Out of left field

Out of left field is an occasional post about matters that don’t require 900 words of analysis, but need to be addressed anyway. In no particular order…

On the Yankees this past weekend: From the department of not looking a gift horse in the mouth, as I noted on my post-game recap of yesterday’s game for Pinstripe Alley, a win is a win. The Yankees swept a bad team and that’s a good thing, all the games count the same in the standings. But we can’t ignore that the offense is still a mess – the team has averaged 3 runs per game over their last ten, and hasn’t scored more than four in a game once in that stretch. The Texas Rangers staying cold is the only thing that has kept the Yankees from having the lowest runs per game average in the AL.

Don’t tell me it’s too many “all or nothing guys” or they’ve been “too right handed” because they led MLB in runs over 2019-20. Don’t tell me it’s the juiced ball affecting certain players because the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Astros are hitting the same balls and it isn’t affecting them. (And the Jays and Dodgers swing for the fences as much if not more than the Yankees do…)

It’s something else, and I’m not a professional hitting coach so I don’t know what it is, but it needs to get figured out quickly if anything good is going to come from this season.

I used to get irritated by all the vitriol that Yankee fans send Stanton’s way, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost funny, albeit intentionally so. The Yankees traded Starlin Castro for Stanton. Since then, Stanton has accumulated 6.6 WAR for the Yankees, which is lower than expectations primarily due to injuries and the organization turning him into a part time DH (not his choice, theirs). Also remember that he volunteered to switch positions when arriving – i.e., put the team’s success ahead of his personal numbers (WAR values right fielders more than left fielders and DHs.) And as I’ve mentioned numerous times, despite the ups and downs (one of the ups being as good a postseason as any Yankee has ever had) he’s been the Yankees second best hitter this season.

Castro? He’s accumulated about half as much WAR as Stanton since he left, despite being a regular player. He’s also been suspended for 30 days for beating the crap out of his girlfriend – his second departure from what would be considered normative behavior when it comes to how one should treat women.

Not only is Stanton a better player, but he’s only 31, and more importantly – he’s not an unconscionable, vile human being.

Speaking of the Marlins and their fearless leader…Miami is 97 games under .500 since Derek Jeter took over. Just something to think about when the organization is being praised for “ridding themselves of bad contracts”, and Jeter’s “competitiveness” and his being a “winner” keep coming up. In the past decade, the Cubs, Red Sox and Astros all “rid themselves of bad contracts” too. They also replaced those contracts with good players and won World Series, which are key points to remember when the Marlins and Jeter’s name come up.

Speaking of ownership…You have to give the Mets credit for their unflinching dedication to being the Mets – talk about meet the new boss, same as the old boss. In case you missed it, the Mets failed to sign their top draft pick Kumar Rocker, which raised many questions about the Mets, the draft process in general, Kumar’s future, etc. – all of which exceed the time and space we have today. What I would like to remind everyone, is that there’s been a discussion about the exploitative nature and the necessity of drafts in general for a long time – one that has a tendency to get folks fired up.

So what was Mets owner Steve Cohen’s response to the criticism he received for not signing Rocker? Of course, like all mature adults, he took out his phone, went to Twitter and posted:

“Education time – Baseball draft picks are worth up to 5x their slot value to clubs .I never shy away from investments that can make me that type of return.”

Jesus sacrifice bunting Christ, Steve, read the room.

I’m not going to pretend to be a paragon of sound judgment when it comes to public statements, but if I owned a baseball team I would be. I’m thinking, when faced with a question of whether or not a situation is exploitative, saying “Ha! Are you kidding me?!? If my history has taught you anything, I would never shy away from exploiting someone to turn a profit…LOL…”

Did I miss something? Let me know…


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