FLORHAM PARK, NJ – So Ryan Fitzpatrick signed! Hurrah! The J-E-T-S ceiling is again 2nd place in their division, 10 wins, and a Wild Card berth. Oh, and do you know what Ryan Fitzpatrick and I have in common? We both went to Harvard, you say? Nope, I’m a New Paltz Hawk baby. The correct answer is that neither one of us has ever played in an NFL playoff game. But at the risk of taking my credibility to Wasserman Shultz territory, I’d rather talk about the Yankees again.
I’ll start with a yarn...
In 2008, I took a tour of the new Yankee Stadium while it was still under construction. The biggest attraction at the time was a hole in the concrete where the Yankees had to dig up a David Ortiz jersey that some jackass Boston fan buried in there. Supposedly, the Yankees spent $30,000 to dig it out in hopes of preventing some kind of curse. Maybe they should’ve buried A-Rod in there. But the most memorable moment for me was a story the tour guide told us.
While showing us one of the luxury boxes, the guide peeled back the covering to reveal a white marble table. The marble was flecked with blue specks, “Yankee marble” he called it. Well, supposedly Steinbrenner loved this marble and had to have for all of the luxury boxes. Much to George’s dismay, their source had dried up and they were having trouble finding more. The Yankees were finally able to find some more in a remote town in Brazil. However, the town had an electricity quota and businesses were not allowed to use electricity after 5 pm. But the Yankees needed them to mine 24/7 to get the amount of marble they needed in time for the opening of the new Stadium. So, the story goes, the Yankees shelled out big bucks to the town to allow mining well into the night so the Yankees could get their marble.
Now, I have no idea if this story is true. The guide made it up on the spot for all I know. But I like to think it’s true. It brings a smile to my face every time I picture the Larry David caricature of the Boss, pounding his desk and shouting: “I don’t care what it costs, get me that marble.” I’m afraid to Google it because I’m afraid I’ll find out the story is a lie.
I’m not sure if the new Stadium turned out to be the palace many of us expected but my point is it cost a lot of freaking money. Seats are still expensive as hell. It’s really hard for the Yankees to be sellers, even when the odds are stacked against them. The Mets are now beating them in TV ratings for the first time since the Mets launched SNY in 2006. If the Yankees sell, that Stadium will be as empty as Tom Brady’s soul.
I’ve argued before that the Yankees should be sellers. And they just made a move in that direction trading Chapman and landing what immediately become the #1 and 4 prospects in their system. They got a lot for him, even Theo Epstein admitted that. But, the back end of the Yankee pen is still pretty stout, and it’s not a white flag, says Cashman. And with the Yanks showing signs of life lately, I can feel them wavering.
A mediocre, aging offense, with 4 guys that need regular time at DH, a mediocre group of starters, an inconsistent underbelly of middle relief, and a roster that lacks flexibility. They are 4 games out of a wildcard, but have several teams to leapfrog. A lot needs to happen for the Bronx Bombers to make a run.
The Yankees got in as the second wildcard with 87 wins last year. I don’t think that will be enough this year. They’re 52 and 49, 3 games over .500, with 61 games to play.They would need to go 36 and 25 in their last 52 games. Not bloody likely.
The Yanks haven’t look anything like a team that can play 11 games over 500 in 61 games. They do have a lot of games left against teams ahead of them, so they can control over their destiny, which is more than the rest of us. But a lot has to go right.
Blow it up I say.
Feel free to fire away below and come back tomorrow for my pal Cheesy Bruin, a man that could dive into a pile of women Brazilian volleyball players and come up with the ball. And please follow us on Twitter – @BenWhit8 & @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts. Thank you.