Monday, September 08, 2008


That’s exactly what this season has turned into and it can be summed up by this past weekend’s series with Seattle. While the Yankees have readily admitted that every game is a “must win” they somehow managed to lose 2 of 3 to the worse team in the AL, one where they were nearly no-hit. I think this re-emphasizes the point that the starting pitching, despite being decimated this season, is not the problem with this team. It is the lack of offense and their innate ability not to drive in runs when they need them the most. With this weekend’s debacle the Yankees now find themselves in 4th place in the AL East and in the Wild Card standings as Toronto has jumped ahead of them.

Tragic…how this team has not played with emotion or heart the entire season, what I would give to have the heart of the players from the ‘96-’01 teams. Instead the Red Sox have found that magic with players like Beckett, Pedroia, and Youkilis. I would kill to have Pedroia playing 2B for the Yankees instead of that nonchalant/lazy piece of crap who grins after not making a play that is out there now.

Tragic…one of the losses over the weekend was a Mussina start. I think he has 4 starts remaining if he goes on normal rest. His shot at winning 20 is running out. It actually could come down to the last game of the season against the Red Sox.

Tragic…as in tragic number. With the Red Sox win and another Yankees loss the Yankees tragic number is now 12. The Yankees have 19 games remaining and find themselves 8.5 games back in the wild card. If the Yankees go 15-4 that means the Red Sox only need to go 8-12 over their last 20. Another way to look at it the Yankees could win out finishing the season on a 19-0 run and the Red Sox could go 12-8 over their last 20 and still win the wild card.

Tragic…as in the way this club is ushering out the old ballpark in the Bronx. In the beginning of the season there were dreams of closing the Stadium with post-season champagne filled celebrations, giving it 27 World Championships. Now the greatest memory of the year for the grandest of ballparks has to be the All-Star game and the performance of Josh Hamilton in the HR Derby. Certainly a great story in its own right, but not the memory we were all hoping for in the ending of this Stadiums era.

Tragic…in less than 2 weeks the Yankees will close the Stadium with a game against the Orioles. I can see it now…the Yankees trail 3-2, bottom if the 9th, 1 out, base loaded,

A-Rod at the plate…he swings… (you can fill in the blank).


old professor said...

I agree with most of what you term a tragic season on the brink now that the Yankees have slipped to fourth place in the American League East.

The difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox is home grown talent. If you look at the majority of the Red Sox line-up and who tends to make the contributions, they are players who have come up through the system. Second Base, Third (now that Lowell is on the DL) and many of their pitchers have come through the system. They are deep and their system is deep. The Yankees have no one they can call up to make an impact. Most of the farm system is at best two years away from contributing.

Now regarding your rants about the current Yankee third baseman (that would be A-Rod). Statsitically, he leads the team in runs scored with 97 (next closest is Abreu with 87), leads the team in home runs, leads the team in RBI's, leads the team in total bases, leads the team in slugging percentage, leads the team in average and leads the team in on- base percentage. He is third in hits and second in doubles. Exactly how much more would you like him to do? You have been listening to Michael Kay and Susan Waldmann way too much. He leads the team in seven key offensive categories and apparently you want more. It is easy to pick out one person to go after and lay the fault at his feet. Truthfully, the whole team has played like crap. Giambi is hitting far below his career average, Cano is hitting significantly below his career average, Jeter even with his "Jeterian swing" is hitting below his career numbers, Cano is a lazy second baseman and the pitching staff has had to rely on the likes of Pavano and Ponson as Hughes and Kennedy crapped the sheets.

Going into the season ownership knew this was going to be a transitional year and that there was little if any help from the system for at least two years. This years draft didn't help either when all three of their first picks go unsigned and go back in the pool next year.

They also seem to be changning direction yet again as Gene Michaels has been dispatched to Japan to see if there are any pending free agents available for immediate help - apparently they have not learned their lessons from Irabu or Igwa.

Back in April, in wrote in this blog that this years team reminded me a lot of the teams from the late 1980's - big names, aging free agents, and little if any pitching. The Yankees have too many needs next year that need to be addressed to seriously believe they will compete. Pitching is suspect, (a rotation of Wang, Mussina, Hughes [if he can actually stay off of the DL]and then fill in the blanks. Pettitte will not be back and I do not believe you will see the Yankees make the same mistake with Chamberlain next year. He was valuable in the pen leave him their. I don't think he has fully recovered from his arm issues (his velocity is in the 90-91 range)and putting him in the rotation only begs another stint on the DL.

The Yankees will be the Least of the East in 2009.

old professor said...

57 must be in mourning, reports out of NY are that Wagner in not only done for this season, but is scheduled for surgery on his elbow that will require one year of rehabilitation - effectively ends the 2009 Season for him as well.

Crash said...

Old Prof I didn't rant about A-Rod I left that up to the reader, I think I only mentioned his name once. By you getting defensive, it shows you know exactly how that will scenario would end. You ask "Exactly how much more would you like him to do?" Simple, get an RBI when it matters most. Last season was exactly what I expect from A-Rod. Not necessarily the 50 HRs, 140+ Runs, and 150+ RBI, but rather it seemed every hit was a big hit. Hitting walk-off HRs in extra-innings, clutch hits, etc. I would gladly take this seasons productivity/numbers with last year's performance. A-Rod has hit into 15 DP's this season, 11 of them were in August, down the stretch, exactly when the Yankees could afford them the least.

And I agree with most of what you said. The entire Yankee offense tanked this year. Could Posada have meant that much to the line-up?

This year was so unproductive, I'm not sure what next year holds for them. The same questions that were there at the beginning of this season seem to be there again next season.

Because of the problems on offense I can see the Yankees pushing real big for Teixeira, Pat Burrell and even Manny. And if they really open up the checkbook and sign 2 front line starters (Sabbathia, Sheets and/or Burnett) Joba stays in the pen next season.

The Scooter said...

I'm not a A-Rod basher. In fact, I still think he is the best player in the game when he is playing at his best. That being said, the number one reason the Yankees are where they are is because he has not come close to his clutch hitting performance of a year ago. I believe he is hitting below .250 with risp, which is pathetic. Add that to Posada's injury; Giambi's slide and Cano's disastrous year, and you have your answer.

Matsui being gone for much of the year didn't help either.

Jeter played a month with a bad hand, and is still close to putting up the numbers on the back of his baseball card.

And if we knew that we would get virtually nothing from the kid starters this year, we all would have said there was no way they would make the playoffs.

Prof, I take exception to your explanation of Stick Michael's trip to is PRECISELY the Igawa mess that prompted the Yankees to send there best talent evaluator to Japan. Michael's had nothing to do with signing Igawa. If he goes over there and says there is a quality player the Yankees should sign...believe me, that player will be productive.

If this year did anything at all, it showed Cashman what he has to do to get this team back on track. It really should be an easy fix with the money that he has available to him. One or two clutch bats, a bench player and 2 quality starting pitchers. They will be right back as WS favorites next year.

Cano will have a monster rebound year. Write it down.

Crash said...

I think last night's performance pretty much summed up the season. No offense, couldn't get more than 1 run when the bases were loaded. Starting pitching wasn't great and the bullpen blew up. It all adds up to a 12-1 beat down. Did I miss anything?

The only comment I have on the fight is that I find it ridiculous that the bullpens empty in every shoving match. They run the entire length of the field from OF to home plate, stand around for 2 minutes, and then walk all the way back. MLB needs to institute a rule that says if you leave the dugout or the bullpen during an on field altercation you are immediately suspended.

Middle Relief said...

I'm taking time out of sun and sand to check in to confirm what I thought I heard on the espaniol version of ESPN - the bombers are in 4th place???? - WTF???!!!

good post BTW

old professor said...

Crash, nice that you now feel leaving the dugout for a fight would warrant a suspension. If memory serves me right, someone tried to leave the dugout during a Class A brawl looking for the other teams batboy.

Tuesday's game showed once again an inconsistent team. Seven runs three home runs and a solid outting by a rookie pitcher obtained from the Mexican League. He will earn another start.

Crash said...

I didn't see the game last night, but it looks like Aceves had a good night. 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB. Not a bad line. Maybe Pettitte can have a good start tonight. He's due. He's 1-4 over his last 7 starts. And his last couple have been bad. Last time out against the Halos, only 3ER but gave up 10 hits and walked 2 in 7IP.

old professor said...

Looks like the Yankees are getting ready to get Humberto Sanchez (another one of Mid's favorites) back into some action. He was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Trenton. He should be able to get some work in during their playoffs.

NO word yet on last year's #1 pick Andrew Brackman who is being handled with kid gloves after Tommy John Surgery in AUGUST 2007.

old professor said...

Yankees finish their roadtrip 4-6. They will now play out the remainder of the schedule has they have played this last week - no heart, no emotion and ambivalent toward winning or losing.

Crash said...

Actually the Yankees finished the road trip 5-5 (beat Detroit, took 2 from Tampa, 1 in Seattle, and 1 in LA). But it doesn't really matter, the Yankees played this road trip like they played the entire season.

Pettitte choked yesterday's game away. He has really faltered the last month or so.

Girardi while not saying it, you could hear it in his post game interview that he knows they are done. I think it will be interesting to see who steps up and is still competing these last 2 weeks and who will just kind of coast through to the end of the season. Remember most of these guys are not use to going home at the end of September. A lot of contracts are expiring. These last 2 weeks could be the difference between re-signing a guy for next season or letting him walk away.

old professor said...

Much of the future space of this blog will tend to be on what the Yankees will or won't do over the next several months to rebuild the team.

As you look at the current roster, there does not appear to be very much that can be done position player wise. Jeter will be back at short, A-Rod will be back at third, Nady in left, Damon in center (or Melky) and don't be surprised to see Abreu back in right. And, yes, Cano will be at second. The Yankees are sending Kevin Long to the Dominican Republic for the entire month of November to work on revamping and refining Cano's swing. That kind of time commitment clearly means they will go into next Spring with Cano at second. The only uncertainty then is at first. Juan Miranda had a decent year in the Scanton, but that does not translate to a positive career in the majors. The Nationals are contemplating cutting Nick Johnson a when healthy (a big issue), he is younger and better than Giambi. And there is no guarantee the Yankees will sign Texira. (Spelling is really off).

Catching will be a big question mark. the Yankees did not get the offense from Pudge they thought they would get when they traded for him. Oddly, Molina had a higher batting average over the same timeframe. And who knows if Posada will be able to throw consistently with the rebuilt shoulder.

Pitching: Wang, Hughes and Chamberlain (maybe) would seem to be destined for the rotation. Mussina may decide to retire or if resigned it would be for a drastically reduced rate. Pettitte is gone. Free agents on the market: Burnett (who the Red Sox really really want) and Sabathia (who prefers the National League). Sheets if healthy would be great.

Bullpen: Rivera, Chamberlain (???), Marte, Coke, Bruney and then??????????

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