By Ted Gay – @TedG63
As we recover from a series of knockout Nor’easters and pray for the snow to melt, this year’s spring training games are dwindling to a precious few. As this happens the all familiar questions arise: Will the Red Sox be great? Will the Yankees suck? I am not sure of the former, but while wearing spring’s rose-colored glasses, I will answer in the affirmative on the latter.
The Yankees shall suck for the following reasons:
Giancarlo Stanton will not be able to work “heel”
Stanton has spent his career as a “face.” He rarely has caused any fan, at least not in the American League, a reason to dislike him. We Red Sox fans admired him like he played in Japan and would never have a bearing on our happiness. However, this winter he made clear there were 26 teams for whom Stanton would not play. This wasn’t a free agent who teams chose not to negotiate with, or did not have the money to pay; this was a player who said: “I do not want to play in your city.”
The Red Sox could have offered Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Jackie Bradley for the 2017 MVP, and the answer would have been no due to the fact Stanton had no desire to ever wear a home jersey at Fenway Park.
Everyone who lives in a city which was rejected by Stanton should overwhelm him with boos when his walk-up music plays. I do not believe the former Marlin slugger, who has been cheered while representing a harmless Miami team, will produce as effectively once he is subjected to intense criticism from a big market, and is no longer beloved. He certainly struggled with the jeers from opposing fans, so wait until the short-tempered Yankee fans begin to feast on him after a slow start or prolonged slumps.
In Florida, Stanton was playing in his mom’s backyard with his friends. Now he is playing in the big city before unfriendly faces. I expect his numbers to crash like the stock market during a trade war.
Aaron Boone is the manager
For years Joe Girardi somehow kept an aging, talent-starved team in the midst of a pennant race. Finally, when the Yankees could field a team equal to Girardi’s managing ability, he was fired for not being able to “communicate with younger players.” Maybe the Yankees needed a new voice in their clubhouse, but to hire a manager who last wore a uniform as a player, and spent years as a studio analyst is especially egregious.
Was Boone’s forgetting to have a pitcher warmed up between innings after removing his predecessor a one time mistake or a sign of someone out of his depth?
Aaron Boone is an off-Broadway play that needs months to be fleshed out being rushed towards a disastrous opening run at the Helen Hayes Theater.
I predict an early closing to this drama wholly created from the over-inflated ego of Brian Cashman.
Their starting pitching rotation is weak
Who do you feel comfortable handing the ball to in a must-win game? Sonny Gray? Jordan Montgomery? CC Sabathia? Luis Severino? Masahiro Tanaka?
If these names were listed in a Jeopardy category called: Major League Starting Pitching your answer would be, “Name five guys who make me feel better about Rick Porcello.”
The New York media is already discussing which prospects they will trade to bolster their staff. This is a team that is going to remind people of Yawkey era Red Sox teams which will score a lot of runs, give up a lot of runs, and finish behind a lot of teams.
They have an overrated offense
Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez had amazing rookie seasons, but if one of them has a sophomore slump, even with the addition of Stanton, the offense will suffer.
My candidate for most likely to disappoint is Judge. Baseball has told his story before. The ending usually begins with, “Whatever happened to?” I would hate to own the concession for handheld motorized fans in the Bronx, because with all the swings and misses from the Yankee offense, the Stadium will always have a stiff breeze.
Boston fans have been so enamored with the success all of literally professional team in our marjet, that we haven’t noticed the fact that all New York teams typically suck. We should be joyfully celebrating the amount of suck emanating from their five boroughs. In fact, they are at the “David Arquette winning the WCW title level of suck.” New York sports are so bad, they are becoming entertaining like a bad James Franco movie about an even worse movie.
Into this void steps the Bombers. It is through them, which the Big Apple hopes to find redemption. Having watched many Red Sox teams collapse pre-2004 from the weight of grand expectations, I see a similar fate awaiting the Bombers.
In closing, add in an overrated bullpen whose closer gave up a game-tying homer on his own turf to a 20 year old fresh out of AA (Rafael Devers) playing for their fiercest rival in the middle of a pennant race. Not to mention shaky defense, a lack of speed, and the presence of a 35 year-old Jacoby Ellsbury who reminds me how old I am.
I see nothing but suck for the next 162 games in the Bronx. This is my optimistic, pessimistic prediction for the 2018 Yankees season.