Read ALL Future "Player X Disappoints Me" Columns, Right Here!

When real news is sparse -- say, the week of opening day, when there's no further news about roster construction, yet no valid signs yet of who's performing above or below expectations -- beat writers often fall back on a favorite genre piece: "Player X Disappoints Me and Hey Look How Much He's Getting Paid Whaaa?!" I figure I'll save us some reading time, and save beat writers their modest effort of writing "new" columns, by pre-writing all future pieces in this genre, just by pasting together text from past pieces in this genre. Following is a 500-word article I "wrote" just by cobbling together quotes from ten different articles about various Yankee free agent signings who made a beat writer really sad. That is, each below paragraph is an exact quote from the hyperlinked article. Each quote expresses disbelief, anger, and other stages of grief about one of the last half-dozen major free agent Yankee signings, all of whom at some point struck a beat writer as either disappointing from the start (McCann, Beltran, Ellsbury) or disappointing at the end of a long-term deal after providing several years of strong performance (A-Rod, Sabathia, Teixeira). To maximize the utility of this exercise to under-newsed beat writers, I'll call the disappointing player "A-McSabTeixBeltBury." That way, the next time a beat writer wants to publish the same 500-word piece saying the same f#@$ing thing about another player, he can have his kid explain how the technological wonder known as "find and replace" lets him insert the name of whatever player he want to crap on next for not being Mike Trout. You're welcome, professional journalists! A-McSabTeixBeltBury has been one of the biggest free-agent busts in the majors.

He has fallen – physically and statistically – but to where? The offensive identity of A-McSabTeixBeltBury lingers as a key question to this season.

Injuries happen, but when they happen repeatedly to a ... [player] who will be paid $23 million … it’s hard to stomach.

In a game overflowing with big dollars, that is an enormous amount.

When he signed the deal, there was … a feeling the Yankees would have to derive more of the value from the beginning of the contract than the middle or end.

But in his first season as a Yankee, the numbers were … career lows. This was not the player the Yankees signed …. This was the ghost of A-McSabTeixBeltBury.

Since then, he has been a different, and rapidly declining, player.

With two straight poor seasons on his record, he has to prove both his health and his effectiveness.

It is easy to see why the Yankees can look at that trend and rightfully say they will be happy with whatever they can get out of A-McSabTeixBeltBury this season.

But he can’t be a zero for a variety of reasons, notably that the Yanks do not have an obvious replacement for him.

The organization still wants A-McSabTeixBeltBury up in key spots and the ball hit to him in critical moments.

“It would be a huge boost to our lineup,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He can do a bunch of different things offensively. Do some different things in the lineup with him …. We really missed him. We missed his production last year. It’s important to get it back.”

“I’m a gamer,” A-McSabTeixBeltBury declared Thursday …. Nevertheless, it’s important to note he already was off to a shaky start … when he got hurt. At his advanced baseball age, he might not be capable of another self-rescue mission.

The soon-to-be 38-year-old has underwhelmed this spring, as he tries to rebound from his disastrous … year.

“Two to three weeks from now, I’ll have a better feel,” said A-McSabTeixBeltBury, who added, “Everything feels a little off right now. Everything feels a little strange right now.” … “It’s just a matter of getting your timing,” Girardi said.

As good as A-McSabTeixBeltBury has been throughout his career, it’s hard to imagine him staying healthy long enough to justify the investment over the next two seasons.

Throw in the fact that he will turn 40 … , and you’ve got all the potential in the world for a great, big letdown. All windup and no pitch.

Once you strip away all the soap opera … , you are left with this reality: A-McSabTeixBeltBury hasn’t been a truly good ballplayer for ... years.

It has been quite a while since A-McSabTeixBeltBury looked like he was having fun…. What little the Yankees have accomplished the prior two seasons, they did with virtually no help from A-McSabTeixBeltBury.

The Yankees desperately need him to do more … , but take a look at A-McSabTeixBeltBury's career stats and you wonder how much more he has to give.