Friday, June 21, 2013

Nice guys finish last.

“Where have all the bastards gone?” – Green Day, Letterbomb.

Watching the Yankees offense lately has become more of a chore than a leisurely evening activity. It’s little more than an exercise in futility and frustration.  They suck. Hard.

It’s a pretty drastic change from the Yankees I’ve known the two decades of my fandom. They were always characterized by players like Paul O’Neill, or Nick Swisher, or even Bobby Abreu. The Yankees would wear you down. Take a pitch, foul a couple tough sliders off, work a walk. The Yankees would make a pitcher throw 60 pitches through 3 innings, then pounce. The Yankee teams I knew may not have always great pitching. They may have had some defenses that rivaled beer league softball teams, but they could always hit.

Look at the team now. Vernon Wells, Ichiro Suzuki, Chris Stewart, Jayson Nix. A conglomerate of walking has been corpses, or shrug inducing never weres.  This brings me to my real question.

Are you sure you don’t want Alex Rodriguez back?

He’s an absolute tool. He got caught cheating in every facet of his life. He’s lied. He’s cocky. He’s out of touch.  He says the wrong thing. He slaps the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove.  He seems to shrink in the spotlight.

Dude can still hit.

Is he the once in a generation masher he once was? Not even close.  Is he better than the alternative? You bet your gentle puritan sensibilities he is.  The last 3 years he’s put up OPS+ of 123, 119, 112. All above average. Jayson Nix career high is 95. David Adams looks like an over matched rookie. The less I say about Reid Brignac, the better.

A Rod is not going to win any popularity contests. He is never going to be likable. Who cares. I don’t watch baseball for examples of a solid moral fiber. I don’t look to athletes as beacons of citizenship and heroics. You want a hero? Go to a police station, hospital, or fire house. Vernon Wells seems like a hell of guy. He’s hitting .118 in the past 30 games. Bring me the jerk.

Baseball is about winning. If I’m picking my team, I’ll take Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, and Manny Ramirez. You can have the nice guys. 

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