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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Musings...

by Paul Semendinger

November 18, 2023

***

The Yankees traded Jake Bauers to the Milwaukee Brewers. They players they received back are:


Jace Avina, 20 years old, has played two years at A-ball or lower, is right-handed and owns a batting average on .249 thus far...


and


Brian Sanchez, 19 years old, has played one season of rookie-level ball, is left-handed, and batted .297 last year.


I think the Yankees did fine. Bauers was not going to be a player on a Yankees team striving for a pennant. They moved him for two lottery tickets. That sounds like a good deal to me.

***

It's getting more an more difficult to read any New York newspapers on-line. The NY Daily News and NY Times are basically entirely behind paywalls. This is also true of the Bergen Record. Yesterday the NY Post started making it more and more difficult to read their free stuff.


I'll never understand taking a product away from consumers. In the long run, I think all those sites will lose readers.

***

Last evening, the Yankees non-tendered Albert Abreu, Lou Trivino, and Anthony Misiewicz.


Remember when so many couldn't stop saying how great Albert Abreu was going to be? I understand that most prospects flame out, but boy it seems the Yankees prospects flame out more than other teams.


I understand why so many fans get excited about the up-and-coming players, but the Yankees have been so wrong on so many players for so long that I cannot any longer.


So many predict that Anthony Volpe will be better in 2024. It is said with such certainty. I think the jury is still out on him. He didn't have a good rookie season with the bat. The Yankees mishandled him all year - batting him all over the lineup - and rushing him to the lead-off spot and it didn't work.


So many predict that Jasson Dominguez will be back by the All-Star Break and that he's going to be great. No one knows that. He had Tommy John surgery. Yes, some players come back quickly. "Look at Bryce Harper," we're told. Please, let's not compare Dominguez to Harper yet. And Harper is now a first baseman, not an outfielder. He also didn't need to get minor league reps before coming back. I sense Dominguez will need time in the minor leagues. We might not see him in New York in 2024. There is no certainty he'll be back. He had one good week in the big leagues before getting hurt, but so many keep saying what a star he will be - as soon as next year.


I understand the wish to be optimistic, and I hope everyone who says these things is correct, but, rather than speaking from facts, it's nothing more than wishful thinking stated with absolute certainty and all those statements are absent of the facts. It's all nothing more than hope.


The fact is the Yankees have done a terrible job with their prospects. Until I see differently, I'm not buying into any of the hype or the hope. If the 2024 Yankees need Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez to be stars and important contributors, the Yankees are in trouble. A team can't build for a championship season based on nothing more than hope and wishful thinking.

***

We have some book reviews coming in the next few weeks for some baseball books:


I read The Federal Case by J. B. Manheim and it was terrific.


My dad read "The Kid" Blasts A Winner by Bill Nowlin and also loved it.


I started reading The Wax Pack by Brad Balukjian, and, three chapters in, I am enjoying it.


Joe Posnanski is one of my favorite writers. I just picked up The Soul of Baseball. I greatly look forward to reading this book. I recently read Posnanski's newest book Why We Love Baseball and, sadly, I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped I would.


There is a new book about Ted Williams and John Glenn, The Wingmen. I'll also be reading that soon!

***

I have watched a lot of the Jets this year. (I have no idea why. It's ugly bad frustrating football.) The Jets are a team designed to break a fan's heart. I rooted, hard, for the Jets in the early 1980s. Nothing has changed. Well, one thing has... they get even more frustrating.

***

Throughout the season and in the games, I keep hearing commentators and reporters and so-called experts saying of Zack Wilson, "He has a lot of talent," "He has proven he can play," "He is really good," "If only the players around him were better," and more. Praise and hope. Speculation. Hype.


You can substitute any number of Yankees prospects and hear words of praise like that. We hear it year after year. It's endless. "This time, these kids, thy are the ones."


They say stuff like that about Zack Wilson every game. Last Sunday we were told that he even looked like Patrick Mahomes on one pass. "He's figuring it out." "He's coming around."


Spoiler Alert- He's not. And he's not good.


This is the same hope and hype I hear about the Yankees prospects.

***

I wonder which New York team will be the first to win a championship... the Yankees, the Mets, the Jets, or the Giants. In many ways they all seem miles and miles away.


If it's going to be the Yankees, they should start acting and making big moves. They have a lot they need to do.

35 comments

35 Comments


jjw49
Nov 19, 2023

Baseball, Basketball. Hockey and Football all suffer from the NY fever of an over critical press and being overhyped, and the one constant is unfortunately bad long term ownership!

Like

sfs1944
Nov 18, 2023

Paul, you must have the patient of a Saint replying to some of these posts. I sometimes wonder if any played or coached baseball. One thing I will let everybody in on. A little leaguer can hit off a machine or live pitching if they know that all that is coming is straight fastballs.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 18, 2023
Replying to

It's all good. It's good to share thoughts and dialogue.

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Len
Len
Nov 18, 2023

I read Joe's "Why we love Baseball," and think it's great, as are all his other books.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 18, 2023
Replying to

It gets a lot of good reviews, but I felt it wasn't up to his other works.


He talks about some of the greatest moments in the history of the game and then you read a story and find out - it's from a movie! I thought that was strange.


I also love Posnanski, as I have said, but I didn't love this one. I felt it was good, but it wasn't great. He set a very nigh bar with his other books.

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Nov 18, 2023

Yeah, Volpe's a bum based on his poor rookie year. Only slashed .209/.283/.383/.666. He's like that Judge guy who came up in '16, struck out 42 times in 84 ABs! 50% K rate. Slashed .179/.263/.345/.608 with an OPS+ of 61. He's a butcher in the field, too: -9 DRS/yr. What a bum. Makes Volpe look like Cal Ripken. I don't know why they didn't DFA him to get the roster spot free. With a guy like him on the roster in '17, no way are they making the post-season (and if by some miracle they do, they're not getting very far).

Like
jjw49
Nov 19, 2023
Replying to

These days it's real hard being a die hard Yankee fan, and it's understandable since he is only the 2nd homegrown ball player in the last 10 years to grace the Bronx with the potential to keep the fan base excited. I love Volpe and I believe he will have a much better year! 😀

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Nov 18, 2023

Volpe's biggest off season thing is to train to survive a more rigorous schedule that had him done for by September 1. Yes, even more than his approach at the plate IMO. Dominguez needs to play once he's healthy. Yes his arm won't be ready in 2024, but he still can give you hitting, running, and catching the ball. I am going to assume he will be getting maximum ABs in Extended Spring Training, then get the maximum games allowed under the rehab assignment rules, with most of those games at AA/AAA. If he's doing well then, why shouldn't he be in the Majors at that point? I don't want to hear about only 9 games at AAA. Michael Harris…

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 18, 2023
Replying to

If they're being coached incorrectly, what makes you believe they'll be good as big leaguers?

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