Tuesday, May 17, 2022

We can't yet see it from here, but a Yankee championship season will mean avenging a long and painful vendetta list

This we know: Father Fate is a maniac. The great spring can become a long, hot summer. The best record in baseball means nothing... in May. As a bathroom wall once told me:

April may...
But June julys.

Still, let's face it: We're smitten. We're guzzling the Kool-Aid. Going forward, anything less than a 2022 Yankee world championship will mean a disaster - that the ghosts of 2004 still rule our universe.

This must be our year. It's all or nothing. I never thought I'd say this, but if it means trading prospects at the Aug. 1 deadline, so be it. The Yankees cannot squander this opening without a meltdown/letdown of epic historical proportions, and I don't need to see a replay of Javier Vasquez pitching to Johnny Damon. 

I don't mean to heap more pressure on the Yankees, by why kid? This is no year to chase a Wild Card. We must win the AL East, decisively, and lock down home field advantage through October. This is the year we must face down the demons that have tortured us over the last two decades. 

It must start by dominating Boston, who currently has the seventh worst record in baseball, 12 games behind us. Despite their issues, the Redsocks are merely 4.5 games out in the Wild Card - it's May, after all! We won't see them until early July, just before the All-Star break. 

Until we beat Boston, we haven't beaten Boston. 

We must continue through Tampa, currently second in the AL East. Ten days from now, we visit them in a four-game series. Ten days is a lifetime. 

Until we beat Tampa, why should we believe we can beat Tampa?

Then comes Houston, currently with MLB's third best record. We play them four times, beginning June 23. That's way too far ahead to speculate. 

Until we beat Houston, we have never avenged their cheating - which they now downplay with The Big Lie. And when they beat us, it lets them say, "See? We've always been better! There was no cheating..."

Of course, we must beat the Mets, whom we won't face until late July, days before the trade deadline. They are NYC's most popular team, whose owner more resembles old George than the son who reputedly shares his DNA. (I think Hal was adopted from a sperm bank run by the Dolans.) 

Until we beat the Mets, they carry the swagger and the pride of New York.  

In the end, it will bring us to the Dodgers, the best damn franchise in baseball. It's been a quarter century since people looked at the Yankees and said, "These are the perennial front-runners..." 

Until we beat the - oh, fuck it - it's too far out to speculate. It's like those NASA pictures from deep space - somewhere in those strange and exotic pinpricks of light are the answers of the universe. But all we see is a mosaic. 

You can't predict baseball, Suzyn. But here's a prediction, anyway: 

Anything less that a trip down the Canyon of Heroes, and 2022 will sit atop my list of late-life Yankee disappointments. Get ready to bundle the prospects, Cash. It's all or nothing. The universe is calling. Buckle up! Here we go!


ZacharyA said...

The Yankees have been abnormally, freakishly healthy so far this year.

The entire starting lineup is healthy.
The entire starting rotation is healthy.
The entire bullpen is healthy, sans Zack Britton who got hurt last year.

Domingo German was unlikely to crack the roster, and Ben Rortvedt is an unproven minor-league catcher.

This is the healthiest the roster has been at any point in the Aaron Judge era (2017-2022).

We know full well this will not be the case when October rolls along.

Bern Baby Bern said...

"They are NYC's most popular team."

Again, I must believe this is all part of the great juju strategy.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hasn't been QUITE a quarter-century, Duque. More like 15 years since they said we were the perennial frontrunners.

But point taken.

As for packaging prospects...well, there you run into The Cashman Conundrum. Packaging them for what? The next Sonny Gray? Who knows?

DickAllen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DickAllen said...

WE are NOT smitten! WE are NOT guzzling the Kool-Aid!

Every year some wanna-be team runs out of the gate with a torrid winning streak and are never heard from again. By August they've usually run out of steam and join the list of the forgotten. The only team in my memory that shot out of the gate like this and stayed strong to win the World Series was the 68 Tigers. And this Yankees team does not even remotely resemble the 68 Tigers.

I'm not getting my hopes up just yet. The pennant race (such as it is these days) doesn't start until September 1st.

Oh, and one more thing: The Intern doesn't have any prospects to trade away for yet another Joey Gallo. The minors are barren.

Doug K. said...

While I'd rather have them win games than lose them, the Yankee "Hot Start" actually is pretty typical for them.

Here are the records in April and May from the last five years to give us some perspective.

April W-L

2022 15-6
2021 12-14
2020 N/A
2019 16-10
2018 16-9

May W-L

2022 11-3 so far
2021 17-11
2020 N/A
2019 20-7
2018 17-8

We have several players in the minors who have real trade value and can be used to acquire ageing fading ball players who were once great.

Anthony Volpe
Oswald Peraza
and Ken Waldichuk

to name but a few.

That said, there seems to be only one area that need to be addressed ASAP. (Because our pitching is solid so far and El Chapo is clearly on the way out as our closer.)

Hicks must go. Even more than Gallo (Who also must go.) We need a CF who can hit and throw. Hicks ain't it.

BTR999 said...

Indeed Dick….I follow the NYY minors pretty closely, and the performance of the position players is a damning indictment of the development and coaching these young players receive. I mentioned in another post the Tarps struck out an unfathomable 24 times in one game. Both hitting coach Kevin Martin and manager Rachel Balkovec should be ashamed of this dreadful performance. They are both very inexperienced and it shows. They need an experienced coach there with a proven record. Obviously, the organization’s penurious management will not be adding salary on the coaching side, so we will have to hope these coaches improve as they go along. I will say that there are several intriguing young pitchers, particularly Weneski and Waldichuk, who should attract plenty of attending at the T/D. If we are still showing signs of being LEGIT championship contender at that point, we shouldn’t hesitate to deal prospects for any available MLB who can help us. I’m sure the the injury bug will have stung us by then. Streingrubber must be willing to open his huge wallet. Next year Judge may be gone. It can happen.

I’m with you Duque: The days of prospect hugging are over let’s go for it!

Kevin said...

Dick Allen, you forgot the 1984 Tigers who jumped out with a 25-4 start en route to a WS win.

DickAllen said...

There you go. I'm wrong again as usual, or in this case, inaccurate.

So, now I had to go look it up: Peraza is off to a torrid start with a .2145BA and Volpe is also tearing it up at .174

Waldichuk seems to have some promise and he's a lefty, so that means he'll be pitching in Seattle before the season is over.

So, yeah, the Yankees have players with real trade value.

DickAllen said...

And thanks for the reminder Kevin. I think I can safely say this Yankees team isn't going to ever be compared to that Tiger team either.