Elsewhere in the world of sports, the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl. Again. Because of course they are. Because they have Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the power of talent, preparation, and
cheating luck. They will never be bad again. If Brady retires, the Patriots will trip over another franchise quarterback, because that’s the way it’s going to be for me as a Buffalo Bills fan. At least I have the Yankees, right? They’re good. They usually make the playoffs and aren’t an utter embarrassment to themselves and the sport for which they play.
It’s not bad in the merry land of pinstripes. They’re probably going to make the playoffs with little to no effort. They just signed Adam Ottavino for three years and $27 million. Their bullpen will be one of, if not the, most dominant bullpen in the majors. Just like last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, and you get the idea. And that’s good, I guess. Having a lock-down pen is good. It’s really good.
I just don’t care.
I’m not going to lie, this could be a combination of baseball’s tepid offseason combined with football’s usual postseason, but I just don’t give a bunt. The Yankees bullpen is fantastic, congratulations. I honestly can’t recall a bad Yankees’ bullpen since before the heralded age of Mariano Rivera, and that’s not an invitation to remind me.
The point is that I see all the usual media talking heads go on about how the Yankees are going into 2019 with a monster bullpen and all I can muster is a shrug emoji and a “yeah, so.” Two of today’s generational talents are free agents this year and they’re still not signed. More importantly, they’re not signed by the Yankees. They could be, but they’re not, because Hal Steinbrenner needs to constantly parrot the fact that “baseball is a business”.
But hey, passing on great talent has never bitten the Yankees before. They didn’t really need Max Scherzer and I’m sure the Yankees won’t pass up another ace in free agency due to the luxury tax and lowball offers. At least their bullpen is good. Rock solid from the 6th inning onward. I, for one, get the most excited about watching baseball when Aaron Boone signals to the pen. That’s the good stuff.
I know Aaron Judge is on the Yankees. I know they have Giancarlo Stanton and Luis Severino. James Paxton will most likely make a great addition to the rotation. In spite of this, the offseason has just been depressing. It sucks to watch a sport you love headed for a possible work stoppage because owners making record profits want to do everything in their power to share as little of that as possible with the people who do the work. It sucks knowing that fans are going to blame the players and not the owners. “The American pastime” has never been a more apt description.
I’ve heard that fans are looking for optimism with the Yankees right now. Like I’ve been saying, they’ll almost certainly make the playoffs this year, so feel free to be optimistic about that. I’m at the point where I’m not excited if they do. When there’s little competition to do so, where’s the challenge? When they make it, good for them. The players are incredible, and they deserve it. But there’s 162 games to get there, and it’s just getting harder for me to get stoked about a foregone conclusion.
This is how I felt when I worked at MLB Advanced Media, and maybe that’s part of the reason why I’m so morose about baseball lately. When I was watching games while on the clock, I didn’t care about the outcome. I just wanted it to be over with as quickly as possible. During that five-year time frame, baseball was just a business to me. A paycheck. That’s what these offseasons have felt like. A cold reminder of what the sport really is.
Why do I feel this way? The Yankees are coming off a season where they won 100 games. They have a fantastic, young group of extremely likable players on their roster. I have considered the fact that I’m more involved in the offseason due to this website and just the internet in general, so perhaps I’m just too online. Really, though, the only thing I get from being too online is the fan reaction to all this. I’d still read the sports articles saying how signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado is bad. Or that the Yankees are waiting for Nolan Arenado. Sigh.
At least the bullpen is great again. Ottavino will fit in well with Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, and Chad Green. The Yankees have fortified their roster for the upcoming regular season. Barring a barrage of serious injuries, they’ll make the playoffs again. Once the season rolls around, I’ll probably feel more hyped. But if you’re asking me to be riveted by the Yankees having a monster bullpen, I’m afraid I’m not. It’s about as exciting as watching another Tom Brady-filled Super Bowl.