Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Non-Reality Check: What it will take for the Yankees to win the 2021 world championship

For the record, when I ruminate upon the sorry, half-season state of the Yankees, I favor a sell-off. If we could magically turn a few doomsday contracts into a middling prospect or two, the franchise might restore itself in two years. 

But in its current stupor, the Yankee front office - in a sell-off - would wrangle meager returns for the players atop our personal vendetta lists.  That leaves "Wild Card" Cashman trading prospects for Ponsons, and we all know how that Edward Wood movie ends. We're stuck in Plan Nine from Outer Tampa, and if that kid Boston just drafted evolves into a superstar... ugh.

How did we let things fall apart so badly? Weren't we MLB's gold standard? How did we become such a slobbering, sad franchise, with a veritable absentee owner? How did - wait - ENOUGH! 

Let's ponder what it will take to salvage 2021.  Here is how the Yankee championship happens: 

1. Gerrit Cole becomes Koufax. Once and for all, his masterpiece in Houston eliminates any charges of ball-doctoring. Instead of taking the night off when he pitches, the Yankees rally behind him. He wins 25 games and the Cy Young. (Currently, he is 9-4. How about 25-5?)

2. Aroldis Chapman finds his mojo. No more re-enactments of The Mad Russian. A  strange thing happened in Houston: We glimpsed the world without El Chapo, and it terrified us. Turns out, Mean Chad Green is not the answer. And Zack Brittle remains - well - what body part will go next? I donno what happened to Chappy, but it seems mental, and hopefully, he'll find a shrink. If he doesn't, he's first in line to be traded. 

3. Somehow, we find a serviceable LH outfielder. Maybe SS Hoy Jun Park (.342 at Scranton) takes over. Tim Locastro (a righty) is not the answer (though he can platoon with Brett Gardner, who looks done in CF.) Somewhere out there, they find a LH LF. Maybe a 28-year-old lost in some NL farm system, a new version of Mike Tauchman?

4. Gary Sanchez keeps hitting. Is his new stance a permanent improvement? Or two weeks from now, will he be lunging at pitches in the dirt? Dunno. But with Gary hitting, the batting order becomes far more potent. (And if we get bombed out by Boston this month, a newly restored Sanchez would be a trade chip.) 

5. Some pitcher ascends from Scranton. Remember Deivi Garcia? He can't throw strikes. Remember Clarke Schmidt? He's - well - he's vanished. Remember "The Gas Station," the self-nicknamed coaching operation that was raising a generation of young Yankee arms? These days, what a joke. We have seen - well - Nestor Octavio-Cortez! Well, in this madcap scenario, somebody rises.  

6. Luis Severino and Cory Kluber return. These days, I don't know why anybody should have faith in Setback Sevy - he's a tweak, waiting to happen. But in our dream world, he returns to pitch as he did in - yeesh - 2016. Also, Cory Kluber comes back in September, finds his form and becomes our No. 3 starter. I don't know which is more likely. We need both.

7. Finally, injuries decimate Boston and Tampa. Juju gods, it's up to you. I'm not asking for bones to break. Thinking hamstrings. We need help. Otherwise, they own us. 

There you have it. See you all in the Canyon of Heroes.


13bit said...

I used to favor the moniker "Crackhead Cash" for the way that Brain would sell off anything valuable for a quick fix. "WILD CARD CASH," though, is beyond perfect and is a perfect descriptive reminder of who and what he is and stands for.

Wild Card Cash and Food Stamps Hal sound like some bogus old western gunslinger duo.


Anonymous said...

This team is non-competitive against its biggest division rivals. As in overmatched, and you can see that the players have zero confidence when playing those teams. It starts with the manager. Boone makes a lot of autopilot moves (perhaps dictated by Cashman & Co.) and stupid decisions. Kevin Cash and the cheating Red Sux manager both make intelligent, shrewd decisions. It's hard to remember a stupid move that either of those guys ever made. And together with the ridiculous roster construction here, even when our guys play really well, getting a win against those two teams is like threading the eye of a needle.

Re. Gary Sanchez, I have nothing against trading anyone on the roster. Everyone is fair game. But like we've said before, as long as Brainless Cashman is running the show, any trade is going to be either a total disaster or a ho-hum washout that doesn't help. Besides, trading catchers during a season is difficult. Teams don't want to take a chance on a new catcher coming in and not being able to fit in quickly with their pitching staff. So you're talking about a winter move here, rather than a trade deadline move.

I would hang on to Sanchez for now. Over the winter, pick up a left hand hitting catcher as a backup and move Higashioka.

The moves that we can make immediately are bringing up Florial and Park, putting them in CF and SS. Move Gleyber Torres to 2B. DJ becomes the roving infielder and DH again. Everybody gets one day off per week. Gardner becomes the new bench boy.

The Hammer of God

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JM said...

We all know nothing is going to happen with our current team. But I don't see why they don't bring up Park and jettison one of the dead weight bullpen arms. Not so much Florial. He's a slower Locastro. If anything, we need a good OF who can hit, and Estevan ain't it.

The biggest need is starters. Kluber isn't due back until September? That's too late. Sevvy does have the smell of old fish. A shame. And German is not what he was before he was suspended for an incredible amount of time. (Although I'm not sure how he avoided jail time, given what little we know, but that's another story.)

Basically, we got what we got. If they don't get it together, we're done. And given the pitching situation and bottom of the order--I still think Locastro is OK, but we can't have both him and Gardner at the same time--things look doubtful. That's being kind. The top of the order, aside from Judge, isn't any great shakes, either. For that matter, the middle of the order...

Anonymous said...

Hammer,(and JM)

Your comments make a lot of sense. And, just to beat a dead horse to death, no matter what moves we make, as long as Trader Schmo is the one making the decisions it's not going to matter.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...


"Wild Card Cash and Food Stamps Hal sound like some bogus old western gunslinger duo.

Good one.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Well now, Hammer. Kevin Cash taking Snell out of the game in the 6th inning against the Dodgers was not a smart move.
Older than dirt NYY fan.

ranger_lp said...

Rolaids has a NTC in his contract. Ain't happening.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I like Hammer's plan, though.

The ridiculous thing about the Yankees is that Park is not already in the majors. He is at .342 with 8 homers, and seemingly playing at least a decent shortstop: 2 errors and a range factor roughly the same as Squinty Torres'.

How does that NOT earn him the chance to at least press Toonces II?

It doesn't, of course, because that would reflect badly on Brain's initial judgement that Torres was the shortstop of the future, and the mainstay of the Yankees' next dynasty.

The big boss can never, ever be made to admit a mistake.

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Unknown said...

To funny, if it wasn't so sad.