Our fearless leader, Jason, already started today off with a bang in his takedown of Kevin Kernan's joke of a column on Masahiro Tanaka. Filip Bondy nearly matched Kernan in the New York Daily News with almost an equally absurd hot take about how boring the Yankees are after their 12-4 defeat yesterday. Let's get right to dissecting this nonsense.
"The sound you just heard was another baseball crashing into the second deck after a brief, towering orbit — right alongside the Yankees’ narrative arc."
This is the lede of the column. The narrative Mr. Bondy references to help him write this drivel is one that is really devoid of any true facts.
"Sunday afternoon in the park was not so much a picnic in the Bronx, as it was a cold, wakeup shower following a dreamy nap. Before they were creamed by Detroit, 12-4, the Yanks had gone 11-1 at home while outscoring opponents, 87-31."
The 11-1 record and outscoring opponents 87-31 is really not important and meaningless. Why even consider it? It doesn't fit Mr. Bondy's narrative. This one loss shows so much more than those 12 games ever could. I mean one game sample sizes are always better than 12 games, right?
"The dirty little secret about this edition of the Yankees is that they’re not a very good club, destined to streak back and forth like this and to finish anywhere from second to fourth place in the AL East."
The Yankees are 38-31 with a +26 run differential in a division that is suddenly looking quite strong now that they're playing teams from the other divisions and not each other. They're second in MLB in runs scored (326), 2nd in home runs (95), third in wOBA (.327), tied for third in wRC+ (107), fifth in total pitching strikeouts (585) and sixth in xFIP (.352). Not to mention, they were without their best pitcher for a month, will be without their leadoff hitter for over a month and their closer for a month. Apparently, that all adds up to not being a very good club. Thank you foe letting us all in on the secret Mr. Bondy.
"Tanaka is too fragile in body; Michael Pineda too brittle of mind. Mark down the Bombers for 81 to 87 victories, once again on the cusp of the wild-card race."
Jason already told you everything you need to know about that Tanaka narrative, so I don't need to touch on it much. However, I wonder what Tanaka would have looked like in his previous three starts when he had a 1.71 ERA with 21 strikeouts and no walks if he wasn't too fragile in body? I don't know how you can say Michael Pineda is too brittle of mind, unless Mr. Bondy has the same degree Dr. Phil has. How can one possibly know that without doing a psychology exam on him? Also, 87 wins would very likely not be on the cusp of the wild card race. FanGraphs projects the Yankees to win 87 games and win the AL East.
"But let’s not worry about all that for now. Let’s instead address the more pressing problem, which is: How do the Yankees become less boring?"
I can't speak for everybody else, but I have watched mostly every game this year, and I think the Yankees have been far from boring. Sure, there have been many games where you had to bang your head against a wall, but there have been many exciting times this year, and you have to be satisfied with what the team has done so far.
"The once-compelling Yanks have only three marquee position players worth watching. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira hit home runs. Brett Gardner is a home-grown hustler. The bullpen, when healthy, is deep. That’s about it."
My goodness, where do I begin here? I guess Mr. Bondy has never heard of Brian McCann. He is hitting .275/.339/.475/.815 with 10 home runs, 43 RBI, a .351 wOBA and a 124 wRC+. He is doing all of that while playing solid behind the plate as a catcher. I guess he isn't worth watching. Jacoby Ellsbury was only hitting over .320 with a 124 wRC+ when he got hurt, but why would watching him be worth our time? Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez only hit home runs? Mr. Bondy must have forgotten about A-Rod's elite on-base percentage and Teixeira's gold glove defense. Brett Gardner is just a hustler? That statement is so grossly egregious that I should not even dignify it with a response. The bullpen is only deep when healthy? I would say the best back-end combination in MLB followed up by Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson is pretty damn good too, not just deep. Actually, deepness seems to be an issue. But, really what do I know?
"There aren’t nearly enough up-siders."
According to Mike Axisa, after Diego Moreno and Nick Rumbelow make their debuts for the Yankees they will have had 11 players make their MLB debuts this season. They had 12 in 2014 and 10 in 2013. Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams and Ramon Flores have all had wonderful moments replacing Ellsbury. Apparently, that's not enough youth for Mr. Bondy.
"Hal should stand aside once more for his brother, Hank."
As much as I cannot stand Hal Steinbrenner, there is virtually zero evidence that Hank Steinbrenner is the answer or would do better.
"Cashman’s acquisitions have largely faltered."
Now we got the old judging trades after two months thing, which is a classic. The trades for Didi Gregorius and Nathan Eovaldi were about what they can be for at least three years, not just this one. Not to mention, Mr. Bondy already complained about not enough up-siders, but then complains when acquisitions brought in as up-siders are not getting it done in year one. You can't have it both ways. Gregorius has a .722 OPS in June while showing off some highlight plays in the field lately (error aside from yesterday). Four of Eovaldi's last six starts have been very good, but I'm sure the tabloids only know about the disaster in Miami. They have showed flashes, but not consistency, which is what you get with most young players. Also, the Miller, Wilson and Shreve acquisitions have been saviors for the bullpen.
"Nobody is going to win a pennant with a generic lineup that begins with Didi Gregorius in the two slot and concludes with Garrett Jones, Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan."
The Yankees were missing three regulars if you include Ellsbury, and Gregorious has hit second only twice this year. Mr. Bondy acts like this lineup is a regular occurrence and nobody can have a day off.
"Someone, somewhere, needs to scream about all this."
You're the only one who feels the need to scream about this season so far Mr. Bondy.
My question to you guys reading is do you encounter a lot of people who enjoy this type of narrative driven analysis? Do most people you know like to read stuff like "this guy isn't driven enough", this guy "wanted it more" or this guy "isn't clutch" as opposed to actual facts? I know you guys don't, since you're readers of our site. It seems like this type of negative narrative nonsense is what sells newspapers. Why else would editors approve of it?