Friday, April 10, 2015

0 comments After One Game, the Didi Gregorius Experiment Can Only Be Called a Failure

Derek Jeter never would have started his Yankees career like Didi Gregorius did. Well sure, Jeter did go 0-5 with a strikeout in his first ever at-bat for the Yankees and committed two errors in his first 15 games during the 1995 season, but in a world where Derek Jeter came to the major leagues as a Hall of Famer already, he would not have started his Yankees career like Gregorius did. Jon Heyman wants to be the first to point out that after ONE FREAKING GAME it's going to be hard for Gregorius to replace Jeter. ONE GAME! That's how long it took for the inevitable Jeter nostalgia to begin in full force from Jon Heyman.

The second part of the sub-headed title is "Didi Doesn't Resemble Jeter." What? You are kidding me, right? The shortstop who was traded to the Yankees in a three way trade involving Shane Green, Robbie Ray, and Domingo Leyba ISN'T a Hall of Fame shortstop after one game? It's a shocking turn of events.

It is, of course, eminently possible the scoreboard operator was just off to a slow start, sort of like the Yankees, who looked punchless, listless, even mindless on Opening Day against an upstart Blue Jays team that features six rookies and real hope.

"I'll take 'It's Insane to Draw Conclusions After 0.617% of the Season is Over' for $200, Alex."

Maybe Scott Boras told Jon Heyman to bash Gregorius so that the Yankees may one day move Stephen Drew back to the shortstop position. I wouldn't put that past those two crazy kids to conspire like that.

Anyway, the first game in the post-Jeter era was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster – a 6-1 defeat to Toronto in which Tanaka lasted only four innings and the Yankees gathered only three hits (including one by returning hero Alex Rodriguez -- yes, he was treated like a hero.)

I hate it when fans choose to hero worship a player when the media doesn't think the player is worthy of being applauded. These fans are so stupid and clearly don't have the high moral standards that baseball writers like Jon Heyman have. Anyway, back to the hero worship of a retired player and framing one game in a 162 game season around that retired baseball player...

Beyond the loss, the game raised questions about 1) Tanaka, 2) the Yankees offense, and 3) the unfortunate sap charged with the impossible job to replace the great Derek Jeter.

The questions about Tanaka can be valid since he's coming off elbow surgery and there is a concern his velocity is down. Otherwise, IT WAS ONE FREAKING GAME! CALM THE FUCK DOWN SO I CAN CALM DOWN AND STOP TYPING IN ALL-CAPS!

Gregorius was never going to "replace" Jeter and the idea he could do this is so unreasonable that it seems like anyone who would write that Gregorius could replace Jeter in any way is simply wanting to set Gregorius up for failure.

That chap's name is Didi Gregorius, a nice young fellow with a winning smile and an impossible task.

It's been one game and he hasn't succeeded yet, so let's jump to some conclusions.

"I don't think anybody can be like Jeter," Gregorius said after the game. No one disagreed.

Correct, but somebody can play shortstop for the Yankees and that is what Gregorius is trying to do. So rather than have his tenure as Yankees shortstop revolve around him replacing Jeter, maybe just acknowledge what has been acknowledged, which is that it is impossible to replace Jeter.

It's never easy replacing a legend (Jeter is so big the Yankees section of the New York Times baseball preview section was all about the guys who's no longer here, the guy who's now in the "journalism" game – yes, Jeter himself). Meanwhile, his replacement pulled the sort of memorable gaffe Jeter never made in 20 years.

And if Jeter had committed a gaffe like this then the New York media would immediately have forgotten about it or pretended it never happened.

Get this, and it is hard to believe this happened in a major-league game. Gregorius was thrown out trying to steal third with the Yankees down by five runs in the 8th inning, two outs and cleanup man Mark Teixeira up.

Yeah, I can't believe a guy tried to steal third base in a major league game with two outs and the cleanup hitter up. That's something that has never occurred before I don't believe. How in the world does Gregorius expect the Yankees to win the game if he's trying to steal third base and take away the opportunity for Mark Teixeira to hit a five-run home run to tie the game? That's what Jeter would have done. He would have stayed at second base and then proudly thrown his hand up in the air as Mark Teixeira hit a five-run homer that ties the game up. Not Didi Gregorius. He chose to steal third base with two outs, which is an event that has never occurred in MLB history before.

I like how Heyman acts like this not smart play has never occurred in an MLB game prior to when Gregorius tried to do it. It was not a smart play, but it was one play in the first game of the season. The Yankees were down 5 runs, not 1 run.

Gregorius explained afterward that he thought he'd take advantage of the shift that's killing the Yankees at bat to take the extra base.

Which, by the way, is the type of reasoning that Derek Jeter would use to justify stealing third base. If he succeeded then the media would all get bruises from patting each other on the back and applaud happily.

"Look at that Jeter. He's always aware of what's happening on the baseball field and is such a strategically strong base runner. He knew the shift was on and immediately sprung at the chance to try and steal third base."

Even if Jeter failed, I'm sure media members like Jon Heyman either wouldn't mention it or point out the Captain was just trying to inject some life into a game that was surely lost at that point. They would frame it as a smart move, but it just didn't work out.

At that moment the Yankees' chances to win went from 1 percent to basically zero.

Gregorius stealing third base ripped the chances the Yankees had of winning the game down by almost 1%. He basically lost the game for them. There was a 99% chance the Yankees were going to lose, but he lowered those chances to a 99.6% chance they would lose. Such an egregious error. That should be what the New York media calls him now, Didi Egregious.

Afterward, Girardi, whose instinct is always to say everything is hunky dory even when it's anything but, called it a "very good learning experience." Though that begs the question why that wasn't learned by junior high.

But hey, at least Jon Heyman isn't overreacting to a player getting caught stealing at third base in a five run game or anything. Comments like,

Get this, and it is hard to believe this happened in a major-league game.

Though that begs the question why that wasn't learned by junior high.

certainly sound like Heyman is talking about a bad play that was more important than Gregorius being caught stealing in a five run game in the first game of a 162 game season. But Heyman is not done!

Though it's hard to recall a major-league player attempting something quite so foolish,

And if anyone would know anything about being foolish, it's the sportswriter who is making a huge deal out of a player being caught stealing third base in a five run game on Opening Day. Overreactions don't come more strong than this.

certainly not in his debut with a new team, nor while replacing the perfect player.

Holy fucking shit. Derek Jeter is retired, get over him. Jon Heyman just called Jeter "the perfect player." Hero worship much? Derek Jeter was caught stealing 97 times in his career. He stole 358 bases. "The perfect player" failed to steal a base 21.3% of the time, though I am sure none of them were Jeter's fault and none of them involved him trying to steal third base in a blowout. "The perfect player" wouldn't do that.

But say this for Gregorius. He didn't run away and hide.

"You can't run around," Gregorius said. "You guys are going to find me."

But even if Gregorius tried to run and hide, he's such a failure as a human being that he would just end up failing to hide anyway.

That's the problem with the major leagues. It's all right there in front of us all. And what you see with the Yankees just doesn't look very encouraging right now.

This is a sentence that Jon Heyman writes after one game. One game. ONE GAME.

Rodriguez, the most candid Yankee right now,

But I'm sure A-Rod is only being candid because everything he is saying are lies. It's easy to be candid when you are the lying scum of the Earth who may end up playing well on the baseball diamond so let's just not talk about that very much, okay?

admitted he isn't certain what he can bring, which is only natural considering all the obstacles. "I'm not sure," he said when asked if he can play like he did before he went away. "I haven't played in a long time."


He didn't look like a guy who was, A) rusty, 2) 39 going on 40, or C) in needs of 'roids.


The cheer-to-boo ratio was about 80-20 when he was announced, and only positive things were heard later, when folks started to see Rodriguez can at least put together a game full of good at-bats.

A-Rod said he wasn't sure he deserved the adulation. But he did appreciate it, he said.
Such false modesty. No one knows the true evil that A-Rod has planned for this 2015 season. Only time will tell what his real plan to tear the Yankees organization apart will be.

As for Gregorius, he will have many chances, as Yankees people love his defense, and frankly, there aren't a lot of great shortstop alternatives right now. At least it's a great sign that he handled his faux pas with aplomb.

It's also a great sign that it was the first game of the season and this was one stupid play he made in a 162 game season.

The pressure certainly is greater here. And it has to be that much greater when you're standing where Jeter once built his legend.

Which is why it is vitally important that the media overreact to anything Didi Gregorius does poorly this season, while pointing out anything great Didi does has already been done before by Jeter. Anything Gregorius does wrong? Well, Jeter would NEVER have done that. Keep the legend alive and slowly turn it into fiction.