Yanks’ October dreams die, but 20 for Moose still in sight

The improbable remains impossible
Heyman: Yanks want answers on Cash's future

Fifteen years ago, I was ten years old. I was in fifth grade, and while I had been going to Yankee Stadiums since I was three, never had the Yanks made the playoffs during my lifetime.

The next year — 1994 — it seemed like baseball life would change. As August rolled around, the Yanks had a sizable lead in the AL East and were just 3.5 games worse than the MLB-best Montreal Expos. When the strike hit and the season ended, I experienced my first bout of baseball disappointment. It would be more shocking than in 1995 when the Yanks blew a 2-0 lead to fall to Seattle in the ALDS. In 1995, I was just happy to get there.

Since then, in October, I’ve seen, at the Stadium and at home, the Yankees win a World Series, lose a Divisional Series in heart-breaking fashion, win three more World Series, come oh-so-close to an emotional World Series victory, lose to the Angels, lose to the Marlins, lose to the Red Sox, lose to the Angels again, lose to the Tigers and lose to the Indians. For all the joys of victory, there is nothing more agonizing that the elimination game. As the outs fall off the board, that pit in your stomach just grows and grows until you don’t want to be around anyone else and you just want to wallow in your baseball-induced pity.

Tonight, while a regular season, was like that. While the Yankees and Mike Mussina were well on their way to defeating the Blue Jays, 540 miles away, the Indians couldn’t stop the Boston Red Sox from clinching. The Yanks scored just three runs tonight en route to a win, but for all that, they could have scored 300. It wouldn’t matter. For the first time since 1993 — for the first time since the Internet became a way of life and the iPod hit the scene — the Yanks will not playing baseball in October. It hurts.

What hurts even more, though, is that the Yankees are now the fifth best AL team but just 0.5 games behind the White Sox. As the Twins and White Sox battle it out, the Yankees could wind up the fourth best team in the American League. That’s not bad for a team missing its future Hall of Fame catcher, its All Star starting pitcher, and its regular DH for much of the season. That’s not bad for a team that witnessed a near worst-case scenario emerge in regards to its young pitchers, center fielder and second baseman. When these players make good on their abilities, when the Yanks put the right other pieces in place around them, the future will look very bright.

We can look forward to that future, but for now, we have a storyline to follow over the last five games of the season. Through five innings tonight, Mike Mussina was utterly brilliant, and he walked away from the game with his 19th victory of the season. It is the first time since 1996 when a 27-year-old Mussina won 19 games that Moose has reached that level. When he starts the final game of the season, all eyes will be on Moose as the old dog tries for one last new trick.

The improbable remains impossible
Heyman: Yanks want answers on Cash's future
  • andrew

    whoa whoa whoa. hall of fame catcher? lets not get ahead of ourselves.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      We’re not. Posada’s probably a Hall of Famer. Based on his career achievements and position, he should end up in Cooperstown.

      • Ivan

        I wouldn’t say HOF, but if he has two more good years at the C position, that could change no doubt.

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

        Well, it depends on when he retires. Because if he and Varitek are on the same ballot, then Jorge’s obviously not going in on that one; can’t see the voters electing two catchers both on first ballot.

        Hopefully, though, he can hold off on retirement for another year after Tek to improve his chances. That, or catch a few no hitters.

        For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

        • Colombo

          why are you assuming that jason “i can’t hit my way out of a wet papaer bag” varitek is a hall of famer?

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            I’m fairly certain that he’s being sarcastic.

    • mascot

      I’m not a huge Posada fan, but he’s absolutely a HoF catcher.

  • Ivan

    Plus, the Yankees record wise, are the 8th best team in baseball.

    • Back to Glory

      Yea man, 8th best is great… maybe we could be 7th best next year!!

  • Harry G

    Hey guys, I had posted a news column here about Cashman here before, and now it’s deleted. Now I read the commenting guidlines and realized that it’s against the rules, so I wanted to apologize for that. I shoulda read it before I posted. So sorry about that. My bad. While i’m at it, I just wanna tell you how much I love the blog. You guys do a great job running the blog and I really appreciate your analysis. Keep up the great work!

    Harry G.

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    I’ve been incognito got awhile but I still check in and read….I have theory which is not too far fetched as to the main reason the Yankees are not making the playoffs. 3 words. Wait….for…it……Tampa Bay Rays. Take out the Rays improbable ascendancy to AL elite and what do you have? A 2nd place Yankees team in prime position to win the WC over the Twins and Blue Jays. Above Wang getting hurt, Posada hurt, Matsui hurt, Cano sucking, A-Rod not having a superhuman year, Melky falling off, lack of RISP hitting, inconsistent starting and relief pitching, Big 3 bombing (except Joba of course but he got hurt), the main reason the Yankees will be watching the playoffs for the first time since Clinton was President and the Yanks SS was Spike Owen lol is the Rays. Take them out, and we are looking pretty good for a playoff spot right now. Those are my 2 cents.

    • radnom

      lol is this supposed to be some brilliant theory?

      “take out the teams ahead of us, and we would be looking pretty good”

      I think everyone realizes that ;)

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

        Proctor: All right, here’s your last question. What was the cause of
        the Civil War?

        Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious
        schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists,
        there were economic factors, both domestic and inter–

        Proctor: Wait, wait… just say slavery.

        Apu: Slavery it is, sir!

  • yankees=warriors

    Seeing how our season has been, I’m glad that at least we didn’t give the Red Sox the satisfaction of eliminating ourselves.

  • Bonos

    It’s critical now. Tampa and Boston will not go away for a while. So the Yankees have to beat one of those teams out for a playoff spot. If Cashman walks we might as well bend way over. For example: Boston replaced Manny with Bay, looks like we will replace Abreu with two draft picks that would be two to four years away from contributing. Why Abreu wasn’t traded if they weren’t going to sign him totally boggles my mind.

    • JeffG

      Weren’t we were still trying to make the playoffs? – What is so mind boggling about that?
      If Pudge would have contributed a little and some and some of our other guys picked it up a little bit we would have had a very good chance of making the wild card at least.

    • steve (different one)

      Why Abreu wasn’t traded if they weren’t going to sign him totally boggles my mind.

      um, blanket no trade clause?

      and because the yankees weren’t sellers at the deadline?

      and because Manny is much better than Abreu?

      and because the Manny situation was a unique situation where a superstar player basically forced his team to trade him?

      this is revisionist bullshit at its worst.

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

        “this is revisionist bullshit at its worst.”

        cough Bush Administration cough

    • radnom

      “this is revisionist bullshit at its worst.”

      Not to mention he says we are replacing Abreu with only draft picks.

      What about X. Nady??

  • Ben B.

    If Cano and Cabrera had spent less of the summer bar hopping and more of it performing closer to their projections, we’d still be in the thick of things, even with Wang and Posada’s injuries. Basically, the Yankees got MUCH less from C, 2B and CF this season than projected/expected. The team was otherwise in the hunt. Jeter had a down-ish year, but Damon exceeded expectations. A-Rod had good counting numbers, but failed to hit with RISP. Abreu and Giambi performed at or above expectations. The pitching was not what was hoped, but adequate to make the Playoffs. This is really on Cano and Cabrera, IMO.

    • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

      ah, yes. the bar-hopping complaint… i guess someone has to say it at least once.

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

        Yes, it’s the fault of those dirty alcoholic salsa dancing lazy shiftless dominicans who don’t play the game the right way, like the great scrappy hustling hardnosed gritty players of he past…

        …guys like Whitey Ford, or Whitey Herzog, or Richie “Whitey” Ashburn, or George Whiteman, or Willie White.

        No, no, on second thought, scratch Willie White, umm, let’s go with… Bud Black! Yeah, Bud Black.

        • Brad K

          You know what I think it was part of the problem. After all George made the same comment about Captain Jeter a while back. It is what is. Melky didn’t find his way back to the minors just because he was struggling at the plate.

  • Bonos

    Valid point, the bottom three in the batting order were a black hole. The rest of the team held their own.

  • David Brown

    What basically happened is the majority of the team did not play up to expectations. You can give Wong and Posada a pass (Jeter also, because he played hurt most of the season). The only ones who met or surpassed expectations were. Moose, Rivera, Molina, Joba, Damon, Giambi and Coke. I really believe next year will be a rebuilding year (Although I am not prepared to give the Sox the playoffs for the next 10 years like ESPN). There are many questions that need to be answered, and here are some of them.
    1: Can Posada catch anymore? If not, you need DH for him.

    2: Will Cashman be back? I vote no. We need change.

    3: Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy? Yes for Hughes. No for Kennedy.

    4: Marte and Abreu? I say NO on BOTH. I like Coke, and I would give a chance to Sanchez. Abreu is declining. Take the draft picks.

    5: Moose and Petitte?. Yes on Moose, NO on Petitte. Nuff said.

    6: Free Agents?. The only one I want is Teixiera. Burnett and Sheets are future Pavano’s and Sabathia does not want to come here (PS: ESPN: BOSTON is NOT the only great orgainzation for players to go to (Baseball Tonight)).

    7: Giambi?. No. see question. 1.

    8: Cano?. Yes, I am not giving up on him yet. Too yound and talanted, with a good contract.

    9: Joba?. Starter. We need starters and Mark Melancon is ready.

    10: Centerfield?. Stick with Gardner, you do not need stars at every position. He will be holding the spot for Austin Jackson.

    11: Damon?, I would trade him if I could (His contract expires after 2009). Put Matsui in left.

    12: Nady?. No long term contract. I want Matt Holliday or Carl Crawford here in 2010. Clear his space (And Matsui’s for one of those two).

    • Manimal

      I disagree on so many levels.

    • Back to Glory

      I think your dead on my man – WHY do we all want to stick with the same guys (i.e. damon, matsui, abreu, even Cano in some respects, pettite, etc…) who havn’t done much the last 4 years. Thank god giambi is going to go or he woudl be on that list too. Dont get me wrong though, all these guys have had thier regular season moments and great seasons as well, but ask yourself what it takes to win a world series and its a different kind of player and mentality then these guys have, a la tino, oneil, brosius, – why are we forgetting the model of consistency that got us all those championships?

      Joba in the roatation too. I woudl leave Nady in left though and get rid of godzilla somehow which may be hard.

      • Chip

        Seriously? You think it’s just a simple task of finding the next Tino, Oneill, Brosius ect? Well why hasn’t anybody told Cashman??

        How do you know Nady isn’t the next Oneill? How about we take a look at the numbers?
        Oneill age 29 – .246 .346 .373 (OPS+ 102)
        Nady age 29 – .306 .358 .512 (OPS+ 128)

        Oneill was nobody’s idea of a great player before he got traded to the Yankees and either way Nady (before this season that is).

        Also, you want to give up on guys like Damon, Matsui and Cano? Cano is a young guy who is prone to have peaks and valleys (maybe we should have cut Jeter after his horrendous first minor league season) and both Damon and Matsui are .300 hitters with some pop. Why do you just give up on them? Abreu I understand because we already have plenty of outfielders and his contract is up but all those others I can’t agree with

        • Back to Glory

          First off, yea I know it would be hard to do but it really is that simple, FIND WINNERS. They are evidently not on this team and best support for that is no worldseries in 5 years. So, ill say it again for you, follow the model of oniel tino and brosius…im not the gm but if I was those would be the first steps.

          Next, I would keep nady (that’s what I said above and I don’t know why you put half your post agreeing with me)

          As for Cano, I realize he is young and that is great. BUT, and it’s a big BUT, it is at least the 2nd season in a row where our second basemen hasn’t shown up for half the season and this year he actually didn’t show up for the entire season. HOW do you deal with that? Im not sayin give up on the guy because maybe hes a good player, but he has showed us who he is and he is not a championship caliber second basemen. Im not even going to get started o his lax fielding.

          Damon is a joke to have in centerfield. I guarantee you he wont hit anywhere near his avg this year ever again and he is on the decline, you cant argue with that. By the way, how can you have a guy with that arm playing your most important outfield position against the angels and the red sox?? Answer me that.

          Matsui is made of glass and personally I think we did fine without him this year. With younger guys behind him (gardner and Ajax) why not give them a shot too. Speed is part of the angels formula and it works, why cant we get younger and faster too.

          Bottom line, its easy to say how bad this team is because they havn’t won in awhile. Maybe finally not making the playoffs is what we need to wake ourselves up. It wont happen though. Unfortunately I think it wont until we’re paying 100$ a ticket at that new stadium for a few years with a team on the field that cant win 90 games year after year….

    • radnom

      So many issues here….

      3. What does this even mean..”no to Kennedy”..you want him completely gone? I’m shocked how everyone has now decided he will never be even a servicable major league pitcher after one bad year. If you are refering to starting the year in the rotation, then I wouldn’t say yes to either of them quite yet, Hughes has got to earn that in fall league/spring training.

      4. You pick up Marte’s option. Cokes been good, but in a small sample size, and guys like Marte are not just a dime a dozen for 1 year 6 million. If you remember Kennedy was fantastic last September as well.

      5. Thats easy to say, but what if Moose wants multiple years? I think the best scenario would be for Moose to come back but if he wants to pitch too much longer it might be a smarter move to bring back Pettite on a one year deal. Depends how this plays out.

      6. No pitching free agents? I think thats just a bit silly.

      8. Agreed on Cano.

      9. And Joba.

      11. MATSUI IN LEFT?!?!? ARE YOU MAD?!?!

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

        Yeah, the “trade Damon and put Matsui in left” part was where the post veered off from “misguided and unintellectually reactionary” firmly into “batshit crazyland.”

        And hold on a sec, let’s back it up to paragraph 1…

        “The only ones who met or surpassed expectations were. Moose, Rivera, Molina, Joba, Damon, Giambi and Coke. “

        How the hell does GIAMBI meet or exceed expectations if ARod doesn’t? Look, I’ve been harping on ARod’s struggles in certain spots this year myself, but Giambi’s been twice as brutal as Alex has. That’s either lazy or biased, but either way, it’s low. Don’t slam ARod by omission while praising someone who hasn’t exactly been lights out himself in the clutch.

        • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

          I’m still laughing at the inclusion of Jose Molina. You know, the Jose Molina that recorded a .584-OPS this year which ranks as his second worst mark of his career.

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

            I was too scared to even bring it up…

    • Chip

      1. Posada can catch, it’s not like they’re sawing his arm off. Will he ever be an above average catcher? Probably not but he calls a good game and his bat makes up for his slightly subpar defense

      2. Cashman is responsible for our farm system giving us guys like Joba, Hughes, A-Jax, ect. I think it’s kinda short-sighted to want to show him the door already

      3. Kennedy no? How about we give him a chance to work out his issues before we throw him under the bus. Verlander had a bad year too, Detroit should cut him

      4. I agree with letting Abreu go for draft picks due to our surplus of outfielders but why would you not pay 6 million for a hard-throwing lefty reliever?

      5. I agree

      6. We have money so why not pick up Tex and CC/Burnett/Garland? Would you take any of them to start over Rasner? Case in point

      7. If you don’t get Tex, why wouldn’t you bring back a guy with 30+ hr’s and an OBP of .400?

      8. Cano is gonna kill the ball next season

      9. Thank you for getting this one right

      10. You’re doing good!

      11. There’s no way that you could realistically trade Damon and get something for him. Plus, do you want to watch Matsui hobble around in left all season? You’d probably end up with Melky playing there everyday (I don’t even want to think about it)

      12. Nady could be the next Oneill. He’s a tough competitor who has a knack for driving in runs. I can understand looking at Crawford and Holliday in 2010 but why not keep the Nady option open? Sign both Nady and Crawford after next season and you have two really good corner outfielders around 30 years old.

  • Manimal

    For whatever reason, Most people jump the gun and say “Just put in all the rookies” It’s not that easy, i.e. Shelley Duncan, IPK, Hughes. Those guys totally fell off the map in just one year.

  • Manimal

    As for the Blame, its got to go to just bad luck/injuries. Bad stuff happened at the same time. Started with Bruney then Albaladejo, Arod+Jeter for a month, JORGE and Damon. All spent significant time out. And Our Rotation was a mess too.To the point where Pavano was a savior.

    • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

      exactly… i think its referred to as “sh*t happens.”

      this just happened to be the year all of the little issues, injuries, under-performance, etc, finally all caught up with them.

      no big deal… make a couple moves, which was going to happen with the FAs coming off the roster anyway, and you’re right back in it next season.

  • cupz

    I think everyone here knows that even this year, despite everything that happened, the Yanks are not a bad team. The thing that just totally killed us was the injuries to our starting rotation. We lost three front end starters in Wang, Hughes, and Kennedy, and using replacements to try to patch together a starting rotation in the volatile AL East is simply too difficult. A-Rod cannot simply pump out 155 RBIs every year, and we would eventually get to a point (like now) when our potent offense can no longer hide the lack of depth in our starting rotation.

    Despite the year being over, I am still terribly excited. I’m interested to see how the off-season plans develop (please don’t trade Cano, and PLEASE don’t sign Burnett), and even more interested to see how our future bullpen/rotation starters are going to make an impact in 09′. I want to see Wang continue his dominance upon his return, and I’m anxious to see a homegrown bullpen stocked with young arms.

    But in all seriousness, for success, especially post-season success, one needs a top flight starting rotation to move anywhere. Look at the Red Sox of last year, and the Angels and Rays of this year. Until the Yanks get this figured out, there problems are likely to continue, both intra and post-season.

    • jsbrendog

      did you really call jkennedy and hughes front line starters? i hope you mean “Possible Future Frontline STarters” and that that only applies to hughes and by front line starter you mean possible back end guy for kennedy

  • David Brown

    There is no question that they need an ACE starter. But they are extremely hard to find. The last one groomed by the Yankee Organization was Ron Guidry. In addition, Buck Showalter pointed out that the last pitcher to receive a long-term contract who performed up to expectations was………… Mike Mussina (Look at Peavey and Becket this year). The good news, is you have in-house possibilities in Joba and Hughes and longer-term, Brackman, Bentecis and McAllister. In addition, when the Yankees had the dynasty, they did not have any Santana-type shut down pitchers (Maybe Clemens). But, you had Rivera, Stanton and Nelson, and they changed the game from 9 innings to six. This is what they can do now. With the Bruney’s, Coke’s, and Joba’s of the world leading to Rivera. And you have guys like Sanchez, Melancon , Robertson, and Cox in the wings. That is a big reason why I am not for giving $25,000,000 to Sabathia.

    • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

      i agree in a small sense that while id love to see Sabathia in pinstripes, im not in the mindset of 100% full speed ahead, must get him or else the offseason is a complete failure… they shouldnt just give him a blank check because they need him.

      i could care less about the actual salary, bc its not like they cant afford to pay whatever they want to get him… just the idea that one guy isnt going to solidify the rotation, and if you can get 2 above average arms for the price of one Sabathia, it might be better off in the long run if you rebuld the rest of the team around those pitchers with better success.

    • UWS

      They didn’t have a Santana-type, but they had (at various points) Clemens, Pettitte in his prime, David Cone, Jimmy Key, El Duque. All of them really fucking great pitchers.

      It doesn’t matter how good a bullpen you have if your starters suck. Period. The 6-inning argument is a non-starter.

      • BaltimoreYankee

        “All of them really fucking great pitchers.” I must be getting old but isn’t the word “fucking” completely unneccesary here? The point is made a whole lot better without the word. Some people like to have their kids read this blog.

        • UWS

          Yes, you’re right and I”m sorry. I don’t take cursing lightly. It’s just that lame arguments like the one I responded really get my goat sometimes.

    • ACY

      Your point about long-term deals and pitchers is generally well-taken, tho I think it is mostly about the tendency to sign those deals after peak and the risk of injury, rather than any tendency to “go soft” after a big deal. But I think it should be noted that Beckett received his l-t deal after his first year in Boston, a bad one, and so his first year of said deal was ’07, where he was nearly the Cy and dominated the playoffs. This year hasn’t been good, but I’d say, for $10M/year over four years, there’s a good chance that Beckett will have outperformed his deal in total when its done.

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

      Okay, let’s parse…

      There is no question that they need an ACE starter. But they are extremely hard to find.

      Damn straight. So, clearly, you’re advocating for adding CC, who’s definitely an ace. Luckily for us, he’s gonna be on the market this year and we should be the only team with enough financial muscle to get him, since we’ve got damn near $90M coming off the books, right?

      The last one groomed by the Yankee Organization was Ron Guidry. In addition, Buck Showalter pointed out that the last pitcher to receive a long-term contract who performed up to expectations was………… Mike Mussina (Look at Peavey and Becket this year).

      Okay, I could quibble and say that Andy Pettitte was the ace of the rotation from ’96-’03 when he went 137-69 (a 66% winning percentage) and averaged 165 K’s over 8 years with 4 top-six placings in the AL CY Young, but sure, I get your point, we haven’t been churning them out. And yeah, a lot of big ticket contracts for pitchers have gone belly up, but I don’t think Peavey [sic] and Becket [sic] are great examples of that… Peavy’s been lights out with a 141 ERA+, it’s not his fault his team blows and can’t score for him. And Beckett was arguably the best pitcher in the AL last year, has been dominant in the postseason, and he has NINE losses or ND’s this year where he’s gone at least 6 innings and given up two or fewer runs. With better run support, Beckett and Peavy could easily have swept the past two Cy Youngs.

      The good news, is you have in-house possibilities in Joba and Hughes and longer-term, Brackman, Bentecis and McAllister.

      Uh-huh. But we all know that nothing is a given; any of those pitchers could easily have injuries that derail their careers. Which is why you’re about to tell me we should sign CC, I assume.

      In addition, when the Yankees had the dynasty, they did not have any Santana-type shut down pitchers (Maybe Clemens).

      Yankee Pitchers, 1996-2000, in ERA+
      Cone: 174, 159, 124, 137, 70
      Pettitte: 129, 155, 104, 101, 11
      Wells/Clemens: 106, 127, 103, 130
      El Duque: 141, 115, 107

      Average ERA+ of those 17 seasons (including David Cone’s butt-ugly 2000 campaign): 123.
      Perhaps not Santanan, no, but still damn good. All worthy of the “shut-down” title. So, basically, no, we didn’t have any freak of nature multiple-Cy-Young award winners, but for most of the dynasty, we had 4/5ths of our starting rotation that were either aces or near aces, true shut-down guys who were league average on their worst days. That’s probably the biggest factor (even bigger than the offense or the bullpen) that contributed to our dynasty.

      If only there was a Santana-like pitcher available that we could team with Wang, Joba, and Hughes to recreate that magic again… What’s that, you say? There is one, and his name’s Carsten Charles? Well, lucky day!

      But, you had Rivera, Stanton and Nelson, and they changed the game from 9 innings to six. This is what they can do now. With the Bruney’s, Coke’s, and Joba’s of the world leading to Rivera.

      Waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait… What is Joba doing in that list of relievers? That was a typo, right? Oversight? Printer’s error? You forgot to change out the old wax mulberry paper on the mimeograph and had the unedited rough draft still in there? It happens to the best of us. Let’s move forward amicably, shall we? Back to your persuasive argument on why we should add Sabathia. I can’t wait for the coup-de-grace.

      And you have guys like Sanchez, Melancon , Robertson, and Cox in the wings.

      Uh-huh. Got it, we’ve got more great relievers than Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke have bullshit excuses on why their Wall Street bailout should be oversight free. We know. MORE CC! THE PEOPLE WANT CC! Quit stalling.

      That is a big reason why I am not for giving $25,000,000 to Sabathia.

      WTF?

      Umm, okay… because, uh…

      [going back and re-reading the post again]

      No, because… DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK? You go all that way and then contradict everything you said before? All your argument was building towards one focus, and then you pull out early? Let’s recap, lightning round style.
      Point #1 – Aces are good.
      Point #2 – We don’t have an ace.
      Point #3 – We should get an ace.
      Point #4 – If we had an ace, we could probably win more games.
      Point #5 – Some non-sequitur babble about Mike Stanton and Dellin Betances.
      Point #6 – Aces really rock.
      Point #7 – For a reason that I’m not going to explain here, we should NOT get the only true ace on the market. Even though we can, and it makes perfect sense. Because that would be silly. I could tell you, but that would be too easy, and you’d feel cheap and dirty. Better to challenge you and let you figure it out on your own, so you can derive more pleasure from the mental exercise, just like Inigo Montoya using his left hand.

  • Back to Glory

    I guess Its been a decent year in that reagrd but I still think its little excuse for a barely 90 win season. With all the injuries and misery that you speak about in the first post, don’t you think that with the lineup that was supposed to score 1000 runs is the real reason why this team didnt make theplayofs? Any team in the league would love to have the lineup they had this year even without posada or matsui. Something happened for about 5 months and it needs to change if they want to win next year. Every team has injuries, lets focus on the real problems instead of getting blinded by the inuries and feeling sorry for ourselves.

    • UWS

      One of the key reasons they didn’t score 1000 runs is injuries to the starting lineup. I’m sure someone else could run the numbers, but don’t you think missing Matsui and Posada for the majority of the season affected their run-scoring ability? Or the fact that Jeter probably played half the season with a broken hand? Or that Damon missed time, and ARod? Of course a lot of people in the lineup underperformed, some by a ridiculous margin, but you CANNOT discount injuries. It’s not feeling sorry for ourselves: it’s reality.

    • Chip

      If you had Wang and Hughes (you know, the healthy one that dominates) going all season instead of Rasner and Ponson then this team makes the playoffs. It’s as simple as the injuries killed us. Yes, the offense could have covered that up by scoring 1000 runs but we had enough pitching to go to the playoffs until the injuries started. This team theoretically should have had a rotation at the end of the year of
      Wang
      Pettite
      Mussina
      Joba
      Hughes
      with Hughes getting a lot of experience and learning how to get major league hitters out.

      Just give me a lineup of
      Damon
      Jeter
      Tex
      A-Rod
      Nady
      Posada
      Cano
      Matsui
      Gardner
      next year and I bet they score more runs than this one. Add to that a decent and hopefully healthy rotation and we’ll have 100 wins next season

  • David Brown

    I am not as down on the rotation as most people are. When you lose your best regular season starter in June (Wang), it becomes a killer. If Mussina comes back (I think he will), and Joba starts (I think that is the plan), all you need is two starters. Hughes and Acevedo are in house possibilities for this. Another is Oliver Perez of the Mets, who is inconsistant, but has shown he can pitch in NY. He might be a cheaper alternative to Sabathia, Sheets, or Burnett. I think that having a solid bullpen behind Perez might help him (The Met and Brewer Pens (In the case of Sabathia and Sheets), are so bad, pitchers feel they have to go nine innings every start, and that really puts them under pressure. The pressure will be far less here, with Rivera etc.).
    As for salary, the economics are actually a huge part of it (Particularly with Hal running things instead of George). The textbook defination of economics, is: “The study of scarce resources, and how best to allocate them”. All sports teams, and businesses for that matter, have to pay attention to it, or they will fail. For example: If a Perez does not pan out, he CAN be tradable (Throw in the fact he is a lefty means even more so). A guy like Burnett or Sheets, who ALWAYS seem to get injured, are not (Same for a $25,000,000 pitcher like Sabathia). They need to make room for guys like Brackman, Bentecis, and McAllister in the next couple of years (Pope is a back of the rotation option as well)., so Perez makes a lot of sense.
    A guy like Teixiera, gives this team Gold Glove defense (In addition to his bat, which will help with the decine in offense in 2008), and this will help fill a major hole on this team (Particularly with Cano at second).
    My picks for the Yankees of 2009 are Oliver Perez and Mark Teixiera.

    • Chip

      If they have the money, why nto sign Sabathia? I’d rather be pleasantly surprised if Aceves/Coke/Betences/Brackman/McAllister/Pope push their way up into the rotation rather than relying on that fact. Besides, we found this year that having extra starters is a good thing

      • Rob_in_CT

        CC over Perez, certainly. But they may not get CC. It’s not inconceivable that he could chose to play elsewhere. So there needs to be a backup plan (ditto for Tex).

        Plan A for the rotation would be: CC, Wang, Joba, Moose or Pettitte (I’d lean Moose), Hughes, with Aceves, Giese, IPK and Rasner available as backups.

        Plan B… I dunno. Take the chance on Burnett or Sheets? Perez?

        1B: Tex. Backup plan: Giambi (1 year deal).
        Bullpen: largely stand pat, pick up Marte’s option.
        Other: 4th OF who hits righty and can play CF respectably (Melky sits against LHP). Who would that be?

        • Chip

          I completely agree. Perez/Brunett/Sheets are definitely good back-up plans. If we don’t get Tex we could also look into Milton Bradley

    • Colombo

      Oliver Perez is a great pitcher, but he’s a head case at the same time. I don’t want a pitcher that can go out and dominate a great team, but then get the shit knocked out of him by the Orioles and royals. He walks too many batters, has trouble repeating his delivery, and is (as far as i har on rumor sites) not very coach-friendly. He is also represented by scott boras, so you know it iwll take at least 15-16 a year to get him signed. i would rather spend another 7 mil and sign CC

      • Chip

        I second that, although I’m not against both

      • jsbrendog

        esp if perez is inconsistent in the nl eastfacing the nationals, and this yr the pretty awful at times braves and then he gets to see the pirates and the overall terrible NL west and you want to put him in the al east???

        dear lord no. no no no no no.

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

      Ugh.

      Thanks for the economics definition. Glad to see you read textbooks. Here’s another one to read: the DICTIONARY.

      inconsistent
      definition
      Jake Peavy
      Josh Beckett
      Dellin Betances
      Alfredo Aceves
      Mark Teixeira

      Here’s two more book recommendations for you:

      Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, Gotham Press, 2006, 240 pages, ISBN# 978-1592402038.
      $9.60 at Amazon.com.

      Introduction to the Grammar of English by Rodney Huddleston, Cambridge University Press, 1984, 498 pages, ISBN# 978-0521297042.
      $43.20 at Amazon.com.

      • Brad K

        Dude, and yes you deserve no better than “dude” your such a tool. No really you are. Your point of view is almost entirely worthless but thanks for giving us a grammar lesson. That’s why I read this blog. I want to improve my writing skills and you provide so much insight that I can hardly absorb all the amazing information that you provide.

        Tool!

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

          Ah, the ever popular anti-intellectual “I didn’t come here to have my grammer corected, you stupid nerd!!!” shtick. After all, it’s only a communication medium… there’s nothing criticism worthy about a poster trying to grandstand and explain how smart his post is by giving us the “textbook defination” of economics.

          Glad to know I’m such a “tool” to you that you used the descriptor twice. Perhaps while David is reading his dictionary, you can peruse a thesaurus.

          Glad you could add to the discussion, Ogre. Tell the boys at Alpha Beta I said hello.

  • David Brown

    I really stress a lot of economics, not because I want to, but this is becoming the new reality on the Yankees (As well as the rest of baseball). We no longer have an owner who was so committed to winning, to the degree George Steinbrenner was. Does it mean Hal and company aren’t? No it doesn’t. But NOT to the same degree as George. Remember, the Yankees had 6 titles in George’s reign. Here is another example:
    They gave that $27,000,000 a YEAR contract to Alex Rodriguez, PRIMARILY for the MARKETING involved with the pursuit of the All-Time Home Run Record. If George ran the team, his playoff failures would have been compared to the 1 for 23 in the 1981 World Series “Mr. May” Dave Winfield, and he would be not be playing here the next 9 years.
    One of the primary things you do in sales (I do mortgage banking for a living), is to get as many options as possible, and cultivate relationships (That is what they did with Marshall and Lassiter), instead of putting all yours eggs in one basket (They FAILED MISERABLY WITH GERRIT COLE, by trusting Scott Boras, and not developing a relationship, or at least found out he did NOT want to come here). They cannot afford any more bombs like Cole (Or WORSE) Pavano. Getting a ton of quality prospects can offset those kind of mistakes. Which is why the Brackman, McAllister etc options are the best.

  • David Brown

    I do not think that there is any way that Perez is getting $15,000,000 a season (Ask Kyle Lohse about it sometime). I think the reasonable number will be somewhere in the $5-7 million range for THREE YEARS. I am in full agreement about him being a head case, but pitching in Pittsburgh, and with the Met Bullpen cannot help. I believe in $5,000,000 for Perez more than $15,000,000 for Burnett, or $25,000,000 for Sabathia.

    • steve (different one)

      $5M? no chance.

      maybe not as high as $15M, but i will be surprised if Perez signs a contract for less than $10M annually.

  • Peedlum

    bill clinton was still in the first year of his first term.
    i got my first exposure to email using the pine email system and i used the internet for the first time using netscape navigator at the emory computer lab in cox hall.
    o.j. simpson was still just a hertz spokesperson.
    george bush owned the texas rangers and ann richards was still governor of texas.
    microsoft had not yet fully released windows 3.11.
    “Doom” the video game had not yet been released.
    NAFTA didn’t exist yet.
    Jeff Gilooly hadn’t clubbed Nancy Kerrigan yet.
    Yeltsin and Clinton hadn’t yet signed the agreement to stop their respective countries aiming nuclear missles at each other.
    i bought my first computer, an apple powerbook 150, which had an 8 inch lcd screen and 20 MB of memory.
    Kurt cobain, john wayne gacy and richard nixon were still alive.
    the chunnel hadn’t opened yet.
    the curses of 1940 and 1918 were still very alive.
    the world cup had not been played in the US.
    the second woodstock corporate event hadn’t happened yet.
    the US hadn’t invaded haiti yet.
    there was no contract with america.
    roger clemens still had 3 more year to go with the red sux. he had 163 wins and was in the twilight of his career.
    greg maddux had 115 wins. mike mussina had 36. tom glavine had 95. randy johnson had 68. pedro martinez had 10. john smoltz had 72. curt schilling had 34. mariano rivera and andy pettitte had never pitched an inning in the majors. neither had roy halladay, billy wagner, troy percival and jason schmidt. trevor hoffman had 3 career saves.
    manny ramirez had 2 career home runs. gary sheffield had 74. sammy sosa had 70. barry bonds had 339. mark mcgwire had 229. Ken Griffey had 172. jim thome had 10. mike piazza had 36. a-rod, derek jeter, jorge posada, bobby abreu, jason giambi and johnny damon had 0 career at bats. same with nomar, magglio ordonez, vlad, todd helton and garrett anderson. chipper jones had 3. albert pujols was starting the 9th grade.
    there were still only east and west divisions in baseball.
    kevin appier won the AL ERA title. Steve Ontiveros would win the next year. Juan Guzman would win 2 years later.
    Jose rijo lead the NL in strikeouts. andy benes and rookie hideo nomo would win the next 2 years.
    camden yards was in its second season. the mariners still played in the kingdome, the pirates in three rivers, the reds had a decade left in riverfront, the tigers in tiger stadium, the rangers played in arlington stadium, the phillies still had over a decade in veterans stadium, the braves were still in fulton county.
    jurassic park was the box office champ, followed by mrs. doubtfire and the fugitive. schindler’s list was 9th.
    radiohead released their 1st album. so did tool. the smashing pumpkins released siamese dream.
    julio franco was 33.

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

      WOW. Nicely done.

      Except for Julio Franco, he was actually 58 at the time.

      • Dave P.

        Nice. I love a good Julio Franco age joke.

  • Peedlum

    woops, the title for the previous comment was “the last october the yankees didn’t play baseball”. for some reason it didn’t paste in (the most likely reason being i didn’t highlight all the way up).