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.


JM said...

I listened to The Fan yesterday for a few minutes while making some late lunch, and the two co-hosts were going on and on about Yankees fans--how they always have something to complain about, even in the best of times, and this year it's Gallows and Hiccups. But they agreed that Gallows' time is coming to an end, and maybe Hicksy's, too, and even with them we're in first place and split a series in Tampa, without Stanton, where we've often rolled over and died in recent years. And that our bullpen was ravaged by injury but we still had baseball's best reliever (who I figured must be Holmes, I mean, who else could they be talking about?) and our starters were just pitching phenomenally. So the basic takeaway was we should stfu about our two lame pigeons in the outfield and enjoy the ride.

Obviously, yes, but just as obviously, those guys have no concept of what it means to be a Yankees fan. Bruce may have been born to run, but we're born to worry. And lemme tell ya, there's always something to worry about, and it's usually more than one thing. Tonight brings Showboat Otani and the inexplicably non-Yankee Andy Velasquez to town, and folks, I'm kinda worried.

ZacharyA said...

Life is good for the moment.

But I'm still going to complain about the dynamic duo of Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo.

Gallo and Hicks are hitting a combined .183/.299/.267 (.566 OPS) this season in 282 PA.

They are a combined 6-55 (.109) with RISP and 3-50 (.060) in high-leverage situations.

It gives me a headache just to look at them at the plate.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also, two months into the season, neither our starting shortstop or our starting catcher have hit a home run?

Has this happened before? I mean, in the last 100 years?

I love and cherish the juju gods, and will do so until we are down to having to start eight men on the field.

DickAllen said...

Well, if Texas just waived Albert, he'll likely be wearing pinstripes soon.

The Intern loves shopping at thrift stores across the nation. He has been seen frequently at Goodwill in Texas, Miami, and Pittsburgh these past few years.

I know I should be happy, but I'm not and I don't know why. I feel like Joe Btfsplk this season and I worry all the time that the Yankees balloon will soon burst and I can go back to looking forward to football which, as a Jets fan, I should know better.

SWB is near last place being outsucked only by Syracuse (sorry El Duque) and Tampa is at the very bottom of the barrel as well.

There, I feel better already.

ranger_lp said...

Joey Gallo is not meant for New York. He can't handle it. If the White Sox can waive Keuchel, we can waive Gallo. Let him do better in Pittsburgh or Colorado...

The Archangel said...

In order to balance the "humors" of the JuJu gods, el duque is hereby ordered to fly from Chicago to Berlin, non-stop, in the middle seat between Gallo and Hicks.
There, all our worries are done.

ZacharyA said...

Horace asked:

Also, two months into the season, neither our starting shortstop or our starting catcher have hit a home run? Has this happened before?

I dug around looking for an answer to this...

Isiah Kiner-Falefa has 0 HR in 45 G to start the season.

The last Yankee shortstop to do that was Eduardo Nunez in 2013. Now maybe he doesn't count since he missed most of May and all of June to an injury, so he wasn't with the team for 50 straight games to start the year. Nunez hit his first HR in his 52nd game of the year, but it was the team's 113th game.

So if Nunez doesn't count, the last Yankees shortstop to reach this feat was Alvaro Espinoza in 1991. It took Espinoza 58 games to hit his first dinger of the year.

Kyle Higashioka has 0 HR in 28 G to start the season.

A lot of backup catchers come up in this data query, John Ryan Murphy in 2015 (Brian McCann was the starter), Austin Romine in 2013 (Francisco Cervelli was the starter), Chris Stewart in 2012 (Russell Martin was the starter), Francisco Cervelli in 2010 (Jorge Posada was the starter), etc...

As far as I can tell, the last starting catcher to achieve this homerless feat was Joe Girardi in 1996. (He also did it in 1999, but Posada was the starter.)

So now, the question is: when is the last time this happened in the same season?

I think the answer is 1970.

C Thurman Munson hit his first homer in his 64th game of the year.
SS Gene Michael hit his first homer in his 61st game of the year.

Doug K. said...

Zachary A - Thanks for that. So, Munson and Giradi I guess we're good then.

Gallo and Hicks

I think at this point it's not will they lose him but when but the real question is who will replace them?

As far as I'm concerned AnDUjar is more than adequate in left and carries an AG-HAB of 8.1 which is 4th highest on the team so I actually think we are good there. (As opposed to Gallo's -1.5 the first negative AG-HAB in history! Even Gary Sanchez bottomed out at 2.4)

Gallo's negative AG-HAB means not only am I NOT GLAD he's at bat but I'm furious he's still on the team.

If Locastro is healthy again that makes him a better Hicks but not the actual answer. So who can we get to play center? Should it be simply an improvement? Or, should we move some of our "prized" assets in the farm and try to get out CF for the next 3-5 years?

For example - what would it take to get Bryan Reynolds from the Pirates? He's having an off-year at the plate but has proven he has the goods.

Alphonso said...

I keep wondering who our " prized assets in the farm are?" Volpe at .200? Dominguez at .215 in the Tarpon league? Luis Gil in surgery?

I don't think we have anyone in our farm system who will be any good . At least not for us.

We keep saying; our catchers are 3-5 years away. Then, after 3-5 years, we say it again. Same with pitchers. And outfielders aren't even mentioned. Except for Jessica in the Tarpon league.

When will we ever have a top prospect who plays like one? Comes to the majors and shines?

When does a new Derek Jeter appear?

For us, I mean.

BTR999 said...

I like LoCastro as the 26th man; he brings great value as a pinch runner in close games, and especially in x inning games. Doug, your suggestion of Reynolds has great merit. We’ve pulled off several good deals with the Pirates. Reynolds won’t come cheap regardless of his slow start, but this could be a time to deal those prospects.

We should be able to find a taker for Gallo, don’t expect much, and we should eat part of his salary if needed. Hicks, unfortunately, will sat as the 4th OF. I don’t expect Stanton to even sniff the OF after this injury. So: Andujar replaces Gallo, Reynolds/Happ/Benideni replaces Hicks as an everyday player.

As far as C, Trevino should start almost every game. Higashioka has been so bad that almost any other available catcher would be an upgrade.

Celerino Sanchez said...

In one game for Texas, I believe Josh Smith now has more hits than Joey Gallo. Another steal for HOF Cashman

Mel said...

I've never seen AG-HAB, and can't figure out what it stands for. Please clarify. Thank you. (Although I know it means Gallo is very bad.)

Mel said...

Last I checked Locastro is better in everything offensive than Hicks and Gallo. Not great but better. Plus, a lot more exciting.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

AYG-HAB is a scale invented by Doug K. It stands for "Are you glad he's at bat?"

I couldn't find the original post where it was all laid out but here's a helpful re-cap. Enjoy.

Doug K. said...


Here you go. From a much much earlier post...

"Monday, January 18, 2021

A New Stat for Baseball Fans – The AYG-HAB ™

Posted by Doug K. at 12:58 PM

As a baseball community we need to heal. For too long readers of this blog and baseball fans in general have been torn between an over reliance on stats, and the non quantifiable “gut call” of the baseball purists.

Those who would "burn the binders" ignore science. Those who think that averages over a season have anything to do with the immediacy of an in-game situation are "asleep at the wheel".

It’s time for a new stat, one that acknowledges both truths and gives us a common ground so we can properly hate (or love) the ballplayers and not each other.

That stat is the AYG-HAB™. It stands for Are You Glad He’s At Bat? Doesn’t matter why. You want to say that after the seventh inning when facing a left-handed pitcher with less than two outs the hitter is prone to striking out? Sure, go ahead. You want to say, “Why is this guy still in the game? He sucks.” I’m with you. Because regardless of how you got there the batter has a poor AYG-HAB™.

Conversely, you have to pee, but DJ is up with a guy on third and two outs. Well, DJ has the highest AYG-HAB™ on the Yankees so you might want to hold it in. Sanchez? Head for the bathroom and feel free to stop in the kitchen on the way back because the inning is over.

It’s a flexible stat. If a player is in a slump. He might have a lower rating. But, because it’s based on how you feel, you could like the player enough to say, “He’s due.” Or, if you are stats minded, just believe that he’s as good as the back of his baseball card and will revert to the mean. Either way his AYG-HAB™ is higher than his current performance.

Bottom line. You’re OK that he’s at the plate.

One final example. Hicks is up with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. Low AYG-HAB™, but if the bases are loaded, it goes up. Why? He walks a lot.

To Conclude:

Here are the official AYG-HAB™ categories. The First number of the stat is the category and then you get to arbitrarily, or using metrics, assign a second number. The AYG-HAB™ can change from day to day or inning to inning but mostly, you know how you feel.

AYG-HAB™ 9+ Totally
AYG-HAB™ 8+ Probably
AYG-HAB™ 6 Sure What the Hell
AYG-HAB™ 4 Sigh.
AYG-HAB™ 3 Please. Please. Please.
AYG-HAB™ 2 Oh crap not this guy again
AYG-HAB™ 1 What else is on?

So, as far as I’m concerned DJ has an AYG-HAB™ of 7.8 and Sanchez varies from 1.8-3.2. Hicks? You tell me.


Hope that cleared it up.

Doug K. said...

LBJ - Thanks for posting the recap. I couldn't find the original either so I pulled it out of Word Doc.

I updated the scale to a 1-10 because it's a lot easier to deal with.

Mel said...

Thank you!

AboveAverage said...

There's so much love here today. Shame the game is going to ruin it.

Mel said...

Brilliant! Hicks... Low low. I think the problem here is his wrist strength isn't back and now he's pressing and mentally not in the game at bat or fielding. Should just bunt more. Otherwise he'd be okay-ish.Still, bet Locastro can bunt.

Mel said...

I love this blog. I'm "Mel" because that was the middle name given me when the Yanks beat Philly in four games. Winning my Dad $200 (1950 $!) And he got the news from the great Mel Allen. How about that!

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

All this Hicks hating is distracting me from Gallo grousing.

Let’s hope in a few weeks time they as no more memorable than that black character on Cheers…

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it, Mel! And that's the kind of World Series we can all appreciate.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Gallo and Hicks should hit 1-2, and both bunt on every at-bat. Eventually the other team might catch on, but you never can tell in today's baseball.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks for those stats, Zach A!

And very interesting. It was quite a different game in those days.

Munson and Stick, of course, were both righties playing in what was the cavernous, Original Yankee Stadium. And the Yanks had enough pitching to win 93 games and finish second to the Orioles in 1970, but hit only 111 HRs overall.

The leading AL HR hitters at those positions, incidentally, were future Yankee Ed Herrmann, with 19 at catcher for the ChiSox, and SS Rico Petrocelli, with 29 for the BoSox.

There WERE other power-hitting shortstops—Bert Campaneris and Jim Fregosi each belted 22—but incredibly, Stick, who finished with 2, was NOT last in the AL at his position. Both Mark Belanger and Eddie Brinkman hit only 1 apiece.

JM said...

Judge is our centerfielder. He should stay there. He's great defensively and hits like a centerfielder should. Miggy in left, Stanton in right.

That's a no-brainer, as far as I'm concerned.

Nice catch by Judge just now. A shorter guy probably doesn't get that one.

JM said...


Doug K. said...

Gleyber wasn't running hard out of the box. if he had he would have been safe even after coming off the bag.

JM said...

Thor is getting hammered. Even Gallo got a hit, then scored from first on the DJ double.

My oh my.

JM said...

Doug K. said...

runs for monty!

TheWinWarblist said...

Quite a few runs, thus far.

AboveAverage said...

I'm really enjoying this game. Gallo just ripped a double into the corner. Did someone slip any magic mushrooms into my ice cream? Then what Trevino just did? Wow!

JM said...

Trevino was pretty slippery there. He's impressive lately. But Gallo... I mean, two hits. In one game! Wow.

JM said...

Doug K. said...

They'd better not flush this game for Monty!

AboveAverage said...

No three-card Monty tonight!

AboveAverage said...

A Trevino grows in the Bronx . . .

JM said...

Was that your call or Sterling's?

JM said...

I like it.

Doug K. said...


Yeah that's good.

AboveAverage said...

It was mine - but I'm happy to make a donation for the cause . . .

TheWinWarblist said...

A Trevino grows in the Bronx !!! Someone get that to The Master!!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hey, c'mon, guys. I mean, it's not like we're playing Babe Ruth or something.

Oh, wait.

AboveAverage said...

Go to your room Horace

TheWinWarblist said...

Gallo is the Star of the Game? Come on Suzyn!! Tighten up your shit!!!

AboveAverage said...

Suzyn clearly is crushing on Gallo

EDB said...

Age of Gallo coming to an end. Two hits in one game and five J-O-E-Y G-a-l-l-o from the fans at the stadium. Go figure!