What a difference 15 years make

Moose's hopes for 20 still alive
BA's NY-Penn League Top 20 Prospects

A young Governor from Arkansas was finishing up his first year as President. A prosecutor from Brooklyn was just weeks away from winning the city’s mayoralty. And Buck Showalter would lead the Yankees to the cusp of the playoffs for the first time in years. As the Yanks face the reality of a year without the playoffs, Jack Curry takes us back to a more optimistic time in Yankee history. After years of mismanagement from on hight, the team had been retooled and was a few key pieces away from the playoffs. Curry’s column features all the optimism and excitement of the 1993 club that this 2008 version sorely lacked this year.

Moose's hopes for 20 still alive
BA's NY-Penn League Top 20 Prospects
  • radnom

    You guys arn’t optimistic about next year?

    A rotation fronted by Joba, Wang and Free Agent (CC hopefully), possibly three aces.

    Hughes developing at the rear of the rotation.

    Meloncon and Sanchez joining to give us the best bullpen we’ve had since 96.

    A bounce back offense with Posada back, and Cano possibly back to form.

    I’m very optimistic about next year. This was a transition year going into it we all knew that. Sure, it would have been nice to make the playoffs, and we may have if injuries didn’t strike, but the team is going in the right direction.

    • steve (different one)

      i’m somewhat optimistic.

      they need a few pieces, but they have the money and there are actually some pretty good FA’s for a change. and they are fairly young too.

      this is simply the new competitive environment the Yankees are going to be playing in. the Red Sox, Rays, Jays, and even the Orioles are going to be pretty solid going forward.

      the winner of the AL East isn’t going to coast to 100 wins any more. it’s going to be a dogfight, and the Yankees aren’t going to be able to make the playoffs every single year any more.

      that’s what revenue sharing and smarter player development in the small markets has brought.

      things were much different 15 years ago. the yankees came close in 1993-1995 and needed some players? ok, they could grab all sorts of great players for basically no cost, b/c there weren’t as many teams competing for these players. Tim Raines for your bench? no problem. Strawberry? available for free. David Cone? we’ll trade you a ball of belly-button lint, how does that sound? Cecil Fielder? we’ll take Ruben Sierra!

      also, Jeter was a Yankee b/c the Yankees had the 6th overall pick in the draft that year. Jeter would never have been around at the 25th pick or wherever the Yankees have drafted in the last decade. it’s easier to build up your farm system when your major league team is terrible.

      things are just different today, it’s harder for the Yankees to exert their financial advantages b/c of the luxury tax and revenue sharing (which you could argue has been better for the game overall at the expense of the yankees). and this is why they are building the new stadium.

      well, that was quite a digresssion.

      • Ivan

        I agree with ya saying. It’s alot harder than it was years ago, but I think it could help the yankees. Hopefully people will understand that hey it’s not gonna be easy to make the playoffs must less winning the WS.

        I think the yankees understand that you gotta use more brain, more smarts than just straight muscle. Nothing is a lock anymore. The best FA players are not going to the yanks like they use too. That’s why the Santana trade was too me a smart decision not to trade for him.

        It’s for the yanks and they know this, is that they gotta create a dynasty with their guys as the main people and add solid pieces around that.

        Cashman knew that hey Teams like TB and Toronto and even Baltimore are catching up and Yanks need to improve on that. Cashman knew the yanks have to work like any average baseball franchise.

        I think this season will open alot eyes and understand it’s gonna be grind and live wit guys like Cano and Hughes and IPK struggle.

        I very optimistic that positive things are coming thought because I think the yanks understand that.

  • Ivan

    Well looking at this team, I still think you have to be obtimistic. Alot payroll is coming off, young and up and coming talent with Joba, Hughes, Cano and Melancon and A-Jax. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that next season a new ballpark and the yankees are the richest team in sports.

    Yes there are question marks, and some interesting/difficult decisions but overall next season has a chance to be very good.

    • jsbrendog

      plus, show me a team without question marks and i’ll slap your face and call you a liar

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        The 2007 New England Patriots!!!

        Oh, wait a sec…

  • Harry G

    Holy Macro, people! The sky is falling!
    Steve Phillips has actually come to his senses… He wrote this in his latest column on ESPN.com:
    “I think they should make Joba Chamberlain a full-time starter and just keep an eye on his innings rather than moving him back and forth between the rotation and bullpen.”
    The “Joba HAS to Stay in The Bullpen Club” sure lost one high-ranking member…

    • steve (different one)

      wow, now i have to rethink my position….i was sure that Joba should be a starter, now that Phillips agrees, i am confused.

    • radnom

      Joba CF 2009

      • steve (different one)

        you wouldn’t have to worry about baserunners taking the extra base on his arm…

        • BklynJt

          Then we would have to worry about him injuring his ankle rounding third base.

      • Will

        Think maybe he’d hit better than Melky? Wait, on second thought, don’t answer that…

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        First base, Bugs Bunny. Second base, Bugs Bunny. Third base, Bugs Bunny.

        • UWS

          Right field, Bugs Bunny. Left field, Bugs Bunny. Center, Bugs Bunny. Catching, Bugs Bunny.

          And pitching, B. Bunny!

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      So I read the Phillips piece in detail, and it’s comforting to know that, while he does say some things that I agree with (like leaving Joba in the rotation and the fact that dumping Cashman would be a bad move), he still manages to drop in some Phillipsian nuggets of stupidity…

      “They have a roster full of guys who, because of deteriorating health or ability, might have to play first base. If they end up signing Teixeira, it will tie Joe Girardi’s hands.”

      Yes, but in the good, sexual roleplay with a hot chick kind of tied hands, not in the bad, Abu Ghraib detainee kind of tied hands.

      “He’ll have to figure out how best to use Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada. I think Jason Giambi will be gone, especially if they sign Teixeira.”

      If the worst criticism of adding Tex for the next half decade is that you don’t know where to put the likely-to-be-injured anyway Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui for one year, that’s small potatoes. Oh, and it’s nice that he thinks it’s just a maybe that we dump Giambi… as if there’s a chance to the contrary.

      “The Yankees could really use a quality center fielder, but, unfortunately for them, they were available in last year’s free-agent class, not this year’s. Andruw Jones is available, but I wouldn’t recommend going down that road. “

      Good to know that the “Signing Andruw Jones and his .158/.256/.249 line to be our everyday CF for 2009” plan officially has the Steve Phillips stamp of disapproval… I was on the fence there, but Steve-o shot it down, so that’s that. Any other recommendations on players to stay away from? Bobby Bonilla? Willie McGee? Ken Oberkfell? Luis Tiant?

    • Steve

      Joba’s statements about wanting to be a starter have gone a long way in their eyes. Even Francesa has changed his tune on this, and he might have been the main Joba to the bullpen cheerleader.

  • Harry G

    This may sound crazy, but i’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I understand that the Yanks want a new stadium because of the enormous amount of revenue it’ll generate etc. but why do they need to tear down the current stadium? It’s obviously the most historic ballpark in sports so why not keep it up and play a few games a year there or somethin?… Make it into a museum, or some othe stuff, I don’t know… I know it sounds naive but I really can’t believe that they’re going to tear it down limb from limb and that not only will the Yanks not play there anymore, but this historic place will be no more. Just plain gone.
    Great article – written as if the stadium is eulogizing itself – by Tom Verducci in this weeks SI. Anybody read it already?

  • Steve S

    Lets not forget also (which is very absent from the article) the Yankees had no real expectations that year as most of the focus had been in Queens because the Mets had added Viola, Saberhagen, Murray, Bonilla, Vince Coleman, etc… and turned out to be one of the worst teams of all time, just a miserable collapse. Writers loved praising the Yankees while ripping the Mets.

  • Harry G

    Does anybody have an idea about what the Yanks are planning on doing at the pre-game ceremonies on Sunday night? I mean there hasn’t been anything amazing or really touching so far. We’ve all been waiting awhile for them to do something creative so I hope they have some awesome stuff prepared. One suggestion that was made on Michael Kay’s radio show yesterday was to put Bernie in the lineup on Sunday night. He’s never officially retired, and even at age 40 and not having played in two years, he might be a better option than Melky and Gardy at this point… At least maybe for one game…
    That would be like totally amazing, but of course it’ll never happen.

    • UWS

      I’d rather they retired Bernie’s number on Sunday. That would be even more amazing.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        I’m hoping they retire #21, jointly for Morgan Ensberg and LaTroy Hawkins.

        • Steve

          and #22 for Jimmy Key.

    • radnom

      That would be waay too much like a circus show if they did that. I like UWS’s idea though. That would certainly be nice.