Friday, July 01, 2016

A guy who's rooting for the cable company.

Rule of thumb for life: If you're on the cable company's side, you're on the wrong side:

"Then there’s the on-field product. It’s terribly inconsistent, at times unwatchable. It’s hard on even the most loyal pinstriped eyeballs to sit through three innings, let alone nine. And it’s even harder to imagine Joe Girardi’s crew finding a path to the postseason. When the main focus is on the buying and selling angle, or if even making it to the one-game wild-card playoff is worth it, you’ve got problems."

They're a .500 team in the playoff hunt.

Comcast subscribers missed a couple of exciting games the past couple of days.


"Compounding all this is a team lacking sizzle or a must-see player. The closest the Yankees have in that respect is a faded Alex Rodriguez, whose DH role has been reduced. And it’s not like the Yankees are banging the drums to market his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs."

I don't know what a must-see player is. I guess I agree the Yankees don't have one. I also don't care about the pursuit of 714 HRs.

The Yankees' bullpen is exciting to watch. Didi is starting to put up some productive numbers for a shortstop. I'm intrigued by the young players. So even if they're not mush-see, I still try my best to see. I'm a Yankee fan, so that's probably why.

In any case, they're a .500 team in the playoff hunt.

Comcast subscribers missed a couple of exciting games the past couple of days.


"That’s why the second half of the season will be so important for the Yankees. Short of turning things around on the field, the organization must convince its fan base a change is going to come. That there is hope for the future.

For if they can’t even convince their own fans, they won’t be able to convince a cable operator whose only interest is cutting a favorable deal."

Oh.

That's why the Yankees should try to win more baseball games.


By the way, the YES Network is on Sling TV.

If the Yankees surge in the second half, Yankee fans should simply cut the chord.

Or just listen to Suzyn and John. Yes in-Didi.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chris Paddack!

Fernando Rodney sets the market for a potential Aroldis Chapman trade.

Get excited.

Bad team wins exciting game. Nothing more, nothing less.

I don't know why it's so important for some fans and journalists to dampen the enthusiasm of fans who simply enjoy baseball games.

It's funny how sports works. Two games ago, the rain delay disaster, one of the most disheartening losses I can remember. Followed shortly by a remarkable win.

Fans care and that's why they're called fans.

As for the 2016 season, the Yankees are a game under .500 and a few games out of the Wild Card sport. Sorry, but that's how Selig designed it. One Lebron James-inspired winning streak and they're in the playoffs.

The Yankees are also only 2 games worse than the slumping Mets. Should the Mets trade all their veterans and plan a Red Sox-esque cleansing of the palate?

Which is a strategy, by the way, that lots of teams attempt ... but it only worked for the Red Sox.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The daily buzz of acquiring players nobody has heard of.

"The Yankees and Rockies have the same record, 34-36, and you don’t hear the Rockies telling anyone they are contenders."

Are the Rockies trading away all their players?


"At the core, baseball is about hope. What is the hope with these Yankees? Their aging players can stay healthy long enough to contend for the second wild-card spot?"

At the core, baseball is about first-pitch quality strikes.


"It used to be the Yankees went into every season expecting to win the World Series. Twenty-seven times they did.

Now they are hoping they can get it together to contend for a watered-down wild card.

There is no Yankees pride in that. It’s time to build strongly for the future and stop trying to plug one leak after another with some stopgap solution that isn’t a solution."


Thanks for the helpful history lesson.

Everyone knows the 2016 Yankees aren't the 1927 Yankees and it's not relevant to the discussion.

Whining about the good ol' days doesn't provide strategic direction.

I know the problem. The problem is this weird idea that the Yankee GM/owners/manager/coaches are living in denial. Kevin Kernan is here to reveal the truth. The Yankees should concede the 2016 season and thereby set the foundation for a successful future. Nobody ever explains specifically how this will be accomplished.


"There is no shame in selling when you shame yourself with the kind of performance the Yankees produced Tuesday night, the first night of a nine-game homestand.

Cashman has two vital pieces to sell right off the top in Carlos Beltran and Aroldis Chapman. He cannot let those free agents walk away and get nothing in return like what happened with Robinson Cano and David Robertson."


Beltran and Chapman aren't worth much. Beltran is old and Chapman is a rental. Actually, I'm being redundant and it's tedious. It's so obvious that the Yankees have nothing valuable to trade, that the only hope is that the current minor leaguers turn into good major league players.


"This Yankee team would be a lot more interesting if it were sellers. The daily buzz of what young players might be acquired is a lot more interesting than this performance."


Did you hear? Did you hear? The Yankees are making a play for Joe Orsulak Jr.! The buzz is off the charts!

Hello, Ticketmaster? Ticketmaster! I got through! Do you still have tickets for Thursday afternoon's Yankee game? Phew. I'll take 2,000 for the major league debut of future Hall of Famers Jeff Duncan and Brian Rose.




Monday, June 20, 2016

That's not how things work.

I know what the Yankees ought to do ... the Yankees ought to get Manny Machado and Bryce Harper:

"The Yankees need a LeBron. That is just a start.

To get their LeBron James, they need to get younger and more talented quickly so that when the star-studded free-agent class after the 2018 season is available, they can pounce.

Bryce Harper, who is only 23, and Manny Machado, who is 23 as well, anchor that class, but the Yankees must make themselves an attractive fit for either of those superstars to show up."

Three years into the future? Why would anyone even attempt to map things three years into the future?


"They need to begin the retooling process immediately. That means starting the Great 2016 Sell-off."


Immediately?

So Manny Machado and Bryce Harper ... assuming these two humans are alive and healthy three years from now ... are not going to sign up with the Yankees unless the Yankees take immediate action?


"A month from now teams will go strong to make deals and the Yankees need to put themselves in the right trading sense of mind — from ownership on down."

Well, a month from now is not what I thought you meant by the word "immediately," but, OK. Like everyone else, you think the Yankees should be "sellers."


"Come trade deadline time, the Yankees need to trade all veteran assets and look at it as if they are trading up for the future instead of treading water. Last month it was evident this team was going nowhere, and even though they’ve played a soft schedule since, they have not made a dent in the AL East race."


For the millionth time, this is a great idea in your fantasy baseball league.

In the actual world, a lot of things have to happen before you trade your veteran assets:

1) The veteran assets with no-trade clauses have to agree.

2) You need a buyer.

3) You need a buyer who is willing to make a reasonable deal.


"The Yankees remain 40-1 odds, according to Bovada.lv, to win the World Series."

I'd put the odds at around 100-1, but let's not talk about that. Let's assume the Yankees are sunk in 2016. I have not yet seen a convincing argument that trading away everyone in six weeks is going to help lower those odds by 2018.


"Anyone who can’t help that future team who can be traded, should be traded. The good news is the Yankees have valuable assets that can help build the future — and not just Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.

The Cubs, Giants and Nationals all need help and all will be dealing and the Yankees have valuable pieces.

Carlos Beltran could make a return engagement to the Giants and could help San Francisco get that even-year championship again.

The Giants are looking for bullpen help and an outfielder, and they still love Beltran, according to sources. Beltran could best help a team as a designated hitter — that should open up the AL market for him as well, but the Giants are confident he could slide to left field to help them."

So here we go again.

The Yankees aren't getting diddly for any of these guys, OK?


"The Mets once got Zack Wheeler for Beltran — the Yankees should be so lucky. The Yankees also have a trade piece in Chase Headley, who has turned around his season."

Zack Wheeler is 18-16 in his career. Chase Headley is one of the the most overpaid players in baseball. You're undermining your own argument.


"After the 2018 season the Yankees can’t simply drop the biggest bag of money on Harper or Machado and win the day. Yes, players will almost always go for the money, there is no doubt about that, but for these Yankees it’s going to take that LeBron-like addition and more to get back to championship mode."

Let's go with this premise. The Yankees have to get younger and better in order to lure Lebron-like Harper and Machado.

You still haven't made one convincing argument that any of the current Yankee assets can be traded for good, young players.

Headley is garbage, Chapman is a rental, Beltran is 39 years old, and Miller is a great closer.

All four put together, what kind of young players are you expecting in return?


"If Harper comes along in pinstripes for the 2019 season, he is going to need plenty of help, and that’s why the Yankees have to put themselves in position now to begin to get that help.

Look at the superstar pitching talent the Nationals have in Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. It’s not just Harper — and now they need one of the two closers the Yankees have in Miller or Chapman."

Who are the Yankees getting in return???

 You can have Miller. He's on a shuttle to DC as we speak.

We'll throw in Headley, ARod, and Teixeira and we'll even pay 100% of their salaries.

I think it's sad to break up the bullpen, which is the only reason the Yankees have a surprisingly high 2.5% chance of winning the World Series, but Kevin Kernan has promised Future Machado and Future Harper, so I guess you gotta do it.

One question, though: Who are the Nationals giving up for Three Stiffs and a Closer?

Who are the Nationals trading to the Yankees that will ... how did you phrase it? ...  provide "plenty of help" for Harper and Machado?

Is the goal to give free agents a soft landing spot by clogging the roster with a bunch of utility infielders and long relievers?

If the Yankees could miraculously find future superstars by trading away their current roster, then let's do it, regardless of whether Machado and Harper are coming.

I fail to understand how trading old crummy players for young crummy players would lure future superstar free agents to join your team.






Saturday, June 18, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Numerous players from a top ten farm system ... that is as specific as I'm gonna get.

"New York owns three of the best back-end relievers -- Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. But the Yankees are 31-33, and even with a decent next two weeks against poor teams, they could be in selling mode with the trade deadline six weeks away.

It might make sense for the Yankees to leverage one of their three big bullpen pieces for a haul of young prospects, essentially punting on the 2016 season but fortifying the coming years."

Leverage! My favorite word! My favorite word that has been misused by the corporate world and is now deemed meaningless.

Replace "leverage" with "trade" ... "It might make sens for the Yankee to trade one of their three big bullpen pieces for a haul of young prospects."


OF COURSE that makes sense. I would trade ANY PLAYER on the Yankees for a "haul of young prospects" who would "fortify the coming years."

Also, it might work. I'm not saying it wouldn't work. But who are the can't-miss prospects?


"Who would they trade? It seems Chapman would be most likely. He is on a one-year deal with the Yankees and will be a free agent at the end of this year. The Yankees probably won't retain his services anyway, so flipping him now could benefit them the most. Chapman is earning $11.325 million this year, a figure that likely wouldn't scare off the high-spending Nats."

Key phrase being "free agent at the end of this year."

Therefore, even if the Nats are high-spending, how many prospects are they going to relinquish for two months of saves?

Can Chapman guarantee the Nats a Championship?

Kinda how David Price guaranteed a Championship for the Blue Jays last year?


"By several counts, the Nats have a top-10 farm system, a pool of prospects they could part with to try to win their first World Series in franchise history. Will the Yankees take the plunge? It might be time." 

Top ten out of thirty.

By several counts.


It seems like Yankee fans and observers crave a clean break because it's psychologically important for them to cut bait on a losing season. Until July 31, it isn't going to happen, anyway.

Trade Chapman, get a few low-level prospects, re-sign Chapman after the season? I guess that would be ideal.

But I wouldn't expect much for a rental closer.





Monday, June 13, 2016

I don't sense much buzz about either NY baseball team.

"But to this point in the 2016 season, the Mets have averaged a 2.95 household rating while the Yankees on YES have recorded a 2.42. The Mets have averaged 281,327 total viewers while the Yankees have attracted an average of 234,246 total eyeballs."

Conclusion once again: Nobody watches baseball during the regular season. I should say, nobody in New York watches regular season baseball. Look at these horrible TV ratings (from last year).

What was the Yankees' peak during the Torre Dynasty? Like, 4.0?


"There is no way of quantifying whether the Mets ratings have been helped by what we call 'floaters.' There are a significant number of fans who don’t have a strong allegiance to either team but wind up following the one who is winning. No doubt these front-runners have jumped off the Yankees bandwagon and now are riding with the Mets, helping to juice their TV ratings."

Then why is the Mets' rating merely 2.95?

And why is there no way of quantifying this phenomenon? You'd look at the ratings from two different time periods  and them compare those quantities.


"Yet it is worth wondering if the Comcast situation has contributed to any Yankees ratings shortfall. Comcast took YES off its local systems last November after the two parties could not reach a new carriage agreement. If Yankees fans who are part of Comcast’s 900,000 subscribers in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania still had YES would they impact the ratings on the plus side?"

Ummm ... I don't know ... would 900,000 additional potential viewers impact the ratings on the plus side?

Maybe not enough to catch the Mets, if that's important to you. But how could it not impact the ratings on the plus side? At least in terms of volume?


The Yankees are dumb. The Yankees lost Comcast at the same time they made it more difficult to purchase tickets online at the same time their team is mediocre at the same time the Mets surged to the World Series.

But there isn't much evidence of "floaters," at least not in attendance or ratings.

Naturally, the Yankees are down and the Mets are up. Just not by a lot. At least not in the regular season.




Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Jeez, don't back up the trucks quite yet.

The Yankees are a game under .500, 3.5 games out of the Wild Card.

I'm not optimistic, but can't you wait until the trading deadline before you start picking at the bones of the 2016 Yankees?


Yankee first baseman Chris Parmelee hits two HRs in a game.

During the same week, Carl Crawford is cut.

Can you connect these two seemingly unrelated occurrences, Brian Cashman?

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

I enjoy baseball. Simple as that.

"The New York Yankees are wallowing in a state of mediocrity.

While the Yankees are still a sports brand synonymous with platinum-plated success, the franchise has a good chance of registering its first losing season in 21 years. Things could miraculously turn around, but that does not seem likely.

The team in the South Bronx is old, injury prone and deadly dull."

Two games under .500 is mediocre.

A "turn around" -- whatever that means -- would not be miraculous. An 84-win second wild card is hardly out of the question.


As for dull? I have a personal story.

A buddy of mine attended Monday's game with his son. The tyke called Beltran's HR and was jumping up and down like a lunatic. It's probably an enjoyable lifetime memory.


I'm not being naive. The Yankees are dull and mediocre compared to the dynasties of recent past and distant past. Their chances of winning the World Series this year are about 1%. This is also when we find out that the so-called diehards aren't.


"DeLucia, 55, says fans need to fight back, and the only way is economical warfare.

His strategy is neatly summed up in the title of a passionate, self-published manifesto, 'Boycott The Yankees — A call to Action by a Lifelong Yankees fan.'

The Yankees, DeLucia writes, 'must stop scamming their fans who work damned hard to put food on the table, to put their kids through college, and to put a few pennies away for retirement — ordinary people who must be concerned with the bottom line every single day of their lives.' "

He is entitled to his opinion, but I am a grown man ... I shall spend my time and money how I please.

Besides, if you're having trouble feeding and educating your children? Don't go to Yankee games. Even if they're in first place.


"The site also sells merchandise like 'Respect the Fans' T-shirts (23.99) and 'Boycott the Yankees' coffee mugs ($12.99)."

 Ummm ... so boycott the Yankees so you can save pennies for retirement ... but then toss away 2,399 Retirement Pennies on a crummy tee shirt?

I'm actually a little weirded out that a newspaper gives this guy free publicity.


" 'So, it’s about organizing,' DeLucia told me. 'Let’s do something about this because the Yankees — they can’t do anything without us. They need our money. They need our cable TV subscriptions. They need us to buy their stuff. All they have to do is take care of us, and we’ll be at the stadium again.' "

Very powerful message. All of us working class stiffs refuse to be disrespected or put our economic well-being in jeopardy ... unless the team is good.

I mean, look, if you don't want to invest in a bad team -- time, money, emotion -- that's a personal decision.

For me, it's quite often still an enjoyable use of my entertainment dollar.


"DeLucia lists a number of ways the Yankees can 'right the wrongs.' These include reduction of ticket prices, monthly fan appreciation days and sending people on all-expenses paid trips to away games."

The only wrong is losing and the only way to right the wrong is to win. Can you imagine Yankee fans seriously getting psyched about a fan appreciation day? Or an all-expenses paid trip to an away game?


"DeLucia said it was no accident that his book comes just as the Yankees are experiencing a downturn. Attendance last year was the lowest since 2000, and there are noticeably empty seats this year.

Maybe the boycott is already on, confirming, if nothing else, that DeLucia is hardly a lone voice crying in the wilderness."


Attendance is down with or without this guy.

So it's not really about organizing, is it? You're just some angry dude who doesn't like to go to Yankee games anymore.










Saturday, June 04, 2016

Friday, June 03, 2016

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

I think while everyone enjoys dancing on the grave of Alex Rodriguez's career ...

... and convinces themselves that his PED use has something to do with their dislike of him, the Mets are officially the most steroids-y team in MLB.

Mejia got about one paragraph of coverage in the Daily News.

I'll trade anyone for anyone.

Except who are the Yankees getting in return?

"In some sense the Yankees are always measuring themselves against the Red Sox, which so far makes 2016 nothing short of their worst nightmare.

It’s not just because the Sox have bashed their way to the top of the AL East, leading the league in runs scored, but the way they’re doing it, led by a trio of young position players age 23, 23 and 26, bodes well for a bright future in Boston, as well as the present.

Yes, in Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox might just have the makings of a young nucleus around which they’ll win multiple championships, in the manner of Derek Jeter’s Core Four.

And though their pitching doesn’t hold as much promise, the Sox received a boost on Tuesday night from highly touted 23-year-old Eduardo Rodriguez, who returned from a season-long knee injury with a flourish against the Orioles."

Sorry, but in the era of two wild cards, the Yankees can maybe sneak in with 85 wins. Which they don't seem likely to attain, but the point is, they sure don't have to catch the Red Sox.

So then, I'll take the Yankees with Tanaka and the bullpen.

Then, it's hope for the best in October, just like if they won 110 games instead of 85.


"In short, this has been a season to forget on many levels for the Yankees, in particular because it’s hard to see them closing the gap between themselves and the Red Sox anytime soon.

All of which should make their decision to be sellers in the coming weeks easy. And while they don’t have a lot of tradeable assets, free agent-to-be Aroldis Chapman is a no-brainer, and Carlos Beltran is a proven clutch post-season hitter."

For what?

A fifth-round draft pick?

Or a couple of future superstars?

Because I would trade the whole team for two future superstars. Who's trading these players to the Yankees?


"In any case, the struggles of Judge and Severino have raised more questions about the future toward which the Yankees are pointing.

So it’s time for the Yankees to start looking to deal. It’s the only way they will close the glaring gap in young talent between themselves in the Red Sox."

OK: Yankees stink, 2016 season is shot, the young saviors are disappointing.

You still haven't explained who the Yankees are getting in return and why any team would trade useful players to the Yankees.

Beltran is old, Chapman is a rental.

The other teams have the Yankees over a barrel and they know it.

This isn't biologically feasible.

"David Ortiz is spoiling it for the rest of the 40-year-olds in baseball.

Big Papi is putting together an insane, MVP-level year for the Red Sox during his farewell season. With a .337 average, 1.146 OPS, 14 home runs and 47 RBI, Ortiz looks like a slugger 10-15 years his junior.

This isn't normal."

The rest of the article is old news: ARod stinks.

ARod won't play every day ... I agree this is probably a good move, just to keep him energetic enough to hit an occasional HR.

When you look at the other hitters in this lineup, it's not as if he's taking at-bats away from Mattingly.

As ARod slogs towards Ruth using this disastrous all-or-nothing approach that he has employed for the past 10 years or so ... the man hasn't batted .300 since 2008, steroids or not ... one may turn their attention back to the Mitchell Report and wonder exactly how Ortiz looks like an abnormal slugger 10-15 years his junior.

How a sports writer could come so close to connecting the dots without actually connecting the dots.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's not really all that perplexing.

Bill Witz details the carnage:

"Rodriguez returned Thursday after spending three weeks on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, but he is just 1 for 16 with nine strikeouts since returning. (The one hit was a booming 441-foot home run.) He is hitting .170 and was given Monday off.
Teixeira, who had spent the past five days out of the lineup with a stiff neck, was back in the lineup on Monday, but his season has been even more troubling. He has not hit a home run in 36 games and 125 at-bats, the longest droughts of his 14-year career."