"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Back to the Future


Eh, it came out in ’85, and that’s how many wins the Yankees end the 2013 with. So, I’m not clever, I know, I know.

It wasn’t easy today, hell, the game went to the 14th inning tied 1-1. But then the Yanks scored four runs and won, 5-1.

A rough season for our boys but in some ways an admirable one. They showed fight and perhaps the blame should be laid on the front office and not on efforts of the players or their manager. We also got say goodbye to our man Mariano who went out on top. How many great players get to say that?

I know some fans dig the off-season almost as much as the games and this winter will bring lots of change so the Hot Stove should be entertaining.

This is the 11th season of following the Yankees here at the Banter. Man, this year has been as fun as ever, at least for me. I don’t concentrate as much on the Yanks or baseball as I once did but in this space they still get plenty of burn and I’m grateful for all of the regulars–and semi-regulars–who drop by, whether you are part of the commenters or not. Thanks for continuing to make this a pleasure.

And, as always, I ain’t going anywhere. The shop will be open for the playoffs and beyond.

This ain’t football, y’all, we do this every day.

Love ya,


Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Yankees

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1 thelarmis   ~  Sep 29, 2013 8:12 pm

I've been following the Banter since back in the All-Baseball days. So, 10 or all 11 years, I would guess. So glad it's still fun for you! I consider this place my online "home" and some of the commenters my online "family". I'll be around these parts all offseason, also...

Love you too, AB!
--thelarmis j. younkin

2 TheGreenMan   ~  Sep 29, 2013 8:55 pm

Over the years, this site has gone from one of my favorite NYY sites to one of my favorite sites in general. Lotsa great content from all over the place. Thanks, Alex!

PS - I think this off-season is going to be intriguing. If A-Rod's suspension holds up and Cano signs elsewhere (LAD), then the Yank's will have payroll commitments of around $70 million for 2014 with another $23 million or so for their arbitration eligible players. That leave plenty of room for them to make a big splash in the FA market AND stay under their payroll target of $189 million. Brian McCann (most think he will go to BOS), Shin-Soo Choo, maybe Carlos Beltran or even Jose Dariel Abreu for DH. Some interesting pitchers as well. Not a great market, but they certainly could bee players. I'd love to see them go after Choo hard. He'd be a great RF/leadoff option for this team. A big question is what they will do at 3B. The FA market and their minor-league options aren't great. Will SD be more amenable to trading Headley than they were last year? Or would the constantly-rebuilding Mariners consider offers for Kyle Seager? Would WAS trade the big ocntract of Ryan Zimmerman and slide Anthony Rendon over to the hot corner? Is he even healthy enough for the Yanks to consider him? Should be exciting. As long as it is somebody other than Nunez...

3 TheGreenMan   ~  Sep 29, 2013 9:03 pm

Or do we even dare suggest that Captain Jeter moves over to 3B next year and the Yanks sign Brendan Ryan or someone else to play SS? Hmm...

4 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Sep 29, 2013 9:07 pm

Thanx Alex and crew for my first stop of the day all year round.

12 games off the division lead? Resigned to that a while ago.

6 games off a playoff spot? Scab is already forming.

2 games off my March 31 prediction of 87 wins? Dammit guys.


Let's light that stove.

5 Ara Just Fair   ~  Sep 29, 2013 10:03 pm

Go Pirates! And bring on the Hockey season. : ) Thanks to AB and the gang for providing a neat place to celebrate and commiserate. Cheers, all.

6 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 29, 2013 10:07 pm

This actually has been a strange, unpredictable season. There was a lot of hating before the season started, predicting the team would finish dead last (suck it, E@#$!), and I was not positive either, but damned if they surprised a lot of people staying in the fight for as long as they did, which is commendable under the circumstances.

That said, I'd say A LOT of the blame goes to the front office. I don't have access to information that would allow me to fairly assess the scouting and development for the minors or the pro scouting that found the current roster fit to contend, but I think it's fair to say there's alotta 'splaining to do.

And before I go, let me say this: why is there some general consensus among the media that the fans will not stand for rebuilding, that the fans always demand winning teams or they will burn the stadium to the ground or something? I think that is the stupidest, laziest argument for assuming why the Yanks spend and not develop. Perhaps is because they forgot how to spend money in the right places, and we're getting tired of waiting for them to figure it out? That's a reason to get heated as a Yankees fan, NOT that we don't want to wait out a rebuild. We waited a good five or so years for the Yankees to rebuild in the 90's and that garnered us four rings in 19 years, two of those years being the only times the Yanks DIDN'T make the playoffs. Imagine if the Yanks became good at developing again? We can, even if the media can't.

7 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Sep 29, 2013 11:30 pm

This season was interesting. Injuries, scrubs keeping the team afloat, a few days of Vern, a few days of Plonk, a day of Youk, Ichiro with a few moments, The Arod tragedy and a little turn of my sympathies, Iron clad bullpen for a few months, Cano carrying the team, but not enough, Gritner being a steady presence (but the swiftest not so good base runner there is), Fonzie coming back to life in the Bronx, months of greatness from Kuroda, a month or two of greatness from Nova, steady Andy and goodbye, CC not so much an ace, Hughes frustrates, suicide watch for Joba, D-Rob the next? And the farewell to zen master and G.O.A.T the Mo of Mos. The new dynasty starts to rise next year. I get the feeling that the little Steins might be selling the team soon, I hope it isn't to Murdoch and Fox.

And a big thank you to you Alex. Love the Banter for much more than Baseball.

8 The Mick536   ~  Sep 30, 2013 6:34 am

[7] I got the same feeling. Feels like Connie Mack, though they got nothing to sell, except the franchise.

Let's not use the word dynasty. Not a lot of Titles. Just a lot of playoffs.

They exceeded my expectations by a lot. Predicted a 1965 w/l record. Not close, though I haven't looked much at the opposition, except for the Sox, who have a solid team. Season slogged on until they folded at the end. And folded they did, until reaching Houston. Usually they build teams for September and October.

NYT said today Joe could mold a team. He had trouble before with a similar task, but he's older and wiser. Not attracted to his staccato voice and angular face, but he always supported his guys.

Still don't believe the Yankees can do it without a farm system.

And, Alex, my friend, look forward to visiting the Banter everyday.

9 BobbyB   ~  Sep 30, 2013 7:03 am

Another great year on Bronxbanter, not such a great year for the Yankees. I predicted the whole division to be 81-81 so the division as a whole still was better than the other divisions, The hated RedSox really played well, and our Yankees played extremely well considering the avalanche of injuries. I want to thank everyone who posted. I read the Blog every single day. Since I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety, you have no idea what being part of a group means to someone like me. Looking forward to Hot Stove time and an interesting winter. Change is in the air. Hoping for a resurgence nest year.

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 30, 2013 7:24 am

Thanks for making this such a great place to visit, Alex.
Your work is much appreciated.
In fact, I tried a Taster's Cherce recipee this weekend - the one you recently posted for a pepper-cuccumber slaw. It was terrific! We did it without the feta because feta's not my thing, but it came out great.
My wife and kids thought it was pretty funny that I got a recipee at a Yankees blog, but I've explained to them that it's a lot more than that.
Thanks again, dude.

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 30, 2013 7:38 am

as fer the 2013 Yanks, may they rest in peace, I enjoyed this weird year. 85 wins is respectable given the injuries, and inexplicable inconsistencies they endured. Saying goodbye to Mo and watching CC struggle were definitley the hardest parts of 2013.

6) I'm with you, Chyll, re: the rebuilding. It's going to take time, patience, and a good deal of trial and error to make the Yankees great again. We can't expect the next crop of core players to pop out of the farm system overnight. All of us here are in it for the long haul.

12 RIYank   ~  Sep 30, 2013 7:47 am

I couldn't hang out here for the last few games, just couldn't take it. But, the ending was okay by me. So long to Andy and Mo -- I wish their last games could have been meaningful ones, but they had plenty of those to remember.
The off-season is going to be a circus.

Thanks, AB, for all the sanity!

13 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 30, 2013 8:42 am

10) Nice! I wish I liked Feta too, because people use it so often in salads but it just isn't my thing. I did try the Korean BBQ recipe I linked to last week. I didn't make the kimchi, just the beef and the cucumber pickle and it was really tasty.

14 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Sep 30, 2013 9:27 am

[8] The angular face - that's funny - I have my ups and downs with Joe, but even when I'm most frustrated with him I feel he looks the part of a manager, with that lean tension and grey bristle.

He's the manager I can most easily imagine (visually, now) transported back to a dugout in the 1930s.

15 rbj   ~  Sep 30, 2013 9:31 am

Dynasties end not with a bang, but with a fadeout (well, usually, unless your an Austrian Hapsburg.) We have just witnessed the end of the current Yankees' dynasty. "Core Four" now reduced to a one, who's got a bum ankle and an old body. Third base is a question mark on and off the field. Cano is up in the air. First base, a new normal of lowered expectations. The outfield is, aside from Gardner, a sea of uncertainty. Same at catcher. We've got an ace who's no longer an ace, but there are some potential emerging bright spots in the rotation. The bullpen is what bullpens are: varied from month to month and year to year. Only now we are Linus without the security blanket.

You can't reload a dynasty on the fly. The last 20 years have been fun, but dynasties come at a cost and now the bill is due: old stars past their prime and a barren farm system with a need to reset the payroll. I don't expect much for the next few years. I'll still be here and watch the games because I love the sport and the Yankees -- have been since I was 4 in 1969. Rooting for the Yankees is what I do.

Hey, we survived the 1980s.

16 Joey Blue Eyes   ~  Sep 30, 2013 9:34 am

I don't participate in the banter much, but I love the reads, links and the dialogue. It's one of the few sites I look at every single day.
Thanks, Alex.

17 knuckles   ~  Sep 30, 2013 9:43 am

Alex and Co.
Thanks again for making this the best spot to follow the Yanks.
It's always fun.

18 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 30, 2013 10:19 am

Thanks to Alex and the Bantereros for a great season.

I have a gut feeling the Yanks punt the 189 decision all the way to the moon and get right back into the mix next year. But whatever, it will be fun to chat about regardless.

I sure hope the Pirates win on Tuesday, as we're going to follow them tightly as far as they go.

19 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Sep 30, 2013 11:07 am

First, Alex: you bring sanity, amusement, fun, insight, and cleverness. May you continue to feel happy with the Banter far into the future!

Second, this year: Hate to admit it, but I predicted that the Yanks would end up in 4th, at 85 wins. It was actually a season which defied the expectations for a mediocre team. They were entertaining at times, frustrating as hell at other times, but interesting almost always. The drama!

Third: next year. Anybody who "knows" is nuts. A*Rod may be gone for 100 games or the season; the Captain might be able to come back, but could also be a DH, play 3rd, or decide to hang 'em up. CC might bounce back (or not). A 10 year deal for Cano is crazy (see how well they are working around MLB?). Will Tex come back (and stay healthy) and will he be a net plus with the bat? Is Nova a real #2 or #3? Meanwhile Boston should be as good as this year, the Rays always seem to be getting better, and the O's are better than their record shows.

Fourth: Rebuild. It's not a dirty word. I've watched my local team (the Nats) do it correctly (okay, maybe not so good this year) and it's a 3-5 year process. Seems to be the time to try in New York, now that we’re staring at a “core zero.” And yes, I remember ’65.

Finally: The Banter is so much more than baseball, and Alex has opened me up to so much, for which I will always be grateful. Looking forward to a great hot stove season, spiced by art, great reading, recipes, and comments of the faithful contributors to these discussions.

20 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 30, 2013 11:39 am

thanks for another fun year gang! All in all, with everything that went horribly wrong from Game 1 of last year's ALCS through this season...85 wins is fairly admirable. There's plenty of blame to go around, but to me very little of it falls on the field or the dugout. The guys in uniform played the hand they were dealt about as well as anyone can possibly be expected to play it. For that, I take a certain level of satisfaction.

21 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Sep 30, 2013 8:04 pm

BxBanter: Simply The Best! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLc88eGLwPs

22 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Sep 30, 2013 9:28 pm

I haven't been around as much as in the past but I still check in all the time, even if I don't post. You guys are the greatest. Thanks, Alex, as always.

And I don't know how I'll ever stand to watch the ninth inning ever again. How will we bear it?

I mean, I know I sort of resented Tino (through no fault of his own, of course) for not being Mattingly, but this is a whole other level.

Can the team just maybe not have a closer? Just throw random guys out there to pitch the eighth and ninth or something? Maybe by coin toss?

I was 23 when Mo's career began and now I'm 40. Leaving aside his greatness, he's all we've known for 17 fucking years. They might as well go ahead and adopt Oakland A's style zoot suits while they're at it. Just retire the pinstripes altogether. Or maybe turn third base into the mound and the mound into third base.

God help us.

23 edoubletrouble   ~  Oct 1, 2013 12:31 pm

Big ups to the Bronx Banter community and Al Belt. Glad we're all still enjoying. Looking forward to more.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver