Thursday, August 5, 2021

Neither tomato can nor contender, Seattle's arrival gives the Yanks a chance to widen their path to the wild card

Okay, we've said this before - proclaiming ridiculously that the next few days will define the 2021 Yankee season. That's not only adolescent-level naivety, but it's patently absurd: a 162-game season has ample room for streaks and slumps.

That said, the next four games against Seattle could define the 2021 Yankee season. 

(Ahh, I remember youth! )

Last time we pressed the Forbin Project (scary movie!) panic button, it was in anticipation of the Midsommar (scarier movie!) mini-gauntlet of Boston and Tampa, whom we played shorthanded due to the Outbreak (scariest movie!) From our Google-search crow's nest, it looked like a make-or-break iceberg, dead ahead. Who anticipated the giant "meh" - that is, a split, which is what happened. We went in seven games down, we came out seven games down. (Thanks to Miami and Baltimore, our tomatocan pals, we have closed the gap.) 

Now comes Seattle, a franchise that in recent years has functioned as sort of a halfway house for ex-Yankee refugees - Joggy Cano, Ben Gamel, Justus "Is Not Equal" Sheffield and the last desperate gasps of Ichiro - but which now presents itself as a challenge to our wild card final berth wet dream. 

T'wuz a fortnight, not long ago 'neath the twain, when the Mar'ners were one of the few teams who would trade with the unscrupulous Yankees (Pittsburgh being another astral partner.) These days, everybody wants in on the Death Barge farm, and Seattle's ex-Yank influences boil down to only Sheffield, Shed Long (a 2B who was a Yankee for only a few hours) and Luis Torrens, a serviceable catcher, whom the Padres took from us in the 2017 Rule 5 draft - a move so unsettling to Brian Cashman that he now trades minor league depth pieces rather than potentially lose them. Hence, Joey Gallo, Andrew Rizzo, Clay Holmes, Andrew Heaney - the New Mutants, as seen on TV.

This weekend, we could conceivably knock Seattle out of our field of wild card fantasies. A sweep could leave them looking up at the Angels, and - dear God - nobody ever wants to be doing that

Meanwhile, the Death Barge barely goes 24-hours without a wave of roster changes, which seem to go from confusion to chaos. Forget the bullpen, where a cast of faceless characters resembles the doomed extras in a Star Trek expedition. Now, it's the outfield. Last night, they unveiled Jonathan Davis, a 29-year-old castoff from Toronto, who replaced Luis Gil, who replaced Nestor Cortez, who replaced - um - forget it.

Long gone are Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks - so far from the current orbit that they strain our memories: Were they real or were they Memorex? 

Soon, the roster musical chairs will involve Luke Voit. Then, kaboom, we'll see how gutsy Cashman wants to be. Could the Yankees move Joey Gallo into CF, play Giancarlo in LF, and let Luke DH? I'd say, fuck yeah. Desperate times mean desperate measures. And let's face it, Cashman runs this team, and he's got his own reality. These next four games won't make or break the Yankees. But a sweep would be nice, and anything less than a split will have the jackals - of which I am one - howling for blood.


JM said...

We are approaching what psychiatrists know as the Voit Problem. You have a loyal, high-performing employee, who has to miss a substantial period of work due to medical issues. After well past the point where his absence is effecting the organization, you finally hire a replacement, who turns out to be better than the original employee. When that employee is ready and able to return to work, what do you do?

You could give him back his old job and fire his replacement, but that replacement has proved even more valuable than the employee had been. You can split the duties of his position between the two, but that seems like weakening the position for sentimental reasons, which is bad for business. You can find a comparable new job for the old employee and hope he is able to thrive there at least as well as he did at his old position. Or you can return him to his old job out of loyalty and find a new place for his replacement. You could also highly recommend him to another employer who could use someone skilled at what he used to do.

The latter, however, is made impossible because, while waiting for his return, other employers have filled their positions. The only sensible, businesslike move is to find the original employee a new job to do. However, this option is likely to create disruptions that could effect the business, creating workplace resentments and tensions or otherwise negatively impacting the organization or even the original employee himself. The employer also harbors a nagging doubt that the employee will remain healthy and not have a future outbreak of issues that again require a long absence. Out of respect for his previous contributions and as an internal show of loyalty, all of this poses an ethical dilemma that seems impossible to resolve in a fully satisfactory manner.

Over the past two decades, leading clinical psychologists have tested each possibility in a controlled setting and reached a definitive conclusion to their research: you should have sent the employee elsewhere when you could, and now, you're fucked.

13bit said...

Give Voit a frying pan and send him into the upper decks to channel poor, departed Freddie...

ZacharyA said...

(Thur) Tyler Anderson vs. Nestor Cortes
(Fri) Marco Gonzalez vs. ???
(Sat) Chris Flexin vs. Andrew Heaney
(Sun) Yusei Kikuchi vs. Luis Gil

In a series that could define the season, the Yankees are sending out 1) a guy who will give them 4-5 innings max, 2) presumably a bullpen game of some sort, 3) a guy with a 5.42 ERA, and 4) a rookie with a 5.64 ERA in AAA.

We'll be lucky to avoid a sweep.

Anonymous said...

The Orioles reverted back to reality the last two games and gave us a reprieve. They must've run out of the potion they got from Dr. Jekyll. So, unbelievably, we actually have a meaningful series against the Mariners.

Re. Luke Voit, if the Brain really wanted to move him, I think he could make a trade via the waiver wire route and pick up another lefty hitter. The question is who do we get. Or Brain could DFA Gardner to clear a spot too. Voit probably would clear waivers. If he doesn't, then Brain just has to reel him back in. What do you guys think? But it ain't happening, of course. Brian has a serious aversion to moving anyone out, unless it's a minor leaguer. If Voit stays, then he has to sit in the minors, there's no place for him here right now.

The Hammer of God

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Freddie Sez...

These are all great comments.

Retired Stratman said...

Yusei Kikuchi
I say Kikachi…

ZacharyA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZacharyA said...


MLB got rid of the August waiver wire trade rules after the 2018 season (i.e. the Verlander/Astros trade wouldn't be possible anymore).

If the Yanks place Voit on waivers, he will simply be claimed by another team. Someone will pay $1.6M for two months of the AL HR leader. Probably the Dodgers, swapping him for Pujols or something. Or maybe the Red Sox, whose first basemen are hitting .199/.243/.368 this year.

(If Voit did somehow clear waivers, he could be assigned to AAA since he is just shy of three years of MLB service time.)

The time to trade Voit has passed. I bet they'll try again this offseason.

Dandy Prof said...

There is no more August waivers claim. Hasn't been for a while:

13bit said...

Anonymous said...

El Duque,
Your malevolent maturity is disarming, if not off-seeing


Gees, please revert back to your disarming angelic pollyanna self
Thank you,
The Archangel

Kevin said...

Luis Torrens, another Caribbean signee who was reputed to have off the charts potential. Come see the incompetence inherent in the System.

TheWinWarblist said...

Freddie freaked out my children the one time they met him.

Come and see the incompetence inherent in the system!!

Anonymous said...

My apologies regarding the waiver wire proposal for Luke. I sit corrected.

So they'll just have to flush Gardner. Or send down a bullpen lugnut, until the next injury happens.

The Hammer of God

Carl J. Weitz said...

Great Podcast today on the absurdity of analytics in general and the Yankee idiots in particular. Jeff Nelson went ballistic over Greg Allen and Florial being demoted while Jonathan Davis, a Blue Jay reject was signed off the scrap pile. He was spot on.