Sunday, March 31, 2024

A visit from Mr. McB


The Yankees are on a pace to exceed my predictions

You laughed at me, but I don't hear anyone laughing now.  

The undefeated, untied, 2024 Yankees now face an inscrutable nemesis: Homeritus.

Three games in, three huge wins, three celebrations over our rivals, three blasts from players who spent the spring assuring us they were done swinging for the fences.

I'm not complaining. I've followed this Death Barge long enough to know the difference between tall cotton and a discarded Kleenex, and a 3-0 streak over slimy Houston brings hope, even if it is March and the winds outside rouse nipple-hardening memories of the Ice Bucket Challenge. 

But but BUT, some observations...

1. Congrats to Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera, whose HRs last night saved our pasty, pimpled butts. A special hat tip to Oswaldo, who - when interviewed by the Fox Sports postgame lackey -noted that the season is three games-old.

For Yank fans, here's the fear we all have: Oswaldo and Volpe hit a few HRs, feel the power of Gollum's precious ring, and abandon the discipline they've touted for two months. Volpe spent the winter trying to forget the uppercut swing that left him at .211 last year. Oswaldo has reflected on watching Soto's liners (one of which left the park last night), hopefully realizing the career danger of trying to hit every ball home to Venezuela.  

Last year, right around now, the Yankees unveiled several slugger sensations: Franchy Cordero, Willie Calhoun, Jake Bauers, et al. They hit a few HRs, fell in love with the right field porch, and dissolved. Volpe and Oswaldo must stay the course: They are not Judge. They are not Giancarlo. They are not sluggers. They are pests (in the positive sense of that word.)  

2. Clayton Beeter has been sent to Triple A, and 29-year-old Tanner Tully recalled, officially launching the 2024 Scranton Shuttle. The Railriders should change their name to the Busriders. Three games into 2024, the Yank bullpen is already under siege.    

The reason? We're lucky to get five innings from a starter. That leaves an oppressive workload for the bullpen, with no end in sight. (Yesterday, at Triple A, Scranton got a four-inning start by Cody Poteet, then burned three bullpen arms to get through the game.) This work wave will run through the entire Yankee organization - though all other teams will face it, as well. Pitching depth could decide the season.  

Still, it's not a good look for MLB: starters going four innings and replacements being tossed like greasy pizza boxes onto a bonfire. 

3. DJ LeMahieu has a broken foot. We should have suspected this. It will be two weeks before it is evaluated. He will miss April, probably May. At age 35, a foot heals slowly, and LeMahieu has proven to be a liability when trying to hit in pain. That's not a knock on him personally. He's just not the same.

So, it's up to Oswaldo's newfound confidence and Jon Berti, Miami's man of mystery. Still, I'm throwing in with Caleb Durbin, Old No. 96, our 5'6" Mini-Me at Scranton. Last night, the Durb went 1-4 with a double. He played third base. We need a Jose Altuve. 

Or somebody. We need a hero to come out of nowhere. Maybe it's Oswaldo. Maybe Berti. Maybe someone else?

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Yankees trade for pitcher who heroically went undercover to expose Pirates abuse

They have traded a PTBNL - player to be named later - for Pirates hurler J.T. Brubaker, who could return from Tommy John surgery this summer.

Brubaker, 30, infiltrated the Pirates Pittsburgh-based penal colony in 2020 and actually started Opening Day for them the following year. His testimony about the terrible living conditions in Northwestern Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, formed the basis of a full-length motion picture, sending several Pirate officials to jail. 

Along with Brubaker, the Yankees received "international money," which is fun to play with, because it resembles the dollars in board games. 

Why not?


Two games into the season, do we have a sense of the Yankees? (And other ponderings)

Two games, two BIG wins over CROOKED JOE ALDUVE AND THE SOROS-BACKED BREGMAN CRIME FAMILY, which disappointenizes and misappointmentizes all the time under Deranged Joe Espada, a known communist thug and the worst manager in the HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, whose wife and daughter both hates me. YANKEE2024!

Okay, fun time's over. Now, the hard part: Winning an actual series in Houston. 

Mind you, dearest juju gods, I'm not asking for a sweep. A mere three out of four would do. And I say this respectfully, because if the Yankees lose their next two, settling for a split against the cheats, it will feel as if we lost the series.

Thoughts on last night...

1. Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera seem to have improved markedly over last year. But is it real, or is it Memorex? It's been years since the Death Barge showed a wisp of firepower at the bottom of the batting order. Last night, the final three (and Soto) crushed Houston. 

Of course, one of Oswaldo's hits - a fly to the LF wall - should have been caught. Still, as a fulltime lefty, he looks much more comfortable than last year. And bolstered by the Golden Glove, Volpe suddenly looks like the rock of the infield, a long term SS. He's shifting roles - from Slugger to Pest. 

So... two guys, two games... it's a long season. Let's hope.

2. Alas, Gleyber took a fastball to the thumb and disappeared. Since then, radio silence. This is sooooo typical Yankee injury juju that we should have expected it. Losing Torres for a few months would not be catastrophic - compared to, say, Cole or Judge - but it would really, really suck. The only remedy: Mr. Altuve should receive a free shave and haircut. 

3. Giancarlo belted one, a blast that almost left the park, which is not easy in domed stadiums. It didn't affect the outcome, but Stanton HRs are like rats: If you see one, there are others lurking. 

Maybe, just maybe, he can carry us through the weekend, especially if Judge is slow out of the gates?

3. The Scranton Railriders opened yesterday with dollops of hope and despair, beating Buffalo 12-9. 

Frankly, there aren't many reasons to watch Scranton, as most of the roster are AAAA waiver pickups, a new crop of Franchy Corderos. Some exceptions:

Caleb Durbin, the 5'6" termite, played 2B and went 2-5 with 3 RBIs and a SB. He's 24. He wouldn't replace an injured Gleyber, but damn, wherever the guy goes, he wreaks havoc. He's fun to monitor.  

Everson Pereira, the lost prospect, went 2-6 with a HR. (And three Ks.) Right now, with The Martian and Spencer Jones soaking up space on prospect lists, there seems to be no long term path for him as a Yankee OF. (Unless a bridge collapses under the team bus. Sorry. Too soon?) Still, it would be nice if Pereria hits at Triple A and forces the matter.

Danger Will Warren. The final cut in the spring training battle for Yankee 5th starter, Warren suffered a disastrous outing: One batter retired, five earned runs, three hits, three walks. Yikes. Is he hurt? Please, tell me he's not hurt. 

The way these teams are burning bullpens, we'll have the Scranton shuttle running by tomorrow night. That's not going to feel good, unless we've won a series.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Prediction; First dumb managerial move gets made today.

 So, while managements latest " patch-up" toy for third base was in transit yesterday, the Yankees were forced to start O. Cabrera.

He went 2-4, hit a Home Run, smiled and hustled. He played a fine third base.  Short term problem solved.

Today, as a reward for his fine outing, Boone will bench him.

The 34 year old replacement will do nothing, and Cabrera will be mentally ruined for the season.   Though he will continue to smile on the bench. 

It is the Boone way. His management style demands this action /response reflex. 

Don't play the guys who are delivering on the field, pay the guys whom management dumped money upon. 

It is the way you miss the playoffs. 

Prove me wrong and the Yankees have a shot.  



 By Wayne Burke

Published this morning on

5 a.m. chiaroscuro of clouds
dark & light
like day & night
like right and wrong
I climb over the
seat into the back
of the car when
we reach Buddy’s.
“Who is that, Al?” Buddy asks
as he sits, pumpkin-sized head
in silhouette.
I am shadow
on vinyl:
the hum of the engine soothes
like a lullaby.
In Pittsfield a bottle is found
under a seat.
Rain beats on the roof
like knuckles;
the great city, people, buildings, Yankee Stadium
drenched, the crown immense.
Maris hits one out
to right;
a big man in the grandstand catches
a foul ball in his bare hand and
stands like the Statue of Liberty.
After the game is called
we leave:
On the ride home Buddy and
Uncle Al joke, laugh
smoke cigarettes
as I
in the back
become more
each mile.

Shaken start, stirred finish bring ponderous ponderings, and the Yankees are 1-0

Afterthoughts on an undefeated, untied season...

1. And they say we're Debbie Downers? In the 2nd inning yesterday, down 4-0, Michael Kay began lamenting that the Yankees will play their opening series in domed stadiums, with no chance of a bullpen-bolstering rainout. Yikes. Three innings into 2024, and the host of CenterStage was already praying for rain?

2. Big HR by Oswaldo, whose lighthouse smile is a wonder of nature. Unfortunately, hitting .211 doesn't warrant many grins. I've forgotten Oswaldo's Homer Holler from The Master. (Considering that he only hit 5 last year, The Master might have, too.) Anybody catch it?

3. At game's end, seeing Verdugo, Judge and Soto embracing in the outfield roused the biggest hope-boner I've received from the Yankees in a long while. They hugged like Little Leaguers, even the captain, who by now should be resigned and craggy. Verdugo made a desperate, over-the-shoulder catch in LF, a shot that would have turned the game. Soto made The Throw. Damn. It's been a long time since a Yankee outfield looked so solid, so locked in. 

4. ... Which cannot be said of the pitching staff. Nobody shut them down. Jonathan Loaisiga is not a middle-innings long man. If they overuse him, he'll be burned out by June. And of particular concern: Clay Holmes, who escaped in the manner we came to expect from Aroldis, the human waterfall. That final out, a sharp grounder, went directly at Volpe. Ten feet either way, it goes through, the game is tied, and we probably lose.

5. I don't want to offend the juju gods with ingratitude - thank you, madams and sirs - but it sure would be nice to take the opening series from the Altuve Crime Family. (I remain a 2019 Playoffs Denier.) Houston still looks stacked, though Valdez looked shaky. Three out of four would be a step toward justice. I'm not even suggesting a visit from Ryan McBroom.  

6. Giancarlo - one for five - looks like a leading candidate for the Higgy Bird Award, named after Kyle Higashioka and Greg Bird, given to the Yankee who blazed through spring training and who then goes ice cold as the season begins. Let's hope Stanton gets it together. Frankly, we have no choice. No matter how badly he hits, he's going to play. 

8. Joe Girardi's return to the booth brought a bit of Professor Showalter, lecturing on strategy and insider scuttlebutt. (Somehow, Paul O'Neill has turned into a country singer with a belly full of beer.) Of note, Girardi's claim that he only walked out to the mound to give his pitchers a breather, never to talk strategy. He claims that David Cone once screamed at him so harshly, that it changed Girardi's view on mound visits. I trust Coney will be asked about this. A running bit?

Thursday, March 28, 2024

 That was a big Yankee victory.

Goodbye Cruel World, It's Opening Day


The gods place bets with loaded dice,
And all our earthly dreams betray,
But listen to one clown's advice,
Goodbye, cruel world; it’s opening day.

The politicians scrounge for power,
With consequences we shall pay.
But somewhere, it's our finest hour,
Goodbye, cruel world; it's opening day.

Our weary age is full of war,
The daily news brings dark dismay,
So surf the dreams worth living for,
Goodbye, cruel world; it’s opening day.

-- el duque, 2008 --

No more meaninglessness. I predict these 10 Yankee predictions will be predictive

I hath gazed into the Future and, trust me, don't try this at home. 

Ten Yankee predictions for 2024.

1. We will win 86 games, one shy of the wild card. The reason? Ninety percent of baseball is pitching, pitching, pitching... and Yankees just don't have enough, enough, enough...

2. Carlos Rodon - aka "The Mothman" - will win 10 games and spend much of the second half in mothballs. Neither ace nor pariah, he'll pitch decently until an injury takes him down. In other words, the new normal.

3. Ditto Aaron Judge. (Note the recurring theme.) Judge will hit 35 HRs, but we'll be lucky to get 120 games from him. Am I being negative? Well, why would we expect the Yankees - one year older - to escape the tweaks and strains that have wrecked the last 15 seasons?

4. Anthony Volpe will improve, but not to Jeterian status. Sadly, that will make him, to some, a disappointment. The fact is, no one can meet the expectations that are regularly placed on the top Yankee prospect. We saw it with Gleyber. We saw it with The Martian. We'll see it with Spencer Jones. This is an existential Yankee problem: The hype machine vs. the mentality of youngsters. I think Volpe will hit .250 with about 20 HRs. Not bad, but by September, they'll be hyping Roderick Arias as the SS of the future.  

5. Giancarlo Stanton will ride high in April, be shot down in May. He'll tweak something. This is the easiest prediction on this list. Seriously, does anybody doubt me? 

6. Baltimore will run away with the AL East. I cannot fathom why everyone is not predicting this (are they hyping the Yanks out of sympathy?) Baltimore won easily last year, and they'll be better in 2024. Do they have enough pitching? Maybe not. Do they have prospects who can be traded for pitching? Fuck, yeah. The O's Era will last three to five years. We're playing for wild cards.

7. Our breakout pitcher will be Clarke Schmidt. He'll win 15 games and maybe get a few Cy Young votes. Also, Alex Verdugo - a new dad, with new maturity - will hit 25 HRs and bat .290. Career year, as he heads to free agency. (He's got a kid to support.) 

8. Aaron Boone will not last the season as manager. He'll leave in August, maybe citing personal reasons, or maybe just be canned. Won't matter why. The Yankees, banged up and sinking, will be desperate for change. Boone will walk the plank, and some firebrand - a Bobby Valentine type - will roil the clubhouse.

9. The Yankees will set an MLB record for most pitchers used in a regular season. Many, if not most, have yet to join the team; they'll be signed in Brian Cashman's weekly scavenger hunt, as he supplies the gristmill with fresh cadavers, like Peter Lorre in a Roger Corman movie. Don't be surprised if, before the year ends, we see Max Scherzer, Rich Hill, Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander in pinstripes. It won't even matter if Gerrit Cole avoids surgery and returns in June. The Yankees, terrified of losing him, won't work him, as in the past. And durability was his greatest asset.

10. Juan Soto will have a great year - .290, 40 HRs, 110 RBIs - and the Yankees, desperate to appease their rage-filled fan base, will give him a 10-year deal. The Big Wheel will turn, and come next March, we'll be predicting the same predictions. Let's just hope we're all still here to save each other, because - frankly - that's all the Yankees and this site can offer.  

I'm not clicking on this

 Why would you? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

If John is still doing games (please, God!) when UC Irvine's Dub Gleed becomes a Yankee (please, God!), what will the HR call be?

 El Duque suggests: 


What do you say? 

Ten fun facts - and a prospect John Sterling HR call - about the newest Yankee, Jon Berti.


The Yankees got him from Miami in a three-way, where the Yankees gave up Ben Rortvedt (which, thank God, I never have to spell again) and a promising low-level OF named John Cruz.

Okay, first, let's get this out of the way. John's call:


Ten Fun Facts

10. From the looks of things, he needs to shave.

9. In 2022, he led the NL in stolen bases; he was reportedly the fastest 2B in the NL. 

8. Last year, even with the fatter bases, he stole only 16. (And he batted .294.) 

7. He can play 3B and bats RH, so he'll likely platoon with new LH-only Oswaldo Cabrera. 

6. At Bowling Green University, he set a season record for triples.

5. He's been with Toronto (twice), Cleveland, Miami and now the Yankees.

4. He's 34, a year younger than DJ LeMahieu, who he'll replace for a while.

3.  This spring with the Marlins, he was 8-for-35 - (.229) with a HR and one SB (and one Caught Stealing.)

2. Over six years in the Majors, he's a career .258 hitter with only 23 HRs.

1. His nickname is - do I have to say it? - "The Birdman."

Holy Crap! A certain big name IT IS HIGH blogger just got written up in the New Yorker

Our own HoraceClarke66 -aka Kevin Baker - is getting well deserved praise from the hoity-toity coastal elite media. If you haven't bought his book yet - what are you waiting for?

(Not that I'm jealous or anything - I mean, anybody who knows me knows that I don't have a jealous bone in my body - but Jeeze Krice, I'm still waiting on my submissions to the Man-Beast Barnyard Love Gazette.) 

Meanwhile, here's a gander...

Seriously, congratulations, Hoss! 

Now... about that prediction of yours for 2024... 

Sixty Nine wins? 

Oh, yeah, Baseball Reference?

The Athletic ran their 2024 season model 100,000 times-- 100 fucking thousand times! --and this is their result for the AL East.

Granted, we end up losing to the Astros in the League Championship Series (and the Astros end up losing the WS to the Dodgers, both unsavory choices), but still.

The model showed only two teams with 90+ wins on the season: the Braves and the Dodgers. Harrumph. (I didn't get a 'harrumph' out of that guy...)

My highly rational and well-informed opinion about all this is that nobody knows nothin'.

A distressed and disillusioned Yankiverse greets 2024 with reduced expectations

Well, folks, here they are: Your sad and hurtful Yankee predictions for 2024. Collecting them, I wept several times. 

(Note: You still have until noon Thursday E.D.T. to add or update predictions.)

The winner receives an all-expenses-paid weekend in Sarasota, a Super Mobility Power Scooter, a Safe Step Walk-in Shower our eternal respect.

Here are your predictions. (Mine comes tomorrow.) Read them and (bleep.)

IT IS HIGH             Yank            Wins by               HRs by
Commenter       team wins   Carlos Rodon    Juan Soto

"I'll Have What They're Drinking" Group
Stang                         103                      28                    73
RtotheE                      97                      10                    36
PgPick                        95                       12                    42
Gary Frenay             94                      10                     33
JM                                 93                        7                     47
Platoni                        93                      11                      39
Mustache                   93                       9                     37
Doug K                        92                        9                     48
Parson Tom              92                      16                     38

The "Make it a Double" Group

Kevin                           91                       14                     43
Above Average        90                       12                     45
Jaraxle                        90                       11                      42
Vampifella                90                        6                     40
Hinkey Haines        89                       11                      31
Ken of Brooklyn     88                         8                     37
Joe of AZ                    88                         8                     44
Carl J. Weitz             88                         9                     41
Daveyhead               88                       10                      51
Ranger _lp               87                         8                     37
Above Average's 
Cat                                87                       10                     41
Lieber                         86                         9                     15
El Duque                    86                       10                     35
Mildred Lopez         86                       10                    29
Doctor T                     86                        8                     42
Pocono Steve           85                         7                     40
Publius                       85                         9                     33
BTR999                     85                         9                    35

The "I'm Feeling a Bit Queasy" Group
Acrilly                         84                         6                    44
Yankee Fan
               83                         6                     27
Celerino Sanchez   83                         8                     34
Alphonso                   82                         4                     27
Rufus T Firefly        82                         3                     35

The "Somebody Get a Mop" Group
Bern Baby Bern       81                        14                    38
Dick Allen                 80                          9                    54
Hammer of God     80                          8                    36
Copelius                     79                          7                    52
13 Bit                            72                          7                    37
BASEBALL REFERENCE                71 wins 
HoraceClarke66     69                           5                   33

Remember: No additions or amendments after noon Thursday, E.D.T.

And come October, you will be held accountable for all Yankee sins.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Baseball has a new Best Name


And it belongs to Dub Gleed, junior at the University of California at Irvine. Infielder for the Anteaters. 

In 2023, Dub Gleed...

  • Hit .300 for the season playing all 55 games and starting 54
  • Registered 65 hits, 17 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 49 RBIs, and 36 runs scored
  • Season highs of four hits three times, five RBIs twice, three runs scored vs. UC Riverside May 25, and finished the season on a season-high seven-game hit streak
  • Played summer ball in the Cape Cod League for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox collected 20 hits in 36 games including three doubles, two home runs, and 19 RBIs
IT IS HIGH salutes Dub Gleed! 

Not everybody thinks the Yankees are going to dominate in 2024. In fact...


Seventy one wins. Yikes.  

With DJ LeMahieu out, third base is once again The Yankee Abyss

Wanna cry? Wanna bundle all your hopes and dreams, and mail them to Utica? Want to gaze wide-eyed into the open jaws of Hell? Of course, you do; you're here, right? As Fred Nietzsche once wrote, if you gaze too long into the Abyss, the Abyss gazes back at you. So, here is your daily glance, via Baseball Reference: 

The list of Yankee regular third basemen over the last 10 years.

Wow. This isn't Utility Man for the KC Royals. It's the fabled hot corner for the storied New York Yankees - a cavalcade of scrap heap pickups, stars past their sell-by dates and hopefuls who didn't pan out. There is no .300 hitter, no 30 HR slugger. (In our most hopeful season, 2018, Miggy finished at .297 with 27 dingers. Note: He's now in Oakland, and he just blew out a knee and will undergo surgery. Hang in there, Mig Man!) There are delightful human beings (Never Nervous Yangervis, Gio Urshela) and some who, to put it charitably, disgraced themselves on multiple levels (Josh "Jackie" Donaldson.) 

Browse modern Yank history, and you'll find a stark inability to develop 3B. Our best - ARod, Boggs, Nettles - came from other organizations. We raised Pat Kelly, Randy Velarde, Mike Pagliarulo and Mike Lowell, whom we traded for next to nothing. It's as if the ghost of Clete Boyer forever haunts us.

Even today, in the Yankees Top 20 prospect lists, the 3B position sucks air. Our recent best hopes - Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera - have fizzled. (Oswaldo could start opening day. He no longer switch hits; is that a good sign?) Beyond them, our best bet is probably Tyler Hardman, who hit 26 HRs last year at Double A, but batted only .237. He's 25.  

Yesterday, Aaron Boone disclosed that LeMahieu will miss opening day with a badly bruised foot. He'll start 2024 on the IL, which is wise, considering that we seen the Bad Toe DJ, and he hits .220.  

Last winter, when the Death Barge traded for Juan Soto, a burst of excitement rose across the Yankiverse. We were gonna sign Yamamoto! We were gonna rise again! Now, the loss of Gerrit Cole and a rather dismal spring training have sobered everybody up. As you read this, Cooperstown Cashman is surely combing the waiver wires for a third baseman with a pulse. 

Make no mistake. We have reached SNAFU, the military acronym that stands for Situation Normal: All Fucked Up. Don't stare too long at 3B. It might stare back.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Here we go again: It's time to predict how many games the 2024 Yankees will win

Time marches on, passes, flies when you're having fun can go to Hell. 

Wasn't it yesterday that we - the bootless and unhorsed complainers of the Yankiverse - toasted the end of 2023, a torture trail of gonadal tweaks, GIDPs and Exit Velos? 

The Death Barge won a pitiful 82 games. Aaron Judge hit a mere 37 HRs, and Anthony Volpe batted a despicable .209. The results - even for YES, the most powerful propaganda machine in American sports - were unspinnable. It was a shit year.

Eighty-two wins. Eighty losses. Yikes. 

Obviously, the GM and manager were quickly fired the team audited itself and made no front office changes. Sparing no expense, the team signed Cy Young winner Blake Snell, Luke Weaver.

Last March, we invited IT IS HIGH readers to predict the number of Yankee victories that would happen in 2023. For a site perceived to be venomous and bitter toward the Yankee Condition, these projections came in ridiculously high. We perceive ourselves as harsh critics of the team. In fact, we are a bunch of giggling Holly Golightlys.  

In October's final tally, The WinWarblist proved to be the IT IS HIGH Nostradamus by predicting 85 victories. Alphonso - the relentless voice of doom - finished second. He was the only reader to project a sub-.500 season, 77 wins.

For the record, I was fat, drunk and stupidly upbeat, predicting 100 wins. And HoraceClarke66, currently the toast of the NYC literary scene, scored a rose-colored 93. 

Well, it's time again to put our Pollyannish ignorance on display. 

It's time to make our predictions for 2024.

Here's how we'll do this. Get your projections to me by Thursday, at 3:10 p.m. Eastern, when the Yankees begin their season in Houston. (They will lose, of course, unless astral projections from Garret Cole create a rip in the Matrix.) Over the next few days, post them into the Comments sections.

We need your predictions for:

The number of Yankee wins in 2024.

Tie-breaker No. 1: The number of wins to be recorded by Carlos Rodon in 2024.

Tie-breaker No. 3: The number of HRs to be hit by Juan Soto in 2024.

I'm slaving over my numbers and will post them Wednesday, after the team announces its final wave of secret injuries. 

Get out your abacuses, everybody. Get thee to an AI chatbox. Time is of the essence a fuckin' asshole. But who knows? Come October 5, maybe you will be the new IT IS HIGH Nostradamus. 

By the way, here's how we all did last year... Read it and bleep.

THE IT IS HIGH Predictions for 2023

Name                   Wins                Judge HRs        Volpe BA

The Idiots
Stang                     102                        74                          .241
JM                           101                         55                          .262
Platoni                  101                         52                          .287
ME, EL DUQUE  100                        63                          .238

Eaters of the Crap 
Ken of Brooklyn  98                       49                         .248
Mattingly’s Mustache  97           60                          .273
Dave Murray        97                        54                          .262
Ranger_lp            96                        47                           .273
Hammer of God   96                       37                          .260
PgPick                      96                       52                         .257
Doug K                     96                       47                          .301
Jaraxle (form Dantes)  96            52                          .282
Gary Frenay          96                       55                          .277

Hopeless Romantics
Zachary A               95                       43                          .253
Carl J. Weitz           94                       45                          .271
Kevin                        94                       52                          .274
Vampifella             94                        18                          .225
HoraceClarke66  93                        42                          .244
Hinkey Haines     93                        44                          .272
BernBabyBern     92                         36                          .276
AboveAverage      92                        48                          .281
David Bellela        92                         x                            x
MildredLopez       91                        44                           .251
Lieber                       91                        50                           .282
Rufus T. Firefly    90                       44                           .256
RtotheE                   90                       50                           .250

Dopeless Romantics 
Borntorun99        89                       36                           .248
Urban Farmer      89                        28                            .231
DickAllen               89                        54                            .241
Scottish Yankee fan   88               44                           .245
Archangel             88                         49                           .280
13bit                        86                          51                            .271
CelerinoSanchez  86                       39                           .269
WinWarblist        85                          52                           .242

The Angry One 
Alphonso              77                          47                            .289

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Post of the day: From Doctor T... Why Yankee players break like breadsticks

Statisticians have no feel for the human body. That's why Yankees break ballplayers like breadsticks. The physics of torque and velocity may tell you how to put more spin or speed on the ball (or hit the ball harder), but that only speeds the day - if you'll pardon the pun - when the arm that throws the ball, swings the bat or the legs that run the bases will snap a tendon, tear a ligament or some other injury.

But if statisticians have no feel for the human body, they have even less capacity to understand the human inside that body: their emotions, insecurities, etc. This is why Yankees can't finish prospect development, even if we set aside their awful advice to young ballplayers (hit strikes harder!). Boone may mollycoddle players, but he and the coaches are not in charge and keep their jobs because they know not to get in the way of the real decision-makers: statisticians and the worthless trust fund brats who listen to them.

On a team driven ENTIRELY by stats and overprivileged, trust fund brats, neither of whom ever played baseball, this is a deadly combination. Throw in a stadium crowd that is also full of trust fund brats (because the rest of us can't afford a ticket), who also never played the game and the sum of all things is fundamentally incompetent, dangerous to player health and emotionally toxic.

Even for the player who already learned how to play successful baseball, in a kinder, gentler universe, this can be overwhelming. First, they don't play as well as they used to and get booed. Then they listen to the incompetent advise of Yankee statisticians and stat-driven trainer/coaches, their performance doesn't improve, they double down on bad Yankee advice and . . . well . . .off to the medical office you go.

I'm a lifelong Yankee fan and I wouldn't want to play on that team. Not if I value my future career, enjoy my lifelong passion, not be abused and or want to kick the dog at the end of the workday. Management sucks. Arrogant idiots rule the decision-making process. The trainers will get me hurt. The fans are harsh and unforgiving. Too many nicer places to play and my dog will thank me for playing there.

Syracuse is closing in on Buffalo for the 2024 Golden Snowball. Is there time left on the calendar?

 Here's where the snowfall counts stand:

Once again, Syracuse is underperforming. 

Maybe in 2030, when we get that Micron chip plant running? 

Will Carlos Rodon be the last big-ticket pitcher the Yankees ever sign?

Today's official edict from the Death Barge/YES Propaganda Chancellery goes that Carlos Rodon remains "confident" of his stuff, as we inch toward the 2024 regular season.

At least someone is confident. Ever since Gerrit Cole reported a tender elbow, barely three weeks ago, despair has flourished across the Yankiverse like measles in Florida. We waited all winter for the Yankees to sign Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery, ignoring the front office's constant denials. We were like kids who found horseshit under the Christmas tree, and ran jubilantly to the backyard, convinced that a pony awaited us. Surely, the Yanks would sign one of the two, right? But it never happened, and now, nobody expects otherwise. And if anybody criticizes the Yankee brain trust, one response always goes unspoken: 

Want another Carlos Rodon?

In modern times, the Yankee narrative is larded with repeated attempts by Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman to bring an ace pitcher to Gotham. Cashman, himself, has called it his "white whale." His list of failures is legendary - (it almost defies random chance) - the pitchers who exceled in other cities, then went knock-kneed in NYC: Carl Pavano. Jose Contreras. Jeff Weaver. Kevin Brown. Javier Vasquez. Randy Johnson. Cory Lidle. Kei Igawa. Sidney Ponson. AJ Burnett. Rich Hill. Nathan Eovaldi. Michael Pineda. James Paxton. JA Happ. Lance Lynn. Jameson Taillon. Corey Kluber. Andrew Heaney. Sonny Gray. Frankie Montas... DEAR GOD, STOP ME! Honestly, it goes even further.  

If Cashman had any feel - or just dumb luck - for identifying the great future pitcher, this franchise could have several more rings, and he would be striding into Cooperstown like Barbie on a red carpet. This remains his greatest continual failure. And today's big question - if it is a question, at all - is whether Carlos Rodon will soon join the above illustrious shit list, which is celebrated by Yankee-haters everywhere. 

Yesterday, in a "tune up" for the regular season, Rodon dispelled whatever hopes were generated in his previous start - a five-inning, no-hit performance. As you see in the above box, he gave up five earned runs in four innings. That's the kind of start that would earn Luis Gil a bus ticket to Scranton. But the Yankees have no recourse other than postgame spin: He has "confidence." It's like the trope message in the newspaper personals: "Come home, Bruno, you didn't fracture my skull, you merely broke my nose. All is forgiven. Lulu."

Making matters worse, Rodon's performance came yesterday as rumors were spreading across Elon's X (Twitter) that other GMs are far more skeptical than the Yankees are about Gerrit Cole's return in June. Nobody knows whether Cole can come back - not even Cole, I suspect. But here are the stakes: 

If Cole's elbow doesn't improve, he could undergo Tommy John surgery. That would wipe out 2024 and most of the following season. He might return in September of 2025, pushing age 35, with three more years on his Yankee contract, at $36 million per season. 

Considering what Cole has meant to the Yankees, he will never appear on the list of Cashman's Cuties. But if he misses two seasons and is never the same, it will be fodder for Hal Steinbrenner to never again approve a Cashman proposal, when it comes to pitching. And frankly, who would blame him?

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Thoughts on the impending Yankee resurgence and world championship

1. Last night against the Mess, Anthony Rizzo was a last-minute scratch, a "precautionary" benching that no one - no one! - should waste a Calgon Bath Oil Bead over. I'm certainly not worried. Why would I worry? If it were the regular season, Rizzo would have played. He said so. The Yankees don't lie about injuries. That would be dishonest. Franchise credibility is on the line here. The fact that Rizzo couldn't play, and they used Luis Torrens, a reserve catcher, at 1B - it means nothing, nothing! I don't know why I'm writing about it. I should stop. Rizzo cherishes his reputation as truth-teller. And the Prevagen seems to have cured his concussions. So... nothing to worry about. I should stop.  

2. Speaking of lies... Showtime Shohei! There's something wondrously fulfilling about watching the Dodgers - what the Yankees used to be - frying in Vegas grease. Isn't it refreshing to be bystanders, while MLB "investigates" its biggest attraction? We can stand around like Bart Simpson, just saying, "I didn't do it." Sure, we may have colluded on the Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery front, but nobody blew $4.5 million betting on Knicks scores. We're also-rans, but we're innocent. 

3. Also, three cheers for the Yank front office in surgically avoiding the flop known as Yoshi Yamamoto. Guy threw one inning, gave up five (5) earned runs - an ERA of, hmm, 45.00. The Tax Dodgers have him for 12 years and $325 million. He won't win many Cy Youngs with an ERA of 45.00, eh? Not that I'd ever gloat. We at IT IS HIGH might occasionally complain about Yankee cheapness and bad trades, but we dodged a bullet train by finishing third in the Yamamoto Derby. Some numbers nerd should get a raise.

4. Based on last night, the Yankee opening day lineup is taking shape. 

Gleyber Torres, 2B
Juan Soto RF
Aaron Judge CF
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Alex Verdugo LF 
Anthony Volpe SS
Jose Trevino C 
Kevin Smith/Impending scrap heap signing 3B 

This will change if Bad Foot LeMahieu returns. (Over three MLB years, Kevin Smith has never hit higher than .185. Last night, he also blew a grounder.) Also, Trent Grisham could play CF, sending Verdugo into therapy.

5. As for the pitching staff:

Carlos Rodon
Marcus Stroman 
Clarke Schmidt
Nestor Cortes
Luis Gil/Will Warren
Luke Weaver
Clay Holmes
Jonathan Loaisiga
Ian Hamilton
Nick Burdi
Your Name Here: Impending scrap heap pickup

How far does this team go? Depends on the next last-minute scratches, I guess.