Transitioning to the off-season is a bit tougher this timeBy
At this time last year, we were in full hot stove mode. The Yankees had been home for over a month, and we’d already looked at what went wrong and what went right in the 2008 season. October was a time of reflection instead of excitement, so by the time the GM meetings rolled around we were ready to discuss all topics hot stove, from CC Sabathia to Jake Peavy, from Mark Teixeira to Nick Swisher.
This time around it’s a bit different. We’re still going to reflect on the 2009 season, but it’s coming a bit later than last year. That makes it tough to move on to the hot stove issues that face the Yankees. Yet baseball is moving on. The 30 general managers and their staffs are in Chicago this week for the GM Meetings, the first step in a long off-season. Then we’ll move on to the free agent signing period and eventually the Winter Meetings in December. Before we know it, we’ll be caught in the vortex of the hot stove.
Mike noted the important off-season dates yesterday, but nowhere on there is there a dedicated slot for memorializing the World Series champs. That’s an important part of this process. We went through a lot with the 2009 Yankees, and before we get into what the 2010 Yankees will look like, I’d like to take some time to look back on the season. So while at this time last year we were talking about Matt Holliday’s trade chances and the Peavy/Santana parallels, this year I want to talk about leadoff hits and whipped cream pies.
That’s not to say that we’re not going to talk about the fates of Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, Andy Pettitte and Jose Molina. We’ll get to those topics, and we’ll tackle them with veracity. Hell, we’ll probably get to some of those off-season topics today (hint hint). It’s just going to be a bit different than last year. Before we get to the fates of Damon and Matsui, let’s remember what they meant to this championship team.