Although Joe Girardi named Arolids Chapman the closer for the New York Yankees entering spring, find out why it means absolutely nothing.
By Robby Sabo
Aside from any off-the-field doubts it raised, there was only one on-field question that came about when Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees acquired flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds for a bag of balls.
That question was this: Who would close games for the Bronx Bombers in 2016?
Chapman’s career stellar numbers are all the more reason why today’s news was big.
Per the Yankees official Twitter account, manager Joe Girardi announced that Chapman will, indeed, be his closer heading into Spring Training.
“We’ll go into Spring Training with Chapman as our closer,” Girardi said.
Joe Girardi says … pic.twitter.com/PQnWqA8dA2
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 11, 2016
The only question I now have is this: Who the hell cares?
This announcement was so completely unnecessary in every sense of the word. First off, It’s January. Pitchers and catchers don’t report for another five weeks. Many things (or incidences) could happen from now until Feb. 19.
Speaking of incidences, we all know what Chapman is currently dealing with at the moment. No, he has not been deemed guilty in a court of law for his actions. At the same time, if you read the documents related to his domestic abuse case and didn’t come away with some serious hesitation or pause, you might need to look yourself in the mirror a few times today.
The main reason this announcement means nothing is due to the idea that the Cuban sensation might not even be available for Girardi.
In all likelihood, Chapman will be suspended. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has reported that MLB will rule on the case prior to camps opening.
Decisions on discipline for Reyes, Puig, Chapman under domestic-violence policy probable before camps open and likely no later than 3/1.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2016
Therefore, attempting to analyze such an announcement would be a complete waste of time.
The only possible reason for this proclamation is too keep the hot-head happy in his new digs.
Of the three men in question – Chapman, Betances and Miller – it seems only Chapman cares whether he’s closing ball games or not. Betances has proved to be a team-first guy the last two seasons in his usual setup role, and Miller has constantly had to prove himself while bouncing around from club to club during his 10-year big league career.
The only analyzing needed is when thinking about the off the field value.
Perhaps making this announcement at this time would provide Chapman with more incentive to keep himself straight and positive through a tough time in his life. Maybe it’ll have him working that much harder.
We’ve seen the rotating pieces at closer make many appearances over time for many clubs who weren’t equipped with Mariano Rivera, that it truly doesn’t matter who the guy is going into camp. What matters is who’s the guy on Opening Day.
Things happen; announcements are made; and injuries go down.
Forget any on field strategy here, this Girardi announcement means very little in the scope of the big picture.