BRONX, NY – The Bronx is yearning… for some halfway decent baseball. I’ve decided to give up my anger strike for a week and vent a little bit about New York’s other baseball team, the Yankees. Slow starts are nothing new for the Bronx Bombers, especially in recent years, but this 2016 squad seems a little different, and not in a good way. As I knock this thing out on Monday night, the Yankees just finished getting swept in Boston and sit at 8-15, dead last in the AL East. The empty suits that run the club now could care less. And with George Steinbrenner long dead, someone has to pick up the vitriol baton. Speaking of George, let’s start with him.
You’re Fired! That Orange-hued poseur Donald Trump would have you believe that he invented the phrase “you’re fired” on his lame reality show, The Apprentice. Ha! George Steinbrenner didn’t either, but he was firing people left and right when Trump was still farting in his Daddy’s marble bathtub. I never liked Steinbrenner, but must admit that I wish he were around for this year’s Yankees. He would have fired Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, Billy Martin’s perfectly preserved alcohol-pickled corpse, and half the front office by now. The 8-15 record and Big Stein would have made for hilarious headlines. Instead, we get nothing. Zero soundbites from the blustery Bronx. What a disappointment.
The House that A-Rod Built. As you already know, this current Yankees team no longer plays in The House that Ruth Built. They don’t. Just like the Mets no longer play at Shea. These Yankees play in a soulless sh!thole and their roster is populated by a bunch of guys who could be extras on The Walking Dead. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, and C.C. Sabathia are all quite old by baseball standards. They still flash occasional moments of greatness, but so did Mays and Aaron in their waning years. The rest of the starting roster–Gregorious, Ellsbury, McCann, and Gardner–read like a who’s who of who cares. As Rodney Dangerfield said in Caddyshack, “This whole place sucks!”
The Pen is Mightier than the Bored. Over the last couple of years, GM Brian Cashman and the lawyers that run the Yankees have made a concerted effort to shore up the team’s bullpen in an effort to make up for no longer having the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game. And, though they went overboard, they did a good job of it. Betances, Miller, and Chapman (when he completes his suspension for never laying a hand on her) are a formidable trio. Too bad the fans won’t get much of a chance to see them do their thing. See, the thing is, you have to have a lead to actually hold a lead. These Yankees struggle to score runs. And it’s affecting the fans. Have you watched any of their games? I’ve seen more action in Salt Lake City. The Yanks score less than Spaz in Meatballs. And their fans look like they’re at a Perry Como concert.
In closing, I’d like to say that I don’t like the Yankees at all. But I like them even less when they are this neutered. There’s no fun in it. Having the Yankees be the Knicks is just not cutting it. Something needs to be done. I’m sure they have plans to swoop in and sign a bunch of big names in the coming years (Matt Harvey seems like a definite to me), but until then I’d rather watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island. There’s no scoring there either, but at least there’s the threat.