Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Yankees think their "brand name" could make the difference with signing Yamamoto; if so, they better strike soon

According to the immortal Bob Klapisch - once of Leonia, now of Newark - the Yankees believe their "brand" shall be the secret sauce that coaxes Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the Bronx. You know the deal: the 27 world championships, the Babe, the Mick, Yogi, Bernie, Reggie... those strippers, Mystique and Aura. 

In simple terms, they've come to believe their own bullshit.

Don't get me wrong. The Yanks do have history. That's why we love them. At various points in our tormented lives, when all else crumbled, the Yankees were there for us. They won championships. They gave us hope. And for all our carping about the team's heroes and villains, its champions and its bums, the Yanks remain a constant thread running through our lives. We remember hearing the terrible news that Thurman had died. We remember Jeet's miraculous flip at home. We remember Roger's return to the stadium, when the roar of a loving crowd caused him to break into tears. We remember them all, sometimes with our own tears... 

But right now, the Yankee brand needs Yamamoto more than he needs the sacred cloth.

The Yankees act as if Aaron Judge patrols the legendary space once occupied by Maris, or even Paul O'Neill. It's all pretend. They played in the old stadium, the one with the actual memories, which the Yankees tore down. Judge plays in a replacement clone, the house that Ruth did not build. 

The Yankees may still wear the same uniform, more or less, as Elston and Whitey, but I don't recall Joe D ever kissing the Starr Insurance patch after a big hit. And if Reggie struck out, was it ever the Geiko's 15th out of the game? 

So, my point? The Yankees hope to rely on a history that is rapidly losing its witnesses. Over the next few years - maybe the next 12 months - the franchise will be hard-pressed to maintain its grip on the  zeitgeist of NYC. 

The Mets will outspend them. That's a fact. It could happen this week, and it could happen with Yamamoto. If so, that's a lot of tabloid back pages moving towards the Mets. That's a lot of excitement moving across town. 

The Yankees still have the past. But they better be careful, or they will lose the future. 


JM said...

Hal has more money than he knows what to do with. At least, we think he does.

You'd think he'd be tired of all the media and fan carping about what is probably the one asset he is least interested in: a baseball team. So--and this is pure fantasy and will never happen--he should sign 'em all. Get Soto. Make Ohtani a member of the .1 of 1%. Give Yamamoto the moon. Sign Bellinger and Kiermaier and whoever else is floating around. Any infielders out there hitting above .250, maybe with some power? Sign 'em up.

Bloat the payroll way beyond anything MLB has ever seen. And give the small market teams a small fortune in luxury tax payments.

Go crazy. Go for broke. You might end up eating a lot of money, like with Stanton. Big deal. A mere bag of shells. Shut up the critics, piss off the other owners, and spend like a drunken sailor (Hal, old bean, you could even do it from your yacht!)

The best way to show that the Yankees franchise means little or nothing to you is to flood it with arms and bats and Starrs. Turn the pinstripes into a NASCAR car if it suits you, but throw so much money at the team that you're covered even when you bet wrong on one guy or another.

Fuck, man. Just go for it. Have some fucking fun for a change, instead of always thinking like an MBA.

13bit said...

JM - Hal DEFINITELY has a ton of money. Like most high wealth individuals, his net worth almost certainly increased by a great degree during the pandemic. Also, he's sitting on a lot of hereditary properties and is frugal, only buys shoes at Payless and clips his coupons. In other words, he's loaded way beyond what I'd would see in the next seven lifetimes, if I were to believe in an afterlife, which I do not.

He doesn't like baseball. That's what you must remember. Daddy stole his childhood by the endless attention he lavished on the Yankees - love "sacred cloth," Duque - and Hal will NEVER get over that. So he does just enough to keep the machine going. In the Yankees case, "just enough" is a few hundred million a year, but let's not forget, HAL STILL MAKES MONEY off of this broken team. It's not like he's losing. There's no incentive for him to do more and keeping the Yankees in the garbage can MAY secretly please him. It's his form of therapy.

And as for the sacred ground of the old stadium - that is correct. I'm starting to see the 2009 win not so much as a christening of the new era, but a final reminder from the JUJU gods of what we were giving up. "Remember this, lads, because it'll never happen again." You got drunk and took a shit in Grandma's turnip patch. Now you'll have to pay for eternity.

We are doomed, likely forever, and must subsist on the increasingly thin gruel of dim memories and the hale fellowship I encounter here every day and cherish like my long vanished balls.

BTR999 said...

Is it like “Casablanca”, were the past is just the past, the present terrifying, and the future a struggle with an uncertain outcome?

Or is it just simply too late?

13bit said...

In fact, one way to look at how Hal views the Yankees is that he must maintain the team in order to retain the value of the underlying property - all the crap that goes with it.

13bit said...

Hall hates the Yankees
Brian is a baseball idiot.
Boone is a lobotomy case.
Randy is oh so dandy, like lard candy.

AboveAverage said...

ED & JM - yep and mostly yep!

Our Number Two Starter has a Last Name


13bit said...

Excuse the typos. It's hard to type while I'm weeping.

AboveAverage said...

Haiku Tuesday:

13Bit IS LIT



13bit said...


They can get a bunch of potential starts and stick them in the lineup like jewels in a cow pie, NEVER FORGET who is picking the team that surrounds them. The only reason Brian was able to buy 2009 was because the remnants of the Core Four - true Yankee fairy dust magic - remained.

Brian is doing the drafting and trading. Brian sets up the organization. It's HIT team from top to bottom. And Boone is coaching. Nuff said on that, as Stan Lee might have written. And the analytics team remains the same.

Don't get suckered.

AboveAverage said...


There ain’t much Crafting

But the Brain sure is Crapping

In our Fields of Dreams

DickAllen said...

Speaking of analytics, here is all you need to know about The NEW New York Yankees way of doing things: they've hired an outside analytics firm, Zelus, to "tweak" some numbers and "overhaul" others. Our illustrious assistant GM, Michael Fishman had this to say:

"The Yankees will keep all of their books closed throughout this process, solely examining the data models of the outside analytics firm."

In other words, there will be no audit because The Intern and his trusty assistant won't let anyone assess their methods. This is akin to representing yourself in court. We are rooting for a team run by fools.

But let's get back to Michael Fishman. He freely admits he grew up a Mets fan (that in itself should be cause for concern) and learned about baseball playing Strat-O-Matic baseball. It's even worse than I originally thought: this guy has never actually played baseball. He learned about baseball using a board game. In an interview with MLB, he had this to say:

"Everybody's equal at rolling the dice, but where I excelled in the game was calculating the probabilities...I started to develop my own system on how to value the card, sort of a wOBA-like formula where I arbitrarily came up with my own scores for how much a home run is worth, how much a double is worth. Then I created the value of the card based on the probability of each result and my guessed value of what each thing was worth."

And there you have it: our crack analytics team is running the Yankees using Strat-O-Matic baseball as the basis for success. Essentially, he's rolling the dice to predict outcomes on the field. Vegas, baby.

When I was a kid playing that game, I swung for the fences every time up, even playing whiffle ball home runs were the only thing. But this is real baseball where a hundred different things go into making up a successful formula.

The Yankees are being played as a board game by a Mets fan who never picked up a glove or a bat.

We are doomed folks.

DickAllen said...

And here's the rest of the interview for those with strong stomachs:


Carl J. Weitz said...

And now we have El Duque's next banner: " The Yankees are being played as a board game by a Mets fan who never picked up a glove or a bat."- Dick Allen

HoraceClarke66 said...

Preach, Duque, preach!

Bitty, there IS an afterlife! Which is great, because we can all hang out there, and go back to see any Yankees games/seasons of our choice.

JM—YES! Totally agreed. Why would you NOT do that? Even Steve Cohen, a classic Wall Street bastard, and a man who has ripped off untold number of investors, gets it. That money ain't goin' with you—enjoy it now?

But you guys are right: it's not about that. As we've often said here, HAL resents daddy, wants to get along with his fellow owners, and will never make the Yanks a contender again.

HoraceClarke66 said...

DickAllen, thanks for that piece—depressing as it was.

This guy sounds like the classic sort of putz Cashman would hire because he doesn't feel in the least threatened by him. He "excelled in calculating the probabilities on each card"?

Right. The probabilities are ON each card. Must've been real hard to figure out who the best players were. Everyone I know who played Strat-o-matic conquered that part in about two minutes. What's next, he's going to tell us that he went to the racetrack, looked at the board, and "calculated" the odds there?

This guy has sat in the Yankees' front office for 20 years, and his big contribution is that he advised Cashman to sign Nick Swisher. Woop-de-do.

BTR999 said...

That puke Fishman was “interviewed” by Meredith Maraoktits on YES last evening. The bullshit flowed like a raging creek during flood season.

edb said...

Good point! Or wait and not sign him.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

This sort of confirms my feelings about analytics

The fact every team uses them proves they are clearly of use and probably vital to success in the modern game I may not like this but all the evidence points to them working

It is the wallopers in the Yankees' analytics department and their reading of them that are obviously at fault.

Give the entire department their jotters and go to the teams who know how to use them and poach their staff it will cost you a fraction of a year's salary of what we are paying Stanton or Rondon and will be well worth the money

BTR999 said...

Excellent points by everyone.

I think Bittie got to the heart of the matter: Steingrubber sees the team, and it’s brand, as an important part of his commercial oeuvre if you will… it’s how he calculates the worth of this prestige property, second only to the dollars and cents of course. Every team action taken should be viewed through this lens. Other organizational “leaders” are here primarily to support this, and especially to disseminate self-serving propaganda and paper over the corporatist narrative to deceive the shrinking fan base.

JM said...

Wallopers. I love that.

And I agree with Carl. Make that Dick Allen quote pur new banner quote. Just excellent.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I agree about giving them "their jotters," Scotland—you're killing it in the slang competition today!—and think it should be the same for every other category of development: scouting, training, minor-league instruction, etc.

I don't see how you don't have the best front office staff possible, with all the Yankees' money. Oh, wait, I do see: if you'd prefer to have a bizarre little man always around, singing your praises, and telling you nothing is wrong. Problem identified, right there. Kind of like the gremlin on the airplane wing in that Twilight Zone episode.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

I know Hal doesn't give a bugger as he makes so much money every year no matter if the Yankees win or lose

But when you hear of worrying about luxury tax well for me the answer is simply to spend some of the money that you would on players (especially ones in their thirties with an injury history who we give 5 and 6 year contracts to for some reason) and revamp the entire coaching analytics and scouting staff.

Go to the teams with a proven track record in this and hire their staff. As far as I can tell MLB can't make this part of a luxury tax so there is no financial penalty involved and it will save money and improve the team in the long run.

To me it is a no brainer but it seems brains and the front office are strangers so it will never happen and Cashman will continue to blether his way into convincing everyone the team is brilliant and he is doing a wonderful job and it is injuries and bad luck nothing else causing this team to stink.

Kevin said...

Thing about analytics is that they are of no net advantage when everyone else is using them. Sure, some teams might have a tiny, tiny edge with their secret sauce, but what does that mean in the real world?. I would guess that even the statisticians can't say for sure. So essentially this leaves teams back to where they started. Scouting and cross-checking mixed with instinct and luck.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

We did not win the lottery

Thanks to Rondon signing and putting us over the luxury tax we move down to 25th pick

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Sorry my mistake 26th pick

Scottish Yankee fan said...

I dont know if the prospects we gave up will amount to much but I think this is a terrible move I fail to see the attraction of Verdugo


Carl J. Weitz said...

Verdugo is better than what they have currently. Salary dump for the Red Sox.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Vwedugo maybe better than we have at the moment (whch says vey little considering the dumplings we have put in the outfield recently) but not a game changer in my opinion and not the sort of signing to get excited about

He appears to be a horses arse off the field as well

Replacement for Donaldson?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Awful, awful move, not so much because of what we gave up—I think—but because he's such a mediocrity. It also signals just how little Cashman/HAL intend to do.

This likely means no Bellinger, and no Soto—at the very least. Terrible.

AboveAverage said...

That’s what I’m talking about!

Awesome move!

Unparalleled Excellence!

We’re the team to beat now, YEAH!

That’s why we’re the New York Yankees!

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Is he the sort of player that the Padres would want as part of the trade for Soto?

Anyway I think it is a very blah move and being better than the assortment of Quad A and broken-down veterans that have been wheeled out in the outfield in recent years in hardly room for optimism for the forthcoming season

I predict much wailing and gnashing of teeth and pulling out of hair on here for 2024 as we watch another year of incompetence unfold only to be told the team and staff are really wonderful and it is just bad luck and injuries that make us so awful to watch

ranger_lp said...

The attraction of Verdugo...he bats left-handed...

As for Soto, I don't know...if I were the Yanks I'd be concerned about Boras fleecing them...

This was a rumor somewhere...if they made Soto's price so high, the Yanks would go after Bellinger whose agent is...no other than Scott Boras...I think the Yanks have let Boras know what they think of the whole situation...

BTR999 said...

Verdugo is somewhat better offensively than Bader (or Kiermaier) without the GG level defense . He does have the ability to play any of the 3 OF spots. Big Dick Fitts is an excellent prospect who could come back to haunt us. Weissert has great stuff that he has trouble locating, and Judice has yet to play in a professional game due to health issues.

All in all, it doesn’t move the needle much for us either way.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Boras will always fleece the Yankees. He's Boras. The Yanks should pay the money and sign the stars.

edb said...

Fingers, Crossed.