Tuesday, October 25, 2022

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.


ranger_lp said...

Very good points el duque...

I'm starting the conspiracy theory. Watch the video:


Look at his hat and tell me what team Judge will NOT be with next year...

AboveAverage said...


The Montreal Expos?

DickAllen said...

I'm all in favor of a desperate p.r. stunt: Jeter and Mattingly would assuage all wounded Yankees fans (which means all of us), especially the ones who disappear in frustration.

Even if Judge winds up in SoCal. Even if the next four years have us basement hugging with the Sux, bring it on!

Publius said...

The Red Sox will contend next year, and make a deep playoff run. Somehow, some way. This is their pattern. The Yankees will win 92 games next year, and get bounced early in the playoffs. Somehow, some way. This is their pattern.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

What Dick said.

If anyone can force HAL to sell, it's Jeter with the press taking his side.

I guy can dream, can't he?

I really look forward to Fonzie's eloquent tirades returning here. It's just the bile I need right now.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Right back at you El Duque...times 10!

JM said...

Same shit, different year.

This year's vintage has a rotting, yet piquant, bouquet.

ranger_lp said...

@AA...that was not my first answer...lol...

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

From an analysis piece in the Washington Post (dated 10/24) on the NYYs. This is pretty damn devastating -- to the manager, at least:

- - -

But the undeniable truth with recent Yankees teams is that they are noticeably, undeniably devoid of joy. No Yankees team could ever live carefree — not in this city.

But a tour of clubhouses would leave the Yankees as one of the quietest, most palpably taut groups in the game. They do not sit around their lockers and chat. They do not linger after games, at least not where reporters can see them. They do not joke much. They rarely smile.

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.

The Hammer of God said...

I thought something had been missing here lately - it was Alphonso, with his hard hitting critical reviews!

HAL has been on the record that he'll never sell. That, I believe. Because why would he sell? He's obviously doing very well. Yankees are probably his best performing business. (I'm talking just the financial side, of course.)

I have a hard time believing that Cashman would be sacrificed. Cashman is probably one of the key reasons that HAL is doing so well financially. So why would HAL get rid of Cashman?

Boone, on the other hand, even though he was nothing more than a "Yes" man to Cashman, could go on the chopping block. We heard Cashman talk about how all those great personnel moves were made for "our manager" to go far in the postseason. It sure seemed to me that Weasel Cashman was setting up Boone for lead scapegoat in case everything turned to shit. And of course everything has turned to shit, as usual. So now we'll see if Boone is scapegoated as a PR sacrifice. I think this is possible.

The window of opportunity for the Yankees to win a championship has now closed. Cole has begun the long slow inevitable process of getting old and ineffective. And since the Yankees hardly ever develop effective young starting pitching to replace aging former aces, I don't need to tell you what their chances of winning are within the next few years.

I was on the record that I didn't want other peoples's garbage relievers. But Cashman did just that when he gave one of the W's for Effross. A guy who had supposedly been used and abused like a rented mule. Lo and behold, he comes here and his arm falls off. Who was surprised?

We would have been just as well off by just throwing in the two W's at some point during the season. But Cashman would rather have castoffs from other teams like Castro in the bullpen.

Whether Judge stays or goes, this club will be hard pressed to make the playoffs next year. Looking at all this with a clear head, I'd say a GM who wanted to win a championship would start the rebuilding process. But we know that ain't Cashman's way.

The Hammer of God said...

What Cashman will undoubtedly do is to double down on bringing in old players well past their prime. If Judge walks away, Cashman will replace Judge's salary with another large salary. That I can guarantee you.

None of the underperforming old players that we currently have under contract for next year will be traded away. That I can also guarantee you.

It's not just simple stupidity, folks. I think Cashman knows just as well as anyone here that bringing in 36, 37 year olds with declining performance and high salaries will turn out terribly. It's finances/risk management, a desire to keep status quo. His goal is to just barely make the playoffs and then get knocked off quickly.

13bit said...

Hammer, with all due respect, I think you’re giving Cashman too much credit for intelligence and wiliness. I don’t think he’s trying to get knocked off quickly.. I think he got addicted to that good old championship feeling with the team that he inherited and I think he actually believes he can do it on his own.

The problem is, he’s way too stupid. I think he really believes his moves will work. He has surrounded himself with Yes men, so to speak, and too many stat guys and not enough baseball guys. His ego is ginormous. Big ego plus small brains is a bad combo.

borntorun999 said...

Here’s a dose of reality. Look away if it pains you:

Steinbrenner will not sell the teams in our lifetimes.
It is a near certainty that both Cashman and Boone will return.
Even if they don’t, Steinbrenner would never acquiesce to a strong GM and Manager who would be advocates for change. We would simply get pale imitations of C&B.
There is a good chance that Judge leaves. It really depends on the market. If another team makes a groundbreaking offer ($45M+), Steinbrenner will let him leave. Even with Judge’s career year, we were a sub .500 team in the second half including the playoffs.
If Judge does stay, he will never again approach the kind of year he had in ‘22. His performance in the playoffs was shocking and inexcusable. He is still a very good player, but is entering his declining years. And the injury demons are lurking, and they are hungry…very hungry.
The team will jettison as much salary as possible, as Cashman’s poor performance has tied the team’s hands and consigned us to a Red Soxian collapse. Not in ‘23, but within 3 years. For ‘23, Cashman and his minions will raid the scrap heap like a pack of starving dogs. Some of the scraps will taste ok, but mostly we will spit them out.

My points may be dismissed as Gloom and Doom, but I am very open-minded and would be willing to listen to anyone give cause for optimism.

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

Reading the tea leaves today if Dodgers, Giants and 1 other West Coast team (Mariners?) decide to really pursue Judge he could be outta NY in a NY minute and if so then with any luck Hal would replace Cashman (there's your optimism) and by extension Boone would also be replaced. Other than that as long as Hal is owner the Yankee fans are screwed. It isn't a stretch to include Steinbrenner in the club of Bad Owners hell he might be the Chairman of the Board so I agree 100% with your post. Thanks but it doesn't make me feel any better!

ranger_lp said...

@btn999...we are in goose step with our view on Judge...

Daniel Bard said...

Jimmy makes a good point.

Would you prefer:

1. Judge, Cashman & Boone all return

2. Judge, Cashman & Boone all gone

borntorun999 said...

All gone.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Spending $$$ will not change this team. The only way to rebuild is to tear it down and bring in a competent GM and scouting crew to run it. The money way hasn't worked for nearly 2 decades now.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I agree with Bitty. Yes, Cashman is willing to work within HAL's strictures.

But everything he does: his constant refusal to give up on players he initially favored, his boasts to his sycophants in the press, his inability to gather a team that can build a consistently good farm system, or develop and nurture players...all speaks to his essential egotism and stupidity.

We saw it in the ludicrous affair that wrecked his marriage, telling a mentally erratic woman in the midst of a divorce, "The Yankees control the world, and I control the Yankees!"

He brings the same marvelous self-awareness and mental acuity to his job.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I agree with most of what you write, 999, but I have to disagree a little about Judge.

Yes, he had a mostly poor playoffs—though there were 2 home runs in 5 games against Cleveland, that outstanding catch against Houston, a couple of stolen bases; the near-home-run in Houston.

But "shocking and inexcusable"? No. Plenty of superstars have poor postseason series.

Willie Mays had some immortal moments in October, but he was a .232 hitter in 6 series, with exactly 1 home run. Mantle set the all-time, World Series home run record, but hit 41 points below his regular-season, lifetime average. In the Yanks' 1922 fiasco against the Giants, Babe Ruth hit .118 with no homers and 1 RBI. All the New York writers sneered that he had been exposed as a big fraud, and during the off-season he got a stern lecture at a banquet on his work habits from...Jimmy Walker, NYC's astonishingly corrupt and even lazier mayor-to-be.

A short series? It happens. And I don't recall anyone besides Rizzo and Hotsie-Totsie (who the Astros had not seen) tearing up the pea patch in that series.

Judge, as I think we saw, got thrown off by the whole home-run chase—and was diminished by constantly batting first or second.

Is anything going to change with the Yankees in general? No, probably not. Would I rather see Judge stay on the team despite that? Yes, I would. Without him I think they would be unbearable.

Mildred Lopez said...


Put me down for "Judge, Cashman, and Boone all gone". It's past time for a reset

HoraceClarke66 said...

And El Duque, Peerless Leader: right back at you! You complete us. Or really, you brought us into our collective existence. Following this Yankees team would be impossible without all of you.

And good news about Alphonso. So glad to hear that Dauntless Leader is coming back form his jaunts about the globe. Last I heard, he was seen near the head of Switzerland's Reichenbach Falls, with some sinister-looking, professor character.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Mildred, Judge walking would almost undoubtedly be what's best for HIM. Who cares about that? Since I know Judge in absolutely no capacity save as a fan, I want what's best for ME.

(If the Yankees never win anything, Judge can doubtless console himself with money that exceeds the GDP of many small countries and the love and adulation of millions.)

But above all, Kaiser Bill, don't count on any sort of "reset" from HAL. He doesn't think anything is wrong. He thinks we fans are just spoiled and ungrateful. He's a man who has never earned anything in his life, and he doesn't understand why everyone else is not as sleepily self-satisfied.

Keep Judge, lose Judge: the result will be the same. Cashman won't go, Boone won't go. And when they finally DO go, we'll probably get a GM and manager who are even worse.

The Hammer of God said...

Remember that great catch Judge made in right center? He banged his knee very hard when he made that catch. I'd be surprised if he was 100% for the remainder of this postseason after that catch.

It wasn't just Judge who didn't hit this postseason. It was pretty much everyone. And no, hitting Judge in the #2 slot did not help one damned bit, while certainly reducing the chances of someone being on base for his at bats. And while you can say "what difference does it make, when he didn't hit?", it might have made a difference. The difference b/w a winner and loser is usually very small. The first two games in Houston were close games that came down to a few pitches, a few hits. The third game, our former Boston Yankee killer, Christian Vasquez, got the killer hit with the bases loaded. The fourth game came down to the 9th inning, a one run game.

We've talked about the lineup and Judge's positioning. We've talked about how it's difficult for anyone to hit the other team's closer or set up guys who throw 100mph. Even if Judge comes up in the 9th inning of a one run game, it's tough to expect a home run in that situation, especially with 2 outs and nobody on base.

It's better odds to hit Judge in the 3 slot and get more opportunities to drive in runs, especially in the first inning, than to hope that he comes up one more time in the late innings. I'll go through the nine postseason games and tally up how many times Judge came up with somebody on base and how many times he got a fifth at bat late in the game. It wasn't much, I know that.

Houston certainly does not follow the same kind of lineup philosophy as the Yanks. Alvarez and Bregman don't hit 1 or 2. If you think about it, those guys got chances to hit with people on base. Judge never came up with two guys on, so far as I recall.

The Hammer of God said...

@13bit, That is a point of disagreement there, albeit a minor one.

I think we've got to separate the baseball side from the financial side. No doubt Cashman is stupid, and like a lot of stupid people, his ego is bigger than the Milky Way Galaxy. But the stupidity is on the baseball side of things. On the financial side of things, he must be doing a superlative job. Or why else would HAL keep him around and give him raises? I think we have to assume that HAL knows what he's doing with his money and businesses, as far as the financial side of things.

And speaking of finance, the nuance that is difficult to understand is why would they not want to maximize profits. Why would they intentionally bring in a lousy high salaried player, when there are better, cheaper alternatives? For that answer, I think only HAL's accountants know. But we can only surmise that merely maximizing profits every year is not HAL's goal. There must be other factors that they are balancing. Risk, taxes, perhaps under the table agreements within the baseball cartel owner's circle, the need to balance profits with other businesses that HAL owns, and so on.

On the baseball side of things, is Cashman really trying to win, in good faith, but getting his ass kicked by his own stupidity? I guess this is where we differ. He may have been trying to win up to about 2009. But since then, I don't see it. About 2010, something changed. Seems to me that the financial side of things have completely taken over Yankee management, to the point that they make crazy looking decisions. But those decisions are crazy only from the baseball decision making point of view. From the financial side, they are 100% plausible. And that's why Cashman is HAL's favorite puppet.

AboveAverage said...

Hammer - Lineup and Philosophy weren’t two words that I’d cobble together in regards to Boone’s Yankees.

With that said, what do you think the chances are that Dillon Lawson will be back next year - brilliantly inspiring our lineup to be the best that they can be?

The Hammer of God said...

Most of us are not rich enough to be balancing a zillion factors and worrying about risk, taxes, making too much money, offsetting profits from one business with losses from another business, and so on.

But there are some things that the average guy does that can be analagous. Does anyone participate in the "level payment" program by their utility company? I've always felt like why the hell would anyone want to pay more this month, just so they can pay less during the peak energy usage months. But some people might do it. Why else would the utility companies keep offering that, if no one ever participated?

And I've always felt that a salaried worker should minimize his income tax withholding. It should be the bare minimum necessary to avoid paying the dreaded underpayment penalty. So that you get a bigger paycheck. But there are some people who like to withhold more now, just so they can get a bigger refund check when they file their taxes. Why would they do that? They're just giving the government an interest free loan. Doesn't make sense, but they do it.

The Hammer of God said...

@AboveAverage, LOL! Yeah, Dillon Lawson, with a name like that he could've been John Dillinger's wingman or maybe he'll be the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee. Meanwhile, he is Boone's right hand man for calculating those exit velos, launch angles, moonshot trajectories, statcast distance measurements.

AboveAverage said...

. . . and "no-strike-out-pouts" because each and every time you swing hard at a strike and miss it - it's another step closer to you hitting strikes hard and whacking that ball straight out of the yard . . . DILLON LAWSON

The Archangel said...

The simple fact that they have the need for a mental health coach whose idea of "girding their loins" was to show them a video of the largest collapse in the history of baseball and it was the Yankees blowing a 3-0 series lead to Boston AND Boone allowed it ,
Tells you all that you need to know about the ABJECT DEMISE of our beloved Yanks.

AboveAverage said...

fresh off the press:


13bit said...

Hammer, were it not for the colonoscopy prep I’m enduring tonight, I would love to engage in a reasonable and mutually respectful chat about this subject. I am open to persuasion. At the moment, sadly, I am just holding on. The good news is that we will have plenty to discuss during the long hot stove season. Since I have been reading your posts for a long time, I do know that we are in agreement on most things, but it’s the little things are the most fun to discuss. I’ll see you all on the other side.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Mr. bit,

You are experiencing the Yankee season condensed to a day. I am lucky enough to not have to endure that for another few years. Yes the prep is much more painful than the actual procedure.

It is especially more fun having everyone in the procedure room being a social acquaintance. Trust me on that one.

AboveAverage said...

13Bit - what liquid/liquids are they prepping you with?

Mine is in February!!!!!!!

Carl J. Weitz said...

@ The Hammer....yup, something did happen in 2010-Daddy George dropped dead.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Carl gets right to the point.

And the root cause.

Rooting for the Yankees to be sold is my only hope.

Like hoping for the post-apocalypse. Careful what you wish for, it could be much, MUCH, worse.

Think of the colonoscopy without the prep, or the sedation. ...by Bruno's jiffy colonoscopy shop.

There are no good options, other than forgetting the team. I swore I would in March. But I relapsed. Hopefully, I will be stronger this year.

13bit said...

AA - Clentiq