Monday, July 26, 2021

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 naïve 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!


ranger_lp said...

@Hoss...sad part deadline is this week...3 games out of wild card in loss column...not a lot to offer for trades...probably a minor move but that's about it. False hope.

Interesting fun fact...since 1971...only 2 Yankee pitchers, developed in their farm system, has won over 100 games in their career. What does that tell you?

On the FAN the other day, a show host was complaining about how Arron Boone looks like a person on the couch watching the game along with us while he's waiting for the next scripted command. Think he's right.

Anonymous said...

And even more recently, over the last quarter century, the last durable and effective starting pitcher we've developed is Andy Pettite. Not counting guys like Severino (injuries) or Ted Lilly (wasn't here for long). Just incredible, you can only shake your head. With all those kid pitchers in the farm system, you've got to be able to develop an effective starter every couple of years. Otherwise, you're always chasing starting pitchers through free agency and wasting a ton of money or trading for somebody's loser (like Michael Pineda or James Paxton).

The Hammer of God

ZacharyA said...

Who's ready for the Depressing Brian Cashman Stat of the Day?

The Yankees have not drafted and developed an infielder with more than 1.0 career WAR since Nick Johnson in 1996.

That's right. Over the last 24 years, the Yankees haven't drafted a single infielder (including catchers!) who put up a measly 1.0 WAR in their career for any organization.

From 1997 to 2021, the Yankees have drafted and signed 194 infielders by my rough count. Only 21 have made it to the majors.

Drew Henson (-0.1)
Andy Phillips (0.4)
Kevin Thompson (-0.3)
Omir Santos (-0.4)
Andy Cannizaro (-0.1)
Bronson Sardinha (0.0)
Kevin Russo (0.1)
Austin Romine (-0.4)
Brandon Laird (-0.2)
Corban Joseph (-0.6)
David Adams (-0.4)
Kyle Higashioka (0.5)
John Ryan Murphy (-0.4)
Tyler Austin (1.0)
Rob Segedin (-0.2)
Greg Bird (0.6)
Rob Refsnyder (-0.2)
Peter O'Brien (-0.8)
Tyler Wade (-0.3)
Chris Gittens (-0.2)
Nick Solak (0.1)

That's it. That's what 24 years of drafting and development gets us.

Alphonso said...

This Yankee " win" you describe is like the typical citizen of Afghanistan saying,

" Well, it may be the Taliban, but at least we have a government. "

Small victories indeed.

Anonymous said...

That's an incredible stat.

And to think that we just gave away one recently (Thairo Estrada) for a bag of money. I always thought he was going to be a very good player. We'll see how that goes. But what irks me is that he was traded for a bag of money. Not even a player in return. I don't know how much money, but I'm guessing it was chump change, perhaps a quarter million.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Watching this team in the late innings is now like watching Dan A. on Saturday Night Life holding that bass over the Bass-O-Matic and wondering if he really is going to drop it in, then really blend it and ACTUALLY DRINK IT.
Someone tell me I'm wrong.

I got an email from the Yanks advertising 1/2 price tickets on "selected games", so don't be fooled by attendance figures, revenue will be down. Unfortunately, Hal-hole will say he can't spend money this winter because revenue is down.

Much like Russian Soldiers at Stalingrad, it will be a long cold lonely couple of years for us.

The Archangel