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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

June 18, 2024

***

The Yankees were off yesterday. They lost a weekend series to the Red Sox and are about to open a very important six-game homestand against the Orioles and the Braves.  I will wander from topic to topic like Aaron Boone going through the free samples at a bubble gum factory.


·      The Yankees cannot be fooled by the recent signs of life from Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres. It is quite likely they were just blips on the radar. There is no reason to suspect that any of them will have a great season when all is said and done. There are even fewer reasons to suspect that all of them will have a great season when all is said and done. That is highly unlikely. 

 

·      I have mentioned before that my older son is a Division One Collegiate pitcher. For Father's Day, he gave me a beautiful wood and glass display case in the shape of home plate that holds 12 baseballs. He saved baseballs from various games he pitched. He labeled those balls and put them in the display case. It will look beautiful hanging on the wall of my office and will be one of my most cherished possessions.

 

·      Anthony Rizzo left the game on Sunday with an injury. It is not appropriate to speculate about how long he may be out as a result. However, if he is out for a significant period of time, the Yankees need to find a suitable and credible replacement. They can't just patch things together. If for example, they decide Ben Rice is ready to come up, he should be given a chance to play. He should not sit on the bench every day and watch DJ LeMahieu play. Unfortunately, with Aaron Boone at the helm, that is what will probably happen.

 

·      For anyone who has ever waited on line at the DMV, I found that they are mere amateurs when it comes to frustrating the citizenry. The folks at the IRS have that down to an art form. I had to call them last week. The automated system told me that I would wait between 29 and 60 minutes but, if I preferred, I could enter my number and they would call me back. I chose that option. Their number popped up on my phone 29 minutes later and instantly hung up on me. This happened four times. Then, I decided to wait on hold. After being cut off twice more, I finally reached a person who was extremely helpful. We had just about resolved the situation when I was cut off yet again. I had to begin the process all over with someone else. I forced her to swear on a stack of 1040 forms that she would call me back if we were disconnected. Amazingly, we weren't. I spent almost the entire day on a phone call that should have taken 8 minutes at most. 

 

·      I am not very confident going into this series against the Orioles. I hope I am proven wrong but, unless there is a great deal of Boone-proofing, it could be an unpleasant three days for the Yankees. After Sunday’s game against the Red Sox, I predict the Orioles will be running against Trevino every chance they get.

 

·      I just read a very interesting article. It explained that in Ethiopia, it is 2016. Ethiopia does not follow the Gregorian calendar. Rather, it follows the Ethiopian calendar, which is structured differently than the one most of the rest of the world follows. Consequently, it will not be the year 2017 in Ethiopia until September. Armed with this information, I have figured out what we can do to solve the Yankees’ problems. I can take Brian Cashman to Ethiopia, where I will convince him not to trade for Giancarlo Stanton and not to hire Aaron Boone. 

 

·      Seeing the Red Sox run rampant on the base paths on Sunday night made me wonder once again why for the most part Anthony Volpe has been restrained from stealing bases.  He does have 15 stolen bases, but it seems like he should have more. Apparently, the prevailing thought is the Yankees don't want him to be thrown out with either Juan Soto or Aaron Judge at bat because that would deprive them of a potential RBI. I think that's looking at it the wrong way. There is a much greater chance that Volpe will steal the base, rather than being thrown out. That would put him closer to scoring than if he stayed at first base. The Yankees do not have a great deal of team speed but, they should use what they have more often. If they ultimately bring Caleb Durbin up from the minor leagues to play second base, he and Volpe could combine for a great number of stolen bases. Throw in Jasson Dominguez, and you would have a track team. That would lead to more runs.  If you don't believe me, ask Alex Cora, who may be looking for a job at the end of the season.

 

·      If you like cheese, you should try Murray's Cheese out of New York. They have an excellent selection, extremely knowledgeable staff, and their delivery service is incredible. My wife bought me a small wheel of what they call “Sunday Sauce” for Father's Day. It is an Italian table cheese that is rubbed with tomato paste during the aging process, giving it a delightful flavor.

 

·      The fact that the Yankees are bringing back Gerrit Cole to pitch in this series against the Orioles and juggling the rotation so that Cody Poteet does not pitch indicates that the Yankees are taking this very seriously. This is not a knock on Poteet. He did very well, and he could replace any number of people in the bullpen. I would rather see that than see the likes of Ian Hamilton or Caleb Ferguson remain on the roster.

 

·      On this coming Sunday, I will be sending my wife to her first in-person Yankees’ game since the Stump Merrill era. Due to my current physical limitations, I am unable to attend. My wife is capable of getting lost in our apartment. Sending her to Yankee Stadium unsupervised would be a recipe for disaster. Suzyn Waldman would have her in the broadcast booth in the third inning and make an announcement to the crowd that there was a lost woman in the booth who needed to be collected. I am sending her with one of her friends who goes to the games regularly and knows her way around. Perhaps my wife will bring me back a stale pretzel as a souvenir.


·      On Father's Day, I was thinking about a lot of things I used to do with my kids. One thing I thought about was the cartoons they watched. When I was a kid, we had Looney Tunes, Underdog, and Popeye. My kids had SpongeBob, Hey Arnold, Dora the Explorer, and Caillou. For those who don't know, Caillou was by far the most annoying cartoon in the history of television. Caillou was a follicularly challenged four-year-old child. He was spoiled, petulant, and whiny. It was a Canadian cartoon. As best I can figure, its main purpose was to dissuade people from having children. If you have never seen it, count yourself as lucky and simply move on. Do not watch it. Ever.

 

·      Since his return from the IL, DJ LeMahieu is batting.188 with nine hits, all of which have been singles. He has four RBI.  Even if he improves somewhat, he is a mere shadow of his former self. He is under contract for two more years. I do not believe he will be on the team at the end of that contract. He will be sitting on a couch somewhere with Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson, eating chips and watching reruns of Caillou.

57 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 18

According to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports, Ben Rice will be part of a first base platoon; he will start against right-handed pitchers, while DJ LeMahieu will play first against left-handers. This is a rather odd decision, as LeMahieu is only hitting .167 against lefties, compared to a .293 average for Rice; the Yankees are likely basing this off Rice's 2023 season, when he hit .217 against southpaws and .354 against righties. Personally, I would prefer that Rice plays every day so he gets his rhythm and timing down.

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jjw49
Jun 19
Replying to

Exactly what happened tonight… nice call😀

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 18

Until further notice, I think the Yankees should try Austin Wells as the every day catcher, since he has a better chance of throwing out potential base stealers than Jose Trevino does at this point in time. I think Wells will improve both as a catcher and as a hitter if he sees action every day instead of just sporadically as a platoon player. I had previously campaigned for Wells and Trevino to platoon with one another when the season started, but after seeing so many base runners taking advantage of him, I now prefer Wells as the every day catcher, against all pitching, and catching all of the Yankees pitchers.

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 18
Replying to

At this point, IF the Yankees do the RIGHT THING, I see both Wells AND Rice as every day players until further notice. Both of them will benefit if they play every day. As I mentioned before, Wells will improve dramatically at the plate if he sees action every day.

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 18

Ben Rice MUST be the every day 1B in Rizzo's absence, NOT DJ LeMaheui, who is now best suited in a utility role, and no longer an every day solution.


In the event that the Yankees don't re-sign Rizzo, and if Rizzo cannot get a contract with another team, I would like the Yankees to hire Rizzo as a coach. He would make a great 1B coach after many years of seeing when opposing players take off from 1B when he is playing there. Also, he would make a great instructor for guys like Ben Rice, and if the Yankees decide to move him there, Aaron Judge, on the finer points of playing the 1B position. That would b…

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 18
Replying to

True, but he has bonded so much with Judge and many of the other players, that I don't think he would want to leave this ballclub and clubhouse at this point. Becoming a coach could be a way for him to stay and still enjoy the comradery of the Yankee clubhouse.

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fantasyfb3313
Jun 18

WOW WOW WOW! Tim, you have just entered my personal HOF. i will need to copy and frame your comments about Calliou. I have made the statement MANY times, Calliou is right at the very top of the list for the worst things that have EVER been seen on a television. Paul, I would rather watch the Emu commercials and all the other insurance commercials on a never ending loop as opposed to Calliou!! VERY VERY SADLY my son also grew up during the time of Calliou. i am so thankful that my son, even as a very young child, had the good taste and good sense, to prefer watching videos of Scooby Doo over many of the cartoo…


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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jun 18
Replying to

Not MY suggestion. MY suggestion was for Anthony Rizzo to retire and for the Yankees to hire him as a coach, perhaps insert him as the 1B coach, where I think he would do a terrific job after many years of seeing opposing baserunners taking off from 1B to either steal or advance on a hit. I also think he would be valuable at teaching guys like Ben Rice, who are primarily catchers, the finer points of playing the 1B position. Staying on as a Yankee coach will maintain that "clubhouse chemistry" and leadership that Rizzo provides without him....um....actually having to play in the game.

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jjw49
Jun 18

Sounds like you need to find another bank...... How realistic is it to believe that Rizzo, Torres and Trevino will not be in pinstripes next year? DJLM is a shadow of his former self, aging in place right before our eyes. The Yankees will need a new approach dealing with these players.... by necessity this team will have to accelerate the infusion of youth on the club.... this year not next. 😀

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Jun 18
Replying to

The only problem with your comment is that the Yankees rely more on analytics than what their eyes show them.

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