Friday, September 9, 2022

Another former future Yankee great, Gleyber's time in NYC is dwindling to a close

By Sunday, the great and glorious New York Yankees - owners of 27 world championships! - might have added to their list of historical legacies this golden harvest: Worst blown lead, ever. 

Of course, we would still lead the AL East - by a fraying thread over the Tampa Rays. Seattle and Toronto could be square in the rearview, only two down in the loss column, and we will be hearing the name Gene Mauch, which forever makes Phily fans crap their scrapple. The Yankees would remain a near shoe-in for the final AL wild card slot: Baltimore's revolution has stalled (though we face the O's on the season's last weekend, so there's that.) 

If the Great Collapse continues, we will soon learn if Brian Cashman is a front office immortal - like Putin, enshrined for life, holding the Steinbrenner Seat of Supplication. By December, Cash would start cleaning house, jettisoning players contracts to keep Aaron Judge, even though it might be old friends that would cause him to stay. 

Today, the Yankees are dangling over a precipice so deep and dark that - as an empirical, forensic and thinking fan - I'm afraid to ponder what will happen. This isn't The Abyss, as Fredriche Nietzsche once envisioned it. This is the grim fate once foreseen by Nature Boy Freddie Blasse, the one true champion, for that East Coast cupcake, Bruno Sanmartino, once they both entered the Squared Circle. It meant tearing off the guy's limbs and beating him with them. 

Which brings me to Gleyber Torres.

First, let me be clear: This has nothing to do with the Gleyb striking out in the ninth last night with one out and the bases loaded in a one-run game that the Yankees dramatically needed. I want this clear. In that final, pivotal, at-bat, the home plate umpire screwed Gleyber on two pitches - both called strikes, both out of the zone. There's no other way to say it. Gleyber got jobbed. Instead of ball four, or 3 and 1, Gleyber found himself staring at a 2-2 count, and he promptly did what most Yankees do with two strikes on the Jumbotron: He fanned on the next pitch. He had one job - don't strike out. He went down a-swingin', the Yankees edged closer to the precipice, and that's Chinatown, Jake... and that's baseball, Suzyn. 

Remember when Gleyber was going to be the next great Yankee? We had a roster of them. Miguel Andujar. Gary Sanchez. Luis Severino. Luke Voit. Greg Bird. Clint Frazier (so disappointing that he now goes by "Jackson.") Each one, we kept too long, like Boone leaving a starter in one pitch too many. At the recent trade deadline, the Yanks were offering Angujar around like bacon-wrapped shrimp at a patio party, and nobody hailed the waiter.  

Come December, whoever is running the Yankees will seek to trade Gleyber two year after his sell-bye date. He will be only 26, twenty-six, yet in Yankee years, it will feel like 35. He will be four seasons removed from a year when he hit 38 HRs and batted .278 - the kind that puts him in Monument Park, if not Otsego County. But he will just be another former future great, the latest to come and go. 

If we were listing Yankee assets for 2023, we'd start with the middle infield. First, there's Anthony Volpe, who homered twice last night for Scranton - a near lock at either SS or 2B by next September. Then comes Oswald and Oswaldo, both of whom have earned long looks. That leaves Gleyber - hitting arbitration this winter, still two years from free agency, following a miserable second half after nearly named an all star in July. Not sure what they'll get. Probably similar to what Cash received for Gary and Gio Urshela - which makes us wanna cry, eh? 

Who here doesn't feel the 2022 Yankees are doomed. Feel free to convince me otherwise. Yeah, we should get some players back  - DJ, Rizzo, maybe even Benintendi, Carpenter and - get this: Zack Britton! (maybe Jeter will come out of retirement too!) and that phantom guy, Harrison Bader, if his fallen arches heal. And don't count out El Chapo, with a burning tattoo. Still, this looks like every other postseason dog the Yankees have sent to the Hormel plant for the last 13 years: Early knockout, Jerry Cooney, and a chorus of boos. At least our lead outlasted the Queen, right?

Think of it: By Monday, that loss column lead might be gone. Hello, Mr. Mauch, mind if we join you for eternity?


Doug K. said...

1) "By December, Cash would start cleaning house, jettisoning players contracts to keep Aaron Judge, even though it might be old friends that would cause him to stay. "

Good point. He has no feel for the human part of the game.

2) "Clint Frazier (so disappointing that he now goes by "Jackson.")

Next he will dye his hair.

3) "Then comes Oswald and Oswaldo, both of whom have earned long looks. "

You know, that headlock that Gleyber had Oswald (or was it Oswaldo) in, after the game winning hit the other night looked a little too tight to be purely celebratory.

4) "Who here doesn't feel the 2022 Yankees are doomed."

Yes they are doomed - but after watching Boone bring in Stanton, he of the .083 batting avg, as a pinch hitter (WHEN HEALTHY BTW) instead of the kid who drove in the game winner yesterday or the catcher he used as a pinch hitter in the next inning when it no longer mattered - and you have to figure we are due for a quick exit even if everyone returns from the IL.

The Archangel said...

For Gleyber madness, please refer to my last post under yesterday's thread. I m too lazy to repeat it.

DickAllen said...

For some reason, I am reminded this morning of "The Bayonne Bleeder."

History is upon us.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Doug K, Ca$hole would have to be human to understand that side of the game.

Duque, please! It's "Classy" Freddie Blasse. Titles are important. Just ask the Kind of England.

Batting Stanton last night, I was watching Hawaii 5-0 reruns and didn't bother to watch. The outcome was predetermined. I stopped watching Gleyber after I realized he had to bat against the pitcher *and* umpire. He would likely have failed anyway, but against both it was over before it started.

Celerino Sanchez said...

I realize that trades are not always one-sided, but in 2016 HOF Cashman had the 2 most sought after relievers on the market. One was signed for 3 years. Now with Torres most likely a goner, the Yankees have nothing to show for those trades. How can that possibly be? Yet I hear Steve Phillips on with Mad Dog yesterday and he wouldn't replace Cashman or Boone, because.... wait for it.... INJURIES, plus all the years of making the playoffs. We kid ourselves if we think anything will change after this year or next or the year after that, Unless this team is sold, it will be thanks for making the playoffs and here are some lovely parting gifts.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Book'em Rufus!

The departure of Gleyber couldn't come soon enough for me. You just can't fix stupid. Duque, I agree 100% that he was jobbed by the umpire. But that's part of the game. Most sentient MLB players are able to discern what their job is in that at-bat. Very simple. Make contact with the baseball and hopefully stay out of a double-play. Two strikes? Perhaps cut down your swing a bit. And have a good idea what the pitcher will throw in his situation. Basic fundamentals that Little League kids learn before they reach teenage years. But Torres? Nope. Swing harder at any pitch within 5 feet from the plate. Hit that grand slam. I wonder if Boone or the hitting coach walked over to him to reinforce what his job was in that situation. But they shouldn't have to. They say that a good athlete doesn't have to be a genius to play any certain sport. Very true. But you can't be successful by being a complete moron either.

JM said...

Celerino, thanks for mentioning that is was 2016 that the kids were brought up near the end of the season, then discarded after some fun and exciting play and wins. The stars failed miserably. This year looks like a repeat.

Because when and if our regular players return, they're going to be rusty. Not too many players come off the IL and proceed to tattoo the ball right away. So I expect even if we get those guys back, they'll be as ineffective as Stanton as a pinch hitter.

That means, should we even make the playoffs, which is not guaranteed at this point, we will fold early and notch another year of our genius GM's poor judgement. For the biggest letdown Yankees team of all time.

Publius said...

I think Ric Flair was "The Nature Boy". Greatest nickname in sporting history, btw. Whooooooo!!!

borntorun999 said...

Unquestionably,Torres got robbed on those 2 calls. There’s an easy and readily available methodology to correct that, that would apply a fair and equal strike zone for all players, even those wearing pinstripes. Nevertheless, the batter needs to adjust his approach situationally, which so few do. Yes, trade Torres, but there is no great demand for his skill set. Most teams already have several players just like him.

It’s difficult for me to watch the Oswald brothers even though I know full well they are rookies thrust into the most high leverage situations imaginable. Undoubtedly, they did not receive proper instruction in the NYY minor leagues and now must look upon the Hicks’s, Stanton’s, and Torres as examples of what an established MLB player should be. I tell myself that our fate this season was sealed long ago, and that actual playing experience at this level is necessary and valuable. Then again, for me, if patience is a virtue, well I’m living in sin.

My distaste for Stanton goes back to the first time he sullied our once proud uniforms. Again, dear god, what will this creature be like in 3 years? Will MLB have designated runners by then? Hope burns in the heart of Tim LoCastro.

We should we actually be able to back into the playoffs, but even in the unlikely case that all the walking wounded return, there is Boone. The WORST. FUCKING. MANAGER. in the bigs. There will be a situation therein where he will actually have to make a defining choice and will fuck it up like a monkey doing chinese algebra.

I fully expect Crashman will return next year regardless of what happens over the next month. Turns out that a roster loaded with over 30 y/o, overpaid and under motivated players wasn’t such a good idea. I really don’t know if Judge will return next year. Yes, the team will have no choice but to up their offer, but if another team goes buck wild with their offer will the Yankees match it? I can already hear Steingrubber squealing like the pig he so closely resembles about salary caps and bondholders.

As for this weekend’s crucial series, we should count ourselves damn lucky if we can scrape one win. My prediction is the same as Mr. T’s in Rocky III - PAIN.

C... said...

Your comparison of cashman and putin. My expectance, when the day does come that cashman is moved from his position, it will be to a different management position. Similar to putin briefly stepping into the PM role. Cash and hal will find a Boone type to take the gm position, sit in front of the cameras, answer the questions and follow orders.

HoraceClarke66 said...

It is all too typical of Cashman that he expected Torres to be his Jeter, the rock upon which he would build his own dynasty. Instead, he got jobbed by Jeter over Giancarlo.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Interesting, C—you're probably right.

BTR999: I could not agree more. Any REAL GM would say to Stanton, "Since you obviously can't play, you are going onto the DL. We are bringing up, yes, Volpe, in your place, just out of the hope he can get a single sometimes.

"Oh, and meanwhile: we are launching an investigation into your activities and training methods. It is our belief that a combination of your partying and relentless weight-lifting has led to your chronic injuries, so we are seriously looking into clawing back some of your immense salary. Enjoy the off-season!"

C... said...

Maybe they can give torres to a team who is willing to take Donaldson in exchange for the gamble that torres improves with a change of scenery. Not much coming back to ny, but opening space on the send out.

edb said...

Gleyber's time is diminishing, true. As a former High School Baseball coach, I ask, what are the Yankees preaching, as far as the offense is concerned. Both Sanchez and Torres looked like stars and are now a shell of themselves. It happened under the leadership or lack there of, Genius Cashman.

The Hammer of God said...

It's gotta be the launch angle bullshit. Poor coaching and instruction.

During Willie Randolph's interview with Sterling and Waldman during the double dip day, they were talking about how the analytics is throwing too much info at the players. It becomes paralysis by analysis. Players are not rocket scientists. These guys are just dumb ballplayers. It's got to happen by instinct and feel. It's not really an intellectual activity, although there is a certain amount of thinking and strategizing that has to go on inside the player's head.

Besides the bad technique (Gleyber Torres is my Razzi Award winner for the all-time worst swing by a major leaguer), Torres and other Yankees completely ignore fundamental hitting strategy.

For example, Joe Torre used to preach that, with two strikes, you should try never to make out on a pitch on the outside corner. Why would that be? It's just simple common sense for hitters. The best pitch to get hitters out is low and away. With two strikes, that's where the hitter should always be looking. He has to protect the outside corner. So if you get called out on a pitch on the outside corner, that's your mistake. You can't be taking anything close on the outside corner with two strikes. Have to try to spoil the tough pitches in that situation. You can't be caught looking on anything close.

Yankee hitters take huge swings with two strikes. Cut down on your swing to protect the plate? Don't make me laugh. These guys have obviously never heard of such a thing.

Susan Waldman frequently mentions that Gleyber Torres has his "upper body and lower body out of sync". That the Yankees think that this is what gets him in trouble. I don't know if I've ever heard of a major league hitter's upper and lower body being unsynchronized.

This is probably caused by taking a huge stride, completely mis-timing your stride, getting fooled badly by a change in pitch speed. When I saw the worst swing that I've ever seen from a major league hitter, Torres had his front foot up in the air, but his hands were swinging the bat. He ended up taking a feeble swing with one foot in the air.

That the coaching staff can't correct a problem this big in a major league hitter is a huge indictment of the hitting coaches. They've got to cut down on this launch angle bullshit, reduce his stride, eliminate any leg kick. Force him to hit flat footed for a while, with a wide stance. Eventually, he will get his timing down and then they can bring back a small leg kick and stride to add power.