Yankees: Nick Nelson plan failed spectacularly by the first pitch


The Tampa Bay Rays limped into Yankee Stadium having just been embarrassed on their home turf by the Texas Rangers, a last-place-level team that bullied them to the artificial ground.

The Yankees saw that effort and, with the benefit of an off day in between and 48 hours to rest and regroup, extended their rivals and olive branch and chose to start a reliever who’d never done this before.

We knew the Yankees likely had some sort of bullpen game planned, but we didn’t expect the effort to be this slapdash.

Nick Nelson was to be followed by Michael King after an inning or two, but instead started the game yanking fastballs 10 yards from the zone.

First batter of the game? Walk, without any of the balls even sniffing the box. Second batter, chopped double.

Third batter? Brandon Lowe, who rocked an 0-2 meatball off the right-center wall, missing a three-run home run by a foot or so.

Other teams are allowed to use openers. The Yankees aren’t. They have literally never done it correctly.

The Yankees tried to start Nick Nelson vs the Rays. It was stupid.

This is no offense meant to Nick Nelson, of course. He ultimately struck out two Rays on some strange filth, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Yankees shouldn’t have used an opener in this game. If they desperately wanted to do so (again, just so the Rays could punk them), it shouldn’t have been Nelson, the last guy in the ‘pen who hadn’t appeared since getting…lambasted by these very same Rays.

We shouldn’t have to explain this again, but maybe someday, someone involved with the Yanks’ organization will read it, and it’ll all be worth it.

(clears throat) You are the New York Yankees. The Rays rely on gimmicks and shenanigans because that is what’s required of them. It should not be required of you.

Their goal is to theoretically compete for a metaphorical World Series while saving as much money as possible. With the chance to send last year’s Fall Classic to Game 7, they instead pulled their pitcher way earlier than anyone else would’ve and lost.

Are you guys visual learners? OK, great. When the Yankees try to copy the Rays and get mocked to their faces yet again, we look like this:

Does that make sense?

How was Game 2 of the ALDS not the end of this? Don’t try to fit square pegs into round opener holes. Let pitchers do what they were meant to — oh, and also hit the baseball.

Don’t make it overly complicated.