|As his jersey lettering suggests, Felix Hernandez still does not play for the Yankees. (Getty Images)|
While I do my best to avoid generalizing about entire swaths of people, I feel justified in saying that those in the New York sports media are fairly well obsessed with the idea that Felix Hernandez will one day be a Yankee.
|Felix Hernandez is perfect|
They do this in the face of facts. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has repeatedly disavowed any interest in trading his 26-year-old uber-ace, and said uber-ace is still under team control through the 2014 season. Hernandez is the post-Ichiro face of the franchise. He's also among the very best pitchers in the world, and he's on a hall-of-fame track. It's certainly easy to understand why the Yankees covet him, but indications are they can't have him -- their baseball droit du seigneur notwithstanding.
Nontheless, King Felix's perfect game has, predictably, given Gotham scribes occasion for further wish-casting. The latest to indulge is John Harper of the New York Daily News. He writes:
They have plenty of young pitching coming, which is why they were willing to trade Michael Pineda to the Yankees for Jesus Montero, but scouts don't believe they have enough offense — barring a major free-agent spending spree — to be serious contenders in the next couple of years.
Which is why baseball people with no stake in such a deal believe they should trade Hernandez during the offseason.
"I don't care what Jack is saying right now," one AL executive said Wednesday night. "I think he'll listen to offers next winter. I know the kid says he wants to be in Seattle, but do you really think he'll re-sign there if they're not a contender?
"And, really, the decision for Jack will only be a year away after this season. Because he can't afford to let Felix go into 2014 without an extension, or he'd either have to trade him at the deadline for less than his value or risk losing him for nothing."
At this point, one must assume that Harper is one part playing to the entitled Yankee gallery and one part trolling Mariners fans. Whatever the motivations, it is perhaps time for Harper and his fellow travelers to move on and let the healing begin.
Idea for cover of Mariners' 2013 media guide: "Felix Hernandez: He's ours and you can't have him."