Monday, October 31, 2022


Bien sûr, in proportion to team income and valuation, Hal is a bâtard pas cher.

Et oui, Boone is not a very good manager.

But it's Cashman...Cashman who is the root of all evil.

Pourquoi? Because I cannot believe Hal is even interested in baseball beyond the financial statements. King George I famously wanted his son-in-law to take over, until he became his ex-son-in-law. His own kids? They weren't really interested. (Maybe his daughter was, but she was a GIRL! Mon Dieu!)

Hal's only real job is setting the salary cap. After that, he's off to watch AC Milan. How Cashman spends the money, who cares. As long as the team is in "contention" every year and nothing bad shows up in the spreadsheets.

Boone? He should be gone. But...if he could fill out a starting lineup like le Stengel did, with 1-9 populated by good, consistent, and durable players (and a little platooning here and there), he'd make fewer mistakes, at least.

But he can't. Because...Cashman!

Cashman is the one who gets the budget and has to assemble a team with it. And he's allowed to fuck up once in a while, just like anyone. But as many have noted here (and in far greater detail than my memory and laziness allow), he fucks up BEAUCOUP!

Cashman signs the merde contracts. Cashman makes the lousy trades. Cashman saddles us with guys who can't help us win. Cashman parades one over-the-hill waste of space after another. Cashman keeps younger talent down at Scranton until they lose heart, lose their skills, and lose faith in themselves and the organization. Cashman decides that 
they're "not ready" until they're 26 or 28 and injuries force his hand. Cashman is in charge of the talent scouts, the coaches, and the trainers who have trouble finding, developing, or keeping talent on the field. 

Tout est Cashman ! Cashman le terrible ! Cashman l'idiot ! Cashman l'incompétent !

Cashman spends the money he's given on mistake after mistake, especially when it comes to pitching, so there's usually less or no money to spend on really good free agents when they're available--even if they dearly want to be Yankees, like 
Bryce Harper. We didn't need Harper because we were overstocked with outfielders. Quell l'absurdité! And now, the Phillies have the inside track on the latest young Japanese phenom coming across the ocean, because he's a big Harper fan.

Maybe Cashman has never got over the fact that the only successful team under his watch was the product of Watson, Buck, and the Stick. Once the members of that team started aging out, or were traded in dubious deals, it was all over. Cashman couldn't do what they did. Maybe George stopped him. Maybe he just doesn't know how.

"BUT MOSTLY FOR"!! Embrasseur de cul!!!

As all you gray hairs know, after you're in a job for a long time, there's a tendency to slack off, to say "whatever." You lose a little focus, you lose a little or a lot of interest. You work hard sometimes and less hard other times. You've had so many chances, you just figure you'll hit one out often enough to be respected. Besides, your boss likes you and you get approval from outside sycophants. It's a nice gig.

But not for us fans. One ring in 22 years now. That's never happened. In 119 years, that had never happened! But now, it has. And why?


Avec sa tête, dans le Queens! Ou n'importe où sauf ici !

"I talked this week to a former longtime employee of the Yankees. This person likes Cashman, but is not a blinded loyalist. He pointed out a reality many overlook: 'You guys [reporters] and fans have no idea of the [bleep] the GM of the Yankees has to deal with.'"


Joel Sherman, on the life and times of Brian Cashman...

Yeah, I bet Cash absorbs a lotta daily crapola from Food Stamps Hal, whose austerity plans set every agenda. But it wouldn't be one iota of the B.S. he'd get from Steve Cohen.

Why is it that everyone who ever leaves the Yankees always implicitly - or flat-out, openly - threatens to sign with a rival? 

(Does anybody NOT expect Aroldis Chapman to want revenge against his old team, despite the fact that he was a) horribly ineffective, b) embarrassed by his tattoo infection and c) stupid to blow off a mandatory team workout, because his ego was bruised? But watch: He'll want to sign with a Yankee enemy, right? Hell hath no fury...) 

With Cashman, it's the timeworn scare tactic: If the GM loses his job, he'll re-surface as a Met and devote himself to beating the Yankees - perhaps by stealing Aaron Judge? - and we fans should fear this ultimate calamity. 

Well, I don't. If Cashman goes, at least we can start over. And if he feels no loyalty to an organization that stuck with him for 25 years, through thick and thin - that is, he simply runs to the Mets - (unless Boston offers a better deal?) - let him go. He can bring in a Mets version of Joey Gallo.  

I get it that baseball is a cutthroat business. But I've known many people who, after being laid off, refused to work for competitors out of simple loyalty to their friends. I'm not saying Cashman would be wrong or unethical to work for the Mets. I'm just tired of hearing Chicken Little prophecies whenever the Yankees ponder a change. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

The current list of top free agents that the Yankees will not sign


Obviously, the top free agent in the galaxy - (after Krur49 the Leecher in the  Nebular system) - is Aaron Judge. What's to say? Maybe we sign him; maybe no.

After that, here are the top free agents for whom Hal will finish runner-up in the auctions:

Trea Turner, SS, 28, Dodgers (currently $21 million.)
Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox, 1B, 35, White Sox ($18 million)
J.D. Martinez, DH, 34, Redsocks ($22 million)
Mitch Haniger, OF, 31, Mariners OF ($7 million)
Clayton Kershaw, P, 34, Dodgers ($17 million)
Dansby Swanson, SS, 28, Braves (arbitration)
Michael Brantley, OF, 34, Astros ($16 million)
Nathan Eovaldi, P, 32, Redsocks $16 million)
Aroldis Chapman, P, 34, Yankees ($16 million)
Edwin Dias, P, 28, Mets ($10 million)

Also, several star players have the option of declaring for free agency this winter. That list includes: 

Jacob deGrom, P, 34, Mets ($27.5 million)
Carlos Correa, SS, 28, Twins ($35 million)
Nolan Arenado, 3B, 31, Cardinals ($35 million)
Xander Bogaerts, SS, 30, Redsocks ($20 million)
Trevor Bauer, P, 31, Dodgers ($32 million)
Carlos Rodon, P, 29, Giants ($22 million)
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, 33, Yankees ($16 million)
Chris Sale, P, 33, Redsocks ($27.5 million)
Charlie Blackmon, OF, 36, Rockies ($15 million)
Eric Hosmer, 1B, 33, Padres ($13 million)

Gonna be a long, dark winter. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The betting odds of where Aaron Judge will land suggest a dark Yankee future

Nobody - perhaps not even Aaron Judge - can say if he'll be a Yank next season. Obviously, we hope he stays. No fan base shall ever worship him more. (Suggestion to Mr. Judge: Have a long talk with Robbie Cano before you jump, sir. I don't know what he'd say, but it'll be relevant.) But if he walks, he walks. That means...

1. Hal won't have to retire jersey #99. I vote that it goes to Clayton "3G" Beeter: 3G stands for Guy we Got for Gallo!

2. The new Aaron in RF... Hicks!

No more whining about how Yanks "buy pennants." In fact, we become "America's low-budget Cinderella team."

4. We still see Judge at least once per season, thanks to new MLB schedule. 

But on which team? is offering odds for Judge's next venue:

San Francisco Giants 2-1
New York Mets 3-1
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1
Houston Astros 6-1
Texas Rangers 8-1
Boston Red Sox 8-1
Toronto Blue Jays 10-1
Chicago White Sox 10-1
Philadelphia Phillies 13-1

Ouch. Three teams - Mets, Dodgers and Astros - were ALREADY better than the 2022 Yankees. Imagine adding Judge to their powerhouse lineups.

Also, based on October, the Phillies are clearly superior. Any of these teams would instantly become MLB's gold standard - maybe a dynasty. Those national games on Sunday night, the mystique, the legacy... they'd no longer be the Yanks' domain. 

Then there's Boston and Toronto -our chief AL East rivals. God help us. We'd face Judge 13 times, plus there's the double-whammy: We no longer have him. Imagine Judge batting in front of Vlad Jr. or Rafael Devers - far more protection than Rizzo/Stanton offered. And think of Judge at Fenway. Would he be chasing Barry Bonds? 

No, none of those outcomes can be allowed. For the Yankiverse to continue, without blowing up, they simply must not happen. 

Which leaves the favorite - San Francisco - as a franchise that Hal Steinbrenner might be secretly rooting for. Why?

1. Giants games start late on the West Coast. Outa Compton, outa sight, outa mind.

2. Hal can claim it's not his fault: Judge simply wanted to return home to the land of wildfires. 

3. Hal can blame those scattered, shameful NY fans for booing Judge in the ALCS final game (along with Mendoza Donaldson; read Hoss' post below.)

One issue, though, with SF: The Yanks only see the Giants once in 2023, but it's a doozy: The first home series of the year. 

Yeahp. Opening day. Imagine Judge wearing #99 for the Giants. All Rise... Up? I can see NYC dusting off the famous "STEINBRENNER SUCKS" cheer from Reggie's 1982 return as an Angel. (By the way, the Yanks that year finished 5th in the AL East, 16 games behind Milwaukee, with 79 wins. Just sayin'.)

I've often thought Hal's ownership trajectory is destined to follow his father's. If so, we're somewhere in the 12-year barf (1982-1994), and the Mets will soon rule NY. He's a few decades ahead of Daenerys Targaryen. But you can feel the dragon's breath from here. Pungent.  

Friday, October 28, 2022

"WE didn't chase Aaron Judge away. You fans did!"

Up in the Bronx, we can already hear the rumblings of the Yankees' latest disinformation campaign, this one carefully calculated to shift the blame should Aaron Judge walk.

As our Peerless Leader alerted us, Andy Martino ran a piece on SNY the other day, headlined: "Will the Yankees' external toxicity problem cost them Aaron Judge, other free agents? More than one Yankee player has told his agent this week that playing at the Stadium was an unusually brutal experience."

Hmm, "more than one," you say? Meaning, uh, two?

Amongst Martino's other, conveniently anonymous sources, was "One longtime exec" who texted him that he was especially taken aback by:

"the irrational opinions on Cashman and Boone. I get that it's World Series or bust but damn they're spoiled."

Uh-huh.  I wonder who that "longtime exec" could be.  I'm guessing it's Thing One or Thing Two.

Unless, of course, it's the Cat in the Hat himself.

Martino goes on to note that "even before the Astros swept the Yankees in the ALCS last weekend, the clubhouse and the front office had quietly noticed that the external energy surrounding the team felt as angry as it has been in ages."

He added that "If you're Aaron Judge, booed in the playoffs days after setting an American League home run record, why wouldn't you prefer sunny Los Angeles or familiar San Francisco? 

"And if you're a free agent talking to your friends already on the team, why would you subject yourself to the experiences they describe?"

You see, good people?  

If Aaron Judge should walk—AND if the Yankees should fail to sign any future free agent, ever...well, it's OUR fault, NOT theirs. Is that foresight, or what?

I shouted out who killed the Kennedys, when after all it was...YOU, not me!

You gotta hand it to the Yanks' front office. They are absolutely BRILLIANT at buck-passing and blame-shifting, if nothing else.

And as if weasel words such as "external toxicity" were not bad enough, reporter Martino—

Wait. Full stop. Titles such as "reporter," "journalist," or "writer" have much too honorable a pedigree to apply to someone like Martino, who moonlights as a corporate flak for the Mets' own network, and MLB itself. We need something more appropriate. Maybe "lickspittle." Yeah, I think I'll go with "lickspittle."

—Lickspittle Martino went on to disavow that any of this was coming from him:

"First, this is not a criticism of folks who feel angry and disappointed that they don't get to cheer for their team in the World Series. It's just an objective truth that the team is taken aback by the level of negativity hitting them after a division title and a 99-win season. Those feelings could have real consequences for the roster."

Like what?

"Even a difficult person and underperformer like Josh Donaldson was turned into a somewhat sympathetic figure internally [corporate-speak much, Andy?] by the force of the jeering."

oh no. We could lose Josh Donaldson!

Even worse, we could lose, well, gulp:

"The gap between industry [how are you not ALREADY in p.r. full-time, Andy?] and fan perceptions of Cashman and Boone is particularly striking. Rivals consider Cashman one of the greatest executives in sports, and say that Boone will immediately become a coveted free agent if the Yankees fire him. Other GMs and agents are genuinely baffled by the fan hatred toward those two."

Right. It couldn't possibly be that other GMs—unlike Cashman himself—DON'T like to reveal when they have a real patsy in place. 

Martino claims he learned all this "after embedding with the team through a difficult month."

Yeah, he actually wrote "embedding." As if he were in Fallujah with the Old Breed, as opposed to traveling with the team, staying in nice hotels, sitting in the press box, and talking with players from time to time in the clubhouse.

But I digress. 

To start with, let's sift the obvious lies here. Free agents don't want to come to New York? Funny, they seem to show up here as faithfully as the swallows return to Capistrano. Witness Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. I guess Hal must have warned them about the booing.

The players found the last week at the Stadium "an unusually brutal experience"? Mr. Martino ought to try embedding with the average fan for a month, sitting out in the cold through hours-long rainouts—or hours-long strikeout fests.

And just who were those fans, during the playoffs? Well, a disproportionate number of them were not from the Yankees' main fan base at all, obviously, but the sorts of filthy rich folks who are pretty much the only people who can afford playoff tickets these days.  

Of course, the entire thrust of the Yankees organization for decades now has been, in one way or another, to price out the ordinary fan, and bring in richer and richer ones.  Hence, Hal rewarding enormous taxpayer subsidies by lopping thousands of seats out of his Second Gift Stadium, and replacing them with luxury boxes.  

So what we actually have here is rich people booing other rich people for not performing well enough. Does that say America today, or what?

And Hal Steinbrenner doesn't like the attitude of the fans he labored so tirelessly to bring in? That's rich.

It's a longstanding belief of local sportswriters that New York fans are so tough on their own players. I don't know how true that is. I seem to recall an awful lot of football fans, in an awful lot of cities, wearing bags over their heads.

And a few weeks from now, with the World Cup, we're going to witness millions of fans, from all over the world, who routinely boo, whistle, snap their fingers, and otherwise show their extreme displeasure. Not only if their team isn't winning, but if the style of play has become less than enchanting (and these days, baseball is nearly as soporific as soccer).

In the real world, people who don't do their work well—or even people who do their work great—routinely have their pay and hours cut, are yelled and screamed at by their bosses, or are fired. Ballplayers endure absolutely nothing like that, even if they're awful, too hurt to work, or just don't feel like really putting in the effort.  

People boo them when they stink? Gee that's terrible.

It's probably true that baseball fans in most cities today don't boo as much as they do in New York. They show their displeasure in other ways: by staying home, and changing the channel. Attendance and viewership is way down all over baseball. Would the Yankees prefer THAT means of protesting? 

Ol' Lickspittle concludes by telling us who's REALLY behind our bad attitudes:

"The Yankees created this problem long ago. George Steinbrenner's oft-repeated theme, later adopted by Derek Jeter and others, that a season is a failure if it doesn't end in a championship has come to define the Yankee brand."

That's right! Damn you, Derek Jeter, and your unceasing commitment to excellence! You're making Josh Donaldson uncomfortable!

Aaron Boone has submitted his lineup for tonight

Spoiler: He's still going with Donaldson.

6:30-7:07: Pick up Mr. Steinbrenner's laundry.

7:07-8: Feed Mr. Cashman's fish.

8-8:35 p.m.: Edibles should start kicking in.

8:35 p.m.-9 p.m.: Real Housewives of New Jersey 

9-9:30 p.m.: Zoom call with Josh

9:30-10 p.m.: Real Housewives of Las Vegas

10-11 p.m: OnlyFans

11-11:30 p.m.Post death threat tweets as @yankeekiller

11:30 p.m.: Real Housewives of Boise

Midnight: Fentanyl and bed.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

"When asked for his initial reaction to the news of a 'Twister' sequel, Reed Timmer, a renowned storm chaser and former star of the long-running Discovery Channel series 'Storm Chasers,' described feeling 'pure excitement!'”


"Dear Mr. Steinbrenner": What Aaron Judge Should Negotiate For.

"Dear Hal (if I may—that's the sort of things we polite kids from the Heartland who were raised right, say when we talk to our elders):

So here we are again, ready to talk contract. What a difference a year makes!

I know a lot has been said and about how I "gambled on myself" this season, and won. That's overblown. Every professional athlete, every major-league ballplayer, gambles on himself all the time. So, for that matter, does every single mother, working two jobs and going back to school at night.

I decided not to sign, I had a fairly good season, and it worked out. Good for me.

But if I gambled on myself this year, now I'm back to gamble on myself—and the New York Yankees.

Here's my offer: whatever final numbers we arrive at, you take $100 million off the top, and invest it in trying to make the Yankees a real winner again, not just a contender.

I know, I know: easier said than done.

I know you've spent plenty of money on this Yankees team already. I know you've spent plenty of money on me, already, and for that I will always be profoundly grateful.

I'm not asking you to guarantee results. If you take that $100 million you were going to give me—and, yes, some more of your own money—and somehow it doesn't work out...well, hey, that's just the way the ball bounces. I know, I play in the same town as the New York Mets.

If building a winner again—a REAL winner—doesn't work out during my remaining time in the game, I will understand. I promise: I will continue to be the goodhearted, cheerful, clean-cut face of the New York Yankees and major-league baseball that I have always tried to be.

So what are we talking about with this money? Oh, maybe a free agent here or there, if that gets us over the top. 

But most of all, I'm talking about making a clean sweep of management, top to bottom.

That's right: I'm talking first and foremost about replacing Brian Cashman.

I know that's hard for you to hear. I realize that you and Brian probably have a brother thing going, that you bonded dodging the wrath of Old George in his ruin. I'm not asking you to toss out your brother, or humiliate him. Bump him upstairs, put him in charge of some other part of the empire, if you like. Make it seem like a promotion. You know how to do that corporate stuff. Me, I'm not corporate. I'm just the greatest athlete in the biggest market in the country.

But Brian has got to go.

So does most of his subordinates, who have proven themselves so woefully bad at identifying talent, drafting it, developing it, nurturing it. No more motivational coaches, showing us movies about the Red Sox. No more trainers who stand by and watch half the team get hurt, every year. No more admonitions to "Hit strikes hard." 

Did you see me hit any strikes soft this year?

No more algorithmic wizards, who don't understand the game of baseball and never will. Hell, who don't even understand the algorithms, and never will. (Sorry for my language there, sir. Sometimes I get a little overwrought when I'm talking about the game.)

And no more Brian. That's one big reason why I'm writing you, in private. I don't want him in here on these negotiations.

I don't want him going on about my poor postseasons. Hey, I've had some bad playoffs. I admit it. I won't always.

I don't want him leaking everything to his pals in the press, and distorting it all to make himself look like a genius. I don't want him trying to go all Troy Tulowitzki on me, the way he did with Derek Jeter.

How's that Troy Tulowitzki workin' out for you, sir? Was that a good use of your money? How can you stand to see it thrown away, year after year, on guys everybody else knows won't work out?

Trust me—you'll be fine. There's tons of front office talent out there, in Tampa Bay, and Oakland, and St. Louis, and Seattle. All those towns where they stay competitive with us, and even eat our lunch, year after year after year.

Don't you think there are plenty of guys who would love a chance to play the big town? Who would come to New York, work like hell—and NOT spend part of every afternoon telling reporters what geniuses they are? Who would produce terrific, well-balanced teams, year after year?

Don't you want to be a champion? 

I realize, with the hole we're in now, that I may never get to see the promised land. But I won't kick, as long as we're on the way. If you want, you can lay the whole new direction of the New York Yankees on my shoulders. They're big shoulders. I think things would probably work out best if you made out that all of this was done at your initiative, but if you don't want to, I'm happy to stand up and take the heat. 

I'm a stand-up guy, in case you haven't noticed.

And if you let me walk, I will hurt you. I don't mean that as a threat—just the truth. If you let me walk to San Francisco, or Boston, or especially to Flushing, you will see me drinking champagne and raising that World Series trophy. Just think about Dave Winfield, winning a Series in Toronto, once your dad cut him loose.

I don't think the fans would ever forgive you or the Yankees for that. 

But what do I know? I'm just a kid from the heartland. And by the heartland, I mean the heartland everywhere. The heartland of Northern California, but also New York City, and the Midwest, and the South, and the so-called Rust Belt, and even Red Sox territory, in this sadly divided nation of ours. The heartland, too, of the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, and even Japan.

I'm everyman, in case you haven't noticed. Pretty much all races and colors, grown to legend size. A great big kid with a gap in his teeth and a shy smile. With the kind of grace and laughter that makes old men look at me and want to fall in love with the game again.

That's what I have to offer. Plus that $100 million. Take it, use it, have fun with it. (Frankly, Hal, it never looks like you're having much fun.) Time to be great again. Great on your own terms, not your dad's. 

They'll all love you for it. Trust me.


Aaron Judge"


“As an athlete this is what you look forward to, getting an opportunity as a free agent. Most athletes don’t even reach free agency, and then when you actually reach it, you have choices. You make the choice that you think is best for you and your family. But I’m sure it’s probably going to be a difficult one for him, I would assume. Maybe it won’t be, I don’t know.”


"More than one Yankee player has told his agent this week that playing at the Stadium last weekend was an unusually brutal experience. It was hard for many teammates to believe that fans booed Judge. Even a difficult person and underperformer like Josh Donaldson was turned into a somewhat sympathetic figure internally by the force of the jeering."


“If I’m the owner, Aaron Boone wouldn’t stay. When things don’t come out the way we want them to all of the fault goes on the manager and somebody has to pay the price and we won’t put that on the players.”


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Pass the Dubble Bubble

According to this AP article, he's baaaaack:

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner plans to keep Aaron Boone as his manager.

“As far as Boone’s concerned, we just signed him and for all the same reasons I listed a year ago, I believe he is a very good manager," Steinbrenner said Wednesday as he left the Yankees player development complex. "I don’t see a change there.”  

Well, alrighty then.

The Giants claim they "won't be underbid" in their quest to sign Aaron Judge. But they face the great "underbidder" himself, Hal Steinbrenner

 Good for a laugh. 

The Yankees finishing runner-up once again?

The Yankees have found their scapegoat: the "mental skills" coach and his video from 2004

By now, you've probably heard Michael Kay's viral rant about some obscure, low-level Yankee schlub, who scored the job of Yankee "Mental Skills" coach. (What's next, an emotional comfort dog?) To restore hope - while down 3-0 to Houston - this well-meaning grunt put together a video of the 2004 Redsocks, rallying against You Know Who.

And I must admit, this does sound Kanye Crazy - the gold-standard of nuts - unless you realize how much the world needs "FEVER PITCH II," where Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, as divorced 40 somethings living in Manhattan, who get back together to watch the miracle Yanks... no, I cannot finish this fantasy; it hurts too much, but you get the picture, right?

Well, the video didn't go over well with Kay, who thundered indignation about it for a solid 30 minutes on his daily blood-pressure-rousing radio show. Imagine James Corden in a slow Taco Bell. Some intern popped a quick blast onto Twitter, saying Kay "DESTROYS THE YANKEES" over the low-hanging fruit of some poor, low-management schmuck who must now eat all the mistakes of 2022, like the trainers and coaches of the past.  

Kay is on a roll, thanks to the Yankees. His last viral blast involved Aroldis Chapman's infected tattoo. The Yankees have no closer, but they always field a scapegoat - and it's never someone at a management level that could make a difference. 

Listen: I'm all for Kay, or anyone, ripping the Yankees for the woeful end to this sad, disappointing season. But the roots of the 2022 debacle flow directly through Food Stamp Hal Steinbrenner's's office, and any release of bile needs to include Hal's name. 

Never forget: In the winter of 2019, Bryce Harper came to NYC, cap in hand, looking to shave his beard, cut his hair, and fulfil a lifelong dream of playing for the Yankees. Hal never made an offer. Know why? Because the owner was terrified that Harper might accept it.

Same winter, Manny Machado also came to town, at the request of his wife, a native NYer. Same thing. The Yankees never made an offer. Too risky. He might say yes. 

That year, the Yankees fielded a rather low-budget lineup - for them, anyway - with young and cheap Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Mike Tauchman, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar and Aaron Judge. But not cheap enough. Hal pointed to the contract of Giancarlo Stanton, which meant the Yankees could not afford another high-priced star. 

Since then, Harper and Machado have proven to be worth every penny they were paid, while they Yankees have run merry-go-rounds at 3B and LF. Next year, counting the 2024 buyout, which they will surely make, the Death Barge will end up paying Josh Donaldson $27 million to play 3B. I wonder if he'll hit .200.  

I realize that decisions always look easy in retrospect, and it's easy to pick out bad deals or trades and then scream holy hell. On that note, I'll wait patiently for Mr. Kay to address the Yankee owner. Surely, the fact that the Steinbrenner family employs Kay will not dull the sharpness of his righteous tongue, am I right?

Also, while I have you: Here's to Ted Cruz attending a Phillies game! Make it happen, fates!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

"The last time the Bronx Bombers climbed Major League Baseball’s proverbial mountaintop was in 2009, when legendary owner George Steinbrenner was still at the helm. Although the drought weighs heavily, it has hardly dented the fortunes of Steinbrenner’s three surviving children. They’re all billionaires, and the team has never done better financially."

 Justin Birnhaum in Forbes. 

"They are Yankees, so they cut their hair and shave their beards and say what they’re supposed to say and fall in line. They do not, it seems, have any fun at all. Maybe no one can alleviate the pressure that comes with playing in New York. But it does not seem Boone has been able to shield them from it. He certainly does not seem to have been able to shield himself. Whatever the reason, the Yankees finished another season trying to be better than they are, built on expectations without the weapons needed to meet them. The pinstripes, as they say, are heavy. And the Yankees, as constructed, are just not strong enough to carry them."

 Chelsea James in the Washington Post. 

Five takeaways from all the takeaways of this nothing-burger Yankees takeaway

1. With or without Aaron Judge, the Yankees are screwed to their deadbolts. Unless they pull off the Mother of All Salary Dumps, they'll spend $53 million next year on Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson, $25 million on DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, and $32 million on Gerrit Cole, who will be 33. Considering ages, tweaked gonads, and the stress fatigue of Gotham, it's easy to imagine $100 million burning at home plate like Scott Proctor's uniform after a torching.

2. With or without Brian Cashman, the Yankees are screwed to the lug nuts. Unless Shallow Hal Steinbrenner ends his self-imposed austerity budgets, the Death Barge will once again pass on international free agents - tough luck, Japan, Korea and Cuba! - and scour the badlands for scrap heap metals. It might cost $50 million per year to keep Judge. Would such a spending splurge leave him naked in the Yankee lineup, with nobody to protect him? (Spoiler alert: Stanton can't do it.) 

3. The AL East is bubbling with change. After six wretched years devoted to tanking, Baltimore is finally on the rise, with a great young catcher and two of MLB's highest rated prospects. Tampa is Tampa, perpetually reborn. Toronto still has the nucleus of a championship team, and Boston - well - they look like a sadder version of us  - until they sign a few stars. In the second half of 2022, the Yankees went 35 and 35. 

4. We can be angry, but we cannot be surprised. In early June, when we had the best record in baseball, Yank fans knew that a) this team would only be measured by its success in October, and b) HR/K teams usually get shut down by great pitching. We saw this collapse coming, in YES-Mo. In retrospect, though, it's amazing how thin our bullpen turned out to be. Losing Chapman, Michael King, Chad Green - the kicker was Scott Effross - crushed us. (Had we somehow beaten Houston Sunday night, who would have relieved on Monday, Donaldson?) And all those trades over the last two years - the piles of young arms we dealt away for Joey Gallo, Frankie Montas, et al - the are going to have long term implications. 

5. Seriously, unless Food Stamps Hal steps up, the 2023 Yankees are going to be gobsmacked by fiscal reality. If Judge walks, the franchise will see a gaping hole in its legacy brand marketing.  Whose picture goes on the spring  training cover, Stanton? Yeesh. Our best hope is that Hal looks across town, sees Steve Cohen spending mad money to win, and quietly decides he's had enough, and it's time to sell the team to a trillionaire willing to put his ego on the line. 

That's what Hal has never done - put himself out there, frying in the spotlight - even though he makes the final decisions. He lets stooges like Cashman and Boone take the flack. The YES announcers fearlessly denounce each Yankee loss, and the manager's failed decisions, but they go strangely silent on the matter of the team's owner. 

In that regards, our Yankee fan wet dream - Jeter as GM and Mattingly as manager - could take on the suspicious tone of a desperate p.r. stunt - window dressing for a failed organization. Here's a bet: If Judge walks, Cashman will be replaced by Jeter in a sad ploy to restore respect. 

The Yankee future looks as dark as its immediate past. And that, my friends, is one lightness nightmare. 

Finally, I want to thank you all for sticking with us over the last six months. I don't how we would have made it. This community continually saves me in ways that words have a hard time expressing. There are times when all is lost, but I know that Hoss will have something to say, or the WinWarblist, or Rufus, or Carl, or LBJ, all of you - you know who you are - pull me off the ledge. You fucking save me. 

Oh, and we will soon start hearing from Alphonso again. He's been on a drinking tour of France, and he's pissed as hell. It's not gonna be pretty.

Monday, October 24, 2022


Fire Cashman! Fire Boone!
No more crashes, tenth of June.

Fire Cashman! Fire Boone!
Send them both to Cameroon.

Fire Cashman! Fire Boone!
Quench their thirsts at Camp Lejeune.

Fire Cashman! Fire Boone!
Do it now, this afternoon.

Fire Cashman! Fire Boone!
Then fire yourself, you silver spoon.

We have met the enemy, and he's a putz


(Apologies to Pogo)

Sunday, October 23, 2022

ALCS Game 4: Paging Dr. Kevorkian

RAINOUT THEATER: Sam Peckingpah's The Westerner, starring Brain Keith. Season One, Episode One. Peckinpah had earlier created The Rifleman, a darned good show; years later he gained fame as the bloodthirsty director of The Wild Bunch, a darned good movie.

"Defeat is one thing. Disgrace is another." Winston Churchill


Or, as Woody Allen put it, "Seventy percent of life is showing up."

Believe it or not, your New York Yankees were once considered Terrors of October. From 1927-1941, they won all 8 World Series they were in, by an almost unbelievable margin of 32 wins to 4 losses, or .888 ball.

After a loss to a great Cardinals team in 1942, those Yankees went another tear, winning the next 7 Series they played in from 1943-1953, with 28 wins and 12 losses.

Yes, that's 15 World Series wins in 16 tries, with a total record of 61-20, or .753 ball.

Cut to the late 1990s. 

From 1996-2000, the Yankees went 46-15 in all playoffs and the Series, playing .754 ball. At the white hot center of that streak, they again put together an almost unbelievable record, going a combined 22-3 in 1998-99. That's .880 ball, my friends.

One of the many, sadly remarkable facts about the Yankees this century, is how often the team didn't even, really, show up. From 2002 on, in the last games of their playoff seasons, the scores read like this:

5-9, 0-2, 3-10, 3-5, 3-8, 4-6, 1-6, 2-3, 1-8, 0-3, 0-4, 3-4, 4-6, 1-2, 2-6, and whatever other awful score they will lose by tonight. That's a cumulative 32-82, or losing by an average of almost 3 1/2 runs a game. 

And most of these games haven't even been as close as the scores indicated. Of those 15 losses, maybe 6 were closely contested. 

The rest were more of the same: either nobody hit, or nobody pitched, or both. At home or on the road, it has been just more dreary, dull, awful game after another.

Already, the media has started to chime in with their annual, completely mixed message, to which they remain happily oblivious:

Boy, those Yankees fans sure are spoiled, complaining about a team that wins so many regular-season games and playoff spots! And hey, their team sure got owned by Houston/Boston/Whoever in the playoffs!

I dunno, I'd like to know who these other mysterious fans are, who are supposedly content to have a winning regular season, and then watch their team get smashed every year in the playoffs. I doubt they actually exist, as no team underachieves in the playoffs—probably no team in all of pro sports—with the consistency—or the wretchedness—that the Yankees do.  

Just once more, I'd like to see them show up in October.   

Basically, it's all over but the booing

Sometime tonight, around 11 p.m., as the Astros celebrate, the last Yankee batter of 2022 will trudge back to the dugout, looking like Liz Truss after a six-pack of Jenny Cream. 

Whomever he is, I won't envy this poor lug. He will serve as the final wretched image of a totally rancid season - a year of high expectations and complete disappointment. As the boos rain down like rice at a wedding, it will be small consolation that they are quieter than anticipated, because most of the crowd will have gone home. 

Right now, my one hope is that this walk of shame does not involve Aaron Judge. It would be a travesty if the greatest Yankee since Jeter gets booed at the end of his time in New York. He deserves better. But this is our reality: Even if it's Judge walking back, there will be booing. 

It will signify the most frustrating Yankee finish since 2004 and foreshadow a looming dark period for the franchise, which drained its farm system for a shot at October - and which came up with nothing more than a glimpse at how other teams thrive with rookies, while ours rot on the vine. 

Okay, I should probably hedge my bets and say the Yankees can still win tonight! and then tomorrow! and then twice in Houston! - then sweep the Phillies and their Yank wannabee, Bryce Harper - greatest comeback in history! leading to a cure for cancer and a ban on pumpkin-spiced beer. Theoretically, in the Marvel Universe, or the one occupied by George Clooney and Julia Roberts, this can happen. And I'm the Easter Bunny. 

Fact is, we'd be ridiculously lucky just to take this series back to Houston, where the fans won't bother to boo us, because - basically - nobody boos a dead mouse.  

For now, my dark hope is that the final Yankee batter is Joggin' Josh Donaldson, who has strangled every potential rally this October, and whose best hit bounced off the right field wall, allowing him to be thrown out for not running hard. (Amazingly, the announcers sided with him, because he high-fived the first base coach? People, this is the playoffs: You run.) The Yankees waited on Donaldson all season. Now, we'll wait on him all winter, and then all next season. Our wait will end 2024, when we can buy him out for $6 million. 

By then, God knows where Judge will be, or how Hal's ensuing, self-imposed austerity budget will punish a fan base that he seems to detest. 

We'll have all winter to figure out what went wrong, but I must tell you... 

Fuck. This one has cut me more deeply than I imagined. This one hurts more than I thought it could. It will be a long time before I recover from this. To be honest, I don't know if I will ever believe in the Yankees again. This one may have knocked me out of the game.

And tonight, though I will be watching from behind my living room couch, you better believe I'll be booing. 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

ALCS Game 3: Masterclass... Applied Lineup Science, with Prof. Aaron Boone. 


The power of 6.

Your New York Yankees have now played nine straight games in which they recorded 6 or fewer hits.

That's the last two games of the regular season, plus all seven playoff games so far.

According to that irrefutable source, the internet, that's a franchise record.

Not to mention the fact that, of the 54 outs recorded versus the Astros, 30—or nearly 56 percent—have been strikeouts.

That is all ye know of these Yankees, and of contemporary baseball, and all ye need to know.


"Let's be thankful for a wonderful season!" and other declarations from Yankee Hell.

"No matter how you slice it, the Yankees made great strides this year!"

"Ninety-nine wins is quite an accomplishment; one more, and we'd have 100!"

"We'd have won that game, if the roof was on." 

"Each loss to Houston has been a nail-biter. Even if we don't win, we've been competitive!" 

"Regardless of what happens, our AL East Division champs deserve a parade down the Canyon of Heroes!"

"I've never been prouder of these Yankees than by the gracious way they accept defeat. No shenanigans. Pure class."

"You can't win with the umps and the roof against you!"

"Come winter, the Yankees should stand pat. This team is a proven winner!"

"Let's not worry about Aaron Judge, as long as Cashman and Boone are back!"

"In games under the normal roof, the Yankees should be 1-1."

"The Yanks lead MLB in postseason appearances, and this year they added to that impressive number. Someday, I'll look it up!"

"The Astros cheated again... with that roof!" 

"Houston, you better watch out, 'cause we're coming for you... next year!"

1982: Joe Torre uses language

BIG NUMBERS, Alan Moore, writer, & Bill Sinciewicz, artist, 1990 

Friday, October 21, 2022

The Yankees are overmatched. What's new?


"The playoffs are a crapshoot," Brian Cashman infamously said a couple years back.

Oh, would that it were so!  

No way, in an actual crapshoot, does anyone roll snake eyes 17 of 18 times—at least, not without knives being produced.

Much more relevant to the Yankees' current situation, is a quote from an infinitely greater baseball man than Brian Cashman will ever be.

"Luck is the residue of design," said Branch Rickey, a raggedy armed former catcher for your New York Highlanders, who went on to become the greatest GM what ever was.

I've written here recently about the struggle that Cashman teams have had just to get past the opening rounds in MLB's ever-multiplying levels of playoffs.

But at least they often manage to win the first round. From 2002 on, they have gone 11-7 in the first playoff series (or single game). Not a great record, considering how often those Yankees teams were heavily favored, but at least respectable.

It's in the later rounds that they are usually humiliated. From 2002 on, they will be just 2-6 in the ALCS after losing to Houston this year, and a miserable 0-5 since 2009.

More strikingly, they seem to lose to the same teams—in the first round or later—over and over.

For instance, of the 16 elimination rounds they will have lost from 2002 on, 12 of them have been to just 4 teams: the Angels (who they went 1-2 against), Red Sox (1-3, with no win since 2003), Tigers (0-3), and Astros (soon to be 0-4).

In other words, the Yanks lose over and over to teams that are their main competitors in the AL over any given number of years: 4 times, now, to Houston in 8 years; 3 times to Detroit over the course of 7 seasons; twice to the Los Angeles Angels of Somewhere on the Freeway in 4 years; and 3 times to the BoSox, albeit over 15 years.

This reflects an owner and GM who simply refuse, over and over again, to pay attention to who their main competition is—or how to win postseason series against them, or anybody else.

Look at how much this year's forthcoming loss to Houston is a chronicle of a death foretold, thanks to a neat summary from the estimable keefetothecity blog:

June 23: No-hit for seven innings, 10 strikeouts
June 24: One run
June 25: No-hit, 15 strikeouts
June 26: No-hit for 6 1/3 innings
June 30: One run, 11 strikeouts
July 21: Two runs
July 21: Five runs off a starter who isn’t in the Astros’ playoff rotation and a reliever who is no longer in the majors, 10 strikeouts
October 19: 16 batters retired in a row from third inning until eighth inning, 17 strikeouts

Add to that last night's debacle, and you're talking about a team we have not been close to beating all season—save for a couple of bona fide miracles—and have made absolutely no adjustments against.

The Yanks can moan all they want about Houston's dome being open on a comfortable night, or those lucky dribble hits by Cleveland, etc., etc. Again: luck is the residue of design.

Does anyone truly  think that the Yankees teams of the turn of this century—or any other Yankee championship teams—never had a turn of bad luck? Of course not. But you overcome that bad luck by fielding an overwhelmingly smart, talented team.  

The wind's blowing in? So you hit three singles. And maybe Houston doesn't score 3 runs if you can get out their .186-hitting catcher—something that seems to be beyond the ability of this Yankees staff.

The truth is, the Yanks are up against a superior team, one which is most likely to steamroll them at home this weekend. 

What to do about it?  Well, how about getting rid of this bad-luck jinx, below?


As a fan of and participant on It Is High It is Far, I have been as critical of the Yankees and their collective and individual ineptitude as anyone.  

Yes, Hal fails time after time to go the extra mile to help this team win.  Absolutely, Brian Cashman is a poor judge of talent and continuously overestimates what he has, and of course, this trading deadline was one of the worst in history. 

May I add that Aaron Boone is a horrible field manager and his press conferences are absurd to the point of stupefaction. 


Oh wait, Donaldson really sucks.



Hold on. One more. This team, as I’ve mentioned before, is just a collection of non-affiliated at-bats.  Seriously 30 strike outs in two games? C’mon!

OK, I think that’s it, because I have something else to say. Something important.  So…

There are thirty teams in Major League Baseball. Twenty six of them are home. This includes the Steve Cohen owned NY Mets, the 111 win LA Dodgers, last year’s champion Atlanta Braves, all the teams in the American League East except the Yankees, the AL Central Champion Cleveland Indians, the Jordan Montgomery fueled Saint Louis Cardinals, and the up and coming Seattle Mariners. 

They are all home, and we get to watch our team at least two more times.  Watch Aaron Judge as a Yankee at least two more times. 

Will we win? I doubt it.  

The Astros, now in their sixth straight ALCS, are a much better team up and down the line-up, better starters, better pen, better scouting better farm, better manager and owner… They are just better.

Can we win? Sure. It’s baseball. 

The point that I’m trying to make is that we are STILL watching the Yankees on October 21st. We won the division. We won the ALDS.  The above mentioned teams… they're done. 

Tomorrow night we send out Cole. Then Nestor. After that who knows, but let’s all take a moment, a heretical moment, on a bright clear sunny off day in Autumn to realize just how great that really is.  

OK I’m done. 

Fire Brian Cashman! 

Face it, Yankee fans: We were never going to beat Houston without our backs firmly pressed to the wall. So here we go...

Great teams converge around great shortstops.

Jeter, Concepcion, Trammel, Ozzie Smith... great shortstops, great dynasties. Of course, not every world champion has a Hall of Famer at the position, but they always sport an above-average player, the gritty guy who makes every play, the team leader, the infield bedrock.  

Over the last three games of the ALCS, the mighty New York Yankees have started three different shortstops. 

Yep, 165 games into the yeaer, Aaron Boone is still figuring out who plays SS. (No, Who is on first.)  

Who will it be Friday? Beats me. A return to IKF? Another shot for Oswaldo? Maybe a longshot - Josh Donaldson? Harrison Bader? Can they retry the 2021 experiment with Gleyber? What's Didi Gregorius doing these days? Anybody have Anthony Volpe's girl friend's number? 

Okay, I lured you here with a hopeful header, and now here I am, blaring the IT IS HIGH Mayday distress call to ships at sea. A multitude of reasons tell us that - yep - all his lost, that we will once again fall to Houston and that - frankly - the better team will have won. The fucking Yankees have struck out 30 times in two games - possibly the biggest collection of Ks in playoffs history. They serve strikeouts like grapes, in big, seedy bunches - and the Astro hurler last night literally laughed at us, LAUGHED AT US, as he walked to the dugout. 

When Bregman homered - (what a concept: a three-run homer!) - didn't we all know  the game was over? Yeah, we scored twice - their pitcher botched a DP - but the outcome was carved in stone. Aaron Judge's fly died at the wall, and - yeah- it might have gone out if the roof was on. But the roof wasn't on, and this isn't that Marvel alternative universe of "What if?s" We can conjure excuses and blame the umps, but we're like the Trump lawyers in federal court; nobody wants to hear us.  

But but BUT... we can still win this. We can, we can, WE CAN!

1. In these last two games, our third and fourth starters lost to their aces. Tomorrow, it's Cole against their No. 3. And get this: Rain is predicted for Sunday - yes - our old friend, Dr. Downpour. Rain or shine, it's Nasty Nestor against their No. 4, and I like our chances. 

If we win Saturday, if we break their momentum, we can win game four behind Nestor. Then we're on a roll. 

2. The Astros won both games in front of a relatively meek and wild crowd, a bunch of suburban librarians sitting on hard plastic seats with cowboy spurs up their asses. In big moments, they waved their hankies. Woopteefuckindoo. At times, I was amazed that the game was a sellout. They had 40,000, and they sounded like 20,000. 

The Astros are about to encounter a crowd of 50,000 that sounds like 100,000. Every row of Yankee fans is like the Magnificent Seven - they number only seven, but they taunt like 700!

3. Face it. We knew the Yankees wouldn't sweep Houston or win a short series. To beat them will take seven games. Realistically, nothing has changed. The formula remains: All we have to do is win in New York, in front of the hordes, then we get two shots in Houston. 

4. We've learned a valuable lesson: You cannot step from injured list into the MLB postseason roster. I'm talking about Matt Carpenter, who has seven plate appearances and seven unpromising strikeouts. He's a wonderful man, great handshake, flushes the toilet, remembers birthdays... but notion of Carpy DHing must be hereby scrapped. I don't even think he should pinch hit, but - well, lightning in a bottle, right? Where's Al Michaels? Do you believe in miracles?

5. Our SS should be Oswald Peraza. Yes, he bounced some throws to first last night, and he didn't get a hit, but he's simply our best fielding SS, and who knows? The Yankees have nobody hitting, so it doesn't matter. IFK might be a better shot at 3B. 

7. Somehow, we gotta figure out their catcher, "Not Candy" Maldonado. Guy is fucking killing us. Last night's biggest fuckup was Sevy hitting him on an 0-2 count, launching the meltdown. 

By the way, if the Yankees fail, Boone was wrong to pull Sevy in that no-hitter last month. It will have been his only chance at history.

But the Yankees haven't failed yet. We simply gotta win Saturday. That's all. The more we see their vaunted bullpen, I believe the better chance we have of shocking them. Pressley looked unstoppable last night, but then - whoops - he walked Donaldson and if Locastro had simply tried to steal one a pitch earlier, maybe Carpy would have  - ahh, sorry, I gotta quit the what-ifs. 

Before the fourth game of the 2004 ALCS, the Redsocks reportedly drank shots of whiskey, just to break the stress. They flipped the switch on us and own us to this day. We need to break Houston's death grip, and it was never going to happen without our backs pressed to the wall. 

So here we are, everybody. We all knew we'd be here. It's time for an uprising. We can do this.