Monday, July 19, 2021

In the middle of a blow-out Yankee win, Buster Olney ponders Yankeeageddon.

So, lemme get this straight: 

Four years into The Abyss, the Death Barge will finally ponder the unponderable: 

Giancarlo Stanton playing the field. 

Dear god. It's true - maybe. According to Fox's Buster Olney last night, Giancarlo will soon play LF, where presumably he'll have to run after fly balls, rather than using his signature, Robby Cano-meets-Betty White, zombie apocalypse lope. Since the day Stanton arrived, the sense has been that any time he approaches high gear, something will snap, and he'll spend six weeks in the hot tub. Apparently, the bubble wrap no longer fits. It's an emergency, time to break glass.

Has Cooperstown Cashman finally seen The End? Aaron Judge is approaching free agency, and if the Yankees plan to keep him long term, they need a secondary slot at DH, to occasionally rest him. If Giancarlo is full-time DH through 2028, there is no room for Judge. Keeping both would be a colossal waste of time, talent and what Food Stamps Hal covets most - moolah, bread, ka-ching, globba, perdoochi... cabbazingos!   

Last night, Olney reported that opposing GMs are postulating that, if the Yankees fall apart in July, they will do the unthinkable: entertain trade offers for Judge, their biggest star, as Boston did with Mookie Betts. The Fox broadcast crew - including A-Rod - reacted as if Olney had just promised his soul to the maw of Satan. 

In fact, such an endgame has been on the minds of Yankee fans for months. 

As long as Stanton is the everyday DH - with no flexibility, whatsoever - there is no long term slot for Judge, who has his own tweaks and strains. They must either somehow jettison Stanton - and his Mariah Carey contract - or they might as well seek a package of prospects for Judge - because in this current jam-up, they're a fifth place team that finishes fourth only because the division includes Baltimore. 

One huge caveat: Trading Judge - and pressing a giant Reset Button - would require Cashman to admit that his strategy for the last four years has crashed and burned.  For the Yankees to save face - especially in a season when the Mets might win their division - Cashman would probably have to step down. Would he do it? Could he do the right thing? 

(I recognize that what I'm about to say is blaspheme here... but  over the years, I have come to be sorta fond of Cashman, and the rumba dance he must continually do to keep his job. Working for Hal must be far worse than it was for George. At least the old guy knew what he wanted. Cashman constantly chases conflicting objectives - to win, to sign big names, to keep the payroll down, etc.  If we think any GM can save this franchise, we're kidding ourselves.) 

Oh, one other thing: Last night, watching young Yankees hustle - what a joy!

There was Chris Gittens making two great catches down the RF foul line.

There was Greg Allen and Ryan LaMarre, running on Christian Vasquez, cracking open the Redsock defense in a way the savvied veterans never try.

There was Trey Amburgey crashing into the RF wall and - holy crap - Rougned Odor laying down a perfect drag bunt! Why doesn't he do this more often? The guy is hitting .224. Why not bunt every game, directly challenging the over-shift? What does he have to lose: He's hitting frickin' .224!  

So... now what? Two out of three ain't bad. Moreover, Boston suddenly doesn't look so destiny-bound. Still, the 2021 Yankees' signature move has been to win a few games, then give them back. A two-game streak means nothing, unless it leads to eight or 10.

Last night's victory cut Boston's division lead to 7 games. But that's a mirage.  Tampa leads us by six, and Toronto is heating up. The crossroads are here. We'll soon see something we hadn't anticipated: Giancarlo in the outfield. And if he can't cut it, Yankeeageddon!


Parson Tom said...

It's the bullpen. More than anything. The hitters could get hot, but it's the bullpen.

Anonymous Bosch said...

Good sides/bad sides (or is it heavenly/blasphemous?) to everything. There's this bit of news today:

"Rob Manfred says seven-inning doubleheaders and extra innings rule are on the way out"

So that gives us more time for late-game rallies with all the new kids and no one on 2nd at the top of the 10th, but it means a return to five-hour games.

Parson Tom said...

... and the bullpen mostly sucks.

JM said...

If Stanton plays the OF and gets hurt...well, we get to keep Greg Allen at the major league level. Locastro is only on the 10-day, so some interesting decisions are going to be made. When Lasagna and Nestor come back, only bullpen lugnuts should be sent down. Keep as many position players are possible, the faster they are, the better.

After Friday's moribund performance, I thought the depleted team was in deep shit. But no. The relief pitching was able to hold up, Britton and Chapman used the blowout to get in some needed work, and Cole and Taillon delivered.

We can't let up against Philadelphia. Because everyone else will probably be winning. This has to keep going or else.

Celerino Sanchez said...

El Duque, Let's face it, Lamarre and Greg Allen won't be in the lineup tonight, because they have to Gardy and Wade going. I totally disagree with your take on Cashman. When the BOSS was in charge all the bad moves was because George wanted it done. Then when he moved on Cashman was the man, now your telling Hal is keeping him down? The guy has spent $200m a year for the past 10yrs with nothing to show. A new GM can't do worse.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Gardner and Wade should only enter the game as late inning defensive replacements. Actually, with the addition of the new Yankee outfielders, Wade's function (pinch runner/stealing bases) on the team is no longer needed. I don't know how many more options he has remaining. He's been up and down so much I doubt he has many left. But he should be playing with the Rail Riders, not the Yankees unless in an emergency.

Anonymous said...

@Celerino Sanchez Absolutely, Cashman has got to go and someone else should get a chance. While it may be true that Cashman himself has some puppet strings attached to his back, when I think of the idiotic things he has done just recently, I've got zero sympathy for this fool. Who made him ink Aaron Hicks to that big contract? Who made him ink Severino prematurely to a long contract? I'm sure these were things that he did on his own, and wow, were these stupid mistakes. That's a whole lotta Hal's money down the toilet right there.

The two wins against Boston were the product of playing younger, hungrier players. Stealing bases, hit and run, hitting into holes.

It's going to be a mistake to sit Greg Allen. But we know what's going to happen. It's inevitable with the buffoons running this franchise. At some point, the kids will be benched or sent down, and the team will return to waiting for the home run ball. The only question is the timing of this. If the kids get us back into contention, then we may see Cashman pull more stupid moves to try to make a run at the playoffs this year. If the kids are pulled out of the lineup quickly, we'll sink back into the doldrums and probably Cashman doesn't bring in more re-treads and old guys.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the service Gardy, you have been a great lifetime Yankee.
Now it is time to go.
No, I do not feel bad about making you go. You can spend your time counting your $87,496,000. earrings to date.
Wade has overstayed his welcome too. [$1,123,000. and counting as a 26 yr.-old].

The Archangel

TheWinWarblist said...

Stanton could never cut it in the outfield. This'll be fun.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Sorry, Peerless Leader, but I'm with Celerino and Hammer.

Mad King George was a loose cannon, who forced all kinds of bad decisions on his GMs—or fired them. (Though the scuttlebutt was that George wanted to sign Ortiz, and Coops said no—a single decision that would have fundamentally altered the trajectories of both franchises.)

HAL is interested only in money (and soccer), but he has repeatedly given Coops carte blanche, within certain limits. Occasionally, as in 2009, Cashman used his money well. More often, he has not.

Brain seemed to have it all set up in 2017, when, somehow, his front office staff managed to put together a working minor-league system for the first time in his career. All he had to do was let them operate, and sit back and rake in the kudos.

But no. Like all weaselly office politicians, Cashie saw the people who made it work primarily as a threat. Off Gary Denbo was to Miami, while he decided to go for a twofer and "humiliate" Derek Jeter by grabbing Stanton.

The rest is tragedy. And farce.

ranger_lp said...

Yankee injury updates...

Reliever Jonathan Loaisiga, who began the Yankees’ latest COVID outbreak last Saturday when he went on the COVID IL, is out of isolation in Houston and was scheduled to fly back to New York on Sunday or Monday. The righty will be the first of the Yankees’ six COVID IL players to return.

Other bad injury news on Sunday was confirmation that reliever Darren O’Day, who severely strained his left hamstring during a pre-game workout in Seattle last week, probably is done for the season.

HoraceClarke66 said...

His left hammy, huh?

So he really kept up with the leg work while he was out. Or he did way too much. Either way, score another one for modern training methods.

Dantes said...

Allen and Lemarre aren’t kids,they’re journeyman, exactly the “savvy vets” this piece inexplicably compares them to

el duque said...

They're hungry, and compared to Gardy, they're babies.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, guys like Allen are babies. I still think we should bring up Florial and play him in CF. And what about Hoy Park, why hasn't he played yet? Except for one pitch hit AB, he's been warming the bench. WTF? It's tough to release guys, but Gardner should be d/f/a. We shouldn't be putting Gardner's interests ahead of the whole organization, ahead of guys like Florial, Allen or Park. Cut him loose and move on. Gardner is not exactly going to the poorhouse, you know. He'll retire a super rich man.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Hammer. Far too much misplaced veneration for Gardner in the Yankee front office and on this blog: that means you, duque. This team doesn't need geriatric talismans: it needs an infusion of athletic young talent, not Cashman's favorite not-so-young retreads like Allen and LaMarre

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I assume Gardner is playing as hard (and as well) as he can. He always has. That's the reason NYY fans liked and like him.

But the results?

2021 - 199 AB + 13 BB, BA = .191, 13 RBI

2020 - 130 AB + 26 BB, BA = .223, 15 RBI. Yes, he played better in a short season.

2019 - 491 AB + 52 BB, BA = .251, 74 RBI.

......if you multiply 2021 x 2.5, you get: 497AB, 32-33 BB, 32-33 RBI

He's slipped. And this team can't absorb that right now.

Also, I believe maybe his fielding ain't as great as it once was, altho I really do not trust fielding stats.

This is case closed. Even if the team intends to try to compete thru the end of September, he's not helping. It would be interesting to see, if they do DFA him . . . will anyone pick him up?

Anonymous said...

His defensive metrics are way down. He's useless

Kevin said...

Florial?! Have you guys looked at his numbers in AAA? There's even talk of demotion. Another Yankee hyped talent who never was. Same as it ever was.....