Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Offseason Space Filler Post: My Top 10 Most Hated Yankees Part I

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!

10) Nick Johnson- This fat, big-headed fuck was the Yankees' most prized hitting prospect in the early 2000s and all he did was treat me to 3 years of low batting averages, no power, and seemingly constant stints on the DL for a variety of candyass injuries that wouldn't even have NFL players listed on the injury report.  Sure the .894 OPS in 2003 was nice, but that was mostly thanks to a .422 OBP.  HIT FOR SOME FUCKING POWER, YOU FAT MOUTHBREATHING CHUB BUCKET!!! 

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. 

9) A.J. Burnett- Only 2 years in pinstripes and a World Series championship to his credit and already A.J. cracks the top 10.  I wasn't super jazzed up about the Yankees signing Burnett in the first place in the 2008 offseason.  It was a classic case of misguided Yankee upper management logic that followed the idiotic "He's been really good against us in the past so he will be even better with us.  We have to have him!!!!" model.  And after 2 years I can say I feel justified in not being that excited about A.J. being brought on board as he has shown himself to be nothing more than a cowardly man-child who doesn't possess the inner strength and testicular fortitude to pitch under the pressure of New York despite having boatloads of talent at his disposal.

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.

8) Jaret Wright- Another guy that the Yankees fell in love with after watching him tear up inferior competition in the NL for the Atlanta Braves in 2004, Wright came back to the AL in 2005 and began the first of 2 forgettable seasons as a Yankee.  In his 2 years in the Bronx, Wright pitched to an ERA of 4.99, a WHIP of 1.60, and 0.9 WAR while making over $13 million.  And the most maddening part was, even in his prime (if you want to call it that), Wright was a guy who didn't miss bats and didn't limit damage.  He had one year, ONE FUCKING YEAR, of success in the JV league and suddenly the Yankees think he's a world beater.  So he comes over to play with the big boys in the AL again and guess fucking what?  HE DIDN'T MISS BATS AND HE DIDN'T LIMIT DAMAGE!!!

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.

7) Kevin Brown- 'Roid raging piece of shit rat bastard!!!  I will remember Kevin Brown for 2 things: 1) Throwing a hissy fit and breaking his hand when he punched the wall leaving Joe Torre's office late in the season during a time when the team was already in crisis mode with injuries to their pitching staff, and 2) Starting, and completely bombing, in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, putting the Yankees behind right off the bat and setting the table for the grand slam that Javy Vazquez allowed upon relieving Brown in the 2nd inning, thereby sealing the Yankees' fate as the only team to blow a 3-0 lead in history.  And by all accounts, he was a complete prick to boot, so that's fun, huh?!

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.

6) Jason Giambi- This was a tough one for me because when you look at Giambi's numbers as a Yankee, they really aren't all that bad, even when he was banged up and sick and diseased and whatever the hell else was wrong with him.  For the most part he produced as a Yankee, getting on base, driving in runs, and creating a menacing presence at the top of the lineup that every team had to respect and gameplan for.  The guy had a great batting eye and could get on base even when he was in the coldest of slumps, and he also seemed like a pretty cool dude.  I would have gone out and gotten a beer with him.  Sure he was a complete abortion at first base, but everybody knew that going in.  He was brought in to hit and hit for power and he did that.

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... **

Cash's GM Meeting Plans

With Cash announcing that he didn't plan on getting anything done as it relates to the Yankees at the GM meetings this week, that should free up his time to do other things while he's in Orlando.  Here are some of the other activities he has planned this week:

- Come up with some other shitty pitching coach candidates to interview (seriously, Rick Peterson?  As a Wisconsinite I can tell you that the Brewers' pitching staff, top to bottom, was the worst in baseball last year.  And he was the pitching coach.  Do the math).

- Check out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure.

- Talk to Hank and Hal about what verbal jab they'll take at Jeter in the papers next.

- Cruise the local fast food and supermarket scenes to find Omar Minaya and see how he's doing at his new job.

- Try to get his friends and family tickets on the 50-yard line for this weekend's Army-Notre Dame football game at The Stadium.

- Ask Theo what genius plan he and his crack team of sabermetricians have come up with this year for their free agency approach that will ensure they miss the playoffs again.

- Ask teams about the availability of guys like Pujols, Joey Votto, Adam Wainwright, Hanley Ramirez, and Tim Lincecum just for shits and giggles.

- Get a head start on his holiday shopping.

- Get outside and get a little sun on that sixhead...

JESUS!!!  Look at that thing!  Also, it might not be a bad idea to stop into a Sunglass Hut and pick up some new shades that don't make him look like Agent Smith from The Matrix movies.

- Prank call Sandy Alderson and offer him trades like CC for Oliver Perez straight up or Gardner, Dellin Betances, and Gary Sanchez for Fernando Martinez just to see if he's as dumb as Omar.

- Take his talents to South Beach and cruise the local beaches looking for some good old Miami strange to get with.  Shit was all over the place on season 2 of "Jersey Shore" so it shouldn't be too hard for somebody of Cash's stature to bring home a couple of dirty whoooooooores with which to entertain himself.

Those are just some of my ideas.  And who knows?  Cash could be luring everybody into a false sense of security like he did in 2008 when he stole Teix.  For all we know, he could be on the phone right now negotiating a trade package for Josh Johnson and making an offer to Carl Crawford.  You just never know with Cash.  But if he isn't secretly wheeling and dealing, then he's got plenty of other options to pass the time over the next few days.  What else do you think he should do?