Boarding a plane in Atlanta home to Michigan after a few hour layovers signifying the end of my vacation. While at Hartsfield Jackson I had the chance to watch a Yankee stinker on TBS as the Bombers dropped an 8-4 tilt to the Rockies. James Paxton was simply not sharp on the mound today for the Yanks. The Big Maple lasted just 3.1 innings giving up 7 runs (4 of which were earned thanks to a bad Luke Voit error) 5 hits (including Charlie Blackmon’s leadoff homer), with 7 strikeouts, and 3 walks. The loss saw Paxton drop to 5-5, and his e.r.a. rise to 4.20. Obviously not ideal for a guy with the kind of stuff Paxton has. In my opinion, he is still troubled by his bothersome knee injury, which is affecting his location. I will get to that later.
Tampa Bay knocked off the White Sox trimming the Yankee lead to 9 (11 in the all-important loss column) The Red Sox lost to the Orioles again, and remain 11 games back of the Bombers (12 in the loss column). The 64-34 Yanks have the best record in the American League. Barring an epic collapse New York is going to coast to the AL East Crown. From twitter, you’d think it was the Yankees who “trimmed” a division lead to 9 games. I am really starting to hate a lot of this current Yankee fan base. Maybe I am going full “heel turn” here, but in all honesty what the hell would make you people happy?
Last season most of you bitched and moaned on a daily basis because the hated Red Sox had a historical season. Boston had the type of year where literally every break possible over an entire baseball season went their way en route to a World Series championship. The Yankees had an incredible season, winning 100 games. Yes, they lost to the superior team in Boston in the ALDS, but you can’t win em all. Still, that wasn’t enough for many of you.
GM Brian Cashman then went out and made some serious moves to try to IMPROVE a team that won those 100 games in 2018. He signed MVP candidate DJ LeMahieu for a song compared to what the Padres and Phillies paid Manny Machado, and Bryce Harper respectively. There was incessant bitching, and crying that because of this “failure” to not sign either of these “big fish” in free agency that the Steinbrenner’s were cheap, and didn’t care about winning like their Uber-competitive father. Hysterical to say the least. So comical in fact there is no point in breaking down all of Cashman’s moves. There’s been enough regurgitation of them. The New York Yankees are anything but cheap. They still have the 3rd highest payroll in the game behind the Red Sox and Cubs. They pay the luxury tax every year. Yes, they didn’t shell out big bucks for free agents this winter. Could you make the argument they should have signed Dallas Keuchel once the draft pick compensation was removed from his rights? Of course. (I thought they should have with all the uncertainty and injuries in the rotation). It’s not like Keuchel is setting the world on fire in Atlanta. My advice is this. If you don’t like how the Yankees run their organization based on analytics, and how they allocate money, go cheer for that sorry outfit in Queens. Do you think you have problems as a baseball fan? Those people have tons to complain about on twitter and such.
Are the 2019 Yankees perfect? No. As the guys on the pod and all the staff writers have written here the Yankees do need to improve their starting pitching if they hope to achieve the ultimate goal of winning World Series title # 28. We all know that. Any fan with half a brain knows that. So, of course, Brian Cashman (who happens to be one of the smartest guys in all of baseball) knows that and is doing everything in his power to remedy that.
That brings me to Paxton. Has he been a Cy Young candidate? No. Has been dominant consistently? No again. The fact is the guy has come to New York and had some struggles. Every starting pitcher that has come to the Yankees via free agency or trade as far as I can remember has struggled in the beginning. The lone exception being recent hall-of-fame inductee Mike Mussina. Mussina didn’t have issues with New York because he is a different breed of human. Moose was introverted, Stanford educated MENSA member who simply didn’t give a damn about anything. It also helped that when he arrived in New York in 2001 the Bombers were 3 times defending WS champions and had Clemens, Pettitte, and El Duque, etc in their rotation. Pitching in New York under the media scrutiny is a unique challenge. Some guys like Cone and Clemens adjusted and thrived. Some guys like Javy Vazquez and Sonny Gray got eaten alive by it. Paxton deserves some benefit of the doubt. He has kept the Yanks in most every game he has started, and he is trying to win a tough fan base over by pitching with a bum wheel knowing the team needed to keep Tampa and Boston at bay in the division standings. I can’t imagine what some of you nincompoops would be saying on twitter if he had stayed on the IL until his knee was 100% healthy. Christ, he might still be there. Paxton and the team realized Severino hasn’t pitched an inning yet. CC is old. Happ hasn’t been great, and their best starter German suffered a minor hip injury that sidelined him briefly. Paxton missed a few starts and has pushed through. I saw someone on twitter today ask if Sonny Gray was better. Seriously? Have you lost your mind? (and I was a big Sonny Gray defender) My point in all of this is it’s never enough for some of you cry babies. I honestly think you expect every Yankee starter to go like 26-4 with a 2.00 e.r.a. Baseball is a 162 game gauntlet. Guys have bad outings and stretches. Maybe appreciate what this team has done to date with all the injuries, and perhaps give a guy like Paxton a break for being tough and taking the ball every fifth day with an injury.
Today’s Terrible Tweet goes to @sportsguru03 AKA J.Curtis in response to a picture of injured Yankee outfielder Giancarlo Stanton chatting with Rockies star Nolan Arenado prior to today’s game.
“Stanton ain’t worth a shit right now or all year SMH. He better get some damn balls and get going” J. may be a guru of something, but it isn’t baseball, and it sure is hell isn’t medicine. This is the kind of stuff that makes me strongly dislike a lot of Yankee fans.
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