Saturday, March 4, 2017

And the winner is...



Yesterday, Bryan Van Dusen wrote a very compelling argument (an excellent post) for why the Yankees should not sign Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper in a couple of years when he hits free agency.  I totally get what he is saying.  The Yankees have a number of young talented players that could break through to provide the Bronx Bombers with its best outfield trio in years.  

It’s easy to envision a World Series caliber team featuring Aaron Judge in right, Jorge Mateo in center, and Clint Frazier in left.  That’s giving no credit for other guys like Dustin Fowler, Mason Williams, or Blake Rutherford who I personally think is going to be a star in Bronx.  

Many columnists are predicting the Yankees will sign Harper, and I saw one yesterday that listed the Yankees and Phillies as the current favorites.  John Giglio of NJ.com wrote a great piece this morning for why the Yankees should sign Harper.

Bryan cites cost as one reason to avoid Harper.  There’s no question Harper will break the bank.  He is going to make Giancarlo Stanton’s contract look like chump change.  He may be baseball’s first Half-Billion Dollar Man.  

I am not going to cite long reasons for why the Yankees should or should not sign Harper.  Bottomline, I feel that Daniel Burch is right in this argument.  He’s Bryce friggin’ Harper.  At the end of the day, this is about selling tickets.  Harper, with his personality and ability to frequently exploit the left porch at Yankee Stadium, would be a colossal favorite at 161st Street and River Avenue.  He’d bring fans in droves to that location.

Baseball decisions are not always made for logical reasons.  Daniel Burch has thrown the winning punch in this debate.  Now, if only the Steinbrenners are listening…  

The better Greg Bird hits this spring, the more useless the Chris Carter signing appears to be.  A guy who can’t hit for average and is lousy defensively is not going to make a productive part-time bench performer.  All he can do is hit home home runs.  Of course, when I hear that, I can hear former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan saying “All he can do is catch damn touchdowns” when he released NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter.  But still, Chris, not Cris, needs at-bats.  With Matt Holliday occupying DH most days and the need to rotate others through the slot, at-bats will be hard for Carter to get unless there’s a slew of injuries.

Every year, I try to give Jacoby Ellsbury the benefit of the doubt and every year he disappoints.  The end of his contract seems so far away.  How many more years before the Yankees just say ‘f**k this’?  Whomever in the Yankees organization that can figure out a way to unload Ellsbury and his behemoth contract would be the team’s true superstar.

The Yankees lost their spring game yesterday against the division rival Toronto Blue Jays, 3-2.  Although Luis Severino gave up the home run to Jose Bautista, I thought he recovered well and gave a positive overall performance.  Catcher Austin Romine blamed himself for Bautista’s homer, calling for a fastball that Sevy didn’t shake off.  I thought it was a meaningful learning situation for Severino and will help him in the long run.  

The Yankees dropped to 7-2 with the loss.  Today, the Yankees face the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Florida, with Big Mike taking the mound for the first time.

Have a great Saturday!

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