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About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

By Tim Kabel

February 3, 2024


We have made it to February. Yesterday was Groundhog Day. I did not see my shadow, but I did see my reflection in the mirror, which was much worse. Spring Training will be here in less than two weeks. To paraphrase Jo Stafford, "Baseball is a-comin'.  There's dancin' tonight." I will now sample a wide variety of topics like the Bluebird of Happiness flitting from branch to branch. 

  • The Yankees missed out on Corbin Burnes as the Orioles traded for him on Thursday. Now that the Yankees have been "Burnesed" by the Orioles, will they make a move in response? Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery remain unsigned. A few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the Yankees having to try to keep pace with the Orioles. 


  • By the way, how did the bluebird become the universal symbol of happiness? Who chose the bluebird for such a role. Was there an election? Why don't we have some creature to represent unhappiness? I suggest and hereby create the Basset Hound of Sorrow. 


  • The Yankees passed on signing Wandy Peralta and Kenyan Middleton. However, they did claim left-handed reliever Matt Gage off waivers from the Astros. He could conceivably play an important role this season. The Yankees seem to have a knack of finding undervalued relief pitchers who do well once they don the pinstripes. 


  • I think that of all the veteran Yankees, I am most eager to see Giancarlo Stanton in Spring Training. Did all this conditioning work we heard about in the offseason really happen? Will there be a difference? Will he be able to remain healthy and contribute this season or is it time to say goodbye, in the words of Andrea Bocelli? 


  • Whenever I make lists, I always leave somebody or something off. Last week, when I made my list of my favorite characters from television shows, I omitted three, Paulie Walnuts from the Sopranos, Detective Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue, and Hoss Cartwright from Bonanza. 


  • As far as the young Yankees go, I think Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza have the most at stake this spring. They need to come in and seize roles on this team. Otherwise, they may be punching their tickets out of town. 


  • Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies, died yesterday at age 76. He was a very entertaining and underrated actor. 


  •   I suspect that Alex Verdugo will be very motivated whenever the Yankees play the Red Sox this season, which is a good thing. 


  • A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a news feed on the Internet and saw that an entertainer was testifying before Congress. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would see someone testifying before Congress with a nameplate in front of him that read Jelly Roll. I guess Apple Fritter and Cinnamon Bun were busy that day. We have certainly come a long way since General Douglas MacArthur testified before Congress. I have no idea what Mr. Roll actually said but I can only imagine. "Old pastries never die, they simply crumble away." 


  • I suspect that the Yankees have at least one big move left before Spring Training or at least before the season begins. Apparently, the Yankees were the only team to offer Blake Snell a contract. Maybe he will get antsy and come back to them. 


  • I tend to be an optimist so I think the Yankees have a chance to be very good this year. However, to be fair, they have several players with a lot to prove. If they don't do well, It could be a long season. That list includes: Austin Wells, Anthony Rizzo, Anthony Volpe, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, Scott Effross, and Jonathan Loaisiga. I'm sure I left a couple of players out. 


  • I don't think we can say with any degree of certainty who the Yankee starting third baseman will be at this point. Hopefully, Spring Training will provide the answer. 


  • This year I will turn 60. Just think, in 20 years, I will be old enough to run for president. 


  • In the series in Mexico City to end Spring Training, the Yankees will play the Diablos Rojos. That is a very cool name for a team. I wouldn't mind a hat with that logo and name on it. Speaking of that, I guarantee you for that series, someone will be marketing a sombrero with the Yankees' logo on it. 


  • The best-case scenario is for Juan Soto to click with Aaron Judge and the rest of his teammates immediately and sign a long-term contract with the Yankees before the end of Spring Training. It's unlikely, but it could happen. 

  • This could be the last Spring Training as a member of the Yankees' organization for several people: Gleyber Torres, Juan Soto, Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Boone, and Brian Cashman, among others. Who do you think is least likely to return. My vote is for Aaron Boone, which is unfortunate because it means the Yankees won't win the World Series. 


  • Yesterday, the YES network hired Joe Girardi to be an analyst. Now, Aaron Boone will have both Girardi and Brad Ausmus looking over his shoulder. Tick, Tock, Clarice. 


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Feb 03

Reminds me of the time John F. Kennedy told the crowd in front of the Berlin Wall, "I am a jelly doughnut."


Feb 03

Carl Weathers, when he was in the NFL actually sought out OJ Simpson when they played against each other, seeking advice from OJ, because he was an aspiring actor and OJ already had the experience of being an NFL player who is also an actor.

New Yankee hitting coach James Rowson said that he is making working with Giancarlo Stanton his priority this season, in getting Stanton back on track to what he is expected to be, so I am optimistic there. Rowson had a lot of success when he was the Minnesota Twins hitting coach, getting that team to hit a lot better.

Austin Wells has a strong hunger to improve his catching skills. He LOVES being a catcher…


Feb 03

Should also be the last season for Hal Steinbrenner.


Feb 03

P.S. Phil Maton signing with the Rays. Another one of the relievers linked to the Yankees is off the board. As I’ve been saying for weeks, I don’t see them signing another reliever. I think the 8 has been set (Holmes, Loaisaga, Kahnle, Hamilton, Effross, Gonzalez, Ramirez and Weaver).


Feb 03

Carl Weathers was always a favorite of mine. Not only was he great in Rocky, but also as “Chubbs” in Happy Gilmore, sidekick to Arnold in Predator and more recently in the Mandalorian. RIP.

I can’t be upset with the organization about not getting Burnes, because you have no control over with whom a team trades. The O’s obviously valued Ortiz more at SS than they did Peraza (and you can’t blame them after last season). I truly hope we don’t make a rash trade/signing to counteract that transaction. Last time we did that was our pivot from Cano to 7/$153 million of Ellsbury. We all know how that turned out.

I think Peraza’s spot on the roster is basically…

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