Like most men in their 40s, the world is frightening and unfamiliar to most members of the New York Yankees. The young turks filling out their workplace are brash and entitled, listening to strange music with bizarre angular haircuts. The Yankees Golden Generation pines for a simpler time – a time when they could simply throw money at a problem to make it go away. A time when chaining Carl Pavano to a radiator under the old Stadium bleachers wasn’t a human rights offense.
Men like this, they like to stick together. They prefer the comfort of their own smells, their own bodily fluids & failures, and soft, easily-digestible food free of spice and potentially threatening peppers. The Yankees, the team that all that evaporated, are offering safe haven to the 40-plus zoomer set of Major League Baseball.
pettitte likely to announce he’s coming back within next couple days. deal expected to be a bit over $11M
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 27, 2012
First Andy Pettitte, the admitted drug user who skates freely because Yankees. Then Mariano Rivera — an ageless treasure adored throughout baseball for one pitch guile, control, and Hall of Fame ball-doctoring skills — expects to re-sign with the only team he’s ever known.
Even Ichiro, the salt and pepper in his beard belying the élan in his soul, let his desire to rejoin the Yankees be known. All these old men must band together, where they can share ointments and tips on ear hair management and provide explicit details of their last good “sit down.” No other team would have them – it is well-documented that the near-death depress those with some life left to live, draining their life force with complaints about the weather and how much better things used to be.
By bringing aboard all these quadragenarians, the Yankees make no secret of their desire to win….right now. Not exactly news, as that is the mandate for every season in the Bronx. But with Pettitte back from retirement, Rivera back from the brink and Ichiro back from replacement level?
Add near-40 infielders like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and you have a very, very old team. Too old to compete in a game that looks more and more like one for young men? More expensive, more prone to breakdown but also very much known commodities, the Yankees are able to take risks with pensioners because they’re the Yankees – there is no room for failure.
As Yankees blogger Mike Axisa argues, the Yanks might yet sign two or three of the top free agents then use some of their youth (such as it is) to add another big piece. There is no guessing with the Yankees, who shocked everyone when they swooped in for Big Hirok and acquired Michael Pineda in a matter of hours last winter. Just believe that whatever they do, it will be big. And probably old.
And the Rest
One of the most important men in baseball history died this morning. Marvin Miller, one of the toughest negotiators who won crucial rights and union protections, dead at 95. If you want to learn more about his role in baseball history, read Lords of the Realm. [Buy the book]
Zachery Levine makes his Baseball Prospectus debut – for free! [BP]
Working on WAR, adding something new to the pot [Runs Batted Out]
The Mets made a totally serious, this is a legitimate offer please stop laughing contract proposal to David Wright. They meant it and everything. [Rosenthal]
Wil Myers for Jon Lester? That’s just crazy enough to be…crazy [Over the Monster]
The Best Pitches in Baseball, numbers 10 – 5. More like six to twelve, amirite? [Brisbee Nation]
Darren Oliver might retire but then again might not: if he gets to play for the Rangers. Good call, get the season over with as soon as possible. Don’t want baseball in October interfering with your post-baseball plans, Darren. [Postcards from Elysian Fields]
David Schoenfield polls the nation to find out Josh Hamilton’s destination and term. [ESPN Sweetspot]
Great post on masculinity and anxiety on Crashburn Alley, of all places. [Bring the Atomic Ruckus]