Vernon Wells is SUCH a (New) New York Yankee

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by Kolby Solinsky

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a New York minute.

The Yankees can clearly see what everyone else sees, which is that the Pinstripes have never looked worse in this 25-year-old writer’s lifetime. At least, not that I can remember. A-Rod has eroded. Derek Jeter is apparently close to his always-healthy status (and then, apparently not), but so what? Ichiro Suzuki would be their best hope for redemption, but his career is dotted with thousands of hits and sporadic and unpredictable bouts of indifference. Everyone’s injured. Everyone’s retiring, and the most important one is dead.

It doesn’t help that Toronto, Tampa, and Baltimore suddenly look like the big dogs of the AL East. They’ll swing their dicks in the locker room and take your chips with perfectly coiffed bluffs. They used to sign New York’s scraps. Boston’s, too. Now, New York’s signing theirs.

That’s why this Vernon Wells thing is such a big deal. When Anaheim took his salary from Toronto, you had to give them credit. Vernon still had a lot of baseball in him — still does, actually — and it was almost like an Angels goodwill project.

Anaheim buying Vernon Wells was like Comcast buying NBC. It was like euthanasia for Toronto, and Wells got to turn his attention to a team that wouldn’t care how much he was paid. They both did those deals because, hey, somebody had to, and it’s kind of charitable. It’s a pity party, and Vernon Wells was the guest of honour.

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This, though, is different. This time, Vernon Wells was actually the Yankees’ best last chance. He’s the one they’ve turned to kiss at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The Yankees are the football jock who you run into working the toll booth while you’re off to a company retreat in Montauk.

(*No offense to toll booth workers. It’s just for comparison’s sake. Also, no offense to Vernon Wells. I like the guy, but he’s no Prince Fielder and Prince Fielder’s no Ryan Braun.)

The fact is, this Wells deal signifies just how much — for 2013, at least — the Yankees have changed in only a few months. They’ve gone from the predicted winner of the AL Championship to the last dance before closing time. Wells has gone from being a guy who was wasting his talents in Toronto to a guy who wishes he was still a Blue Jay.

The Yankees are in trouble, and not even money can save them in the next seven days.

Meanwhile, the Orioles, Rays, and Jays are trying to figure out how two of the three of them can squeeze into those last two playoff spots.

Thank you for finally arriving, AL East Power Balance. We’re glad we’re patient.