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The Yankees are annoying, but they can make it up to us

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The Yankees can make us all happy they exist. All they have to do is call up a Triple-A pitcher throwing well this year.

Yankees fans: Your team is annoying.

You wouldn't think that's a controversial statement, but every time I write something that even dances around a suggestion of a hint of an implication of that theme, I get emails. I get nasty tweets. It surprises me every time. Embrace it, Yankees fans. Embrace it. It's one part being better than everyone over the last century, one part getting more attention than everyone over the last century. Those are good things. Your team is annoying because of things that make you happy.

My team is annoying, too. The Giants weaponized Barry Bonds and sent him out into the world, and they've also had recent success in the postseason. Both of those things bother a lot of people. They're not as annoying as the Yankees, but, ha ha, no one is. It's not a bad thing. Embrace it or get used to people laughing at you when you get upset. Either way, just know that this is an objective truth.

For the last two seasons, the rest of us have had to follow retirement tours. All we want are baseball highlights, yet we have to sit through videos of Derek Jeter accepting alabaster gazebos and pretending to be grateful. This comes a year after watching Mariano Rivera going from ballpark to ballpark, accepting 500-pound pewter M&Ms he didn't want.

The Yankees are literally fighting for a playoff spot right now, which is absurdly annoying. They're playing a mummy at shortstop and almost every player they have is hurt or ineffective. They've been outscored by 25 runs on the season, giving them the same expected win-loss record as the Padres. Instead, they're fighting for their 18th playoff appearance of the last 20 years.

Yankees fans: Your team is annoying.

But there's a way the team can make it up to us. Well, partially make it up to us. It would take decades and decades of losing before the other 29 teams became totally sympathetic toward the Yankees, but there's a way to make us root for the Yankees on September 1. All they have to do is call up a Triple-A pitcher who has performed well at almost every stop of the minor leagues. Look at these stats:

Year Age Level ERA G IP H HR BB SO BB9 SO9 SO/W
2008 23 A- 0.83 30 32.2 13 2 10 42 2.8 11.6 4.20
2009 24 A+-A 1.87 49 67.1 61 2 11 87 1.5 11.6 7.91
2010 25 A+-AA 1.93 43 74.2 53 2 15 89 1.8 10.7 5.93
2011 26 AA 3.40 51 90 80 7 31 88 3.1 8.8 2.84
2012 27 AAA 2.77 7 13 11 1 6 12 4.2 8.3 2.00
2013 28 AA-Rk-A+ 3.45 21 28.2 27 1 8 30 2.5 9.4 3.75
2014 29 AAA-AA 2.75 40 75.1 63 6 22 79 2.6 9.4 3.59


Those are delightful stats. If the Yankees make room on the 40-man roster for this pitcher, everyone will root for him. Everyone will at least be curious about him, curious enough to tune into a Yankees broadcast for reasons other than hate-watching.

Here is a screenshot from that player's Baseball-Reference page:


Pat Venditte was a draft curiosity. He was a piece of minor-league minutiae. But somewhere along the way, he became an effective professional pitcher instead of a carnival attraction. The odds are good that you've seen this video:


That video is ... probably the Citizen Kane of baseball. It's at least the Fletch. It's perfect. Switch-pitcher vs. switch-hitter, and no one knows what to do. They would know what to do in the majors. It's Rule 8.01(f):

A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury.

That video went viral about five years ago, and like most easily digestible things on the Internet, it disappeared from our collective memory for the next 364 days, give or take. Whenever I'd stumble upon his name in my travels, I'd look him up, expecting to see a string of 7.00 ERA seasons with 12 innings pitched, not unlike Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh of Million Dollar Arm fame. They were good baseball stories until they weren't, and that's what I expected from Venditte.

Nope. He's striking out more than a batter per inning in the International League, and I'm desperate to see him in the majors. I want to see how Joe Girardi uses him. I want to see how long it takes for Girardi to trust Venditte in anything other than a blowout. I want to see him break the databases of various websites.

There has to be some dead skin on the 40-man roster. Here, look at it with me. There's five catchers. That guy's, like, 50. I think this guy was just released and claimed and waived by six different teams in the last month. I don't want to tell the Yankees how to do their job, but there has to be a way to squeeze an ambidextrous pitcher onto a 40-man roster. Just because he throws a mid-80s fastball and didn't impress a single organization enough to take him in the Rule 5 draft last year, well ... those are technicalities.

The Yankees are annoying. But for an inning here and there, they would be the most exciting team in baseball. They had one of the most fascinating players in the game for the last decade-plus -- a universally beloved alchemist of the cutter arts, who redefined what we thought pitchers needed to succeed. They can have one of the most fascinating players in baseball for the next month, at least.

It's almost September. Rosters are going to expand. There's a pitcher throwing well in Triple-A. The Yankees should call him up and make us say, "Alright! Way to go, Yankees!" just this once. You owe it to the fans of the other 29 teams, Yankees. Among other things.