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Caps for Sale

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Chris Sale to Boston and the Sox just got tougher.

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Let’s Make a Dope Deal

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I used to work for a guy who said real Yankees unbutton the top button of their jersey cause that’s what the Mick did. Always think of that when I see Matt Holliday who often has the top few buttons of his jersey undone. As the Winter Meetings kick off news is the Yanks have signed the big fella. He’ll look good in pinstripes. Now, here is hoping the Yanks steer clear of Encarnacion.

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Go Fish, Gin Rummy, Five Card Stud & Other Games The Yanks Apparently Aren’t Playing This Offseason

peanuts-5So far, there’s been relatively little of seriousness to discuss this off-season, which is par for the course these days around this portion of the year (unless you consider cashing in Brian McCann and his post-trade thoughts for a couple of futures worthy of going ballistic in the comments section). As I (meaning me) have suggested recently, it would be surprising if the Yanks made any tectonic-scale moves to bolster (replenish?) their starters in either the batting lineup or the pitching staff, but don’t be surprised if they swap out some guys for bullpen help or to shore up their bench. In fact, considering how well 2009 went regardless of our initial beliefs, anything’s still possible, so save that thought.

According to Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors (who apply their own accord on this to George A. King III), Yanks are in on our old pal Aroldis Chapman, though they are considerably wary of going five years with him. Similarly, but to a lesser extent, they are also interested in the hard-hitting Edwin Encarnacion, but are equally uninterested in a five-year deal with him. Both would represent considerably improvements in their area of expertise, though their need for Chapman outweighs their need for Encarnacion based on the presence of Gary Sanchez and (again) to a lesser extent the expectations placed on both Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. To this, we also add the possibility of the Yanks bringing back Carlos Beltran, though they might not get that chance either if they are trying to stay within their given budget parameters.

I would think that considerable attention should be paid to third base, where Chase Headley has been somewhat of a letdown and where the Yanks are considerably thin in their system having traded their former Trenton Thunder 3B Eric Jaigalo (their first pick overall in 2013 and by all accounts their closest-to-ready 3B prospect for the majors, even if he wasn’t really that close) and three others to bring in Chapman last off-season. Among their top ten prospects, none are slated to play third, which along with second has been a perennially overlooked issue with the Yanks of late. Maybe Cashman believes one of their infield prospects will take to the hot corner well enough to cover this seeming oversight, maybe he thinks Starlin Castro or Lil’ Ronnie Torreyes or a player to be discovered later will be good enough, or maybe he even thinks Headley can only go up from here. Perhaps, even, the Yanks can’t afford to go deep on any more starting infielders without trading for one that would ultimately upset the balance he’s creating with all of the prospects he’s stacking in the system at the moment (or because of, you know, the budget). Who really knows? As fans, all we can do is react and speculate, and I’m all out of Big League Chew

So here we are, waiting to see if Cashman can figure out a way to bring back the best closer currently playing in the majors (who you still might be a little wary of considering how he was used by manager Joe Torr–err, Maddon during the post-season) without breaking the bank or the system or future plans in the process, and also hope that while you know in the back of your mind there’s not much hope for contention in the coming year, they can at least make it interesting for far longer than they did this past season.

Ahem, take your time processing all that, it looks like it’s gonna be a long winter at any rate.

What’s Happening?

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The baseball season came and went with the Banter largely asleep at the wheel. I’ve been so busy doing other things I’m afraid the posting has been sporadic at best. That said, I am still so honored that you folks continue to drop by—it means a ton. And I have no plans of shutting anything down around here no matter how quiet it’s been.

Over at Esquire Classic, check out Q&A’s with John Edgar Wideman, Robert Benton, and Edward Sorel. I really like how they came out. Such interesting guys. Also, check out Sally Kempton’s 1970 profile of Dustin Hoffman, Garry Wills’s 1969 portrait of Richard Nixon, and Federico Fellini’s 1963 remembrance of Vita Veneto, Rome, and La Dolce Vita. Fun, fun, funski.

In the meantime, hope you all are doing well.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Dyin’ Time’s Here

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Tonight gives Game 7 and it’s like this: If you are an Indians fan you know, you just know, deep in your bones, that no matter how likable your team is, it would be just your luck to have them blow a 3-1 Whirled Serious lead to the…Cubs! of all teams. That would be just your luck. Because that is what it means to be an Indians fan.

If you are a Cubs fan you’ve got to be thinking that no matter how great your team is, how much fun this year has been, and how promising the future looks, you know they are going to lose. Who else would come back all the way from down 3-1 only to blow it in Game 7 and rip everyone’s heart out? Because that’s what it means to be a Cubs fan.

The loser’s loser persona gets calcified either way. Fortunately, at least one long-suffering fan base will be happy tonight.

Never mind the gloom:

Let’s Go Base-ball!

No Pressure

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The Whirled Serious moves back to Cleveland. Indians can win it all tonight, while the Cubs try to force a deciding game.

What we live for.

Never mind the nerves:

Let’s Go Base-ball!

Picture by Bags.

The Whirled Serious

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Cubs vs. Indians. Dream match-up. Hope it goes seven.

Let’s Go Base-ball!

Picture by Bags 

Don’t Know Much About History

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So here we are. The Chicago Cubs are on the verge of going to the Whirled Serious for the first time since 1945. The Dodgers have their ace Clayton Kershaw on the hill. I’m pulling for Kershaw to have a great game. If the Cubs comeback against the bullpen, okay, fine., but I’d like to see the Dodgers win tonight and then the Cubbies take it in Game 7.

Worse case, Cubs win tonight and go to the Serious. I can’t be mad at that. There’s Alex Ciepley, our old All-Baseball/Toaster pal, to think of, as well as a whole bunch of other Cub fans I know and love. Then again, there’s Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Weisman—who now works for the team—to consider. And my pal John Schulian. We’re talking about two of the all-time great mensches—Dodger guys.

I’ll be thrilled for someone, bummed for someone else. So it goes.

Let’s Base-ball!

Picture by Bags

Where We Stand

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Continuing a season-long tradition of napping on the job, the playoffs are cruising along with or without comment from these quarters.

Doesn’t mean we haven’t been watching…

So far so good in the AL as the Indians are up 3-0 against Toronto, proving again that nobody knows nuthin’ about nuthin’. Injuries? Bah. And the Dodgers would agree. The National League Championship Series is more exciting and I hope it is a long series (I’m pulling for the Cubs but I would be far from displeased should Los Doyers win).

So long as the Red Sox and Blue Jays go home unhappy, we happy. And that’s how it goes when you are a sore loser.

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In the Mix

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With the exception of the Big Bad Blue Jays tearing through the Rangers, I approve of pretty much everything that has gone down in the playoffs so far. Sure, I didn’t want the Mets to lose but I’d like to see the Cubs and Indians in the Whirled Serious anyway so that was okay. Seeing the Sox go out in three straight is about as sweet as it gets. Ortiz standing there with the bat on his shoulder in his final home at bat, not even able to get anything worth have a shit to swing at, goodbye forever, please never come back you very much. Good riddance Cookie.

Loved the Cubs beating the Giants and the Dodgers-Nats series has been fun. I thought Kershaw was terrific yesterday. His final line wasn’t sparkling but he showed a lot of smarts and even more guts. Watching him in the seventh, when he broke off an unfair breaking pitch, I thought—this guy is an artist. And yeah, it ended on a down note, but Kershaw vs. Harper was great entertainment and Harper put together an incredibly tough AB.

Game Five tomorrow. Let’s Go Base-ball.

Picture by Bags.

Let’s Go Mets

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Yeah, I said it. For one, I’ve liked rooting for this Mets team. Two, I am sick and tired of the Giants. Fug ‘em.

So there it is. A rare occasion around these parts, when I’d really like to see Los Mets win.

Never mind Bumgarner:

Let’s Go Mets! Let’s Go Mets! Let’s Go Mets!

Drawing by Walt Simonson

Next Up

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Yeah, so our boys don’t have a role in the postseason production but that’s not gonna keep us from watching.

I prefer the O’s to the Jays. Then again, a Toronto—Texas rematch does sound tasty.

Never mind the waving white towels:

Let’s Go Base-ball!

Picture by Bags

The Last Game of the Season

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Tex says goodbye.

Never mind the hankies:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

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Whatcha Got Left?

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Gray and rainy in the Bronx as the Yanks season comes to a close.

Only two more games guys.

Never mind the gloom:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

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The Final Weekend

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And now, the end is near.

Never mind the playoffs:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

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The Last Gulp

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David “Cookie Monster” Ortiz has been kicking Yankee ass almost as long as this blog has been alive. He’s an all-time great Yankee-killer and I will not miss him at all.

C.C.’s on the hill looking for some love from his offense.

Never mind the calendar:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Signifying Nothing (but a Smile)

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

A friend of mine who roots for the Sox loves to hate Mark Teixeira. So, this friend was happy last night because the Sox clinched the AL East when he Orioles beat the Blue Jays. But he got a little irritated I’m sure when Teixeira hit a grand slam home run in the 9th inning to give the Yankees the win. I’m sure the annoyance was momentary and then he went to sleep happy.

But for Teixeria, who has only 3 games left in his career, I’m sure it felt good. And we’ll take it where we can get it, right?

What’s funny is that the Yankees celebrated like all teams celebrate a “walk-off” win—as if they’d won the pennant. There is no building up to the big celebration these days, is there? Ha. I’m an old man.

[Photo Credit: EPA/Jason Szenes] 

Sunrise, Sunset

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Cool and breezy.

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Fumbledore

imageLosing your engagement ring in front of how many thousands of  fans at a baseball game… Then finding it again hours later and proposing, only for her to say “Let me think about it; you’re kind of a loser…” Well, that last part didn’t happen as far as I know (though technically it would be true if she did say it), but does summarize the 2016 Yanks and the relationship with its fan base this season, no? At any rate, if the kids play again tonight, expect them to bring some Wu tonight, because BlowSux…

Can You Describe the Ruckus?

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Between the Marlins tribute to Jose Fernandez and that other televised event (which need not be named), I missed most of the Yankee game last night, especially the ruckus. Well, nice to see the Yanks stage a 5-run rally in the 9th and then hang on—by the skin of their teeth—to win it and irritate the Jays.

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