Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Reviewing The Yankees' Fake Options To Improve The Offense

(If you had a ghost runner, you could try again.  Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

I tried to be level-headed and calm about dissecting the real options the Yankees have in front of them to get something going offensively and look where that got us.  With 4 hits in the next 9 innings and only 1 run scored, that run scoring not because somebody came up with a big hit with runners in scoring position, but because the defender who caught a pop up accidentally hit the baserunner trying to advance to second with his throw.  The Yankees had 1 run scored and 0 runs batted in last night, and if I'm being honest, I'm afraid they won't have the stones to do any of the 3 options I covered yesterday.  So screw it, let's investigate some "other" ways they can try to jump start the offense.

Cork All The Bats

Do hitters still cork bats?  Is that a thing?  Or is there so much time being spent trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the drug tests that guys don't have the time to cork a bat anymore?  Either way, the Yanks should think about corking a few if they don't have any and corking more if there are a few around.  And when I say "more", I mean all of them.  Every single bat.  It'll certainly help guys drive the ball more, which they still aren't doing at home, and what's the worst that happens if somebody pulls a Sammy Sosa and breaks one in a game?  You get suspended for a few games.  Big whoop.  Like a mini-DL stint.  Maybe then the front office would be forced to make a few moves.

Use Ghost Runners For The Good Hitters

You remember ghost runners, right?  From when you were playing baseball or kickball with your friends when you were a kid and you didn't have enough people for a real game, so you played 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 with ghost runners on the bases.  That way you always had somebody who was available to hit.  Why not try that with your best hitters?  If Gardner and Ellsbury get on base and then Teix fails to drive them in, have Gardner call "ghost runner on third" and go hit again.  Sure it'll be batting out of turn, but the Yankees aren't scoring any runs when they're batting in turn.  Like the great Castor Troy (in Sean Archer's body) said in "Face/Off": "When all else fails, fresh tactics."

Give Brian McCann 4 Strikes

I haven't watched enough games this season to say definitively whether this happens a lot or not, but in watching Sunday and Monday nights on ESPN I noticed that McCann seems to let strike 1 and 2 go by a lot and then he ends up taking weak defensive swings for the rest of the at-bat.  If he doesn't want to swing at good pitches to hit early in the at-bat, fine.  I'm in no position to tell him that's not a great hitting strategy.  Just give him an extra strike so he can really bear down in a 3-3 count.  Boom, problem solved.

Fund A Program to Develop Time Travel and Trade Yangervis Solarte Now For April Yangervis Solarte

This one probably can't happen that quickly.  As much money as the Yankees generate, I don't think it's enough to get time travel fully discovered, tested, and proven as legitimate and safe by the trade deadline.  But it'd be pretty sweet, right?  Take the guy with the .495 OPS in June and swap him out for the guy with the .895 OPS from April?  Then Joe would have somebody to bat 2nd and he could finally sack up and move Jeter down.  Of course, the introduction of present day Solarte in the past could completely change that timeline and disrupt the entire space-time continuum.  That's a risk I'd be willing to take.

Ask The Opposing Team to Shift Away From Where Guys Hit

In Jeter's case this would mean shifting all the infielders into the outfield or into foul territory, which may be asking a lot.  But why not try some old-fashioned American manners and politely ask the other team if they'd mind shifting to the left side of the infield when Teix or McCann are hitting?  It doesn't have to be every time, just once and a while.  I think Joe would be open to finding a way to repay the favor later in the game.  It's people helping people, paying it forward.  Nothing wrong with that.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I'm desperate for some runs right now.  Joe, if you're reading this, I'm sorry for criticizing your bullpen moves on Monday.  I feel really bad for you and I want your team to do better.  I really think some of these things could help and if you give me a sign today that you're willing to try a few, like say a broken corked bat by Solarte or Soriano, I'll try to brainstorm and come up with some other ideas while I'm in Germany.  Thanks.  Go Yankees!

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