I hate the Yankees. You probably do too. Whether it’s institutional hatred for the monolithic, big box dictatorship, that for nearly two decades sat atop Major League Baseball in both payroll and the standings; or something more specific — like that asshole Yankees/Lakers/Red Wings/Cowboys/Manchester United/Notre Dame/Cobra Kai “fan” from work, who continually quotes the same two lines from “Office Space” and steals lunches from the break room fridge – most of us can find something to dislike.
Remember, George Steinbrenner once actually did THIS:
That’s what makes the effusive praise heaped upon them, and specifically, GM Brian Cashman (Steve Carell’s body-double from “Foxcatcher”) for their trade deadline moves so much more annoying.
You may remember the Yankees for such poor contracts as AJ Burnett – 5 years, $82.5 million, Jaret Wright – 3 years, $21 million, Jose Contreras – 4 years, $32 million, Kyle Farnsworth – 3 years, $17 million, Kei Igawa – 5 years, $20 million, and everyone’s favorite, Carl Pavano – 4 years, $39.5 million. This is a team that has millions of dollars still tied up in the geriatric, fading nucleus of A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, and CC Sabathia. They have consistently been the macho dick-swingers, backing up truckloads of cash to free agents from all walks of life and shipping off any potential homegrown talent during deadline swaps. But apparently, no one told ESPN or any of the other Yankees Super PACs this. According to most analysts, 2016’s post-deadline Yanks are suddenly a shrewd, Moneyball-like operation that has whitewashed any semblance of their eternal win-now, haves-destroying-have-nots sheen. I for one, can’t stand it.
Not to say I think that any of the trades were bad moves. They were completely sound and defensible. This team was going nowhere in 2016, and as currently constructed, they were doomed to continue to fail. With one of the more barren farm systems in all of baseball, they had to get younger. Fast.
By trading away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan (insert Chris Berman General Motors or space reference here) Nova for a boatload of young and reportedly talented prospects, the Yankees should have a good foundation to contention within 2-3 years. But what the hell happened to the Yankees? These moves are soooo Marlins. Make baseball evil again!
Fittingly, as recently as two weeks before the deadline, MLB reporter, and plastic wedding cake groom Ken Rosenthal tweeted a quote from Yankees Team President and Donald Trump supporter (big surprise) Randy Levine, which seemed to follow a more predictable narrative:
“We’ve said it over and over again. All this talk of buying or selling at this point in time is just speculative. We believe in this team. The Yankees have never been quitters…”
BUT THEY JUST QUIT!
The Yankees ultimately bailed on the 2016 season, and more importantly, they quit being everything the Yankees are supposed to be. Like Levine’s buddy Trump, they blew a lot of hot air and said brash, bold things that only the dumbest among us would find reasonable in an attempt to maintain their image, only to quietly back peddle and make the only prudent decision on the table. They had to become sellers. No other option made sense, and if you need another reason, you need look no further than Queens, where the spotlight has been refocused on the Mets, the Yankees ne’er-do-well, drunk, underachieving nephews, who had previously taken the long road to rebuilding while sacrificing all but the hardest of the die hard fanbase. And it paid off!
So seriously, can we please stop giving the Yankees’ current leadership credit for something anyone saner than Donald Trump, George Steinbrenner, or (insert your other favorite fascist dictator here) would have done?
Here’s to hating the Yankees through all 19 of ESPN’s primetime games against the Red Sox for the next 10 years while we listen to Aaron Boone unzip Cashman’s Haggar wrinkle-free slacks in the booth and bloviate about his GM prowess and ALL THE YOUNG STARS.