Friday, September 2, 2022

"There was a time, not more than three months ago, when we could compare the 2022 Yankees to the 1998 Yankees, and it wasn’t completely insane. Now the 2022 Yankees invoke the 1991 Yankees, one of the worst teams in franchise history. The Yankees went 10-18 (.357) in August. It was their worst month since Sept. 1991..."

The above primal lamentation comes from the great Mike Axisa, of River Avenue Blues, via Patreon - (if you don't subscribe to his feeds, you're a Cleveland Guardians fan) - and I think it nicely sums up every pang of existential distress we've endured since July 4. 

Before our eyes, in YES-Mo, we are watching history: The Dorian Gray transformation of MLB's best team into its worst - courtesy of a front office/ownership that suffers no consequences for its failures. 

The Yankee Doomsday Clock is clicking forward. It's nearly midnight for the Midnight Blue, and we are back in 1991 - the year of Mel Hall's pet cougars and Steve Sax Disease - and our earnest manager, Mr. Merrill, looks characteristically stumped.

This we know: 

1. Last night, the Mariners and O's both won, inching ever upwards to the point - (should we have a pool on the date? I say Sept 24) - when they overtake us. The Yankees lost no ground. Nada. They didn't play. Hooray.

2. If Tampa this weekend wipes the bathroom floor with our gin-bloated tongues, no cavalry on earth will save this sorry team from its place in infamy.

3. The Death Barge finally made a move: Promoting SS Oswald Peraza to the majors (and, in his wake, Anthony Volpe to Biden's home town.) This should have happened weeks ago. Instead, it comes hours after Aaron Boone comically proclaimed Isiah Kiner-Falefa one of the best shortstops in the league. I like IKF - he's always been a stopgap and certainly not the prime reason for this collapse -but by waiting this long for Peraza, it almost adds to the Yankee sense of panic. Talk about putting pressure on a kid...

4. In every way, this collapse belongs to management. Somehow, the Yankees poisoned the water fountains and created a horrible workplace. Players come to NY and, instead of thriving from the energy of the crowds, they wither into shells. We saw it with Joey Gallo. We're seeing it with IKF, Josh Donaldson and Frankie Montas. We're watching Yankee veterans - Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres - crumble under the strain. 

I blame Food Stamps Hal's relentless frugality, his unwillingness to bend the bottom line, which eventually puts every player's contract under Gotham's searing and unforgiving microscope. If the Steinbrenners pay you a lot of their money, you better perform - or else. The Dodgers, Astros and Mets surround stars with more stars, each one lessening the weight upon the others. The Yankees put every player out there, and if he fails, Hal's Yankee-owned media points to them and says, "See, they're not worth the money!" And Hal pockets it.

5. Right now, here's how we score: Aaron Judge hits a solo home run, or the other team screws up. That's how we beat Anaheim: Their 3B threw a ball in the dirt that Mike Ford couldn't scoop, and two runs scored. If Ford catches that ball, we leave the bases loaded, we get swept. 

Frankly, we shoulda been swept. And if not for opposing team meltdowns - Donaldson's extra innings grand slam, IKF's homer v Boston  - we could be arriving in Tampa tonight with 1st place on the line. 

6. Once this team slides into 2nd, it's over. 

7. So... we're supposed to wait for Setback Sevy and Harrison Bader? Does anybody remember how Luis Severino was flailing at the end? Or that Bader had an on-base percentage of .302? 

8. Brian Cashman has made some bad deals, but I cannot recall one so instantly and universally reviled as the Jordan Montgomery trade. Usually, it takes time for fans to realize we've been had. This was different. From the git-go, this one was nuts - so much so that I wonder about Cashman's state of mind. 

Look, I harbor no malice for the guy. Over the years, we've gone through a lot of pain together. I bet if I met him, I'd like him. But this year is crazy. This year, if the Yankees fail, it's time to burn down the stadium. I doubt Hal will ever fire Cash; he's too much of a country clubber to fire an old family friend. But come November, I hope Cashman gets out... for his own peace of mind. 

9. I'm thinking of calling for an INTERNATIONAL JUJU INTERVENTION, perhaps as early as next week. Originally, I planned to save our juju for the postseason. Now, I'm not even sure the 2022 Yankees are worth it. But stay tuned. We have to do something.  


Buhner's Ghost said...

If there's an international juju intervention, will all Yankees have to be vaccinated first? Are they? Could be a factor if they face the Blu Jays in the playoffs. If the Yankees make the playoffs.

JM said...

This team stinks.

Everything else you can say is redundant.

TheWinWarblist said...

If I ever meet CashBrain, I am certain I will not like him, the fucking miserable toady.

Fuck him.

Publius said...

Tampa will show us, yet again, that Cash > Cash.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Have you ever seen a player like Stanton, who makes well above the going rate, have absolutely no impact on a teams success. Even AROD helped win a WS. This guy is just collecting a paycheck.

The Hammer of God said...

Having brought in a shipwreck in Stanton, immediately after his first year, which I think was in 2018, Cashman should've cut his losses and traded Stanton. As Kenny Rogers sang, you got to know when to fold 'em.

In this weird franchise, which is beginning to look more and more like something out of Alice In Wonderland, nobody ever seems to get moved out. No matter how bad they play.

Well, Cashman did get rid of Gallows. But are we supposed to jump for joy for that? hoorah, hoorah, good boy, cash-puppy, there's a good boy!

The Hammer of God said...

Keith McPherson of WFAN thinks part of the problem is lack of discipline. Lack of discipline at the high levels filtering down to lack of discipline at the player level.

Maybe something to that. All year long we have seen this team have trouble finishing off series. There was a series against the Guardians where they Yankees lost the final game 1-0. Just recently, on this road trip, Yanks won two against the lowly A's and then proceeded to tank on the final two.

The inability to finish off series has compounded into an inability to finish off the season. They got off to a great first half and now can't buy a win in the second half.

Doug K. said...

1) I don't think we should do an intervention. If they don't play with passion and urgency, why should we root with it?

2) They brought up the other Oswaldo ONE DAY AFTER he could have been eligible for the playoffs so even if he is the greatest month since, I don't know, Cano we are still looking at IKF in the playoffs.

I guess Marwin's roster spot was REALLY important to hang on to even thought he's even more buried now.


3) What they should do is move IKF back to his gold glove position at third, bench Donaldson and Gleyber and have the rest of the infield be Oswald, Oswald, and DJ (because Rizzo is hurt - of course he is.)

The outfield should be Benni, Hicks, Stanton with Judge as the DH because Judge hates the surface at the Trop.

After this weekend. Judge goes back to center.

borntorun999 said...

Boone Rizzo:
“There's a chance he can get an injection and miss this Tampa series but the prognosis is really good for him"

Maybe it’s time for Boone to suspend all interviews for the duration of the season. Every time he opens his mouth, he seems stupider than the day before.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Well-put, Duque. And the really awful thing? While the 1991 Yankees had much worse pitching than this team, I would take that lineup over ours just now.

And I wouldn't be wrong. The 1991 Yanks averaged 4.16 runs a game—well below the current team's 4.98.

But for the August just passed? The Yanks averaged only 3.6 runs a game. Yes, that's right: currently, this team is scoring half-a-run a game LESS than the putrid, 71-91, 1991 Yankees did.

The Hammer of God said...

Have you ever seen a team that is less able to solve defensive shifts than the Yankees?

Just recently, on this trip, I think Ohtani hit a ground ball through a hole for a single. Now, he did get erased on a double play, but don't we see many more of those (hole hits) by the other teams than by the Yankees?

Doesn't it seem that the Yankees have made some kind of conscious decision to live and die by the home run? Rizzo comes here and they report that he's got the highest launch angle of his career to date. As well as his career low batting average, they should've added.

Gallows comes here and he hits 60 points below his already microscopic career batting average.

Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, both with the toe tapping stance, trying to uppercut launch homers. Rob Refsnyder reported that the Yankees tried to change his swing to make him hit more home runs.

I guess the Yankees have decided that, as long as they're only going to get three hits a game, all three might as well be home runs.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I like that idea, Doug.

999: Yeah, wasn't that CRAZY? 'He's probably going to miss the biggest series of the year for a medical procedure. Hey, things are looking up.'

Has Boone completely lost it? Or is it the entire organization?

I mean, they keep acting like Sevvy is going to come back and make a huge contribution...but they put him on the 60-day DL. Best case, he's back with a week to go in the season—and we've seen how well THAT went before. They're also counting on Tots Bader...also on the 60-day. And yes, agreed, guys, it's amazing how Cashman can't even come up with a reasonable explanation for that deal.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And by the by, Hammer, I would pay cash money to have the Stanton of 2018 back, mediocre as he was that season, right down to his swinging at ball after ball from Kimbrel when he was imploding in the last inning of the awful Boston series.

2018: 102 runs, 34 doubles, 38 homers, 100 RBI, .266/.343/.502/.852.

2022: 40 runs, 6 doubles, 24 homers, 64 RBI, .221/.305/.471/.776.

SIX doubles. The guy's 32, and he's already done. Alphonso called it, the guy was going to be a millstone around our necks. And he has. Nearly impossible to move him, thanks to the money.

The Hammer of God said...

@Doug K. I agree with you, we shouldn't do an intervention. Doing it for a team that doesn't have any will power to win isn't a good thing. This team doesn't deserve it.

I like your defensive alignment, but they're too stupid to do it that way. Donaldson is our new millstone/dead albatross.

Re. Peraza, maybe they waited this long to bring him up so that they can control him for another year? If that was the cut off date for 1st year eligibility. They would do stuff like that. Player control/cost control is much more important than winning, as we all know.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hammer, I think you have a good point about the "launch angles." I remember thinking something similar when I read Monty talking about how amazing it was that the Yanks had managed to add 5 mph to his fastball. A few weeks later, it was Tommy John surgery.

It can't JUST be coincidence that all of these guys are being instructed in how to "adjust" their games, often in torturous ways, and end up breaking their bodies.

STILL waiting for that promised Cashman review of the team's training and coaching methods after the injury-riddled season of...2018.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And I'm sure you're right about Peraza, Hammer. That's the Yanks' idea of long-term planning: 'Hey, will this guy be a free agent in 2028 or 2029?'

JM said...

Cashman is tied to analytic strategies that no longer work, if they ever did. Somehow makes sense.

And there's this from the Post:

"The Marlins actually wanted both Gleyber Torres and Oswald Peraza for Pablo Lopez and Miguel Rojas, but ultimately, the Yankees didn’t want to give up Peraza in that deal. The belief is the Yankees would have surrendered Torres and maybe a lesser prospect. Anyway, Torres’ value has fallen further since those talks."

I want to hang onto Peraza, naturally, but this was the only opportunity to shop Torres? I doubt that.

The Hammer of God said...

@Hoss, yeah, 2018 Stanton put up a somewhat decent, near-mediocre season. I would've traded him right then because it was clear that he wasn't going to work out well for us. That might've been the last chance to get rid of him. After that, he fell off a cliff. No one ever gets the boot in this organization. We are now completely overloaded with millstones.

DickAllen said...

"6. Once this team slides into 2nd, it's over."


AboveAverage said...

Rizzo was another player fighting back internal rage in Oakland.

I could see it in his quivering, angry eyes.

This is an unhappy man, unable to properly cope with his current level of performance - due to both his nagging back issues and his natural state of decline.

Rizzo has already lost it on the field twice in the past few weeks - another player holding it all in - desperate, frustrated, miserable.

This team needs a release - It needs a leader to help them get there - help them cope. Not a emotionally stunted manager man-child working out his impotence on a piece of bubble gum until he bursts himself do to lack of mental elasticity.

These players are entitled, most of them rich and pampered beyond belief but they seriously seem to lack the tools to get though this period.

One one man seemed to have it figured out - in so far as the mental health part of the game goes.

That was bare foot in the pre-game grass, earth mat sleep-hugging Matt Carpenter.

Boy oh Boy do the 2022 NY Yankees miss his steady presence.

The Daddy-Stach bringing balance and inspiration to this team.

Judge is our big top, carnival attraction.

Carpenter WAS our MVP.

Doug K. said...

AA - I think you might be right. They totally fell apart after Carpenter went down.

EDB said...

I beg to differ. It was insane to even think of the 2022 Yankees in the same breath as the 1998 Yankees. Before 1998, those players were winners. They did not swing "out of their shoes" for homeruns. There were high average hitters on that team and The Genius does not get that. There was a better manager. I did not love Torree, but c'mon. The pitchers did not unravel like Cole does. There were not washed-up bums like Donaldson. Or stiffs like Barren Hicks. Please, do not utter the 2022 Yankees in the same breath.

borntorun999 said...

Hoss, it’s classic happy talk from Boone. Probably the best explanation of the Stanton decline in doubles is the fact that the man doesn’t run, just jogs out of the box. Don’t believe it? Just watch for it. Hard to get to second without moving your ass. Consider that he has scored 40 runs this year, but 24 came on his HR’s. He’s scored a whopping 16 non-HR runs!

And losing Carpenter really shortened the lineup. Donaldson and Torres should be batting 8th, yet Boone has no hesitation batting them cleanup. I guess it really doesn’t matter, we’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic at this point.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, I believe it, 999! Hence his embarrassing, first-inning single against Boston in the 2021 play-in game, that SHOULD have been an easy double, save that he thought the ball was out and stood at the plate to admire it.

Also, when you DO see him run—and even when he's running full out—his form is now really strange. Very mechanical, awkward—another way in which he has screwed up his perpetually injured body?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Totally agree, Hammer, that they should have got rid of Stanton after 2018. But that was the thing about that contract. It made ditching him almost impossible.

A truly daring and intelligent GM and owner would have got together, said, 'Damn, we blew this one, let's make the best of it'—and tempted another team to give up a great package of prospects by offering to pay all or most of Stanton's salary.

But again, by refusing to take the BIG risk—and it would've been a big risk—the Yankees just doubled down on failure. This is their constant philosophy: 'Well, we paid a lot for him, and even if he is a big flop, now we gotta play him.'

No, you don't. You have the revenue stream to dump him, and move on. But they never acknowledge that.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug, I loved Carp, too, and I think the bottom really fell out when he was hurt.

But I looked it up, and even before the game in which he got hurt, the Yanks had gone 9-16 in their 25 previous—playing that .360 ball.

The trouble was, the pitching got messed up. It seems to have mostly righted itself, which is good—but now the hitting is a wreck. If the Yanks had urgently addressed their needs when they first started to go south, they might have won another 5-10 games, which really would allow them to get through this awful stretch.

But as Duque, I think, wrote, they acted as if they already had that clinching "x" next to the team name in the standings.

ranger_lp said...

With Torres' grand slump, we'll probably see Peraza at 2nd or 3rd base...

HoraceClarke66 said...

And EDB: completely agree. As I've argued here more than once, I think there's a very, very good case to be made that the 1998 Yankees were the greatest of all time.

They played after the color line was broken, they dominated in the playoffs as well as the regular season, they beat top NL teams in the regular season, TOO; they won a combined, all-time record total of 125 games, they had incredible depth and overcame serious injuries, the best of everyone's knowledge, they did not juice.

Think about that: they won a record number of games as a non-juicing team playing against teams that, by 1998, probably all had serious juicers.

Pretty fucking incredible, and to think that we got to see it!

So no, these bums were never the 1998 team. They SHOULD, though, have been able to outdo the 2021 team. And they won't.

JM said...

"Carpenter has yet to resume baseball activities and is back at his Texas home, manager Aaron Boone said on Aug. 30. Carpenter fractured his left foot after he fouled a pitch off his foot on Aug. 8 in Seattle. He is expected to have 1-2 weeks of no weight bearing on the foot, then will undergo a new set of X-rays sometime after Sept. 1. Carpenter is still in the non-weight-bearing phase, as of Aug. 30. (Last updated: Aug. 30)"

1-2 weeks of no weight, still no weight as of this past Tuesday.

We won't see him again and he won't be signed for next year, probably.

borntorun999 said...

JM, very possible,

Meanwhile Jon Heyman reports that Das Boot Bader told him that he would be “on the field” by Sept 15.

JM said...

I'm so excited, 999.

*puking sounds*

Carl J. Weitz said...

I still believe that Montgomery was traded because a few times this year he showed his displeasure at being yanked from the game. The last time was the most obvious reaction to Boone and a few day before he was traded.

When I think about the daily drumbeat of negativity on this blog toward the Yankees players in general and the Bloated Front Office more specifically (and I consider myself right up there in kvetching and retching as anyone), I'm reminded of one particular line in a Billy Joel song: " And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man."

The Hammer of God said...

@Hoss "A truly daring and intelligent GM and owner would have got together, said, 'Damn, we blew this one, let's make the best of it'—and tempted another team to give up a great package of prospects by offering to pay all or most of Stanton's salary."

Yep, that would've been the way to do it. I think everybody saw that this guy was no good for NY after that first year. Yankee Braintrust would've had to be blind not to see it also. They simply will not cut their losses when something goes wrong. They always let it run its course. Public relations, finances, tax savings, who knows why? But that is their modus operandi. It's the mark of a poorly managed franchise that does not really want to win.

AboveAverage said...


There could also be a few used and discarded Cologuards on the field with Bader . . .

The Hammer of God said...

@Carl J. Weitz, Perhaps that was another reason for them to do it, but after the deadline passed, other team's GMs said that the Yanks had been shopping Montgomery for some time.

I think that trade was all about saving a bunch of money with Judge and other outfield free agents. They needed a CF because they know that Hicks can't cut it and they have zero faith in Florial. There was a definite possibility that they'd need to fill all three outfield positions with free agents this winter. So that was a huge financial risk and they have now filled CF. (In their heads, at least, CF is done. We'll see if Bader ever plays this year or even next, and if he does, if he is more effective than Hicks.)

The smart way to do it would've been to just throw Florial in CF early this year or even going back, a year or two ago. They could've found out if he is good enough or if he'd develop. They've simply written him off. Maybe they're right about Florial but maybe they're wrong. We're not going to know until he's traded somewhere else because they're not giving him the chance.

If they had put Florial in CF, then Montgomery is still here. We'd already know whether Florial can cut it or not. They would've saved the same amount of money with Judge's new contract, whether its Florial in CF or Bader in CF. Plus, they save money because Florial's rookie salary is cheaper than Bader's. If Florial can't cut it, Judge plays CF in the postseason. And then they have to ante up to pay Judge and maybe pay to keep Benintendi in LF. Perhaps fill RF with a combination of Stanton and Carpenter.

They took a chance on blowing this season just to reduce their financial risk. What does that say about their desire to win?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Which field is going to be on? The field of dreams?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Is "HE" going to be on...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Good song, great lyrics, Carl Weitz. EXCEPT that bridge. One of Joel's more maudlin moments, which occasionally undermine his work:

I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage
I found that just surviving was a noble fight
I once believed in causes too
I had my pointless point of view
And life went on no matter who was wrong or right

Pompously sung and poorly written, it takes the song from a great put-down of the politically correct to a thoroughly unconvincing self-justification.

"Just surviving was a noble fight"? You grew up in a Long Island suburb! "And life went on no matter who was wrong or right"—yeah, oblah di, oblah da, man how the life goes on, but that's not a reason why you should or should not take a stand on something...such as the Yankees!!!

The Hammer of God said...

I always liked "You May Be Right", a straight ahead rocker with hilarious lyrics. It's My Life and Uptown Girl too. Not so much any of his ballads. Piano Man gets an awful lot of airplay but whenever that comes on, I shut off the radio. Is there a more depressing song than Piano Man on FM rock radio?

The Hammer of God said...

@Hoss " I read Monty talking about how amazing it was that the Yanks had managed to add 5 mph to his fastball. A few weeks later, it was Tommy John surgery."

Yeah, I do recall now that they had Montgomery throwing harder and harder. Then his arm blew out. They probably had him throwing a weighted ball and lifting weights. It must have been too much too soon.

Come to think of it, I wonder if they did something to Rizzo that caused his back injury. Probably had him doing barbell power cleans and squats. Back injuries can be very serious. They ended Don Mattingly's career. I thought it was stupid of them not to DL Rizzo when it first happened. So he's unavailable for Tampa, eh? We'll be playing a man short again for two weeks, I'm sure. Way to go, Brain-less Cashman!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I love this site with all my heart, but I miss the vitriol in the defunct nomaas site.