Monday, October 10, 2022

The dismissal of Aroldis Chapman is the right move... and a really bad omen.

By now, everybody knows how the Death Barge "canceled" El Chapo, after he inexplicably failed to make a mandatory team practice Friday. No matter what happens next, at least 2022 won't end with Chapman sweating a waterfall and grinning madly at the juju gods, following another walk-off HR.

The Yankees, a bit self-righteously, say Chapman violated team rules and, as a result, is off the playoffs roster. They fined him and have made it clear that he will never throw another pitch in Pinstripes. I get it. Good riddance. So long, Water Cannon! 

But but but... something here doesn't make sense. 

Okay, let's all agree that Chuck Barris has banged the gong  on El Chapo, who has thrown meatballs for three months (when getting them over the plate.) Every Yank fan in captivity has been railing about Chapman for weeks, and I don't recall anybody suggesting he should be voted onto the playoffs roster due to his grand and distinguished career. Nope. He's been a time bomb, a land mine ready to blow up any Yankee lead. 

Which - sigh - is why it's hard to imagine him skipping practice.

Look, I have no inside channel to Yankee gossip, but if Chapman had any chance of making the playoffs, it was by showing up Friday and displaying perfect command. Anything else, and - well - that's China Town, Jake. 

Which makes me wonder if Chapman knew the decision had been made: He was off the list. Thus, you can almost understand his dejection, and why he would fly to Miami instead. That was a bad idea, a bad example - there's no excuse. But if it's so, the Yankees just self-righteously scapegoated a veteran who has given six years to the team. They're blaming Chapman and throwing him overboard.

So, how will that look to teammates? 

Are they angry at Chapman for letting them down? Or are they watching the organization rip a longtime friend who committed the Cardinal sin of getting old? The guy hasn't had it for months. 

I dunno the answer. I suspect it won't come out until October is over. But make no mistake, this is a bad omen. 

Watching Cleveland, San Diego, Seattle and Philadelphia close games with overwhelmingly strong, lockdown bullpens reminds every Yank fan of our weakness. Even if our starters pitch well, somebody must throw the 8th and 9th. Chapman was never in that mix. But who will step up? 

Other scattered thoughts...

1. Watching Manny Machado and Bryce Harper lead their teams into the second round, I cannot help but remember a cold time a few winters back when both came to NYC, appealing for a free agent contract. Harper was a famous lifelong Yankee fan, and Machado's wife wanted him to play in her home town. 

When they visited, the Yankee front office hid under their beds. They never made either an offer.

If the Yankees had signed one - or both! - we might now be chasing our third ring in recent years. Hal Steinbrenner - (we wouldn't call him Food Stamps) - wouldn't have banked as much money - though, actually, that's debatable. We wouldn't be on the dime to pay Josh Donaldson $21 million per year, and we would have avoided the Joey Gallo debacle. If Harper hadn't broken his thumb this season, he would have challenged for his second straight MVP. Can you imagine the Yankee lineup with him batting ahead of - or behind - Aaron Judge? And put Manny in there, too. Wow. 

It seems to me that, when the biggest market in professional sports has the chance to sign a generational star, it should be a no-brainer. If the guy is still entering his prime, you cannot lose. 

But Hal's self-imposed austerity always puts his financial partners ahead of the fans. This winter, he'll whine about Judge's looming paycheck - and the Gammonites will applaud his generosity - but he might just turn the Yankees into the Angels, by cutting payroll everywhere else (and basically stabbing Judge in the back, pointing to current big contracts as the reason the Yankees cannot add more players.) 

If San Diego or Phily play us in the world series, don't be surprised if Machado and Harper have an extra incentive to make us pay. 

They should be Yankees. 

2. Now that the Mets are done, I have a sick feeling there will be hell to pay.

Owner Steve Cohen might have just added another zero to the Aaron Judge Free Agent Fund. The Mets were built to win this year. This week, they were embarrassed. Next comes the finger-pointing. Then Cohen will start spending anew. Judge will surely be his biggest target. What a poke in the Yankees' eye it would be... 


TheWinWarblist said...



Yankee Blue said...

We should swipe DeGrom and Diaz from the Mets and show Judge we're serious about winning.

Chapo is probably done as a Yankee, period. But he may come back to haunt us. Let him go crosstown and give Judge another reason to spurn the Mets.

Mattingly's Mustache said...

Disagree, duque, this is a great omen. To steal a quote from a fellow doomscroller from a few comment threads ago "You dont make friends in the playoffs." Chapman wouldn't be able to locate Cuba on a map this year, and good riddance to his increased BB rate, declining K rate, and poor history of playoff implosions with spicy, yuca-stuffed, meatballs served up at the worst possible times. Dude has not handled his baseball mid-life crisis well and a comical season was just perfectly capstoned by his leg infection. Thankfully us fans wont have to suffer it anymore.

Doug K. said...

1) Department of Nit-Pickery:

Chuck Barris Didn't Gong. That act of termination most often belonged to Jaye P. Morgan or Jamie Farr. :)

2) Machado and Harper

Thought the same thing. Man, it would have been a pleasure to have both of those guys. All the assholery (Some would say intensity and desire to win) of Donaldson but with the talent to back it up.

3) Chappy

Good Bye. Don't let the garage door hit you on the way out.

There will be speculation as to what the "unacceptable" reason for not showing up is. My guess is he knew that he wouldn't be on the roster and just quit on them, as opposed to throwing his scheduled BP to a rehabbing Yank. Bad teammate.

I do wish him luck in his future career as either a greeter at a Florida waterpark or perhaps as a ride.

4) Karma

I think getting rid of a malcontent is a good look for the Yankees. The team wants to win and if this guy can't help them in ANY way (such as throwing BP to get a player ready) then they don't need him.

5) The Mets

I wanted them to win. The Scherzer meltdown and their inability to get hits in a big game is a little too close to what we might expect for comfort. Plus Buck winning would have been a thumb in Brain's eye.

Last -

6) The One That Got Away Gives Me Hope

Luis Castillo. Maybe he can beat the Asstros twice and get them out of the playoffs.

BTW - "Right-hander Luis Castillo agreed to a $108 million, five-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that starts next season, giving up a chance to become a free agent after the 2023 World Series. "I've very happy, very happy that I'm here," Castillo said through an interpreter. Castillo was the big trade deadline acquisition for the Mariners when they got him from Cincinnati."

So 20 Mil a year. For a frontline starter. An actual Ace. (Sigh)

JM said...

"I do wish him luck in his future career as either a greeter at a Florida waterpark or perhaps as a ride."

Jesus H. Christmas, that's funny.

The Yankees have had it with Chapman and I bet Chapman has had it with the Yankees. He's the same garage-killer he always was, an asshole who was accepted when he threw 105 mph. This year, he was an asshole who couldn't throw cornhole practice. (Still an amazingly unfortunate name, that.) And that tattoo fiasco told you everything you needed to know about his commitment to the team.

I, too, am sorry the Mets got knocked out so fast. The Cardinals, also. Underdogs dominated the first round. And the Giants beat Green Bay to go to 4-1.

It's a very weird weekend we just had...

ranger_lp said...

Chapman was a thing when he could throw 102 MPH consistently. Now everyone throws 98-99 MPH. He's become an afterthought...except for here on this site...

ranger_lp said...

My next question...who wants to see a San Diego - Seattle WS?

Local Bargain Jerk said...

"I do wish him luck in his future career as either a greeter at a Florida waterpark or perhaps as a ride."

Jesus H. Christmas, that's funny.

You beat me to it, JM. That's really good material.

BTR999 said...

My take on Chapman (opinion only, no secret info here!) is that he already knew he wouldn’t be on the roster for the Division Series and decided to go home. The team had every right to suspend him, especially in the aftermath of the tattoo debacle. He should’ve been suspended then. Personally, I’ve never liked Chapman from the moment he walked in the door, so I’m not sorry to see him go. The larger question of how our bullpen will be deployed is enough to sink the team this week. With the inept Boone calling the moves we won’t survive the week.

So Castillo signed for 20M per yr? 108 total And we’re paying an inferior, older pitcher double that? How does anybody defend Cashman?

Finally, the story this week may not even be the bullpen, but rather the performance of the over the hill gang against the good Cleveland starters. Double digit strikeouts are a-comin’. The YS crowd got in the heads of the Cleveland players earlier this year. Hopefully the effete, beaujolais nouveau sipping playoff crowd can rise from their $600 seats and provide some thunder.

Rufus T. Firefly said...


Chuck did (infrequently) bang the gong for particularly nauseating acts. My CIA contacts have confirmed this.


That crowd wouldn't be sipping beaujolais nouveau, it's much too late in the year. More like Cassagne-Montrachet with the brie and sushi.

Chapo will be the security guard for the water park. He has the firearms experience required.

13bit said...

Let me treble the opinion on the water park ride comment, Doug. I really needed a laugh today. I won’t bring it all down with why.

ranger_lp said...

@btr999...Thursday, November 17 Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2022, and I know that because we buy that every year...the World Series will be over by then...but I get your point :-)

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Will the Mets keep Showalter? If the keep Buck, and get Judge, I’m defecting. But like as a double agent or something. You won’t be able to tell outwardly, but… yeah. Secretly, like Rene Artois I’d fool Major-General Erich von Klinkerhoffen and bang waitresses every night. Should the Mets win, yeah, I’d go full Vichy proudly.

Mildred Lopez said...

Ain't found a way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Seems every path leads me to nowhere
Wife and kids, household pet
Army green was no safe bet
The bullets scream to me from somewhere

Here they come to snuff the rooster
Yeah, here come the rooster
You know he ain't gonna die
No, no, no, you know he ain't gonna die

Goodbye Water Rooster.
Your friend,
Mildred L

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hilarious, Doug!

And yes, Peerless Leader, I was thinking the same thing! The playoffs are LITTERED with guys who, if they Yankees had signed or traded for, they would have already won at least another 2-3—and maybe 4-5—more rings.

Harper and Machado, as you state. But also:

Max Scherzer
Yu Darvish (even though, as a foreign player, his salary would not have counted against the payroll limits)
Jose Abreu (all right, not in the playoffs—but see just above)
Justin Verlander (hey, Sonny Gray was available!)
J.T. Realmuto (supposedly to be had, even-Steven, for Sancho, even after Gary started to go bad).

Complete Yankees ineptitude, on display every night.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Do not discount the premise that Cashman might resign AWOLdis Chapman should he be able to get him back for 5 million a year.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

The Ca$hole is just stupid enough to do that Carl.

edb said...

As long as it is not in a Yankee uniform.