With the GM meetings looking like they won't be bearing any fruit for the Yankees this year, the hot stove talk can be put on the back burner for a little while (see what I did there? "Hot stove?" "Back burner? Ehh, ehh). But this is a Yankees blog, damnit, and now that I've eliminated the NFL and UConn basketball coverage of yesteryear, I need something to write about. And seeing how this blog is heavy on the fan-ness and a little light on the advanced statistical analysis, it makes sense to me to go real heavy on the fan side and focus on a topic that every Yankee fan has: the players on the Yankees they can't fucking stand.
You don't necessarily need stats to support hate, but most guys who have received multiple Bronx cheers in their time in pinstripes certainly have the stats to support the hatred. Now bear in mind that my list is comprised solely of players from the generation of Yankee baseball that I have lived through and been involved in (late 90s-present) so if one of your boo targets isn't here, that's why. Alright, let the hating commence!
Not to mention the fact that Johnson was/is fat and slow and arguably the least athletic person in Major League Baseball. Every time he drew a walk, I half expected to see a bunch of Jabba the Hutt's minions come out and load his lardass onto a dais to be rolled to first base. Then this year, as if they hadn't learned their lessons from before, the Yanks brought him back on $5.5 million contract for a grand total of 72 at-bats and yet another season-ending wrist injury. 72 at-bats!!! Nick Johnson made $76,388.89 per at-bat this season. I'm only going to make $40,000 this year for an entire year's worth of work. GAHHHHH!!!!
So fuck you, Nick Johnson. I hope you break your fat jelly head open and snap both of your weak wrists clean off of your body in a horrible jet ski accident this offseason on a vacation that you'll be able to take thanks to the millions of unearned dollars you now have in your bank account. I fucking hate you.
I think the reason I actually hate A.J. so much is because of his talent. It would be one thing if he was just a shitty pitcher who happened to also be a mental midget. But ask around and most people agree that his stuff is right up there with the best in baseball. When his fastball and curveball are on, there isn't a hitter alive who can compete against Burnett. The problem is, they both rarely ever are on and even when they are, at the first sign of trouble (hit, walk, wild pitch, hit batter, error) A.J. turns into Sir Robin from Monty Python and The Holy Grail and runs away. It would be sad watching his meltdown sessions on the mound if they weren't always costing the Yankees wins and taxing the bullpen. And the worst part is, with his monster contract he's practically untradeable so we're all potentially stuck with him for 3 more years of sub-.500 winning percentages, above-5.00 ERAs, countless excuses, and I'm stuck drinking more beer and getting fatter and more pissed off as a result of watching him pitch. A.J. Burnett, I hate you.
I remember thinking when the Yankees announced they had signed him to a 3-year, $21 million deal, "No, that can't be the same Jaret Wright. The same guy who I watched as a 12-year-old in the 1998 ALCS give up 6 consecutive hits to the Yankees in the bottom of the 1st and then proceed to walk 8 more batters over his 6.2 innings of work in arguably the biggest game of his life? Why the fuck would the Yanks want him?" And I was completely right in that thought. Wright came back to the Yankees older, with a much fatter head, with much less stuff, and with more tobacco jammed into his lip. I hate you, Jaret Wright, and I hope you get cancer of the mouth.
And surprise, surprise! A quick check of the stats shows that Brown's worst career ERA, WHIP, ERA+, H/9, HR/9, and K/9 numbers came in his 2 years as a Yankee. Life ain't so easy without having that needle jabbed into your ass all day, is it, old man? After continuing to suck on the mound and sulk off of it in 2005, Brown finally succumbed to injuries and was done for the year. If I were managing the team that season, I would have taken him out into the parking lot after his last start and blown his fucking brains out. Really the only positive thing you can say about Kevin Brown is that at least the Yankees managed to get rid of Jeff Weaver by bringing him in. To think that the Yankees paid this miserable asshole over $30 million when he was 39 and 40 and clearly past his prime makes my physically sick to my stomach.
Eat a dick, Kevin Brown. Eat a dick and then choke on it half way down and choke on your own puke/dick combination and die. I hate you.
My biggest beef with Giambi was that he was the first big signing for the Yankees after they lost the 2001 World Series and really signaled the transition from those perfectly-constructed teams of the late 90s and early 2000s to the completely-purchased, spend at will, biggest name possible, age be damned teams that plagued the Yankees' through the mid-2000s. As much as Giambi produced and as much as he was paid, he didn't help the Yankees win anything. If anything, his signing started the trend of buying bigger and bigger names to try to get back to the World Series without consideration of anything else and that philosophy damn near ruined the team before Cash finally got control and restored order to the organization. When I think of the dark times of the mid-2000s, the first name that comes to mind is Jason Giambi. And because those were the worst years of my Yankee fan career, I hate Jason Giambi for that.
** Coming up tomorrow: The Top 5. Get excited... **
Saturday Night Open Thread
29 minutes ago