Saturday, August 14, 2021

Field of Bad Dreams...


Photo Credit: Zach Boyden-Holmes, The Register, USA Today Sports Network

Finding new ways to lose…

The Yankees seemingly find new ways to break my heart every day. The curse of our decision to follow the greatest franchise in the history of sports, at least this season. This has been a tough year for any Yankee fan, for sure. The Field of Dreams game featuring the Yankees against the Chicago White Sox was fun to watch in terms of the setting and the presence of Kevin Costner, plus the tie-ins to the movie even if you have never actually seen the movie. Growing up in Iowa but away for many years, I found the corn fields near by the newly built stadium and movie set to be soothing and comforting. I guess you must be an Iowan to understand the beauty of the flat rural, agricultural views because there are no mountain or ocean views, the things Californians appreciate (well, unless you live in the Central Valley). 

Photo Credit: Reese Strickland, USA Today Sports

But back to the game, it was tough to watch. Trailing for most of the game, the Yankees erased a three-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead off one of the better closers in the game (Liam Hendricks). It was such a feel-good moment and gave life to the thought the Yankees might win the game. But sadly, no, Zack Britton entered the game and promptly handed it to the Sox with a walk and a misplaced pitch that Tim Anderson was able to easily drive out of the park for the dramatic game-winning two-run home run. 

Using Britton in that situation was, in my opinion, another poor decision by Aaron Boone. Britton hasn’t been right this season (“pitching like shit” in his own words) and the White Sox might be the best team in the American League right now. Take a chance with trying to close a game with Britton if you are playing the Royals, but not the White Sox. Perhaps Jonathan Loaisiga would have given up the game-winning HR too, but that’s a better risk to take than simply gift wrapping a win for the White Sox. Not a big fan of Chad Green in the ninth so that’s why I am on board with Loaisiga as the best option until Aroldis Chapman returns.   

It will be a tall order for the Yankees to win this series with the White Sox as the remaining two games shift to Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. I hopeful of at least a split between these two games which unfortunately gives the series to Chicago. Winning both games would be huge, but I am not expecting it, unless Aaron Boone can miraculously start making better decisions…and if the ice-cold Joey Gallo could rediscover his home run stroke. Yeah, you too, Luke Voit.

I am thankful both Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery are on track to return to the Yankees next week. It was good to see Gerrit Cole at the Field of Dreams game for his brief interview on TV. When the guys go on the COVID-19 list, there is such eerie silence for how they are doing. Having Cole and Gumby back in the rotation will be great. Aaron Boone indicated we’ll see Luis Gil again for one of the games during Tuesday’s double-header against the other and smelly Sox. But as exciting as the rotation additions will be, it is concerning to hear that Luis Severino has suffered another setback. I had been hopeful to have Sevy back at least as part of the bullpen for the duration of the season. However, he didn’t “feel right” before his last scheduled rehab start on Friday, skipped the game, and headed back to New York for further evaluation. Not good. Another significant setback would seem to spell the end of any hopes of seeing Sevy pitch in 2021. Nearly two years since we last saw the former Yankees ace pitch in pinstripes.

Speaking of COVID-19, it was good to see the return of Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who had been placed on the COVID list during the Marlins’ series against the Yankees. Mattingly missed 12 games despite being fully vaccinated. Donnie Baseball told the Associated Press, “Getting the positive wasn’t necessarily a shocker because of the way I felt that day. I’ve been taking my temperature every day for two years and never had a fever. And all of sudden I had a fever and got a little headache; this doesn’t feel good. Honestly, you test, you’re positive and they kick you out the backdoor and you don’t see anybody for 10 days. It’s definitely an experience you don’t want anyone to go through.” I remain very concerned for the man who now holds Mattingly’s spot as Yankees first baseman, Anthony Rizzo. Given his status as unvaccinated, it is worrisome.  I lost a friend last year, younger than me with no health issues. The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate…it doesn’t care who you are. Keeping Rizzo in my prayers for a speedy and full recovery. Mattingly is further quoted in the Miami Herald, saying “Seeing so many people have so much trouble, you don’t want to be flippant about this thing and just think, ‘Oh it’s not a big deal’, because there’s lots of people that have had trouble and obviously lost their lives and things like that. But I was glad I was vaccinated from the standpoint of I had a couple of days of mild symptoms, and I felt good. And I didn’t pass it on to like my kid or my wife. Tried to do the right thing, but definitely glad I was vaccinated.”

Photo Credit: Al Diaz, Miami Herald

Speaking of the Marlins, I am glad to see they have given former Yankee outfielder Dustin Fowler another chance. Fowler, who will forever be remembered suffering the devastating knee injury during his Yankee debt at Guaranteed Rate Field a few years ago, was released by the Pirates organization last week. Fowler, now 26, is with Miami on a minor league deal, and will try to resurrect a once promising future in the game with the Marlins’ Triple A affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida. Best of luck to the former Yank.

I know he hasn’t played very well for several years but I was still a little surprised to see the Boston Red Sox designate utility man Marwin Gonzalez for assignment. His removal opens the way for the Red Sox to add former Yankee Twitter favorite Kyle Schwarber to the active roster. Despite never playing first base in the Major Leagues, Schwarber becomes Boston’s starting first baseman, a position that has seen dreadful production year-to-date for them. I had a brief thought the Yankees should try to sign Gonzalez if he is released by the Red Sox, but it passed quickly.

I also saw the Milwaukee Brewers have placed Travis Shaw on outright waivers. Despite his disappointing production (.191 batting average, .279 OBP, .337 SLG, and 68 wRC+, good for -0.3 WAR in 56 games), perhaps a change of scenery would help the 31-year-old left-handed hitter. When Gio Urshela comes back, he’ll need to help cover shortstop during the absence of Gleyber Torres so the Yankees could use better options than Rougned Odor to play third. Shaw, historically, has played better in the American League with his stints in Boston and Toronto than the National League. Since the cost to sign Shaw would only be the prorated league minimum, I could see the Yankees taking a flyer. 

Here’s hoping the Yankees can stay healthy for the duration of the year. Looking forward to the return of those temporarily away, and hopeful everyone on the field later today stays on the active roster for the hopeful path into October. 

As always, Go Yankees!

1 comment:

  1. Someone is not sanitizing the dugout and clubhouse.Way to many Covid cases. No need to get lax because some players might be vaxxed. Then these arm issues with German, Chapman someone needs to watch their workout and work load.c, 1B, 2-SP, RP then German and Chappy with elbow and shoulder.


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