erik lundegaard


Yankees Suck posts

Thursday June 29, 2023

Yankees Pitcher Throws Perfect Game Against World's Worst Team

I saw it on the New York Times site first. Something about the Yankees? And it was good? A pitcher ... oh, crap! No! Who did he do it against? Of course. Had to be. Uccckhh.

I always liked that King Felix was the last MLB pitcher to throw a perfect game—way back in August 2012, when the world was young—but now that the world is old and haggard that honor belongs to the Yankees' Domingo German. He did it last night, against the hapless A's, before a tiny crowd in Oakland. He's the 24th pitcher to ever throw a perfect game—or 22nd if you ignore the 19th century, which I do. It's also the fourth time the Yankees have been involved in a perfect game, and, shocker, they're 4-0. In the win column, no other team is close. Isn't that sad? Even in this narrow category of ballyhoo, where, say, both Cleveland and Philadelphia are good, the Yankees still dominate everybody. Can't we have one nice thing ever? 

Here are the standings:

Team Wins Losses Pct.
New York Yankees 4 0 1.000
Cleveland Indians 2 0 1.000
Philadelphia Phillies 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 0 1.000
Boston Red Sox 1 0 1.000
Cincinnati Reds 1 0 1.000
San Francisco Giants 1 0 1.000
Chicago White Sox 3 1 .750
Oakland A's  2 2 .500
Los Angeles Angels 1 1 .500
Seattle Mariners 1 1 .500
Texas Rangers 1 1 .500
Washington Nationals 1 1 .500
Los Angeles Dodgers 1 3 .250
Atlanta Braves 0 1 .000
Chicago Cubs 0 1 .000
Detroit Tigers 0 1 .000
Florida Marlins 0 1 .000
Houston Astros 0 1 .000
Minnesota Twins 0 2 .000
New York Mets 0 1 .000
Tampa Bay Rays 0 3 .000
Toronto Blue Jays 0 1 .000
Baltimore Orioles      
Colorado Rockies      
Kansas City Royals      
Milwaukee Brewers      
Pittsburgh Pirates      
San Diego Padres      
St. Louis Cardinals      

Last night the Yanks won 11-0, and apparently that's a record for most runs in a perfecto. This one will probably set another record, too, but we'll have to wait until October to find out. Right now, the worst team that's been on the losing end of one of these, at least in terms of season-long winning percentage, is the 1964 NY Mets, victims of Jim Bunning, who went 53-109 (.327). Second worst is the 2012 Astros, blanked by Matt Cain, who went 55-107 (.339), followed by the '81 Blue Jays, who lost to Len Barker and went 37-69 (.349) in that strike-shortened season.

The 2023 Oakland A's are currently 21-62 (.253). They're on pace to shatter the mark.

Joe Posnanski wasn't happy with the result, either.

Posted at 06:50 PM on Thursday June 29, 2023 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Tuesday January 31, 2023

My Man Michael Schur

“As an example, let's take mildness, which Aristotle describes as 'the mean concerned with anger.' ... Without any anger, if we saw something cruel—like a bully picking on an innocent kid—we might just stand there, slack-jawed and drooling, rather than responding with an appropriate amount of indignation. But if we have way too much anger, we might grab the bully and dropkick him into a lake and then grab his whole family and dropkick them into the lake and then burn their house down. The golden mean of anger—which, again, Aristotle calls ”mildness“—represents an appropriate amount of anger, reserved for the right situations, to be directed at people who deserve it. Like fascists, or corrupt politicians, or anyone associated with the New York Yankees.”

-- Michael Schur, “How to Be Perfec: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question.” I like that he then provides a footnote, and you think it's going to be a kind of J/K comment. Instead: “Ethically speaking, Yankees players and fans deserve an excessive amount of anger. It's the only exception Aristotle allows for. Don't try to look it up in Ethics; it's in a different book. I forget which one, but it's in one of them.”

Posted at 01:37 PM on Tuesday January 31, 2023 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Thursday January 05, 2023

Dreaming of Another Effin' Yankees Title

Talking with friends, I became aware that the Yankees had won their 28th world championship. This was on the heels of a greater awfulness, probably political, which is why I hadn't really been paying attention to baseball. And maybe because I hadn't been paying attention to baseball, I allowed it to happen: 28 titles and ... how many pennants? 41? (Yes, they're on 40 now.) They'd started the season poorly, and some part of me was already counting this year as another World Series-less year for the team—their ... 14th in a row? (Yes, 2022 was 13 in a row.) And that's historic territory. And now all gone. And now we'd have to start over. Was I talking to Tim about it? In some residential woods? About how his friend Bill and all other Yankees fans would now get all their “28” merch, and that would add to the Yankees' coffers, and allow them to get even more and better players, and continue the dynasty, and ... Fuck!

It had begun with an early-season trade with a lesser team, the Giants or something, for infielders. Never trade with the Yankees! Stupid Giants. There were also hints something nefarious had happened mid-season, somebody who knew too much about Yankee history, or Aaron Judge, had been found dead, and, though murky, in the dream I accepted that it had been a hit, like some kind of Latin American coup, and now Judge and Yankees were bigger and more unstoppable than ever. They'd beaten my Mariners in the ALCS, and I'd been at the game that got the Mariners there. I flashed on sitting in the bleachers (where I never sit), and seeing a homerun land nearby, and rooting on the Ms even though in my heart I knew the Indians/Guardians had a better chance to stop the Yankees. But I'd rooted for the Ms and that helped the Yankees. And now, tomorrow morning when I woke up, there would be a moment when I didn't quite remember why I felt awful; and then the awfulness would hit me anew. On top of the greater, political awfulness. 

I was at the edge of the woods now, in a residential area, and watched a bullmastiff excitedly pulling his owner across the street and toward the woods.

Posted at 08:05 AM on Thursday January 05, 2023 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Monday October 24, 2022


The 2022 Yankees are done—swept in the ALCS by Houston: 4-2, 3-2, 5-0, 6-5. They led for a half an inning in Game 1 and for 2 1/2 innings yesterday and that was it. Whenever the Yankees went on top, Houston scored right back—like the Yankees used to do. The Astros beat them in the ALCS in 2017, 2019 and 2022. They keep breaking their hearts—the way the Yankees used to keep breaking ours.

Their hitting was anemic. Sure, hitting has been at a premium this postseason, what with these great starters and monster bullpens—these no-name middle relievers who come out for an inning and throw 100 mph with 90 mph breaking stuff, only to hand the ball over to the next no-name guy who can do the same. But even with that, the Yankees hitting was anemic. Here are the four LCS teams:

  • Astros: .238/.326/.429
  • Phillies: .237/.296/.494
  • Padres: .202/.256/.333
  • Yankees: .162/.232/.269

The Phillies slugged nearly .500, the Yankees couldn't slug .300. They weren't even close to .300. And sure, Astros pitching. But in the ALDS, against the same guys, and despite that 18-inning shutout, the Mariners still had a better line: .195/.265/.313.

Just think about where they were earlier this summer. In mid-June, I was resigning myself to another Yankees pennant and probable title. They had a .750 winning percentage, were projected to win 122 games, were seemingly unstoppable. And then they were stopped. Judge kept soaring but the bottom fell out on the rest of the team. He held them up. But not here. In four games, he went 1-16. The one was a single. He was booed by the hometown fans. Not sure what that does to his value. Before, I couldn't imagine the Yankees not trying to sign him. Now? “What does he do in October?” That's the Yankees fan question. And the most recent answer for Judge is 1-16.

We're in historic territory. These are the three longest pennant droughts the Yankees have had since they bought Babe Ruth for $100k on Dec. 26, 1919:

  • 11 seasons: 1965-1975
  • 13 seasons: 2010-2022*
  • 14 seasons: 1982-1995


I'll enjoy it while I can. Take us out, Carey. Start spreading the news.

Posted at 10:53 AM on Monday October 24, 2022 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Sunday June 26, 2022

Astros No-Hit Yankees!

So there's still some good news in the world.

Yesterday, the Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees, who have otherwise been rampaging through the league this season like Biff Tannen on a bender. It's not exactly a David-and-Goliath story (the Astros have been perennials since 2015, won the World Series in 2017, and infamously cheated throughout), and it wasn't even a true no-hitter, with one pitcher standing tall throughout. Astros starter Christian Javier went 7, struck out 13 and walked 1, but by then he'd thrown a career-high 115 pitches and Dusty Baker pulled him for an inning of Hector Neris (20 pitches, 0 Ks, 2 BBs) and an inning of closer Ryan Pressly (15 pitches, 2 Ks, no BBs). Now normally I'm not down with combined no-hitters but in this case I'll take it. For a day, the New York Yankees were shut down and shut up.  There's joy in that.

When was the last time the New York Yankees were no-hit? Turns out, June 11, 2003, also by the Houston Astros, and also with a combined no-hitter: six pitchers back then. Before that, you'd have to go all the way back to 1958 when the Orioles' Hoyt Wilhelm beat them 1-0. He's the last single pitcher to no-hitter the Bronx Bombers.

There's a very helpful website detailing all of this. The Yanks have only been no-hit eight times, and by some sterling names: not just Wilhelm, but Cy Young and Bob Feller. They were no-hit three times in the deadball era (before they really became the New York Yankees), and then not again until Feller in '46. Then Virgil Trucks in '52 and Wilhelm in '58. Those are truly impressive no-hitters, since those Yankee teams were, like this Yankee team, dominant. That may be the most interesting aspect of all of this. The Yankees weren't no-hit in, say, 1966, when they finished last in the American League, or in 1968, when no one could hit, or during the early '90s when they were rebuilding. They were no-hit in seasons when they went 87-67 (and finished third), 95-59 (and won the World Series), 92-62 (and won the World Series), and 101-61 (and won the AL pennant). These were no-slouchers getting no-hit. 

So how does the eight times the Yankees have been no-hit stack up against other teams? Fairly well, according to the website. The Dodgers and Phillies hold the record with being no-hit 20 times each. The fewest has been the KC Royals, who came into existence in 1969, with two (one vs. Nolan Ryan, which is like a bye). Meanwhile, my Mariners, who are 75 years younger than the Yanks, have been no-hit about the same number of times, seven, and, again, and oddly, not during our horrific beginnings, but in, say, 1996 when we had a Hall of Fame lineup Griffey, A-Rod, Edgar, Buhner, etc. Five of the seven have happened during the last 10 years, and four since 2019. I was at one of them. All of that makes sense. We've been hitless wonders, emphasis on hitless. 

Of the original 16 franchises, the Cubs, of all teams, have been no-hit the fewest times: just seven.

Anyway, for a day, there's joy in Mudville, the mighty Yankees have struck out. In this season, and in this year, I'll take it.

Posted at 09:39 AM on Sunday June 26, 2022 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Thursday October 07, 2021

Yanks Bounced Early, Suck

Sad Yankee fan, 2021

In the wake of their 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox in the one-game AL Wild Card playoff, Yankee fans are wringing their hands and calling for heads—chiefly manager Aaron Boone, but also GM Brian Cashman, pitcher Gerrit Cole, who didn't get out of the third inning (and whom the New York Post called Gerrit Bleepin' Cole and the staid New York Times refered to as the team's “nominal” ace), and assorted cast and crew—but one thing you can say for Boone: this team did better than it should have. By Pythagorean standards, they should've gone 86-76 instead of 92-70. They actually had the lowest run differential of any AL postseason team (+42) and the second-lowest, to the Cardinals' +34, of any of the playoff teams. Not sure if beating the Pythagorean speaks to smart managerial moves or just luck, but this definitely ain't your great-grandfather's Murderers' Row. 

You've got Aaron Judge, you've got Giancarlo Stanton sometimes. Both are .200/.300/.500 guys. The rest of the team? Most of the regulars were .200/.300/.300 this year. They're a dull three-outcome team: HR, BB, K. The Yanks were sixth in the Majors in HRs with 222; first in walks with 621; and sixth in strikeouts with 1,482. That's their game. Elsewhere, they ranked 23rd in team batting average, and a lot of that was just because of the dingers. If you break down the other hits, they ranked 20th in singles, 29th (to the Mariners) in triples, and, shockingly, dead last in doubles. The team they just lost to? The Red Sox? They finished first in doubles—clobbering 117 more than the Bronx Bombers. 

I know: Fenway. But generally the BoSox were a way better hitting team, ranking third in BA, sixth in singles, twelfth in triples and tenth in homers. They had a balanced offense. They had more than three outcomes. 

Me, I'm a huge fan of this outcome. Yes, I would've liked it more if the Yankees had missed the playoffs, or had a losing record, or, you know, gone 0-162; but I'll take it. The team's pennant drought now stands at 12 seasons, which ain't much for most teams, but is the second-longest pennant drought for the Yankees since the day they bought Babe Ruth in 1920. Only the shitty Steinbrenner years, 1982-1995, 14 seasons, eclipses it. Fun times. Take us out, Carey

Posted at 02:48 PM on Thursday October 07, 2021 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Sunday September 12, 2021

Celebrating a Big Bronx Defeat

In a world of many small defeats, it's important to celebrate the big defeats of perennial winners like the New York Yankees. 

The Yankees have been a hugely streaky team this year. Predicted by many (including me) to win the AL pennant for the first time since 2009, they started out poorly, revived, dithered, then put together one of the longest win steaks in team history—a lucky 13 games from August 14 to August 27. I was in New York for some of that and I could see fans growing confident again, wearing the caps and shirts again. This was the real Yankees, damnit! But all streaks must come to an end and this one did with a 3-2 loss to Oakland on August 28. “A loss is a loss,” said Aaron Judge, who hit a 2-run homer in the 9th to no avail. “It's time to start another streak, that's all.” Which they did—but not in the way he meant. They lost four in a row. Then they won two. Then they lost seven in a row. The 13-0 team had quickly become a 2-11 team. 

The num-num moment of this period was a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at New Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays have some of the best young hitters in the game (Vlad Jr., Bichette Jr., Gurriel Jr.) but the team has massively underperformed this year. They've had a huge 100+ run differential but have floundered back of the wild card pack, seemingly out of it. Last Sunday, the day before Labor Day, they were 4.5 games back of the Yankees, whose run differential was less than half theirs.

But the Blue Jays won the first game in resounding fashion, 8-0. They won the second, 5-1, off Yankees ace Gerritt Cole. They won the third 6-3 and were leading the fourth 2-0 in the 6th inning when Anthony Rizzo went deep for the pinstripes to tie it up. Aw, too bad, I thought. But the Jays scored another in the 7th, another in the 8th, and two more in the 9th to win it 6-4 and sweep the Bombers in the Bronx.

That's a rarity. But that's not the big defeat I referenced. The big defeat is this: the Yankees never held the lead in any of those games. 

When was the last time the Yankees lost a four-game series, anywhere, without once holding the lead? Would you believe 1924?

As a result, the AL Wild Card has gotten interesting. Friday night's games tightened things further, with the top three teams (BoSox, Yankees, Blue Jays) losing and the bottom two (A's, my own, young, unheralded, no-name Seattle Mariners) winning, so all five were within two games of each other. Last night the reverse: top three won, bottom two lost. It's going to be a bumpy ride. Three weeks left. 

Posted at 07:45 AM on Sunday September 12, 2021 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Wednesday February 17, 2021

That Yankees Pennant Drought

Over the years I've written a lot about the how, why and when of the New York Yankees sucking. It started with the 61* reasons in The Grand Salami in the early 2000s, and I added more as I learned more: the org's historic racism, treating the KC A's like its farm club, David Cone's faux outrage speech against the Mariners in 1998, more historic racism, Derek Jeter's parting gifts, etc. etc. It should be a book. Maybe it will be.

But it's worth reiterating the No. 1 reason why the Yankees suck: They win. They win all the fucking time. They are the sports symbol of our horribly unequal society—U.S. Steel and all rolled into one. Rooting for them is like rooting for white people. A Yankee pennant or championship is like a Republican tax cut: It benefits the people who need it least.

It's worth reiterating all this now because the Yankees are in the midst of one of their longest pennant droughts. 

First, a little history.

The Yankees started out as a shoddy little organization called the Highlanders that didn't have its own ballpark for a few years; they had to make do with the Giants' ballpark. They were one of the last teams to win a pennant—the lucky 13th of the original 16 teams to do so. It took 18 seasons. That is still their longest pennant drought.

Then on Jan. 5, 1920 they purchased Babe Ruth for $125,000. Here are the Yankees pennantless runs since that day.

1 season

  • 1920
  • 1940
  • 1948
  • 1954
  • 1959
  • 1997
  • 2002

2 seasons

  • 1924-25
  • 1979-80

3 seasons

  • 1929-31
  • 1933-35
  • 1944-46

5 seasons

  • 2004-08

11 seasons

  • 1965-75
  • 2010-20 *

14 seasons

  • 1982-1995

* Active

Just how dominant were the Yankees in their 1920-1964 heyday? For nearly half a century, Yankee fans never had to suffer for four staight years without a pennant. Not once. Put it this way: If, on Jan. 5, 1920, you'd told Yankee fans that for the next 45 years they could win a pennant every other year—every other year for 45 years—or they could let things play out as the fates allowed, I'm sure most would've chosen the former. And they would've shortchanged themselves. In these 45 seasons, the Yankees won 29 pennants and the rest of the AL combined won 16:

TEAM Pennants
Yankees 29
Tigers 4
Athletics 3
Senators/Twins 3
Indians 3
White Sox 1
Browns/Orioles 1
Red Sox 1

Ah, but the fun part. Some combination of new CBS ownership and longstanding racist policies led to their downfall. By 1966, the Yankees were the worst team in the AL. Good times. I like how, immediately after the Yankee Years ended, four Have-Nots stepped up to win pennants: Senators/Twins, Browns/Orioles, Red Sox and Tigers. And the first team to dominate was the team that had the least. Before 1966, the Orioles franchise had been to the World Series just once and lost. That was it. Then, in the next six years, they won four pennants and two titles. Then it was on to another Have-Not, the Oakland A's, which won three pennants and three championships in three years. No team besides the Yankees has ever done that. Then the Sox and their memorable '75 Series. And then, crap, back to the Yankees. Oh well. Fun while it lasted.

Indeed, even after the Yankee Years ended, who has been the most dominant team in baseball? Sadly:

TEAM Pennants Titles
Yankees 11 7
Dodgers 10 4
Cardinals 9 4
Red Sox 7 4
Athletics 6 4
Orioles 6 3
Giants 5 3
Reds 5 3
Mets 5 2
Phillies 5 2
Braves 5 1

Which is why we need to enjoy the Yankees' current pennant drought. Sure, it doesn't hold a candle to the Mariners' current drought (44 seasons and counting), or the Pirates (41 seasons), Brewers (38), Orioles (37), A's and Reds (30). Hell, almost half the Majors have longer current pennant droughts than the Yankees. But for the Yankees, this is still historically bad territory—their second worst drought since the day they bought Babe Ruth. Enjoy.

Posted at 08:56 AM on Wednesday February 17, 2021 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Sunday October 11, 2020

No-Name Rays Topple Big-Name Yanks

Read the body language: Chapman: Uh oh; Brosseau: Oh, yeah.

And here endeth the lesson. And the Yankees' season.

And the Tampa Bay Rays have joined the pantheon! 

I don't have cable, because Comcast, and I don't subscribe to MLB TV because it's not user-friendly and doesn't allow you to watch your home team. So in normal years I usually go to my local bar, Quarter Lounge, and watch postseason games there. It's a fun crowd. Well, this isn't a normal year, and if Covid hadn't ended the Quarter Lounge then redevelopment already would have. It was scheduled to go under the wrecking ball in August. Not sure when I was last at the QL. February? I left not knowing I would never be back.

Long way of saying I “watched” the do-or-die Game 5 of the ALDS between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees via's play-by-play gamecast. I expected to watch just a little of it, but I was editing copy, and it was a good background image, and oddly riveting. The Yankees' $324 million pitcher, Gerrit Cole, aquired in the off-season, started on three-days rest for the first time in his career and seemed to be flubbing it. In the first innning he scattered two walks and a HBP to load the basess but got out of the jam. Still I was looking at his pitch count—something like 26 pitches that inning—and was hoping for a quick exit. But he settled down. Bottom of the second, he struck out the side. Bottom third, 2 Ks and a popout. You went back to the first and realized nobody had hit the ball out of the infield yet. That wouldn't happen until the bottom of the fourth, which would've been another 1-2-3 inning save an E-6. So he still had the no-hitter going. 

Meanwhile, in the top of the fourth, Aaron Judge sliced a leadoff homer to right. 1-0, Yanks. 

The Rays answered in the bottom of the fifth: Austin Meadows hit one to right, Judge had a bead on it, leaped, and crashed his head into padding that was overhanging the wall. Home run! I'm no Yankees fan, by any means, but the overhang thing seems way stupid. Guys have been leaping and bringing back homeruns forever, and it's a great highlight, and this impedes that. It's dangerous. I hope the Judge is OK.

But that made it 1-1. Rays kept using pitchers for two, two-plus innings. Their no-name squad. Someone really needs to do a “Moneyball” on the Rays org. Year after year, with no money and barely a fan base, they compete and thrive. Would love to see how they do it. (Here's the beginning of an answer from Eno Harris at The Athletic.)

In the sixth, Yankees got two on but didn't score. In the sixth, Rays chased Cole and got two on and didn't score. Just one baserunner in the seventh (Mike Zunino, E-5) for both teams. Top of the eighth, Judge walked but didn't move. And that set up the bottom of the eighth.

With one out, while Mike Brosseau battled Aroldis Chapman, I thought, idly, hopefully, “Hey, a run here and the Yanks will be three outs from the end of their season. Wouldn't that be great?” Brosseau wasn't even a starter. He's 26, this is his second year in the Majors, and he's had fewer than 250 plate appearances career. I guess he's brought in to face lefties. He's got exactly as many plate appearances against lefties as righties (120 for each) but his OPS against lefties is higher by 200 points. He's got 11 career homers—eight against lefities.

Chapman is a lefty. 

If Brosseau was known for anything it was a Chapman incident last month. The Yankees had been losing to the Rays all year, but they had a 5-3 lead with two outs in the ninth on Sept. 1 when Chapman threw a 101-mph at Brosseau's head. Yes, at his head. It was a punk move, and when Brosseau struck out to end the game, apparently the Yanks engaged in some trash talking—another punk move—and benches cleared. It wasn't the beginning of the bad blood but it was a nasty part of it.

So that was the background; that was the history. Friday, Chapman got him 0-2 quickly, then Brosseau worked it to a 3-2 count, and kept battling. Here's the full at-bat, the 10-pitch at-bat. Chapman was battling, too. Only one of the balls was obviously a ball. The others were just off the plate. A worse umpire might've called them strikes. But Brosseau worked it and worked it and worked it. And on the 10th pitch he went deep. As longtime Yankee left-fielder Brett Gardner positioned himself to grab it if it bounced off the wall, it landed and rattled around about two rows deep in the empty Covid-era seats. If I'd been at the QL, I would've been going crazy. I would've been high-fiving guys. Instead, I just walked into the living room, where Patricia was watching one of her shows, and said, with a stupid smile on my face, “The Rays are ahead.” 

But still the ninth. The middle of that lineup. Giancarlo Stanton, who's had, what, six homers this postseason, led off, and reliever Diego Castillo started out 2-0. Yikes. Then three straight strikes. All looking. Shades of Carlos Beltran. Next up, Luke Voit, who led the Majors in homers this year. K inserted, as a famous, departed announcer once said. That left Yanks 3B Gio Ursella, who'd had a good season and a bad postseason. And he didn't throw away his shot. First pitch, he rifled it toward left field—but 3B Joey Wendle leaned to his right and speared it. And the celebrations began. These kids deserve more. They deserve crowds. Maybe next year.

Biut now we can add the Rays to the pantheon of teams that have knocked out the mighty New York Yankees and helped us all sleep a little better. Since 2001:

  • D-Backs, Angels, Marlins, Red Sox, Angels (2)
  • Tigers, Indians, n/a, 27, Rangers
  • Tigers (2), Tigers (3), n/a, n/a, Astros
  • n/a, Astros (2), Red Sox (2), Astros (3), Rays

Welcome to the party, pals. Carey, start spreading the news. 

Posted at 10:11 AM on Sunday October 11, 2020 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Sunday May 26, 2019

My Man

Posted at 09:36 PM on Sunday May 26, 2019 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Wednesday October 10, 2018

Cry Me a River, Tyler Kepner

There may be no greater sense of schadenfreude than following the social-media paroxysms of Yankee fans rending their garments and pointing their fingers after their team has been blissfully eliminated from yet another baseball season. As happened last night in the Bronx, 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox. 

No one points fingers like Yankee fans. The title was meant to be theirs, and now it's not, and someone has to take the blame. The main scapegoat this year is 2003 ALCS hero and first-time manager Aaron Boone, who waited obscenely long, like until the 4th inning, to pull starting pitchers; and then, particularly in Game 3—the 16-1 debaccle—didn't go to his top-notch relievers. Also getting the brunt: first-timer Giancarlo Stanton, who hit .222 (with a .444 OPS) over the four Boston games.

But of course there are others. Here's an eloquent Yankee fan on the subject:

Angry Yankees fan

100 wins, third-best record in baseball, ALDS: What else could describe that but disgrace? It's shit. Fans deserve an apology.

The mainstream press in New York doesn't exactly try to tamp down these emotions, either. 

"Yanks' season ends in shame"

Shame? Wow. I‘ll remember that in April. I’ll channel Batman ‘66: “Come back, Shame.”

Over at the Times, Tyler Kepner’s think piece seems more circumspect (“Against the Red Sox, the Yankees Simply Don't Measure Up”), but don't kid yourself. Here's the end of Tyler's second paragraph:

“That makes nine seasons in a row without a championship.”

That sentence just drips with a sense of entitlement. He's not even talking about a pennant—something two teams (Nats, M‘s) have never even seen. He’s talking championships. He's talking rings. Because to the Yankee mentality, that's all there is.

As a reminder—to me if not Tyler—here's the championship/title drought for every MLB team, and where the Yankees place on it:

Team Last Title Years
Indians 1948 70
Senators/Rangers *  1961 57
Padres *  1969 49
Pilots/Brewers * 1969 49
Expos/Nationals **  1969 49
Mariners ** 1977 41
Pirates 1979 39
Browns/Orioles 1983 35
Tigers 1984 34
Mets 1986 32
Dodgers 1988 30
Athletics 1989 29
Reds 1990 28
Senators/Twins 1991 27
Blue Jays 1993 25
Rockies * 1993 25
Braves 1995 23
Rays * 1998 20
D-backs 2001 17
Angels 2002 16
Marlins 2003 15
White Sox 2005 13
Phillies 2008 10
Yankees 2009 9
Cardinals 2011 7
Red Sox 2013 5
Giants 2014 4
Royals 2015 3
Cubs 2016 2
Astros 2017 1

* Have never won World Series championship
** Have never been to World Series

So 23 of the 30 MLB teams are in worse shape. And they don't have those oft-mentioned 27 rings and 40 pennants to keep them warm.

But that's why, of course, nine championship-less seasons seem an eternity for the Yankee fan. Indeed, since 1923, when the Yankees won their first World Series championship after buying Babe Ruth and most of the best of the Boston Red Sox, they‘ve only had two title-less stretches longer than this: 17 seasons (between 1978 and 1996) and 14 seasons (between 1962 and 1977). The fourth longest, eight seasons, also took place in this century: between 2000 and 2009. Now this one has surpassed that.

So as Yankee-hating goes, this has actually been a pretty good time. Start spreadin’ the news. 

Posted at 04:57 AM on Wednesday October 10, 2018 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Wednesday October 10, 2018

Sad Yankees Fan of the Day

In case you‘re like some of my friends and don’t think this is of national import, the tweet below comes from the national correspondent of the Washington Post

Reading the schadenfreude on Twitter after the Yankees were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox last night, I have to admit: I didn't know there was so much of me in the world. 

Sad Yankees fan, 2018

Posted at 04:23 AM on Wednesday October 10, 2018 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Tuesday October 09, 2018

2018 Yankees Done

Was it better or worse that the Yankees got that 9th inning? Did it make it more painful for Yankee fans (“So close!”) or less (“At least we put a scare in the bastards!”)? And what the hell is up with Craig Kimbrel? He's lights out against most everyone else but with the Yankees he's got the yips. Here's his regular season numbers against other AL East teams:

TOR 12 11 4 3 16 1.64 .108
TB 9 9.1 6 4 15 0.00 .188
BAL 8 7.1 5 7 12 9.82 .192
NYY 6 5.2 5 2 12 4.76 .227

Actually that Baltimore line is even nuttier, isn't it? A lot of it to do with this Sept. 26 game. And his overall line, while good, isn't near his standard. Last year, his K-BB ratio was 126-14. This year? 96-31. 

Tonight, he came in with a 4-1 lead and went: Walk, single, strikeout. Walk, HBP, sac fly (to the warning track). Now it's 4-3, 2 outs, men on 1st and 2nd, and Gleber Torres at the plate. He hits a slow nubber to third. Helluva play by both Nunez to field it and Pearce to scoop it and stay on the bag. Baseball is a game of inches. And in those inches went the Yankees' season.

Good riddance.  

Here's the legion of honor this century:

  • 2000: Oakland A'sSeattle MarinersNew York Mets
  • 2001: Oakland A'sSeattle MarinersArizona Diamondbacks
  • 2002: Los Angeles Angels
  • 2003: Minnesota TwinsBoston Red SoxFlorida Marlins
  • 2004: Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox
  • 2005: Los Angeles Angels
  • 2006: Detroit Tigers
  • 2007: Cleveland Indians
  • 2008: n/a
  • 2009: Minnesota TwinsLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimPhiladelphia Phillies
  • 2010: Minnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
  • 2011: Detroit Tigers
  • 2012: Baltimore OriolesDetroit Tigers
  • 2013: n/a
  • 2014: n/a
  • 2015: Houston Astros
  • 2016: n/a
  • 2017: Minnesota TwinsCleveland IndiansHouston Astros
  • 2018: Oakland A's, Boston Red Sox

The top postseason Yankee killers this century have been: Detroit (3-0), Astros (2-0), Angels (2-1) and Red Sox (2-1). The schleppers? Twins (0-5), A's (0-3), Mariners (0-2).

But enough. The important thing is they‘re gone. Start spreadin’ the news.

Posted at 04:20 PM on Tuesday October 09, 2018 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Thursday September 20, 2018

The Phrase that Unites the Country: ‘Yankees Suck’

A great moment of national unity occurred over the weekend. I‘ll let Boston Globe sportswriter Pete Abraham explain:

Truly. You can see it here.

A reader recently asked me about my “team with the longest postseason drought” post from a few years back, and wondered about extra data on the subject. I sent him what I had, but it meant going through it again, and looking at all of those numbers again. It ain’t pretty:

  • Of the 113 World Series in MLB history the Yankees have won 27. That's 23.9%. The second-most titles belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals, who have 11, or 9.27%. It's not even close. It's not even half.
  • The Yanks average a World Series championship ever 4.19 years. They average a pennant every 2.83 years. More than one in three World Series involves the Yankees. On the bottom end of the scale, the Phillies and Indians average a World Series championship every 56.5 years. 
  • It used to be worse. During the Yankees heyday, from 1921 to 1964, they won 20 World Series titles and 29 pennants. That's 66% (29/44) of the AL pennants available during those years. The second-most pennants during this time? The Tigers with 4. Then it went: Athletics and Senators: 3; Indians: 2; and White Sox, Red Sox and Browns/Orioles with one each. No wonder Joe Hardy was willing to sell his soul to the devil. 
  • If you‘re curious who’s got the most pennants and titles since the Yankees heyday, here's your answer: the Yankees. Since 1965, they‘ve won 11 pennants and 7 titles. Second is the Cardinals with 9 and 4. Yanks aren’t dominating as much, but they still dominate. 
  • OK. So what about flat-out postseason appearances throughout MLB history? Who has the most there? Well, the Cards finish third with 28. Dodgers have 31. Yankees? 53. 

I was in Minneapolis over the weekend visiting family, and when I landed late Thursday night and was waiting for a taxi, I noticed the administrator behind the plastic-glass was wearing an all-black Twins cap. “Why all-black?” I asked. He said the company only allowed black caps, so he got an all-black Twins one. I nodded. “Tough year this year,” I said. He nodded. Then I added, “But thanks for beating the Yankees twice this week.” He smiled a bit, shook his head, said: “I hate the Yankees, man.” 

All together now...

Posted at 01:17 AM on Thursday September 20, 2018 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  

Friday August 31, 2018

Goodrum is Redrum for Yanks

Yankees Suck

Tie game. 

Sometimes there's justice. For a day. 

At New Yankee Stadium yesterday, that $1 billion boondoggle that swept aside great baseball history, the New York Yankees took a 7-5 lead into the 9th inning against the lowly Detroit Tigers, and had their $5.1 million set-up man, Dellin Betances, on the mound, because their $15 million closer, Aroldis Chapman, was on the DL. With one out, Betances gave up a 2-run homer to Victor Martinez—a line shot that just cleared the wall in right. The next batter was shortstop Niko Goodrum, 26, and earning $500k, which is a lot for you and me, but which is only about twice the Major League minimum, and of course 1/10 what Betances is making. Is that a spur for these guys? “Hey, you‘re not 10 times better than me!” Either way, Goodrum clobbered it to right, too, a long, towering shot that snaked just inside the right-field foul pole for the 8-7 Tigers lead. 

Now the Tigers turned to their closer, one-time Yankee Shane Greene, earning $1.9 million. And he set them down in order: Gardner, who’s making $11 mil, Hicks at $2.8, and then the big bat, their key off-season acquisition, Giancarlo Stanton, all $25 million of him, who flied out to center. Game, set, match. And the Yankee faithful shuffled out in defeat. 


The Yankees fell to 8.5 games behind the front-running Boston Red Sox in the American League East, but that's a bit deceiving. It makes it look like they‘re having a so-so year. They actually have the second-best record in the AL. Wait, scratch that. They have the second-best record in the Majors. That’s right. Despite all the injuries they‘ve had, despite the sense of gloom in the Bronx, they’re basically the second-best team in baseball. And then they picked up former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen. And October's around the corner, where anything can happen. 

But we'll always have yesterday.

Yankees suck

Posted at 04:14 AM on Friday August 31, 2018 in category Yankees Suck   |   Permalink  
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