Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Youkilis, a Yankee? What Have We Done to Deserve This?

Warning: This post contains foul language.  If you can't handle it, don't read it.

Kevin Youkilis is a Yankee? Kevin FUCKING Youkilis?

What have we done to deserve this?

Little Bill (Gene Hackman): "I don't deserve this!"
Munny (Clint Eastwood): "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it!"
-- Unforgiven

If they give that bastard the Number 20 that he wore with The Scum, the Number 20 worn with such honor on the Yankees by Tiny Bonham, Spec Shea, Bucky Dent and Jorge Posada, I am going to have one hell of a conniption. (Tiny and Spec are dead, and won't care. I suspect Bucky won't care, and maybe Jorge won't -- but I'll bet Laura Posada will.)

(UPDATE: He got Number 36. So it was an insult to Johnny Mize and David Cone.)

Lisa Swan of Subway Squawkers spoke for many of us, explaining why this deal is so sickening: Not because of what Youkilis can do if he's healthy (a massive if), but because of his inability to stay healthy, and his attitude, and the price of that attitude, and what his signing means for the Big Pinstriped Picture:

Hey, kids. Brian Cashman made history Tuesday! Thanks to his idiotic signing of Kevin Youkilis, the Yankees will be paying more for the third baseman spot in 2013 than any other team has ever paid for any other position in history! That's right, folks. The Yanks will be spending a mind-boggling $40 million year for third base next year, more than the Miami Marlins will be spending for their entire franchise's payroll.

And what are the Yanks getting for their money? ... R
eplacing an aging, expensive, injury-riddled third baseman with a bad hip, with another aging, expensive, injury-riddled third baseman with a bad hip. Not to mention that whole Red Sox thing. Good grief.

Only the Yanks would get "younger" (Youk will be 34 in March) with a player who misses 40 to 60 games a year, and who has been on the DL pretty much every year of his career. Only the Yankees would replace an overpaid, frequently-injured third baseman with an even more brittle version. And give him $12 million (!) to do so.

Not to mention that Youkilis is a jerk, and even his fellow Red Sox players long ago grew tired of his hissy fits after every strikeout. (And before you bring up Paul O'Neill, he acted like a baby, too, but he helped the Yankees get four rings. Youk won't be getting his own Yankeeography any time soon.)

"That whole Red Sox thing" has been overcome before. Sparing you the details of pre-Steinbrenner-ban acquisitions like Babe Ruth, Red Ruffing and Sparky Lyle, we had to accept Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon.

Now, except for his fling with Margot Adams, Boggs is a decent guy. Damon turned out to be one, once we stopped seeing him through the Fenway prism. Clemens was always a jackass, but we decided to ignore that for a while. All 3 worked out well for us: Boggs and Damon each helped us win a World Series we really needed, 1996 and 2009, respectively; while Clemens was a part of the 1999 and 2000 World Champions (just sorta along for the ride on the former, a key cog on the latter).

It's not just that Youk was a Red Sock. Or that he was a member of the 2007 Red Sox, a more hateful bunch of Scum than even the 2004 variety. After all, the '07 team had Super Punk, Josh Beckett, and the insanely annoying Jonathan Papelbon, as well as Youk with his whinging and his wiggling his candy ass. The 2007 Red Sox were so offensive (and I don't mean with the bats) that they made the 1993 Philllies "Macho Row" bunch look like gentlemen.

And, yes, the Sox did get tired of Youk's act, just as they finally got tired of the acts of Beckett, Papelbum, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and even "Manny Being Manny" Ramirez. (But not, as yet, John Lackey. Remember the Boston "Buffalo Heads"? I think Lackey may be the last of the "Fried Chicken Heads.")

And now this guy is a Yankee? Oy vey.

And if that were the worst of it, I would already agree with it 100 percent.  But, as Lisa continues: 

Yesterday, I heard over and over from Yankee fans trying to justify the trade about how this was the best Brian Cashman could do. What nonsense. I would have been happy with a rookie or role player who can play decent defense and can stay healthy. But the Yanks are more interested in big names for ratings on the YES Network than with having some nobody (the horror!) field the position. Of course, having somebody who could, you know, actually be a relevant player in 2013, not 2004, never figures into Cashman's equation. (Hey, Manny Ramirez is still out there; maybe Cash can sign him, too!) 

Don't give him any ideas, Lisa.

She concludes:

Brian (Fredo) Cashman will preen somewhere about what a great GM he is, putting this golden oldies team on the field. Good grief. I haven't had somebody join the team that I had such a visceral reaction to since Javy Vazquez Part Deux. This is worse. 

Guess what, folks? You can't count on the Yankees making the playoffs with this ancient crew just because they have in the past. Every single team in the AL East got better in the winter this year, except for the Yankees, who got worse (Rafael Soriano not being on this team will come back to bite them.) There's a reason my Sox fan friends are laughing over Youkilis being a Yankee -- they know what he is now. And the one-time .300+ hitter is not an All-Star third baseman anymore. He's slightly more relevant than Derek Lowe, but that's about it. Good grief.

Now, I have to disagree with her. I was actually willing to give Home Run Javy a second chance. I was wrong. I don't want to give Youkilis even a first chance.

Look, there's something to be said for, "This guy has hurt us before, let's get him now. Even if he doesn't work out well for us, at least he won't be hurting us anymore." It has worked before.

In 1946, the Yankees wanted to trade Joe Gordon, a great 2nd baseman, to the Cleveland Indians, for a pitcher. Joe DiMaggio told them the pitcher to get was Allie Reynolds. Why? Not because Reynolds had a great fastball (although he did), but that DiMaggio had trouble hitting him.

Well, without Reynolds to hit against, DiMaggio won the MVP in '47, could have won it in '48, and missed the 1st half of '49 but came on like gangbusters in the 2nd half.  Without DiMaggio to pitch to, Reynolds helped the Yankees win the Series in '47, '49, '50 and '51 -- and, after DiMaggio's retirement, '52 and '53. Joe D said to get this guy, and he became the ace of a team that won 5 straight World Series. (Sadly, he simply doesn't quite have the career stats to get into the Hall of Fame.)

In 1998, the Yankees signed Chili Davis. He'd driven the Yankees crazy for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels (as that team was then known). He played the 1st 2 games of the season, then got hurt, and was out until August 17. At least he wasn't hurting us, right?

But when he did come back, he hit .291 the rest of the way. It didn't mean much, as the Yanks ran away with the title, although he hit .286 in both the ALCS and the World Series. In 1999, at age 39, he played a full season, and hit 25 doubles and 17 home runs, with 78 RBIs, helped the Yankees win another title, and retired. (Having hit 350 home runs, the 1st native of Jamaica to play in the major leagues is now the hitting instructor for the Oakland Athletics.)

And, of course, there were the acquisitions, for the 1993 season, of Boggs and Jimmy Key, who'd been a fantastic pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Key went 186-117 in just 12 full seasons in the majors, and really doesn't get the credit he deserves. Boggs was a good addition to the team that built toward the title and got it in 1996; Key was, well, a key addition.

Look, if Youkilis can do well for the Yankees, I'll hold my nose until he proves himself as such, and then accept him as one of us. I did that for Clemens. I did that for ex-Mets Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, David Cone, and, uh, Joe Torre.

But I don't think he'll do well for us. This is a big name being signed by a GM working for an ownership that, unlike those from whom the club was inherited, seems to care about profits and publicity more than winning. And the new acquisition is frequently injured and viewed as "foreign." With the results... 

The Yankees are starting to act more and more like Arsenal -- which got knocked out of the League Cup last night. By Bradford City. That's a League Two team. That's the English soccer equivalent of the Florida State League.

Come to think of it, Cashman and the Arsenal board are also acting like Lou Lamoriello with the New Jersey Devils -- when the Devils play, that is. (Gary Bettman, end the lockout, you bloody cunt!)

It's bad enough to root for one team that plays like this. But the 3 teams about whom I care the most, all playing like that? That is unacceptable.

Youkilis... As they say where Arsenal are based, "Fucking hell!"

UPDATE: Youkilis played 28 games for the Yankees in 2013, batted .219 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs, got hurt in June, and never played in the major leagues again. He retired with a .281 lifetime batting average and 150 home runs -- about half of which seemed to come against the Yankees. He was a massive waste of money and time for the Yankees, but he goes down in history as a Red Sox hero -- if any Red Sox player from the post-Boggs era can be called a "hero."

1 comment:

The Shadow Chronicler said...

Good I've been looking for a dedicated Yankee fan. But this isn't about the rivalry. I need your opinion on a couple things. I'm composing an All-Time AL East. In the end it will coe down to Yankees and Red Sox. So I want the best Yankees and best Red Sox. So who was a better second baseman, Tom Lazzeri or Robinson Cano? Also who shoul be DH? Thanks for your time.