Yankees Suck postsThursday June 20, 2013
The Yankees Have a Negative Run Differential
This is the AL East standings after the New York Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 tonight:
Question: When was the last time the Yankees had a negative run differential this late in the season? I can't remember it.
As you can tell by the numbers, the team is actually lucky to be six games over .500. But over a long season, run differentials tend to play out correctly. Bad news for Yankee fans, good news for the rest of us.
No One Walks Off the Island
This was waiting for me, on a sad, rainy day in which death was in the air, when I got home. It's called “Hitting Forty” by Mark Ulriksen. Anyone who knows me knows it leaves nothing but joy in my heart. It made my day. Even with Ichiro in there. And Mo, I suppose. But Mo has his rings.
It helps that the Yanks, so named for a particular form of onanism (yank ye dildo -> yankee doodle -> yankee), have started the season 0-2.
Oh, and subscribe to the New Yorker already, people. Jesus.
So Let's Root, Root, Root for a Kind of Licensing Fee to Secure All the Rights to Market a Commercial Boon
Here are two paragraphs from David Waldstein's well-researched, front-page story, “Hitched to an Aging Star: The Anatomy of a Deal, and Doubts,” about how the 10-year deal between the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez was struck during the 2007 off-season:
Ultimately, the terms of the deal would include $265 million in guaranteed salary, a $10 million signing bonus and an additional $30 million in marketing bonuses tied to landmark home runs.
For each of the five milestones — tying Mays, Ruth, Aaron, Bonds and breaking the record — Rodriguez would receive $6 million. The Yankees looked at the bonuses as a kind of licensing fee they would pay to Rodriguez to secure all the rights to market the home run chase, which would presumably become a commercial boon.
Licensing fee ... to secure all the rights to market ... a commercial boon. That's business-speak for setting the all-time HR record. Makes you want to throw up. Makes you want to stop watching the national pastime altogether.
But for a Yankee hater like myself, there's great, great joy in the article. What's the greatest joy? This: The Yankees and their fans are saddled with their most-hated player, A-Rod, and his albatross of a contract, which still involves more than $100 million, because one of their most beloved players, Mariano Rivera, convinced A-Rod to stay. Ha! Talk about a cutter.
Meanwhile, many pundits, including Tyler Kepner in the Times' print edition, are predicting that the Yankees won't just finish out of the post-season; they'll finished last in the A.L. East.
I'll believe it when I see it but for now it's a possibility. Because it's the start of baseball season, when hope springs eternal. And when every fan of every baseball team thinks that this might be the year, this might finally be the year, when the New York Yankees eat the shit of the rest of the league.
Alex Rodriguez making the second-to-last out of the 2012 ALCS. It will be his last at-bat until at least July.
Will Leitch's 'Bombers Won't Bomb' Article, with YANKEES SUCK Annotations
There's no byline to the piece, just an afterword email address for Will Leitch, so I assume he wrote it. Me, I barely got past the first paragraph. This is how it begins:
The Yankees’ payroll for this year is around $206 million, at least $100 million of which is set to vanish after this season. Some of that is for players the Yankees will want back, like Robinson Cano, but the Yanks feel comfortable saying good-bye to fellow heavy earners Curtis Granderson, Youkilis, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and the retiring Mariano Rivera.
As a devout, nationally recognized Yankees hater, I feel very comfortable saying good-bye to Mariano Rivera, too, for he is surely the most dominating figure in the postseason over the past 15 years. And what's Kevin Youkilis doing on this list? He just arrived in the Bronx. He hasn't even played one real game for the Yanks and the media and the fans and the team are happy to see him go? The Yankees say good-bye as Youkilis says hello? Hello Hello? Where is this info coming from? What front office figure?
Kuroda? Bum! Just a 3.32 ERA last year. Granderson? Sure, he hit only .232. He also smacked 43 homeruns, tied for second in the league, with the third-best OPS on the team after Cano and the now-departed Nick Swisher. These guys were horses. To the Yankees? Gift horses, apparently.
The savings from those five contracts is $64 million. ... The point is, it’s a good time to get under the luxury-tax threshold. Getting below the tax line now and staying there for a couple of years will make it a lot easier to land high-priced, game-changing free agents like Bryce Harper, who will be entering his prime as a 26-year-old after the 2018 season.
OK, seriously, this is why everybody hates the fucking Yankees. It's the sense of privilege. It's the assumption that any good young player coming through your farm system will be theirs. “He'll look good in pinstripes,” etc. It's as if every time George Clooney met a good-looking girl, he told the girl's boyfriend, husband, father, “She'll look good with me.” Assholes. And did the Cliff Lee experience teach them nothing?
(BTW: Early copyright on “The Cliff Lee Experience” as band name.)
Just spending money like crazy is no longer the optimal way to construct a championship team; the penalties are too high. The Yankees are trying to adjust accordingly—building the farm system, avoiding veterans on long-term contracts (essentially what they did to build the core four of Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Pettitte), while also making sure they can again spend like the Yankees you know and love when the time is right. It is exactly the right move.
Wait, I thought they were after the Bryce Harpers of the world. Now they want to build a core team via the farm system as they did in the early 1990s? I don't think you can do both. You get big-name free agents, you give up draft picks. What were the Yankees big free-agent signings in the 1990s? Wade Boggs at the tail-end of his career? Hideki Irabu? But nothing like a Bryce Harper. Once they started doing that—signing superstars like Jason Giambi in 2002 and Alex Rodriguez in 2004—they began to lose. Spectacularly. Gloriously.
The entire piece is about how the Yankees still look to win the AL East despite a cut in payroll to $206 million. Another reason to hate the Yankees. They think that's a cut. They think it's a sacrifice that another team is actually spending more than they are. They are truly the 1% of Major League Baseball.
The last Yankee at-bat of the 2012 season. Delicious.
I Would Rather Have You Beat the Yankees
I WOULD RATHER HAVE YOU
BEAT THE YANKEES THAN
ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE WORLD.
AND YOU CAN. AND YOU WILL.
--a telegram (or prose poem) sent by former Pittsburgh Pirates (and St. Louis Cardinals, and Brooklyn Dodgers) general manager Branch Rickey to the 1960 team, which he helped construct, before the 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees. The Pirates taped the telegram to their clubhouse wall, then won it famously in the bottom of the 9th inning during Game 7 when Bill Mazeroski hit a homerun to break a 9-9 tie. Mazeroski is still the only player in MLB history who has ever done what every kid dreams of doing: win Game 7 of the World Series with a homerun. The telegram is mentioned in David Maraniss' book, “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero,” pg. 110, which is one of seven books I bought today at Powell's Books in Portland, Ore. Good thing we were only there 45 minutes.
As you wish.
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard