Monday, September 5, 2022

The Man Who Wasn't There

 Hey, wait a sec!

I know it's getting late, and we already have a Game Day thread up, thanks to Stang. So please—go ahead and post on the game there. But I gotta get a couple shots in.

Thank goodness that ump called a 102-mph pitch that was an entire inch low a strike yesterday—now you know how it feels, TB!—because if the Rays had tied it, I think the Yankees' plan for extra innings was to have Judge be the Manfred Man, and steal third and home. Then, he would pitch the bottom of the inning and, if he gave up any long flies, would sprint out to center and pull them back from over the wall himself.

What makes Judge's MVP accomplishments—and maybe even a home-run record—all the more incredible is how little support he has had from the Yankees around him.

Ruth had his Gehrig. Maris had his Mantle—not to mention the rest of the fabulous lineups surrounding both men.

Hell, even juicer supreme Barry Bonds had his Jeff Kent!

What's Judge got?

Mostly, The Man Who Wasn't There.

Has there ever been a Big Man who has proved a bigger flop in New York City—in any sport—than Giancarlo Stanton? I mean, taking into account the hype and the percentage of the team's payroll that he absorbs?

Maybe George Foster, the Reds slugger, who was certainly a disaster out in Flushing, and took up an even higher percentage of the Mets' payroll.

But poor old George usually made less than $2 million a year back in those primitive days. The reason it was such a higher percentage of the Mets' payroll was that the Mets were still a rebuilding team, with a lot of young players—and very little support for Foster, at least at first.

George went from an annual all-star team out in Cincinnati, to a bad-hitting club in a pitchers' park. Plus—he was 33 at the time. By the time the Mets were good, he was ancient.

Giancarlo was only 28 when he first brought his 

big bat and his posse of bench-pressable actress/models to the Bronx. I'll admit it again: at the time, I thought it was a great deal.

The Red Sox were pursuing J.D. Martinez then, and in my greedy, Yankees fan way, I thought we should pick up both players. But if we had to choose, I thought that Stanton was, narrowly, the better acquisition.


So how's that workin' out for us, as a certain, former vice-presidential candidate might've asked?

When it comes to the stats alone, they're not far apart—well at least, not MILES apart. Martinez as a Red Sock has hit 125 homers, and his slash line

is .292/.364/.525/.889. He's led the AL in RBI one year, and doubles another, and finished as high as 4th in the MVP voting.

Our man Stanton?

As a Yankees, he's hit 104 homers, and his slash line is:

.258/.343/.499/.842. He's led the league in nothing, anytime, once finished 19th in the MVP voting, and made 1 All-Star Game, this season, where he won the game MVP, then soon after vanished again.

And this has been the whole problem. The most relevant stat? 

Giancarlo has played only 427 games as a Yankee, compared to the 614 that J.D. has played as a Sock.

That's nearly 200 fewer games. You just can't make that up.

I'm not saying that Stanton has been the main problem with your New York Yankees over the last five seasons. That's the Little Man in the Front Office Booth. 

But he's been a catastrophic disappointment. Mainly because...he's not there.

Remember all the controversy there used to be over Reggie Jackson? Was he the Straw That Stirs the Drink, or not? 

Giancarlo? He's the Swizzle Stick That Is Left on the Bar. 

Yes, he's been clutch at times, even carried the team. He has a 1.108 OPS in the playoffs, for instance, and 9 home runs. But even there, his performance has often been a huge letdown. I'll never forget his insistence on swinging at balls way out of the strike zone in the last inning of the 2018 ALDS against Boston, when Kimbrel could not find the plate with a surveyor's tools.

(Martinez and the BoSox won it all that year.)

Then there was last year, when in the very first inning at Fenway he stood and admire a ball he thought was out. And was not. Thereby turning a double into a single.

Or how about the 2019 ALCS? He had a terrific opening game, went 2-4 against Greinke, with a home run. The next day...he was out. Saying he hurt himself. BEFORE the home run. His injury was so grievous, that he had been able to keep playing and even hit a home run off one of the game's top pitchers—but then he couldn't play anymore. 

He showed up for exactly one more game in that playoff series. Filling a roster spot we could not use, and that he would not.

And that's the whole problem. He doesn't show up. He's the man who is not there. Forty plate appearances with 4 singles and 3 ribbies since he's been off the DL; no dingers since July 15th, in more than 55 trips to the dish.

And what are the injuries? Who knows, from Kremlin-on-the-Harlem, but we get rumors of tweaks, strains, twists, pulls, boo-boos.

Look, I hate to keep referring to the old days, back when men were men and drank their problems away. Medical science has advanced in leaps and bounds, and there is no need for anybody to play in pain and misery.  But this is ridiculous already. 

I've recently mentioned DiMaggio playing as soon as he could walk—and sending Boston back to hell.

Here is Jane Leavy quoting Joe DeMaestri describing Mickey Mantle getting an infected abscess—the one that cost him the chance to break Babe Ruth's real, original record—cleaned in the clubhouse:

"He'd come in and he'd lay down on the table on his side and he's move his toes and you could see the tendons move. In the sore you could actually see the cords in there. And he'd laugh. Mickey had a funny way about himself."

On other occasions, teammates described how he used to twist his ruined knee around in different, unnatural ways for their amusement. Then they would tape him up, hip to ankle.

And he played. And hit.

Not saying Giancarlo or anybody else has to do THAT. But what percentage of life is showing up...?



borntorun999 said...

I was against acquiring Stanton because I felt we had too many players with similar qualities. His tenure here has been an abject failure based on expectations. Now he embraces the cardinal BTR999 sin: he doesn’t hustle. I can only imagine what he’ll be like in 3 or 4 years. Maybe some speck of pride will lead him to retire before he goes full Gallo, but I doubt it.

JM said...

Why the fuck is Marwin playing first? Why is he playing at all? Why is he still on the roster?

Fucking Boone. Fucking Cashman.

JM said...

Stanton is emblematic of Cashman's ineptitude.

Publius said...

Suzyn's not there

JM said...

Did they say why?

JM said...

Sure, Marwin hits a homer to extend his worthless stay.

JM said...

Taillon sucks.

JM said...

Stanton is injured, shouldn't be clogging up the lineup. He's not Mantle.

Publius said...

Apparently Suzyn's just taking a couple days post long road trip. I guess...

JM said...

She's no spring chicken.

Publius said...

The Swizzle Stick That Is Left On The Bar...

borntorun999 said...

Looks like Stanton could be hurt AGAIN?

JM said...

Of course.

Nice DP by Donaldson and Marwin. Amazingly.

JM said...


JM said...


ranger_lp said...


borntorun999 said...

Stanton out of the game.

No loss.

The Hammer of God said...

The stupid pro-Cashman media were able to persuade me that acquiring Stanton was a good idea. I won't get fooled again! He was indeed a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Too many right handed sluggers in a lineup: not good.

The real mistake, however, came after 2018. We'd already seen how Stanton was not a good fit for the team. Mistakes should be rectified quickly, not allowed to fester.

The biggest reason why Cashman is a failure, a total ZERO, as GM is that he never, ever, ever tries to fix mistakes. Every GM will make mistakes, given enough time. The good ones solve problems and don't sit there with an albatross around their neck for ten years. This buffoon does not even try to solve problems.

Of course, HAL probably bears some of the blame for it. Cashman probably has to get HAL's approval to get rid of Stanton's onerous contract. And HAL's accountants do not like to eat mistakes.

JM said...

Crack in the Glass Giant. I think he has still been hurt since he came back. Not swinging right, protecting something.

JM said...

You said it, Hammer.

ranger_lp said...

Yankees Win!!!

JM said...

Nice pitch to close it out.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ah, Giancarlo.

I know I should be sympathetic. But nobody who is rehabbing correctly can really lose so many games to the most minor leg injuries.

I think it has to be that NOTHING keeps him from his workout routines. And if that is the case, then he should not be playing a team sport.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yankees are 112-39 against Minnesota since 2002, including the playoffs.

God bless those little Twinkies.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Stanton x-rays negative. But I'm sure something else will snap, crackle or pop on this Rice Krispie.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ma Boone talking quite intelligently how he thinks that Judge has learned how to take care of his body and his game over a whole season.

As opposed to...somebody else, mayhap?

AboveAverage said...

Allow me to just say (ok ok ok - allow me to just think then type) the following:

Who does JUDGE have - - - JUDGE has all of us!

DickAllen said...

Stanton belongs in the Pavano Pavilion at Montefiore Hospital, and will soon be sent off to the Ellsbury Memorial Retirement Home for an extended rest and rehabilitation.

The Archangel said...

They keep X-raying the wrong parts of his body.
They need to do one of his head.

The Hammer of God said...

We've got to hope that Stanton is done for this season. Because if he comes back just before playoff time, plays one lousy game in the playoffs, then gets hurt and sits on the bench, taking up a roster spot, but stupid Cashman not putting him on the DL, then we're screwed double time.

Pkgreenville said...

Please, Dodgers, do us another Gallo-like favor and take Stanton. Yeah, the Yanks will contribute toward his salary… FOREVER. Probably include a prospect, too. And won’t expect a top prospect in return. Just get G out of here. We’ve all had it already!