Bargain Basement Shopping…
Well, so much for my dream that the Yankees would come out of the weeds to snag Wei-Yin Chen. The Miami Marlins paid $80 million to bring the hurler to South Beach to pitch for Donnie Baseball. It would have made so much sense for the Yankees to sign Chen. Proceeding down Path Status Quo will ensure that we’ll see AAA or AA arms in the starting rotation at some point during the season. I hope James Kaprielian is ready. He’ll be getting his taste of the Bronx sooner rather than later barring any other moves.
As we proceed through January, the latest additions are infielder Ronald Torreyes and relievers Tyler Olson and Anthony Swarzak. I don’t know much about Swarzak but I remember going to a Twins-Yankees game at Target Field in 2012 when they brought Swarzak into the game. I remember thinking that it was a good opportunity to score some runs, and I think that’s exactly what happened. Could be wrong, but suffice it to say that Swarzak did not put the fear of God into me that day.
Living in Los Angeles, my TV tends to be overrun with anything Dodgers so I was aware of Torreyes and his limited contributions in 2015. Olson was with the Mariners last season and had only recently been acquired by the Dodgers. All sound like fodder for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to me. To get Torreyes and Olson, the Yankees gave up infielder Rob Segedin. Once a third round draft pick, I once had hope that Segedin would eventually lock down third base. But at 27, his days as a prospect with potential were gone.
At this point, I don’t see the Yankees making any surprise additions or trades. It feels like what we have is what we have, and that’s what will be going to Tampa for spring training.
There’s a part of me that hopes for a Justin Upton signing, with the trade of Brett Gardner for a pitcher, but I realize that’s a pipe dream. In so many ways, last season’s success was a detriment as it prevented Hal Steinbrenner from feeling a sense of urgency. Admittedly, the team feels like it is preparing for 2018 or 2019, and willing to forego the next couple of seasons. I guess New York will be Mets town for the forseeable future.
I am trying to stay positive but as long as the starting rotation is in a fragile state, it doesn’t matter how hard the closer throws. Plus there is too much risk at first base, right, and center. The shuttle between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and New York will be working overtime.
The Los Angeles Rams has such a familiar ring to it…
I may not be a Rams fan, but I was so excited to hear that the Rams were returning to the City of Angels. As a resident of Los Angeles, it seemed so weird that the second largest city in the country and one of the largest cities in the World did not have professional football. Granted, one could argue that the Rams are not professional but still, they belong to Los Angeles. I know, they started as the Cleveland Rams, but they spent so many years in L.A. Growing up as a Minnesota Vikings fan in the 70’s, their chief nemesis at the time was Chuck Knox and the Rams. I could never get used to “St Louis Rams”. It just didn’t sound right. The Los Angeles Rams has a much more majestic sound to it. The pressure will be on owner Stan Kroenke and head coach Jeff Fisher to deliver a winner for L.A. But one thing’s for certain, the 2016 NFL Season will be a blast with football on Sundays at the L.A. Coliseum.
I feel bad for the fans in St Louis, but I seriously doubt those fans were too concerned when Los Angeles lost the Rams in 1994.
Time will tell if the Rams are joined by the San Diego Chargers, but either way, it’s fun that the NFL is back in Los Angeles. I know that I’ll be heading out for a game or two.
Ray Finkle revisited…
What can I say about the horrific loss by the Minnesota Vikings last weekend? It was a game that they clearly could have and should have won. Back in training camp, Kicker Blair Walsh couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. The Vikings stuck with him and he corrected his performance over the course of the regular season. However, the trouble during training camp stayed with me. Even as Walsh was lining up for what should have been a chip shot game winning field goal, the training camp yips were playing in the back of my head. When he missed the kick, regardless of whether it was the fault of the holder or Donald Trump, I had such a sense of ‘I knew it’. As a lifelong Vikings fan, they have given me more than a fair share of disappointment.
I am still very optimistic about the future of the Vikings under Mike Zimmer’s leadership. However, they had the ability to make noise THIS post-season and blew the opportunity. Windows are short in the NFL. The Vikings had better learn from this experience and show that they know how to win. Next year will be the first year in the new stadium so perhaps they were just waiting to explode in US Bank Stadium. I trust the decision makers will make the right decisions to continue the improvement of the Vikings and return a much stronger team when training camp breaks later this summer.
Baseball is getting close…just a month away. I’m ready even if the Yankees aren’t.