Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures -- Are These Desperate Times?

My thanks to Delia Enriquez, whose Tweets broke up Yu Darvish's no-hitter in the 5th inning last night.



Unfortunately, nothing seems to wake the Yankee bats up for long.  Here's the extent of the Yankee baserunners in last night's series opener against the Texas Rangers in Arlington:

1st inning: Brett Gardner leads off the game by getting hit with a pitch.  After a delay to see if he was okay, the game continued, and he remained in the game, but Ichiro Suzuki popped up and Robinson Cano grounded into a doubl eplay.

5th inning: Lyle Overbay singles.  Vernon Wells flies out.  Travis Hafner walks.  At this point, it's only 1-0 Rangers, and we have 1st & 2nd with 1 out.  Unfortunately, the next two batters don't belong in the major leauges.  Eduardo Nunez struck out, and Chris Stewart popped up.

7th inning: With 1 out, and the Strangers now up 2-0, Overbay singled again.  So the Yankees had 2 hits in 7 innings, and Overbay had both of them.  Vernon Wells drew a walk.  Ranger manager Ron Washington replaced Darvish with Robbie Ross.  And Hafner grounded into a double play.  Nelson Cruz homered in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-0 Rangers, and that was the final.

9th inning: With 1 out, Ichiro singled to right.  But Cano struck out, and Overbay flew out.

It should be noted that Ivan Nova deserved a better fate.  He went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  We should have scored enough runs to at least avoid sticking him with the loss.  Joba Chamberlain pitched a scorless 8th, not that I remain hopeful about his future with the Yankees, but it's still good to see.

WP: Darvish (9-4).  SV: Joe Nathan (31).  LP: Nova (4-3), who deserved a better fate.

I hate the Rangers.  I hate all teams called Rangers, whatever the sport, whatever the country, especially if they wear blue shirts.

I used to say that the only Ranger in a blue shirt who doesn't suck is the Lone Ranger.  But in the new movie, Armie Hammer wears a black shirt.  (A "third jersey"? Look ridiculous on you, kemosabe.) No wonder the movie tanked.  Johnny Depp can survive this bomb, because he's Johnny Freakin' Depp: Men want to be him, and women just want him.  But Hammer's career may take as big a hit as Seth Rogen's did when he tried to bring back the Green Hornet.  (Character created by the same guy, and as a relative of the Lone Ranger. No, I'm not making that up: Britt Reid was the grandson of John Reid, the murdered brother of Lone Ranger Dan Reid.)

*

They say, "Desperate times call for desperate measures." Well, are times desperate for the Yankees? There are 10 weeks left in the season, 63 games, and we're 7 games behind the Red Sox (6 in the loss column). All we have to do is make up 1 game out of every 9.  Considering how many times the Red Sox have choked away a Division lead (1948, 1949, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1991, 2006, 2009, 2011), it is time to be concerned, but not scared.

Yet the rumor is going around that the Yankees are trying to put together a trade with the Chicago Cubs, to bring back Alfonso Soriano.  You remember the 2001 World Series, when he was 3 outs away from being a tremendous hero? No? Well, you remember the 2003 World Series, when he became known as Strikeout Soriano? Thought so.

I don't want him back.  He would be no better than what we have now.  In 2002, he led the AL in plate appearances, at-bats, hits, runs and stole bases.  He batted .300, hit 39 home runs, had 102 RBIs.  He had another great year in the Yanks' 2003 Pennant season.  And then batted .133 in the ALCS against The Scum and .227 in the World Series against the Florida Marlins.  He's since been to only 2 postseasons, with the Cubs in 2007 and '08, and reached base 4 times in 29 appearances (an on-base percentage of .138).

He hasn't batted higher than .262 in 6 years.  He had 32 homers and 108 RBIs last season, but it was his highest home run total in 6 years and his highest RBI total ever -- it was an outlier.  He stole 41 bases as recently as 2006, but the Washington Nationals wouldn't keep him, and he signed as a free agent with the Cubs, and has 70 steals in the 6 1/2 seasons since.  He's already struck out 87 times this season, and fanned 153 times last season.

And with the suspension yesterday of Ryan Braun, for the rest of the season, the thought that MLB bigwigs would hold off on suspending anyone in this Biogenesis thing until after the season is out the window.  So even if Alex Rodriguez can come back from injury this season, he may be unavailable.  And that brings us back to Soriano, the guy we traded to the Rangers to get A-Rod on February 16, 2004, a date which lives in fiduciary.

No, these are not desperate times.  The Yankees do need a big bat or two, and the trading deadline is 8 days away.  If Derek Jeter and Curti sGranderson could come back this season, it would be like 2 new signings.

Yikes, with the trading deadline acting as baseball's "transfer window," I'm starting to sound like an Arsenal fan.

But then, I am an Arsenal fan.  But I don't want to be THAT kind of Arsenal fan, demanding that Brian Cashman "Spend some fucking money!" That's the problem: Cashman proves Arsene Wenger's point, that it's not how much money you spend, but on whom.

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