"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave

…currently interrupted by great rain. After swapping late inning comebacks with the Rays (and uh, why, Mr. Chapman do you triple up on sliders?), yesterday’s game was rained out. More thunderstorms in the Bronx this morning but they are scheduled to play two today.

Here’s hoping they split at least.

Never mind the wailing and moaning and complaining—it’s hotter ’n’ July folks.

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Par Avion—Look, Up in the Sky

Well, that was weird and strange and annoying. If it were any other two teams I might have enjoyed the spectacle of it, the novelty. As it was, even with a healthy lead in the division race, I was so irritated by the London series that I didn’t watch either game live, instead choosing the coward/sane person way out by following on Gameday, DVRing the game and then half-heartedly watching later.

Yanks won both—they resembled beer league softball at its finest—and we’ll take it. Luke Voit going on the injured list is a drag for sure but not a catastrophe. Bombers come home to play a pair against Los Mets out in Queens and then they’ve got four against the Rays. Be nice to end this first half with another solid week but hiccups happen.

Never mind the jet lag:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

’Member When?

…The Yanks were the team that would come unglued? Of course, the Yanks have been an airtight ship for a longtime now. Sure, there was a little thing with Clint Frazier this year and Alex Rodriguez’s entire Yankee career was a sideshow but otherwise we are a long way from the unpleasantness—the colorfulness!—of the Bronx Zoo years. That is a distant memory now.

The Mets take care of all the drama soup to nuts these days. Jeez, what a mess.

Meanwhile, our boys had a fabulous week going 6-1 against the Rays and Astros, about as good as can be expected (save the unfortunate loss of fan fav, Cameron Maybin to the IL).

Three easy-to-overlook games against the Blue Jays before the Yanks fly over to London to play a pair against the Sox this weekend in a “Let’s Play Baseball Where They Don’t Care About It” series.

Long as they keep winning series, man.

Never mind the gimmicks:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

On and On

So the past week or so hasn’t been inspired for our boys. Yanks lost a couple of series, then split a double-header with the Mets yesterday.

Funny how time passes in baseball. Doesn’t it seem as if Stanton and Judge aren’t even on the team it’s been so long since they played?

Anyhow, they got four on the south side of Chicago this weekend and then back home to face the Rays and Astros.

Meanwhile, man, what a horrible turn of events for Cookie Monster David Ortiz. Much as I loved rooting against him as a player, I hope he feels better soon. Just awful, huh?

 

Here Comes The Rain Again

Series opener with the lackluster BoSox postponed due to rain (surprise-surprise); the game will be made up as part of a day-night double header on August 3. In the meantime, why not settle in with some John Coltrane classics played by Teodross Avery to mellow the mood…  we’ll try this again tomorrow.

Rays-B-Gone

Tampa Bay comes into town for three with the Yanks, then KC and then they hit the road or something.  Oy, who wouldda thought this team was  so deep?  Cashman obviously, but even he had to likely cross his fingers…

Dem M’s

The Mariners in town for 4 games.

Keep up the gritty, gutty goodness, fellas.

Never mind the band aids:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags.

Lust in the Dust

Yanks’ stirring understudies drop in on the D’Backs for a couple games as the unprecedented number of stars continue their run on the injury list…

Taster’s Cherce

Oh-ho! Haven’t seen this for a while now, have you? However, this time it’s ol’ Chyll Will taking a ride up the kitchen isle in order to share a neat recipe that he sort-of made up while doing a little R&D in his apartment kitchen. So, while we wait for the team to start up a new series in Arizona, why don’t I give some serious consideration to an experiment gone right with some pulled pork.

 

Plan M vs A Collection Of Garbage Surrounding Mike Trout

Pretty much; the current iteration of the Yanks look to sweep against the current iteration of the Los Angeles of Southern California Somewhere In Orange County Angels of Ahhwhatever… Masahiro Tanaka goes up against Trevor Cahill or whomever, hopefully nobody gets hurt and the Yanks can go into Poopytown with their heads held high.

Couple Few

The Yanks and Sox play again tonight, the second of a weird, 2-game series.

Our old pal Nate Eovaldi is on the hill tonight as the Yankees’ M*A*S*H unit looks to hang tough.

Never mind the April chill:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Let’s Chill

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

No, that was not a pun or self-reference (it’s too obvious for one… >;)  

It’s more of a declaration or a plea.  The Yanks have been very sucky, as in inconsistent. They won the season opener the way everyone envisioned they wudduh-cudduh-shudduh with a 7-2 easy win over the lowly Orioles, then proceeded to streak like a naked drunk at old Yankee Stadium across several games, losing two of three to both the same Orioles and the wow, there’s a worse team than them Tigers. At home, no less. In front of a whole lot of impatient NYers who already don’t like that the Yanks skipped out on two young All-Stars and a potential one to complement the suddenly rickety rotation.  So naturally, they go away to home-away-from-home Camden Yards and beat the crap out of the Orioles to return the favor and then some (they swept them there, so)… but they either left their bullpen prowess at the depot or the Orioles infected them with their Orioleness because now the bullpen sucks and is infecting the some of the rotation (Paxton) and fielders (Frazier, because Gary was already like that).

So here we are on an off-day in April standing at 5-7 with almost half the starters on the injured list and the accountant I mean manager having to make pep talk for the media because God knows basically every decision he’s made lately has been betrayed him faster than ketchup at a dive bar.  It’s all his fault, of course, because he was so eager to listen to whatever Cashman told him to do, which is why he got the job in the first place, right?

Yeah, um.  Let’s stop right there, because this is panicking for panicking’s sake.  Good for headlines, but not for watching baseball.  It’s been hard for me personally to follow sports in general because of the micromanaging that analytics has wrought and will continue on until someone manages to figure out how to merge the glory days with the innovations. No more bunts or steals because they aren’t productive; now three or five blasts over a shifted infield, that’s the ticket! Yeah, fun.  But whatever, it’s here and in all sports, so I’m rolling with it better than most; particularly the kids who don’t really care for all the standing around doing nothing. And the people who are mad at players who are upset that owners only want to pay several millions as opposed to several more; of course no one says anything about the owners themselves pocketing the millions upon millions they get from TV contracts and revenue sharing, but that’s another rant for another day…

The Yanks are built to last; so to speak as they obviously can’t stay healthy long enough to dominate as envisioned.  I mean, if they had Didi, Giancarlo, C.C., Dellin. Miggy, Luis, Hicks and hell, why not Troy and Jordan Montgomery and maybe even Ben Heller and– nah, not him. But if they had at least four of these guys back and in good playing shape, it probably wouldn’t be this bad, would it? Well, that’s one thing. The players can hit when left to their own devices, and they’re talented enough to overcome some of their own missteps. Plus it’s early… 12 games does not a season make.  Yet I see people freaking out as though the team just missed the playoffs. Let me remind you all that this is not the team the Yanks intended to start with, and as I had commented during Spring Training, if they falter they pretty much have a built-in excuse: injuries, resulting in playing time for fairly unseasoned youth (just like last season!) who basically have to hold the fort until the starters come back.

Of course it’s easier said than done, but it is what it is, and we see that this team can hit. I worry more about coaching and managing missteps than about the players being able to deliver, and honestly unless they are the reason the players are getting themselves hurt, then there’s really not much to get up in arms about. One could say that Boone, for example, is not really responsible for the decisions he makes because they probably aren’t even his to begin with. The Yankees aren’t all that big on autonomy these days, after all.  But they have a helluva lot of talent and youth to spare, regardless of how much of the farm they’ve pawned off in recent seasons.  There, another good thing to bear in mind is that the Yanks are not compelled to throw their prospects at other teams right out the gate for a quick pick-me-up.  When the previously wounded return to battle, there’s likely going to be a bump in win percentage.  And if they don’t, well by that time some of their bluer chips might be primed and ready to throw some support their way. As recent highlight-reliever-making-his-Yankee-debut Joe Harvey would say, it’s gonna get real and it’s gonna be pretty dope.

I wish I had something far more compelling to console you with, but we see the same thing year in and year out.  The team stumbles out of the gate and people get all Edvard Munch paintings on you. Please chill.  There are plenty of things to be up in arms about right now, but the Yanks being sub-500 after two weeks in April is definitely not one of them.

Wait until mid-May for that…

Have Bat, Will Travel

Yanks have been a little of this, little of that so far. Gary Sanchez looks like a bum on the bases two straight games then hits three home runs. Guys are hurt, young guys are stepping in—lots of new faces.

They are down in Houston for three games starting tonight, so let’s see what they’ve got against Verlander and the Fromage Factory. The first real test of the year if you don’t count all these damn injuries.

Should be fun.

Never mind the bumps and bruises:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

What the—

After a successful opening day the Yanks got beat twice by the Orioles and ended the first series with a thud. That hollow sound reverberated even more when it was announced that the Big Guy, Mr. Stanton is headed to the injury list.

We having fun yet?

More tonight as the Bombers host the Tigers.

No better time than now, fellas:

Never mind the cobwebs:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Anything Going On Today?

Opening Day at the Stadium.

Now, that there is a beautiful sentence.

Never mind the glare—it is sunny out there:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

The Sun Will Come Out … Tomorrow

Opening Day just a day away?

On a Thursday? Go figure that. But there we have it.

Baseball is upon us.

You guys getting excited or what?

[Picture by Bags]

What’s New? (The Big Ouch)

Man, bunch of bumps and bruises for Los Yankees this spring, eh?

And Mike Trout—This Is Your Life!

Picture by Bags

Walk on By

If you are a Yankee fan who thinks the team blew it not going for broke by signing either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper let me just say, I understand. Doesn’t matter if I agree or not, I understand. You root for the Yankees. You expect your team to spend on star power. Traditionally, that’s what they do, why stop now?

And for those Yankee fans who think the Yanks were smart not to sign Machado or Paper, I understand that too, though I’m not necessarily more sympathetic to that point of view.

Sure would have liked to see Harper’s sweet lefty swing in the Bronx. And the good folks at MLB would have drooled over the it too. Imagine the first time Harper got tossed from a game at Fenway arguing with an ump—social media would combust. But Harp will bring his fire to Philly and he’ll continue to be more of a problem for Mets fans than anyone rooting for the Yanks.

I talked to a kid last week, a Yankee fan in his twenties, who dreaded Harper going to Philly because half of his friends as jerky Philadelphia fans. And I told him, yeah, but it’s the Phillies—I mean, sure they won a title in 2008, and also one in ’80, but otherwise they’ve so hapless they wouldn’t even register to me—but for him, the Phillies have won as as many titles in his rooting years as the Yanks so I guess for his peers that makes the Phillies fan something to contend with. Go figure that. Kids.

Anyhow, what’s going on with the Yanks, I’m only half paying attention so far. Anything fun?

I Like That Aaron Hicks

And so do the Yanks, who just signed him to a 7-year extension.

Nuts to You

Or: “Wake Us Up Before You Go-Go”

It’s a hearty time to be a Yankee fan. The team is young and one of the better teams in the game. But holy cow, has this ever been a depressing off-season for the sport. Baseball and the people that run it will never cease to get in their own way—can you imagine marquee stars like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving languishing like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have this winter? Hell, in the NBA teams are getting slapped with fines for tampering guys six months before they hit the open market.

Man, it just makes you shake your head.

Spoke to a guy who runs one of the big sports media companies recently and asked him what the most popular American sports are now in terms of their coverage and he said, “NFL, NBA, college football, soccer, baseball.” Said soccer and baseball are pretty close—and not American soccer but worldwide soccer. I’ve been working with Esquire for the past 3 years and I can tell you from a general magazine like that baseball is squaresville these days. I couldn’t imagine one ballplayer who they would profile.

And that’s fine, I suppose, I’ll still watch the games this year, I’m still excited about this Yankee team, but there is a gloom hanging over the sport that just won’t go away.

Picture by Bags

 

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