A welcome day of rest

For Hughes, an outing most foul
Guest Post: Winning without A-Rod
And on the 21st day, they rested. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Yankees, with the American League’s fourth oldest roster at an average age of 29.1 years, enjoy their first day off since August 5th today. Their just completed stretch of 20 games in 20 days took them from home in the Bronx to the sweltering heat in Texas and Kansas City then back to the Bronx before a trip through customs to Toronto. They went just 11-9 during that stretch, though they did outscore their opponents 103 to 73, which says they should have actually gone 13-7. Blowouts against the Tigers, Mariners, and Blue Jays skew the run differential a bit.

Usually off days are hell on fans, and it’s not that this one isn’t, but I’m actually looking forward to no Yankee baseball tonight. Derek Jeter gets another day to rest his sore leg as does Nick Swisher. Al Aceves, Andy Pettitte, Damaso Marte, Lance Berkman, and Alex Rodriguez come another day closer to returning from the disabled list without a game getting crossed off the schedule. The bullpen, overworked for the last week or so, gets a bit of a breather and Joe Girardi can go into this weekend’s series against the White Sox capable of using the relievers he wants to use rather the guys he can use because of their recent workload.

Robbie Cano, who’s started 124 of the team’s 127 games (all in the field, too), gets some time to rest his legs. Yeah, he’s in his physical prime at 27-years-old, but that doesn’t mean he’s free of fatigue. The same goes for 30-year-old Mark Teixiera, who’s started 118 of those 127 games at first base and another seven as designated hitter. Brett Gardner has already spoken about tiring himself out in the early going, so this gives him time to recoup. Jorge Posada is in perpetual need of days off. This day gives everyone on the roster, young or old, a day away from the physical grind that is being a Major League Baseball player and playing 20 games in 20 days.

More than just physically, this day off also affords the team a bit of a mental break. I can’t speak for the players themselves, but just watching a fan I can feel the stress of these games, the highs and lows and more often than not the mind-numbing monotony. I’m sure whatever the players deal with is about a million times worse. No matter how good or bad, how hot or cold, every team needs time away from the game everyone once in a while just to clear their heads.

I usually hate days off because I tend to find my loser self looking for something to do whenever the Yanks don’t play, but this 24 hour break is more than welcome. It’s not quite as refreshing as the All Star break, but having a day to recharge the batteries after such a long stretch of games is always appreciated. Hopefully the Yanks take advantage and come out swinging tomorrow. Their next three series are against non-contenders before the September schedule is full of tough games, so this day off couldn’t be coming at more perfect time.

For Hughes, an outing most foul
Guest Post: Winning without A-Rod
  • larryf

    And Joe G. can visit family and check out homes with his wife and schools for the kids.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    Anyone want to predict the chances of the Yanks seeing Manny Ramirez in Chi-Town this weekend? I would say the chances are slim to none.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Very, very small. His waivers don’t expire until tomorrow, and he has 72 hours to sign off on it because of his NTC. Even if he does it right away, chances are he won’t be in the lineup Saturday, so if anything, they’ll see him on Sunday.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        thanks Mike.

  • larryf

    I am hoping for a 14 inning game tonight against the O’s that depletes the white sox bullpen…

    or a 9 inning game that does the same…

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Both Thornton and Putz are on the DL. Their bullpen is already in an interesting shape.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        did the league already caught up with Santos?

  • Frank

    I’ll just kick back tonight and watch future Yankee Cliff Lee take on the Twins on the MLB network.

  • Chris

    As you mentioned, the Yankees record over these twenty games was 11-9. In my opinion, they have been playing pretty bad over this stretch with their starting pitchers being particularly bad (with the exception of CC). Yet, they maintained a .550 winning percentage through it all. If they maintain that winning percentage through the rest of the year they would end up with 97 wins. So if the Yanks play pretty bad (relative for them) over the remainder of the season, the Red Sox would have to go 24-10 just to catch on them on the last day. That’s a ~.70 winning percentage. So if the Yanks continue to play decent, but not great, baseball they should still make the playoffs.

    Coolstandings.com confirms the idea that the Yanks are most probably going to play in the playoffs. For me, it was a welcome reminder to not throw my shoe at the TV when I have to watch games like last night where Hughes walks 5 people in 4 innings or the day before when Moseley walks people when hes is up by 10. It also allows me to sleep easy on off days.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      (unties noose)

      Nah, that’s how I feel. Even if the CoolStandings site isn’t exactly my favorite because freak things do happen.

    • Ross in Jersey

      Pretty much this. For all the issues, if the Yankees have a good weekend in Chicago and take care of business next week against Oakland/Balitmore while Tampa sweeps Boston, it’s pretty much all over.

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

      As you mentioned, the Yankees record over these twenty games was 11-9.

      Fun Fact:
      The Rays record over their past 20 games: 11-9
      The Sox record over their past 20 games: 12-8

      • Will (the other one)

        Maybe so, but in all fairness, DARNELL MCDONALD DANIEL NAVA

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

          In all fairness, Dustin Moseley Ramiro Peña Eduardo Nuñez.

          • Will (the other one)

            Sorry, TJ, I should have been clearer. I was listing Real American Heroes(TM) that make Boston’s prospects to go on a 20-game win streak almost a lock. You just listed a couple of org guys that are filling in in a pinch.

      • http://fmylife.com Bryan

        Hooray coincidence!

      • http://www.twitter.com/jordan_smed JGS

        So…lost nothing to Tampa, lost one game on the Red Sox, and knocked 20 games off the schedule?


        • Carlosologist

          Now if Tampa were to fall into 9-11 stretch and we go 12-8.

  • larryf

    Konerko only starter hitting over .300 with 31 HR/87 rbi’s. Please no 2 HR games or letting this guy beat us this weekend…..

  • Tank Foster

    It’s the really tough part of the season. The heat….no adrenaline rush of the playoffs, or end of season respite from expanded rosters…a season of accumulated bumps and bruises.

    It may be that I don’t know enough about managers other than Yankee managers, but one area in which I think Joe Girardi is very, very good is roster management. He seems to be able to use all of his players effectively yet still give everyone plenty of rest.

    I hate watching the team limp along at a just-over-.500 clip as much as anyone, but in the end it’s for the best.

  • tom

    The thing that has me on edge right now — apart from wondering how reliable starting pitching is going to be, in September and most especially October — is that we’re in (modern) unknown territory: fighting a team other than the Red Sox down the stretch.

    See, I’ve always been confident about holding off Boston in the end. I know in Boston it’s always October ’04 and the-greatest-comeback-ever is imminent. But, in fact, before and since that grisly series, the Yankees have pretty much always outplayed Boston in the final stages. Last June, when the Sox had a five game lead over the Yanks, I bet a guy at work the Yanks would at least close the gap. Obviously I won that going away, but, honestly, I thought it was money in the bank the day I made the bet, based on all history. I’m a bit fuzzy on details from early in the deacade, but my recollection is not a few years the Sox were actually in first around June, yet always fell in the end. And in the years since ’04…the Yanks came from way back to snatch the division crown in ’05, turned a close race into a rout in ’06, came again from way back and damn near snatched the division again in ’07 (and I had the impression they stopped trying in the final week, once the wild card was secured). Even in the team’s “failure” year, they picked up ground in the wild card race; up till Joba’s injury, they were charging hard, and I thought they had a serious chance of catching the Sox for the consolation prize.

    But that was the Sox. Fighting with Tampa is new and uncharted territory. I feel very good about the team making the playoffs. But I’m old/purist enough to think winning the division means something, and there I’m very uncertain.

  • http://creativejamie.com creativejamie.com

    AS for me, I’m watching a movie tonight. What movie, I have no idea, but no baseball means movie night for me! I might have to sneak in some Twins v Rangers, though.

  • Leinad

    I just joined the YES Network but I’ve been a Yankee fan for a long time, and to tell you the truth I was feeling a little down on our team until I read all of your comments. I have to tell you, it felt like a therapy session (in a good way). You brought a lot of things to light that I didn’t really think about, and now I feel so much better about the Yankees season. Hopefully things go as planned and we finish this long brutal season sending a message out to everyone in Major League Baseball… “DON’T THINK THE YANKEES ARE GOING TO FIZZLE, BECAUSE WE’RE NOT, 2010 W.S. IS OURS!” Thanks all.