Yankees trade for Giancarlo Stanton brings odd response from Bill Madden
Tyler Kepner: The Yankees will Always be the Yankees, To the Delight of Only Some
Mr. Kepner does not predict failure as Mr. Madden does, but he hints at it. Nor does he say he is against the trade or dislikes the team, but his world-weary commentary sure suggests it. And reveals the man.
For instance, he uses two examples of imported, high priced hitters as examples of similar Yankees acquisitions: Dave Winfield and Alex Rodriguez. And if those were the only two non-home grown big time bombers, Mr. Kepner would have a serious point.
But what about Reggie Jackson? That seemed to work out okay. Why not compare the signing of Stanton to the signing of Reggie? After all, a comparison between the 2017-2018 Yankees and the 1976-1977 team seems most apt.
Or what about Tino Martinez? He was signed to be a big hitter on the club. I remember the nineties okay, and it seemed like a good decade for the bombers. And let’s not forget Babe Ruth. The Yankees added him when he was the biggest hitter in the game, and the team seemed to do fine with him.
Yes, Mr. Kepner was making a larger point about free agency, but Ruth is a valid inclusion since Mr. Kepner says,
"…long-term commitments to imported stars tend to get complicated quickly…"
Can you see the subtle psychological choices Mr. Kepner made in order to cast a negative pall on this trade? Invoke Jackson and Martinez and the analysis is cautiously optimistic. Include only Winfield and A-Rod, and a vague feeling of failure permeates the piece.
What is it, man, do you need a hug?
And Maybe Someone to Just Listen to You?
And he compares the Yankees to Mr. Potter, the villain of It’s A Wonderful Life. What? Why not compare Cashman to Chris Adams, and the team to the Magnificent Seven? That casts them as heroes saving Yankees fans from those Boston bandits. That’s just as valid.
Why didn’t Mr. Kepner compare Cash to Nick Fury assembling a team of superheroes? Or, to stay with the Christmas theme, Cash could be thought of as the Ghost of Christmas Future, ensuring a bright outlook for years to come.
Any of these are valid analogies that a neutral observer could arrive at. The fact that Mr. Kepner chose the Potter comparison says a lot more about him than it does the Yankees or this trade.
I think it safe to say, Mr. Kepner is not one of the delighted.
The Opinion of Record
But in case that was all too subtle for you, Mr. Kepner suggests this trade will ultimately be a failure without saying so directly.
"Except we have seen it before in the Bronx, and strings of titles have not followed."
Really? I wonder if Mr. Kepner knows that not only do the Yankees have by far the most titles but also are one of only two teams with double-digit titles (Cardinals, 13). So, yes, sometimes strings of titles have followed.
But at least he wasn’t flat out lazy, as seems to be the standard for one of USA Today’s top writers.