Yanks Capitulate With Miller Trade

I am spitting mad at this hairbrained pointless trade. The Yankees traded our, no baseball’s, best relief pitcher for four prospects in a move that reminds me of the scene in Apollo 13 when things are going belly up and one of the poindexters in Heuston fling the contents of his pockets on the table and demands that they find something to fix the problem. A scene which depicts the wild railing one does when faced with a deteriorating situation in which they have no ideas or no ability to fix it. That is basically what Cashman has resorted to doing. He is emptying his pockets and dumping all the best this team has in some mindless attempt at looking like he is doing something. But he has done nothing.

In trading Miller, he has shown that he and the front office of the club have not only given up on getting into the postseason this year, but they have also given up on winning games. Andrew Miller was one of three players we could count on this season. Didi and Beltran were the other two. Castro added to the mix as has Ellsbury with his defence. Betances has been reliable too. But offensively, for the most part, the team has been a joke, and our starting pitchers have all been so up and down. The only thing that we knew was dependable was the loyal, team-first mindset of Andrew Miller.

What did we get for Miller?  Not a whole lot to be honest. We got four prospects from the Indians. But they are the kind of guys that we will not see for possibly four years. This the way Cashman seems to be going and he is very smug and happy with himself while being surprised that the teams he has put together these past three years have been for the most part massively disappointing.

I cannot understand just why he traded Miller. He was a player who would have helped us this year to win games, and would have helped us next year too. None of the guys we got from the trade will be of use to this team next year or the year later. As if this wasn’t a big smack in the face for us to lose Miller we also get the added insult from Cashman of seeing him trade a prospect for someone like Tyler Clippard who is nothing. I’m sorry for saying that about Tyler, but he is not going to bring anything relevant to the team and for Cashman to act like this acquisition is a great addition on the same day that we lost Miller is a joke.

I also cannot help but laugh when I hear him say that the Yankees have not given up on this year because they haven’t traded Beltran, while they are still taking calls for just about any player on the team. That tells me that they have given up on the team because if they were not giving up on the team they would say strongly that they were not taking calls and would, in fact, be out there making the damn calls to find players to fix the pathetic mess that Cashman has built over the past three years.

To say this is a good trade now is as much a premature celebration as George W Bush standing on the deck of that USS Abraham Lincoln. We have no way of knowing if this will work out down the line. It is that simple. But what we do know is that this move hurts the team now, and for the next few seasons. It may even go down as one of the worst trades in baseball history since Boston traded George Herman Ruth.

I am now just going to say what I am thinking… fire Brian Cashman. Enough is enough of this clown screwing things up with this team. We the paying fans deserve better than the muck he is spewing. To be expected to cheer for a team that has been sabotaged by its GM and owner, and to pay for the privilege while they keep putting clowns like Ackley, Drew, and Headley as great finds. Trading great closers and signing Tyler flippen Clippard to replace them. It is enough to give up on the team, stop listening and start paying attention to the Jets. I hate feeling like I can’t be bothered. But right now I do not feel much amped for the game. I will listen, but I am far from happy and just hope that come this off season Cashman is fired from the team. I wish he was fired before the season ends. Because to be outplayed by Tampa… that tells you just how bad this team is, and it is ALL Brian Cashman’s fault.

Trade Rumours Persist Despite Yanks Finding Form

The persistence of trade rumours despite the way that the Yanks have turned their form around, is really starting to bum me out. I mean, one cannot but help feel that the Yankees would not have traded Chapman had they not heard how they should do it from the various media outlets around New York. It made sense that if they were going to trade someone from the team then a guy like Chapman who was an expiring contract, and very desirable from a baseball point of view was the right choice. I thought that getting rid of Miller was a stupid move. I am glad they decided not to do something so daft as that. The guy is team player and is a great relief pitcher too.

The next player that was tradeable was, of course, Beltran who has had a phenomenal year with the bat and is an expiring contract also. The problem with trading him rests in the fact that he is the only player to be really giving us an offence, besides Didi who has been the Yankee MVP of the season in my books. I have an idea about the way that Beltran has turned the season around. I am suspicious of the way he was at one point one of our most underwhelming bats for the first two years of his contract with the Yankees and how his best season happens to be the one before he goes into free agency. There is something about his turnaround that seems to have the ring of window dressing. Obviously, if he went into free agency on the back of his last years’ work he would most likely not get a contract never mind the idea of being able to demand a high price for one. So I cannot help but feel that he has been underperforming the last two years and is only giving his best now that it is in his best interests. But despite my reservations about his commitments to the team, I feel that he should not be traded. Otherwise, who would be hitting for us?

The other name that seems to stand out as a trade prospect is Ivan Nova who has been a Yankee since being picked up as a rookie free agent back in 2004. He has been a hot and cold kind of pitcher and might not get the same kind of returns as the Chapman trade got for us. But we might get something for his arm from a struggling team who needs a pitcher. So trading him might just be a good move.

However, I don’t like the trade talks. If it is a necessary part of the Yankees 2016 season, then so be it. Chapman was a smart move. But I wish that we were so good that trading him was not even an option. Maybe he will come back to the Bronx next year. I can’t wait for the trade deadline to come. Maybe then we can get on with the job of trying to make a challenge for the playoffs without the gloom of trade expectations hanging over us. I love the team we have for the most part. When A-Rod Teixera and Beltran go, we will have more money around and places for some of the homegrown younger guys to have a shot. But for now I love this team and even if we fail to get to the playoffs, finishing with a winning record for the 27th season in a row would be something to brag about, given how bad we were to start with. Go Yanks.

Astros Must Not Give The Knockout Punch This Time

Can we really be talking about how the Yanks are at the point where they face a knockout punch? I mean really? In July? But that is where we are. Heading to Texas to face the Astros who broke Yankee hearts last season. Can they do the same thing again this year?

They are not as good as they were last year. They are definitely a lot less of menace as now they were last season but you should not be complacent. As Joe says time and time again that if you play badly against any major league players they will defeat you. That has happened against such teams as the Rockies who are a lot better than they are made out to be. If you go to their ballpark and act like you have already won then you deserve to lose. That is what happened to the Yanks against Colorado. They should not think that because the Astros are not as dominant as they were last year, that they will win these games. I don’t think the players are doing that.

It has to hurt them that we are already at a must win series before July is even over. But that is what happens when you have played so badly that you lose the way the Yanks have. They can turn it around for sure. But will they? Already there is talk that Chapman will go to the Cubs for two prospects, with the hints that he will be back next season. But I am sad to think that he will be on another team and I hope that he is going to be back next season. It is a pity that they team is in such a state that they are having to get rid of guys instead of bringing someone in to help the team win. I hope they can turn it around. But I also hope that we don’t see Chapman coming into a game in the World Series this autumn. These are the kind of decisions that can bite you in the ass.

Commissioner Manfred Has Got To Stop This Assault On Baseball

Robert Manfred has taken it upon himself to try and change the game of baseball under some misguided belief that it is no longer relevant for the world we live in. That is a bad premise on which to continue his tenure as the man responsible for the future of the game.

But his misguided attempts to speed up the game is not so good at all. The decision to stop hitters stepping out of the hitter’s box has not done anything to speed up the game. Nor has his idea of putting a time limit on coaches going to the mound. The game time has actually gone up since he took over the role. So these innovations have not done their job. The preoccupation with the speed of the game has a touch of some pedantic need to try and tinker with something to put his stamp on it rather than actually improve it.

So too has the hard line taken against coaches and players arguing when an umpire blatantly gets a call wrong and calls strike or ball erroneously. To punish the players and managers for getting annoyed when an umpire makes a bad call which can make or break a guy’s career or a team’s season, seems a little punitive and ignores the fact that the league should be making a point of trying to improve the calls made in the game by the umpire. A way of scoring the performance of the umpires which sees an umpire being sent down to the minor leagues means that they too will be less inclined to lose attention and make calls that are just awful. The technology is there to show if a ball is inside our outside the strike zone so why these calls cannot be reviewed is beyond me. They wouldn’t even take as much time to review as when a guy is called out/ safe at one of the bases.

But the most worrying problem for me is the talk that Commissioner Manfred is now talking about the idea of shortening the game from 9 innings to 7. That has to be the most pointless and needlessly destructive idea from this man’s brain. The game of baseball has been 9 innings since back in the 1800s when it was first codified. If the American public can spend hours at a football game that has 60 minutes of play stretched in 3+ hours, with lots of time wasted standing around watching the coaches talking to the players then why can they not handle a game of baseball that lasts 9 innings of pretty much continuous play? Who is bothered by the length of the game anyway? Anyone I talk to about it says the same thing. The length of play is just right. The game is as it was 150 years ago. It was and is perfection in itself and has no need of needless tinkering. So too is the ideas of limiting what can be done with relievers. This is robbing the strategy from the game, and the high pressure ending to the game, the combat of the game. Interference for interference’s sake.

If Manfred wants to make a mark on the game, then ending the links with gambling would be a good one. I mean, how can you condemn Pete Rose for his links with gambling when you advertise gambling companies? Improve the umpiring. That’s a good start. Then let Pete Rose back in, and while you are at it, vindicate Joe Jackson. The evidence shows that he did not do anything to throw the games. He was acquitted by the law courts and yet some big shot hanging judge-cum-commissioner decided to make a name for himself by banning the games finest hitter.

If he wants to get kids involved with the game and build an international audience, then that it a noble idea and one I applaud heartily. This will not be done by short changing the fans with shorter games. He will do that by making the game fun and promoting it as a great thing to watch and play. He needs to do more to reach out to international audiences. Making them feel like they are valued as a fanbase. I love the game despite feeling that my being an overseas fan means I am not counted worthy. To me, this game is perfection. It has everything a person could want in a sport. There are things that can make it better. But messing around with the length of the season and the games is not the way forward. Hopefully, Rob Manfred will start acting like a fan of the game, and not someone who hates it, and stop messing around with it. If something isn’t broke then don’t try to fix it. That was the attitude of the other commissioners who only made changes when they had to. The speed of the game is a thing that only he seems bothered with. This might be his big crusade. But there is a problem with running off half cocked on crusades like this, just read Don Quixote. Commissioner Manfred is baseball’s Don Quixote chasing after windmills.

To me, this game is perfection. It has everything a person could want in a sport. There are things that can make it better. But messing around with the length of the season and the games is not the way forward. Hopefully, Rob Manfred will start acting like a fan of the game, and not someone who hates it, and stop messing around with it. If something isn’t broke then don’t try to fix it. That was the attitude of the other commissioners who only made changes when they had to. The speed of the game is a thing that only he seems bothered with. This might be his big crusade. But there is a problem with running off half cocked on crusades like this, just read Don Quixote. Commissioner Manfred is baseball’s Don Quixote chasing after windmills. He is starting to look like a comic figure. He is throwing out the baby with the bath water. We must let him know what we think of this idea. Hopefully, he will listen to the fans. We are, after all, the ones who make the game a viable business. Let’s not let him ruin this game for us. It is our game. It is that simple.

I’m A Pitching Nut: That’s Why I Can’t Wait For MadBum To Come To Town.

 

Madison Bumgarner
Bumgarner is one of the most exciting pitchers to watch in baseball. His being named to start on Friday against the Yankees is a pitching lover’s dream come true. It just might not be the best news for the Yankees right now.

 

I am a pitching fan. I love that aspect of the game of baseball more than I do seeing home runs. Give me a good pitching display, and some outstanding acts of fielding brilliance over the continuous litany of balls going over the wall any day. Hitters get all the glory, despite the fact that sometimes they do little more than bat flip antics.

Although that is not fair on the hitters. Because guys like Ichiro who are clever and aren’t all about hitting for power and just sock the ball over the wall or swing out, but use skill and guile to hit the ball to the opposite side and get hits when hits are hard to get. That kind of hitting is brilliant. But I am a pitching nut. I love it.

“I am a pitching fan. I love that aspect of the game of baseball more than I do seeing home runs. Give me a good pitching display, and some outstanding acts of fielding brilliance over the continuous litany of balls going over the wall any day.”

The Yankees have not had so much good pitching from their starting rotation this year. When they do get great stuff from the guy on the mound, it is often ruined by a bad ball or a bad inning that just kills us and takes away from whatever good thing they managed to pull off.

Our three-headed bullpen monster has been great, in fact, Andrew Miller has been such an amazing pitcher that I think he is the highlight of the season for us. I want him kept in the Bronx and despair when I hear people talk about selling him to this club or another when he is just as needed where he is now and will be a big part in our winning next year or the year after and is definitely not someone we should jettison from this team. Betances is another pitcher that has been great. While Chapman was a great get for this team,  and his pitching 105mph balls was exciting stuff to watch, for sure. But he is wild and hurling that fast often means he lacks control of the ball. The other night he flung a ball at 104mph that missed the plate in clattered into the backstop. Great to watch, not very effective. He will be a good trade if it comes to it. But I still like the idea of not getting rid of him.

I digress wildly there. But the point is that I am excited to see some great pitching. Mad Bum is one of the best in the game right now and the chance of him playing in the Bronx is amazing. I am excited, even though I know that we don’t need this kind of pitcher coming to the Stadium at the moment while we hope to gain ground on those in the division and try and bump up the Wild Card slot. Playoffs are not out of reach, but having to face a guy like this will be a challenge and a test of the teams resolve to get out of the rut that this season had fast become.

Let’s just look at what Mad Bum has done off this current Yankee lineup right now, thanks to the wonderful website Baseball Savant.

Screenshot 2016-07-20 at 3.02.57 PM

“… guys like Madison Bumgarner are the cream of the crop. I hope he lives up to the expectations of what he is going to bring to the game come Friday, even marginally. Then we will be in for a great game of baseball.”

For most this chart will mean nothing at all. But it only serves to wet my appetite when it comes to what is going to go down on Friday night. The Yanks need to win. They can hit the mediocre middle of the road pitchers as they did last night against Baltimore. But guys like Madison Bumgarner are the cream of the crop. I hope he lives up to the expectations of what he is going to bring to the game come Friday, even marginally. Then we will be in for a great game of baseball. And if the Yanks are able to stand up and beat the Giants against someone like Bumgarner then they will have a boost to their confidence. We have done well so far since the failure of the start of the post ASG break. Since then we have turned it around. Long may it continue.

Who said baseball is rubbish? Who said there is nothing to look forward to or be excited about this year?

Some Pitch

 

 

Screenshot 2016-07-18 at 11.47.50 AM
Tanaka’s unplayable pitch to Brock Holt

 

Did anyone see that pitch Tanaka threw to Brock Holt? The movement on that thing? Look there has got to be a big deal made out of that pitch. It was amazing. It was such a work of art that they should stick a frame on it and put that thing in the Museum of Modern Art. It was a beauty. Simple as that. Have a look at it on the link below and tell me you don’t think it was out of sight!

Tanaka Throws A Computer Game Pitch

 

Yanks should follow Red Sox sell model: Audition these prospects — New York Post

“The world will not end if the Yankees sell, rather than buy, by the Aug. 1 non-waivers trade deadline. Instead, the Yankees might be making a different sort of purchase, an investment that can prove essential to an organization’s long-term health. ” Ken Davidoff

via Yanks should follow Red Sox sell model: Audition these prospects — New York Post

The Yankees failed to win their opening series after the All-Star Break leading to a massive talk about the need to become sellers and not buyers. This is a shift in the Yankee way of thinking of course. Who tend to be the kind of team who go out and buy more players before the trading deadline. The idea of them selling off their players is something that just feels un-Yankee like. They haven’t got a lot of players worth trading at the moment. Look at them, most of their pitchers are not good at worst and not consistent at best. Same can be said about their hitters. Their bullpen is shocking apart from their vaunted three closers. So when it comes down to it, who is there to trade? Beltran and Chapman are the best choices because they are in the final year of their contracts. They are also good enough to be desirable and worth something, and could end up going to a team that is a contender for the playoffs. Cleveland is one such team. Or the Cubs.

Miller is another hotly discussed trade move. But I hope not. We can still get to the playoffs if we don’t panic. We need to get some guys who are hitting. Jettison those who are not. We need to do exactly what Ken Davidoff said in this article in the Post. We need to copy what Boston has done as I have said in my last post, and be ruthless in replacing guys who are not performing with prospects who are, and give them a shot at playing. We also need to think about who we can bring into the team that will do well. Not based on last years figures or a good season three years ago which is how Cashman seems to operate but find guys who are doing well NOW… THIS SEASON. If the Yankees have decided this season is a dead bust, then they need to get rid of some of the dead weight that is costing the team big money for little in return. They need to give the kids a chance to wet their feet with no fear of failure and start making moves for the future rather than clinging to the past.

The Yanks won. It was great, it was needed. It also was the kind of thing that will galvanise Cashman into thinking he is good, all is well. No need to do anything. Which given how bad his choices have been for the most part these past few years, might be a good thing. But doing nothing for fear of messing up is not a good basis for decisions. The front office has not given the coaches anything to win with. Sure we have some good guys brought in, Ellsbury, Castro, Didi. That’s it. The rest of the moves have stunk like Bigfoot’s armpits. No wonder we have languished outside of contention for ages since 2012 besides one playoff game last year. Still, we have had winning seasons for 23 seasons in a row. Let’s hope that is something that will not end this year. A winning season seems to be the best we can hope for at the moment but it could turn out to be a better season if the Yanks make the right moves now. Will Cashman finally get it right enough to turn us into a contender? Or will he live up to recent form and bring in more busts? Time will tell. I don’t think I can take the suspense.

Time will tell. I don’t think I can take the suspense.

I don’t think I can take the suspense.