Saturday, January 13, 2018

My solutions to five Yankee "problems."

Not a bad discussion about the Yankees.

My solutions are as follows:

1. Second base: Jose Altuve.
2. Third base: Manny Machado,.
3. Starters: Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer.
4. Backup first baseman: Joey Votto.
5. Backup catcher: Buster Posey.

Make it happen.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A very large straw man. Like a straw man on steroids.

"For the last time:

Amphetamines were clearly performance enablers in baseball."

Why do I think this isn't the last time?


"But if they were performance enhancers, how come the record books never changed the way they did during the steroids era?"

Because they weren't as effective as steroids.


"If you want to vote for guys who juiced, have at it.

But you need more than greenies to help build your case for them.

A lot more."

Lupica is on a phony high horse. I don't speak for everyone who takes a more nuanced position, but that's generally the objection.

Cheater outrage is applied selectively. Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Gaylord Perry and others are already in the Hall of Fame.

The reason I'm certain Mike Piazza took steroids is because I have a brain. Nobody before or since regularly hit 450-foot opposite field fly balls. Nobody drafted that low in the draft ever made the major leagues, much less regularly hit 450-foot opposite field fly balls.

The Guardians of the Game laid off Piazza because he's a nice guy who graciously granted post game interviews.

Luipca uses his column and his votes/influence to promote people who assist his career.

So when people call out the hypocrisy, his weak retort is that the cheaters of the 1970s weren't as good at cheating.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

We wish you a Merry Christmas.

"We all know who the best player was in New York in 2017, in any sport."

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.


"It was the big kid, Aaron Judge, All Rise Judge, around whom the rising of the Yankees was built in October, the kind of baseball October that was once as regular a pageant around here as the tree lighting at Rockefeller Plaza, or New Year’s Eve in Times Square."

As regular as a hack Lupica rehash column.

"And the best of it for me, the best moment, wasn’t the Yankees coming back after they were down 0-3 in the Wild Card game with the Twins before they ever came to bat; or the comeback against the Astros in Game 4, when the new Yankee Stadium finally sounded like the one across the street. No, the best of it was after Game 5, when the Yankees had gone ahead three games to two, and were as close to the World Series as they had been in eight years."

Lupica paid attention to about 15 baseball games in 2017.

Lupica couldn't name the Yankees' starting rotation.


"The best of it was walking out of the Stadium that night with Yankees fans flooding out of the place in this loud, exuberant wave, down the steps at Babe Ruth Plaza, everybody heading towards 161st St. and the parking lots and the subway station, yelling 'Let’s Go Yankees' and '---- Verlander,' "

I don't understand.

What is a Verlander?


 " ...meaning Justin Verlander, whom they knew their team was going to be facing in Game 6."

Oh!

Justin Verlander.

Thank you for clarifying, Mr. Baseball.


"It all went wrong in Houston, of course. Verlander did to the Yankees what the chants said the Yankees were going to do to him."

Verlander ----'ed the Yankees.


"Now they regroup, in such an expensive and showy and front-page way. They go get Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Jeters, and pick up the kind of contract they once lavished on Alex Rodriguez, everybody’s All-America."

It's a new record, folks: 250,000 consecutive columns with an Alex Rodriguez reference.


Who even cares?

It's all the same observation.

The Yankees might win the World Series and they might not.

I fail to see how adding Giancarlo Stanton, the NL MVP, is a bad move.

The Yankees aren't as "cool" as they were last year, a designation coming from Mike Lupica, a man who had Coldplay as his intro music during his short-lived afternoon radio show and who lists "Love Actually" as his favorite Christmas movie.





Monday, December 18, 2017

One man's stupid is another man's fun.

Bob Raissman criticizes ... well, I'm not sure what he's criticizing:

"Gee, now we have to look forward to hearing what Sterling’s Giancarlo HR call will be. This was actually a topic of fierce debate in the Valley of the Stupid, which is why it is called the Valley of the Stupid."

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Marvin Miller

But can the Yankees get Alex Cobb?

"That’s all fine — since when did the Yankees ever care about money? — as long as Stanton stays healthy and produces just reasonably consistent to how he did last season."

Yes.

I must agree.

Injured players who don't produce are not valuable to a baseball team.


"Unfortunately history — both his own and these monster contracts in general — suggests he won’t. It’s a fact of baseball life that players after the age of 32, start breaking down and Stanton, before last year, already had a number of concerning injury issues."

Sold.

That's five years and hundreds of homers.

The big question is, what will be Sterling's customized HR call?

Whatever he decides, it will probably be used more often than "the Ben Francisco Treat." Which Sterling may not have used. But he should have.


"He missed the final 17 games of the season after being hit in the face with a pitch in 2014. He missed 88 games in 2015 with a broken hamate bone from swinging too hard on a pitch, 44 games in 2013 with a hamstring strain and shoulder soreness, 36 games in 2012 loose knee bodies and abdominal strain, and another 11 games in 2011 with a quad strain."

He missed 11 games in 2011 with a quad strain?

Oh, no.

Then he hit 59 HRs and won an MVP award in 2017.

So he must have recovered from the quad strain.


"All these while he was in his early-to-mid 20s. What’s going to be the case when he hits his 30s?"

I don't know.

What will be the case with Robinson Cano? Bryce Harper? Manny Machado? Gary Sanchez? Aaron Judge? Greg Bird? Rob Refsnyder?

Should the Yankees pay $29 million per year for Rob Refsnyder or should they go after starting pitching instead?


"At least, even keeping Ellsbury’s onerous $21 million salary, the Yankees could make this Stanton trade and stay under the $197 million luxury tax threshold — which is all Hal Steinbrenner cared about in approving the deal. There is still enough wiggle room money to re-sign CC Sabathia and add a bullpen piece, but as far as the Yankees’ No. 1 target, Alex Cobb, that’s very problematic now."

Nobody cares about Alex Cobb.

Who the heck is Alex Cobb?


"With Jeter over the barrel, this was their one best chance of finally ridding themselves of Ellsbury’s contract — or if nothing else make the Marlins take Chase Headley’s $13 million for ’18 as well — to have plenty of remaining money to go after Cobb. Instead, they let the Stanton stars get in their eyes."

Gee, but what if Alex Cobb gets a quad strain? Should the Yankees take that kind of risk?

Cobb is 29 years old, has 48 career wins, and has never been on the DL, because he is immortal and omnipotent. Not a baseball player, really. More like an indestructible character from a M. Night Shyamalan movie.


"Nor could Yankee fans care less about four years from now. For them, it’s already a Merry Christmas with giddy visions for a Happy New Year. No longer are the Yankees those lovable over-achieving kids. Overnight they’ve been transformed back to Beasts of the East. For everyone in Yankeeland’s sake, especially Aaron Boone, they better win next year. Because the euphoria over this trade is almost guaranteed to have a short shelf life."


Madden may be looking for a tiresome narrative to chug-a-lug his columns for the next ten years, but fans want their freaking team to win a lot of freaking games.

Madden's entire argument is a fake. If the Yankees don't win the World Series right away ... and if Stanton isn't pumping 50 HRs per year in his late 30s ... then this acquisition will be designated a failure.

You haven't seen anything yet. Wait until the Yankees add Machado and Harper ... and who knows? ... maybe even HOF candidate Alex Cobb.










Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lupica blows the layup.

You know he waited his whole life to write this column and, I dunno. Maybe he was distracted:

"So the Yankees are back in the big business of being the Yankees again, bigger than ever, now that they are making this kind of big deal for Giancarlo Stanton."

"Bigger than ever."


"Once, almost a hundred years ago, they got Babe Ruth here from Boston, and Ruth would eventually hit 60 home runs in a season, and first make the Yankees the Yankees and put them on the top of the world."

Oh, yeah.

Ruth, Gehrig, Murderer's Row.

I forgot about those Yankees one sentence ago when I wrote that the 2018 Yankees are "bigger than ever."


"Stanton hit 59 for the Marlins last season, and chased 60 all the way to the last at-bat he will ever have for the Marlins. Now Stanton is supposed to put the Yankees back on top of the world."

"Supposed to."

Only if he can survive the barbs of Daily News columnists.


"Now we all wait to see if putting Stanton with Aaron Judge will work out better for the Yankees than putting Alex Rodriguez, and all of his home runs, with Jeter himself once did."

Framing ARod's Yankees career as a failure? Mike Lupica?


"They figure they can find enough pitching to make this work. Maybe Stanton can pitch and hit the way Shohei Ohtani is going to for the Angels. First the Yankees wanted Ohtani. He told the Yankees he didn’t want them. Ohtani ends up on one coast, Giancarlo Stanton ends up on 161st St."

Maybe Stanton can pitch and hit? Well, no, but it was a seamless segue into Ohtani. 



"There really have only been three other star, home run plays like this in all of Yankee history:
Ruth.

Reggie.

Rodriguez."

And a dozen others off the top of my head.


"Only for all the hitting the Yankees did this season, they couldn’t hit once the ALCS went back to Minute Maid Park."

You win some, you lose some.


"They stopped hitting in the ’03 World Series a few months before they brought A-Rod, who had hit 50 home runs twice in Texas, to town."

"... who had hit 50 home runs twice in Texas, to town."


 "Now they are bringing Giancarlo Stanton and his 59 to town."

Yes, we know.


"They are the Yankees. At the end of October they came up small. Now they go for a real big home run hitter."

Riiiight.


"And hope it works out better with him over the next 10 years than it did when the big deal in the big town was A-Rod."

Phfffft.

That's all you've got?








Saturday, December 09, 2017

As far as I know, Stanton is not particularly unpopular or unlikable.

But I know for sure that "lovable losers" is a very overrated brand. Give me "unlovable winners" every time.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Maybe he's truly once-in-a-lifetime player ... I will believe it when I see it.

Surely an unusual and exciting player. I would be shocked if he's the Angels' ace or a .300 hitter. Go ahead and prove me wrong and it will be exciting for MLB.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

I can't follow the logic here.


I still think Girardi got a raw deal simply because Cashman didn't like him:

"Essentially the Yankees felt Sanchez performed better behind the plate when first called to the majors in 2016, in no small part because he had been drilled regularly in the minors by former organizational catching instructor Josh Paul, especially in blocking balls in the dirt.

Paul used a pitching machine to pump high-velocity fastballs, as well as breaking balls, in the dirt at Sanchez, and the Yankees believe it made a difference in what is the young catcher's biggest weakness.

However, sources say that Sanchez grew tired of doing the drills and expressed that to Girardi going into last season. The manager, perhaps wanting to keep his young catcher happy or simply avoid a conflict, told him he didn't have to do all the extra work.

That may that led to more problems with passed balls, as Sanchez's total of 16 was the highest the American League."

Sanchez's defense is a problem. Practice and effort would help. If Boone can get Sanchez to resume these drills, I'd be pleasantly surprised.

But ... this is seriously the reason why Girardi is no longer the Yankees' manager?

Practice?






Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lupica and Costas, a two-fer.

"And while we’re on the subject of false narratives, how about the one that you hear at this time of year around baseball, equating amphetamine use out of baseball’s past with steroids, as if both of them are exactly the same.

Well, yeah, just not on this planet.

Here’s what Bob Costas said on this subject the other day:"

They're not exactly the same, but they're similar in the following way: Both are illegal performance-enhancing substances.


" 'Steroids are performance enhancers. Amphetamines are performance enablers…(Amphetamines) do not, and did not, transform them, as steroids did.' "

Correct.

Amphetamines are not as effective as steroids.

If you look up "enhance" in the thesaurus, you will see "enable." You're just letting guys off the hook because they played in the '70s and you like them.


" 'That doesn’t mean they should not have been banned. One effect has been that older players on the back end of lucrative long term deals, can’t play 150 games anymore, or be as generally effective as the season and seasons roll on. So, along with the ban on PEDS, and emphasis on analytics, it has changed contract calculations. All reasonable. But not at all reasonable to remotely equate amphetamines to steroids.' "

It’s not.

Costas is right."

If a baseball player took amphetamines without a prescription, then that baseball player was cheating.

Amphetamines "enable" superior baseball performance, just like steroids, only less effectively than steroids.


"You want to defend the right of steroid users to get into the Hall of Fame, have at it."

"The right" to get into the Hall of Fame, as if this was a matter for the Supreme Court.

Besides, we all know steroid users have already been voted into the Hall of Fame.

Unless you're intentionally burying your head in the sand. Why would a baseball fan, baseball journalist, or voting member of the BBWAA want to intentionally bury their heads in the sand?


"But if you want Bonds and Clemens in Cooperstown, you’ve got to bring a lot more to your side of the debate than greenies."

Easy.

Bonds and Clemens were among the greatest players in baseball history before they took steroids.


Friday, November 24, 2017

No one cares if you throw away your ballot ...

... But I actually agree with the arguments here.