Saturday, July 31, 2021

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.


Parson Tom said...

In what universe would both Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone keep their jobs? Under what measure would they be considered successful?

The universe and the measure of Cashman's continued employment and his reputation as a wheeling, dealing wizard are contained in this lede from Tyler Kepner's NYT story about this week's trades:

"It was one month ago on Thursday that Brian Cashman, the disarmingly frank general manager of the Yankees, said his team was as bad as it could be. The Yankees’ performance “stinks to the high heavens,” Cashman said, and if things got worse, they might be sellers by the trading deadline."

Kepner offers a can't-lose description that puts all responsibility for winning on the players and none on the mastermind who put the ill-conceived roster together in the first place. Boot-licking toadies like Tyler Kepner will insure Cashman's survival.

13bit said...

Hal does not know about the Dodgers because Hal does not care. Hal is consumed with avoiding luxury tax. All of the super rich are obsessed with paying no taxes of any kind. It's in his DNA. If they change the name of it to the "Victory Fee" or the "Salary Adjustment Index," he might not give a shit, but the word "tax" just sets him off. George was able to override this because he wanted to win. George did not give a shit about anything else. Hal just does not give a shit. There's a big difference.

Kepner has really become an asshole if he tries to lay this on the players. What happened to that guy? This is Brian's team.

ranger_lp said...

@13bit...Hal wants the luxury tax reset so he can go out next year and exceed the luxury tax and not take a huge hit if he exceeded the luxury tax this year. He also thinks that you can win with a $210 million payroll. Throwing extra money at it will not help the situation...he made these deals with Chicago and Texas and they are paying the salaries of Gallo, Rizzo, and Odor this year not us.

The days of George throwing money at it to fix the team are over. Owners want to keep more of their money now, especially when revenues are down across the board. It's not going back to the 70s and 80s, and the Yanks will eventually have a payroll like the Rays...every team will have a austere payroll eventually...and it's always been my opinion that Yanks would be the last team to do so. And if they want to cut the payroll, they better improve in drafting players which is why the Yanks are in the position they are right now.

Hal does give a shit...he just wants to do this from a fiscally responsible standpoint.

Anonymous said...

Well, for one thing if you read the NY Times for any sport but croquet, you should hang your head in shape.
Funny how you mentioned this, I was with my son and son-in-law for dinner out with our family, and one of the screens at restaurant and MLB Network on and was scrolling the trades and I said to them, 'The Dodgers are what the Yanks used to be."
We are clearly both brilliant

The Archangel

Carl J. Weitz said...

We may not be a tomato container yet but with Cashman and Halligator running the show, we're up next on Cannery Row.

DHedgepeth said...

Miami a COVID hotspot? No deaths have been reported in the last 7 days according to the New York Times:

Shared via the Google app

TheWinWarblist said...

The Yankees have applied to The Brotherhood of the Traveling Tomato Cans. This is their audition. They hear back September 1.

JM said...

I have to note that the Dodgers have been the free spending, tax be damned monster of MLB for years now. And they have one ring to show for it, and that in a short season with goofy new rules. That's not success. They just fail at a slightly higher level of the playoffs than we do.

So, sure, I wish we operated with their financial abandon. But the fact is, it hasn't resulted in much. I have this feeling that their powerhouse roster of All Stars will not win a ring this year, or next, or the next year after that.

That doesn't mean we have a great shot at it. But it does mean that their formula isn't for success, it's for frustration. I'd rather do what the Rays do, but our management doesn't have the brains for it.

Celerino Sanchez said...

So the Bombers pick up the newest version of Lyle Overbay/Lance Berkman. The 2021 version of Dave Kingman and Mr Haney. Toronto gets one of the best young pitchers in baseball. Just goes to show while the rest of the league is playing checkers, Cashman keeps playing with himself

Anonymous said...

A couple of lefty hitters brought in for short term success. And a couple of lousy pitchers. Compare our haul to what the other teams have done. I think we increased our offense a bit, but I don't know that we're any better against our biggest competitors, who also made themselves better. It could be nothing more than a wash.

The Hammer of God

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Trevor Plouffe had something interesting to say about Gallo…

I always knew that guy was a Plouffe.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Where we (the IIH audience) might go from here:

Tentative conclusion #1 -- Hal isn't selling the team. He doesn't care how we feel, or even if we show up for the games and make him even richer. He's rich enough. AND: He hasn't fielded any $3 billion offers for the NYYs lately.

His father? He hated his father.

#2 -- Therefore, we have to hope for the replacing of Casheroo. The identity of the GM probably matters to Hal on the order of how much he cares about how much I pay for a loaf of bread.

#3 -- So the hope is: A new GM is hired. We can't make it happen, but we can hope. You can argue against this EVER happening, but you'd have to make me care that Hal gives a flying fart about whether it's Brian or Nancy Pelosi.

#4 -- Hiring a new GM will make it easier for Hal to stomach the hiring of a new manager, and perhaps the DFA-ing of at least Stanton. So there will be more $$$ wasted, but Hal can chalk that up to the bad hire (i.e., Casheroo). It would be his idea of a house-cleaning: Start at the top, then don't care about collateral damage (i.e, a few wasted tens of millions).

#5 -- The extended hope is that the new guy (girl) (transgender) fires Lorna Boone. Hal may be (who knows?) strangling Casheroo with Boone -- like you do with a puppy who poops on the carpet, Hal's putting his nose in it. The new GM might be able to get a new manager as part of his/her new admin.

#6 -- To be even more optimistic, I would speculate that the new GM + manager would see the obvious problem with having so many people who strike out so often on a single team. That might be one leap-of-faith too many.

That's the most optimistic I can be. I'm sorry it's long.

Kevin said...

It might surprise many of you to know that the darlings of baseball wisdom, Tampa Bay, are number one in the AL for the strikeouts. We come in at #4. I can understand why this kind of myth resonates through the fanbase, the NY press looks for a flaw and pounds away at it, forever. I suggest going to the stat websites and see where we actually stand before having a stroke. OTOH, some of the stats are infuriatingly bad. But, we don't suck merely because of strikeouts. Offensively, we suck because nobody on this team can drive the ball to the power alleys to drive runners in. We prefer "launch angles" which makes us too easy to pitch too. Those analytic assholes need to stop playing video games and worrying about how far homeruns travel.

Anonymous said...

Maybe. Kev, that Rays strikeout stat demonstrates THAT OFFENSIVE STRIKEOUTS AREN'T THAT FUCKING IMPORTANT IN DETERMINING TEAM SUCCESS, you pathetic dunce.

Anonymous said...

Wish there was a filter for really dull sociopaths.

Anonymous said...

Little stat baby is so sick that he is actually posting AS KEVIN and then responding as ANONYMOUS.

Anonymous said...

Shut up, Doofus Firefly. Seek emergency psychiatric intervention ASAP. You are suffering from dangerous paranoid delusions.