Thursday, April 28, 2016

To supplement your Ken Phelps doll

For whatever it's worth, there is also the Dodgers Barbie and a Cubs Barbie. No Redsock or Met Barbie.

We still lead in the Barbie AL East.

Last Night, I Finally Did Something Right....

This may be my shortest post ever;

Last night, I turned on the TV to see it was a 2-2 game.  I said to myself, " we only score 2, so this game is over."

I changed channels to watch, "Naked and Afraid."  Two assholes attempting to survive in the jungles of Guatemala for 21 days.  No clothes, no food, no water.  Usually, with a machete and a map.

A man & a woman, by the way.  Sort of.  Thank 6th Avenue that clothes were invented.

I concluded that watching people get eaten by bugs and vomiting, is better than watching the Yankees try to survive a 2-2 tie.

No more Yankee idiocy.

Beached boys: The two run-run-run, the two run-run

The Master is wrong. You can predict baseball.

It's easy. All you need to do is wait for the Bronx Boredoms to score two runs, and then announce, "That's our show, thanks for coming, Miami Beach is the greatest audience in the world! Goonight, everybody!"

Listen: It's not even May 1, and I'm ready to shout MAYDAY. I am already sick of this team, this season, and this insufferable, Godot-like wait for some ray of hope. Every team we face unveils a 21-year-old rising star, the likes of whom - were he a Yankee - would generate apocalyptic 24-7 coverage by the YES mush machine. Instead, we're supposed to get excited about reclaiming scrap heap projects that have been kicked to the curb by their previous teams.

No. I take it back. We're supposed to sit happily and wait for A-Rod, Tex, CC, Headley, Ellsbury, Nova, et al, to start producing - even though it will only mean short term benefits if they do. It will mean we will justify burning another three months, as each climbs toward his concrete ceiling, which has been steadily caving in due to age and injuries. How many HRs does A-Rod hit this year? Twenty-five? With a batting average of .240? Is that our third hole DH? Each one deserves to shine in a supporting cast of emerging stars. Instead, they're packed like Syrian refugees into the same leaky boat, lost at sea and headed for collapse.

Worse, it's just so boring. The Yankees are a HR/K team in a HR/K sport. We score when someone hits a homer. Our pitcher dominate - lots of Ks - except for the occasional mistakes, which fly out of the park. Joe Girardi blames the over shift. The fans simply mourn the death of the adaptive player, the Lou Pinella or Roy White. They say you can't teach old dogs new tricks. At some point, you gotta put the dog down. Two runs a game. Last place. Mayday. Mayday. Mayday...

"Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia show signs of life in another loss"

And that, friends, is the upbeat headline on ESPN's recap of last night's game. The gist of the column was that 2009 is a long, long time ago, but for $45 million the Yanks need Alex and CC to be as mediocre as possible this year if the team is to have a chance.

We're in last place. I know you know, and you know that I know that you know, but just to reiterate our position.

This may be the year. The 50 year symmetry.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Joe Girardi wants to ban defensive over-shifts. What other rule changes would help the Yankees?

1. No teams allowed to field players under age 30.

2. Teams can no longer bunt or hit to the opposite field.

3. All scoring must come via home runs.

4. Teams not allowed to score after the fourth inning.

5. Pitchers must allow batters to hit the way they did in 2009.

What am I missing?


John & Suzyn are going into The Hall

The New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

What? You thought it was for the Hebrew Home at Riverside?

Adam Warren is on the verge of joining the Cubs rotation

He hasn't yielded a run this year.


Not complaining about the Starlin Castro deal. But, considering all the self-congratulations the Yankees have foisted upon the fan base... just sayin.'


If I Hear One More Compliment......

.........from David Cone, or Curt Schilling about the potential, the arm strength, and the Hall-Of-Fame level output of Luis Severino, my 12 gauge is going to come out of the closet.

Seriously, as Severino was failing every test last night, Coney kept on his rant about how great this young player was going to be.  We got to watch him load the bases , with two outs, in a one run game. We got to see him walk in a run.  We got to see a bases clearing hit up the gap and, when the Rangers finally missed a pitch, the third out was registered. Mind now, this out was a mistake on Texas' part.

Now it was 6 runs on the board for Texas.  Luis just registered an "F" on all his, "Coney tests."

So this game was over in the third inning. ( Unlike Pineda, the other day, who had the game lost in the 1st inning).  So that is progress?  That is our future?  This is a player to acclaim?  This is another failure, I say.

Coney kept raving about Severino's, "90 plus change-up" ( that was off the plate for ball 4 ); and "what a great learning experience this was for the youngster" ( e.g. if he could get out of bases loaded and two outs, without letting Texas score.) I swear, when he could get the ball into the strike zone, it was a meat ball, dripping with gravy.  And Texas lit him up, every time.

When Severino needed to show his mettle, the big out didn't happen.  The out pitch didn't exist.

HIs pitch count was more than 30 in the third inning alone.  That fat guy who still pitches for the Mets is many times better than that!  Didn't we just see a 23 year old dominate the Yankees?  Luis will be 4-12.

This kid has zero command and gives me no hope at all for the future.  Maybe he can become another Dellin Bettances ( convert from starter to reliever ).   That way, if he can go the 6th inning with success, we only need starters to go 4-5 innings.  Of course, when we average 2 runs of offense per game, we need exceptional work all the time.

From now on, let's speak of him as our high prospect bum.  Just another example of Yankee public relations department, " flash and dash," but no substance.  Trade bait, whose appeal is now dirt.

 Send him to Scranton and see if he can pitch in relief.

I would rather we had Adam Warren.

Every hopeful 2016 scenario depended on Luis Severino becoming a solid pitcher. Now... ?

Barring a four-game win streak, the Bronx Boredoms will finish April with a losing record, and quite probably at the bottom of the AL East.  Thus far, no divisional power has emerged, but that will change. This weekend, we hit Fenway, where Boston has won 5 of 7. If something doesn't change, God help us.

Last night, so bleak was the Yankee outlook that John and Suzyn spent most of their time appealing to God for rain. (I wanted hail.) Early on, they recognized our only chance. When this team falls behind by six, root for earthquakes, asteroids, Hitchcocking bird attacks, whatever... just don't waste your breath rooting for a rally.

This morning, as a means of self-torture (the waterboard is broken), I looked up our "Yankee batting leaders." What a joke. Our "top hitter," Starlin Castro, is at .278 - a virtual mirror of last year's team, which was led by Beltran at .276. Castro also "leads" the team in RBIs... with 11. That ranks him 60th in MLB. Sixtieth. Right now, Beltran, Tex and A-Rod - together - have 9 HRs - as many as Bryce Harper. Each is being out-homered by Houston's Jose Altuve,.. all 5 feet 5 inches of him.

I looked it up: Chase Headley (batting .157) has as many stolen bases as Brett Gardner.

Today, eight Yankee pitchers are tied for the team lead in wins.. with one apiece. That leads to this incredible graphic on the team's pitching stats page:


Yep. CC is listed as the team "leader" in wins.

And then there is Luis Severino. Last night, he was certifiably bombed. He is now 0-3 with an ERA close to 7.00. It was the second documented torching in his brief MLB career.  Last September, in the waning days of the race, Toronto dropped six runs on him in two innings. Until then, he hadn't been cuffed around in all of 2015 - not in Trenton or Scranton. Now, in his last 10 outings - spanning the winter - he's been rocked twice.

He's 22. There's still hope - unless we learn tomorrow that something hurts. Still, hope is not easy to find with this team. We've got a five-man rotation with three question marks, and a lineup full of nothing but past glories. I can't even figure out if this is a team worth cheering... or if we're better off collapsing and trading for next year, or 2018.

When you spent the last decade vowing to upgrade your farm system and build from within - and now, the apocalypse is looming - that's a bad sign. Ah, but what do I know? I'm just a fan, looking at the stats.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On Top of Everything: A poem by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

ON TOP OF EVERYTHING
By John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman
JOHN:
Bianca Nieves of the Bronx is today’s
Yankees Radio Network ACME’s Market
Home Run Payoff Contestant.
Pitch is inside, which is a mouthful,
but at ACME that’s a good thing.

And Bianca will win a one hundred dollar
ACME Markets gift card for every home run hit.
Two one to Andrus, one out, no one on,
Bottom of the second, one nothing Texas,
Pitch grounded foul at home plate, two and two.


SUZYN:

And when Severino struck out Moreland,
that was Sevy’s first strikeout of the game.
And Winthrop University Hospital reminds you
that they strike out cancer with their
Cyberknife technology. Winthrop University Hospital:
Your health means everything.

JOHN:

We’re on top of everything.
 

April 26, 2016
Arlington, Texas

Eovaldi eovolves; Kaprielian kapitulates

Last night, the Bronx Boredoms finally came up with a wake-up pill for fans and a reason for the Comcast corpos to curse the darkness:

Flirt with a no-hitter. Take that, Beyonce!

(By the way: When Joggie Cano watches Beyonce's new video, in which she smashes storefronts over Jay-Z's infidelity - with a baseball bat, no less - do you think he has second-thoughts about having thrown in with the Cash-Is-King "sports agent" and loped off to Seattle, home to the warning track out?)  

Wait, yes... the no-hitter! Last night, Nathan Eovaldi nearly threw one, again proving he's great when he doesn't suck. (The Yankees have three Great Or Suck pitchers: Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Eovaldi.) I'd started to think of making Eovaldi the fourth rail in the Yankee bullpen stopper collection, with Dellin, Miller and El Chapo. Now, he's secure in the rotation for at least a month. In the 2016 Yankee meritocracy, one quality start wins you at least a month of starts.

But the daily downer is that 22-year-old James Kaprielian - who River Avenue follows with a widget, the Refsnyderian Curse - pinged something in his elbow and will spend the next two weeks in the milk bath. Publicly, we knew Kaprielian was 16 months from the Bronx. Privately, we wanted to see him this August. Now, we might not see him for three years, or ever - the Manny Banuelos Experience - which leaves us with Ian Clarkin - age 21, pitching in Tampa - as our last "blue chip" pitching prospect. (He's thrown 23 innings, 2-1, with 2.35 ERA.) Does he inherit Kaprielian's widget?

What's wrong with us? Sunday, the Tampa Rays unveiled 23-year-old Blake Snell, the latest in a conga line of young arms. Isn't it time to ask what the Rays are doing on the other side of Tampa? Are they drinking from a different water system? Should we check the pipes for lead? Can't we send a hot secret agent to infiltrate a Rays bar and pry loose their secrets?

Finally, we won last night with three runs. We have a three-run attack, which usually means three HRs. Generally, teams with anemic offenses play small ball. Remember the old LA Dodgers with Maury Wills and Junior Gilliam, and the famous "Dodger Homer?" A guy draws a walk, steals second, gets bunted to third, scores on a sac fly. We have the "Yankee Single." A guy homers, nobody on, and that's our single run of the game.

Still in last, but Baltimore has now lost 6 of its last 10. It's a .500 division. Boring, unless the line score says no hits.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A poem by John and Suzyn

SOLO SHOT

By John Sloss Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

JOHN:
Here is the three one to Ellsbury.
Swung on, hit high in the air to right field.
That ball is high...
        It is far...
               It is… gone!
Into the Tiger Stadium lower deck!
Jacoby hits one!
He Ells-buries it in the right field seats!
O, everything is Jake with Jacoby!
He homers to give the Yankees
a one nothing lead.
SUZYN:
And that’s a big load off of his chest,
his first home run, he’s got a big smile,
did you hear the fans here?
Is everybody from New York
in this building?
There’s not a lot of them,
but there’s an awful lot
of New Yorkers in here.
JOHN:
Sounds it, huh?

SUZYN:
Solo Shot, your automatic cameraman!
No standing on the sidelines for hours,
pointing a camera.
Solo Shot points the camera automatically.
Visit Solo Shot dot com to learn more.

Yes, that was a solo shot.

April 25, 2016
Yankees v. Rangers, third inning
Globe Life Stadium, Arlington, Texas
(not Tiger Stadium)

The Wrong People Are Getting Hurt !!



The day after Brad Pinder met with Dr. Andrews, the Yankees scheduled another office visit for our top pitching prospect, and recent number 1 draft pick, Jim Kaprelian.


The official word is that an MRI saw some swelling in his elbow and the medical community has suggested, " rest and plenty of water."

So the process extends and prolongs.  Sometimes, a prospect becomes an old guy with very little tread on his tires by the time this game of wait and see ends.

It is my strong gut feeling that Kaprelian will soon be asking for the , " two for one," discount at Dr. Andrews' clinic.

And these serious career setbacks are happening to all our young, developing players.

What about the old and slow?

Gimme a break!

Young Alphonso

It's time for your Yankees Indian Point Nuclear Reactor Power Report, brought to you by Indian Point Nuclear Reactor

A glowing review. 

Fourteen others tied with "0."

Get to know your immediate future

Lane Adams is 26 years old and briefly played in the majors for Kansas City in 2014. A strapping, good-looking lad (sorry, girls, he's taken!), Lane is hitting a more than respectable .286 for Scranton/WilkesBarre/
Old Forge/Taylor/Moosic/Duryea/Avoca/Dupont, with a nimble .348 OBP and .333 slugging percentage. Although he trails the team's leading slugger, Nick Swisher, who has posted a .382 BA with 2 HRs in 34 at-bats, or catcher Gary Sanchez's 27 total bases in 52 ABs, Lane is a feared competitor who is willing to push his 6'3", 220-pound frame if it can make a difference to the team. 

Smooth and slick in the outfield, the fleet-footed Lane has handled 13 putouts flawlessly for the RailRiders and notched an assist with his howitzer of a right arm. (The site MLB Trade Rumors is high on his "strong defensive chops"!) He is coming off what is arguably his best year ever, hitting .298 with a solid 12 HRs in 97 games for the double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

On the personal front, Lane describes himself on Twitter as "Outfielder. Oklahoman. Slugging % enthusiast," and a lover of "all things Real Estate and Biomechanics." So he'll appreciate the New York-area property market and be able to put his biomechanical skills to work in the crowded Yankees training room. A class act, he tweeted his gratitude to the KC Royals when they released him, and is excited to be with the Yankees organization. He still follows his alma mater Red Oak High School basketball team, Class B state champs for 2016.

RailRiders fans may have seen Lane zipping toward the park from the player parking lot on his scooter, just another example of his happy-go-lucky sense of humor. (On Twitter, he joked that Marco Rubio wasn't a good candidate because you have to manually hold down the handle when you pump gas in Florida--well, it made us laugh!)

A good guy, smart player and devoted husband, Lane Adams keeps an ear cocked toward the clubhouse phone for the call he knows is coming -- along with another shot at the Big Show. Even outside of Northwest Arkansas, he is truly a "Natural" destined for Yankees pinstripes. 



This is what catastrophe looks like

Well, we are here...

Our nose is pressed to the microwave window, the power is on full, and the aluminum foil is starting to spark.

Yesterday, A-Rod diddled an oblique. He follows Aaron Hicks, who jammed a shoulder. That's what the Tower of Power is telling us. Of course, the Yankees so comfortably lie about injuries that nobody - not even the breathless, lapdog courtiers of YES - believe them anymore. The two bats who were going to save us from lefty pitching - they're out, and it's still April.

Last winter, the Retrieval Empire boasted two stockpiles of young talent. First, was the list of outfielders at Scranton, which would rescue us when Gardner,  Ellsbury and Beltran inevitably went down. We had Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Ben Gamel, Aaron Judge and Jake Cave - so many OFs that they overflowed to Trenton.

Gone.

Right now, replacements for A-Rod and Hicks have boiled down to the aging, creaky, Kardashianesque Nick Swisher - who in the last two years hasn't hit higher than .208 - and/or Lane Adams, a 26-year-old career minor league hubcap. Everybody else is hurt, left-handed or not ready. (Judge fans 31 percent of the time.) We're already turning over rocks. And it's still April.

Our other talent overload was the "Scranton Shuttle," the young arms who would yo-yo back and forth, (there's a reason the team is called the Railriders) whenever the bullpen went poof. We had a pile. Not anymore. It looks like Brandon Pinder is following Nick Rumbelow and Jacob Lindgren to surgery, while Tyler Olsen is getting relentlessly hammered, and Scranton is so thin with pitchers that yesterday, it trotted out 28-year-old Tyler Cloyd and 29-year-old Richard Blier, to throw the entirety of a 7-4 loss. And it's still April.

As we wait for Aroldis Chapman, it's time to wonder where this team will be after the next nine games, all on the road, against Texas, Boston and Baltimore. We can't hit lefties. We can't hit situationally. We have one consistent starting pitcher. The injuries are just beginning. Nobody in the minors is breaking out. And it's April, still April, dear God, it's still April.

This is what catastrophe looks like.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

" Captain, We Are Taking On Water....."

The Yankee comeback got de-railed today, and the pitching of Michael Pineda was, shall we say, negative?

One has to wonder;  If Michael Pineda gives up more homers in five innings, than Jesus hits all year in the minors of majors, did we win the trade?

If Michael tags the Yankees with a loss after one inning of work, is it better having him on the field in the Bronx or having Jesus in Buffalo somewhere?  I mean, if Nick Swisher had pitched, the Yankees likely would have done better.

My point here is that having someone on a team can, sometimes, be worse than not having a player on your team.

Pineda is being paid millions, right?  Guaranteed millions, no matter how he performs?

If having him, say, in Florida instead of NYC meant that the team got more wins than if he was pitching for us, isn't it, " good baseball," to move him to Florida?  Or Nigeria?  Or to go salmon fishing in the Yemen?

In other words, if the guy you have ( Pineda) does more harm to your club than the guy you don't have does to anyone, aren't you worse off?

I'm just trying to re-start the debate.  I am thinking we lost this trade.

By the way, we got a run today.  Oh, and Alex pulled on oblique muscle.  Oh, and one of our Scranton shuttle guys ( Brad Pinder?  Bad Pinder? ) gets , " The Dr. Andrews visit," tomorrow.

Oh, and that Hicks/ Nicks guy is going to have serious shoulder problems.  This is not a 4-5 day thing.

I say bring up that kid who hit really well last year at Scranton, and whose name no one can ever recall.

Who needs to watch Judge strike out three times, while we are hoping he can be good?

Just Piñata being Piñata


5 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs, all earned. 4 walks and only 3 strikeouts.


First Sterling poem of 2016:

(Submitted by Mr. Layman)

BY BOOK OR CROOK

By John Sloss Sterling

The Yankees,
By book or by crook,
Must score this run;
They've loaded the bases

On two walks
And a catcher's interference,
Which you don't see
for months!



April 23, 2016
Yankee Stadium
Tampa v. Yankees


REMEMBER: IF YOU HEAR SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING

For posterity... Gardy's yardy party

A starting gate comparison of Yoan Moncada to the top Yankee prospects

In case you are interested...

The one that got away - Yoan Moncada - is hitting .357 with 13 stolen bases for Boston's advanced Single A team in the Carolina League. Moncada is 20 and playing 3B. He has no HRs on the season. It's too bad the Yankees didn't sign him, but - hey - Hal Steinbrenner just didn't have the money. There's nothing you can do... if you just don't have the money.

For comparison sake, our top hitter thus far in advanced Single A is Mike Ford, a 23-year-old 1B, who is hitting .371 with two home runs at Tampa. Our second best producer, statistically, in Tampa is Billy Fleming, a 23-year-old secondbaseman. He is batting .357, no HRs. Both are a bit old for their levels.

Our top hitter at Double A is Jose Rosario, a 24-year-old 2B. He is batting .310.

At Scranton, Aaron Judge is hitting .302. He's 23. He has 2 HRs.

In low single A, our leading hitter is Trey Amburgey, a 21-year-old outfielder. He is hitting .327. He has a home run.

Certainly, the season will be long enough for several Yankee prospects to emerge. But thus far, nobody is turning heads like Moncada. It's a shame the Yankees couldn't afford him. But that's what happens when you have no money, right?



Watched Swish and Aaron Judge play yesterday in Syracuse and... hmmm...

What can be said about one game? Nine silly innings. Three stupid hours. Not even a small sample size. More an eency-weency sample molecule. There is nothing to say. One game. Screw it boys, we'll get 'em tomorrow! Right?

Let's hope.

Yesterday, in Syracuse - winner of 2015-16 Golden Snowball - we saw the leviathan: Tall as the wall in right field, the gigantic Aaron Judge came to play at the city's famed Your Name Here Stadium. And that's where the story turns ugly: He fanned swinging three times - once on a pitch in his eyes - and popped up harmlessly in the fourth at bat. Each time, Judge swung mightily, with long, buttery, unraveling strokes, sending thick waves of air in the direction of Canada. It was not pretty.

Meanwhile, Nick Swisher patrolled first base like the ghost of Dick Stuart. Ground balls went by him, under him and through him. The official scorer - a cousin? - awarded Swish only one error. That was a gift basket from the Syracuse Up-Downtowners. He deserved three. At one point, it almost seemed Swisherian brain-lock - he batted down a ball, couldn't pick it up, and pretzel-ed himself into sort of a backwards semi-cartwheel. The crowd enjoyed it. Very entertaining. It led to two runs.

OK, it's just one stupid, ridiculous snapshot of a game, right? Certainly, we all understood that Swisher needs a few innings at first base. And Aaron Judge is an emerging project who - get this - is still hitting .303... not too shabby.

But they didn't look good, folks. Maybe today.

By the way, Gary Sanchez smacked two hits, including a double. And Rob Refsnyder still technically exists, though he now plays third-base and is hitting .200. (That's 41 points higher than Chase Headley, but don't get me started...) 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The textbook 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play

To celebrate the bard's 400th: STEINBRENNER IN LOVE

Frank Cammuso and I did this for the NY Times, long ago... like 1999.


ACT I, SCENE I. February. In a field. Thunder and lightning.
RIZZUTO: Single, double; bullpen trouble.
Owner burn and pitcher bubble.
Though great'st by far his minions be,
They're not great'st by far, enough, for he.
What huckl'berries these mortals be!
YOGI: 'Tis deja vu -- again, I see...

19 out of 22 strikeouts: Dellin Betances is approaching historical domination


Can Ellsbury save his Yankee soul?

After Curt Schilling and the New Kids on the Block, no ex-Bostonians have more disgusted the Yankee fan base than the guy we signed as a distraction to Robbie Cano's farewell jog to Seattle. Of course, I mean Jacoby Ellsbury - thus far, one of the worst Yankee free agent acquisitions in humanity's Kardashian Era, and trust me here: When we talk about ranking Yankee disappointments, the bar is high.

Thursday, even on the generally upbeat River Ave blog, Mike Axisa was outlining potential trades that would make Ellsbury disappear. When River Ave is looking to dump you, that's a bad sign. That's looking up and seeing "Surrender, Dorothy." Not even Alphonso plots trades; (he'd rather boil them in oil.) And yet... this morning Axisa can be found waxing over Ellsbury's "Signature Yankee Moment." 

And he's right. It was Friday night's electrifying - and incredibly stupid? - steal of home against Tampa. Ellsbury ran on a full count and two outs, with two runners in scoring position, and Brett Gardner at bat. How does a runner attempt to steal home in such a scenario? If the pitcher throws a strike... dear God. Gardner either takes strike three - inning over -  or he swings and potentially fractures his teammate's skull. There's a reason why guys don't steal home on 3-2 counts with two outs.

So what happened? Ellsbury stole home! The place exploded. It was incredible... but it raises a legitimate question: Did Ellsbury not know the count was 3-2? 

And yet... who cares? HE DID IT! He pulled it off! If a strategy works, forget the insanity, right?

Well... yeah. I'm in. If Gardner had been forced to take strike three, or if Ellsbury were called out at the plate, today's tabloids would be going wild, and NYC talk radio would be re-enacting the 2004 movie "Hotel Rwanda," (remember killing the cockroaches?) This could well have been the end of the Jacoby Ellsbury era in New York. That's the chance he took.

But he did it.

So... I ask you: Is this his Giambi grand slam? Is this Coney perfect game? Is this the moment that finally anoints Jacoby Ellsbury as a Yankee for life? Because we haven't yet seen one.

Is this the game that turns him around. He's still batting only .255 with no home runs and four stolen bases. Yesterday, Ellsbury was even benched against the lefty. He only played because Aaron Hicks hurt himself on a dive. Last night, we witnessed one of the ballsiest career gambles in Yankee memory. Last night, did something happen?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Meet the new loss. Same as the old loss.

It's Groundhog Day. We play the same losing game, over and over.

We score first. Our starter looks unhittable. We miss a few scoring chances. Some mediocre hitter for the other side whacks a home run.

Then, slowly, exasperatingly, our lineup falls asleep, and everything unravels.

This is the Yankees of 2016. (Not much removed from 2015 and 2014 and 2013.)

We have perhaps the best bullpen in baseball... yet no lead is safe.

We have some of the highest-paid sluggers in the game... and a vacancy sign in the lineup.

"The Yankees are now five and nine... ouch," John Sterling said last night. "I know it's early, but nobody wants to begin the season that way."

Comcast must be laughing at this team. Rupert Murdoch - the owner of YES - must be throwing chairs through windows. (Or, more likely, Jerry Hall is.) At least Lonn Trost won't have to worry about poor people wanting to see games. Nobody wants to see these games.

I say, bring it on, juju gods. If this in the year of the collapse, let it happen. All the way. Don't hold back. Let's wash these stables clean. Let it fall into the ocean. Somewhere out there are young players who will revitalize the Yankees, and maybe a new owner who will have a plan. The Yankees are what happens when Nepotism weds Cronyism. They should move this franchise to North Korea.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Up there, having a talk: 25 years ago, Phil Rizzuto spun a poem about Prince

From O Holy Cow: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto, by Mustang and me.


A radical idea that will never happen, even at a small scale

This started as a comment to Alphonso's last post, but I thought, what the hell. Let's throw it out there.

Ticket sales can't be very good. I'm getting special rock-bottom offers from the Yankees every week or more, the last one offering tickets under $20. And not in the bleachers.

Here's an idea that will never fly in a million years. Trade all the big names, even if we have to eat all or the bulk of their remaining contracted salaries. Clear out the dead or walking dead wood. Whoever we can't get rid of, we bench. Then we field an everyday team of dirt-cheap young unknowns mixed with the few performers we currently have. We give the kids a good shot at making it, and reduce expectations for the season to zero. Then we see what we have and what we can put together for next year, sans the aging and struggling bodies we've been throwing out there.

We'll have to honor their contracts to whatever extent necessary, but the added cost of the kids will be bupkus in the scheme of things. And as the old contracts die, we are unburdened, refreshed, exciting, and with a new direction that will put fannies in seats--which should get cheaper, by the way, to attract a larger fan base as the contract burdens are lifted.

It will never happen. But it would be interesting. Which is one reason it will never happen. Our credo is nothing if not to be as boring as possible. No matter how mediocre or bad it makes us.



The Pain Will Be Extended And Extended



When A-Rod  walked up to the plate with the bases loaded last night, it was just a certainty that he would strike out.  To me, anyway.

What I did not figure was that he would go down looking.  I have never been able to fathom how superstar major league players, or anyone good enough to get an at bat in the majors, goes down looking on a 3-2 pitch, with two out, in a critical situation.

To me, that is a far worse blunder than DIDI running himself into a double play, destroying a different rally.

In any case, we got our two runs again which is tantamount to losing.  Two solo, meaningless, home runs.  Sound familiar?

As a result, El Duque is expressing a concern that the Yankee apocalypse has arrived.  Wishful thinking.

The Yankees will score in double figures today, causing everyone to expel a sigh of relief and declare that the, " offensive slump is over."

Only it won't be.

The Yankees will continue to show a spark of life, and then more days of dormancy.  They will be like a lamp bulb signaling its last legs.  Flicker, shine, flicker, shine......until it goes dark.

But this miserable team will be, "in it" ( the race for the wild card play -in game, where last year the Yankees scored 0 runs ) until the last day.

And on that day, where we get to the post season ( as if the play-in game is truly, the post season)  with a win, the Yankees will score two runs early, and then go dark themselves.  I don't know the final game score, or who we will be playing, but the Yankee run total will remain, and end, at 2.

Duque is correct that we need a collapse of monumental proportion.  We need revolt and rebellion.  Something so embarrassing, so unforgiving and so potent, that even the Yankee management and ownership wake up and stop this bull crap sham that all we need, is " re-tooling, not re-building."

I don't want to see any more of ; Ellsbury, Gardner, Beltran, Tex, Headley or Mc Cann.  Nor do I wish to wee:  Nova, CC, or Pineda.

It is time to scuttle this ship.

But the process will not relieve us.  It will torture us.

Hicks throws out runner at plate, clocked at 105 mph; Yankees will move mound to left field for new starter


Wow, this guy can smash ice


Is this the year it happens?

I say, let it happen:  Let it rain. Let the earth rumble, let the skies open, let the waters rise, and let the winds blow this wretched team to sea. Let everything start anew. Bring on the Yankee apocalypse. Let the great shitpile topple. 

Yes, let's say it out loud. Why lie?

If the Yankees are going to suck this year, let's go all the way.  

Yes, I realize it's only April - this isn't the last copter out of Saigon - but the despair I feel usually comes in September, when the end is literally near.

After last night, to root for this Yankee team just seems so pointless. So - well - gullible. 

If A-Rod homers tonight, what does it mean? His ever-diminishing ceiling is defined in concrete. He'll be lucky to hit 25 and bat .250. If Jacoby Ellsbury starts hitting, how long will he last, before a tendon snaps or a bone breaks? How insane is it to think that CC will ever return to form? And if all management wants to do is wait until everybody is off the books... until all the big contracts disappear... so it can trade the farm for Bryce Harper and then give him a 12-year deal... why bother? These aren't the Yankees. This is just another club. This franchise offers us no swagger, no bluster, no rising stars, nothing. It is most defined by the self-congratulatory hubris of management, fueled by a cheerleader media that will say anything to stay afloat.

The Yankees sit on the biggest pot of gold in American sports, yet the owner's priority is to cut costs. Hal Steinbrenner has used his dad's inheritance as a plaything. One day, he refuses big contracts to save on luxury tax. Next day, he trades prospects for Aroldys Chapman. We just descend deeper into the void, while rivals swoosh past us to the top.

Tell me a reason to feel hope for this team, this season, other than that maybe in September, some prospect will come up for a cup of coffee and look good.

If the meltdown is coming, I say let it happen. Let it rain. Let the shitpile fall. We cannot do worse than this.