Our guy, Oscar has passed away. Sad new.
Head on over to Don Van Natta’s Sunday Long Read (co-run by Jacob Feldman) and check out my long oral history of Inside Sports. Spent a few years putting this sucker together. Plenty of baseball stuff in there. Enjoy!
Back in the mid-’70s through the early ’80s, magazine editor John A. Walsh was the ringleader of the A-Z Bar tour, which is exactly what it sounds like, a bar crawl that ran the gamut of watering holes from A to Z. It began in San Francisco (Walsh was briefly the managing editor at Rolling Stone), moved to Washington D.C. (where he worked as an editor at the Post’s fabled Style section) and eventually landed in New York (Walsh was the original editor of Inside Sports).
Thought you might appreciate the rules n regulations:
[Photo Via: John A. Walsh]
Hot Stove my eye. Well, at least there’s football…Oh, Hell, I can’t even type that without scoffing to myself.
That said, the Vikings win last week was some kind of fun, right? And if the Jaguars find a way to beat the Patriots today, that will be just fine, too.
Meanwhile, it’s been reading, movies, TV-show streaming, reading, and NBA action for me the past month or so, which is all well and good for hibernation, but once our boys hit spring training things will perk up, nu?
Sooo… how ’bout that weather?
Indeed, it’s been an effort this winter to stay warm and in a cheery mood, not that Cashman and the Yanks haven’t tried to help. After all, snatching up a reigning MVP entering his prime from one league and pairing him with a homegrown runner-up MVP who also happens to be the unequivocal Rookie of the Year and still a couple years away from his prime (hopefully) has to qualify as a heat-seeking missile maneuver to say the least. Re-signing C.C. seems like posturing after the Mother Of All Dunks (hey, they ain’t called the Bronx Bombers for nothing…). Yet even with that, the ripples of time have dissipated far and long enough enough for us to see that this off-season has been in relative stasis; the iguanas falling out of the trees are frozen in expectation of better conditions to act within their nature.
So what are we waiting for?
I guess we’re still waiting on that market, huh? Yunnow, the one that seems to be getting busy later and later in the off-season these past few years? I dunno, with what amounts to a soft-cap looming over the proceedings and a new generation of smart shoppers analyzing everything with modified Hubble telescopes and probability vector algorithms, the Hot Stove has been as interesting as watching flies fiduciary-fiduciary-fiduciary… you get the picture.
To be honest, I’m quite pleased with the relative “restraint” the Yanks have shown in this and the last few seasons; Ellsbury notwithstanding. They’ve figured out how to add and subtract big contracts and farm pieces without putting too much pressure on their bottom line, but obviously the major factor in this formula working is the fact that their prospects are mostly living up to their rankings when they hit the big stage, which creates more capital to pull off a big trade such as Ultron for Rikki Tikki Tavi and two diamond pinkie rings. And so far, what they haven’t done has given them credibility going forward; not trading for Gerritt Cole, who not long ago gave us all the impression that he never wanted to be a Yankee to begin with to me makes up for the pre-dynasty years wasted on Jack McDowell. Now if they can only avoid making a long-term regret with Yu Darvish… I like Darvish and our old Toaster fam Mike Plugh was not wrong about him, but I also like that he purportedly skipped a ridiculously Ellsburyish offer with a 48-hr deadline, which probably means if he does sign with the Yanks, it’ll be for significantly less ducats. As is, the Yanks can live somewhere around $25-30 million under the luxury tax line without him.
So as presently constructed, what do you think we can expect from this influx of power and youth? Is it safe to consider the roster a go heading into February, or are we waiting for the fire to heat up now that certain teams are starting to make a few moves? Is Gleyber a lock at second or does Cashman want to let him warm up in SWB coming off an injury and all… is Miguel Andujar the answer at third or is Todd Fraizer going to slide in under the budget line somehow? Does Jacoby break with the team going north and turn in a Headleyesque barnburner of an April-May that gets him some admirers from far-flung contenders? Will Hicks continue to build on what the Twins didn’t have the patience for? Can Gardy… wait, do we still have to do the stupid “name-y” thing now that Joe’s gone? And who’s going to be our Achilles’ Heel bench guy who had one good season and is signed to keep the lineup human THIS year?
Oh yeah, and is Aaron Freakin’ Boone gonna do it or what? Will our new Ulysses prove Cashman to be the brilliant Texas Hold-Em Pragmatic Genius that we hope he is at this point, or will Cashman be forced to do a Dan Jennings The Elder and take over halfway through May? What’s it gonna be, Bob Brenly or Bucky Dent?