Saturday, June 19, 2021

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?


Publius said...

Sure, but the best team in the organization, Scranton, won again. 27-11. Running away with the division. Cashman should be proud.

celerino sanchez said...

It's too bad the Yankees can't come up with guys like Kaprielian or Garret Whitlock or Justus Sheffield or Miguel Yajure or Trevor Stephen or insert name. But we have Luis Cessa and Wanky Peralta and Michael King for A Day and Ozzie's illegitimate son Nick Nelson and of course Jamison The Stallion Tallion. Doesn't it just make you sick.

Anonymous said...

I just came in from my walk and was going to post about the sparse crowd.
We had been hearing how geared and amped up everyone was to go back to the games at the House that Levine Built.
1st. Place team, beautiful night, kids can go and not worry about sleeping through Zoom school and 3-game win streak against AL East team and…….
We all know shit without rolling in it. Let's see wait the next two days are like with day games.

Hope Hal sells the team.
The Archangel

HoraceClarke66 said...

Really significant—and stunning.

You kept hearing about how a huge crowd was going to rip loose last night. I went to see a lesser-known Thornton Wilder play over at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and I was really kind of bummed that I couldn't be at the Stadium, or at least home to watch it on TV.

Well, turned out I made the better choice. The play—The Alcestiade—was pretty good (no Our Town, but what is?), and it's an incredible place to see outdoor theatre, with Queens on one side, Manhattan on the other, and the ruins of the old smallpox hospital looming in the background.

I had a much better night than I would have had watching that mangy dog of a game, and I think so many New Yorkers felt the same way.

If the Yanks can't draw, maybe some change is finally in the air. Maybe.

Der Kaiser said...

The damning details of the Gray deals, both coming and going, really highlight the fact that it's not the boneheaded trades and free agent signings that doom the Yankees. There is plenty of talent available to the Yankees, but they can't make good use of it. Sonny Gray was a good pitcher in Oakland and is now a good pitcher in Cincinnati. He's obviously talented, but could not perform well for the Yankees. As has often been noted here, players on the Yankees never seem to develop in a positive direction: they are constantly declining, their games becoming more one-dimensional, their stays on the EL ever longer and more frequent. Bright young talents burst onto the scene from Scranton, perform dazzlingly well as rookies, and then immediately sink into mediocrity. Free agent superstars join the team, play well for a few months, and then begin struggling.

Surely it's not just bad luck, time after time. Age gets everyone in the end, so it's not so surprising when veterans decline, but even young Yankees are apt to go putrid at any moment. It could certainly be the coaching, which clearly has some bad ideas about how baseball should be played, but the "HR or K" attitude is widespread across many teams. The team's medical staff? A toxic clubhouse atmosphere? (Perhaps a literally toxic clubhouse atmosphere? Should Hal send inspectors to check for radon?)

The problems have been chronic since 2009, when the publicly-funded country club on 161st Street opened. Perhaps the revised dimensions of the playing field make it impossible to build a winning team, as pitchers are worn down by the HR barrage, and batters get into bad habits. It's essentially the same problem Denver had before they started humidoring the baseballs.

Or is there still an Ortiz jersey somewhere in the foundations?

Der Kaiser said...

The Alcestiade sounds pretty interesting!

Anonymous said...

@Der Kaiser I'm thinking that it's got to be the coaching staff. Either that or there's just too much nonsense going on in the clubhouse. I am certainly not satisfied with our selection of the current pitching coach, for example. Why this guy, out of all the potentially excellent candidates out there? If they chose that guy to be the pitching coach, then it figures that they made similar choices with all of their staff. Then it's a no-brainer as to why almost everyone struggles and can't make necessary adjustments.

The Hammer of God

Carl J. Weitz said... the YES app or subscribe to an all-inclusive, every channel in the world IPTV service and put it on your cell phone so you can watch while at the theater. Or you can opt to watch a cricket match in Ethiopia instead. It has come in very handy during boring dinners with friends. Just prop your phone up against the sugar canister or napkin holder with the volume off.

Kevin said...

I'm not ready to give up on Tallion just yet. The man is coming back from testicular cancer, and he is coming back from TJS. Maybe give him a few more hours?

It is FUCKING INFURIATING t listen to the endless bullshit regarding building a deep and talented farm system, and all the talented scouts, cross checkers, coaches, and the endless array of supervisors. I almost forgot the strength coaches, co-ordinaters, yoga and modern dance instructors, and of course Busby Berkley. Could these jerk-offs possibly be taking their orders from our own "anon"? Another possibility is that the scouts are so poorly paid that they are steering the best talent to teams willing to pay them off. Considering that our HQ is in Tampa and.... When a company that has the resources, but keeps spinning it's wheels, heads should roll. Unless, of course, Hal is getting what he wants....

Isiyku Abdulahi said...

I really want the world to know about this great man who brought back happiness into my life again after my husband left me and the kids 3 years ago for another women online when i contacted Dr Believe he cast a love spell for me within 48 hours my ex husband start calling me and begging for forgiveness for everything that have happened between us. I was so happy to have my family back together with love again here is the email of Dr Believe via a man with the great powers you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348156148821
God bless you
I am very grateful for your help in my marriage.

Nitish Kumar said...

LOTTO, lottery,jackpot.
Hello all my viewers, I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a Woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, . so I decide to give it a try.I contacted this great Dr Believe and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out I was among winners. I win 30,000 million Dollar. Dr Believe truly you are the best, all thanks to you forever