The “House” That Cash Built, Featuring dr. gerbil

dr. gerbil* is back from a three-day self-subscribed and self-administered Thorazine drip. The drooling has abated — well, sort of — and he can now attack the stack of emails pleading for help and advice in this hour of need with only minor risk of electrocution from his trusty IBM Selectric, whom he fondly calls “The Hammer Of Dog.” Based on his reading of the papers, which he must do with one eye shut because of the spins, he saw that: The Yankees got swept up in a Nor’easter, pigs are flying but only because they want to kiss Catholic school girls, and Maverick buzzed the tower..(*dr. gerbil is not a dr.).

The Yankees are four games out with only 143 games left in the season! A game under five hunnered! Got swept by the Sawx! Aiyeeee!! What to do? — JG, Peoria IL

Panic and react reflexively. Sure, one might consider the facts like Mark Feinsand does regarding Phil Hughes and understand that the expectation of the rotation has taken a “gotta-take-a-knee-from-that-punch-on-the-Chien” but the rest of the shots are really only a few minor body blows — you know, the kind that add up over the course of a fight, but if they adjust properly and get a few breaks, they weather the storm. But you’d be wrong to consider. Watcha do is re-roast an old chestnut as John Harper does regarding Joba via Phil Hughes by opining that if Phil is an above average starter for a reasonable duration in the Bigs (when has he been?) and pervert the thought by citing that Joba has been inconsistent this season (which Yankee starter hasn’t been?) the move makes sense. Be sure to close your argument with these gems: “The bullpen is the trouble spot..” .. and .. “(the Yankees) need Chamberlain back there to have any hope of winning a championship. Maybe starting tonight, Hughes can help convince them” Sure. It’s all on poor Phil, that jerk, who put the Yankees in this spot to begin with. Just ignore that (1) the bullpen has had to carry the starter’s jock in a pile of games because said starters, in their approximately four starts each, have been troubly spotty (except maybe Andy). And (2) ignore that the offense, despite being sixth in the AL in R/G, has only been good enough for fourth in the beast (though ~ 1,342 of those runs have been taken on the Chien** [**yes, the not-dr. gerb likes that joke]). And (3) subtracting Joba from the rotation leaves you right where you were before NewUberPhil joined. So whaddya know right now? Not a whole lot, but let’s react like we do.

There are lots of empty seats at home Yankee games. Should one be concerned? — HS, Tampa, FL

There are no stupid questions. Except for that one. Anyone who asks that question is stupid, stupid, stupid. Because empty seats at THE a Stadium are a good thing, as long as 1) you want to keep fans away from the action that will pay more to be more removed, and 2) you can keep the tv revenue stream. BUT, if you have a partial interest in a concessions operation on or around River Avenue, be concerned. Sell your stake for whatever you can get**.

**(not dr. gerbil is not a financial advisor.)

I’d like to ask a follow-up. What if they are making more dollars on the less number of tickets that are being sold, and the tickets/boxes/luxury plans that aren’t sold help their financial picture by burying profit on the media revenue in carrying the note on the expensive new gates waiting for someone to fix the economy?

Great follow-up. That’s such a great follow-up that there is no ongoing audit answer for that, but he is confident*** there are answers out there for people willing to spend money to find how money drawn from the taxpayers was spent to erect a place that most taxpayers can’t afford/don’t want to go. (***not confident is not financial advisor/not dr. gerbil) Less attendance is not more. Less is less. And less that are spending more to get less spend less. Unless less is more. Which it is.

What’s the best way to break out of this losing streak? — ag, Portland OR

Stop losing. Or use “House” Magick.

I’d like to ask a follow up on behalf of ag… Can you answer any question without being a jackass, jackass? — JG, Peoria IL

No, not for him, because he’s a prick. But he would say that to write a line-up with a lead-off hitter whose MLB career OBP is below 1/3 is difficult to stomach. And it’s difficult to juggle relievers for situations when the leverage of that one situation leans a few points one way or the other. You want easy sports fandom? Play Tecmo Bo or watch “House” on your Tivo. Otherwise, square up and face some Chien music.

16 comments… add one
  • man, bo was unstoppable in tecmo bowl. so was that last guy on the line for the bears during field goal attempts. and the 49’ers had that one pass play where the defender got picked every time even if you called the play.
    i miss me some RBI Baseball.

    sf rod April 28, 2009, 2:44 pm
  • and that is why we so love the gerb.
    bravo.

    YF April 28, 2009, 3:09 pm
  • Hal Steinbrenner responds regarding ticket prices. There are bargains in their, to be sure, for the eagle-eyed accountant.

    attackgerbil April 28, 2009, 4:13 pm
  • Sold two tickets to Friday’s game at face value ($20 each) to a family friend because I don’t exactly zero bids on ebay for $10 each. There are plenty of decent prices available – the market is flooded.

    Rob April 28, 2009, 4:21 pm
  • “in their”… oof. Sorry.

    attackgerbil April 28, 2009, 4:47 pm
  • It’s not so much that the Yankees got swept by the Red Sox. Of course, of course: There are a lot of games left to play.
    No, the panic/despondency in New York is due to the manner in which the Yanks got swept.
    It’s not like the Sox won three workmanlike, unremarkable 5-3, 4-2, 7-4 games. They won by coming back against Mo in the bottom of the 9th then walking off in extras; by overcoming a 6-0 deficit against Boston killah A.J. Burnett plus two other run deficits in the same game with a 16-run assault; and then finished off the series with a 1-run pitching gem by a suite of Boston rookies which included a humiliating steal of home off Andy P.
    All this, within the context of a 10-game winning streak.
    I’m not try to rub it in (OK, sure, I’m gloating.). But really I’m just pointing out that this wasn’t some ordinary 3-game run. The way this went down was calculated to inflict maximum misery on Bronx fans.
    So yeah, I’m certain the Sox will lose a bunch of games to New York this year; I’m just not sure it’ll happen in quite the same dramatic and demoralizing fashion.

    Hudson April 28, 2009, 4:54 pm
  • > Sox won three workmanlike, unremarkable … games
    Riiight… like any series would be written that way. If it HAD been such, it WOULD have been grinding, calculating, chess-like.
    > I’m not try to rub it in (OK, sure, I’m gloating.)
    You should gloat. That series was the stuff of which gloat is made. Were I in the other house, I would make gloat cheese. And from that gloat cheese I would make a gloat-cheese-stuffed youk chop resting on a NY white whine tarragon sauce, topped with big apple crumble.
    > The way this went down was calculated to inflict maximum misery on Bronx fans.
    Now you’ve gone too far.

    attackgerbil April 28, 2009, 5:08 pm
  • No, the panic/despondency in New York
    Two guys just jumped into the Gowanus wearing life-sized CC Sabathia blowup dolls strapped to their back, they sunk like a stone. No notes were left.
    Living in NYC, I actually haven’t yet detected panic and despondency over the Yankees. And I look for it. All the time. I think “concern” might be a better term, and with the injuries and everything else going on it is warranted.

    SF April 28, 2009, 5:08 pm
  • We’re due a Ramiro Pena walk-off infield single against Papelbon in September. I believe that is only fair.
    I’m concerned, sure, but viewed within the context of other subpar Yankee Aprils (2006, anyone?) it’s not cause for freaking out.

    doug YF April 28, 2009, 5:12 pm
  • And another oof.. I forgot to link to the Byzantine pricing adjustment would affect 13 people if they cared.

    attackgerbil April 28, 2009, 5:15 pm
  • At least A-Rod’s job is easier. Right now they’re 9-10 without him. Hard to see them being under .500 with him. Still, the biggest problem has been the starting pitching. But if they click in the next few weeks, coincident with A-Rod’s return, who’s going to get the credit?

    Rob April 28, 2009, 5:17 pm
  • Maybe the Yankees’ ticket pricing was by design – all those seats right near 3rd are empty, meaning Alex hears less of the catcalls from the home crowd? Call it protection money?
    Batteries can go pretty far, so he isn’t protected from those.

    SF April 28, 2009, 5:25 pm
  • Phil will stop the bleeding tonight…or not. Either way, it’s way too early to hit the panic button. Getting Alex back will help the offense. Tex will get better pitches to hit as a result, too. CC’s a notorious slow starter. I checked his April stats going back to 2002 – avg. ERA of 5.24 for April starts. We’re gonna be fine. Really. I’m pretty sure of that…
    But I will admit to a twinge of Sox envy this past weekend, seeing all those young studs, while our guys were changing the wheels on their walkers. :(
    (Hey AG, you going to the Portland Beavers game next Monday, the 4th? It’s Yankees vs. Red Sox rivalry night! Gotta represent!)

    nettles April 28, 2009, 6:32 pm
  • The AP article about the pricing changes quoted Keith Olbermann, who isn’t getting a refund, just a bunch of comps to dates selected by the team. I think that says it all: The Yankees are making a monetary concession to fans, but only if they purchased tickets more expensive than the ones owned BY A TV CELEBRITY WITH HIS OWN TALK SHOW. Sounds about right.

    FenSheaParkway April 28, 2009, 6:32 pm
  • nettles: Yes, I want to go! I’m not sure if I can, but I hate the Sky Sox SO MUCH. Heh. My email is on the authors page.. I will try to be there. Otherwise, let’s catch a game at Claudia’s!

    attackgerbil April 28, 2009, 6:53 pm
  • It’s nice to be right every once in a while:
    http://newstadiuminsider.blogspot.com/2009/04/get-used-to-large-announced-attendances.html
    “an average of 16,900 Yankee tickets are available on the secondary market for each game” that’s left.

    Rob April 29, 2009, 10:25 am

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