Monday, May 16, 2011

The Nadir

It's going to be a quick one today, my friends. Site design will soon begin earnest on the new home, and I hope to make the transition this week. Let's hit some quick points from the weekend.

1. I would say the Yankee organization is in its worst state since 2008. Maybe longer. After getting swept by the Red Sox and losing 5 straight, the team is now 20-18. Worse, they don't seem to have much hope. Everybody is old. Nobody, with the exception of Curtis Granderson, is hitting. The clutch hitting has been shit all year, but we survived and got off to an okay start based on a surplus of home runs. That well has dried up, and we're left with a bunch of stiffs and a whimpering offense.

The biggest stiff among them is Mark Teixeira. I'm at the point now where I wish he'd never been signed. He's hit .170 in 5 playoff series' with the Yanks, and he never, never, NEVER comes up with a big hit. The mental block in his brain is as real as the one we all perceived in A-Rod for so long.

Robinson Cano is having a terrible season. He's swinging at more bad pitches than ever, he's walking less than ever, and his average at .280 isn't good enough to make up for it. An OBP of .318 for a number 5 hitter just won't cut it. He has no plate discipline and doesn't seem eager to learn. Right now, he's Vlad Guerrero with less natural ability.

Jorge Posada is a prideful ass who should be booted from the team. When your average is the lowest in the major leagues, you should be getting on your knees and thanking your manager for batting you ninth from the bottom of your heart. I know it must be hard for him to cope with the reality of aging, but fuck, what does he expect? It was a total bush league move for him to sit out, and if I were Girardi I wouldn't play him for a week. Jorge has always been too prideful, but Saturday he gave the ultimate fuck you to the team.

Jeter is done. Period. Too old, not enough power, too many ground-outs.

Swisher is an ongoing frustration. Sometimes it seems like he's learned something from Long, and then he slumps.

A-Rod looked so amazing at the start of the year, and now he's all but useless.

Gardner and Granderson are the only offensive bright spots, particularly the latter. But it's not nearly enough. Red Sox starters owned us this weekend at home, and now they're only a game back. Tampa Bay could run away with the division. Yankee start pitching has been surprisingly effective this season, but the bats have let us down in a big way. More than anything, the team seems lifeless and ineffectual. It hasn't been fun watching them for about a month now, and I find myself wishing we were younger, more uncertain, more interesting. I'm ready for Jesus Montero. I'm ready for whoever's going to replace Jeter. I'm ready for the Teixeiras and A-Rods to finish their careers. There needs to be an infusion of new blood.

Right now, we're like Great Britain at the end of their empire. Stuffy, old, boring, and with less firepower than anyone thinks. It's time to move on. Unfortunately for the Yanks, we have too much invested in too many fading stars. This is the foreseeable future, and it stinks.

2. I love the Chicago Bulls. Other than maybe the Phoenix Suns, has there been a more exciting NBA team in the past ten years? Their style is so open and satisfying, and they're built in such a perfect way. I know I'll be accused of overreacting to one game, but I think they're going to win this series in 5. You can just seem them starting to understand their own strength. In the course of a single game, they lost their fear of Miami and went a long way to realizing the greatness that's been with them all year. Last night, it was great to see two former Dukies spearhead the effort. Boozer and Deng were phenomenal. And of course, there's Derrick Rose, the most electric man in sports.

3. Djokovic beat Nadal on clay again. Hoo boy. The drama for the French will be incredible. I'd be amazed if these two don't make the finals.

4. Great weekend for Duke sports. I saw the tennis team advance to the round of 16 with two easy wins in Durham, and I watched a quarter of the Duke lacrosse game as they beat Delaware to make the final 8. Tennis is fantastic to watch live, and lacrosse is interesting; I like it, but for some reason it makes me really miss football. Maybe it's because the two sports are similar enough to evoke the memories. I don't know. I just have the constant feeling of, 'okay, this is cool, but I wish it was football.'

5. I'm watching season 5 of Friday Night Lights in a kind of crazy binge. I'll finish the last episode today, and it's been great. Much better than season 4, and a nice series finale.

6. Dylan sent me this great video of a field runner who got away. Legendary.

That's it for today. Back in better form tomorrow.


  1. Jeter is done? Really?

    The guy is 3rd on the team in batting average, tied with Granderson for 2nd on the team with 39 hits, hitting 11 points higher than the team's BA. Plus, he's got the 3rd highest fielding percentage on the team.

    I hate the Jeter hate. He started slow, he's hitting well lately. He's mid to upper class of yankees right now, and I still believe that will improve.

    Just my take.


  2. Come on man, his on-base percentage is .313, the third worst among AL shortstops, he's had a grand total of 5 extra base hits, tied for the worst among AL shortstops, his slugging % is an awful .320, fourth worst among AL shortstops, his OPS is third worst, his ground ball to fly ball ratio is the worst in the majors among any positions, and he's got no range.

    As to 'hitting well lately,' he's batting .185 in his last 6 games, with 5 hits (all singles) in 27 at-bats.

    He had literally one good series against Texas. That's it for the year.

    It's one thing to love the Yankees. I think it's great that you do. It's another thing to blindly support players who are clearly over the hill. Jeter's legacy is etched in stone, but his current play is weak. Just another symptom of a Yankee team that's too old.


  3. Love the get-away video! My favorite part is the breakdown of the escape, "you think you can win my heart with a fucking hill"
    Great work!

    Dr K

  4. Funny thing: I agree with both of you. But my only valid addition to this discussion is this: we're 40 games in. Anybody who thinks Tex is done from a CAREER standpoint, let alone this season is ....wrong. "Has no range" is overstated, too. Can he get to what he once did? No. Is he costing us games? I don't think so, not with his glove, anyway.

    A bad week. A really bad week. Step away from the ledge, Ryan. Redefine "lately", nephew.

    - Manahattan Man

  5. I think Jeter's "success" stats are probably just so in relative perspective. If anyone other than The Grandyman was doing anything, he'd certainly seem far worse by comparison. I see things like him being 3rd in BA as more of a sign of the rest of the team's weakness than Cap's strength.

  6. I definitely don't think Tex is done by any means, MM, either this year or in the long run. I just hate how he performs under pressure. The part about range was directed at Jeter, not Teixeira. As we know, Tex is one of (if not the) best defensive first basemen in the game. Jetes, on the other hand, is probably the worst defensive shortstop in the game.

    And yeah, Carrie, comparing Jeter's batting average to other Yankees isn't the best way to go. Batting average in general is a poor measure of anything, at least on its own. Tex, A-Rod, Russell Martin, Gardner, and Swisher are all below Jeter in average, but each of them are more valuable at the plate than El Capitan.


  7. I would hate to be a worm living under the infield grass at Yankee Stadium. And now Arod is aiming for seagulls. And I still believe I could hit .157 in the majors, right now. Tom

  8. The Jeter/Posada saga is reminiscent of the David Ortiz situation from 2009 when Ortiz spent April and May well below the Mendoza line. There was a cry to get him out of the lineup, a ton of talk about how he was old and washed up, and the negative media attention pissed off Ortiz. He was shuffled around in the lineup for a while before eventually ending the slump. The question is, how much of a leash do Jeter and Posada have? A DH who can't hit doesnt have much value and though I don't think Jeter is "terrible" in the field, his inability to hit the ball out of the infield is making him an offensive liability.

    Its tough to see aging stars decline, and though I'm hesitant to call that little bitch Posada a "star", he's been a big part of the Yanks organization since the mid-90s. If he doesn't snap out of his slump, there's no easy way for this to end. And since he has the disposition of a petulant little brat whenever he doesn't get his way, this situation might not get any better for the Yanks or the Yanks fans.

  9. I agree Shane on the mood surrounding the Yankees. It was hard to watch the games this weekend, and now that I'm home, I get to watch with my Dad, but he has almost given up on them this season. He said more than once, I have such a bad feeling about the team this year. I'm not ready to give in yet-I think the league as a whole isn't that great and the Yankees will be fine in the long run.

    As for Teix, his hitting or not, I still love his defense. And besides, who else would be at first if he wasn't signed? Remember the plan was for Swisher to play first. That sounds way worse to me (ok I guess they would have signed Carlos Pena or something,but still). I'll take the '09 championship, which I doubt happens without Teix.

  10. Love the vid clip and more so that the article turns a stunt into a great piece of whimsy. This is possibly your future, Shane. Apparently someone has developed software that will turn a baseball box score into a writeup. This article shows me that good writers will thrive as technology replaces the mundane stuff.

    About the Yanks. The Sox have been so full of suck this season that as I mentioned on CDTFB, there can be no gloating (I stand by my pre-season comments regarding Jeter and his Walker]. This is really sad because sweeps in either direction are rare, but this one was for all the wrong reasons (and is largely due to the fact that neither Lackey nor Dice-K pitched). That said, I take great pleasure in Princess's Billy Buckner impersonation (though at least Billy had the excuse that he was so hobbled he couldn't bend his knees and had no business being in the game that inning). Seriously ARod, do you have any idea how many Little League coaches and former players across the country screamed "glove on the ground, glove on the ground!" at their TV's?