Posts tagged CC Sabathia
Posts tagged CC Sabathia
What happened: The 2012 New York Yankees won a mere two of three games against the Tampa Bay Rays, blowing perhaps their final opportunity to vault themselves back into the top-o’-the-division thicket.
True Yankee™ gainers: Robinson Cano, who has started to hit like Robinson Cano - an odd coincidence, given that his name is Robinson Cano - and thus defied the small-sample simpletons who read too much into his early-season sluggishness…C.C. Sabathia, though this is the last time we’ll celebrate a stopper-pitching-like-an-stopper performance in this space. Nobody celebrates a donut for tasting like a donut, am I right? Am I right?… Derek Jeter, for handling his first slumpy week of the season with the steely resolve of Walter Cronkite, Anne Frank and Bruce Wayne combined. And it isn’t like the stat skeptics are monitoring his ground-ball rate or anything like that. Nuh-uh.
True Yankee™ waners: David Robertson, for not only surrendering his first run in like half a season, but also for registering the Yankees’ first blown save since the John Wetteland era. Mariano must be turning over in his bed… Eduardo Nunez, a ball magnet no matter where you try to hide him on the diamond. Somehow he’ll find a way to undermine team defense from Rochester… Alex Rodriguez, who hasn’t hit a home run or driven in a run since Sunday. Let the on-base-getters-on get on base, Alex. Your job is to hit the ball far and refrain from preening like a jerkhole. Get with the program.
What’s next: The Seattle Mariners roll into town, all bright eyes and hopeful grins. Then the Yankees do a quickie two-stop road trip to play the Blue Jays and the “first place” Orioles before returning home for… interleague play? Already? The season has entered its adolescence.
True Yankee™ on the spot: Hiroki “Hideki” Kuroda. If he can’t shut down the Seattle lineup, we’re gonna start crafting a “dude can only get out little-ball National Leaguers, who slap and wiggle and bunt like the faeries of yore” narrative for him from which he’ll struggle to write himself out.
What happened: The 2012 New York Yankees bowed down before the league’s loserheads, scoring only three runs in losing two of three to the “first place” Orioles and riding a sad case of the whiffsies to a split against the Royals.
True Yankee™ gainers: C.C. Sabathia, because on a day when the Yankees needed an ace - on a day when the specter of a Mariano-free future hung over the clubhouse like evil mistletoe - C.C. Sabathia was every bit that ace, chomping innings as if they were Chocolate Cheerios… David Robertson, who hasn’t permitted a batter to put a pitched ball into play since last August… Derek Jeter, the sole standing member of the Core Four™, unless you want to count Pettitte as a Core Four™ member, which really you shouldn’t, due to the brief exile in Houston and the Clemens-ish “I want to spend more time with my family… no, come to think of it, I don’t” sabbatical/reverse-retirement.
True Yankee™ waners: Joe Baseball Fan, robbed of the 55 or so innings worth of bullets that Mariano had left in his 2012 arsenal… Jayson Nix, for hitting the batting-practice gapper that, with an assist from the lip of the Kauffman Stadium warning track, felled the great Mariano… Alex Rodriguez, who made it known to anyone who asked that he is “close” to Mariano. Hello? High school much?
What’s next: A return home to face the shift-junkie Rays and the more-boring-than-sad Mariners. “But wait,” you say. “The Yankees aren’t hitting! What EVER will they do against Price and Felix and the rest?” Well, fair friend, Swisher is back and Gardner is close behind. This means that the hitters will ditch the bunting and clumsily executed hit-and-runs, and return to the grind-and-slug tactics that serve them so well. Seriously. If you’re sitting in the low seats in right field, wear a crash helmet.
True Yankee™ on the spot: Mark Teixeira. We’re a-needin’ a focal point for our frustration for the offense (6th in MLB in runs scored through Sunday, BTW) and he’s just sitting there, his mouth frozen in an eternal “duuuuhhhh.” Plus he is being paid a formidable sum to play baseball, which sets our resentment aflame like kerosene on prayer candles.
Today we’re up to starting pitchers and catchers - who probably should’ve been grouped with the infielders. Eh, whatever.
Certified True Yankees™
Andy Pettitte: He’s a True Yankee™ like bauxite is an impure mixture of earthy hydrous aluminum oxides and hydroxides, but has any recent-vintage legend been given more free passes than Pettitte has? Nobody holds anything against him: not his early-career swoon, not his free-agent defection, not his extremely-limited-like-only-twice-and-he-totally-didn’t-inhale adventures in chemical enhancement, not his rotation-hollowing retirement/sabbatical. Can anyone remember how Pettitte explained away the HGH thing, other than that he did so while looking straight into the cameras with sad, heavy eyes? True Yankees™ are as adept at eye contact and plain-talkin’ as they are at cap-tipping on Old-Timers’ Day.
Decent case for True-Yankee™ enshrinement
C.C. Sabathia: If he plays out his contract - not an automatic, given that his tree-trunk of a plant leg threatens to collapse the mound with its every landing - he’ll have logged nine seasons in pinstripes. We unhooked the True Yankee™ velvet rope for Mussina after eight seasons and his fingers are as bereft of championship rings as they are of patchy tufts of knuckle hair. The title drought was totally all his fault, too; this should be tattooed on his forehead and etched onto his tombstone.
Perhaps a True Yankee™ somewhere down the road
Phil Hughes: If reports from Florida are to be trusted, he found the five missing miles per hour on his fastball. Apparently he left them in the trunk of his rental Prius. Could’ve happened to anyone. Put him back on the True Yankee™ fast track.
Russell Martin: True Yankees™ do NOT pose for cheesecake shots in strategically tousled linen shirts and undershorts. They do, however, pursue the sort of above-market contract that Martin wants after 2012 and point to intangibles (“really cares,” “gets the uniform dirty,” “does not have pending litigation with any member of the pitching staff”) as a primary reason he’s worth the dough.
Ivan Nova: One can be a True Yankee™ without missing bats (because courage knows no strike zone), but one can’t really be a great pitcher skating by like Nova did in 2011 - and “greatness” is quite important to the True Yankee™ nominating committee. See the problem here?
Michael Pineda: He starts this season in the red, having accumulated minus-12 True Yankee™ Points for arriving at spring training shaped like a pear and toned like a half-deflated hot air balloon. It’ll take at least four dominant innings to recapture our hearts.
Francisco Cervelli: Yip yip yip pant pant pant pant wag wag goes the puppy. He gets credit for his stoicism in the face of getting snowplowed at home plate a few springs back, though. That was some neo-Chad-Curtisian stoic shit, man.
Not a True Yankee™ unless he donates bone marrow to Tino Martinez’s unborn grandchild
Hiroki Kuroda: Let’s withhold judgment until we see him face the AL’s four scary designated hitters and hear his translator soften a few quotes (a rant in his native tongue about ill-mannered beat reporters who shove microphones up players’ snouts should become “I didn’t have my best stuff tonight,” etc.). Separately, ten bucks says one of the YES guys calls him “Hideki” Kuroda before the month is out.