May
23

Perspective

By

The Yankees three game losing streak this week brought out the worst in Yankee fans.  After blowing a 5-1 lead to the rival Red Sox, and getting swept (in a 2 game series) to our main competition the Rays, bridges were crowded all over.  I’m just trying to figure out why.  Hell, twitter seemed to blow up as soon as the Rays jumped to a 3-0 on Andy Pettitte, and my guess is that it was Yankee fans discussing how much their team sucked that overloaded the servers.  Friday night’s win and strong Javy performance saved some lives but last nights loss have the bridges crowded again.  I’m here to just remind you all of a few important things. (stats as of Saturday morning)

Record:  After 42 games, the Yankees have a 26-16 record (and a 27-15 Pythag), good for the 3rd best record in all of baseball.  They have played just 19 games at home, where they have a .684 winning percentage (and .704 in 2009). Last year after 42 games they had played an even 21 games at home and on the road.   After 42 games in their World Series season of 2009 (had to remind everyone) they were 24-18 and it took winning 10 of 11 just to get there. On May 22nd last year they were in 3rd place and had the 9th best record in baseball with a +1 run differential.  This year their run differential is +69.  Wow.

One run games:  The Yankees finally won a one run game Friday night.  They are now 1-4 in one run games, which should continue to improve.  For the most part all teams will win roughly 50% of their one run games with good teams winning a little more than 50% and bad teams winning a little less than 50%.  They are almost truly a tossup.  Last year they were 22-16 in one run games for a .579 winning percentage with an overall winning percentage of .636.  The 2003 Tigers, who won just 43 games were above .500 in one run games. They are due for improvement here.

Derek Jeter: Jeter, despite his (rather empty) 9 game hitting streak is struggling.  It’s been dissected so I won’t get any further into it, but Jeter has gone through struggles in the past.  While there is some concern that he could be slowing in his age 36 season, it’s still too early to have an major concerns over Jeter’s performance.  In 2004, when he was famously booed during a 0-32 streak he was batting .190/.253/.279 after 42 games.  There were questions then, as there are now about if he was slowing down at the age of 30, and while the slowdown is certainly more likely 6 years later, his .273/.316/.393 line doesn’t look quite so bad.

Alex Rodriguez:  While A-Rod’s season ended as perfectly as possible, it got off to as rocky a start as possible.  First he had the steroid scandal and there was concern about how a guy who was perceived to be weak mentally would concern the extra scrutiny.  Then, soon after showing up to Spring Training, he ended up under the knife having surgery on his hip.  There were articles proclaiming that the Yankees were better off without him.  Seriously.  That’s how bad it was a year ago for A-Rod.  Due to the injury, A-Rod got off to a delayed start and a (aside from 1st pitch) slow start.  Through May 22nd he had only played in 14 games.  As late as June 23rd he was hitting .207/.362/.443.  Again, as rosy as things ended, all was not well for A-Rod last year.

Red Sox: We all remember the 0-8 start against the Sox last year.  I was almost ready to jump off a bridge then, as living in Massachusetts for that was terrible.  This year the Yankees have a solid 5-3 record against the Sox, and have already played 44% of their season schedule against them, which is a good thing as the Sox have yet to hit their stride.  Last year the Yankees didn’t beat the Sox until August.  Think about that for a second.  The trading deadline had already come and gone, and the Yankees (and us as fans) had yet to celebrate a win against their bitter rivals.

Rays:  The Rays are a great team.  They are better than they were in 2009 and will provide more competition for the Yankees.  They aren’t, however, as good as they have played so far.  They have had an easy schedule and recently lost key reliever J.P. Howell to a season ending injury.  Unlike the Yankees and Sox, the Rays don’t spend the money (won’t vs. can’t) to upgrade when they lose a player to injury.  Injuries can certainly derail the Rays more than the Yankees.   They have also taken advantage of the struggling Sox (4-0), but still have 14 to play against Boston who will only get better as the season moves on.

I’m ok with getting pissed off at losses and celebrating wins, but no one game, one series, and one week of bad baseball should cause people to overreact.  The 2009 Yankees went through losing streaks and managed 103 wins.  The 2010 Yankees have gone through, and will go through more losing streaks and are on an early pace for 100 wins.   I have done my best to comply with Zen Baseball, here’s hoping more people can hope aboard the train.

For more of my work head over to Mystique and Aura.

Categories : Guest Columns
  • Zack

    “The 2009 Yankees went through losing streaks and managed 103 wins.”
    Think that about sums it up.

    I think most rational fans understand that, unfortunately most fans aren’t rational.

    • Teix is the Man

      I agree with all of this as well…I just hope they are careful with Hughes as to not overwork him. Maybe skipping some of his starts between now and the All-Star Break would be beneficial.

    • dygg

      fanatic: “A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm.”

      By definition, rational fans aren’t fans.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Excellent point.

        From now on, when some idiotic moron asks me “ARE YOU EVEN A YANKEE FAN?!?!?” my response will be “No, I’m not a Yankee fan. I’m not a fan of anything, because I am not an irrational fanatic.”

        “I’m a Yankee enthusiast. I am enthusiastic about the Yankees; I care about them deeply and want them to win. When they don’t win, it saddens me. However, I am still a man guided by reason and logic, so no loss is ever cause for erratic, nonsensical, irrational, fanatic behavior and spastic gesticulation of unchanneled fatalistic rage. I’m an enthusiast, not a blathering simpleton idiot prone to fearing the sky falling.”

        “Thanks for asking.”

    • MikeD

      We’ve been banged up, our bullpen his a touch patch, and our starting pitching was bound to have some bad games. All things considered, they’ve done quite well the first quarter of the season. I sense a winning streak coming on.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    I’m ok with getting pissed off at losses and celebrating wins, but no one game, one series, and one week of bad baseball should cause people to overreact. The 2009 Yankees went through losing streaks and managed 103 wins. The 2010 Yankees have gone through, and will go through more losing streaks and are on an early pace for 100 wins. I have done my best to comply with Zen Baseball, here’s hoping more people can hope aboard the train.

    I will have none of your rationality. The 2009 team was PERFECT and anything less from the 2010 team is unacceptable!

    • Tom Zig

      It was perfect because it had Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. They were True Warriors. This team is inherently flawed because Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui are not here. Cashman replaced them with Mr. Glass and a switch hitting center fielder who can’t even switch hit! Oh and don’t forget he brought back the guy who was the sole reason the 2004 season was canceled. WTF! Jerk.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        If it ain’t broke, right Tom?

        • mike c

          if it ain’t broke, hire the guy who’s going to get mortally injured a month into the season

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Thanks to Johnny and Hideki and their incredible clutchiness, the 2009 Yankees went 162-0 in the regular season en route to a 3-4-4 sweep of the playoffs.

        I remember it like it was yesterday. Every game won by 10+ runs. Every one of ‘em.

  • Tom Zig

    Nicely written article, Steve. Sometimes it takes someone to spell everything out.

  • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

    I’m getting worried about Jeter. It’s not just his diminished offensive production, it’s everything. His range is way down, which was something we weren’t saying last year. His bat looks slow, and has all year. He just looks old out there.

    He’s looked old before (2008), and we found out later that he was hiding an injury. I’m actually hoping that’s the case now. Because if it’s not, then we may just be seeing him entering his decline. Don’t assume it will be a smooth landing, either. Robbie Alomar had an MVP caliber season in 2001 and was basically finished after that year. He’s also Jeter’s top player comp through age 35 on BR.

    http://www.baseball-reference......de01.shtml

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      I don’t think we’ll be so lucky that it’s an injury. His biggest problem this year has been zone expansion and unless his eyes are going, I don’t know how we can relate that to an injury.

      • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

        That’s not his eyes, that means his bat is slow. When your bat slows down, you have to start your swing earlier. That means you get fooled on pitches that you would have laid off of earlier in your career.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          Good observation; could we say that the slow bat speed is coming from an injury or is that just aging?

          • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

            Could be either, that’s why I’m hoping he’s just banged up. You can look really old with certain injuries.

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

          BTW-Expanding his zone could relate to injury, if the injury makes his bat slow down for some reason. Back pain, abdominal or hip injuries can slow you down. Again, I hope it’s something like that.

        • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          All kinds of this. I’ve been biting my tongue because a commenter I’ve put the personal O:S on has been saying all over the threads that Jeter doesn’t look like he’s declining because his problem seems to be a poor approach and expanding the zone and not that he just doesn’t have the physical abilities he used to have, but the problem just might be that he’s expanding the zone because his bat and reactions have slowed ever so slightly and he has to compensate a bit by cheating/guessing here and there.

          Hopefully it’s just a bad stretch and he comes out of it soon, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on this season.

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

      Another thing about Jetes (which is totally subjective) is that I haven’t seen him smiling much this year, kidding around with opposing players on the basepaths, looking confident at the plate.

      He always looks down to me, and one of the things he’s always been known for is how much he loves playing the game. Maybe something is going on in his personal life, I have no idea. But this is not the guy I’ve seen playing out there for the past 16 years.

      • Pasqua

        That is pretty darn subjective, yes. But, when it comes to Jeter, for some reason, subjectivity is the norm. It stands to reason that a guy who has always had his success attributed to “intangibles” would also be scrutinized by them in the end.

        I don’t say this to critique your opinion, just to point out the parallel.

        • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

          No, that’s totally fair. I didn’t mean that comment as anything conclusive, it’s just something I’ve noticed. If you know anything about Jeter, his life has always revolved around the game and his family. Seeing him look so down makes me think something is wrong with one of the above.

      • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

        He was laughing during the ninth last night. OH MY GOD HE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THE TEAM LOSING!!!!

        Seriously, I was reading NYYFans, and they said that Jeter was talking to the opposing players too often and he shouldn’t be during “this time of crisis.” Yes, they actually said that.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Seriously, I was reading NYYFans,

          I really wish you’d stop that, Bexy, it’s hazardous to your health.

          • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

            I’m seriously considering creating a Dumb Shit I Read on NYYFans tumblr or something like that.

        • yoo-boo

          Also, I saw him talking with two pretty femal fans while he was on the deck. That is big NO NO NO.

        • NYY626

          http://www.daylife.com/photo/0.....rk+Yankees

          Does this count as joking around with the opposition? Im confused :(

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        He was joking around with Youkilis but Youkilis started that by playfully running into him :(

    • MikeD

      I don’t think it’s fair to say Jeter’s bat has looked slow “all year.” It’s looked slow for the past three weeks. That’s all. On May 3, a month into the season, Jeter’s slash stats were, give or take a few points, .325/.365/.510. He was off to a strong start. He’s in a slump, which happens to all players every year, including Jeter. People were talking about Jeter’s slump when it was only four or five games old, which is perhaps why it seems longer. The problem with players 34 and up is they are not allowed to slump at all without hearing the age question bought up. What’s it been? Three or four years straight that every time Rivera has back-to-back subpar outings his age is questioned? Get used to it with Jeter. He turns 36 next month. Slumps are no longer allowed without panic setting in. One day people will be right. I don’t think we’re there yet. I am concerned about a hidden injury.

  • Paul

    I have my doubts about keeping Wynn and Thames even after Granderson returns, there best days are behind them. The pitching staff has too much talent to fail.

    • Tom Zig

      Thames will stay. He can at least still hit. Winn on the other hand can’t really hit at all. He can play defense kind of decently. But we won’t need him once Grandy comes back.

      • Nick

        Thames should be kept…as Tom says, he can still hit. He’s been overexposed in the field due to injuries, but he shouldn’t be playing in the field anyway. Winn should go, and Russo looks like a good replacement for him.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        You feel confident in Russo? I do, but I’m not too sure about Pena being able to stick. His glove can only keep him around so long. I think by late July, we’ll see another 4th OF (Huffman? Winfree? Curtis?) with Russo as the UTI.

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          But Russo can’t play SS.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            Crap.

          • A.D.

            Can’t might be strong, shouldn’t is more likely.

  • johnny

    biggest challenge to zen baseball for me: randy winn.
    honorable mention: I like ramiro Pena, but he’s playing WAY too much.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      FWIW, Randy Winn is currently at a 0.0 WAR, according to Fangraphs.

      It’s not like he’s a black hole of suckitude… he’s exactly as good or as bad as whomever we’d likely replace him with would be.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        (For comparison’s sake, Cody Ransom last year was a -0.7 WAR. He actually cost us runs/games, because he was worse than a street free agent would have been. Winn’s been subpar, but not so grossly subpar that he’s actually detrimentally affecting the team’s results; he’s statistically neutral–versus his theoretical replacements, of course.)

        • mike c

          translation: winn sucks, but we won’t see him play enough games to really affect anything

  • Seth

    While I agree it is absurd to think trades need to come with every injury or every bad player, and the general point of the article being that the Yankees are not bad so a loss or a bad streak shouldn’t cause people to jump off a bridge. However I have a huge problem with the comments and some other points of the article.

    Look its not 2009 anymore. It doesn’t matter where they were last year, or any other year. All that matters is this year. Stop resorting to comparisons to last year. It is irrelevant. That was a different Yankee club and also a different league. Whether they led the league in wins or not is irrelevant because all that matters is what is happening now.

    Also, it is not the fact that the Yankees are loosing or playing badly, its how they are loosing. Bad defense, especially by Randy Winn/ Marcus Thames, bad starting pitching, and bad relief work. I am not saying they need to go out and get someone or trade someone but put blame where blame is. Yes it is a little premature to say the bullpen is off, the bullpen takes a season to figure out. But when you have starting pitching that isn’t dominate you won’t win. When you have you 1-5 hitters, not producing you won’t win. when you leave men in scoring position with 0 outs and you don’t drive in any, that is a problem!

    Its not one issue. It’s a combination of Jeter swinging at bad pitches, Gardner not hitting anything, Tex thinking it’s still April, the whole 7,8,9 part of the lineup, starting pitching that goes 5 innings, starting pitching that gives a team a chance to win but the teams bullpen can’t hold it or the bats don’t pick it up, and misread flyballs, error’s on throws to first, throws to home instead of a cut off man so runners advance, and sloppy defense.

    Before people give up hope on this year, or relax in the fact of wherever the Yankees were last year at this time, every game no matter win or loose shows room for improvement somewhere. The Yankees have a lot to look at not from last year’s video, but the sloppy play they have produced this year.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      While I agree it is absurd to think trades need to come with every injury or every bad player, and the general point of the article being that the Yankees are not bad so a loss or a bad streak shouldn’t cause people to jump off a bridge. However I have a huge problem with the comments and some other points of the article.

      Look its not 2009 anymore. It doesn’t matter where they were last year, or any other year. All that matters is this year. Stop resorting to comparisons to last year. It is irrelevant. That was a different Yankee club and also a different league. Whether they led the league in wins or not is irrelevant because all that matters is what is happening now.

      Two things:

      1.) The post is tagged “Perspective”, and that’s also the name of the post itself. It’s named and tagged “Perspective” for the same reason 2009 is brought up: to provide you with some perspective. Bringing up 2009 is important to remind you of the perspective of another season that had some hiccups and bumps that ultimately turned out just fine.

      2.) It’s “losing”, not “loosing”. http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/lose.html

    • Harold Moskowitz

      Dear Seth,

      You too, can start a blog. It’s free & easy to use. Just visit:

      https://www.blogger.com/start

    • TheLastClown

      Also, something that syntactically bothers me is the use of the word ‘dominate’ for ‘dominant.’

      I see it all the time, and it bothers me more than most of the other typos/grammar-os.

  • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

    This article is excellent and the comments are also excellent. That’s about all I have to say. There are things I’m genuinely concerned about, like Jeter. But there has been SO MUCH negativity as of late, even from people who are usually rational, it’s very hard to take.

    There’s a lot of revisionist history about the 2009 Yankees, too. Now, I loved that team. You loved that team. We ALL loved that team. But people act like they took over first place on day one and cruised to the division. They did not. At all. And really – that made it sweeter at the end.

    • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

      But yes, perspective. It was silly to say that this team was going to be 1998 after a handful of games. It’s also silly to say that this team “just isn’t that good” and won’t make the playoffs like I saw some guy say here (who never made an appearance again) because they’re scuffling now.

  • yoo-boo

    I love Yankees but I hate the current result. That is what we the people are all about. wink.

    Without NJ, Yanks may look at trade options but they wont go for it until Posada or/and Swisher become a problematic for Yanks later in the season.

    Miranda looks all right as a starter but not as PH. Yanks may look to upgrade that role in July.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      What problems has Swisher had, production wise? He missed a few games but when he’s been healthy, he’s been better than fine.

      • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Well he was bad in 2008. (just ignore that he’s been good every other year)

        • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

          He’s just a fourth outfielder!!!!

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            /PTSD to early ’09

      • yoo-boo

        Without NJ, Yanks may look at trade options but they wont go for it until Posada or/and Swisher become a problematic for Yanks later in the season.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          But why them? You suggest two guys who are very steady producers and have only been non-productive in times of injury. Your suggestion infers that you think their productions will fall, which most of us disagree with.

          • yoo-boo

            Posada and Swisher are on the lowest part of Yanks’ top hitting chain.

            If Arod is down, no problem, Posada or Swisher can hit clean up hitter. If NJ is down, no problem as Swisher and Gardner fill in the 2nd hole nicely. So go on until Posada or Swisher is down. You dont expect Arod or Teix to hit 2nd or 6th hole. Thames? Winn? Russo? Pena? pfftt.

            Bottom line, if Swisher or Posada is down with bad injury that will affect Yanks’ production. Swisher’s strained bicep may be no big deal but it also can lead to torn muscle. Posada is aging and he may heal slowly.

            • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

              So if two really good hitters get hurt the Yankees are in trouble?

            • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

              If Arod is down, no problem,

              Disagree A LOT

              You have some weird ideas.

  • Matt

    You are talking about this like it was just the 3 game losing streak at home last week. They are 5-9 in the last 2 weeks, which is .357 baseball. The losses are starting to pile up, and they have dropped to 5 games in back of Tampa.

    While it’s not time to panic yet, it’s foolish to act like this is just an inevitable bump in the road. They have struggled consistently lately, and it hasn’t been the result of injuries, but rather the inability of Jeter or Teixeira to contribute anything offensively. The pitching was almost perfect before, but it was bound to slump and the offense has to start to pick up the pitchers.

    People will throw out stats like the fact that the Yankees lead the AL in runs scored, but it is clear to anyone watching the games that they have been struggling to get crucial runs home lately, and most of those runs have been coming in garbage time off of the back of teams’ bullpens.

    • Matt

      People like to talk about “treading water” when you have injuries, but the Yankees aren’t even doing that. When you play that bad a stretch over a two week period, there is more at work than the injuries.

      • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

        They were 5 games back as late as June 24th last year, when they just finished a 4-9 stretch that included a series loss to Washington. they also had a 3-8 stretch in the middle of 2006 that included a series loss to Washington

    • Zack

      “They have struggled consistently lately, and it hasn’t been the result of injuries, but rather the inability of Jeter or Teixeira to contribute anything offensively.”

      So losing your starting C, DH, and CF is no big deal? While Jeter/Tex are struggling, they are also missing 33% of their lineup.

    • Carlosologist

      Anybody want to bet this guy won’t be around come September?

      • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

        Eh… he’s not being irrational.

        That said, the Yankees won 9 out of 10 before they lost 9 out of 14. Bet he wasn’t saying that everything was right because they were playing .900 ball. I think a lot of people overreact to losing streaks, but wait for the sky to fall during winning streaks.

  • yoo-boo

    Just in case if Vazquez wont make it on Thursday game.

    Hughes on Thursday game.
    Vazquez or Mitre on Saturday.

  • mike c

    we’re not going to be able to put this team entirely into perspective until the trade deadline, we lost our #2 hitter for what very well could be the entire season, which was not an issue last year, even with arod missing. this team is still incomplete until the bench fills out a little with a possible f/t DH acquisition. and can we ditch boone logan already?

    • Tom Zig

      big puma for DH?

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        Only if it’s absolutely, 100% certain that Johnson’s done for the year. And if the price is reasonable. I don’t want to trade Romine for one half season of Berkman.

        • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

          I would absolutely love Berkman IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT. Thing is, I don’t see the price being even close to right. And doesn’t he not even want to come to New York?

          • Tom Zig

            does he not want to come to NY? I’m not doubting you, I just don’t recall hearing this.

            • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

              I can remember hearing talk about this. Wish I could find an article, but I can’t. =/ Maybe he changed his mind, too, who knows.

        • Tom Zig

          No certainty that NJ is out for the year. But according to the reports it is 4-6 weeks before he can swing the bat. That brings us to the last week of June (presuming 6 weeks from date of surgey). So he’ll begin swinging in first week of July? A week of rehab starts. Brings us to mid-july.

        • wilcymoore27

          Uh, can we give Juan Miranda a chance at DH before we start talking about trades? Miranda will be a damn sight better than Nick Johnson was before he got hurt.

  • pat

    The Jesus is looking especially burly today.

  • pc

    fans (fanatics) are not only not rational they are jerks when it comes to being balanced and logical regarding their particular sports teams, i have followed the yanks since the mid fifties and i prefer to be rational therefore i do not consider myself a fan, although i am always loyal to my particular team of choice, go yanks, giants, knicks, rangers.

  • TheZack

    While its irrational to freak out about the team in the current slump, its also somewhat of a stupid point to make to compare this team to last. Just because the team started off slow last season and still won the series has absolutely nothing to do with what will happen this year.

    • Zack

      That’s not the connection people are making.

      The point is last year they won 103 games – while having injuries/slumps/losing streaks. Therefore, people should stop flipping out about a bad 12 game stretch

  • Pete

    Well done. Baseball is a game of inherent suckitude. Great players fail a majority of the time. Great players go through horrendous slumps. Great teams go through semi-extended periods of sucky play. DId people expect the yankees to win every game 8-2 while getting 7 good to dominant innings out of each (or 4 of 5) starter all year? It’s a small correction. That’s all. And the 2009 team is relevant not because this team should be expected to perform the same way and follow the same track, but because it simply demonstrates that well-built teams (which most would agree the 2010 yankees are) can overcome stuff like this.

    The Yanks were a game under .500 after the first month last year. They’re currently going through ~ a month of ~.500 play. That doesn’t mean that because the 2009 team overcame it, the 2010 team will do the same because they’re going to have the same season. It means that if they are as strong of a team as the 2009 was in terms of roster construction, or somewhere close to that, then they absolutely CAN do exactly as the ’09 team did.

    It sucks having to sit through a stretch like this, but to think that we are by any stretch doomed by our current state of mediocrity is completely lacking in perspective. The fact that teams have in the past overcome situations like this (and, indeed, many much worse) to go on to greatness is relevant only if you have the perspective to recognize that this is an objectively great team. It is a team that is currently weathering an extraordinary number of injuries, but of those only one (Johnson’s) appears to be particularly serious.

    Somebody said something earlier about how it’s not that they’re losing, but how they’re losing that brings about cause for concern. I completely disagree. The vast majority of losses look bad. It’s that we’re seeing a lot of them bunched together that magnifies it. In other words, it’s not “how” they’re losing, but that they’re losing a lot right now that makes it seem like the yankees are spiraling out of control.

    This is an important recognition because when you think of it as “the yankees are losing at a much higher rate than I’d like right now, which is upsetting me”, rather than “the yankees look terrible right now” (which, of course, they do, but, as I already said, it’s the proximity of these shitty games to one another that magnifies the shitty play), then it’s easy to realize that that’s just baseball. There will be times in every single baseball season where the fans of the game’s best team will be incredibly frustrated and feel doomed, and fans of the game’s worst team will feel like they have a shot. Both views are highly irrational.

    Here’s my advice: take a long, hard, balanced and objective look at the team and its competition at the end of the offseason. Then ask yourself, if a decent number of players get injured, and another few have down years, what would be a reasonable expectation of that team? Then write down your answer to that question, and hold on to it. Because as the season goes on and the team has its ups and downs, and makes you think at times that you undersold them, and at other times that you grossly overestimated them, whatever you wrote down is probably still a more accurate perception of the team than yours.

    This is why the baseball offseason is so wonderful – it’s the only time of year when we are able to see things with perspective unmitigated by present failures or successes, and unbiased by the emotional reaction to those wins and losses that will, by years end, all look like relatively insignificant blips on the radar screen.

  • poster

    This is my absolute favorite article of the year. Well done.

  • wilcymoore27

    Yes, very well said. Although the Yankees haven’t been as good as we’d like in the last 10 days or so, they’re a solid team with a solid record. My only concern is the bullpen. Nobody has really stood out in the ‘pen, except Mariano (and even he’s been less-than-great the last 3 outings).

    Eventually Aceves will return from the DL, but the Yanks had better find replacements for Chan Ho Park and Boone Logan before the season is too far along. These guys are sub-par MLB pitchers, and wishing and hoping that they’ll suddenly improve is not going to cut it.

  • omg

    The yankees are old