Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Yankees Must Not Sell

Danville, Kentucky -- I've always been stingy. This stinginess has cost me several marriages. It has been said that frugality is the mother of all virtues; though virtue is not a word I'd use in this situation. I'm a man who loves to enjoy the fruits of my labors. I take pride in being able to provide for my family. I've never had a high paying job, but I always make sure to keep my fridge stocked with lavish and delicious delicacies like Tostitos brand queso dip, and rich, creamy gourmet Hellmann's mayonnaise. I always make sure we get the best for our money, and that we get our money's worth. Getting our money's worth means not being wasteful; squeezing every last drop of ketchup out of the bottle, finishing our leftovers, being resourceful with the ingredients we are given.

Now, my frugality has always put me on a collision course with my family. My first wife wasn't raised like me. My father grew up in the Great Depression. He was a man hardened by his experiences back then, standing in line for cold soup, rationing, and huddling around dim fires for warmth. He instilled within my family a sense of responsibility, thrift, and prudence. My first wife, on the hand, had younger parents. They were raised in the times of prosperity, of Eisenhower, of white picket fences, of milkshakes and french fries. She had no similar sense of prudence or thrift.

The New York Yankees have similarly lacked any sense of frugality. They've inked massive contract after massive contract. Many of those players are now entering the twilight of their careers. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia: they ain't as good as they once was; they have a few years on them now. But they're still as good once as they ever was. CC is having a renaissance, and has had stretches of flat-out dominance throughout 2016. A-Rod is still chasing history and knocking out milestones. Carlos Beltran is building an AL MVP case while padding his Hall of Fame case, with 20 homers and 61 RBIs already. 

Despite these success stories for the 2016 Yankees, the nerds are calling for a fire-sale. A sell-off. A blow-up of the team. The spreadsheet gazers at Fangraphs have labeled the Yankees "sellers" and roster-bated about a complete reboot of the team. In spite of the fact that the Yankees are only 4.5 games out of the 2nd Wild Card spot. 

Folks, a 4.5 game deficit can be overcome in the span of a week. It can be erased quicker than your savings account if you let a woman use your credit card at a Sephora makeup store. All it takes is a hot streak, and the Yankees are a team primed for a hot streak. The Yankees have an elite bullpen, featuring Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. Their lineup is stacked with Hall of Famers. CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka are anchors in the rotation. This is a team built to win in 2008, but also built to win now. Any team with this many high-performing veterans has no business selling. The Yankees must keep this core intact for as long as possible. 

I once fought with my wife over an old jar of mayonnaise. It culminated in a divorce. I took a stand, and didn't waver. The mayo was past its expiration date, yet my family hadn't finished it. I was not in the habit of throwing out condiments when there was still value to be had. My wife insisted that we throw out the mayo, and I insisted that there was still about three-and-a-half servings of mayo remaining in the jar. I was not going to stand by and let the fruits of my labor -- the mayonnaise purchased with my hard-earned wages that I earned toiling on the assembly line -- go to waste. Similarly, the Yankees should not blow up their finely-constructed team, even though several of the players are past their expiration date. Even expired mayonnaise can enhance a carefully-built sandwich if it is applied with tenderness and care.