Wednesday, November 30, 2022

"One team in particular (has) really talked to me and talked to, really, my soul.” How sad that Don Mattingly is talking of the Blue Jays - not his old team

Forget the Babadook. Forget global warming. Forget even Andrew Benintendi as an Astro. (BTW, let him go; he's got the "Ellsbury" scent.)  Forget them all. 

The Yankee fan brain cannot summon a more terrifying omen than the image of Don Mattingly stalking us in... gasp... a Blue Jays cap. 

According to the universe of podcasts, that's the likely future for Donnie Baseball, who is in "deep" talks with the BJs to become manager John Schneider's bench coach in 2023.

The Yankees' offer? A YES broadcasting gig. 

Let's pause a moment to ponder this. Breathe. Pull the loaded Luger out of your mouth. The Yankees - 2009 World Champs! - view themselves so perfectly run, so flawlessly idealized, so immaculately mastered, so everlastingly uncorrupted, so unmitigatedly pluperfect, that they have no place in their system - beyond gobbling Michael Kay's leftover goo in a YES booth - for not one but two modern Yankee icons: Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter (also said to be offered a job as team announcer.) 

I get it that both Mattingly and Jeter might make fine YES personalities. (Or not; sometimes, that happens.) 

But these are two of the most upright characters - and baseball minds - on the planet, and both of whom are still identified as faces of the Yankees. 

Apparently, both seek meaningful ways to make their mark in 2023. And the Yankees have no place for them, beyond marveling over exit velos and recalling how great the nineties were? 

You almost wonder: Do certain people in the organization feel, well, threatened?

Mattingly in a Jays cap. What hath God wrought? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Off Season Plan – We Need Specialists

The Yankees have so many issues going into this off season that the GM, especially one as inept as "GM For Life", Brian Cashman, cannot get it done alone. They need to divide up the tasks and bring in specialists.  

Last off season I suggested that the Yankees fire Cashman and bring in Marie Kondo the Japanese de-clutter guru to help them remove players that don’t “Spark Joy”.  Sadly they did not take my advice. 

Yes, they dumped Gary Sanchez, but they immediately brought in overpriced, broken, mismatched bric- a- brac that just made it worse.

This year I would bring in Dr. Kevorkian, but I think he took his own advice and is dead.  Instead, I offer a three-part plan designed to give the team a reset.

Step One

Hal needs to bring in Sam Bankman-Fried. 

The former FTX CEO can help Hal understand that, while on paper the Yankee roster looks reasonably strong, it is actually worthless.

This will soften him up for the next step.

Step Two

Hal needs to get Michael Milken out of retirement (or the federal pen if that’s where he is) to help him move some his junk assets.  

The two most important ones to move are:

Josh Donaldson:  

Jackie D. is owed $30 million. He supposedly is a strong defensive third baseman. Good. That will help. He is also a putz. That will not. So, while normally it would have been possible to cover half the salary in a trade, his attitude alone means we will need to pony up at least 60%. Add his haircut and we will need to push 75% to get it done.  

Do it anyway.  

Yes, we will still need to get another 3rd baseman. Maybe the Angels will trade this Urshala guy.  I kid. Get a filler or, if DJ can still walk, let him play it.  Cabrera is the utility man.  IKF won a Gold Glove at third... whatever. Josh needs to go. With the discount we should be able to get at least one or two single A guys.  (-22.5M)

Aaron Hicks:   

He too is owed $30 million. A perfect change of scenery candidate. Yankee fans are done with this guy.  He seems nice. Spare him the cascade of boos. Seems like 50% on the dollar should work. That takes his annual salary down to $5M for any team that takes him.  A bargain. We should get back some international draft money or a low A player.  (-15M over three years. Chump change.)

Step Three

The Yankees need a new trainer. 

Giancarlo Stanton health has been a major issue for the team.  We currently owe him $260 million. Two-hundred-and-sixty million dollars.  For a part-time DH. 

There is no way to soften this financial blow by trading him because no team is that stupid. Well, there's one but we're it.  

Besides, even if the Yankees were to offer to pay a percentage of Stanton’s contract, he has a no trade clause. So, it's LA or nothing. And LA isn’t going to bite. Plus, we can’t move on and get another star because the cumulative cost is prohibitive.  

It’s time to get him a personal trainer.  

I suggest Kadarius Toney. 

We need Kadarius to befriend Giancarlo. Take him to the clubs. Teach him his workout routines.  

How does this help? 

The salary cap hit is a sunk cost. It’s big and there is nothing that can be done. But… and it’s a Kardashian sized but… much like with Jacoby Ellsbury, if Giancarlo is injured the Yankees can get the money back using insurance. 

The problem is not that he’s injured too much. It’s that he’s not injured enough! 

Bringing in Kadarius as his personal trainer insures Stanton will be injured year round. 

How does this help the team and not just Hal?  They need to bring in a top free agent Left Fielder to take Stanton’s place. This will put them over the cap and cost them luxury tax dollars, but it’s broken up by the year so even if the tax hit is 30% it’s only 30% of the overage. At $40M over the cap it’s just an additional 12M. Bupkis. The actual cost of the player is a wash. Covered by the insurance payment.

The Yankees only get in trouble if Stanton remains uninjured. Hence, we bring in Kadarius to make sure that doesn’t happen.  (-12M per year.)


By following this plan the Yankees have to spend roughly an extra 39M this year and only an extra 17M a year after that for the next three to get rid of the three major players holding them back.

It's a start. 


A grim preview of 2023?

From ZacharyA...

(In the American League), there were only 11 qualified players this season to bat .300 or better.

How sad is that? Go back in time to 2000 and there were 53 such players. But I digress...

Four of those guys are free agents: Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts, Jose Abreu, and Andrew Benintendi.

One down. And to our bitter rivals.

We'll see if the Yankees land any of them.

The Yankees lineup, minus Judge and Benintendi, hit .233 on the year. That's a preview of 2023.

The Astros have money to spend, showing Yankee fans how it's done

It's comforting for Yank fans to believe the Astros are cheating again. 

We're like that backroads county in Arizona that won't ratify the recent gubernatorial election. They don't show evidence. They don't advance a theory. They're just sick of vacationing libs, who guzzle the drinking water and leave lousy tips, and they wanna blow up the system. So, yeah, we donno how Houston did it, but they must be cheating.  

I mean, the damn city can't even deliver potable water, but somehow it just signed Jose Abreu - perhaps the best 2023 free agent hitter not named Aaron Judge - to a $60 million deal. 

The Astros won the World Series with a $154 million payroll: That's $60 million below what the Yankees spent to finish alongside Kari Lake. Drunk with its victory, Houston will spend another $20 million per season on Abreu, who hit .304 last year (but with only 15 HRs, strange) at age 35. The Yankees, who re-signed Anthony Rizzo, didn't place a bid. 

But, yeesh, look at the financial difference between the franchises. 

Houston, the 2022 champion, is looking to improve. 

The Yankees are seeking to field last season's same basic team.

In a way, Hal Steinbrenner is absolutely right to look at Houston, whose payroll is 72 percent of what the Yankees spend, and whine about salaries. He shouldn't need to shell out $200 million a year to buy a ring.  

Trouble is, Food Stamps then doubles-down on the executives, managers, connected interns and hangers-on who have built and maintained the Yankee runner-up machine. 

It's foolhardy to judge rosters so early in an offseason. But it looks as though 2023 will begin where 2022 ended: The Astros in command and the Yankees struggling to figure out a lineup.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner: Show Aaron Judge the Yankees intend to win. Sign some free agents NOW!

Dear Mr. Steinbrenner, Sir...

In the past, we've had differences. I won't sugarcoat it. I'm not proud of the things I've said, at least many of them. I won't repeat that folderol here. I come in peace. Olive branch, extended. 

I accept that you - like the citizen fan warriors of IT IS HIGH - have only the best intentions for the Yankees. We all want Aaron Judge to stay. We all want to win in 2023. We all want world peace, under the total domination of our team. 

But right now, Judge appears to be in the clutches of treacherous West Coast operatives, Svengalis who seek to pry him loose from New York City. They are wooing him with celebrities, piles of gold and nefarious recipes for avocado toast.

Swimming pools, movie stars...

We cannot let this happen.

Sir, you must speak to Aaron Judge through actions, not words. 

Here is what you must do: 

Sign somebody. Anybody, as long as they are expensive. Justin Verlander. Cody Bellinger. Trea Turner. Wilson Contreras. Carlos Correa. Pick two, any two. Sign the best free agents on the market - after Judge, of course. Show him the Yankees mean business, that they will retain their swagger in 2023, and that he will not languish in a lineup without runners on base and/or deterrents behind him.

Last year, when Anthony Rizzo went down with back issues, and Giancarlo Stanton turned into - well - Giancarlo Stanton, Judge went nearly a month with no one to protect him. Show him this will not happen again. 

Sign them... NOW. Don't wait until Judge has decided. Once he leaves, it will be too late. No matter who you sign, it won't be enough. 

Sign them... NOW. I'm sure you assured Judge that the Yankees intend to win in 2023. Now... prove it! Show you are more than words. You're a multi-billionaire, dammit! So act like one. Spend the money! You won't live forever. What else are you going to do, build a pyramid? And this will not be a bad investment. The fans will come. The world will know that the Yankees - the mighty New York fucking Yankees - are back. 

Sign them... NOW. Don't wait, or it could be too late. If Judge leaves, no signings will fill his shoes. In fact, I doubt the top free agents will even want to join the Yankees, because they won't want to be seen as replacements for Aaron Judge.

Do it... NOW. 

Yankee fans will know you're trying.

Yours truly,

A friend.  

Sunday, November 27, 2022


As soccer is the subject of the day, here are my two cents… 

Credit to Ted Lasso for, at a minimum, sparking an interest and, after watching several games of the World Cup...

The spark done gone out.  

My G-d it is the most boring game I have ever seen, and I can watch curling!

I will watch NCAA Division IV Girl’s Badminton before I will watch another soccer game.

I tried. I really did.

I tried doing the flow thing... The beauty of the patterns of the passes, the graceful arc of the ball in flight, the ebb and flow, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to be on mushrooms to really enjoy it. And, if I did take mushrooms, there would be a Three Stooges Marathon on ME TV that would be way more entertaining.  

Speaking of Eb and Flo…   Quick pitch  - The character Eb from Green Acres moves to the big city and gets a job in a diner!  

OK, back to soccer.

I tried the mocking route. Whenever a shot was taken, so,  I don’t know… every once in a while,  I would yell out “Ohhhhhhhhhh! So close. So close.”  But that got boring as well.

I did the, “I know!  I’ll call the game in a British accent” doing a sort of Chon Oli-ver delivery.  Meh.

I brought on special guests like in a Manningcast, dusting off my Michael Caine and Sean Connery impressions. I brought on Winston Churchill for Christ’s Sake and still… Boring!

I did one game that I had DVDd in fast motion. Did it in 2X. Boring. Did it in 3X. Boring. 

Did it in 5X while playing Yakety Sax in the background…  OK that was less boring, but it was still a nil-nil game and there were no scantily clad women. I may try it again using NCAA Division IV Girl’s Badminton.

I tried watching the Spanish broadcast, but they made the game sound so exciting I started to question my sanity.

Bottom Line…

To be fair, maybe my antipathy towards soccer began in summer camp. I was on the heavy side and slow. So... a defender.  Maybe I just liked baseball, basketball, and football more because I was much better at those games.

Or maybe it’s just really, really, boring. 

I know it’s the world’s most popular sport, but the Big Mac is the world’s most popular hamburger. 

Just sayin’.

From watching the World Cup: Yet another difference between futbol and football...

When a 350-pound NFL lineman gets hurt, he lies belly-up, pointing to his tweaked gonad - which is the size of a Silver Stream camper - until a ref halts play. The networks cut away to a GEICO commercial, and fans rush off to get a beer. Trainers waddle out, massage the swollen body part, a doctor signs something on a clipboard, and some scruffy jabronie who gets paid in team swag carts the player off the field, into the sunset. He will miss six weeks.

When a scrawny, 165-pound soccer player gets hurt, he flops wildly around on the field, clutching his leg, writhing in pain and screaming like Jamie Lee Curtis in a closet. Nobody comes out to help. A ref kicks him a few times in the ribs. His teammates wander over to spit on him. The TV network replays the moment his femur snapped like a Hershey Bar. Clearly, he'll never walk again. Then, after a minute of thrashing, he pops up and starts running around. And no GEICO commercial for at least another 15 minutes, (which can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance.)


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Soccer City! In...Flushing.


Congratulations to the U.S. men's soccer team! The other day in Qatar, in the first round of the "FIFA Death Cup," our boys got their first ever, SCORELESS TIE in Cup competition, after 34 straight matches in which someone actually managed to score.

This makes me teary-eyed—almost like a boy being "blooded" after he shoots his first buck. Do they rub the players cheeks into the turf or something? Hey, we're in the big time now: a full ninety minutes-plus with nothing happening. Now that's soccer!

I kid, I kid. (Mostly) seriously, the US holding a highly favored English team to a draw was a good "result," as they say in the world's sport, and actually a pretty exciting game to watch. Kudos to our guys, who will now, no doubt, revert to their 92-year-history of sensational World Cup upsets, followed by dismal fiascos (A final group-game loss to Iran, anyone?).

But hey: as the poet wrote, who cares if teams fail in Qatar, long as we've got our very own soccer (stadium). 

Somehow, even amidst all of his heroic efforts to re-sign Aaron Judge and build a sure-fire World Series champion next year, HAL, the modern superman, managed to finally make his long-sought vision of a "Soccer City" complex a reality.

In Queens.

Ever since NYCFC's creation in 2013, HAL had been looking for a way to build his team-without-a-name a spanking new stadium and surrounding, residential complex, in the Bronx. This year, finally, that quest came to an end. Instead, it was announced that Soccer City will arise next to the Stadium formerly known as Shea.

All concerned were ecstatic—well, nearly all concerned. 

While HAL stayed in the shadows as usual, Mayor Eric Adams burbled over how this is "a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a brand-new neighborhood" on "a blighted, underutilized, and ignored piece of real estate in our city" that "had little infrastructure and was prone to flooding."

Now, Soccer City "will deliver 2,500 affordable homes—New York City's largest fully affordable housing project in decades," and one that comes "with a fully privately financed soccer stadium, a hotel and local retail" that "will create not only homes but also quality jobs, $6 billion in economic activity, and a true pathway to the middle class."

Better still, bragged Adams, the $780-million stadium will be fully financed by NYCFC, and there will be no break on sales taxes or mortgage recordings. 

Hey, what's not to love?  

Well, a lot, actually, beginning with the fact that nearly all of the above is a lie, either of omission or the bald-faced variety.

A "once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a brand-new neighborhood"? I guess Hudson Yards must have happened during the Lost Generation. Also, all those towers near Long Island City, the buildings going up in Jamaica, the High Line, etc., etc. New York creates new neighborhoods about every other week.

The area was blighted and without infrastructure? That's because the city has been actively trying to drive dozens of small businesses out of the area since the days of Robert Moses. 

"Quality jobs, $6 billion in economic activity, and a true pathway to the middle class"?  Hey, it's great that they're going to use union labor—but it's not exactly like NYC construction workers are underemployed. And there are whole libraries written about how the sort of discretionary income spent on things like soccer (or baseball) is just money taken from one entertainment to another. 

I don't know if it's the case here, but usually in New York, "affordable housing" means apartments for couples with combined incomes that can be over $100,000—in other words, starter homes for yuppies.

And a pathway to the middle class? Sorry, that's what all those jobs in the dozens of auto-body shops to be displaced by this complex were—jobs that the city has systematically run out of the area for decades now.

Yes, it's a good thing that NYCFC is supposedly going to pay for the entire, $780-million cost of the new stadium.  

But the city has agreed to throw in an unspecified amount of money in "transportation infrastructure" improvements. And the stadium will pay NOTHING in property taxes for the entirety of its 49-year lease. Which it has an option to renew for another 25 years. Instead, the club will pay all of $4 million a year in rent to New York.

Why? Why should there be ANY tax breaks for a wealthy, privately owned sports franchise? 

NYCFC is valued at $385 million, and owned jointly by the Steinbrenner and the Arab sheikh who also owns Manchester City. (Everyone is silent about tax breaks and subsidies regarding the surrounding residential and commercial developments—which NYCFC is doing in partnership with old friends Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, and another major developer or two.)

I know we say no politics here—I say it as loud as anyone—but permit me to opine that this is no way to develop a city. Wiping out useful, much-needed, working-class jobs and small businesses? In favor of still more giveaways to some of the richest people and corporate entities on this planet?

And—the kicker, no pun intended—in Flushing, a highly prosperous, up-and-coming area. A neighborhood so well off that Fred Wilson was trying to build a marina there a few years ago.

Soccer City isn't my idea of how to bring back the Bronx, either, but it might have done some good in a borough still so full of very real blight, and so short on developers. But for whatever reason, HAL, not getting his way, decided to move on and cash in.

Remember that, please, when Hal Steinbrenner lets Aaron Judge walk, and tells you—again—that he just doesn't have the money to make the Yankees champions.


Yankees said to be "interested" in many free agents! If so, why not send Aaron Judge a message that the team really means to win in 2023?

O, excitement! O, joy! O, glee! Yahoo!

The mighty NY Yankees are said to be "intrigued" by several bigly stars currently strutting their stuff on the MLB free agent catwalk. 

If the Bombers don't secure Aaron Judge, who knows what big names will come to Gotham in the human form of Hal Steinbrenner's low-cut, cleavage-baring revenge dress? (Remember: In the bygone days after Robbie Cano left for Seattle, the owner snagged Jacoby Ellsbury.) If Judge departs for SF or LA, Hal will have about $40 million to invest in Thanksgiving leftovers. Is J.A. Happ still out there?

But but BUT... if they do sign Judge? Well, we've seen that movie, too. (It stars Pauly Shore and Yahoo Serious.) With Judge in tow, Hal can then finish second in the remaining free agent auctions and be the team that nearly signed Verlander, Rodon, et al, being outbid by owners who lack fiscal prudence.

Insert sigh here.

I cannot recall a November when the Yankees' short and long term futures were so completely out of their own hands.

But here's a thought... 

If Hal REALLY wants to assure Judge that he intends to win next year - rather than use Judge as the marquee name on a tired, aging roster - wouldn't it be smart to sign a stud free agent or two... NOW? 

It would show him the Yankees really mean business. (Because some of us still aren't really sure if they do.)

Just asking. Meanwhile...we're, gulp, interested? Yippee. Where's the bathroom?

Friday, November 25, 2022

"The Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball reportedly will soon post (Matasaka) Yoshida, making him eligible to explore opportunities with MLB clubs. With the free-agent market for outfielders hardly overflowing with quantity, Yoshida, 29, stands out as an intriguing option."

If Aaron Judge leaves, the Yankees have several options.

1. Spend wildly, furiously - (stupidly, perhaps?) - on replacements, such as Andrew Benintendi and Cody Bellinger. This is depressing and won't work. Neither can replace Judge.

2. Blow up the roster and tank - trading DJ, Gleyber, IKF, and ditching Stanton, Donaldson, perhaps even Cole - looking towards 2024. This is really depressing, but it might work, if Anthony Volpe and The Martian turn out to be real. (Big "ifs.") 

3. Sign two Japanese stars - OF Matasaka Yoshida (mentioned above, with .960 career OPS) and SP Kodai Senga (age 29 with a career ERA of 2.42 overseas.) This could be exciting, a complete roll of the dice, though it might flop.

Normally, we'd spend Black Friday outlining possible Yankees deals. Not this year. Until Judge decides his fate, it is pointless to speculate. But, seriously, if Judge leaves, do the Yankees have any other options? 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Itinerary for Aaron Judge "Welcome to California" recruiting tour

Schedule for holiday weekend

1.Thanksgiving dinner at La Brea Tar Pits. (Turkey dipped in glowing tar.)

2. Knotts Berry Farm. 

3. Visit O.J. Simpson murder house. 

4. Virtual Meta brunch with Mark Zuckerberg (in form of talking stegasaurus.) 

5. Earthquake simulation. (Note: Not a simulation.)

6. Wildfire weenie roast. 

7. All-night "hardcore" session with Elon Musk.

8. Free form Flash Dance at Griffith Observatory. (With Ryan Gosling.) 

9. Choose Your Kardashian. (Kanye not included.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

On this holiday weekend, Yankee fans must start bracing themselves for The Worst

Let me begin by stating - unequivocally - that I will not live long enough to see Aaron Judge as a Giant, or a Dodger, or whatever, without doubling over from heartache. If he leaves, I will never get over it. Never...

Today, we must start steeling ourselves for the worst.

It could happen this weekend. The SF Giants could put numbers on the table that so dwarf the Yankees' offer that, coupled with the lingering family emotions of Thanksgiving, Judge could decide to scuttle his free agent money tour and simply return home to Northern California. 

If that happens, who are we to judge

We will transverse the Kubler/Ross/Cashman Scale of Yankee Grief. 

1. Denial. We may already be here. We believe Hal Steinbrenner's gobble-gobble about how much he wants Judge to stay a Yankee. We tell ourselves, there is no way Judge would leave, no way Hal would let it happen, no way, impossible...  

2. Anger. We will rage about greedy players. Robbie Cano! The living gall! We will fume about Cano's irrelevant career. We will rant about how Judge failed in this recent postseason, that we're better off with $40 million to spare, we will scream, we will rage...

3. Bargaining. We will note how Judge's contract, within three years, will be a lead-weighted albatross around the Giants' neck. We will throw ourselves into the debate over what free agents we should sign - Cody Bellinger? Justin Verlander? - like an NFL team with the first pick in the draft. We will tell ourselves that we dodged a bullet, another crushing contract, we're lucky, so lucky...  

4. Depression. This will hit next spring, when RF Aaron Hicks homers in the first grapefruit league game, and the Gammonites say he looks ready for a big comeback season... this will be the worst part... 

5. Acceptance. At some point, maybe a long way off, will realize that Aaron Fucking Judge gave us the greatest year in modern baseball history, and that - no matter where he plays, or how much it hurts - No. 99 must never again be worn by a Yankee. 

It cannot go to The Martian or that giant OF we drafted this summer, Spencer Jones. It would crush mere mortals. It belongs for the ages. It must be retired, and we will smile with tears in our eyes, remembering a great Yankee. 

But we will never be over it. No, sir. That will never happen...

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A battle is raging for the heart and mind of one Aaron Judge

 So... which is it?

Holiday Drink Recipes

It's Holiday Party Season. The second best season of the year. (Wink) 

To help keep it special,  here are some recipes from our personal Reggie Bar.

The Billy Martini

4 OZ Whisky


Pour whiskey on ice.  No mixes. No straws needed to stir the drink.

Yes we know that a martini uses vodka or gin but try telling him that. He will put you on your ass faster than the drink will. 

The Mickey

4 OZ Whisky


A Roofie.

The Aaron Boone

One shot of one of the following depending on the analytics of the day’s matchup.






Orange Juice


Fill the glass with orange juice. Drink it all. Next, add ice to the glass. Save the shot of alcohol for a different, more important situation later in the holiday season.

The Donaldson

Two ounces Tequila

Two ounces Rum

Two ounces of Brandy

And a shot of Galliano for good measure.

Mix and down in one. If you weren’t an asshole before. You are now.

The Brain

4 ounces Absinth

2 tablespoons of sugar

Mix. Drink. Then go make some deadline deals or call your ex.  It will be fine.


“Judge is at the top of the Giants list and they won’t be underbid. If they miss out, it won’t be because of money.”

Today, Aaron Judge visits San Francisco, where he will be feted and fed, and - perhaps - offered more money than Shallow Hal Steinbrenner will ever, in his billionaire life, deign to spend on an employee.

If that happens, the "Pride of the Yankees" will simply be a 1942 movie featuring Walter Brennan, before he became Amos McCoy. 

If that happens, it will be the second time in the last 10 years that a bona fide star on a career-Yankee path will have walked away from New York City, with the most lucrative and loyal fan base in sports. 

But if that happens, it will not be a mere re-enactment of the Robinson Cano debacle. This won't be the loss of a guy who jogged out grounders. This will be the loss of a de facto Yankee captain - of the heart of our team on multiple levels. 

If the Yankees lose Judge, the atrophy of the franchise as an American cultural benchmark will be nearly complete. They will lose their city to the Mets. They will lose their once-dynastic legacy to the Dodgers, or whatever teams bypass them next year in the standings.

The forecast today in San Francisco: 60 and sunny.

Today, the future of the Yankees is dangling on a thread. There is no Plan B.

Monday, November 21, 2022

The "Mights" begin: Everyone, everything, everybody, everywhere, all at once, might be moving.


The annual pre-Thanksgiving wave of "mights..." and they're all true. 

The Mariners might want Gleyber. 

"The Mariners have interest in Torres and have bullpen arms that should interest the Yankees even after using Erik Swanson to land another mid-order righty bat  from Toronto in Teoscar Hernandez.”

The Mets might want Verlander.

“(Justin) Verlander is a prominent possibility for the Mets if deGrom departs, and a source said the team is considering the veteran right-hander, who last week won his third American League Cy Young award.”

The Dodgers might chase Judge.

 "At first, it seemed like the Yankees and Giants would be the primary suitors, with the Dodgers on the fringe, but Jon Heyman tweeted that the “word going around now” is that LA is planning to focus on Judge."

The Mets might want Tailion.

"The Mets have already been linked to several available starters early in the offseason, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that Jameson Taillon is one of the names the club has been in touch with during its ongoing pitching search."  

I might date Kim Kardashian.

"Since dumping Taylor Swift, the Yankee oracle has been linked to several starlets, but rumors began Saturday night after he was seen cleaning the Kardashian pool in a man-bikini."

Sunday, November 20, 2022

In the early going, the Golden Snowball has a clear favorite

 Not gonna lie. Syracuse needs to rally. 

But there is a lot of time.

The Dodgers were always the biggest threat to sign Aaron Judge. And now they are primed.

 Jon Heyman tweeted it yesterday.

And so here we are...

The Yankees have batted. Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman talked up their love for Aaron Judge. They floated an unofficial number - $337 million. Now, we wait. 

The Dodgers are what they Yankees used to be. After them comes the Giants, who in this century have won three times more championships than the Yankees. Then its whomever wants to shock the world - the Padres, the Cubs, the Phillies?

We wait...   

But it's a long, long drop-off to Cody Bellinger.  

Saturday, November 19, 2022

“My very first year was an eye-opening experience. I thought, ‘I’ll get some sleep -- yeah, it’s on the street, but I’m in a sleeping bag.’ But you don’t get any sleep. Maybe it’s an hour or so. If you put yourself in somebody’s shoes like these kids we’re trying to help, they’re looking for a job. They’re looking for a way to survive.”

In his annual finest hour, Brian Cashman slept on the street last night.  Kudos.

Not going soft on the guy - he still traded for Josh Donaldson - but, hey... holiday spirit, peace on earth, charity to all, etc...

For 10 years, Cashman has done a one-night fund-raiser for Covenant House, a shelter for homeless teens, and - yeah - it's sorta phony, the notion that business leaders and celebs "sleep on the street" to "raise awareness." Still, good for Cashman. 

The IT IS HIGH Antichrist Holy Trinity - Hal, Boone and Cashman - regularly draws more bile on this site than any other threesome, alive or dead. (That includes Joey Gallo, Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez.) I am oft reminded of Jason Giambi's line: "They only boo because they want to cheer." 

Here's a way for this triad to escape our bottomless rage: Win a ring, like every other Yankee administration did in every other decade since time began. 

Soon, depending on the destiny of a certain outfielder, whatever Cashman did last night for homeless teens will be instantly and forever forgotten. 

But today, let's doff our wool caps. It was a cold night.

Friday, November 18, 2022

You Can Take It with You

One of our favorite criticisms of Hal Steinbrenner is that he doesn't care about the common fan and uses the money that he doesn't put back into the team to buy yachts.  

This recently released concept illustration of Yankee Stadium III shows it's worse than that. Much worse. 

Hal's vision for the future of the franchise includes turning the stadium itself into a terrayacht and sailing it around the world.  

As Yankee COO Lonn Trost explained in a recent press conference where the concept was unveiled, "The Yankees have always been about providing a first class entertainment experience. YS3's seating is comprised of 7,500 luxury boxes and will be accessible only by helicopter and smaller yachts. It doesn't get more first class than that." 

When asked about seating for fans that don't have the reported ten million dollars for a season ticket Trost replied, "We love our lesser fan base and will have gameday steerage seats available as well as a program in place where fans can work for access by serving our luxury cabin guests drinks or spending three innings in the boiler room shoveling coal.  For those that don't want to work we will also have an unlimited number of SRO (Swimming Room Only) seats for under $100."

He continued, "Placing Yankee Stadium on a terrayacht will strengthen the brand by providing wealthy patrons worldwide with the opportunity to see a Yankee game live as, for example, we dock off the coast of France for a couple of weeks in the late Spring when it is quite lovely. As an added bonus we will play our games beyond the three mile limit allowing our patrons to do whatever the fuck they want."     

Trost closed the press conference by expressing his hope that the Yankees will be able to retain the services of Aaron Judge but asked fans to be realistic, "There is a budget at work here. Ownership has a responsibility to its shareholders and bondholders." 

“We had the magic carpet ride regular season with him doing what he did, and we wish we could have gotten farther in the postseason, but there is still work to be done and we would like to do that together with him, which means continuing to pursue that World Series dream… And we want Aaron Judge to be a part of that. If he’s willing and we can find common ground, despite the competition, there is more work to be done together.”

If we lose Judge, there are
other free agents out there.
Can't shake the feeling that the more Shallow Hal and Cooperstown Cashman - (quoted above) - publicly ejaculate their admiration for Aaron Judge, the less likely he is to stay.

They had a year to write love sonnets. Now, Hal must either write the biggest check... or wave goodbye. 

Meanwhile, this happy talk offensive seems aimed less at Judge than at the Vinnys from Bayonne, who would spend the winter raging about disloyal players instead of greedy owners. 

Other notes...

1. Congrats to Judge for winning the AL MVP. As ZacharyA has pointed out, Judge scored 28 out of 30 first place votes, the dissenters being Angels' beat writers. It should have been unanimous - three more hits, and Judge wins the Triple Crown - but the courtiers will keep their jobs by voting for Ohtani.

2. Within his recent charm offensive is the suggestion that Hal won't stop with Judge, that he'll don his daddy's pants and sign another big name. Why do I doubt this? Well, most of the big free agents play SS, which would undermine Cashman's 2022 strategy, when he dodged a wave of star shortstops to give Anthony Volpe and the Oswalds a year to grow. If the Yankees sign Carlos Correa or Trea Turner, what then? Do we start trading our top prospects again? Is Rick Rhoden available?  

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Golden Snowball: Let the games begin

Every winter, the five warring, intellectual citadels of upstate New York duel to determine who enjoys the least inhabitable climate.

This dogsled race to Hell is called the Golden Snowball, and make no mistake - Syracuse is the dynasty of this slushy mess.

The Salt City averages 128 inches of snow per winter - two feet more than runner-up Rochester. That said, Buffalo won the 2021-22 honor. 

As of today, they're off and running.  

"Cohen and Steinbrenner 'enjoy a mutually respectful relationship, and do not expect to upend that with a high-profile bidding war.' MLB is now investigating whether that could be a possible violation of the collective bargaining agreement."


The C-word - "Collusion" - has a long and odious history within the House of Steinbrenner. (Remember Jack Morris, Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk in the mid-1980s? Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in 2019?)

Colluding is simple, elegant, clean... and hard to prove.

With a wink, Hal Steinbrenner and Mets owner Steve Cohen - both billionaires, several times over - can agree to fake bid on each other's star free agent. The Mets pass on Aaron Judge, the Yankees on Jacob DeGrom. The players either accept what they're offered or leave NYC. 

While the fans scream about greedy, disloyal athletes, the owners get to count their money. 

Jack Morris came knocking in 1986, when the Yankees were halfway through their 14-Year Barf. Thirty-seven years... has nothing changed?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

"You, Mr. Cashman, are no Gabe Paul!"


One of several delusions that seems to be afflicting our Yankee fan brethren—could this be a late Covid thing?—is that without Aaron Judge and his salary clogging the roster, Brian Cashman could set about brilliantly moulding a champion.  

They often throw in the suggestion that Cooperstown Cashman not only let Judge walk, but also dispose of Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, and others in the bargain.

This is, first, mostly magical thinking. The many, many passed-up opportunities to sign great free agents or trade for others are not going to suddenly reappear just because Aaron Judge is playing in California. For that matter, there is no way that HAL is going to simply swallow huge portions of the bloated contracts handed out to the team's outstanding weightlifter or its demi-ace—provided that either could be forced or persuaded to go at all.

But I'd also like to say to these zanies and expect WHO to rebuild the team?  

Let us go back, back to December 11, 1975.  The day that marked the start of the last great—and maybe the one and only—counterintuitive rebuilding of the New York Yankees.

With George Steinbrenner still officially suspended from baseball (for the first time), the GM he'd brought  

in from Cleveland, Gabe Paul, pulled off a fabulous coup.

Few people saw Gabe Paul coming. A rather battered baseball lifer, he'd never gone very far with any team. 

But two months before joining the group Old George put together to buy the Yankees, "the Smiling Cobra," as Paul was called, had just happened to deal Graig Nettles to the Bronx. 

In 1974, he acquired Chris Chambliss and Dirt Tidrow from his old team as well, and filched Lou Piniella from the Royals for Lindy McDaniel. And now, after a disappointing, injury-ridden 1975 season, the Smiling Cobra was ready to strike again.

On the same day, Paul traded Yankees centerfielder Bobby Bonds to the Angels for Ed Figueroa and Mickey Rivers—and starter Doc Medich to the Pirates for Dock Ellis, Ken Brett, and rookie second baseman Willie Randolph.

(It was believed to be the very first Doc-for-Dock deal in baseball history.)  

It was also believed to be a terrible trade. Bonds was an outstanding, "five-tool" outfielder, who had uncomplainingly played most of 1975 in center despite a bad leg. He was, at the time, only the third 30-30 player ever, a feat he had repeated for the Yankees. 

Sure, he struck out a lot (for the time, not by today's standards), but he was also a three-time Gold Glove winner and only 29 years old.  Trade him for a starter like Figueroa, who had gone all of 18-21 in his short career? And a weird, bandy-legged base stealer like Mickey Rivers, a speed player who didn't get walks?

For that matter, Medich was only 26, but already a horse as the No. 2 guy in the Yanks' rotation, having won 49 games over the last three years. Trade him for a journeyman middle reliever like Brett, a rookie infielder who the Pirates thought would never dislodge Rennie Stennett—and the ever-grousing Dock Ellis, who boasted about throwing a no-hitter while on acid?

Yet it was only part of Gabe Paul's complete Yankee makeover.

Another 1975 starter, Pat Dobson, had already been dealt away for another Clevelander, outfielder Oscar Gamble.  Ken Brett was soon flipped, with back-up outfielder Rich Coggins, to the White Sox for Carlos May.

Once the season was underway, Paul kept dealing. He shipped yet another starter, Larry Gura, to the Royals for Fran Healy. Then, in a trade deadline blockbuster, he sent Rudy May, Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, Rick Dempsey, and Dave Pagan to the Orioles, in exchange for Doyle Alexander, Ken Holtzman, Grant Jackson, Hot Rod Hendricks, and Jimmy Freeman.

He even picked up Vida Blue, basically for cash—only to have the deal nixed by the commissioner, on the grounds that there's no money in baseball, or some such.

By the time he was through, Paul had dealt away four-fifths of the Yankees' 1975 starting rotation, in Medich, May, Gura, and Dobson. It seemed like an astonishing gamble. 

And not all of what he did proved to be so great. Gura won 111 games in Kansas City—but Paul had little choice, Billy Martin loathing the pitcher because...Gura played tennis, which Martin considered proof of his lack of manliness. But while just a chronically injured, third-string catcher, Healy—whose clubhouse nickname was "Kissinger" played an invaluable role in keeping Reggie on the team and playing the next couple years.

The Orioles trade was also a bad one—in the long run.  But Alexander had a terrific half-year in New York as a starter and Jackson was invaluable out of the pen (and Rudy May, at least, found his way back to the Yanks by 1980, to lead the AL in ERA).

And the big two deals...

Yes, Bobby Bonds was a star—almost a superstar—and he would have more excellent seasons. But Figueroa would win 62 games with the Yanks, become the first Puerto Rican pitcher to win 20 in a season, and take two rings. Mickey Rivers proved to be—somehow—an invaluable catalyst on those same Yankees teams.

Dock Ellis won 17 games in 1976, before being pedled off in 1977 to bring in Mike Torrez.  And Willie Randolph...well, what can't you say about Willie Randolph?

Paul had put together a team that was perfect for the "Billyball" style his manager liked to play, and the Yanks swept to the pennant in 1976. He had also laid the foundation for the powerhouse that would win it all in 1977 and 1978, and make it back to the World Series in 1981.  

Think Brian Cashman can do that?  

"He should look at how the Dodgers spend money and how the Yankees waste money and notice the difference between these two franchises right now."

From ZacharyA:

 From 2017 to 2022, the Dodgers have spent $1.34B, while the Yankees have spent $1.2B.

(2017) LAD $254M, NYY $224M
(2018) LAD $195M, NYY $193M
(2019) LAD $205M, NYY $235M
(2020) LAD $99M, NYY $84M
(2021) LAD $286M, NYY $208M
(2022) LAD $302M, NYY $259M

Data comes from Cot's Contracts.

In that span, the Dodgers have gone 562-309 (.645), and the Yankees have gone 518-352 (.595).

The Dodgers have won 5 division titles, 3 NL pennants, and 1 World Series title.

The Yankees have won 2 division titles, 0 AL pennants, and 0 World Series titles.

I get what Hal is saying in that spending doesn't guarantee you titles.

But he should look at how the Dodgers spend money and how the Yankees waste money and notice the difference between these two franchises right now.

"We get a lot of comparisons to (the Dodgers.) They put a lot of money in their payroll every year. How many World Series have they won in the last 10-15 years? It’s tough. Winning a championship is tough. I’m not making excuses. It probably sounds that way, but if you look at it objectively, it’s tough."

Hal Steinbrenner says winning a championship is tough. 

Thus, why should he spend more money than necessary?

It doesn't grow on trees, people! It can't buy love! It can't cure cancer! It costs a lot of money just to count it! And because money matters so little, I shall not spend one penny more than needed! This might sound like I'm poormouthing, but I'm not! 

(Massage forehead. Breathe deeply. Sigh.)

Mr. Steinbrenner... sir... To win, you must spend money... wisely. 

Check the Yankee payroll. Is that spending wisely

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Well How About That?

The Yankees re-sign Rizzo:

The New York Yankees today announced that they have re-signed INF Anthony Rizzo to a two-year Major League contract extending through the 2024 season with a club option for the 2025 season.


Warning to Hal and The Yankee Front Office: Extended Bullshitting at Press Conferences Has Consequences

Professional liars start to age prematurely as their souls wither under the weight of their bullshit. 


Kellyanne Conway

Just Sayin'.