Cespedes To The DL; The Season Is Over

Well it’s official. Joint funeral services for the 2016 Mets and Yoenis Cespedes will be held at Yankee Stadium tonight at 7:05 pm. All Mets fans in attendance will receive a complimentary Rob Refsnyder shirsey, a hymnal, and a noose. They’ll stop serving beer after the 7th inning, but all Mets fans that want a tall glass of bleach can get one through the end of the game.

I’ve spent the morning listening to my girl Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On and watching 2015 Cespedes highlights. What else can I do? It’s all over folks. The Mets did exactly what they’ve done for the 20 years that I’ve watched the team. They mishandled an injury to a key player, and ultimately it will cost him the most important stretch of the season. Cespedes tweaked his quad before the All-Star Game. That was like a month ago. I’ve been screaming “Put him on the DL!” ever since the injury. But they kept playing him a couple games and then sitting him for a few. Playing and sitting. Playing and sitting. And…he officially tweaked the hell out of it last night. Off to the DL. The season is over.

I’m Done Pretending: I don’t care about the NL East standings (which is now a ridiculous and insurmountable 8.5 games) and the Wild Card (which is 2). This team has been terrible for months! Months! I’m not going to sit here and pretend that all of a sudden they will start playing a different brand of baseball. I won’t do it. They barely win a game and then they drop two. Then they win and lose. Win and lose. Win and lose. They haven’t won two games in a row in a month! Not an exaggerated month. An actual freaking month. The last time they did it was July 6th and 7th. That’s not a team that makes the playoffs. That’s not a team that wins a damn thing.

Is There An Adult In The Room?: In regards to the Cespedes injury, just burn them all. Front office. Manager. Ownership. Everyone. How does this happen? Is there an adult in the goddamn room? How do you let this guy play injured? I knew he was going to have a setback and hit the DL. Every single Mets fan knew it in their heart. I wrote yesterday that I was worried about him. That’s right. I was worried about a grown ass man because he was in the clutches of the Mets. They kill grown ass men every single day. Can we hire an adult? Is that impossible because Jeff Wilpon is an infant child? What about Sandy? Sandy is an acclaimed MLB executive. How does he let this happen? He’s a military hero for Christ’s Sake! I thought we could trust Sandy. Why? Why?!?

How Does This Keep Happening?: Why?!??!?? God oh God why?!?!? What did we do to deserve this? Did we build Shea Stadium/Citi Field over the site of a prison that exclusively housed the world’s most violent criminals, and it burned down in the 50’s and now the ex-con ghosts haunt our franchise? Is there some running theory? I can’t believe this. They have all this garbage programming on SNY and on the History Channel they play Ancient Aliens all day. Can they please collaborate on some program that explains the curse of the Mets? Help me understand. I’m sure it already exists. I guess I’ll spend the rest of the season researching that since it’s not worth paying attention to this team.

Shut Up About The Golf: As soon as the game ended, the Cespedes golf BS started. Let me state this clearly. If you think Yoenis Cespedes injured his quad playing 18 holes of golf in a freaking cart yesterday then you are a bigger moron than Yo’s golfing partner Kevin Millar. Golf had nothing to do with the injury. Zero. Nada. Nothing. But rest assured, the golf and the injuries will be his fabricated ticket out of town. It’s so obvious. It’s already starting. Sandy is going to address “the issue” today. Ummm the issue? The issue is the goddamn Mets unnecessarily played him injured for a month, and he should sue the stupid organization for their incompetence.

Ces Is A Goner: Bye Yo. He’s going to opt-out and leave. He’ll probably head to the Nationals, and they’ll launch a dynasty where they win 4 championships and Yo and Daniel Murphy will alternate MVP awards all four years. I will say this, I’ve already had a million people ask me whether or not we should sign Yo. This is how you answer. You channel your inner Robert De Niro and you repeat the same four lines over and over again. You say, “Look at me. What did I say? Keep him here! Did you hear me? Look at me! What did I say? Keep him here! Did you hear me?” And on and on and on. Maybe you add “Give him his money!” But you don’t need to say anything else. He’s the best player this franchise has seen since Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran.

I Want Heads: Someone needs to pay for this injury mismanagement. I don’t blame Terry because it’s not really his call. He should probably be fired for other reasons but that’s a topic for another day.  Ray Ramirez has to go. Finally. Give the fans his head on a spike. Send him to his precious Hospital For Special Surgery, and let them operate on his body for a change. Let them do their little experiments. Let’s see how he likes it when he goes in for a routine knee scoping, and he comes out crippled.

Gotta Give Him Credit: I swear to God, after last night the first time someone says to me “You gotta give him credit” regarding Sandy Alderson I’m going to lose my mind. Really? I need to give Sandy credit for our one year World Series trip that we lost? I need to give Sandy credit for letting the potential National League MVP and Triple Crown Candidate Daniel Murphy walk to our top division rival?

The Price: You know what we’re starting to see? We’re starting to see the damn price. Matt Harvey is dunzo because of that playoff run. Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard have bone spurs possibly because of the extra innings they logged during the playoff run. Michael Fulmer is an AL Rookie of the Year candidate and looks like a future Cy Young winner. Oh and now we go ahead and dump Dilson Herrera. Good GMs put the major league team in a position to win in the short term and long term. We went from having a top farm system to promoting our top talent and then trading the rest away. All of that happened in one and a half seasons. Whatever. This isn’t a post meant to rip the GM that helped save this franchise post-Madoff, but I just don’t want people to tell me to praise him right now. I won’t do it because he had a terrible offseason and a terrible follow up season to last year’s run.

Your Precious Little Recap: Oh I forgot about last night’s stupid game. Here’s the recap. Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff BS Yankee stadium home run (1-0 Mets). Then the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out and only got one additional run to show for it (2-0). In the bottom of the first, bone spur Matz reared his ugly head and gave up 3 runs as the Yankees shellacked him (3-2 Yanks). Then in the second inning, Kelly Johnson doubled and Rene Rivera drove him in to tie the game at 3. In the second inning, Matz was rocked again and gave up a BS opposite field three-run homer to Mark Teixeira (6-3 Yanks). That was the game.

The Mets offense then proceeded to go to sleep for the rest of the game other than a few rally killing double plays. Hitting into double plays is literally the thing the 2016 Mets are best at. In the seventh inning, the Mets loaded the bases with no outs again and only scored a run. The Yankees piled on runs late against Hansel Robles. Whatever. Final Score: Yankees 9, Mets 5.

Tex Is A Whiny Loser: There was some controversy in this game, but obviously none of it matters now that Cespedes is hurt. The controversy was Tex hit a BS Yankee stadium homer and Matz was pissed. So in the fifth inning, Matz may or may not have thrown at Tex, and he hit him with a pitch. Tex complained like a whiny loser. Then with Robles in the game in the 7th inning, Tex started stealing signs at second base and Robles lost his composure and gave up a ton of runs. And Tex sat at second base laughing in the Mets faces. He was literally laughing. And he didn’t deny the sign stealing after the game. He said if you think I’m stealing signs then change them. He’s a schmuck, and I can’t wait for him to be forced to retire due to injury and declining play. I’d like to hate on him more, but I honestly have nothing left in the hate tank.

Bruce Already Caught The Sickness: Jay Bruce went 0 for 4 and failed in a number of big spots. I’m pretty sure he punched the dugout wall after one big strikeout. Hopefully he didn’t shatter his hand. He’s already caught Mets Disease. His skills are day-to-day.

Thanks For Showing Up Jerk: Neil Walker is one fire. He went 4 for 5. After two months of doing nothing he is so back. Thanks for showing up late to the party jerk.

The Wilmer Apologists: Wilmer Flores played a horrendous shortstop last night. He made an error. I won’t say much more than that because then all the Wilmer apologists will come out of the woodwork and attack me. Everyone loves this guy. He can hit. I get it. But God he’s such a liability in the field.

My Heart Will Go On: Okay my rant is over. The season may be over, but that doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere. That doesn’t mean I won’t be sinking with the ship. I’m playing my goddamn violin on the main deck watching everyone get on lifeboats and leap overboard. That’s what I do every season. I quietly play my violin and watch some of the fans sitting on the deck muttering prayers while waiting for lifeboats and the others thrashing about in the sea gasping for air.

I didn’t want to proclaim the season over, but it had to be done. I’m about as loyal to this team as it gets. And if I’ve learned anything from Game of Thrones, it’s that loyal service means telling hard truths. And we all know the hard truth. We’ve known it since the All-Star Break the minute Cespedes was hurt. This ship is sinking baby. I’ll watch the rest of the games as always. I’ll watch the Wild Card “race”. I’ll watch the standings. I’ll continue to occasionally pretend we have a chance. But do yourselves a favor and grab a life preserver. A lot of people said with this pitching this ship can’t sink. Umm this ship is made of struggling sluggers and injured pitchers. I assure you she can sink. And she will.

Yankees News: Harper/Harvey 2019 is an Absolute Lock

Last week, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote an article where he discussed how the Yankees recent frugal nature is part of a very calculated plan on their part to change their operating model in order to maximize profitability after years of being penalized by the league’s revenue sharing policy/luxury tax. He further speculated that while they are revising their operating model, they are simultaneously prioritizing future money to ultimately pursue Bryce Harper when he is a free agent in 2019.

I thought it was a great piece that clearly explained why the Yankees have been deliberately avoiding free agent spending this offseason, and why they will likely avoid long term financial commitments to players in the near future. However, no offense to Jeff Passan, but I think we can do a little more than speculate that the Yankees might pursue Bryce Harper in 2019. Anybody following New York Yankee baseball over the last 22 years knows that the Yankees will do whatever is necessary to ensure they are in a position to not only acquire Bryce Harper in 2019 but also to acquire Matt Harvey. Right now, I have more confidence betting on the Yankees signing Harvey and Harper in 2019 than placing a bet on any specific team to win the 2016 World Series. How do I know they will end up with Harvey and Harper? Because between 1994 and 2016, the Yankees have consistently ensured that their roster includes arguably the best position player and pitcher by making the necessary acquisitions roughly every 3 to 4 years. In fact, they specifically went out and acquired arguably the “best” position player or pitcher 9 times in the last 22 years.

First, let me preface this by saying I am not trying to make any statement about the correlation between the Yankees acquiring star players and winning World Series Championships. In no way am I trying to belittle the value of the precious “Core 4”. The Core 4 is the main reason for the Yankees run of success between 1996 and 2001. Second, let me define what I mean by “arguably the best position player and pitcher”. All the robot computers these days value players based on Wins Above Replacement aka WAR. So that’s what I’m going to use (as defined by Baseball-Reference.com) to value the position players and pitchers the Yankees have had on their rosters over the 22 year timeframe. And when I say “arguably”, I’m going to operate under the assumption that an argument can be made that any player finishing in the Top 5 for WAR in a single season is the “best” in the league. If you refuse to accept this premise then stop reading.


Pitchers- In the strike shortened 1994 season, the Yankees had no position players or pitchers finishing in the top 10 for WAR. In 1994, David Cone finished with a 6.8 WAR while playing for Kansas City which was good enough for 2nd in baseball behind only Greg Maddux. So what did the Yankees do? They traded for Cone midseason in 1995 and he finished 3rd that year with a WAR of 6.4. The Yankees did not have a top 10 WAR pitcher in the 1996 season but still managed to win the World Series with a staff that included Cone and Andy Pettitte. However, in 1997 Pettitte went on to finish 3rd with a WAR of 8.4.

Position Players– Between 1994 and 1997 there were no Yankee position players in the Top 5 for WAR. However Chuck Knoblauch finished 5th in 1995 with a WAR of 6.7 and 4th in 1996 with a WAR of 8.6. In 1997 he only finished 8th with a 6.7 WAR but his three year body of work combined with the lack of Yankee position players in the Top 5 during that span, was enough for the Yankees to trade for him after the 1997 season.

So between 1994 and the end of the 1997 season, the Yankees acquired one of the top position players and pitchers in the game to add to their “Core 4”.


Pitchers-  In 1998 after winning the World Series, the Yankees had no Top 10 WAR pitchers in their rotation. So what did they do? They went out and traded for Roger Clemens who finished number 1 in 1997 with a WAR of 11.9 (2nd place went to Pedro Martinez at 9) and number 2 in 1998 with a WAR of 8.2 (behind Kevin Brown at number 1 with 8.6). Unfortunately, Clemens did not crack the Top 10 for WAR between 1999 and 2000.

Position Players- As mentioned above, no Yankees position players finished in the Top 5 for WAR between 1995 and 1997. When Chuck Knoblauch was brought in for the 1998 season he represented one of the top performing position players in that 1995-1997 timeframe. However, it turned out that between 1998 and 2000 the Yankees did not need to go outside their organization to have arguably the best position player in the league. Derek Jeter finished fourth in WAR in 1998 with 7.5 (A-Rod was number 1 with 8.5 WAR) and he finished number 1 in 1999 with a WAR of 8.0. In 2000 however they had no position players in the Top 10.


Pitchers- After Clemens failed to crack the Top 10 in WAR between 1999 and 2000, the Yankees once again decided to bring in one of the game’s best starting pitchers. In 2000, Mike Mussina finished 6th in the league in WAR. He finished behind Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Greg Maddux, and Brad Radke. Now I do realize that a 6th place finish does not meet my qualifications of “arguably the best”. That being said, at the time the Yankees signed Mussina he had finished in the Top 10 for CY Young voting 7 of the 9 seasons he played in Baltimore and was Top 5 for 5 of those 9 seasons. He also had 5 All-Star appearances. Not to mention the fact that in his first season as a Yankee in 2001 he finished 3rd in WAR with 7.1 wins. Based on that, I think he’s close enough to meet the criteria.

Position Players- In 2001, Jason Giambi finished 3rd with a WAR of 9.2 only behind Bonds and Sosa. And of course the Yankees signed Giambi for the 2002 season. In 2002, Giambi finished 4th in WAR with 7.1. Unfortunately he fell off in 2003 and 2004 missing the Top 10 entirely. But don’t worry because in 2002 A-Rod, while playing in Texas, finished second in WAR behind Barry Bonds and third in 2003 behind Pujols and Bonds. And I am guessing you know what happens next.


Position Players– In 2004 the Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez to continue meeting their unspoken organizational mandate to have arguably the best player in the league on their roster. Unfortunately in 2004, A-Rod only finished 8th in WAR but in 2005 he topped the charts with his WAR of 9.4. In 2006 however he dropped out of the Top 10.

Pitchers- By 2004 Clemens had left the Yankees for Houston and Mussina was no longer a perennial top performer. So in 2004 the Yankees went out and traded for 40 year old Randy Johnson. Why? Why trade for a 40 year old pitcher? Well because between age 35 and 40 he was arguably the best pitcher in the league. In 2002 he had the number 1 WAR of 10.9 which was 2.2 wins higher than Curt Schilling at number 2.  In 2004 he was number 2 with a WAR of 8.5 but only behind Johan Santana who had a nearly identical WAR of 8.6. So the Yankees acquired Johnson for the 2005 season. He only finished 8th in WAR for 2005 and never lived up to expectations as an old man in New York. Luckily for the Yankees, in 2006 Chien-Ming Wang finished 4th in WAR with 6.0 wins. However his success was short lived due to injuries.


Position Players– In 2007, the Yankees still had the best position player in A-Rod  who finished number 1  in WAR at 9.4 (Cano came in at 10 at 6.7). However, in 2008 A-Rod plummeted to 10th with a WAR of 6.8. So what did the Yankees do? They signed Mark Teixeira who in 2008 had finished third in overall WAR behind Pujols and Utley.

Pitchers- In 2007 and 2008 the Yankees had no pitchers in the Top 10 for WAR. However, CC Sabathia, while with the Indians, finished 4th in 2007 with a 6.3 WAR that was nearly identical to the leader Roy Oswalt at 6.7. In 2008, Sabathia had a WAR of 6.8 and finished 5th but only 0.3 wins behind Johan Santana in 2nd place. So clearly the gap between the 5th and 2nd place finishers was minimal. The leader Tim Lincecum finished with a 7.9 WAR. So in 2009 the Yankees signed CC Sabathia to lead the staff.

The acquisition of Sabathia and Teixeira coincided with a World Championship in 2009.


Position Players– Between 2010 and 2013, the Yankees once again did not need to trade or sign the best position player in the game because they already had him in Robinson Cano. Cano in 2010 finished 3rd in WAR with 8.1 wins (behind Josh Hamilton at 1 with 8.7). In 2012 Cano was 2nd at 8.5 and in 2013 Cano finished 4th at 7.8.

Pitchers- Unfortunately for the Yankees, between 2010 and 2013 Sabathia did not perform at quite the level the Yankees had expected. In 2011 he did finish 4th with a WAR of 7.5. However no Yankees finished in the Top 5 in 2010, 2012, or 2013.


Since 2013, the Yankees have seemingly refused to acquire the position player or pitcher that qualifies as “arguably the best”. This was most evident when the Yankees refused to retain Robinson Cano. It can be explained to some degree by the death of George Steinbrenner and the loss of his passion to win at all costs. But the primary cause is attributable to what Jeff Passan discussed in his article. Due to the penalties associated with revenue sharing and the luxury tax, the Yankees have absolutely been forced to adjust their operating model to ensure maximum profitability. In order to get back in a sound fiscal position, the Yankees are waiting for existing long term commitments to come off the books in 2016 and 2017, while simultaneously refusing to sign any new players to long term deals. Their lack of long term commitments this offseason shows that they are clearly putting that plan into motion.

However, if the last 22 years have taught us anything, Brian Cashman’s plan for postseason success remains a constant: Ensure your roster contains arguably the best pitcher and position player in the sport and adjust every 3 years. Unfortunately, due to the constraints imposed by revenue sharing, Cashman and Yankees fans are going to have to wait 3 more years until 2019 before he can restart the next “cycle of winning”. After 5 World Series wins and 2 other appearances in the last 22 years, forgive me if I don’t shed a tear.