Thursday, September 30, 2021

HoraceClarke66: "It could be worse."

 From the cigarette-and-ice tortured desk of HoraceClarke66...

 Let’s face it. Last night’s crushing loss probably put paid to our boys’ chances of making a playoffs they had absolutely zero chance of winning. (All right, a 1.9 percent chance, or whatever other risible number baseball reference has assigned to it.)

 Tonight we face the AL’s real Cy Young winner, and then we go on to face the best team in the league, while neither Toronto nor Boston is likely to lose again on the season.

Sure, there’s hope. The TB Rays might tank all three games to us. If they’re smart, the last thing they’ll want to see is Toronto in the playoffs. But that’s a pretty weak reed to lean on.

 So let’s look at what your New York Yankees won the night before last, to go along with that 29th consecutive winning season:  their 90th victory of the season.

 That makes 64 times they’ve won 90 or more games (including 21 times they’ve won 100 or more), out of 119 seasons. And really, just 116 seasons when, thanks to lockouts or Covid, they actually had a chance to win 90.

 Think of it. That means in 55 percent of all Yankees seasons—better than even money—the team won 90 or more games.

 For contrast, take a look at your New York Mets, who were 4 ½ games up on their wobbly division in early August, but now will ring up yet another losing season, their 34th in all.

 How many times have the Mets won 90 or more games in their 60, tortured years of existence?  Just 11 (including 3 in which they won 100 or more, the last time in 1988.).

 Sure, I hear you say, but the Yankees have been around much longer. True. Yet 30 of those 34, 90-plus-win seasons by the Bombers and 11 of those 100-plus-win seasons have come since the Mets have been in existence.

 The Mets are the only big-league team in New York baseball history that has stuck around for at least five years and managed to compile a losing record. 

The Yankees, the Giants, the Dodgers—hell, even Boss Tweed’s old New York Mutuals—all had winning records here.


Not the Mets, who yet again saw a major free-agent signing come to town and come apart at the seams. (Hey, say what you want about George Foster or Roberto Alomar, at least they didn’t turn thumbs-down at the Flushing Faithul.)

Year in, year out, under new management or old, almost every season is a major disappointment for our brethren in Queens and their fans. Like the song sort of says, one seasons follows on another, laden with sloppiness and tears.

Things could be worse. We could be…Mets fans.

There. Feeling better already?


Nicholas Anklepants Barretta said...

Mistah Bronxie - he dead.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Yup. Last night was the game we had to have. We didn't have it. End of story.

Incidentally, baseball-reference puts our chances of winning the World Series at a laughable 3 percent, and of making the playoff at an even more ridiculous 75.4 percent.

Get ready for that to change after tonight' debacle.

And really, what would be the point of getting to the dance anyway, with our only guy able to win more than 8 games—oh, wait, sorry Chad, I know you got10, thanks to various blown saves—hurt and ineffective?

The party's over, and the only thing that remains to be done is the big send-off for The Master.

DickAllen said...

Sorry, Hoss. Cold comfort.

Comparing this mess to the Mets is like waking up with the cllap and being grateful the hooker didn’t steal your watch

ZacharyA said...

Joey Gallo in 2019
.253/.389/.598 (.986 OPS) in 297 PA

Rest of Gallo's career
.199/.325/.475 (.801 OPS) in 2091 PA

It's really looking to me like Joey was another one of those guys who got a huge boost from the ball in 2019. Remember when Gardner suddenly slugged .503 out of the blue? Remember when DJ LeMahieu left Coors field and his slugging jumped almost 100 points? Remember when Torres hit 38 HR? All of that happened in 2019. And it wasn't just the Yankees. Francisco Lindor slugged .518, now he's at .408. Christian Yelich absurdly slugged .671. Look at his numbers now. I could go on.

If that career batting line is the true Joey Gallo, we need to figure out if he's even worth playing every day. Batting under .200, struggling to field the ball, and slugging under .500 (.416 with the Yankees).... is that guy a full-time player for you? And should he be batting 5th?

HoraceClarke67 said...

More like, "being grateful the hooker didn't steal your watch and cut your throat," Dick Allen, but I take your point.

Zach, those are some interesting figures. One of the best things the faceless corporate entity known as MLB could do for itself is stop messing around with the ball so constantly. How are even good GMs to make decisions?

But yes, I would say that Joey Gallo with the goog-goog-googly eyes has played himself out of a position. And NO, he should not be hitting fifth.

DickAllen said...

A song for Joey Gallo:

The trouble is he's crazy, the trouble is he drinks
The trouble is he's lazy, the trouble is he stinks
The trouble is he's growing, the trouble is he's grown

Goodness gracious, that's why I'm a mess

Apologies to Mr. Sondheim

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Sorry, but the correct punchline is "glad you still have both kidneys".

It feels like the Yankees only have one.

DickAllen said...

Once upon a time, The Intern had himself a solid team that he supplemented to fill a hole here and there. It’s a time-honored tradition. I’m thinking in particular of David Justice. There are many more.

The problem now is our estimable GM has fallen in love with this technique without realizing that he doesn’t have the solid core of years gone by, and these gap fillers are being asked to carry the team. Guys like Rizzo and Gallo and Odor just aren’t capable of sustained success. They’ve had their moments in the sun elsewhere but don’t have the Spiraea douglasii glow of their youth to rely upon anymore. Even Stanton, healthy for the first time in years, doesn’t seem capable of sustained success.

Until a solid core of young, hungry regulars appears on the horizon, this patchwork quilt cannot be expected to be a winning team. And that horizon right now looks like the dark side of the moon. As the Yankees continue to achieve a constant level of mediocrity that we refer to as “playoff-caliber team,” the future is muddied with middling draft picks. So the cycle continues.

Give Cashman props: he’s capable of finding some nice pieces at Goodwill, but a roster full of them does not produce championships. This year’s crop of filler smacks of the kind of desperation from a man who has realized he got his wires crossed and is trying to repair the ship with duct tape.

DickAllen said...

I have no idea how the spiraea reference got on there

Carl J. Weitz said...

Speaking of hookers, I always prefer to watch the porn video in rewind/reverse because I like to see the hooker give the money back to her client. I only wish I could do that with the 2021 Yankees so my time invested watching them would be restored.
But wouldn't it be great to see the Mariners eke out that #2 wild card slot at the expense of the Red Sox?

ZacharyA said...

Second Half Stats:

Brett Gardner
.254/.354/.420 (.774 OPS)

Joey Gallo
.146/.283/.387 (.670 OPS)

We really brought in a guy to replace some of Gardner's playing time and he can't even outperform Gardner. Like bro, how are you getting OUTSLUGGED by a 38-year-old fourth outfielder?

And we gave up prospects for this!

ranger_lp said... let me get this straight...we have a 3% chance of winning the World Serious. If we lose tonight, does that put us at half the distance to the goal line...1.5%?

HoraceClarke67 said...

You guys are en fuego today.

You are right, Dick Allen—and it's amazing how long the core of that team held together, right up through 2009 and even a little beyond.

That's because it was built by the holy trinity of Stick, Buck, and Bob, and somewhere in the interminable number of alternate universes we're told must exist, I'm sure they and their handpicked successors are still racking up championships—while Brian Cashman has become the Steinbrenner family's personal horse groomer.

HoraceClarke67 said...

ranger, I have no idea how they figure these odds—especially when we don't know who they'll even play. But I think 3 percent is crazily optimistic.

My own figure would be "<" followed by a snowball in hell.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Love the spiraea reference, Dick Allen—and Officer Krupke.

DickAllen said...

Horace, I’m replanting a very shady part of my garden and I’m looking to California natives. The spiraea must have been wanting to make its presence known here.

Here’s what I discovered about the plant:

Spiraea was used by native Americans to treat abdominal pains and as an infusion for enemas.
Which perfectly defines my gut feelings about this Yankees season.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

Paraphrasing Jack as The Joker,

The Yankees front office needs an enema.

Anonymous said...

Great piece, Hoss!

Yeah, I'm just waiting for those comments that we should consider ourselves lucky that we're not Pittsburgh Pirates fans. But somehow that just doesn't do it for me. This is the greatest sports franchise in history. And all we've got to show for the last decade or so is to say that we're better than the Pirates.

Even if we win this game tonight and make the wild card game, it still leads to more misery. It'll be one game and out. And then Brainless Cashman will say those infamous words again: the playoffs are a crap shoot.

The Hammer of God

TheWinWarblist said...

Things will NEVER be that worse. I could never be a Mets fan.

Carl J. Weitz said...

The real Officer Krupke: