Monday, May 23, 2022

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?


JM said...

It's all happening again. Just like last year, and the year before that, and the...

Offense suddenly dries up. Bullpen implodes. At least our starters have been good, but once the game goes to the pen, fuhgeddaboutit.

Did I mention the offense suddenly dried up? Yeah, that's not good.

And this is how you give back some of that massive win streak. Maybe all of it.

Arrivederci, Roma.

The Archangel said...

Just watch the May flowers wilt in the dog days of August.
And it's getting mighty hot mighty early.
When does football start.

ZacharyA said...

Jameson Taillon
7 IP, 1 R
Luis Severino
7 IP, 0 R

We really wasted two extremely strong starts yesterday. What a shame.

And the non-Aaron Judge Yankees went 7-59 (.119) with 0 RBI, 0 R at the plate. We're gonna miss the big man when he's gone.

Anyone else notice the graveyard of heavily-used Yankee relievers who need Tommy John surgery at the end of their Yankees career?

Chad Green, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Warren, David Robertson, etc. Could even count Dellin Betances whose shoulder was thoroughly fucked when we were done with him.

DickAllen said...

I've been out of the loop for the past few days and I'm confused.

Did Anderson actually compare himself to Jackie Robinson?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Very true, Zach.

It was a trend that started under Torre...and Cashman, of course.

Torre would ride the hot hand until he broke—remember all those Steve Karsays and Scott Proctors? He felt forced to do that in part because you-know-who never much valued the depth of a bullpen, despite inheriting an incredibly deep pen.

"Jeff Nelson? Do we really need him?"

"Don't worry, Quantrill and Gordon can pitch EVERY game!"

It catches up to you, particularly in today's game.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

That sick feeling is back in the pit of my stomach & my Yankees PTSD is back in full force (for all the reasons listed above). We'll see what happens after this series with the O's,,,, though I'm afraid it will be deja vu all over again.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes, DickAllen, he did.

In a 2019 SI piece. Apparently, Donaldson's been calling him "Jackie" ever since.

All of a sudden, with La Russ's team slumping, it's a racist epithet.

Parson Tom said...

I don't get it. Anderson says he's the modern Jackie Robinson, which is nonsense. Donaldson tried to tease him about it. that's not racist

ZacharyA said...

Wandy Peralta hasn't allowed a run in more than a calendar month, yet has only appeared in six games in that span.

Wonder what's going on there. Injury? Boone mishandling the bullpen?

It's weird because the Yankees leaned on Peralta down the stretch last year: he pitched in 11 games in August and 13 games in September.

ZacharyA said...

1941 Ted Williams
.406/.553/.735 (1.287 OPS)

Batters vs. Aroldis Chapman in May
.407/.469/.741 (1.210 OPS)

Cmon Chappie, a couple more walks and you're there.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

ZacharyA, that’s the meanest thing I’ve read in a long time and it’s just plain ol’ stats. Sweaty Chapman can add a new source of bodily fluids to his pitching repertoire…. Just has to read ‘em and weep.

Doug K. said...


Yes. And the media continues to be disingenuous in its framing of the story because of its desire for clicks.

For example, the Chi Sox closer called bullshit on Donaldson saying it was a joke. He's correct.

It wasn't really a joke. It was a needle. Not designed to be funny per say but to get under Anderson's skin.

The media wrote it like the closer implied it wasn't a joke therefore it was racist.

It was a needle. But that doesn't make it racist.

What's sad is that "Jackie" is eventually going to used in a racist way by racists and morons.

To me that's the worst thing. That Jackie Robinson's name becomes a euphemism for a word I won't type.

Doug K. said...

As to the inevitable decline of the Yankees.

If I may add to El Duque's accurate and comprehensive list.

* The inability to act or change course despite knowing what the problem is and what it would take to fix it.

Call it Hubris. Call it institutional but there are three things that should be done immediately.

Find a way to get rid of Hicks, Gallo, and Chapman. Everyone knows it. Hell, they know it.

So simple really, and yet it will take months if it gets done at all.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Personally, I don't think Donaldson's remark was racist at all.
He is from the FL Panhandle and Dothan, AL so he has that as circumstantial evidence against him, but...
Look, Donaldson is an annoying prick. The kind of person to find each opponent's weakness and then exploit it as much as possible. Why does he do this? Well, in an April Q&A with Steve Serby, it was prominently mentioned that Josh's dad was a serial physical abuser of his mom. Serby asked him if he has gotten over the anger of that early life experience. Donaldson answered with some Zen-ish psychobabble about how he had put that behind him. But his aggressive and continued needling of other players belies his statement of peace. Has he found a way to use Anderson's own words as a two-fer....a way to mock him while cleverly getting in a racist slur? I don't know. No one on this blog or in the media know either. The only people that know for certain are Donaldson and a few of his closest friends. And they're not admitting anything to anyone.

BTR999 said...

Indeed, Jackie Robinson is rightfully celebrated and honored for much more than his accomplishments on the filled. Anderson compared himself to Jackie in a callow comment in 2019. Perhaps that comment should be overlooked, given that ball players are not statesmen. Donaldson gave him some flak about it, Anderson over reacted, and the whole affair was given impetus by the Sox’ aging manager whose return hasn’t exactly gone as planned. Donaldson apparently has rubbed others the wrong way throughout his career. Should he have simply avoided this type of comment entirely? Of course! Overall, I feel this whole thing is being given too much attention. Note that Donaldson did offer an apology afterwards, while Anderson attempted to provoke the fans after his HR last night. The media will continue to give this affair legs until they find something else to seize upon.

Doug, agree with you point about JR 100%. It would be terrible to have his memory tarnished by this overblown contretemps.

Celerino Sanchez said...

When is Chapman signing the 3yr extension?

Dantes said...

Josh Donaldson doesn’t hit well enough anymore to justify keeping that big mouth running.

DickAllen said...

If Anderson actually said that, he deserves everything he gets. Hoisted up on his own petard.

Seriously? You're the modern equivalent of Jackie Robinson? If he even thought that, he has no idea what The One and Only Original Jackie Robinson went through. And Anderson wanted to go to war over being needled by an asshole who knew he would eventually get under Anderson's skin?

The only condition Branch Rickey ever put on The One and Only Original was that he not fight back. It took one very special human being to endure what he went through and not start a war of any kind, racist or otherwise. And now Anderson has to be restrained by some pretty obvious taunting that he's apparently heard for years?

The only problem I see with Donaldson's remark is that it might very well find it's way onto a permanent place in the White Sox locker room and incite Anderson to personally torture the Yankees come October. Just like he did yesterday.

But seriously, Tim, shut the fuck up and let your bat do the talking. Flip it any way you want to, but don't ever think for one second you're anything like The One and Only Original Jackie Robinson. You wouldn't have lasted one inning in Philadelphia in 1947.

Kevin said...

Tim Anderson said that he wanted to bring more fun into the game (I guess that he thinks that pro ball is worse than being a miner or longshoreman) and that in sense he was a modern day Jackie Robinson. IMO, A comment like that made him fair game. But since when is needling akin to being an asshole in pro sports? It's always been part of gamesmanship (racism becoming taboo). Enough on that tempest in a tea kettle.

As for that horse's ass LaRussa, I remember back in the seventies the Yankees loathed him, giving him the nickname "style-master". Maybe the scars of that nickname has made him more sensitive regarding the " Anderson Situation". Btw, the nickname story comes from either Sparky Hole's book, or Graig Nettle's. I believe that the taunting was so extreme that LaRussa became confused and started to sob.

Speaking of sobbing, not to mention the gnashing of teeth, since when do Yankee fans fall to pieces over losing a doubleheader? That's for the gloopy Mets fans! As Don Vito would have said, "You start acting like a man, like a man"! We have the framework of a very strong team. In May. Nothing has really changed in a week, except that we lost two games. All the World Series talk was hype, as it is for all teams in May. Chapman has been on the ledge, off and on, for the past two years now. Losing Green is tough, but he's hardly irreplaceable. But centerfield is a big problem, we I someone who can not only field, but can hit as well given the holes at the bottom of the lineup. Hicks is toast, I read an article last week that claimed that he has had ONE HARD HIT BALL ALL YEAR!!!! Gallo at least is near the top percentile for hard hit balls. I would imagine that any competent GM can fix this roster fairly easily. Ohhhh.....