Tag Archives: New York Yankees

Youker Files Archives: A Retrospective

Kevin Youkilis debuted for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and quickly became a fan favorite. Over the past few years, Youk was a regular contributor in this space, providing episodic snapshots of his life and times.

As a service to Yankees fans excited to learn more about their newest third basemen, Fenway Pastoral has pulled together its archives of Youker Files.

  • 10 Tips for a Successful Job Interview Youkilis offers fans some practical career advice and generally basks in the glow of being one of only a handful of third basemen available on the free agent market.
  • On My Bittersweet Swan Song as a Red Sox Kevin’s emotional goodbye to Boston after he was shipped out to Chicago is sure to tug at the heartstrings.
  • In Which I Accidentally Fart during Yoga Class with Mrs. Youkilis-Brady Kevin pontificates about the true meaning of life and comes to the realization that even embarrassing bodily functions can sometimes lead to enlightenment.
  • Marrying Tom Brady’s Sister Kevin rehashes his nervous excitement leading up to his marriage proposal to the sister of a fellow Boston sports legend.
  • Dinner With the Guys at Applebee’s Back before anyone knew just how sourly the year would end, a 2011 spring training team-building dinner at a local bistro seemed innocent enough.
  • A Trip to the Farmer’s Market Youk weighs in on the staying power of a popular consumer trend while on the shelf with a thumb injury.
  • 4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips Kevin articulates his passion and appreciation for a popular American past-time (other than baseball).
  • A Day on the Links Youkilis manages to fit in one last round of golf with Dustin Pedroia prior to the beginning of the 2010 regular season. The results aren’t completely disastrous.
  • An Evening at the Nutcracker Demonstrating an appreciation for high culture that is sure to resonate with the box-seat dwellers at Yankee Stadium, Kevin cleans himself up and takes his then-girlfriend “wife” to a popular holiday-themed ballet.
  • My Visit to Disneyland A day before the first game of the 2009 ALDS against the Anaheim Angels, Kevin made a regrettable decision to ride the teacups.
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Series Preview: Will “scuffling” Yankees spoil Boston’s aspirations for top-five draft pick?

The race for a top five draft pick is on, Sox fans!

Going into Tuesday night’s action, Boston’s record sat at 63-78 – four games better than Cleveland (59-81) in the pivotal “Loss” column for the fifth pick. Meanwhile, the third-worst slot was also well within reach as Colorado sits at 56-83 (five losses ahead of the Sox).

The faltering Red Sox (losers of nine of their last 10 games), it would seem, could be lining themselves up nicely for a top-five draft pick in the 2013 amateur player draft.

But leave it to the reeling New York Yankees to come to town just in time to spoil the party.

The first-place Bombers limp into town as they begin a three-game set with the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. The aging Yanks aren’t exactly forging ahead full throttle as they enter the season’s final weeks, which is likely to feature an eventual playoff staredown with fellow AL East contenders Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

And as usual, everything the Yankees do is quite obviously aimed at weakening the Red Sox.

In fact, both the manager and New York players confirmed that they will put their playoff aspirations on hold just long enough to hopefully bolster Boston’s win total and spoil their 2013 draft positioning.

“Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of pussy-footing around in Boston, I can promise you that,” said a distracted looking Joe Girardi. “Our at-bats will be submissive; our base-running tentative and our hustle uninspired.”

Girardi said further, “I’m going to set the tone here. I’m going to bat our worst on-base guy in the leadoff spot and I’ll probably unwittingly slot in our worst power-hitter in the key third spot of the batting order. Maybe I’ll pitch fragile-minded bullpen specialists like Joba Chamberlain for four games straight.”

The Yankees manager claims he is also working on disenfranchising franchise player Derek Jeter.

“I’ve got a few rumors I’m going to drop into some tabloids later in the week. None of them are really based in any truth, but the New York media should have some fun with them for a couple of days. You know…I think maybe Jeter’s ‘commitment’ to the club isn’t what it used to be. He doesn’t play as hard for me as he did for Joe Torre …ya know, that kind of stuff.”

“I’ll clarify myself before Friday night’s game against Tampa because we’re going to need to win that one if everything goes as poorly as we hope in Boston.”

Said slugger Curtis Granderson, “Joe’s told me to use a bat that’s already cracked through…I guess he doesn’t trust me not to swing for the fences up there and he figures this way even if I make contact the ball will go nowhere.”

Added Jeter: “I’m going to do that thing where I stare every good pitch right over the plate all the way into the catcher’s mitt. But I’m also going to swing at every pitch in the dirt and above my neck. We call it ‘Ciriaco-styling'”

For his part, lame duck Sox manager Bobby Valentine does not sound worried.

“Oh, we’ll see about that,” he laughed when apprised of Girardi’s comments about strategically tanking a few games with the bigger picture of 2013 and beyond in mind. “I may not be back here next season, but I sure as shit ain’t going to let somebody like Joe Girardi out-mismanage me. He thinks one little scrum with a USA Today reporter makes him a badass? This guy is way out of his league.”

Asked for specifics, Valentine remained coy, but did provide one telling piece of information.

“We haven’t made a final decision about whether to shut down Daisuke. But I think maybe his next session of long-toss could come while playing third-base during tonight’s game…”

The 2012 Yankees can’t hold a candle to epic collapses of 2011 or 1978 Red Sox

On September 4, 2011, the Boston Red Sox’s peak odds of making the playoffs were 99.78% (see the handy chart from this Sports Illustrated story). *Note that those odds were without the help of an extra Wild Card slot.*

A year later, as the slate of games went final on September 4, 2012, the New York Yankees’ playoff odds are projected to be just under 80% after the team fell into a tie for first place in the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles last night.

Boston’s 1978 collapse was slightly less impressive in that it began earlier in the summer – yet that Red Sox team still had a playoff probability of 96.54% on August 12, according to the SI story linked above. That infamous one-game playoff was necessary in large part because the Yankees won at a near 75% clip during the final seven weeks of the season rather than Boston suffering anything close to the ineptitude of September 2011.

So it is no exaggeration to suggest that both the 2011 and 1978 Red Sox absolutely dwarf this cute little bout of flatulence dressed up as a pants-shitting collapse currently fueling late-summer hysteria in the Bronx.

To wit: The NY Post only used something like 85-point font for their “TANKEES” headline on Wednesday morning. Are these jaded New Yorkers taking this thing seriously?

Even if New York is able to continue losing and to take this downward chute all the way to the finish line, they’ll merely be an also-ran in baseball’s long history of September swoons. And it is conceivable that the Yanks could place third in the AL East behind Baltimore and Tampa Bay and still managed to sneak into the playoffs for the one-game Wild Card round.

This is a laissez-faire collapse if there ever was one.

Obviously, poor New York’s odd inferiority complex with Boston has reared its ugly head yet again. Sometimes we wonder why New Yorkers can’t just accept the harsh truth that Boston is so much more efficient than New York. Its collapses are grander; its players more hapless and, if 2012 is any indicator, its fallout more maddening than ever considered possible.

The gravest tragedy that will come of all this? The Yankees will probably start fielding a better, healthier lineup over the last four weeks of the season, catch a few breaks and manage to somehow win the division anyway.

Wait ‘til next year, indeed.