NEW YORK, NY – It’s a gorgeous day here in New York, as I start tapping this post out on my keyboard. The humidity is nice and low, and you can feel the first hints of autumn in the air. I’m almost tempted to write about football, but that was covered in pretty good detail here yesterday, so let’s stick with baseball. After all, there’s plenty of fun stuff happening in America’s Pastime, especially for me. I’m also going to try to keep some of my usual salty language (both actual and implied) to a minimum, as I was reminded again this past week that my super-nice (and thoughtful) cousin in California sometimes tunes in for my weekly rants. She didn’t ask this of me but, I’ll try to do better, Cuz. Let’s go!
Bombed Out in the Bronx. There’s no way to sugarcoat this kids: The Yankees are done. They’ve gone in the tank and it doesn’t appear as though there’s a way out. You already know the specifics. They got one guy that can really hit and one guy that can really pitch and a bunch of other guys that really aren’t making much of a difference… except if you count negatively. The big question is, what’s next for this franchise that once demanded continuous excellence and now seems lost in a haze of “Who’s running this show, anyway?” Canning Cashman and Boone seem like the obvious choice(s). But then what? Does Derek Jeter take over Baseball Ops and hire Don Mattingly to manage? (That’s my guess.) One lunatic Yankee fan friend suggested they hire “that Bar Rescue guy” to take over the team. He then suggested Jeter and Jay Z will try, unsuccessfully, to buy out Hal Steinbrenner. Then he went completely off the rails and threw names like Elon Musk, A-Rod, and Fred Durst (???) into the mix. This is what happens to Bronx Bombers fans when things go bad. It’s a short trip for most of them to Pablum Brain. On the bright side for the Yankees and their fans, at least Wander Franco isn’t their problem. So, there’s that.
Here Come the Warm Mets. (Bonus points for anyone who knows what artist/album I borrowed from here.) Meanwhile, over in Queens, the Mets are showing ever-so-tiny flickers of life. I mean, they aren’t making the playoffs either, but they still stand the chance of winning me my dinner bet with another Yankee fan friend (Jeez, I know too many Yankee fans) who spotted me a game for total wins by each team at the end of the season. What started as a laugher has now become interesting. After the fire sale the Mets weren’t having, but had anyway, the team looked as bloated and unresponsive as Bill de Blasio. But, something funny is taking root. Pete Alonzo is starting to get back into a home run groove, Kodai Senga has become the de facto staff ace, Jeff McNeil is waking up a bit and, most surprising of all, Francisco Lindor is playing like the All Star the Mets thought they were getting. It’s amazing what happens to some people when the pressure of winning is taken out of the equation. He’s hitting 30 points higher and his defense has been amazing. Also, getting Max Scherzer out of town is definitely looking like a prime example of addition by subtraction. Good riddance. If Verlander had stayed I might even feel somewhat optimistic about winning my bet. But for now, I’m delighted that it’s still somewhat up for grabs.
Before I get out of here, let me just say: Go Mariners! Their amazing late season run can only mean that my Vikings are going to be abysmal this year. This is the way it goes with me and my teams. Can never have too much good news at the same time… it’s what keeps me Angry.
Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who would make a fine interim replacement for Aaron Boone.