- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
CHICAGO -- Some days, you just can't please anybody. Other days, you can do no wrong. And some days, you can have it both ways.
The New York Yankees had one of those days on Friday, which just so happened to be baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, a day in which fans all over the country get their hopes up only to often have them dashed by what they perceive to be their favorite team's indecision, incompetence or apathy.
And so it was that as 4 p.m. came and went on the East Coast without word of any Yankees blockbuster trade -- no Craig Kimbrel, no Aroldis Chapman, not even a Martin Prado return -- Yankees fans took to social media to demand the head of general manager Brian Cashman on a silver platter.
It was only about an hour later, after Cashman had uttered the magic words -- "Luis Severino" -- that some of the rage and panic began to subside despite the fact that the Yankees began the day 13 games over .500 and six games ahead of their nearest rivals in the AL East.
And by the time the actual business of the day had been concluded -- a 13-6 win over the Chicago White Sox -- the Yankees' non-activity at the trade deadline seemed very much like a nonissue indeed.
So complete was the destruction of the White Sox that by the end they were reduced to moving their DH, Adam LaRoche, to the mound to get the last three outs of the game. And in a comic sidelight to what turned into a plodding, dreary game, LaRoche got Brendan Ryan -- who had three hits, by the way -- to swing through an 85 mph "fastball" after lulling him to sleep with a couple of 50 mph lollipops.
"I had no chance on that one," Ryan said, still laughing an hour after the game. "He's throwing 50 mph curveballs and I'm taking four steps before I swing, so that fastball looked like 110. Oh well. It kind of fits with the mustache, right? Ridiculous."
So was the game, but no more ridiculous than the reaction of many fans to the Yankees' decision not to part with Severino, the top pitching prospect in their organization, or Aaron Judge, the top position player in their farm system, or Greg Bird, who is projected as Teixeira's replacement at first base one day, in exchange for yet another overpriced veteran who might or might not help them and, in any event, could not propel them to the top of their division since they were already there to begin with.
“I feel good about this team," Joe Girardi had said before the game. "We've heard it a number of times: Sometimes the best trade is the trade not made. It happens a lot, so I feel good about the guys in that room and the way they play the game and how they go about their business.”
There was no need to re-ask the question after the game because there was nothing not to like, except for the sloth-like pace of game, which ended four minutes shy of four hours.
But the offensive highlights were many -- two more homers by Teixeira, including a second-inning grand slam, which gave him four home runs in the past two games, and the all-time record for homering from both sides of the plate in the same game (14), three hits each by Ryan and Carlos Beltran, two each by Alex Rodriguez, Chris Young, Chase Headley and John Ryan Murphy -- and the pitching was good enough, with Eovaldi laboring through 5 2/3 innings of three-run ball and Adam Warren working 2 1/3 innings and allowing two more runs.
Best of all was that the back end of the Yankees bullpen, the guys who will be counted on down the stretch to pick up the slack for what is a starting rotation admittedly short on depth and distance, got the night off.
Sure, the addition of a Kimbrel or a Chapman would have given the Yankees a lockdown bullpen the likes of which is rarely seen, and would have theoretically shortened the requirements from their starters to a measly six innings.
But do you fault the Louvre for not adding yet another wing of Rembrandts, or the Taj Mahal for having only four marble spires instead of six?
Sometimes, enough is enough, and right now, it looks as if the Yankees have more than enough to win their division, the improvements by the Toronto Blue Jays notwithstanding. And of course, there are always waiver-wire additions to be made between now and the end of the season.
That is why no one in the Yankees clubhouse seemed to share the fans' disappointment with Cashman's decision to play the cards in his hand rather than throw them in and redraw, because the cards he has are looking pretty good right about now.
Teixeira, who has 28 home runs and 73 RBIs, practically laughed in the face of a questioner who asked him if there was a different feeling in the clubhouse now that the deadline had passed and everything was virtually status quo. (The Yankees did add utilityman Dustin Ackley in exchange for two minor leaguers.)
"I don’t think guys really thought much about the deadline, to be honest with you," Teixeira said. "I know I sure didn’t, so it really wasn’t much of a different night than any other night."
It was a little different -- teams don't score 13 runs every night, even if it was the second time in four days the Yankees had put up a football score -- and then again, it was rather familiar.
As constituted, the Yankees have won a lot of games so far this year, and Friday afternoon, their GM made it clear he believes they will win a lot more.
And on Friday night, his team went out and made him look like a visionary.