Saturday, July 31, 2021

HoraceClarke66: On the One Hand This, On the Other Hand That, and On the Third Hand HEY LADY!

 From the desk of HoraceClarke66...

On the One Hand This, On the Other Hand That, and On the Third Hand HEY LADY!

First, I wish to dispel any and all rumors that my absence from this wonderful site coincided with Shark Trade Week, and that I was busy doing Brian Cashman’s bidding, and going around the circuit putting together these amazing deals.

 WRONG! There is no truth to the rumor that I am Cooperstown Cashman’s assistant. There is even less truth to the rumor that I am The Brain himself, psychotically masquerading as a fan who hates him in order to gather telling details about you all for my crazed revenge.

 NO! Not true! Mrs. Calabash and I simply took a leisurely jaunt around parts of New England to visit assorted (and sordid) friends and relatives. 

 On the way, news of the various deals trickled through to me in dribs and drabs. I have read all of your astute commentary on the same, and to be honest…I don’t know what the hell to make of it.

 In the great, ongoing debate of prospects v. veterans (originally decided by one of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s lesser decisions), I tend to go with Duque and favor prospect-hugging. 

 But who knows? With Cashman, his judgement on current major-league players often stinks. On the other hand, the Yankees’ prospects so often flop. I remember keening like a mourning bird over many of the guys Coops sent out to acquire the likes of Sonny Gray during the 2017 pennant run…only to see most of them fall on their faces. As did the guys we got in return.

 Is the latest batch dispatched to the hinterlands Dustin Fowler—or James Kaprielian?  I really can’t say. And neither, I suspect, can Cashman.

 It does seem to me that, when it comes to addressing the Yanks’ biggest immediate concern, which is its bullpen…they didn’t address it. Clay Holmes and Andrew Heaney are classic innings-eaters, whose feasts will leave us all nauseous.

 If the Yanks had some wizard of a pitching whisperer who could turn them around, it might make sense. But they don’t have that. Their acquisition might indicate some hidden motive, such as a hidden injury to Gerrit Cole—but let’s not go there.

 As for the great Hun-Joy Park controversy, I have to say, Kevin, I would have at least given him a shot. Is he the real deal? Again, who knows? Probably not. But it seems to me that the Yankees never believe in late developers, when they HAVE been known to happen (see Lou Piniella). But it’s a moot point now.

 On the positive side… Joey Gallo and especially Anthony Rizzo are a definite upgrade. They are not the top hitters we would like, but they are—at last!—power-hitting lefties, good clubhouse guys, and Gold Glove fielders. That is, useful, all-around players. 

 I’ll have more on Rizzo later from my Florida correspondent, Cousin Dan the Gator Man. But suffice it to say for now that Rizzo’s debut—monster home run, key opposite-field single, catch that saved a base and maybe a run—were heartening in all ways. 

 One thing I got from gallivanting around New England and seeing more Red Sox action is that that club—while it boasts 3-4 outstanding players that we don’t have at its core—is winning mostly on the basis of having valuable lugnuts everywhere. Outfielders who can catch and throw, infielders who can field, guys everywhere who hit sac flies and opposite-fielder bloops.

 And that said, I still don’t think they have the pitching to go all the way. If the Yankees’ starters hold up—an “if” bigger than that loathsome midtown skyscraper modeled on a wastepaper basket—and if they can somehow get a reliable closer (again, big big big if)—then they can contend for a Wild Card Play-In spot, and even in the playoffs.

 Will it prove worth it in the years to come? As all we great sages say:  time will tell.

We can hope, but there's this.

Hal Steinbrenner was born in 1969.

Brian Cashman joined the Yankees in 1986  => Hal was 17.  Brian was still in college.

Brian was named Assistant General Manager in 1992  => Hal was 23.

Brian was named General Manager of the Yankees in 1998 
=> Hal was 29.

Brian Cashman has been associated with the Yankees for most of Hal's life and ALL of Hal's adult life.  D
o we really think a change is coming?

It would be like Chip Douglas taking it upon himself to fire Uncle Ernie.  Ain't happening.

Having split with Boston and Tampa, Yanks look to thrive in a month of tomato cans

Good luck deciding who won the trade deadline. Every contender seems to have improved. 
Also, so did the Yankees.

What now looms is our August golden harvest - 14 games against Miami, Baltimore, Seattle and Kansas City - aka the "Brotherhood of the Traveling Tomato Cans." (Note: Seattle - which more or less stood pat this week, remains a game ahead of us in the wild card race; this raises a question of semantics: Are the Yankees members of the Brotherhood, too? ) 

Last night, the newly upgraded, lefty-leaning Death Star had its way with Covid hotspot Miami - a team 15 games below .500, which hasn't enjoyed a meaningful triumph since the trade of Giancarlo Stanton. Anything less than a weekend sweep will cause disappoint to run through the Yankiverse like castor oil. 

Then again, has this team disappointed us in the past? (DON'T ANSWER THAT!)

After all the trades are certified - (Arizona to demand a recount?) - did the Yankees keep pace with their rivals? Fuck if I know. We've just witnessed the most intense midseason reshuffling of the decks in MLB history. Ten all-stars changed teams. Does anybody else wonder if this is healthy? I mean, you play half a season just to see who is trying and who is tanking? Baseball faces major problems down the line, but that's for another day. Some less existential thoughts.

1. Boston getting Kyle Schwarber is scary. Yeah, he's hurt and he fat. Also, I hate to be one of those doomsday "everything Boston does is smart" Chicken Little-types, but but BUT...  if Schwarber ever learns to hit to left, he could be the Second Coming of Big Papi. Look at him. He matches the profile. Of course, he could be a bust. But as soon as I read the news, my first reaction was, "Oh, fuck!"  

2. Toronto acquired starter Jose Berrios, whom the Yankees were supposedly chasing. (He wasn't quite an "Oh, fuck." More a "Shit.") Berrios was probably the best pitcher after Max Scherzer, whom we were never going to get. I still fear the Jays greatly, because they will soon receive a huge emotional uplift, when they start playing in Toronto. I don't know what that will mean in the W-L column, but it's a tangible thing. They will get hot.  

3. The Dodgers are now what the Yankees once were - the franchise by which all other teams measure success. The Yankees are simply a team that slogs after wild card births, with a pissed-off fan base that expects failure. I wonder if Hal Steinbrenner knows how much he has lost? Does he look at the headlines and see what the Dodgers did - getting both Scherzer and Trea Turner? That's because they have maintained a powerhouse farm system for the last decade. The Yankees, on the other hand, upgraded the dugouts.  

4. If the Yankees miss the post-season - and right now, no guarantees - 2021 will go down as one of the biggest disappointments in the last 20 years. In what universe would both Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone keep their jobs? Under what measure would they be considered successful? And this most recent deal - Andrew Heaney - it seems like a practical joke. The Yankees roll out all these statistical tidbits, trying to show how smart they are in getting this guy - trying to ignore that his ERA is over 5.00. Yeesh. They're sending Nasty Nestor back into the bullpen after he shut down the Rays - for this guy?

Somehow, that has become The Yankee Way. The front office algorithm spots something, and it doesn't matter what everybody else sees: A certain player must play. This is why we are where we are - which right now is nowhere. 

But then again, here comes our salvation: The Brotherhood beckons.

Friday, July 30, 2021

We cannot evaluate these MLB earthquakes until the aftershocks are finished

Okay, it's the baseball End of Days - fires, droughts, earthquakes, plague, an infrastructure bill! - and until the smoke clears and the rioting stops, this is all we know...

1. Remember back in March, when Brian Cashman assured us the Yankees didn't need LH bats?  What a prankster! Oh, well, so much for that hilarity. They have jumpstarted their lineup with LH sluggers, the traditional Yankee look. Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo - (whose popularity in Chicago, frankly, stuns me; he is beloved) - could sandwich Aaron Judge and knock Giancarlo - in one of his all too regular slumps - down to sixth or seventh in the lineup. We are stronger, by far. 

2. These trades will drain our farm system for years. I know, I know - nobody wants to hear cranky old el Duque rant about prospects - but, damn, we just returned to the failed strategies that launched the 14-Year Bomber Barf - from the late eighties to the mid-nineties. We have traded eight top prospects, and - listen: There will be consequences. Yesterday, Tampa unleashed upon us a 21-year-old starter, while their top prospect in baseball played SS. Somehow, they always address the short term and long term. We teeter back and forth. The Yankees are now in the longest championship drought in their history. Do we really see this team winning it all? (Will there even be fans in the stands by October?) These deals could extend our drought for years.  

3. We can't judge anything until today is done. Last night, Boston acquired Kyle Schwarber; (so much for gaining on them.) Last I looked, Trevor Story was still out there, a hostage waiting to be rescued. Meanwhile, Luke Voit looks like a goner. (I'm hoping the Yankees keep Luke, let him DH, and have Stanton play LF, for better or worse. I am waaaaaaaay beyond the point of worrying whether Giancarlo gets hurt. Think of the lineup, with Stanton in LF. Ah, but that's the 14-year-old in me.) 

4. What didn't change yesterday - and won't today - are the standings. If you try to judge the trades as wins/losses, the Yankees have kept pace with Boston and Oakland (Starling Marte), and may have gained on Tampa, Seattle and Toronto. But by 4 p.m. EST, that will probably change. Both the Rays and Jays have plenty of talent to spare - that is, unless they're merely playing the long game. Who knows? But Armageddon is here. And on that note, Armageddon outahere.

Thursday, July 29, 2021



Okay, whither goest Luke Voit? 

Comment of the Day...

"We got Gallo, not the left hander we wanted, but the one we deserve."

- Dantes - 

Instant gratification, long-term calamity: Ten reasons Yankee fans should hate the Joey Gallo trade


Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman just exploded the Yankees' long range future for a shot at a wild card. You'd almost think his job was on the line.

Today, the YES teamers and the he-returns-my-phone-calls cheerleaders will roll out countless reasons why Yankee fans should rejoice. The team received another all-star - aren't we already a team of celebrities? - without giving up anybody you've ever heard of. Hooray. 

Well, I feel sick to my stomach. Today, I am wondering whether I will live long enough to see the Yankees win another world series. So here goes nothing...

Ten reasons why the Yankees will regret this trade for years to come. 

1. At its core, it was made so an incredibly disappointing team could chase the remaining wild card birth. We are not in a pennant race. We are battling for the final slot, a bastion of mediocrity. This is a trade made to save face.  

2. We gave up four solid prospects, all having breakout years, including three middle infielders and, arguably, the best arm in their system. Any one of these might haunt the Yankees for the next decade... the one that got away.

3. We received a Joey Gallo, a - huh? - a right-fielder. Hello? That's right. He plays RF, won a gold glove there. They say Gallo can play CF. In the last two years, he's played one game in center. Oh, and he's also a DH! Perfect! Just what we needed! 

4. So long, Greg Allen. All you did was have the most successful Yankee debut over 10 games since Bobby Abreu. (Your problem: You weren't being paid enough.) Since coming to the Show, you're hitting .300 with 5 stolen bases. The Yankee problem has not been a lack of production in CF. 

5. Oh, here's something exciting to add: More contract bloat. This winter, Gallo will be eligible for arbitration, expecting a big bump from the $4 million he was making in Texas. Considering that Food Stamps Hal puts his highest priority on payroll, adding Gallo will limit opportunities to sign any free agents.

6. Wait, did I note that the Yankees will now have three secondary candidates for DH - following Giancarlo Stanton, who will hold the position through 2027. With Gallo/Sanchez/Judge/Miggy Andujar, we now have a five-man DH rotation - more depth than our pitching staff!

7. Okay, the Yankees will stress that they've kept Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Peraza, their two top IF prospects. But what they haven't kept is competition. The Yankees don't seem to value that. Nobody in this organization ever loses his job. And the line with prospects is generally this: You have five, maybe one makes it. The Yankees had a surge of talent. Now, they're down to a few chosen names, whom they will hype.  

Wait a minute: I'm not done on this. The farm system has now lost six solid prospects in the last week. Aside from the fact that it was a middling-rated system to begin with, how much can Yankee fans can expect in the next few years? 

8. Did I mention that this is all about competing for a wild card? And that Joey Gallo doesn't address the huge holes on this roster? Yeah, they've won two in Tampa, with Britton and El Chapo barely holding the line. Hooray. We remain 8.5 behind Boston, five behind the Rays, 2.5 behind Oakland and a half-game behind Seattle, with Toronto breathing down our necks. And that's for the last post-season birth.  

9. Gallo is batting .223. That's not a typo. In fact, it's 12 points higher than his career average. (.211.) I'm sorry: I know we're supposed to quote BABIP, and exit-velo, et al - it's uncouth to care about things as dated as batting averages. But this guy is hitting 23 points above the Mendoza Line. He has struck out 125 times already this season - that's 27 more whiffs than Giancarlo has delivered. (And he is/was our team leader.) Don't we already have enough strikeouts? This team has perfected the Platinum Sombrero. What's next, the Diamond Sombrero. We just added two Ks to every game. Yikes. 

10. Looking over the players the Yankees traded, yeesh... this is a fucking dangerous trade - a career killer, that is, if Cashman had any future beyond this season. SS Josh Smith, 23, has hit all year, exploding on the scene. Glen Otto has looked good at Double A and now Scranton. But the biggest loss could be 22-year-old 2B Ezequiel Duran, who was hitting .290 with 12 HR and 12 SB at High-A. Four solid prospects, all of whom the Yankees will start whisper-trashing, pooh-poohing that none had a future. Don't you believe it. That's Yankee hubris - that all the other teams are stupid. That we gave up nothing, ha-ha, for an all-star. That Cashman has a way of hypnotizing his brothers of the traveling pants.

I don't know how a GM trades a group of prospects like this, unless he thinks he won't be around when these guys come of age. 


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Yankees drain the farm system for Joey Gallo: suggested John Sterling homerun calls





Aaron Boone is on the verge of achieving the impossible...

... He might end up being remembered by Yankee fans as the failed manager, rather than the guy whose HR once beat the Redsocks. 

Think about that.


(Note: I write this with appreciation for Boone as a kind-hearted fellow. The loyalty he shows to his players and franchise is truly wondrous. He is now being attacked daily on NYC sports radio. He doesn't deserve such vitriol. But it's becoming clear that his days/weeks/months are numbered as Yankee manager - and his time at the helm will not be remembered fondly.) 

A bizarre trade with the Reds makes it clear: The Cashman facelift for the Yankees has begun

Following last night's nail-biting win - our bullpen tried and failed to give it away -  the Brian/Brain Trust dealt Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to Cincinnati, for a player to be named later.

I believe I speak for the Yankiverse in saying, WTF? That guy, again? Something about "player to be named later:" He's hard to process. As is this trade.

Cessa was one of our few bullpen pitchers throwing well - (don't be surprised if Cincinnati lets him start) - and Wilson was probably thrown-in for irony: (they were once traded for each other.) On the Yankee Scale of Disappointments - the great Steve Whitaker being a 10 - Wilson falls somewhere between Roger Repoz and The Amazing Kriske.

Obviously, the Yankees are creating a roster opening for - gulp - someone. A kid from Scranton? (Note: Luis Gill got walloped last night)  A salary dump retread? Who knows? What we do know is this: Brian Cashman's restructuring is now underway.  

All season, this has been Cashman's team - certainly not Aaron Boone's. In that regard, nothing has changed. 

Still, what to make of this? As you might know, I've been calling for a housecleaning of the team's marquee names, beginning with Giancarlo Stanton. Even after last night's win - and until the final pitch, all was in jeopardy - I find it patently impossible to imagine this team winning in October. The roster simply has too many holes.  

I think we must teach the controversial Critical Yankee Theory, which goes this way: You can cheer the players, but Yankee success always rolled from the top down, via money - when ownership demanded wins over profits. And that is something we currently lack.  

Today, the state of the Yankees - compared to other teams in the AL East - is a terrifying concept.

Boston: The Redsocks have a better current team. They are younger. Their farm system - boosted recently by the fourth pick in the draft - is superior. 

Tampa: Despite last night, they have a better team. The Rays are younger. They have a more fruitful farm system, one of the best in baseball.

Toronto: All things considered, they are our equals, currently. But the Jays are younger and with a superior, top tier system.

Baltimore: Yeah, their team is worse. But they are younger and with an ascending farm system. One of the these days, all those high draft picks will result in something. 

Meanwhile, unless the Yankees stop the bloat and develop a new Core Four, we will find ourselves at the bottom of the AL East. This franchise is at the crossroads: It either looks to a new generation - Volpe, Dominiquez, et al - or it just thrashes harder in the quicksand, and continues to sink.   

So, let's hope the player to be named later is under age 25. Any bets?

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Does anyone really believe the Yankees can trade their way to a 2021 world series?

Most likely, the 2021 post-season will boil down to a battle between the elite MLB franchises of this millennium: the Giants, Dodgers, Redsocks, Astros and Rays. Of course, the ascending White Sox and Brewers look formidable. Then come the outliers - the Mets, A's and Padres. 

Back in the pack - way back, in the zone of mediocrity - sit the woeful, seemingly cursed, 2021 Yankees. 

You might say this team has "issues." It has no lefty slugger, none. It has a tired, demoralized bullpen with no certain closer. It has no set outfield and nobody hitting over .300. (They rank 20th in batting average.) Aside from 3B and RF, the fielding is lackluster. The team is injury-prone. It has absolutely no speed - ranks 23rd in stolen bases- and little ability to manufacture runs. It cannot bunt. Its players hit solo HRs, hit into way too many DPs, and they have fanned more than 800 times. (Ranks 13th.) It's managed by a good-hearted schlubb who is caught in a vice between overpaid celebrity stars and a front office paralyzed by deep-dive analytics. 

This week, we hear commonly that with a few trades, all these problems will vanish.

Dear God...

Supposedly, the Yankees have put out a bid for Colorado's Trevor Story. Surely, the 28-year-old SS is a fine person, and he will make a lot of money when he files for free agency this winter. But not as much as he would have made last winter. Story is 
hitting .240 - only six points below the SS he'd replace, our own 24-year-old Gleyber Torres. The Yankees might move him to CF (after trading Estevan Florial?) Just what we need - another right-handed outfielder, learning a new position. (Oh, and did I mention those underwhelming stats come at Coors Field?)

Miami's Sterling Marte surely would help. He'll turn 33 in October, when he files for free agency. He's a former all-star! (Note: 2016.) He's hitting .303 with 7 HRs. You know what they say: A team cannot have too many RH outfielders over age 32.  

Then there is Max Scherzer. Great pitcher. Future Hall of Famer. He would make Cory Kluber feel young - (Cory's only 35; Max is 37.) Scherzer would be our greatest career twilight addition since Randy Johnson. And although he missed a start recently - something didn't feel right - he's thrown 105 innings this season. If he becomes a Yankee, he'll be right behind Gerrit Cole (110 innings.) 

Joey Gallo? He's left-handed! Then again, he's also a HR/K hitter who bats .222. Do we need another 20 solo homers? The Rangers may be the worst team in baseball. He anchors that lineup. Does that mean anything? I dunno. Just sayin.'

The Yankees are touting a farm of one: Jasson Dominiquez, around whom they have built the most relentless minor league hype machine since the marketing of Michael Jordan. They spent $5 million to sign Dominiquez - he was 16 - and immediately began comparing him to Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout. They seem determined to get their money's worth in ink. They won't trade Dominiquez, but it almost feels as though everybody else in the system can go. After all, they've got Mickey Trout. 

Meanwhile, the Yankees have built a wonderful narrative: That the Yankee farm system so overflows with talent that players must be dealt, like a pressure cooker ready to blow. They have too many prospects. They don't know what to do with them. Strangely, this defies the consensus of system rankings, which generally puts them back in their normal zone of mediocrity -  around 20th.  It's worth noting that their system ranks behind all their opponents in the AL East, and that Toronto ranks 4th and Tampa is No. 1 in all of MLB. Somehow, the people campaigning to trade off Yankee prospects have overlooked this. 

Look, I realize the Yankee front office certainly knows more than I. Also, these trades are far more complicated my dim view of baseball allows. Still, I ask one question: Under what metric do the Yankees think trading prospects can overcome the issues that this current team faces? 

You know, we wonder sometimes why the Yankees - no longer an elite franchise - have been so bad in this millennium. Some suggest the stadium is cursed. Some say it's New York City, too much pressure. Some blame Food Stamps Hal, or Cooperstown Cashman, or the luxury taxes, or the demand of challenging every year. I'm starting to think it's the expanded wild card system, which allows a mediocre team, barely playing over .500, to think it's a tweak or two from a championship. 

I ask it again... Does anyone really believe this team can trade its way to a 2021 world series?  

Monday, July 26, 2021

The catastrophe begins: Yanks trade two prospects for a 28-year-old bullpen lugnut with an ERA near 5.00

The front office is not done destroying the Yankee legacy. Having tortured us over the last 11 years, they're now working on the next 11.

Go back into quarantine, everybody. The Yankees apparently intend to drain the farm system in exchange for a run at the final 2021 wild card playoff birth. 

Today, they traded infielders Hoy Park, 25, and Diego Castillo, 23, to the Pirates for RH reliever Clay Holmes, 28, going on 35. 

Holmes' ERA is 4.93 over 44 relief appearances. (Note: The Yankee leader in appearances is Chad Green - with 40. Green has been hanging on by a thread lately, and this guy has been used even more.) In four years with Pittsburgh, he has a career ERA of 5.57. Clearly, he's found a home in the Yankee bullpen. 

Park - a virtual Moonlight Graham - appeared for one pitch with the Yankees: last week's waterboarding by Boston, when he pinch-hit in the eighth with the game on the line. He swung at the first pitch, broke his bat, and grounded out to first. And that was that. In Scranton, he had been tearing up the International League - .307 batting average and 11 HRs. He can play everywhere, bats left and steals bases, clearly a guy who had no future with the Yankees.

Castillo had a breakout season at Double A - hitting 11 HRs and batting .277. He too can play almost anywhere.

Wow. This trade deadline week is going to be a horror show. 

Yanks miracle loss fails to gain ground in 2022 Tankathon

 Dare to imagine: We could be a Top Ten team.

HoraceClarke66: Invisible Competitions #2

 Suck It, Habs! 

With this season quickly snowballing out of control, it’s time to look at another of the Yankees’ more long-term, “invisible” competitions. That is, the thrilling race to win the most North American championships in any major sport!

 For most of the 20th century, unsurprisingly, the leader in this was your New York Yankees. But in 1986, a shocking thing happened: they were passed for most championships by the Montreal Canadiens, 23-22.

 Now, I know there are those of us who feel that anything played almost exclusively by pasty faced residents of the globe’s most extreme northern climes cannot truly be considered a “major sport.” And hockey’s long stints without a national television contract might seem to bear that out.

 Still, contrary to what The New York Times would like to believe, the Big Four of sports is and always will be baseball, football, basketball, and hockey—not deep-sea diving, mixed martial arts, mountain climbing, cross-country skiing, spelling bees, pickleball, backgammon, or curling.

 Or soccer.

 The Yanks didn’t regain the lead, at 25-24, until after the 1999 World Series. Les Habitants then went into a serious slide, not even making the Stanley Cup finals after 1993, as we extended our lead in this seismic competition to 27-24.

 Then, this spring, trouble: the Canadiens were back in the finals. But there—huge sigh of relief—they were polished off by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 Mind you, I don’t normally hold with even having hockey teams in places like Florida. Hockey should only be played by Original Six teams, in majestically gloomy, smoke-filled arenas, between the months of November and March.

 But I give a shout-out to the Lightning for keeping the Habs off our backs. Considering the fact that the leader in all-time NFL championships is the Packers, with 13, and the Lakers and Celtics are tied for the NBA championship lead with 17…well, as long as we can hold off Montreal, I think we can probably count on being safely dead before the Yankees are surpassed again.

 I know this is very heartening to you all.

The Hangover

After the " no -hitter" became the 5-4 loss, I started drinking again.

I only just woke up, after 23 hours in the sack ( so I am reminded ).  My head hurts and I have

 the " whirlies." The thought of gin sickens me.

It' s like my college years.

So I have made a decision.  Some months ago ( maybe a year ) I stopped watching and reading the news.  Everything was demoralizing and sickening ( literally ). 

Now, I have added the yankees to that list.  They have become irrelevant and consistently disappointing.  I was born ( due to being a judge in a former life ) with a strong sense/need for justice and responsibility.

The Yankees are the primary case in all the world of " lack of accountability." 

 Giancarlo Stanton can strike out every time with bases loaded and two out, and he still hits 2, 3 4 or 5.  He still gets his $30 million for year.  He still sits on the bench and eats seeds. He is never even criticized except by the fans. 

Sit on the bench, claim an injury, go to bars and get still get coddled.  You still get paid. 

Boone can mismanage any situation, yet his GM defends him like he is from the right hand of Jesus of Nazareth.  Everyone knows he is awful at his job.  He is paid to be a facilitator.  And to appear concerned at post game press conferences. 

The owner of this failed franchise is a billionaire, whose assets grow as his dis-interest expands.  Nothing matters and no one pays a price.  This pattern is not just today.  It has been so since  2009.

Mediocrity reigns.  And I won't wear my Yankee hat in SoCal.

So I am turning to soccer and to the Olympics. 

The USMNT is re-building and looking like an exciting bunch of hungry dudes in the recent Gold Cup competition. And many of these players are considered only the "B" team.  The USWNT are in the Olympics.  Favored, struggling, but still in the hunt. 

The Olympics are a better watch than a Yankee game.  Even the air rifle competition is more exciting than Yankee collapses or " stolen" success. 

Soon,  football begins in earnest.  And life returns..

And we can watch Boston play in the World Series. 

Consider me gone. 

HoraceClarke66: Invisible Competitions #1

 (From the desk of HoraceClarke66...) 

A 29th Consecutive Winning Season?

All right, let’s face facts. 

This 2021 Yankees team is not going to win a thing. No division title. No pennant. No Wild-Card play-in game slot. Most of all, no 28th World Championship.

Worse still, they’re also not going to tank sufficiently to win some great draft picks.

So what are they going to win? 

Well, with this Yankees team, as with so many in recent years, you have to go looking for victories where you can find them. Victories far from the madding crowd. Invisible victories, let’s call them, in invisible competitions—invisible to all but the real connoisseurs of sports fandom.

Such as: a 29th consecutive winning season for our boys in the Bronx.  Can it be done? Much to my surprise, it looks, well, possible.

Going into this badger-in-a-blender of a season, I saw the Yanks as topping out at 77-85 and perhaps doing much worse, thanks to that grisly looking pitching staff. But even with the Arson Squad fully ensconced in the bullpen, the starting pitching, at least, has proven much better than expected.

And to get those precious 82 wins, all your New York Yankees have to do is go 31-33.

Sure, this 10-game road trip will be a killer. It could well be the Pinstripers have already won their one and only game on this voyage of discovery. But that will only help them attain this Invisible Goal!

A disaster of that magnitude will pretty well put paid to the idea that this Yankees team even has a chance for the wild card. Fan interest will die. Tabloid interest will die. The Yanks may even be removed from national television broadcasts.

Nobody will care anymore.

So…no interest…no pressure…Do the math!

This Yankees team is just the sort of character-free collection of mediocrities that will THRIVE under such conditions!

Like so many wildly overrated teams over the years, the 2021 Yankees will put on what used to be called “a salary drive,” hanging up gaudy personal statistics and strings of Ws once it doesn’t matter anymore.

Actually, one can’t really call this sort of thing a salary drive anymore, seeing as how today’s Yankees all have guaranteed, long-term contracts that pay them millions.

But let’s not get cynical! There are still baseball annies to impress, exit velocity numbers to improve, endorsements to win, and false hope to build in our younger, more na├»ve fans. 

So many things to play for. And even if the Yanks emerge from this road trip at  51-53—a definite possibility—all it will take is a 31-27 splurge to bring it on home.

Sure, the 21st-century Yanks will never make it to the all-time major-league record of 39 consecutive winning seasons, set by…your New York Yankees from 1926-1964. But here’s betting this streak will continue. For this season, that is.

An invisible competition! Won!

You tell yourself that it cannot get worse...

 ... And then you realize it's not a dream, that you won't wake up, and that the floorboards have a trap door dropping straight into Hell. 

The other day, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German language has no word to describe the devastation of her flooded homeland. I don't mean to suggest that a sports team's losing streak can compare to the tragedy of so many lost lives, but today, I have no words for the 2021 New York Yankees. 

Really. What can anyone say, other than that this fiasco franchise will be long remembered for brutal, horrifying losses, like yesterday. Few teams have ever brought such disappointment. As far as the Yankees are concerned, global warming cannot flood the coastlines quickly enough. For Yankee fans, it's football season.

Today, are we're supposed to think the return of Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka will matter? I sure don't. Are we supposed to look forward to another deadline of Brian Cashman's backfiring deals? I sure don't. 

This team cannot shed the stench of its own mediocrity, a smell so pungent we cannot even enjoy the irony of a No. 3 hitter named Odor.  

For the second time in less than five years, Yankee fans this week must consider rooting against their team, hoping that a few more diabolical losses in Tampa will dissuade Food Stamps Hal and Cooperstown Cashman from trading away the future. Once again, we are chasing the final wild card birth, the brass rail of sports irrelevance. 

Yesterday, even as Domingo German seemed to be pitching a masterpiece, who could truly shed the sense that Boston wouldn't rally to win? You kept wondering... who'll pitch the eighth and ninth? Each stranded baserunner - (I think we should call them "Giancarlos") - the fears deepened. When it finally happened, when the floorboards cracked, all you could do was laugh. 

Wow. Somehow, they did it again. 

Listen: The Redsocks own us. In every phase of the game, from their ballpark's storied past to their farm system's ripping future, they are our master. The Rays also own us, but without the history and with a bit less noise.  

I try to not rip players for their contracts or injuries. Neither is their fault. But mediocrity - that's something else. On that note, I'm starting to think the Yankees must suck up their wallet - as they once did with A-Rod - and make a clean break with Giancarlo Stanton. We need a rebuilding plan, not a surgical tweak. If we trade any prospects in some desperate effort to win the wild card, we will find ourselves in this same wretched spot next year, although then, we will also be chasing Baltimore. 

You tell yourself it cannot get worse...

Well, it can. We just don't have the words.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Series Wrap-up

After battling and scuffling for four games.

After great pitching and laughable failure:

1.  They stole two games

2.  We stole one game

3.  They won another that wasn't stolen.

So we took 1 of 4.  About par for the course.

Dramatic win keeps Yanks from passing Toronto in Tankathon standings

 It felt nice, but we've seen this before. 

Not ready to buy into this team's comeback spirit.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Photo: Omar Robinson @Piff131


Any Info?

Gary Sanchez left yesterday's game in the 6th inning (?), replaced by Rob Brantley.

Brantley is starting today's game.

I can't get any information on Gary from anywhere.

I didn't keep watching the game because, when a rookie ( making his debut ) struck out three Yankees with the bases loaded, I realized there was no point watching Cole suffer. 

And I have now conceded that none of the Yankees recently elevated from Scranton have any future  in the game.

The Boston phenom is, indeed, a phenom.

But we have Jessica Dominguez, who is better than Mantle.


Excitement brewing about Yankee team in Dominican Summer League

They recently rolled up 21 runs in a tough 22-21 loss to their Dominican Summer League rivals, the Dominican Summer League Mariners.

The team stole 10 bases, recorded 13 hits and 19 walks, going 8-29 with runners in scoring position!

All 22 players who came to the plate, including scrubs, reached base.

Looks like the Yankees should be stocked by 2026!

Yankee loss elevates team to 19th in next year's draft

It's time to tank.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Text of the day

 From Mustang...

"I am never shopping at Kresge's again."

Thank God....

 ....Boone saved Chappy for tonight, when we'll be down seven runs.

....that someone publicly insulted the Rays by saying they, " just acquired their Stanton ( Cruz )."

....that Gleyber only gets a few ground balls per game.

....that July 31 can't come soon enough.

I just want to remind everyone that this team was always destined, at best, to the play-in game of the wild card episode. 

( Despite the lies from Yankee central that " this team is built for winning the World Series.")

Lying is a sin.

God said so.

Ask the fucking painting. 

What if...

If we had not blown four games in the last inning during the past month, several with amazingly large leads going in, we would be 54-41.

We would be four games out of first. And only three in the all-important loss column.  Since last night's fuckup was against Boston, we'd be three games out and two in the loss column.

None of us would be hanging our heads in shame and anger because we're Yankees fans.

This year's Yankees team is the Anti-Jeter squad

 When Derek Jeter retired, and Keith Olbermann and the stats folks rolled out Excel spreadsheets showing the Jeet's fWarOPQ+/~¿EIEIO ratio ranked his career equal to Wayne Tolleson, I made a comment on a post to say that those folks were missing the point. Jeter was about moments, and how he had a knack for being part of so many special plays and memories that you could not measure with whatever supercomputer you want to trot out.

This team is the anti-Jeter. The season is being defined not by the team's win-loss record, but by the ever-increasing number of "What the fuck just happened?" moments.

You look at the numbers, and Boone and Cashman will bring up their spreadsheets and say that this team is pretty good. Hey, it's 5 games OVER .500! It's still in the playoff chase! We're just a 42-year-old right-handed DH away from being a World Series contender.

But it's not the record. I've never seen a team blow so many games, so horrendously, with such maddening incompetence. Just when you think it can't get any worse, someone else steps up and says, "hold my fifth of tequila." 

The awful extra-inning blown-third-strike loss against the Red Sox. Chapman's implosions against the Mets and Angels. The debacle against the Astros. After each one, it was loudly proclaimed that the Yankees had "hit rock bottom."

Each time, we all thought "it couldn't possibly get any worse."

And then there was last night. The bunch of no-names was starting to generate some buzz, getting our hopes up that we would have something to root for. It was all a tease. Green blew the save, of course. (Where have you gone, Mariano?) The Yankees scored the "ghost runner" in spite of themselves, and Stanton had the worst at-bat in the history of baseball (swinging at two pitches that didn't come close to reaching the plate). Then Kriske's epic performance, throwing an incredible four wild pitches (all of which Stanton would have swung at). MLB's stats folks immediately noted that it was a record for most wild pitches in an extra inning in history. I assume it also set the record for most TV screens kicked in. Boone had the audacity in the presser to mention the "big strikeout" of Martinez that Kriske got.  

And again, it's said that the Yankees have "hit rock bottom." Eventually, you have to admit that this team hasn't hit rock bottom, it has set up camp there.

And so, the anti-Jeter season goes on. The YES Network folks will shake their heads sadly, but tell us that things will get better. By now, we know better. At this point, the only thing we can do is wonder what could possibly happen next. 

This is a team only a masochist could love. 

The season didn't end last night, but the Yankees' quest for the AL East did

We're not cows, right? If the Jumbotron says, "MOO," we don't "moo." We're thinking fans.

And we have personal limits of self-abuse, right? We do not subject ourselves to methods of enhanced self-interrogation, such as waterboarding or reading the Daily Mail. We are Yankee fans - not a doomsday cult. 

I want that understood. We are not Met fans, Jet fans, Knick fans... once upon a time, we rooted for the marquee team in all of baseball. Under the rules of the Geneva Convention, we do not allow self-torture. 

That said, we are dying here. Hand in the blender. Can somebody turn it off? Eleven days after the worst loss of the season - a horror show ninth against Houston - we topped it last night. You can say the common denominator is Chad Green, but he's not alone. To paraphrase Hillary, it takes a franchise to raise a debacle. It's the trimmings - the botched grounders, the lunging swings, the pitches to the backstop - that turn victories into PTSD flashbacks. Chad Green isn't a closer, that's all. The real question: Why was he out there? 

Nope. I'm not staggering down that path...  No self-torture! That's my motto. They cannot hurt us anymore, because we are already dead. 

So, it's a last-birth-in-the-wild-card season, now. It always was. We just didn't know it. I personally shall spend the next eight days wondering if we're not better off losing. The great fear now is that Cooperstown Cashman, in a desperate quest to keep his job, will make some generationally horrible trades, like the ones that got us here. 

Today, the Yankiverse pulses with rumors that Cashman will drain the farms for a Trevor Story or a Jose Ramirez. Whatever he does, the YES men - that is, the Yankee- owned media - will quickly applaud it as the work of genius, and the team will chase that last birth, the carrot on the stick for middling mediocrity - for teams who don't know enough to tank. 

Last night, the Rays traded for Nelson Cruz. Soon, Boston will activate Chris Sale. The Yankees? We look forward to the return of Nestor Cortez. 

I can't take much more of this. Right now, let's just hope Cashman sticks to the one thing he has historically mastered: Scouring the scrap heaps for talent. Let's direct all our juju towards jamming up his phone, so he cannot make another midsummer, decade-killing blockbuster.  

"Moo?" Fuck that. I say, "Boo." 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The message of the modern day New York Yankees... in four simple words

 "You cannot buy hunger."

Just Had To Say It...

 Finally, this team is fun to watch.


Greg Allen lighting it up and running the bases.

Florial showing he cares.  And running the bases.

Gary being a steady player with power.

Odor hitting third.

Torres re-emerging ( even with that leaky glove) and hitting to right field.

LaMarre playing like it is a hockey game. 

Wojo on the hill with no chance at all.

DJ having fun with the grand kids. 

We are winning with chutzpah and speed.

Win or lose.  

It is a much better watch. 

We can trade those other guys.

Comment of the night


Zack and El Chapo better get their acts together soon - (like, beginning tonight)


Okay, here we go... 

Fenway. Four games. Two on national TV. A divisional race at stake. This time, the nutjobs will be throwing balls at our outfielders, spitting at our wives. Whatever lights blink in centerfield, they won't be from this planet. Moreover, the bullpen guards will want to fight. 

We still have time to catch Boston, but not if we blow this. Nope. Lose this weekend, and the AL East is  Tampa's and Boston's to luxuriate over. The Death Barge will spend another August/ September chasing the final wild card slot - the NYC equivalent of Hogwart's Golden Snidget. 

Also at stake: The existential future of this franchise. For better or worse, the front office seems determined to wade deeper into Big Muddy - trading prospects for immediate help at the Aug. 1 deadline. A few wins in Boston could amplify that madness - even as the victories might come, ironically, via the prospects they eventually trade. (Estevan Florial, Hoy Park... farewell?) 

But topping our Official List of Current Yankee Nightmares is the bullpen, once touted as baseball's best. Unless Jonathan "Patient Zero" Loaisiga returns with full command - (many don't, after quarantining two-weeks) - the Yankees have no late-inning option beyond the doe-eyed warhorse, Chad Green, and whomever just Uber'ed-in from Central Pa. To beat Boston, somebody must pitch the ninth. That's a problem.

Since returning from his latest tweak, Zack Britton has pitched in three games. Three. He has yet to throw a scoreless inning. Last night, a booted grounder by Gleyber Torres opened the floodgates, but suddenly Britton - an 11-year vet - could not throw strikes. The three-run lead vanished, and all we had was the disappointing Nick Nelson - he, of the plus-9.00 ERA. It's hard to imagine the Yankees succeeding in Fenway without Britton. It's now or  never.

Last night, Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless inning, with his customary leadoff walk and 10 near heart attacks. He later picked off the runner, so there's that. But it's no way to survive - walking them and picking them off. On June 6, El Chapo's ERA stood at 0.39; he was enjoying the greatest season of his 12-year career. Today, it stands at 4.28. That, my friends, is a fucking meltdown. 

In the last four outings since his pre-All-Star nervous breakdown, Chapman he has given up only one run. Still, every inning seemed to last 1,000 years. Last night, after El Chapo recorded the final out, Michael Kay giddily shouted, "THE STARE IS  BACK!" referring to the glare Chapman gives vanquished batters. Maybe. But I still see Chapman staring into The Abyss. And when you stare into the Abyss... well, we know what Freddie Nietzsche had to say about that, right? 

The Abyss stares back. 

We can't beat Boston without Britton and Chapman climbing out of The Abyss. Right now, they remain differing versions of a train wreck. They have today to figure it out. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Pssst: Gerrit Cole is having a Cy Young season


Biting A Bullet

 After a pitcher of " Sidecars" and a bag of M&M Peanuts, here is what I would do.

Bite the bullet and;

1.  Give Centerfield to Florial

2.  Give left field to Allen ( is he related to Richie Allen of the old Phillies?)

3.  Give first base to Gittens

4.  Give second to DJ

5.  Keep Gary at catcher, and Torres and Urshela at their spots. 

Play ball.

A Couple Of Thoughts...

1) Sometimes The Jokes Just Write Themselves

Boone on Florial “He’s got loads of talent,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Tonight he was really good. … Hopefully he can continue to give us that shot in the arm.”

You know what else would have given the Yankees, "A Shot In The Arm"? 

2)  Trader Schmo 

Mr. Duque recommends that we stand pat and there is a lot of wisdom to the argument. I'm more of a damned if we do, damned if we don't type guy. Especially with Trader Schmo calling the shots. 

That said, we have to watch this collection of chuckleheads for the rest of the year. (And let's face it, for the rest of our lives) so I say trade away... with one caveat. 

Only players that are already on the 26 man roster and the IL. That way we don't hurt the future and we give ourselves new people to eventually hate. Plus, the guys who just came up get to stay. 

We also get to keep the current crop of future disappointments. 

Mr. Duque feels we don't have cards to play. I'm thinking it's about packaging. For example a team that's out of it and looking to next year, such as KC  might be interested in...  

The Mashers From M*A*S*H

We take Clint "Fastest Swing in the West" Frazier (Who sadly plays in the East), Aaron "He's Under Par" Hicks, and Luke "The Body" Voit  and put them all in a package for one good uh... anything.  The team we trade to gets THREE bonified major leaguers. (Eventually).  

It's quite a package...  A Gold Glove nominee (Like I said above, sometimes the jokes write themselves.) the reigning Home Run Champ and, an on-base machine!  

We get a player worth watching right now. 


Chapman has a history of failing in big games. But what if he was traded to a team that doesn't play in big games? All we need back is a good pitcher who can handle the 5th and 6th. (Because our starters only go 4-5).  They get a top closer we get a pitcher to bridge to Greene. It's a win-win. Toss in some money to pay half of Chappy's salary and get a top 10 Minor Leaguer from their organization. 

A top closer AND money? Who wouldn't go for that? 


Heading into the trade deadline, the Yankees basically have no cards to play

Every morning, a parade of cooing headlines touts possible Yankee trade targets, as our boys pursue that magical, final AL wild card slot. (We're four games behind Oakland, one behind Seattle and tied with Toronto.) Commonly, we see names like Marte and Gallo and Story (oh my!) coming to the Yankees at prices that only make sense to toad-lickers. 

Any major deal to shore up their sore spots - the rotation, bullpen and outfield - will come at a price tag that chases Cooperstown Cashman into the caves of Connecticut. With his job on the line - which it might just be - he cannot afford a bum trade.  

Unless the ghost of Syd Thrift inhabits some GM's body, nobody is going to give us decent value for Voit, Frazier, Andujar, Gardner, Gleyber or Stanton - all of whom are season-long disappointments. The few players coveted by other teams happen to represent the future of the Yankees. 

For example, Estevan Florial clearly isn't ready now - he's a .190 hitter with far too many Ks - but in three years, (he'll be 26), his speed and power could make him a solid CF. Likewise, several infielders have had breakout summers in our farm system. But trading them - that's how the Yankees got into this mess. 

It's hard to see the 2021 Yankees winning anything meaningful in October. But if we're thinking of a sell-off - what's the point of trading players at their lowest value? We're better off waiting until winter. 

On that note, a suggestion: Stand the fuck pat. 

Old Rumsfeld may be gone - and good riddance! - but the guy had it right: 

You go to war with the army you have. This is the 2021 Yankees. This is the army we have. 

Let's consider our problems: 

Rotation: Cole is great, maybe even Cy Young. Tailon and Montgomery remain quirky. Severino might return; nobody holds their breath. Cory Kluber? A longshot. Mike King? Meh. We have spare parts at Scranton, nobody sticks out. (Deivi Garcia has completely tanked, and Clarke Schmidt looks like a wipeout.) To get Max Scherzer, we'd have to trade Yankee Stadium. We're better off rolling the dice with Cessa and Nasty Nestor (Octavio) Cortez. Most of all, we don't need another Sonny Gray. 

Bullpen: O'Day is o-done. Loaisiga should soon return. Let's face it: El Chapo either conquers his demons this weekend at Fenway, or this season is over. The last key is Zack Britton. If he could return to form, we still have a bullpen. But late July is when teams love to trade us lug nuts who had a nice first half and are ready to implode. Must we do this again?

Outfield: Judge returns soon. (And everybody better be fucking vaccinated; anybody who isn't - I don't care who - should be sent home.) Don't we love the speed and hustle of Greg Allen? For kricesakes, put him in CF, fulltime. Make LF a mash-up of Gardy, Stanton, LaMarre, Andujar and Frazier (assuming he returns; I think there's a chance he's done for the year.) Yeah, Stanton must play LF now and then. Frankly, I don't care if he gets hurt. We're a 4th place team with him. We can be a 4th place team without him. If he plays OF, we have a better chance of trading him next winter.

You go to the war with the army you have. Cashman built this army. Trades cannot save this team. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Iceman Bloweth

(Written by HoraceClarke66) 
You know, I hate to pile on, but…Aww, who the hell am I kidding? 

love to pile on, and now that the Miami Millstone is about to play the field for  the first time in two years, I can’t help myself.


We all know the stories of Yankees greats in the past climbing out of hospital beds and brothels to win a key game or series, right?  


Joe, Joe DiMaggio flying up to Boston at the last minute to rout the Red Sox in a key series in 1949. 


The Mick limping to the plate on half-a-knee and a hangover the size of Oklahoma to belt the game-winning, pinch-hit home run on numerous occasions in the 1960s, and somehow managing to not puke until he had reached the clubhouse again.


The Great One, Mariano Rivera, confessing after he had wrapped up the deciding game in the 2009 World Series—the last one any of us will ever see the New York Yankees win—that he was hurting so bad he didn’t know if he could pitch.


Then there’s Giancarlo.


Critical series against the hated Red Sox. Every other Yankee, including his Twin Tower, Aaron Judge, felled by the cowpox. 


The team was up against it, and the breaks were beating the boys. Time to win one for us all—right, Mr. Stanton?




Instead, Giancarlo was as icy cold as he has been for over a month-and-a-half now. Against some highly hittable Sox pitchers. 


In what was otherwise a marvelously gutsy, hustling win over the Carmine Hose, the workout king sang songs of futility.


Stanton was 0-12 on the series. That’s right: not one, measly, infield single. Not even a walk—just 5 strikeouts. He did manage an RBI—on a groundball that narrowly missed becoming his 14thdouble-play on the season.


But that’s par for a long course now. Our icy slugger has had 116 plate appearances since June 10th. In that time, he’s managed 3 home runs and 12 ribbies. Two doubles, no triples. Some 20 walks—and 30 strikeouts.


But even that’s deceptive. For the entire month of July, Giancarlo has all of 3 walks, and 14 Ks. 


Our big bopper, our last slugger standing, has iced up just when we need him most.  

To paraphrase Oliver Cromwell, by all means put Stanton in the outfield, he has sat too long for any good he has been doing. And let’s hope that hastens his departure.