About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind
About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind
By Tim Kabel
November 4, 2023
*** The off season is underway. The World Series is over, and the Texas Rangers are the 2023 Champions. I have decided to use my Saturday column in the off-season to discuss multiple topics in a hit-and-run style. Let's get going.
* Yesterday, the Yankees began the process of reshaping the roster. Six players were placed on waivers: Domingo German, Matt Bowman, Jimmy Cordero, Ryan Weber, Franchy Cordero, and Billy McKinney. Well, it's a good start.
* Domingo German went from pitching a perfect game to being released. I hope he is able to successfully address his issues and achieve some level of success in his career. However, he didn't need to do it with the Yankees. He used up all his chances with this team. Releasing him was the right move to make. If he joins the Orioles, or the Royals, or some other team and has a great year, it was still the right move by the Yankees. It was time for him to go.
* I started watching the reboot of Frasier. While it's not the same caliber as the old show, it's still enjoyable. Kelsey Grammer still has his fastball. The young fellow who plays David, Anders Keith, is totally believable as the son of Niles and Daphne.
* There are still a few players on the Yankees roster who should be trimmed from it. There is no reason to keep Jake Bauers, Nick Ramirez, Anthony Misiewicz or Albert Abreu. They are all replaceable. Cutting those players would trim 10 men off the 40-man roster, which would be significant.
* The Yankees reportedly hired the Zelus Analytics firm to reorganize and restructure the Yankees’ analytics program. Hopefully, this works, as it seems the Yankees were providing their players with too much information, some of which was not useful. The process needs to be streamlined and well-organized. Analytics can be useful if it is one of many tools, and if it is used correctly.
* The Yankees have not yet made a formal announcement regarding the status of Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman, or the coaching staff, other than Sean Casey, who announced he will not be returning as the hitting coach. Carlos Mendoza Is interviewing for managerial jobs. The Yankees need to clarify the front office, manager, and coaching staff as soon as possible. While many of us would prefer to see changes, if they are not going to be made, it's better to know it now, so we can mentally prepare for another season of bubble blowing and ridiculous responses to questions.
* I imagine that if Brian Cashman is going to remain as the general manager, he will make a move of some kind very quickly. I'm not referring to the naming of the assistant hitting coach. I mean he will make a trade or sign a free agent as soon as he can. If it is a major move, it would go a long way toward showing that the Yankees are serious about doing things differently.
* Rumors are that the Yankees are going to spend a lot of money this off-season in their acquisitions either through trades or free agency. That is very good news. However, they need to spend wisely. This can't be like one of those game shows where the contestants have to rush through the store as quickly as possible, filling a cart. If the contestant leaves the store with 420 pounds of steak, only to remember that he is a vegetarian, that would be a problem
* A lot of fans have stated the Yankees should sign Shohei Ohtani. Unfortunately, he will only be able to be a designated hitter next season. The Yankees are full in that department. Right now, they have Giancarlo Stanton on the roster. Even if they trade him, there is a chance that when Jasson Dominguez returns, he may need to be the DH for a while. Furthermore, Ohtani has made it fairly clear that he's not interested in being on the East Coast. He rejected the Yankees offer when he first came to America.
* Whatever the Yankees do this off season, they need to be fully committed to improving the team. In other words, they can't go into next season with leftfield being manned by a collection of ifs and maybes. There is some uncertainty with any young players but, if Brian Cashman sinks any money at all into a bunch of retreads again this winter, it will be an indication that things may not change very much.
* I watched the documentary, It Ain't Over the other night. It was extremely well done and was a very moving tribute to a great Yankee and a wonderful man, Yogi Berra. It is amazing how someone so good could actually be underrated.
* Perhaps they could make a documentary about Aaron Boone. They could call it, It Is Over.
* It's hard to believe but Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I think this year, i will pull out all the stops and make everything from scratch again, as I used to. I actually made a Turducken on two occasions. I won't be doing that this year but, I might get into double digits when it comes to varieties of pie. I might make a mincemeat pie, just to confuse the vegetarian guests.
* Although the Yankees did have an unacceptable season, they finished it well by allowing several of their young players an opportunity to get their feet wet. If Jasson Dominguez had not torn his UCL, things would look a lot brighter heading into next season but, I am hopeful he will return relatively soon and continue to develop.
* I expect that if the Yankees do trade for Juan Soto, they will do it early in the offseason. They need to show the fans and the rest of baseball that they are serious about rebuilding. Resigning Isiah Kiner-Filefa is not what we're looking for.
* The secret to a successful meal, particularly a holiday meal, is the same as the secret to a successful off-season: Get off to a good start. If the first thing you serve your guests is a success you will have smooth sailing the rest of the way. I once catered a party many years ago, and the husband of the woman who hired me was very skeptical of my abilities. He sat in the kitchen questioning and belly aching until I served him a bowl of my soup. He then followed me around like Augustus Gloop followed Willy Wonka.
* This will be my first Thanksgiving with my beautiful, amazing wife. I'm doing my best to make it memorable for her. I have ordered a turkey the size of Big Bird. My marriage has already lasted longer than the one between Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman, which lasted 38 days and earned a chapter of one blank page in Ethel Merman's autobiography.
* Is there anything Alex Rodriguez will not say to get attention? He recently claimed to be battling depression because his daughter went off to college. He just seems a bit disingenuous to me. A few weeks ago, he was upset that the Yankees had not retired his number.
* The primary focus for the Yankees during the off-season should be acquiring young, athletic players. Left-handed hitting should be a priority. The other focus for the team should be ridding themselves of Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, if they feel Anthony Rizzo can play regularly next year.
* The secondary focus of the team should be strengthening the starting rotation and either directly or indirectly, the bullpen. By indirectly I mean acquiring a starting pitcher who could then push Clarke Schmidt and or Michael King to the bullpen.
* It's almost time to start my holiday shopping. I bet I can get some Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo Yankee jerseys at a good price. They could be collectors' items now. Perhaps I can find a “Bringer of Rain” t-shirt as well for Josh Donaldson. That is a good nickname for him, since he seems to b a bit of a drip.