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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Day: Meanderings of My Mind

About the Off-Day: Meanderings of My Mind

By Tim Kabel

May 28, 2024

***

The Yankees were off yesterday. There is no game to recap today. So, I will wander from topic to topic, allowing my thoughts to have free rein. It will be like letting a troop of capuchin monkeys loose at an open-air fruit market.


·       The Yankees were off on Memorial Day. There were actually eight teams which were not scheduled to play yesterday. When I was a kid, every team played on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day. Not only that, but they also often played double headers on those holidays. It just doesn't seem right when there's no baseball, particularly no baseball with your favorite team, on one of those holidays.

 

·       A lot of people have cookouts on Memorial Day. That led me to think. Which brand of hot dog is your favorite? My first job, in the summer of 1982, was selling hot dogs at the town green in Fairfield CT. Every day, I had to push the cart over a half a mile from the house where it was stored to the town green. I would then cook the hot dogs and sell them all day long. The brand we used then was Sabrett. I have tried many other brands but that one will always be my favorite.

 

·       There is a bit of a dilemma for the Yankees regarding Giancarlo Stanton. Because of his offensive resurrection this season, he is an important part of the team. He is only batting .234 but, he has 12 home runs and 27 RBI. He is popular with his teammates. He is finally at a point where the Yankees probably could trade him if they chose to do so. However, because of the way he is playing, it might be better to keep him since it would be hard to replicate his production. The problem is that this renaissance may not last forever. It probably won't. If he goes into a tailspin during the summer or is injured again, his trade value will evaporate. If that happens, the Yankees may be stuck with an unmovable and unproductive player again. I don't know what they will do. However, there are arguments to be made for both keeping him and trading him. I guess it all boils down to timing and knowing when to make a move, if at all.

 

·      Another cookout question: When you make cheeseburgers, do you prefer to put the cheese on top of the burger, or to put it in the middle so that the cheese melts and is absorbed inside the burger? In my opinion, it depends on the cheese. If you are using blue cheese or another crumbly variety, it is better to put the cheese in the middle of the burger so that it doesn't simply roll off into the flames of the grill.  Sliced cheese, like American or provolone should be on the top of the burger.

 

·      Gleyber Torres is becoming more of a liability than an asset this season. He leads the team with seven errors and his frequent defensive and base running lapses in concentration have cost the team runs, if not games. He used to be able to justify those deficits with his offensive production but, this year that has not been the case. I don't believe the Yankees want to head into the playoffs with a second baseman who is shaky on defense, unreliable on the base paths, and extremely streaky offensively. Once Oswald Peraza gets more time and at bats in the minor leagues and Caleb Durbin returns from the IL, one of those players may be brought up to take Torres’s place. 

 

·      I have not had a chance to get a mat to go under my smoker so that the deck will not melt so, I have not used my smoker yet. I will be doing so very soon. The beautiful thing is that it has four racks, so I can smoke chicken, sausage, ribs, and brisket as well as cheese simultaneously. I once made smoked macaroni and cheese, which is something I will do again this summer.

 

·      Aaron Boone frequently repeats his claim that he is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone. I was a little skeptical of this claim until I read the following quote from Daniel Boone. “I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.” Clearly, Aaron Boone is his direct descendant and confusion seems to be a hereditary trait.

 

·      I would expect the Yankees’ bullpen to look much different in the second half of the season than it does now. At some point, Lou Trivino and Scott Effross may return but in addition to them, I suspect the Yankees will acquire pitchers from other teams. By acquire pitchers from other teams, i mean through actual trades. I don't mean that they will be hovering around the waiver wire like vultures, waiting for somebody to be released so that they can grab that individual and shovel them off to Scranton for a day or two before they join the Yankees’ bullpen. That seems to be the preferred method lately but if they are serious about advancing far into the postseason, they need to rethink that. 

 

·      There is a theory out there that because Aaron Boone comes from a “baseball family”, with his grandfather, father, brother, and himself all being former Major League players that somehow qualifies him to be a manager. Furthermore, it not only qualifies him to be a manager, but his bloodline and the fact that he was immersed in baseball from birth makes him a good manager. I think that theory is preposterous. My grandfather was a carpenter. My father was a carpenter. My uncle was a carpenter. I have many cousins and siblings who have either been carpenters or have done carpentry work at some point in their lives. I grew up observing carpentry. I was immersed in carpentry. If you asked me to build a birdhouse, all the local birds would be homeless because I can't nail two boards together.

 

·      When Gerrit Cole comes back, one of the current starters will probably have to go to the bullpen. No matter who it is, they will have the right to say it is unfair. However, I think that could be one way of strengthening the bullpen. I have always felt that Clarke Schmidt would be an extremely effective reliever, particularly functioning as a bridge to the closer. Of all the current starters, I think he would have the easiest and best transition to the bullpen. He has been very good as a starter, but he might be even better as a reliever.

 

·      I recently watched Bronx Zoo’90: Crime, Chaos, and Baseball on Peacock.  I found it to be very informative overall. It was well done. I always knew that Mel Hall was a reprehensible person but, after seeing this docuseries, he is even worse than I thought. What I found most amazing was the way his pedophilia was condoned by the parents of the teenage girl he was living with, the school that allowed him to go to her prom, the community in which they lived, and the Yankees. The Yankees didn't blink an eye when Mel Hall’s 15-year-old girlfriend was sitting in the stands with the players’ wives doing her math homework. The Yankees put the prom picture of Mel Hall and his victim in their yearbook. When Mel Hall was interviewed, in prison, he showed no remorse for his behavior. He attempted to explain, excuse, and justify the things he did. On a far less serious note, Mel Hall constantly bullied, harassed, and belittled Bernie Williams when he came up to the Major Leagues. Mel seemed to think he was a better player than Bernie. Well, I guess Mel had the last laugh on Bernie. Mel Hall is still wearing a uniform with a number on it and will be for the next 40 years while Bernie is long retired and has moved on to a successful music career.

 

·      When I saw the section in that same docuseries where Michael Kay and Joel Sherman described post-game interviews with Stump Merrill, I was surprised. Apparently, Stump would sit at his desk in front of reporters and remove his sanitary socks, which he would then wring out and use to clean his teeth. Michael Kay described little globs of red clay from the field falling out of the socks as they rubbed across Stump’s teeth. Joel Sherman described Stump as “uncouth”. That's what we call an understatement.

29 Comments


Chris D.
Chris D.
May 28

I believe Stanton has a full no-trade clause in his contract?! Right !? I don't think he'd approve of any trade, while the Yankees are on their way to get far into the playoffs...!!!,

BBQ?? No-cheese please...

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
May 29
Replying to

Stanton would definitely APPROVE a trade to the Dodgers, because that was his childhood favorite team while he was growing up in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles. Under the name, "Mike Stanton", Giancarlo played high school baseball at Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, where on multiple occasions, he hit baseballs high and completely out of the high school property, where they used to clang off the street light pole on Riverside Drive, well outside the high school. He actually made newspaper headlines for doing that as a high school baseball player. He regularly attended games at Dodger Stadium while growing up. I am sure he would LOVE to play for the Dodgers and would APPRO…

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jjw49
May 28

Yankees seem to always hold onto players just a bit longer hence their trade value diminishes, the list is long but Stanton to Atlanta would be a interesting, and Torres to any team would also be worthwhile. The weak link on this team is the bullpen... which is unreliable at best.

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jeff
May 28

To me, the biggest news of the off day is the retirement of umpire Angel Hernandez. I tried to call him to congratulate him on his retirement, but he missed the call.

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jeff
May 28
Replying to

Hopefully, C.B. Bucknor will be the next umpire that the MLB will ask to "retire".

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Alan B.
Alan B.
May 28

Regardless of re-signing Soto, and Stanton's trade rights due to his no trade clause, those trade discussions have had to start with Stanton, even if they don't happen until after the season.


The bullpen right now is a disaster, outside of Holmes and Gonzales. Luke Weaver, supposed to be their version of a long man, is now doing more and more late inning situations. Not good. To count on two injured guys and a SP who will go to the pen is a dangerous solution, until it actually works out. I call that just a bit crazy and a whole lot hopeful. Why do I say that? Things rarely work out as you plan in sports when it com…


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jeff
May 28
Replying to

Jose Trevino just needed to throw his knuckball more often. Word is, he has a pretty decent knuckleball in his arsenal.

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fuster
May 28

the official hot dog of the New York Yankees, born in Coney Island



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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
May 29
Replying to

When I think of Nathan's Famous hot dogs, honestly, I only think of the Brooklyn Cyclones, who are doing an amazing job, attendance-wise.

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