Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Fat, drunk and with appreciation for the juju gods, Yank fans head into June with no complaints

No problems here. 


I'm not kidding. 

Wipe those smirks off your faces, dammit! I mean this! Here we are, best record in the AL, five up over Tampa, 11 over Boston (loss column)... we've played two months with an animated corpse in LF, and over 23 games in 22 days, we went 15-8. Wow. So don't let me catch anybody poormouthing, or I swear I will take off my belt! The gravy has been good, and the juju gods have done a great job! And when things going well, you better know enough to tip the caddy. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you... juju gods.

Tim Locastro will soon return. An overachiever. A secret weapon. I loved watching him enter in the ninth, steal second and dismantle the pitcher. He won us a few games.

Miguel Andujar is hitting - not exactly 2018, but enough to warrant a shot. The other night, he sliced a double into the RF corner - like old times. At the least, Miggy deserves to platoon. 

Jameson Tailion is cresting, and Nasty Nestor is for real. 

The Rangers could actually win the Stanley Cup, and the Mets/Yankees Subway Series might be a prelude to October. 

Listen: This is no time for neg-juju. We must recognize when life is good. Know what we gotta do with pessimism? Nip. It. Nip it in the bud. That's right. Nip it, nip it, nip it, nip it, nip it... NIP IT IN THE BUD! Nippit, nippit, nippit, nippit, nippit, nippit... NIPPIT IN THE BUD! If this is cancel culture, we are hereby canceling negativity - until the next loss. That would be three straight - fuckme, a crisis.  

The Rangers just waived Albert Abreu, which makes the trade for Jose Trevino a complete Yankee wipeout, and - who knows? - maybe "Double A" can find his way home to NYC? And yes, Mean Chad Green is out for the season... but maybe Mean Shane Greene can replace him? 

Smile, people. Yeah, it's still just May, and the 2022 season will bring its share of disasters and disappointments. But I have a feeling that the Age of Gallo is coming to an end, and we're still in the catbird seat.  

Therefore, I say, "Hats off to the juju gods!" Yeah, they screw us now and then, but overall, they are hard-working mythological beings - vastly underpaid for demigods, who almost never hear their names unless it's to be criticized. They work weekends and holidays. They do the Universe's dirty work - fixing sports events - a thankless task that no other supernatural entity wants to do. You see them standing in the loading docks, smoking, wearing Velcro-wrist guards, with their bad backs and threadbare ties. Next time, make sure to thank them for their service - and maybe add a $20 bill to the handshake.  

Memorial Day is in the books, and the Yankees are in first. 

Thank you, juju gods. I know, I know... I've said mean things in the past, but I never really meant you. I was angry, lashing out at Management. It wasn't your fault. Overall, you are fine, decent immortals. So let's just keep 2022 moving forward, okay? Do that, and there will be a little extra under the napkin. A small token of our appreciation. Keep up the good work.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Worse Than Stalin???


On this Memorial Day, I think it's pertinent to ask if our general manager, Brian Cashman, is actually worse than that longtime enemy of the United States, Josef Stalin.

Hear me out!

Back during the long-ago days of the Soviet Union's second, five-year plan—or was it their fifth, two-year plan? I forget—Stalin's propagandists came up with a model mine worker named Alexey Grigoryvich Stakhanov. 

You all know the Tennessee Tuxedo Ford song? "Mine 16 tons, and whattaya get..."

Fuhgeddaboutit!  On August 31, 1935, Stakhanov supposedly mined 102 tons of coal in one shift. Less than a month later, on September 19th—these are the kind of sporting stats they kept in the USSR—ol' Stakie mined 227 tons.

What he got was a bunch of medals, and a chance to live the Soviet equivalent of la vida loca at the Moscow Industrial Academy ("Show 'em what's behind Door No. 2, Carol Merrill!"). 

What the rest of the Soviet workforce got was the "encouragement' to emulate Stakhanov's incredible work effort through the "Stakhanovite" movement.

(It still seems incredible to me that a loose shelf of coal didn't tragically fall on Stakie's head at some point, but there you are.)

Basically, the idea behind the Stakhanovite movement was that the best you ever did—or the best that some bureaucrat ever made up—was the new norm. You were always supposed to equal it or top it.

Which is basically the same mentality that Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman goes by. Only worse.

"Worse" because even the "bests" that Cashman expects the recipients of his biggest contracts to live up to...ain't even that great.

The perpetually injured Aaron Hicks had a decent enough year in 2018, hitting .248 with 27 homers and 90 walks, and playing a very good centerfield. But it wasn't exactly Mickey Mantle in 1956. Hell, it wasn't even close to Curtis Granderson in 2011.

Joey Gallo, whose every appearance on the playing field sends a shudder through our bodies today...was a lifetime, .211 hitter in 7 seasons BEFORE he came to your New York Yankees. 

Sure, he could hit for some power, draw some walks, and had played a Gold Glove outfield. But .211?? What could possibly have made any reasonable observer think this guy was the answer to anything? Plus he had a history of injuries.

Even Giancarlo Stanton, who DID have a Stakhanovite kind of season with lowly Miami in 2017—lotta big pressure games that year—had had exactly one season in which he did not spend considerable time on the DL.

Didn't matter to Coops Cashman. 

Your best season would now be your average season with the New York Yankees.  Perpetual greatness awaited—even if you never had a really great year.

It's as if ol' Alexey Stakhanov had spent most of his shifts accidentally drilling a hole in his work boot. 

Not even Stalin was self-delusional enough to have convinced himself that that sort of performance should become the standard.

Okay, okay, I hear ya:  So Cooperstown Cashman DIDN'T brutally murder 30 million people or more, and subject the Bronx to abject terror for 30 years.  

So all he's done is...some rather admirable charitable work.

Okay, so he's NOT worse than Stalin.

But right now, his five-year plan is looking just about as successful.

When you lose the last two of a four-game series, it's not really a split

No whining today. We won two of four - on the road - without Giancarlo, with a burnt-out bullpen, and with an OF tandem (Hicks/Gallo) that produces nothing. 

We still have the second best record in MLB. 

Happy Memorial Day. Eat a hotdog.

And try not to worry about the REAL threat...

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Batting ninth, Joey Gallo... and other cerebrations on the great spring of 2022 (which ends today)

Screw the solstice. Summer's here, and the time is right for racing in the street. They've named the first tropical storm. The Depp trial is done. The Death Barge has finally faced its true arch rival: The Devil Rays. It doesn't matter what you wear, just as long as you are there... A few mentations...

1. Now batting ninth, Joseph Nicolas Gallo. Boone says it's because the nine hole is a wonderous land of treasure, turning over the order and Viagra-izing the lineup. Ninth is the new seventh!

This is, of course, lunacy. Ninth is the new nope. Regardless of our record, the Yanks cannot keep playing a LF who channels Rob Deer and lags 30 points below Senor Mendoza. It's time to call the cards. The poor guy looks battered out there. He's not going to suddenly break out and carry this team. 

When the presents under the tree are horseshit, it doesn't mean there's a pony in the yard.

2. Yesterday, you could sense Cory Kluber would klubber us. When facing the Yankees as a former team, all cagy veterans do. But Kluber's problem remains durability, and here's a suggestion for the Rays: Look for a deal, because one of these days, something in Kluber will zag when it was supposed to zing. 

3. Hated to waste a decent start by Gerrit Cole. If we hold them to three, we should win that game. 

4. Disturbing was Cole's meltdown after getting squeezed on a 3-1 and 3-2 pitch to the relentlessly adorable Ji-Man Choi. He'd thrown a no-hitter through four. I was starting to drool. Then, with two outs in the sixth, Cole suddenly does an El Chapo: He walks Choi, the kewpie doll, throws four straight balls to Wander Franco, then surrenders the tying run. He's supposed to be our rock. WTF?

5. An Aaron Hicks sighting. He pinch hit in the eighth with a runner on first. Struck out. Sad. Back to the cave? 

6. Suddenly, Michael King cannot throw a scoreless inning. His ERA over his last seven appearances: 7.15. The NY Post did a number on him, juju-wise, with a ludicrous back page salute. This is one of Matt Blake's first crises as pitching coach: He needs to straighten King out. 

7. DJ LeMahieu went 1-for-4, with a double in the first. (Two fly balls went to the wall that inning, just missed going out; little did we know...) He was slumping before needing to have his wrist MRI-ed. LeMahieu might be The Most Important Yankee, because he plays everywhere and bats leadoff. Without him hitting, our lineup looks limp and lifeless. 

8. Today we face Rue McClanahan, the Rays' best pitcher. Never liked The Golden Girls. Not optimistic. 


Saturday, May 28, 2022

"Who Owns New York?"

As your New York Yankees seize control of the tabloid backpage race today—thank you, Peerless Leader—it is time to answer the musical question raised above. 

There has been some speculation on this site about whether or not it's the Mets time to take over the city again. The general consensus on this has been in the negative—led, I think, by Kevin, though a number of us have chimed in.

Time for a closer look.

Who owns New York? Well, the answer is the same as in the old Columbia fight song: We own New York—and by a pretty wide margin still.

I don't know from TV ratings (and frankly, I don't know how you figure them, with teams now broadcasting on the regular TV, and the cable, and the streaming, and HEY LADY!)  But as of today, your New York Yankees are second in the AL with 803,013 fans. Only the Angels have drawn more, and that is with two more home dates.  

The Yanks are first in the AL in average attendance—and far ahead of the Mets—with crowds averaging 33,459 a game. The Mets, by contrast, are just 9th in the NL, averaging only 27,350 a game. 

Historically, this is no surprise. 

Before 1920, the team that dominated NYC baseball in every way, was the New York Baseball Giants. Not only did the Giants win A LOT—6 pennants and 1 World Series from 1904-1917—but they played in the Polo Grounds, far and away the nonpareil baseball park in the major leagues.

It was not finished yet. The Giants kept adding to it for years, and there was a fire that required some rebuilding. 

But you can see that, for all of its crazy, horseshoe shape, it was a massive park—even a stadium—compared to the rather shabby venues where the proto Yankees and Dodgers cavorted.

Below, left, is old Hilltop Park, on the present-day site of the Columbia-Presbyterian medical complex, where the Highlanders/Yanks played from 1903-1912 (Then the City of New York unceremoniously shoved a street through the middle of the park, forcing the Yankees to become a renter from the Giants.). 

Still, for all that, the Yankees were generally second in the attendance battle, and managed to win it during the Giant off-years of 1906 and 1918.

The Brooklyn Superbas/Robins/Dodgers, meanwhile, played in a borough that was only just becoming the most populace in the city—and at Washington Park, in Park Slope (see at right), which looks as if it was strategically located smack in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. 

All that changed when a certain individual we like to call "Babe Ruth" came to town in 1920. The Yankees immediately became the first baseball team, ever, to break the million-fan mark. By 1923, they had their own Stadium in the Bronx—the first baseball park ever deliberately built as a stadium—and they would go on to become the first New York club to break the two-million fan and four-million fan mark, as well (The Mets, in 1987, would be the first to three million.)

The Yanks dominated the three-way competition for the rest of its existence, leading the city in 31 of the next 38 seasons. The poor Giants, who had foolishly forced the team out of their own park, led in only two more years, 1925 and 1935.  

The Dodgers, revived under new management and cannily becoming the first team in New York to exploit night baseball, radio, and, of course, their new little jewel box of a ballpark, Ebbets Field, won the competition 5 times in 7 seasons, 1939-1945. 

But beloved as they were, once Yankee Stadium turned on the lights for night baseball in 1946, the

Dodgers never led the city in attendance again.

Then came the Mets, in 1962, and the "National League town" that New York, somehow, naturally is, went over to the new guys in waves. Right?

Well, not really.

As long as the Metsies were playing in the battered old Polo Grounds, up in a Harlem that was perceived as much more dangerous than it was, the Mets did not draw well, averaging only 9,377 fans a game in 1962, and 11,452 in 1963...for 7 of the other 9 teams in the National League.

For the 15-17 home dates a year they played against the returning natives, Giants and Dodgers, it was a different story.

For the first 5 years of their existence, Mets' attendance was over twice as much against LA and SF than it was for all other NL teams combined. For one of those seasons, it was over three times what the Metsies drew against everyone else. 

With the advent of their own park in Queens, and with the Mets turning into a genuine contender, they began to draw on their own, of course. And as the Yankees declined,

the Metsies won the head-to-head competition 12 seasons

in a row, 1964-1975.

When the usual fortunes of the two teams reversed again, the Mets won the head-to-head another 9 seasons in a row, 1984-1992.

But that was it. 

Unless things change drastically this season—which they may very well, considering our boys' dwindling depth—it will make 30 consecutive seasons that the Yanks have won the competition (not counting the 2020 season, when nobody showed up for some reason).

Oh, who owns New York? Oh, we own New York, we own New York...Y-A-N-K-E-E-S.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Joey Saves. Joey Stays!

I read this morning's El Duque post and the subsequent comments and I totally disagree! 

I think you all miss Joey's true value to the team. 

Sure it would be easy to replace Gallo on either side of the ball... He stinks!

So we get rid of Joey Gallo to gain what? Another 50 points in batting avg? Maybe 15 to 20 HR's? 40-60 RBIs? A better fielder? We don't need those...

Did it ever occur to ANY of you that the reason we have the best record in baseball is that Joey Gallo is our good luck charm?

I want to point out that our google-eyed fuzzy-haired Gumby currently sits on the dashboard of our car and we are on a road trip to Pennantville! 

Need proof?

Every pair of fuzzy dice you see on the road hanging from the rear view mirror of a car is a car that is STILL ON THE ROAD! Do fuzzy dice prevent accidents? It would seem so.

Joey Gallo is our fuzzy dice. Our St. Christopher medal. Our "If you can read this, you are driving too close" bumper sticker.

We need good fortune. Or as Joey would say, "Buena Fortuna!"

Or as he also would say, "I canna no hitta the curve. I canna no hitta the fastaball. I canna no hitta the change up. But I keepa my job so clearly... I hitta the lottery."

Buena Fortuna! 

Joey Stays! 


In Matt Carpenter, the Yankees have given Joey Gallo an inspiration to change - or to ponder his replacement

Last night, the long and winding tale of Matt Carpenter took an interesting twist: His HR helped propel the Yankees to a 2-0 win over Tampa, ensuring the Death Barge, at worst, a split in the four-game series. 

It was Carpenter's first HR since April 30, 2021, when he was mired in a career-crushing slump with the Cards, the only team he'd ever known. Last year, he was horrible - .169 with 3 HRs in 249 at bats. For three seasons, he'd only gotten worse.

In essence, he is Joey Gallo, one year from now.

Over the winter, Carpenter sought out several "swing doctors," an MLB cottage industry, whose proponents include JD Martinez, Justin Turner and Aaron Judge. About 20 years ago, radical new techniques revolutionized hitting - the Ted Williams upper-cut replacing the "Charlie Lau" theory of hitting, which dominated most of the previous century.  

Carpenter rejiggered his swing and signed a minor league deal with Texas. In Triple A this season, he was hitting .275 with 6 HRs in about 100 at bats. His contract contained an OUT clause, allowing him to walk. He invoked it, the Yankees pounced, and last night, he might have launched his golden journey on the Road to Redemption. 

Or maybe I'm watching too much YES.

Which brings us to Gallo... 

Listen: Carpenter won't replace Gallo in the OF. Over 12 seasons, he's made only 25 appearances - 117 innings - in the outfield. But he ought to get Gallo thinking, because unless Joey changes his ways, it's only a matter of time before the Yankees cut bait.  

Gallo is - well - awful. I can't watch anymore. Last night, he actually got a hit - a single! going 1-4 with two strikeouts - lifting his average to .169. In his last seven games, he is 1-for-24 with 13 strikeouts - which leads to today's question:

How long do the Yankees go with Gallo? Let's do a multiple choice: 

a. Until they fall out of first place, or hit an extended losing streak.

b. Until everybody is healthy again - Giancarlo, Hicks, Donaldson, Locastro, et al.

c. Until he does something incredibly bone-headed, costing us a big game. It could be anything. Think: What would Gary Sanchez do?

d. Until, say, the all-star break. Gotta be a point where Boone goes to Cashman and says, "Enough is enough." 

e. Until a replacement appears. Miguel Andujar, maybe? Another minor league retread? Triple A is brimming with guys like Carpenter, and unless their agent is Dopey Dildox, their contracts feature exit ramps. If the Yankees see somebody - anybody - Gallo isn't giving them reason to sit and wait. (Note: As painful as this is to write, I say NO to Robbie and Gardy.) 

Just on the basis of last night's HR, Carpenter may have already leapfrogged Gallo and Aaron Hicks as a LH batting option. If he continues to hit - and the bar is low here - Carpenter will take playing time from both.

Finally, Gallo needs to take a good hard look at Carpenter - and at his future. Time is running out.  

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Yankees might just have NYC's greatest, out-of-nowhere surprise since Victor Cruz - but let's not speak his name

Most great sports teams include an overachieving nobody, the guy no one foresaw becoming a superstar. With his every success, you find yourself in rapt disbelief - waiting for the gong to sound, for the trapdoor to open, for the inevitable disappointment. But the 11-year-old in you wonders: Could I be watching history? 

Of course, the king of surprise nobodies is Tom Brady - today so famous that it's hard to even remember when he wasn't a multinational corporation, endorsing the triad of capitalism: cars, footwear and beer. For the record, that would be 2000, when Brady was drafted in the NFL's sixth round. Coulda been a Giant. Coulda been a Jet. Just imagine...

In New York City, the last great, unbelievable walk-on superstar is probably wide receiver Victor Cruz, who joined the Giants in 2010 as an undrafted lug nut. In the end, Madonna was doing his salsa dance, but at the start, anybody coulda signed Cruz for a gym membership.  

All of which DOES NOT lead me to thinking about Nestor Cruz. 

No, no, NO! Let me be clear. I'm NOT comparing Nasty Nestor to Brady, or Cruz, or anybody who ever appeared in a Pepsi commercial with the latest CIA-created clone of Joey Heatherton. (Still the greatest Joey, BTW.) Are you reading this, juju gods? Yeah, I'm talking to you. I'm NOT saying nothing, so keep your fucking grubby hands, or claws, or feelers, off Nestor Cortez. I'm still reeling from the NY Post, which recently stuck Michael King on its back cover, suggesting he was baseball's best pitcher. I mean, who does that?  Is Rupert Murdoch a Redsock fan? 

So... recapping... he is NOT fucking Tom Brady.  

If we want to compare Nasty Nestor to anybody, I suggest Shane Spencer,  Jim Leyritz, Kevin Maas, Yangervis Solarte - how about Jeremy Lin! - even the massive rookie half-season of Gary Sanchez or the thrice-retreaded 2011 version of Bartolo Colon, which, frankly, still suggests bribery and corruption among the juju gods. 

The Yankees are shelling out Elon Musk-level money for Gerrit Cole, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton - none of whom are performing at their pay level. But it doesn't matter - because Nasty Nestor has the fourth best ERA in the game. 

How long will this continue? Haven't a clue. Right now, he'd be in the mix for All-Star game starter, though it would probably be Justin Verlander because...

a) Justin Verlander is a bigger name
b) Justin Verlander is having a great year
c) Everybody wants to see Cheating Justin Fucking Verlander throw out his arm in a meaningless but stressful game

Okay, here's the nut graph: Last night might turn out to be the greatest moment in the future made-for-TV movie about Nasty Nestor.  (Alfred Molina?) 

If there was anything bad about last night, it's that he didn't get a chance to pitch the complete game shutout. (Wandy Peralta gave up the run, which wrecked Nestor's box score. Still, I don't blame Boone for pulling Cortez; he'd thrown enough pitches and has shown himself worth saving.) 

Right now, we're watching a potential great story, a Hallmark movie, the legend of Nasty Nestor, the most lovable rising Yankee since - well - Joba? Ouch. That hurts to suggest, because we know how the Joba movie turns out. Still, that's how worms turn in the real world. Cortez is having a Fukinay moment. Let's enjoy every minute of it, and let's see where it goes. But for God's sake, people, think about what you write in the comment section. Tell me I'm fulla shit - fine - but remember: The juju gods will read it and post clippings in the locker room. 

This could be the great story of 2022. In the name of Linsanity, we need one.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Shave him.

  The Yankees have signed Matt Carpenter. 

The Scranton Gift...

 We got lucky last night. 

 Mostly, because three Scranton players delivered, in the same game.

1.  Sears - even though he needed 50 pitches in his first two innings, he found a rhythm to give the Yankees 85 pitches and no runs, through five innings.  He notched his second win at the major league level for 2022 ( one in relief ) , whereas Montgomery ( absent any team support at all, ever ) has none. 

2.  The Maraschino Cherry relieved for two innings of no runs, even though he didn't throw a single strike. 

3.  Miguel Andujar played a fine left field ( never thought I would say that ), and looks like a dangerous hitter again.  His bat scored our only earned run. Please take note;  the team scored one earned run. Again. All the big names struck out. 

I would give Andujar the left field job right now, and relegate Gallo to D, and then gardener ( possibly their barber ). 

Boone, of course, won't do that.  He has to respect the big names and the big contracts, even when they are awful ( see Hicks ). 

You'll see Andujar on the bench or DHing today.

And we'll have to listen to more sugary palaver about his stupid reasoning. 

And so begins the true 2022 season. (Note: It was always about Tampa)

Thus far, the 2022 Yankee season has resembled Syracuse University basketball in the cold month of November: The mighty Orangemen chalk up big victories against the likes of Drexel, Colgate and a selected SUNY Whatever - the Washington Generals of Division I - for a guaranteed fresh start in the Your Name Here Dome. 

As of today, the Yankees have nearly exhausted their allotted Orioles games - winning nine of 13. (We have six left - in late July and early September.) Also, it didn't hurt to lard up against Texas, KC and Detroit - winning seven of nine. 

Now, the fun begins - featuring a depleted bullpen, an injured Giancarlo, a bizarre Joey Gallo, and Aaron Hicks collapsing in every phase of the game. Now, it's Tampa, the team that has haunted our nightmares for as long as you can whisper the ancient prophesy: 

He who releaseth Ji-Man Choi
Shalt never know October joy." 

As joyful as May has been, we remain just a Scott Proctor meltdown from the modern Yankee tradition of spending September in pursuit of the final wild card slot. 

Moreover, the Blue Jays and Redsocks are beginning to wake up. If Memorial Day is the new Opening Day, the gains since April 6 can be nearly wiped out in a weekend.  And  if you're watching closely, you know enough to expect that the Yankees will not go the entire year in first place. Hard times are coming. 

But right now, let's discuss the outfield, which was not long ago being hailed as one of baseball's best.  Of course, Aaron Judge remains so spectacular that - yeesh - we almost question his previous commitment. Did it take looming free agency to make him the game's greatest hitter? But in CF, Hicks, is compiling a highlight reel of bonehead plays. 

The other night, he was picked off second base - a throw that wasn't even close enough for a replay challenge - in a crucial moment against Chicago. If that happens to Tim Locastro or Estevan Florial, they get sent to Scranton for a month. Hicks is too big to fail.   

Last night, boos rained down after he fanned on a ball four - so high it was practically in his eyes - in another key situation. Later, he let a lazy pop fly drop in shallow centerfield, nearly opening the floodgates for the O's. Something's wrong here. These are mental mistakes, and anybody hitting .209 with 1 HR ought not be making them. 

Meanwhile, Gallo returned last night, to the joy of nobody. He went oh-for-three, of course. The Yankees won because Miguel Andujar went 2 for 3, drove in a run, moved the carousel in our lone big inning, and played a solid LF. For his efforts, he might end up back in Scranton, because Cashman's Catastrophe needs 100 more ABs, so theoretically we can experience he real Gallo.

Well, here's two minutes of Gallo bunting to beat over-shifts. Most happened in Texas. Why he doesn't to it in NYC is a mystery, but his strikeouts are killing us, and apparently, the Yankees won't do anything until they're out of first place. And that could happen soon. Enjoy...

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Boonzooka Joe #1

Ok look, I just thought of this today so it will be an evolving thing...

That said... collect em all.  Even better make your own. 


On a team known for its giants, a diminutive Yankee saves the day

It's crazy to think of a "must win" game in May. 

Flat-out nuts. No such thing. 

Between now and the pumpkin patch, we'll see streaks and slumps, fantastical wins and indescribable losses - and so much turnover that we might barely recognize the Yankee lineup of October 1. 

So let's be clear: Last night was neither a season-saver nor a turning point. The Yankees beat Baltimore, a team with the 8th worst record in MLB, a certified tomato can, albeit one that looks to be ascending. By winning, they avoided: 

a) a four-game losing streak, worst of 2022

b) their second straight lost home series 

c) no longer possessing the best record in MLB. 

Still, last night, the Yankees enjoyed one of those unexpected moments that - when you look back - all great teams have during a fateful season. It came from Jose Trevino, a 29-year-old, stumpy, who looks like a miniature Jose Molina, with a dash of Luis Sojo - who - (keeping our train of obscure Yankee images going) - enjoyed his Jason Giambi arrival in NY moment. In two critical, late-inning at bats, Trevino singled in the tying run and then drove in the walk-off game-winner - flinging his hands into the air as he danced between first and second base. What a moment! Take his picture! Put it in his personal file! Someday, he will play in an Old-Timers Day, as that video appears on the Jumbotron. 

And make no mistake: Trevino did NOT save our season or rescue the Yankees from anything more than a no-good, very-bad, stinko, crapola week. 

But if Trevino failed - the way Gary Sanchez so often did, the way Kyle Higashioka has been doing - the Yankiverse today would be having - as they say on the list of side-effects during the TV drug ads - "irregular heartbeats, depression and suicidal thoughts." (But not an erection that lasts longer than four hours.) Even with the victory, our setbacks are mounting, as the Death Barge heads into the toughest part of the schedule.

Last night, a shoe dropped. Giancarlo Stanton tweaked a muscle. We know what comes next. Boonie will assure us it's a minor thingy, and that he'll soon be back. Then June will become July. Meanwhile, the spotlight glare of NYC will grow even hotter upon Aaron Judge, whose injury history is remarkably similar to Stanton's, and who has carried this team into first place, for now, in the AL East.

This came as DJ LeMahieu sat out with a bad wrist and Aroldis Chapman disappeared with a barking ankle. Neither had played well lately. Still, the Yankees will need them between now and the apocalypse. Jose Trevino won't have that many incredible nights. 

Still, we shall not bemoan the fates - not on Jose Trevino Day. 

For starters, let's NOT compare him to Gary - (hitting .216 with 4 HRs for Minnesota)- or Higgy - (.154 with 0 HRs, and out with Covid.) Or the two pitchers we traded to Texas for him. They are 26-year-old Albert Abreu - whom we came to call "Double A" - who currently has a 3.52 ERA with Texas - and a 22-year-old lottery ticket named Robbie Ahlstrom, currently in the low minors. 

Trevino, 29, last night raised his average to .246 with 2 HRs - fifth highest BA among Yankee regulars. For a team known for its giants, Trevino - at 5'11" - is tied with Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortez, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the honor of being the shortest Yankee. 

Here's to short Yankees. 

And JP Sears - 5'11" - today's starting pitcher, it's your turn. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Those Who Do Not Bottom Feed Will Not Get Fruit Cup!


Sportswriters, who like to write about major-league baseball as if it were junior varsity high school ball, will no doubt insist that the Yankees' glorious season of 2022 came a-cropper due to the fact that Horrible Josh Donaldson killed their mojo by so grievously insulting Timorous Timmy Anderson and Lyin' Tony La Russa.  

(Even as they personally do everything possible to make that distraction a reality.)

In fact, Donaldson was a(nother) terrible pick-up by GM Cooperstown Cashman, not so much because he dared to utter the words "J----- R-------" but because through nearly two months of the campaign the aged third sacker is hitting all of .238 with just 15 ribbies.  

Much as it's fun to moan about the mojo, in baseball—as it has oft been said—momentum is the next day's pitcher. In our case, that was our alleged ace, Gerrit "Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Lose and Sometimes the Lack of Ticky-Tack Gets Ahold of You" Cole. Who...came up short. Against the Baltimore Orioles.

Needing to do some truly gargantuan bottom-feeding before the schedule tightened again, your New York Yankees found themselves presented with the gift (we don't say "gifted") of 14 straight games against said Orioles and the J----- R------- inspired Chicago White Sox.

Against these perfect palookas, the Yanks started off red hot, going 6-1. Visions of an 11-3 or even 12-2 skein were dancing in our heads. 

Now, all of a sudden, they are just 7-5, meaning that an insufficient 9-5 is the best result possible, and that they may well do no better than split even, 7-7, against the dregs of the American League.

The problem isn't that Dopey Donaldson stole away their mojo. It's that this team lacked, from the beginning:

—A reliable closer.

—A reliable ace.

—A bullpen that could not keep from being overworked.

—A lineup that was anything more than four deep.

—Any depth, in the Bronx or in the minor leagues, that could rescue the club when the inevitable injuries started to deplete this dangerously overaged team. As they are doing now.

I would bring in Howard Cosell to say, "You heard it here, first"—except that I don't think this analysis was due to any particular perspicacity on my part. 

Instead, it should have been quite evident to any and all who have been following the Yankees during the course of Brian Cashman's career, and can judge the situation with any objectivity. 

(This last, of course, exempting pretty much every press box denizen of New York, who seem to bolt down more and more of the access Kool-Aid every year.)

The sheer number of tankers and soon-to-be tankers in the Junior Circuit will likely allow the Bronx team to go on competing for the Wild Card Play-In spot for much of the season. O happy day.

In the meantime, prepare yourself for those true bottom-feeders, the Tampa Bay Rays, who get a shot at our crumbling team next. 

I'd say drop that fruit cup, if you value your hand.

Hey, so I wrote a story and then deleted it but...

... before I could Mildred wrote a long comment and I realized that if I deleted the story it would also delete her comment and that didn't seem fair. 

I also don't know if she backed it up so I'm going to stick it in the comments here. 

Sorry if I caused any confusion. 

Suddenly, everywhere, you can feel the Yankees unraveling

This we know: Normalcy is an illusion.

In this modern world, everything can change in an instant.  

One day, the kids are playing soccer. The next, they're watching their town be shelled by invading artillery. 

One day, life is being restored. The next, MONKEYPOX!

Damn. Everything was going so well for the Yankees...

Even today, believe it or not, we still possess the best record in baseball. But tomorrow, well...  MONKEYPOX!

Everywhere you look - (one exception: Aaron Judge) - you see elements of the team crumbling or crashing to earth. Aaron Boone faces a wave of problems.

1. We have no closer. Right now, it's hard to imagine Aroldis Chapman holding any lead - even five runs. You see it in his eyes, or the way his fastball rises all the way to the backstop. He's lost more than his fastball. He's lost everything. But who replaces him? And how will Chapman react to being - in essence - demoted to a lesser role? This crisis has been a long time coming. Now, MONKEYPOX!

2. We still have a massive void in left field, where Joey Gallo has given the Yankees no sign of hope. The recent winning streak masked Gallo's failures, but now, his lack of production is glaring. This is no "Welcome to NY" slump. Gallo has now played four months (93 games) with the Yankees, hitting .166 with 18 HRs and only 29 RBIs. Imagine that: Take away those 18 HRs. and the guy has 11 measly RBIs. (Actually, fewer, because not all the HRs were solo shots.) Coupled with Aaron Hicks, the left side of the outfield has been a disaster.

3. We still face an inevitable plague of injuries. Last week, we lost Chad Green and Luis Gil - plus a bunch of Covids. One of these days, one of our irreplaceable players will tweak something - they always do - and the cupboard is bare in Scranton.  

The farm system has failed to produce an MLB-ready impact player who might boost the team. The high hopes for Oswald Peraza (hitting .200) and Oswaldo Cabrera (.186) are now pleasant memories of spring training. If one of our big hitters goes down, we are a staggering short distance from Greg Bird (.196) or Ryan LaMarre (.208.) And we still don't know what to do with Miguel Andujar, steadily rotting on the vine (down to .289.) 

4. Some Yankees have simply played above themselves. Jose Trevino. Nestor Cortez. Michael King. Tim Locastro (before his injury.) Much of the bullpen. How long can Clay Holmes continue to be lights-out? Some players will face a correction. That will bring pain. 

5. The Josh Donaldson thing. Have you noticed? It's not going away. Even Boone says it was a stupid move. And here's the rub: It will worsen on the road.

Donaldson will face questions in every city. He'll hear about it every time he steps to the plate. To make matters worse, his dustup might turn out to be the fulcrum point of the Yankee season. We're in a losing streak, the worse of the season thus far. 

Before, everything was going so well. 

Ah, but that was yester-MONKEYPOX!

Monday, May 23, 2022

This Water Is Getting Dirty

 So now Donaldson gets shelved.  Suspension for bad behavior, and a Covid IL kicker.

Unfortunately for Chapman, his MRI came back negative. so he has no excuses for sucking.  There must be a psychological mis-alignment that is triggered by profuse sweating, and surfaces as the "yips" on a fastball.?  I am not a doctor, but....

So Boone will bring up Andujar and play Gonzalez at third.  

The red hot, gold glove Hicks will move to left.  So Miguel will have a really good view of things from the bench.  And can pinch hit and fail. 

Meanwhile, Florial gets his last shot in CF.   Do something or sell ceramics .

Someone is going to get injured tonight.  I can feel it in my wings. 


Dept of Eternal Hope: Jasson Dominguez went 5 for 8 yesterday in a doubleheader, and he is now leading the single-A Tampa Tarpons in batting


He's hot. And still 19.

Of regular CFs in the Florida State League, he's got the second highest batting average.

Why am I doing this to myself? 

The Variant Is Back...

 The Yankees were the first team in ages to lose both ends of a double header in the modern era. ( Anyone who does research to contradict this will be dealt with harshly ).

They score 1 run in 18 innings.

They did so by hitting one solo HR. 

Our closer ( whom Boone still defends as such ) peed himself.   Wouldn't it be nice if the manager was honest?  And said;" Chappy hasn't been the same in a while.  He starts sweating as soon as he steps on the rubber.  His fastball is like everyone else in our bullpen, and that slider is now like meat waiting to be eaten. I'm going to re-assign him as an inning eater in one-sided games." 

Instead, Boone plays the age-old manager card of, " I don't want to rattle this confidence." And prays that it will make a difference. 

No matter who plays for the Yankees, the big hit doesn't happen.  The rare in-game opportunities to turn things our way results in a pop up or a strike out. 

Then the defense starts to wobble and strange things happen ...not in our favor.  ( See that non -reviewable ground ball hit off the shoe of Henderson for a base hit?).  Why the fuck do we still live in a world where any umpire calls are not reviewable?  Half of their calls are wrong. And now two guys get put on the covid list even though they have not tested positive for covid. What?

So our bullpen now resembles the vegetable offerings of a 7-Eleven, rather than the selections and fresh produce of a Wegman's;  Chad Green is done and dusted ( and he was one of our best ); El Chappy is melting like the ice sculpture in spring;  a potential new arm ( pre-tested last season ) from Scranton has gone missing ( Luis Gil );  Castro has lost confidence ( which cost him his Mets job ) and Leutge throws about 78 mph.  And does anyone really believe King will remain this good?

We have a closer that Boone won't call our closer.  But he does the closing in big moments.  His name is Clay Holmes. 

Baltimore beat us 9-6 last time we met. Leutge got drilled for a three run walk-off dinger. 

Our starting pitching has been great.  And it doesn't matter. We lost two.

The old Yankee failings  have returned like the omicron variant. 

This Tony Deserves an Oscar


Tony La Russa's been around a long time, as this pic from the bad old days of the sartorially challenged Sox will tell you. 

He's a baseball lifer who was even on the field when The Mick hit his epic, 1963 blast into the rafters of the Original Yankee Stadium, the shot that shook loose the pigeons or the bats or what-have-you, depending on who's telling the story. 

The point is, he knows what he's doing. And what he was doing on Saturday involving the great Anderson-Donaldson kerfuffle was not right.


In the ChiSox clubhouse after the game, Tony put on a performance that deserved the full recognition of the Academy.

Had Josh Donaldson said something racist?

Yes, confirmed La Russa, setting his jaw grimly. It was racist.

Oh, asked the assembled press corps. What was it?

No, La Russa demurred, casting his eyes down to the floor, as if this seasoned old salt thought he had seen just about everything in this tired old world but this—this—took the cake. It was racist, was all he could say. And he was not about to repeat it.

The implication, of course—which someone as savvy and experienced as Tony La Russa must have known would be the case—was that what Donaldson had said was something truly horrible and obscene.

We all know the word I mean. I'm not even going to dignify it with its usual euphemism here. Obviously, it was supposed to be that word—or one of its close cousins—that Donaldson had spewed out. 

Except, as we learned, it was "Jackie." As in "Jackie Robinson."

Which, I completely agree would also be an appalling racial insult if Donaldson had just picked it out at random to apply to a Black player. Suspension, banishment, the works—if that was what he did, throw the book at him.

But as it turned out, "Jackie," in this case, referred to Tim Anderson calling HIMSELF "the new Jackie Robinson" in an SI piece in 2019. Which Donaldson has mocked him for ever since—claiming it started as a friendly joke between them.

Now, I don't take much exception to Anderson going off on this, during a hot, frustrating afternoon in the Bronx. Even the mildest insults get under the skin after a time. 

And maybe this one was said with a certain, racial insinuation—an intention that Anderson picked up when most of our white ears would be oblivious to it.

By most accounts, Donaldson sounds like a true, old-school asshole—'nother great pick-up, Coops, sure glad we don't have that Correa instead!—and maybe he did make that further insinuation.

But for La Russa to deliberately try to turn it into something much more gross and blatant...

Yes, Tony La Russa has been around for a long time.

This is the same Tony La Russa who swore up and down that he had no idea that his Oakland Athletics were juicing, even as the players he was managing were merrily shooting up in the bathroom stalls and blowing up to Macy's parade-balloon proportions before his eyes.

The same Tony La Russa who, for that matter, never had a word to say about Albert Pujols' 73-inch neck in the years he managed the Cardinals.

The same Tony La Russa who helped hang the sportswriters who first uncovered the juicing out to dry, rather than face the reality of what his own team was doing. 

PEDs were what first wrecked the balance of the game, nearly 35 years ago now; nearly all of the subsequent foibles in restoring it (or capitalizing upon it) can be traced back to what was going on in that A's lockerroom. 

Infinitely worse has been the massive wreckage of not only professionals but countless young, amateur ballplayers who thought that they, too, had to bulk themselves up by artificial means—and thereby did irreparable harm to body and mind.

But Tony La Russa still insists he didn't know a thing.  

Now, along comes a dust-up over what may or may not have been a racial implication. Of course it should not be taken lightly. Racism—and especially, white-on-Black racism—has long been the leading bane of this country, and there should be zero tolerance of it.  

But TLR decided that this was a good moment to pour a little fuel on the fire, incite misinformation, and tap into one of the most dangerous currents in America today...just to get his team rolling.  

It was a helluva performance. One that makes me think that La Russa ought to bow out on it, once and for all.

Suddenly, bad omens for the Yankees are everywhere

How does something collapse? First, the lies on which it was built are exposed for all to see. Then, its mightiest pillars reveal structural weaknesses, worse than what was believed possible. Finally, it receives an unexpected stress.  

The Russian Army. 

The Amanda Heard legal defense. 



The Yankees...

This being a Yankee blog, I'll forego my deep dive into the statistical nuances of Etherium. I'll stick to bombastic attacks on Joey Gallo. 

It sure was one nice run - April 22 to May 22 - a month of glory! But yesterday's debacle revealed massive falsities and withering strengths - leading up to a jolt that's about to come.

WTF is happening? Well, where do we start? 

The lies. That Josh Donaldson was just being clever, that the White Sox can't take a joke, that his comment was just a dustup and will be quickly forgotten. 

Sorry, folks. Donaldson has stepped in it, and the smell is going to linger. I think it's going to get worse.

Listen, we live in a racially charged world, and words are often skewed beyond original intent. Generally, I favor the jesters - the comics who make jokes, even bad ones, sometimes. If a line makes us laugh - be it from Bill Maher or Dave Chappelle - we can all use a few. But if your punch line clanks, you own it. 

Was Josh Donaldson being witty by calling Tim Anderson "Jackie?" I don't think so. He was being a fucking asshole, and - yeah - it definitely conveyed racial undertones. I wonder what Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, and Cameron Maybin and CC Sabathia are thinking... as they contemplate the Yankee response - or lack of it. This is a bad thing. A really bad thing.

The pillars. Our bullpen is the best in baseball...

For a month now, I've cringed at the sight of Aroldis Chapman warming. And when he's on the mound, I can't escape the look in his eyes: Pure, unadulterated terror. 

His fastball scares nobody, and that slider - the pitch that was going to keep him dominant until age 40 - it's heading for the bleachers. He hasn't been the Force of Nature since Rafael Devers - as a rookie - cleaned his clock. 

El Chapo has given up a run in each of his last five outings. Do we dare bring him into a save situation against Tampa Bay, or Houston, or the Mets... or any team with with a lineup that doesn't include Anthony Bemboom (the new IIHIIFIIc name of futility  by the way.) 

Along with the loss of Chad Green to impending TJ surgery - and the sense that the Yankees will perform an even more painful cut on Green, abandoning him after years of loyalty - suddenly, our bullpen looks like Lake Mead in the drought. Simultaneously, some of the arms being touted in the minors - one named Will Warren recently garnered hype, then got rocked - don't look like sure things anymore.

Somebody must close Yankee games, and he'll have to do it while the regular closer battles his demons. In the meantime, no lead is safe.

The jolt to the system. The Yankees still have the best record in the AL East...

The stress comes Thursday, when we visit Tampa. Now, wanna buy some Etherium?

Sunday, May 22, 2022

While two Yankees Go on Covid Watch.....

 Chad Green gets scheduled for Tommy John.   

It's been nice knowing you, Chad.  Thanks for the effort. 

Did I just get a call about Luis Gil?  (He'll call back).

Note to editor :  That third baseman of yours better not call me " Jackie," or some pejorative of my color.

I'll come honk him. 

In a run of 22-4, the Yankees sure didn't need a dispute over racism

It's hard to figure out what Josh Donaldson planned to achieve yesterday by calling Tim Anderson "Jackie" and triggering a near bench-clearing fight. At worst, it was a racist slur. At best, it was an exceptionally stupid taunt, especially from a 36-year-old veteran.

It comes as the Yankees were winning again - they've taken 22 out of their last 26, opening their biggest lead this season (5.5 games) in the AL East. It should be celebratory time, but here are today's headlines...

When the Yankees traded for Donaldson, he was advertised as a savvied, hard-nosed veteran and solid teammate. Today, he looks like an idiot - perhaps worse - prompting questions about why he's been on six teams in 12 years.

He needs to explain his actions to the public and, if necessary, apologize to Anderson, the White Sox and his own team.

The Yankees have been on their greatest run in years. But they are almost done with the Orioles, and heading into the toughest part of their schedule. 

This is a bad deal. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Let's get real.

We turn officially to hot town, summer in the city, back of even No-Neck Williams' neck turnin' dirty and gritty weather.

Your New York Yankees are playing .737 ball, 5 1/2 games ahead of their leading division rivals, and 6 in the AILC (All-Important Loss Column). The sun is out, the heat is on, and we got a twinbill lined up against the same Pale Hose baseballers we just thrashed in Chicago. 

The good folks at baseball reference give the Bronx team an 11.3 percent chance to make the World Series and a 98.2 percent chance to make the postseason—both percentages trailing only the mighty, Los Angeles Juggernaut Dodgers.

What's not to love?

Time to get real. And hey, as the movies tell us, reality bites.

(And hey, was Winona ever so young? Were any of us?)

The hard, honest truth is, folks, this Yankees team—at least as presently constituted—is not making the Fall Classic, unless we're talking the PGA RSM Classic at Sea Island, Georgia. 

Much less winning it.

There just aren't enough hitters in this lineup to overcome top playoff pitching. The bullpen is already giving way.  

And already, Cashman's paper-thin depth is wearing through—thanks in part, of course, to our Peerless Leader, El Duque's Icarus-flying-too-close-to-the-sun moment, when he just HAD to go poke the juju gods (We understand the impulse, Duque. It's like John Cusack needing to "tickle-the-dragon" in that Los Alamos movie. Before he even got to sleep with Laura Dern.)

Friends, this team ain't gonna make it through another four months. Get those dreams of a World Series—or even a division title—out of your head, lest they trouble your sleep.  

Let us look instead to some realistic goals. And they would be impressive accomplishments:

—Nothing in our world today is 98.2 percent certain. BUT, this year's Yankees might just make the much-adulterated playoffs (that is, finish in the top 40 percent of the league). Which would make the 24th time in 28 seasons. Which is not nothing.

—All the Yankees have to do is go 54-70 the rest of the way to clinch their 30th straight winning season. Which is also not nothing, second only in major-league history to the 39 straight winning years the Pinstripers compiled from 1926-1964.

That's all ye can hope for in this world, and all most of ye baseball fans can hope for. Welcome back to HAL's Big House of Mediocrity.