Wednesday, October 27, 2021

One throwaway line in a Times article might just signal another rotten Yankee decade

In today's Gray Lady, the esteemed Gammonite, Tyler Kepner, unfurls a bottomless thumbsucker on what it takes to win a world series, which - spoiler alert - nobody really knows (least of all, the Yankees.)  

He deftly notes that - despite the wails of certain cheapo billionaire owners - baseball has reached a parity well beyond those of the NFL, NBA and NHL. Baseball's last repeat champions were the New York Yankees of 1999-2000. Remember them? 

Now, I could start right now writing about what's gone wrong with the Yankees over the last 12 years, but I would be at this keyboard until opening day 2022, when a new cascade of reasons will be unveiled. Instead, let's hone in on one line in Kepner's story, which - as always - is worth a read. Around 15 inches into the narrative, he writes about the number of teams that qualify for the post-season: 

"Now there are five in each league, with more teams likely to be added as part of the next C.B.A."


We've known about the impending labor war, which has festered since the first sign that the owners - including Hal Steinbrenner - would view Bud Selig's luxury tax as a de facto payroll cap, basically colluding to hold down player salaries and ruin our financial advantage. Remember how haters used to snarl at us, "Your damn Yankees buy their pennants!" Ahh, the good-old days. Does anybody ever bark at you, "Your damn Yankees buy their away-team wild card slots!" (Because, frankly, that's what we did this year.) 

But getting back to Kepner's throwaway: Part of the new labor agreement will probably - no, make it "surely" - add yet another team in each league to the already outstretched post-season. Will they finish up on Thanksgiving? Imagine a 162 game season that now allows 12 out of 30 teams to reach what Kepner calls the playoffs "lottery." 

In that impending new world, the Yankees will always challenge for some variation of the wild card. Because we can. Thus, every Aug. 1 trade deadline will bring an infusion of Joey Gallos, at the expense of our farm system. (And once more, I'd like to address this bizarre notion - pushed so heavily by the Yankee-owned media that it does not get challenged enough - that our farm system is soooo deep, and that we are soooo much smarter than other teams, thus, we never give away anything of quality. If our front office is sooooo smart, why have we won nothing in 12 years?) 

Tonight, the World Series continues, and - ya know what? I don't give a fuck who wins. We can fling feces at the Astros - why not! - but both Atlanta and Houston built their teams after suffering long lean periods. The Yankees will never do that, not as long as there are sellers at the deadline and some ridiculous final wild card berth to chase. Six playoff teams? Why not make it seven? Either way, come next October, we will be right here, wondering what went wrong?

The fault, dear Kepner, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.


13bit said...

I’ll keep posting this:

Oh juju gods! Why have you forsaken us? Why have you abandoned us? We built shrines to you. We did what we were told. We drank from the Sacred Waters and washed it down with salt. Why do you shit on us? When will the false pharaoh, Hal, topple from his perch? When will the idolater Brian crumble? We beg you for help. Please lead us out of this wilderness.

TheWinWarblist said...

So the Giants weren't a dominant team when they won three WS is 5 years? Or did that not happen?

He's such a dink. Fucker.

JM said...

The playoffs are already a mockery of the full season. Is adding more teams just a way of saying that teams in the North will never again win a World Series, because it gets really cold by Christmas?

Of course, there are all the holiday tie-ins that MLB will be able to exploit. Thanksgiving games that will compete against the NFL broadcasts. Bell and Evans sponsorships. Santa arriving by parachute from a formation of Blue Angels over the stadium.

Baseball isn't dead yet, but the powers that be sure are hastening that result.

13bit said...

Please, Saint juju, do not let us down. Can

HoraceClarke66 said...

Very true, Duque. And while I agree that this number of playoffs indeed makes a mockery of the true test, the long season, JM, Kepner is ridiculous—and Brain is self-serving—to imply that this is what ails your New York Yankees.

What Kepner is talking about is more what the Dodgers have done over the past nine seasons, which is winning 8 division titles, averaging over 97 wins a (full) season, and winning just one World Series—thanks in part to the cheating 2017 Astros and the cheating 2018 BoSox.

If I were a Dodgers fan, I'd be livid. Since I'm a New Yorker, they can suck my karma...

HoraceClarke66 said...

...But that's NOT what the Yankees' problem is. In those same, last 9 years, the Bombers have finished first in the regular season exactly once.

Sure, maybe the cheating hearts of Houston and Boston deprived us of more. But far from being an obstacle to overcome, the added playoffs have been, again and again, the only hope these poorly shaped, poorly prepared Yankees teams have had.

How you can cover baseball and not understand that is beyond me. Maybe Kepner has been doing too much duty covering how a member of Pearl Jam is opening skateboard parks all over Montana—the sort of thing our "Paper of Record" now considers "sports."

HoraceClarke66 said...

And good pick-up on how MLB wants to add still more teams and still more playoffs, oh Peerless Leader.

Good grief, aren't the playoffs long enough? Haven't we gone far enough to make the world championship a virtual crapshoot?

The answer is that, in American sports, too much is never enough. 16 NFL games a year? Sure let's add another one! 30-plus teams in every major sport? Always room for a few more!

And playoffs, playoffs, playoffs! Who wants to play a "regular" season game? That's just regular. Every game should be extra special, along with every highlight reel.

The attributes that drew us to love sport in the first place—endurance, grace, field smarts, professionalism—who cares about that?

Happened to turn on the end of the Jets game the other day. The Jets were down, 47-13, and one of their corners happened to bat down a short pass. He immediately did a little dance and pointed his hand at the end zone. The Patriots then drove down the field and scored, making the final, 54-13.

But hey, every play is special!

Doug K. said...

A few things...

1) Hoss the dance is so that he has a "signature move" for Madden 2022. It helps build their personal brand.

For example in EA's MLB 66, Juan Marichal's signature move got him a piñata deal.

2) Adding More Teams To the playoffs.

I'm opposed to this idea but if that's the case then they should go back to the shorter schedule to avoid playing in November. 154 games.

3) Charlie Morton

Pitched after breaking his leg! That is one tough guy.

el duque said...

Morton has made chumps of us for five years now - with Tampa, with Houston, now with Atlanta. We could have gotten him, if we tried. But he didn't fit Cashman's prototype horse. He didn't strike out 20 per game. He just got hitters out.

DickAllen said...

Another round of playoffs is a great idea!

Just think: we can look forward to games played in the snow in April AND December!

Think of all the additional promotional tie-ins that will add sponsorship dollars to an already bloated billionaire's pocket: snow shovels, de-icers, car battery heaters, Yankees snowshoes! The possibilities are endless!