Tie score with runners on. National TV game. Yankees-Red Sox. What's left of the baseball world watching -- and Odor gets rung up on a pitch barely in the same area code as home plate.

Social media went bonkers -- ESPN even highlighted the ump's incompetence. 

It felt like a tipping point in the robo-ump debate. That pitch probably took at least a year off the lifespan of balls and strikes being called by old guys in blue suits. As soon as the system proves halfway reliable in the minors, the computers take over and the screenshot of that strike is the illustration that will accompany every story on the change.

2. The Aaron Boone era very likely died last night. No, he's not getting fired today, but last night made his exit seem inevitable. Unless the team somehow rallies and wins the World Series -- and what odds would you put on THAT following this disaster week? -- last night was the night when even Boone's staunchest defenders had to say. "What ... the ... fuck?!?" 

The indelable image of last night's game was Phil Nevin, weakened from a bout with Covid and more than 20 pounds lighter than he was just a few weeks ago, stepping up to defend the team and showing the fire that Boone seems to have lost a while back. Coaches got thrown out while Boone shrugged his shoulders and stared at the ground. Not a good look.

All the lofty expectations from before the season have crumbled around this team. It's a mess. Right now, our biggest fear shouldn't be last place, but that this team actually scrapes together enough wins to grab a wild card spot before getting embarrassed in the playoffs again -- because then we'll get another postseason filled with Hal and Cash saying how close this team is to being great and we just need to tinker a bit and add a couple more DHs (Pujols might be available!) to put us over the top.

I know, it's only June. Plenty of time left. Severino could come back strong. DJ and Judge could get hot. Voit could come back and the power stroke will still be there. Miggy could be the player he looked like he'd be as a rookie.

It's possible. But if that doesn't happen, this team might have finally reached the burn-it-all-down-and-start-over point. And a bunch of gasoline got poured on the pile of rubble last night. 


Anonymous said...

Incredibly well put.

I have a theory on why the umpiring has been so bad this year. (For the record I am not talking about the pitch to Odor which, as you said, was so horrific as to usher in a major change in the game.)

The umpires, like the hitters, are used to a ball being thrown a certain way and ending up in a certain place.

The cheating by the pitcher to get more spin and more movement is making the ball end up somewhere else. So the hitters strike out, or pop up, or hit grounders on balls they would have hit cleanly.

The umpires miss close calls because up until this year, that ball winds up in the strike zone.

Consequently, they call it a strike from force of habit. Because it has always been a strike. Except now it's not.


On another topic... I wonder if Cole is going to drop off a cliff now that MLB says they are going to enforce more strictly the foreign substance rule and his last two outings are an attempt by him to relearn how to pitch and what his stuff does without "help"

He's a good pitcher so it's possible that he can make the adjustment but I think we are seeing him attempt that transition in real time. It would explain his last two outings.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

It's painful to watch these Yankees. I remember 1998. These Yankees deserve to lose.

Anonymous said...

I remember the 1971 Yankees and these Yankees deserve to lose.
Almost any prior Yankee team would be better.

Unknown said...

Cashman has put the worst team money can buy

Retired Stratman said...

Doug - I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the umpires and Cole’s recent struggles. The only reason the Yankees haven’t been screaming about opposing pitchers using the sticky stuff is that the entire Yankee staff has been doing the same.

TheWinWarblist said...

Can't they just all go back to taking greenies like the old days? Make it legal. Put a party bowl in every clubhouse. Extra kudos for pitching a no-hitter, even a 7 inning double-header game, on acid.

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

There is absolutely nothing about the "210Yankees" that is appealing. Boonie should resign immediately because he is a terrible manager.... period! Cashman should be when season ends. Time for changes!

TheWinWarblist said...

Cashman should jump off the GWB in the ridiculous elf costume. He'd do it too if he had any pride.

Boone should slither back into whatever hole he spends his off-seasons in.

Hal should suddenly and painfully take ill. And perish is an excruciating and degrading manner.

Publius said...

Doug K...absolutely and terrifyingly correct re Cole. His "spin rate" in last two starts is a fraction of what it had been. As for his being a good mlb pitcher otherwise, not so sure. He showed promise in Pittsburgh, but he became dominant in Houston. Yanks'll be lucky to get Pittsburgh Cole going forward.

Anonymous said...

F**Kin losers!! Hell has succeeded in achieving mediocrity, his ultimate goal!! The ole man is rolling in his grave. We need the "Evil Empire" back.

DickAllen said...

Booooooone is delusional. He had this to say about his team today:

“I see the work they’re putting in, I see the adjustments certain guys are making,” he said. “I feel like I’m seeing, with a number of guys, the quality of contact and the at-bat quality picking up, especially this last week. We’re seeing some guys gain some traction."

Back to the broadcast booth for you, mister. Then, maybe, we can hear something sane and somewhat reasonable from you.

Anonymous said...

@Doug K. Re. "theory on why the umpiring has been so bad this year". It's either that or they're on the take. Don't forget the gambling explosion in America the last couple of years. Every few minutes there is a sports gambling website doing a commercial on tv. WTF?

@Doug K. & Publius Re. Cole and sticky substance, spin rate. Possible, but it seems to me that he hasn't been all that good since he's been here. He's been hot and cold. Against the Tampons, not good at all. In big games, not that good. Gopher balls flying everywhere. Certain guys have killed him (Ji Man Choi, and of late, Austin Meadows). Has to have a personal catcher, for Pete's sake. Overall report card so far: maybe a B. Has he lived up to expectations? Certainly not.

The Hammer of God

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
13bit said...

Joe West should be put out to pasture, along with all other umpires.

I had predicted 86 wins, but I am very close to lowering that to 73.

Anonymous said...

Where's Tanaka?????????????

Oasisdave said...

Well I'm nowhere near the writing abilities of you guys and for the most part come to this site to read what you all have to say, but I do have to say Boones reaction 'or lack thereof' to Odors called third strike was infuriating. I only saw it in a post game twitter post but it tells me all I need to know, honestly already knew, about the state of this train wreck that our beloved Yankees have become. They are like a dead fish that needs to be gutted starting with the head.

Carl J. Weitz said...

He's getting his mending shoulder ligament massaged 4 times a week by a threesome of Geishas.

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