Monday, August 22, 2016

Felz Stat of the Day

Current Yankee with most HRs this season?

Didi Gregorius with 17.

After 143 games, zero Yankees on the roster have 20 HRs.

Beltran still leads with 22.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The last Yankee to hit HRs in his first two games was ...

... the immortal Joe Lefebvre.

As for the next big thing, Mike Conforto is back down in the minors while Travis d'OntThrow tries to pick up the Next Big Thing slack left by Josh Thole ... and those two represent just one position on one team.

I mean, who knows? All great players and HOFers started off as young phenoms.

But when you say something like this:

"Austin, who sat out Monday's game after 3-for-8 in his first two, looks like he might be a nice player for the future, too, but Judge has the potential to be a star, maybe a guy who will bash 40-to-45 homers season after season in his prime."

You are caught up in the hype.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Early returns don't mean much.

"Aaron Judge hit another home run on Sunday. Two innings later, Gary Sanchez did the same. In the past two weeks, the Yankees have reloaded their lineup with young sluggers from the farm system, and the early returns could be hardly any better.

But there is a danger in assuming too much, too soon.

For a cautionary tale, look to the mound.

Luis Severino no longer looks like the future ace from a year ago. His command is erratic, his breaking ball is inconsistent and his changeup is nowhere to be found. The latest Yankees home runs meant nothing because Severino was knocked around in a 12-3 blowout loss to the Rays. Severino was optioned to Triple-A immediately after the game."

I hope it works. I hope the Yankees win the World Series as soon as possible.

If early returns meant anything, there would be a Kevin Maas wing in the Hall of Fame.

But I surely don't have to go back that far. David Adams and Andy Phillips would be manning the corners on the 2016 World Champs ... and the battery every night would be full of All Stars: Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Nova, Luis Severino, or Vida Nuno pitching to Jesus Montero.

As for the idea that this team is fun again, well, we'll find out if Buster Olney is anywhere to be found if the Yankees only manage to win 74 games next season.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Meet the Mets

I know everyone is preoccupied with a part-time DH hitting a fly ball to right field, but if you check the standings, the World-Series-or-Bust Mets have the same record as the Trade-Everyone Yankees.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Up-to-the-minute stat tracking as Teixeira makes a final push for the 2016 AL MVP.

Two outs and runners in scoring position

AB: 32

H: 4

BA: .125

OPS: .438

Strikeouts: 15

I imagine Greg Bird batting in Fenway with bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning.

I'll bet Bird does not strike out looking.

Point being, half the players in the lineup are as bad as ARod.

If the Yankees wanted to embarrass ARod, they could have just cut him. They didn't have to pretend they liked him.

Nobody believes you.

I think Torre's evasiveness was charming to the press, but Girardi's evasiveness is irritating.

As Seattle wins 5 in a row and gets back into the wild card race, I truly think the Yankees might have done the same thing if they had kept their team together. Will it pay off in the long run? I guess we'll see.

But, c'mon. You can't have it both ways. You can't say you think you have a chance to make the playoffs while you throw AAA players out there every day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Trying to predict the future.

Steroid users are already in the Hall of Fame and more will be voted in.

Once this is revealed, the steroid users with superior stats will be voted in.

What are you going to do with all the spare time? Read a book? May I suggest Journalism for Dummies?

I wish I could say this is the last Lupica takedown of ARod, but I somehow suspect the fever won't die so easily.

Just admit it.

Deep down, you love ARod. There's no other explanation for the amount of time you've spent thinking about him over the past 12 years.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

An alternate universe.

"Yet Teixeira is also a symbol of something else. Always ready to play, play hard, and with the old-world nobility that still appeals to the masses. And someone whom even the most ardent Yankees hater couldn’t quite get himself to hate."

I don't consider him particularly hard-nosed or noble.

But I like the fact that you're referring to him in the past tense.

"Maybe Teixeira came too late to be a minted member of the Core Four, but he surely played with their collective spirit."

Whatever that means, I think you're imagining it.

"When people parse the Yankees, and all the bad they allegedly represent, you never hear the name Teixeira as a symbol of all their sins. Simply, it’s just impossible to dislike someone who was as good, humble, and charitable as Teixeira."

I feel honored to have achieved the impossible.

"In spite of all the home runs, Gold Gloves, and All-Star games, Teixeira maintained the blue-collar ethic that defines the Big Apple."

Teixeira's exaggerated howls of pain when he dove out of the way of a low pitch do did not seem blue-collar to me.

"Despite all the money and marble of Madison Avenue, the swollen billboards and media dysfunction, New York City was built by blue collar people who still lug their lunches to work, don’t mind getting dirty, and don’t own a single pair of skinny jeans.

So despite his nine-figure contract, Teixeira kept his old-school sensibilities. Some players get to Gotham, sign for biblical money, and forget who they are and what got them here."

Sooooo ... you're saying he's white? 

Teixeira seemed to forget what got him here, by the way. What got him here was playing good baseball.

"Not Teixeira, whose handle, Tex, evokes the notion of a simple man with a simple plan. No matter the big numbers on the field and absurd numbers in his savings account, he never floated above the team, was never too big to dive for a baseball, or too important to get his pinstripes muddy."

I truly don't follow.

Other than Cano, every player dives for baseball.

Teixeira never struck me as a particularly humble guy, not that it really matters.

Or is all this just an indirect dig at ARod?

"Teixeira’s teams may have seen more success, but you’ll never get Teixeira to say he was better than Mattingly, or anyone. It’s not the way he played, the way he lived, or the way he won."

I mean ... 

"Teixeira was one of the rare players who came to New York needing little more than a tour of the locker room. He was never bothered by the lights, shaken by the media fishbowl, or intimidated by the fans."

So what happened?

Check out his clutch stats.

Maybe he wasn't intimidated by fans or media, just by the pitchers in Major League Baseball.

"Sabathia, A-Rod, and Teixeira are the last legends left from the last legendary team. So while Tex may not be the same player he was back then, he’s still the same man. So rather than notice what he means to this year’s team, perhaps we should remember what he meant to the Yankees, and what it meant to be a Yankee."

Worst free agent signing in Yankee history.

I will remember.

I wish I could forget, but I will remember.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Maybe they just don't like him and they are intentionally embarrassing him.

"For the good of everyone, the New York Yankees must make a decision on Alex Rodriguez, then announce it and move on.

They can cut him or keep him. They just need to decide. Right now."

So far, they have kept him, which is the status quo.

So they're already decided.

"They can release him today, eat his $27 million and let him find out if anyone else wants a 41-year-old DH with a .609 OPS, or they can let him ride the pine the rest of the year and let him give it another crack next spring to see if he has anything left."

I think they have decided the latter.

"What they should stop doing is trying to figure out what they think. Because they already have announced that A-Rod is not going to play much, if at all, the rest of the way, then the baseball operations people must tell Hal Steinbrenner if they think Rodriguez has anything left. If they don't, thank him for his work and let him and the franchise move on."

You seem to be imagining some internal decision-making angst which doesn't exist.

"If they think Rodriguez might be able to regain some magic next year, then announce he will be on the team the rest of the season and they will give it another go then."

Eh, don't hold your breath.

Besides, you'd have nothing to write about.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Mike Lupica spreads ignorance to a national audience.

"There were still so many times, even after the last Yankee dynasty ended in 2001 -- Game 7 against the Diamondbacks, bottom of the 9th, Luis Gonzalez dunking one over Derek Jeter's head -- when the Yankees would automatically be declared the champions of the offseason every time they signed another free agent or spent more money. They were the Yankees and there was this idea that they were smarter than everybody else because they had more money. And because, well, they were the Yankees."

The 2001 World Series?

"The funny thing is, it was losing that World Series to the D-backs -- and nearly winning it despite scoring just 14 runs -- that really made them start spending like sheikhs. Bidding against themselves that offseason, they spent nearly $120 million to go get Jason Giambi. But Giambi didn't put them back on top, so they didn't blink in early 2004 when they absorbed Alex Rodriguez's contract via a trade from the Texas Rangers. Now the left side of the infield alone, Jeter and Rodriguez, had contracts whose total value was nearly $450 million, though the Rangers were willing to pay $112 million to get out from under the rest of A-Rod's contract.

It would be five years before the Yankees won a World Series with A-Rod playing baseball for them, the only one they have won since 2000. And all they had to do that year was spend another $450 million or so on CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett."

Winning the World Series isn't easy.

"So even though the Yankees were still selling a World-Series-or-bust model to their fans every single year, and even though they never had a losing season, they were now far more likely to miss the playoffs entirely with another $200-million-plus payroll, or not make it past the first round, as they were to get near the last week of October."


It isn't easy to win the World Series.

"The Yankees have kept this thing going for an amazingly long time in the Bronx, and sold a lot of tickets at the new Yankee Stadium. Even when the 2013 and 2014 Yankees missed the postseason, they gave themselves a chance. But there has been nothing special, or remarkable, about them for a while. You know what their biggest attractions have been lately? Farewell tours for Jeter and the great Mariano Rivera. Legendary Yankees at the back ends of their contracts. You know what they might be selling now, now that Beltran is gone and the full-time DH job opens up wide? The 41-year old Rodriguez trying to get to 700 home runs, as if that number matters to anybody else except him."

I find it astonishing that Lupica thinks the 2016 Yankees are going to market ARod's chase for 700 HRs when (1) no one cares about the chase for 700 HRs, and (2) most observers think ARod is about to get cut.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I don't mind the fire sale.

I'm not even saying a closer is particularly difficult to replace. The Yankees never missed a beat with Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman.

What I dispute is the notion that this fixes everything and Yankee players should start measuring their ring fingers.

"Closer to their next title" doesn't really say much, does it? If you climb a step ladder, you're closer to the sun.

Every team in baseball and every fan in every sport would tank the 2016 season for a Championship in 2018.

We don't know yet, but the Yankees might have tanked 2016 for 77 wins in 2018 ... and these future all stars may put too much of a strain on their starters and setup men.

The psychological relief Yankee fans feel (and, universally, all Yankee columnists) is the acknowledgement that they were right about this team. But Cashman isn't stupid. Only the PR people were hyping this team. Cashman knew the whole time this team is mediocre.

As for the horror of rooting for a mediocre team with an outside chance of making the wild card, I'd advise Yankee fans to get used to it.

The damage has already been done ... look at your team's starting lineup .... and there's no easy way out ... nor should there be.

Refsnyder is my man, but he's hitting .250 with 0 HRs. I'll gladly wait through the growing pains, but it shouldn't be a shock if the Yankees just acquired 8 players who never grow into anything at all.

This is the end, beautiful friend. The end, my only friend, the end.

No Run BC

I suppose the Yankees got more for Chapman than I anticipated and less for Miller. I heard one commentator compare AA star Frazier to Mike Trout. So you'll forgive my skepticism. If Frazier's as good as the best player in baseball, then, yeah, it's a good trade regardless of the Yankees' record and regardless of who the Yankees traded.