Jun
27

Fan Confidence Poll: June 27th, 2011

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Record Last Week: 4-2 (27 RS, 26 RA)
Season Record: 45-31 (399 RS, 302 RA, 48-28 pythag. record), one up in loss column
Opponents This Week: Mon. OFF, vs. Brewers (three games, Tues. to Thurs.), @ Mets (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results
Categories : Polls
  • Jimmy McNulty

    Five, middle of the road. We all got a good look at the things the Yankees do well this week. The farm’s been struggling as of late, but they had probably their best year in a while last season so it’s expected that they drop a bit. I’m nervous about Cashman leaving, I don’t agree with all the moves he makes or even some of the non-moves he makes…but overall I think he’s doing a pretty good job. He’s about as good as a GM will get for a team like the Yankees.

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

      I don’t recall you mentioning being nervous about Cashman leaving before this week.

      Is this some fear you’ve had all season long and are just now expressing, or did you really get so dramatically shaken up by that “turning preexisting hypotheticals into a quasi-journalistic story” Buster Olney post that the possibility of Cashman leaving has jumped right into the front of your cerebral cortex?

      • CP

        “turning preexisting hypotheticals into a quasi-journalistic story” Buster Olney post

        But he had quotes!

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

          HEARD THIS: Rival talent evaluators think there’s a chance Theo Epstein is displeased with the quality of Reuben sandwich he ordered for lunch yesterday.

          • AndrewYF

            “Who Jason Place’d this sandwich?”

      • Jimmy McNulty

        His contract is up at the end of the year, I’m not the only one who’s worried he might leave. Honestly I think he’ll stay, but this is definitely the most worried I’ve been about him leaving in a while. Prior to the Olney story, I’ve been nervous with the blunt honesty that he’s been showing everywhere and the public dismay he expressed over the Soriano signing and to some extent the Jeter signing. Now that there’s a big name corroborating the story to some degree, I’m a bit nervous. The Yankees are probably not as easy to run as most people would think and Cashman’s done a pretty good job running the team, and quite a bit better job than most GMs would do. The fact that he might leave has to have you at least somewhat nervous, no?

  • CP

    I noticed that ESPN had a typo in their standings. They had the Yankees listed over the Red Sox, and the Red Sox were listed as 0.5 GB. I was under the impression that the Red Sox were the best team in the history of baseball and were guaranteed to win the next 10 World Series.

    Seriously, though, the team has the best record in the AL, the best run differential in baseball, and they still expect to get a bunch of help back off the DL in the second half. Add it up and I’m at a 10.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Really? Even with Gordon in the rotation? Even with the uncertain future of the GM? I mean, they’re a good team, but they have some serious weaknesses. Everyone else does too, but I’d find it hard to be a 10 with a team that has Brian Gordon in the rotation. The best record in the AL and best run differential could change later this week too, it’s nothing commanding at this point.

      • CP

        Gordon is in the rotation in name only. I would be surprised if he makes another start.

        The Yankees have two starters on track to return from the DL in the next couple of weeks that would currently slot in at 2 and 3 in the rotation. They also have a lefty bat off the bench coming back and potentially an elite setup reliever.

        Despite missing all of those pieces, they are currently the best team in baseball, so I really have no concerns about this year.

        As for the longer term, the team has made it to the playoffs 14 of the last 15 years and won 5 World Series in that time. There’s nothing in their history or their current situation that would make me expect any of that to change.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Gordon is in the rotation in name only. I would be surprised if he makes another start.

          There’s really only one rock in the rotation, when you have four sketchy guys in the rotation you should learn to not expect things like this.

          The Yankees have two starters on track to return from the DL in the next couple of weeks that would currently slot in at 2 and 3 in the rotation. They also have a lefty bat off the bench coming back and potentially an elite setup reliever.

          Hughes is further away than you think and Bartolo hasn’t made a rehab start yet, lets not say that Gordon’s out of the rotation just yet. We can hope for the best, but I would have hoped that we’d learn to temper our expectations when it comes to rehabbing pitchers. They still have the best run differential, but two weeks ago they were swept by the Red Sox at home and were in a pretty rough spot. It’s cliché but don’t judge a team when it’s playing it’s best or it’s worst.

          As for the longer term, the team has made it to the playoffs 14 of the last 15 years and won 5 World Series in that time. There’s nothing in their history or their current situation that would make me expect any of that to change.

          Well the guy that was at the helm for most of that might leave, so there is that…

          • Ted Nelson

            You’re pointing to potential negatives that haven’t even happened as the one and only reason to put the Yankees less than 1/2 way up the confidence scale?

          • CP

            There’s really only one rock in the rotation, when you have four sketchy guys in the rotation you should learn to not expect things like this.

            And yet, the Yankees still have the 4th best ERA in the AL (second best on the road, away from the friendly confines of new Yankee Stadium).

            Just because the names aren’t the big names doesn’t mean they’re not performing or won’t perform.

            • Clay Bellinger

              “Just because the names aren’t the big names doesn’t mean they’re not performing or won’t perform.”

              Yeah, It’s been three months now. They’re not just flukes anymore.

              • Jimmy McNulty

                200 innings is still a pretty small sample size for a starting pitcher. Look at the differences between James Shields’ 2010 and 2011, same for Beckett, AJ, Vargas, and a few others.

                • Clay Bellinger

                  Ok, pitchers numbers can fluctuate. That is well known. I’m not sure what your point is.

                  • Jimmy McNulty

                    That they still can be flukes…mainly looking at Nova and Garcia at this point. If Colon returns back healthy still throwing the same stuff, he should continue to have a good season.

                    • Clay Bellinger

                      Sure, they can be flukes, but the guys that you referred to, like Beckett and Shields, are not comparable. I’m also not sure why people expect Garcia to fall off a cliff. He may not keep this up, but he was decent last year with similar stuff.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      They can be flukes, they can not be flukes. The Yankees may pick up a starter at the deadline, they may not. Colon and Hughes may come back strong, they may not. Someone like Warren may get a call up and do pretty well, he may not.

                      I can see being at a 5 (or worse) on any of those particular issues. When weighing those issues along with one of the top offenses in baseball, good pitching overall despite injuries, a good farm, vast financial resources, and other more 50/50 type propositions (Cashman leaving, Cashman getting replaced by a worse GM, Jesus call-up, Chavez health, Andruw Jones/some other 4th OF getting it together)… I don’t see why you give them so much weight that you bring your confidence in the whole organization down to a 5.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              One of the guys that was a huge part of that (PUN!!!!!) just started throwing off a mound again…and another guy leads the majors in LD% against.

              • CP

                Colon has thrown roughly 11% of the Yankees innings so far, so it’s not that huge a part.

                And the Yankees are likely to get Colon and Hughes back pretty soon, which would possibly bump Garcia out of the rotation and thus alleviate your concerns.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  He’s started an eighth of their games despite not being in the rotation at the start of the season and being on the DL. That’s a huge part.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I don’t see why you equate not having thrown off a mound from a hamstring injury with will never come back and be a good pitcher again. Yankees might even want him to take it as slow as possible to rest his shoulder/legs/gut/chins to be as fresh as possible down the stretch and into the playoffs.

                    • Jimmy McNulty

                      I was stating that he’s further away than most people think…

                    • Ted Nelson

                      “I was stating that he’s further away than most people think…”

                      A. Based on what?

                      B. Is a longer rest for an historically injury-prone middle-aged pitcher with a stem cell arm really the worst thing long-term? You seem particularly worried about the rotation going into the playoffs. If the Yankees make the playoffs and Colon is a legit #2 in the playoffs… I’d think you’d weigh that a lot more heavily than missing a few weeks in June/July.

                      As much as you seem to hate Brian Gordon, the guy has gone up against two of the best offenses in MLB his first time as an MLB starter… his first year or whatever as a pro starter period… and held his own. Yankees didn’t get crushed his last outing because of Gordon, but because of Noesi. If Gordon gets a shot against some weaker offenses he might more than hold his own. I don’t want him in the rotation, but as a 5th starter I’m also not terrified of him.

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

                      I was stating that he’s further away than most people think…

                      Based on what, though? That he hasn’t thrown a rehab start? He may not need to throw a rehab start, not everyone does. He’s already done running, agility drills, and thrown off a mound; he’s throwing 50 pitches in a simulated game today. He didn’t have a mechanical issue that needs a detailed rehab, he had a minor tweak of a hammy and has passed all his rehab tests without issue. As long as those 50 pitches go fine tomorrow — and we have no reason to believe that they won’t — he can jump right back into the rotation without any further delay.

                      You’re stating that he’s further away than we all think not based out of any actual evidence, just based on your own gut. And to be frank, your own gut always assumes the worst, in spite of the evidence to the contrary, so we have no reason to listen to your gut. It’s an unreliable narrator.

                  • CP

                    But, again, he wasn’t in the rotation at the start of the season and he’s on the DL now, so how big a part could he really have been? (the answer is 11%)

                    So, assuming he comes back and pitches the way he was for the whole second half of the season, the team should be even better (they’ll have him for 1/5 of the starts and not 1/8).

                    Add to that Hughes coming back and I’m even more confident in an improvement in the pitching.

                    Finally, I expect the Yankees to add a starter before the deadline.

                    • The BIG 3

                      All this Colon stuff…

                      Yeah, he’s been great, and, yeah, I know that innings count concerns supposedly aren’t as applicable with an older, experienced pitcher, but that said:
                      62.1
                      39.0
                      99.1
                      56.1

                      Those are Bart’s last 4 years. This year? 78.1 already.

                      I will absolutely not rely on this guy to start playoff games. No way, and I hope Cash isn’t either.

                      Since before the season started, this team has needed at least one more front-line starter. That hasn’t changed.

                    • CP

                      The big difference is that this is the first year it seems like his shoulder is healthy.

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

                      Carl Pavano has thrown 528.2 innings in the past two and a half years. Since leaving the Yankees, he hasn’t missed a single scheduled start.

                    • The BIG 3

                      Yeah, and he’s rocking too. But that said, when you also include that he didn’t pitch at all last year (along with those other years I did post), are you really expecting 150+ IP out of the guy?

                      That’s a real lot to expect.

                    • The BIG 3

                      Yeah, but Pavano was awful that first year back. It took until his next year before he put up decent numbers.

                      You are right, though, that he was able to pitch that entire first year back without his arm falling off or other serious injury occurring.

      • Ted Nelson

        I also went 10. It’s a different scale than you’re using. They are in first place with a strong farm system… and you went with a 5. My scale breaks the league up, 3 teams 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. To me the Yankees are one of the top 3 organizations in the league… so 10. To me a 5 seems utterly ridiculous… because I’m using a different scale than you. To me a 5 would imply that the Yankees are a middle of the road organization… you know, because 5 is closer to 1 than 10.

        Brian Gordon is likely in the rotation temporarily, and he’s held his own against two of the top 5 offensive teams in baseball anyway. Very few teams have 5 MLB ready aces just sitting in AAA waiting for other pitchers to get hurt, not everyone can be the Red Sox.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Fair enough…but the man that’s been largely responsible with fielding the team for the better part of the past two decades might be gone. That has to at least put a dent in your longterm confidence too, no?

          Most teams have at least one crappy pitcher in the rotation, the Yankees have three…there’s weaknesses. They’re good enough to overcome them by and large, but if they were to go to the postseason with the team they had right now would your confidence still be a ten?

          • Ted Nelson

            “That has to at least put a dent in your longterm confidence too, no?”

            Not really. He may or may not be gone and the guy that they replace him with may or may not be any worse than him. It raises a question, but I don’t feel the need to answer that question right now. If Cashman leaves and they hire, I don’t know, Omar Minaya or Randy Levine as GM… then I’ll radically change my confidence level. Right now the possibility of something maybe happening and another thing maybe happening just doesn’t kill my confidence. Cash may be back. The guy they replace him with should he leave may be better than Cash.

            “Most teams have at least one crappy pitcher in the rotation, the Yankees have three…there’s weaknesses.”

            Which teams only have 1 “crappy” pitcher in their rotations? If by “most” teams you mean “one or two teams in the entire MLB”… ok, I agree. Most teams have a lot of crappy pitchers, and that’s part of the reason most teams are worse than the Yankees.

            “if they were to go to the postseason with the team they had right now would your confidence still be a ten?”

            If they make the post-season at all, my confidence would be higher than 5. There are 14 teams in the AL. 4 of them make the playoffs. Divisional inequalities aside, making the playoffs would put the Yankees in the top 29% of the AL. I would be at least an 8 if they make the playoffs at all.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              I think Cashman is about as irreplaceable a GM as there is. He’s done a pretty damn good job with the Yankees, and the spectre that he may leave looms large in my mind. I find it hard to believe that the organization can replace him and not miss a beat.

              • CP

                If Hank or George were in charge, then I’d be much more worried.

                With Hal in charge, I expect either Cashman will stay or he will bring in a suitable replacement. My money is on Cashman staying with a sizable raise.

              • Ted Nelson

                I find both Oppenheimer and Eppler to be intriguing internal candidates. I would be cool with either of them taking over if that’s who the Yankees want. Newman I’m like 50/50 with.

                This is still the Yankees organization. Just like when they need a reliever they go out and get Rafael Soriano, when they need a GM they might go out and get one of the best externally. Big names don’t always mean they’re actually good GMs, but I’d still put it at about 50/50 they get a good GM.

                The GM doesn’t have to replace Cashman 100%. If he’s good but not as good as Cashman… it’s a marginal change. Hurts a little, but it’s not a huge blow.

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

                I find it hard to believe that the organization can replace him and not miss a beat.

                And I find it hard to believe that the confidence in the organization can be downgraded for replacing him and subsequently missing a beat when A) we don’t even know if we have to replace him and B) we haven’t even considered who we might replace him with if we actually do have to replace him.

                Slow down.

    • YanksFan

      Did you catch Kruk at the end of Baseball Tonight yesterday? Saying Boston is the best but somehow/someway the NYY always end up better than their team looks. Especially offensively. He sounded like an idiot.

      • Cris Pengiuci

        Kruk sounded like an idiot? I can’t believe that! :-)

        • Jimmy McNulty

          The Yankees do always end up being better than the perception, though.

          • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

            But I thought we were a bunch of overpaid underachievers?

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Oh they have their fair share of those too…looking your way Soriano.

          • BklynJT

            It’s hard not to when the world examines everything that goes wrong with this team, and all their rabid fans run to the closest bridge when the slightest thing goes wrong. The Yankees aren’t the problem, it’s the perception we have to change.

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

            The Yankees do always end up being better than the perception, though.

            Perhaps we should use that tidbit of information to question the way we build our perceptions of the Yankees. If they consistently end up better than our perceptions, maybe our perceptions are skewed too pessimistically.

            (wink wink nudge nudge say no more)

            • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

              MTE.

            • Ted Nelson

              But there’s a fault line somewhere in New York state that may someday shake the stadium and cause a Tex HR to fall for a 2B, so therefore I am going to say that the Yankees are a middle-of-the-road organization and we should expect an earthquake every game. Brian Cashman might even leave for fear of catastrophic earthquake, so I’ve had to factor this into my analysis too.

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

                I’ve preemptively dropped my Fan Confidence Poll rating for the week of July 4th, 2011 to a 3, because I’m afraid of the new thing to be afraid of that Buster Olney is going to write about this coming Thursday. I don’t know what it is yet, but it terrifies me and I’m sure that it’s going to cause a prolonged slump of losing. Our days of 27 championships in 86 years are over. We’re the new Washington Senators. Say hello to 4th place every year.

              • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

                I must say, I quite like you, Ted Nelson.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              I picked the Yanks to win the WC this year, I see no reason to change that now. First year I’ve been a fan where I didn’t pick them to win the division.

              • CP

                You think they’ll win the WC and make the playoffs, but only vote a 5?

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  I hate this “seven is an average” scale. Five’s average…and making the playoffs when you have the highest payroll in baseball is nothing to be satisfied with, were not the Mets or the Cubs here.

                  • CP

                    So, because the Yankees have a high payroll, that makes you lower your confidence?

                    In other words, if the Yankees had a lower payroll you would be MORE confident in them?

                    One of the reasons I voted a 10 is because they have the highest payroll in baseball (plus a cash cow to allow them to raise it even more if needed).

                    • Jimmy McNulty

                      Higher payroll means higher standards.

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

                      Higher payroll means higher standards.

                      Fine. That’s the way you want it, no complaints.

                      The problem, and this is what you keep failing to grasp, is that the 2011 Yankees have not failed to meet those higher standards you have.

                      They just haven’t, not yet. But you’re docking them as if they already have, and every new piece of information — positive or negative — you spin as being a potential disaster moving them further away from those high standards you have.

                      You have diminished confidence in the Yankees meeting the higher standards you have based on future contingencies that may or may not happen that you’re treating as if they are all fait accompli and all of them will happen in the negative. That’s a bit paranoid and wholly unrealistic.

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

                    Five’s average…and making the playoffs when you have the highest payroll in baseball is nothing to be satisfied with.

                    You act like this Yankees team is built with the intention of just making the playoffs and will promptly get swept after that, and will be “satisfied” with that outcome.

                    Batshit insane.

                    • Jimmy McNulty

                      I don’t know where you got that, where do you think Brian Cashman, Mark Newman, Hal Steinbrenner, or Damon Oppenheimer’s confidence is? They know there’s work to be done, and I’m sure they’re working their hardest to make sure that the holes get patched and the injured players are able to return as effective and as quickly as possible. That’s part of the reason the thought of Cashman leaving has me worried.

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

                      Keep moving those goalposts, buddy.

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

              I agree with this, but I think this year is the first time I can really say they’re outperforming my expectations. That’s just because of the rotation, I expected nothing from Garcia and Colon and little from Burnett and Nova, and I think with good reason. They’ve basically hit the best case scenario for each guy, or at least three out of four.

              • CBean

                This. Given that our pitching was so suspect at the start of this year, I think it’s pretty awesome where we are right now and hopefully once we get back some of our pieces (Phil!) we’ll be even stronger.

              • Ted Nelson

                “I expected nothing from Garcia and Colon and little from Burnett and Nova, and I think with good reason. They’ve basically hit the best case scenario for each guy, or at least three out of four.”

                I disagree with this. Basically I think they’ve exceeded your expectations by so much because I think (and thought all off-season) that your expectations were unreasonably low.

                I gave you good reasons to expect something (not this much luck, but something solid) from Garcia all off-season. Your expectations were very low on him, but I don’t think that means those were the most reasonable expectations. This was a guy who averaged 1.1 fWAR/79 IP the past two seasons, so I don’t see why you are surprised he’s at 0.9 fWAR through 79 innings this season. It’s right in line with his historical performance. A bit low even.

                Burnett and Nova haven’t actually been good, so this is more or less what I expected. I think you and others spent all off-season acting like pitchers are either aces or scrubs without much appreciation for the grey area between. Without injury it’s not that common for a Javy-level blow-up. After last season I think people acted like that was the norm. “Bad” starters who still give you innings and keep their ERAs in the 4-5 range still give an offense like the Yankees a good chance to win. There are a lot of those kind of guys between the CC’s and 2010 Javy’s of the world.

                I do think it’s totally fair to say that Colon has blown reasonable expectations out of the water.

                • CP

                  I do think it’s totally fair to say that Colon has blown reasonable expectations out of the water.

                  It’s like he did a cannonball into a swimming pool of reasonable expectations.

            • Tom Swift

              People use the ranking for different purposes. I would guess that only a minority use it consistently to make an objective judgment about the team’s chances. (And of the people who do, we have the problem that each person has a different scale.) Some people use it to “punish” the team for something they did that week that displeased them. Some people come up with a rank that is on the low side, out of a superstitious idea that it’s better to have low expectations.

      • David, Jr.

        It was moronic. The Yankees have the highest run differential in baseball. What was he talking about?

  • YanksFan

    I’m at my usual 9. One of the better teams in the Majors & one of the better minor league systems. Disapponted in some of the minor leaguers but overall happy. People have to realize that there are not that many Studs in the minors overall. NYY have some Studs and lots of depth to make moves.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Brackman’s probably the most disappointing guy in the minors. It’s hard to get too down since they weren’t really relying him the same way they did on Hughes or Joba, but he’s been just awful. Hopefully he’s just hurt and will get better soon, but man…

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t think many people had Brackman higher than their 3rd best pitching prospect. Manny and Dellin haven’t had dream seasons, but when you’re that disappointed in their 3rd best pitching prospect I find it to be a good sign that you’re overly critical. I mean I agree Brackman’s been awful, but you seem to focus on the negative to the point of losing sight of reality.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          IIRC the CW was Manny, Brackman, Betances…at anyrate his season’s been a downer. That being said no one really thought he’d be much more than a September call up, anyways. Not like when Hughes went down in 2008 or when Joba went down in 2008, or any of the other litany of missed opportunities with that guy.

          • Ted Nelson

            CW?

            BA is one of the most respected (the average of a bunch of opinions, not one opinion), and they had Brackman #78 and Betances #43 and Manny #41.

      • Reggie C.

        Yeah. Brackman’s development has swerved off course and now it appears he’s injured. But at the end of the day, he’s just one pitcher. Adam Warren has handled triple A well.

  • Cris Pengiuci

    Still at an 8. The team, even with 3 of it’s top pitchers on the DL (+ Marte & Felciano)and it’s starting SS out for a bit longer, is in first place. The organization is resiliant enough, smart enough and rich enough to weather any storms that may approach. There may be a bump in the road here and there over the next few years, but this organization will remain contenders for the foreseeable future.

    • Cris Pengiuci

      Correction: 4 (!) of it’s top pitchers out. (Can’t believe I forgot about Hughes! Guess he’s been out so long he slipped my mind)

  • PhillyMatt

    I am a 7. However, I thought the season is over. The series this week between the Red Sox and the Phillies is a preview of the world series and all the other games don’t matter because the msm says these are the two best teams in baseball, yadda, yadda, yadda… why play the rest of the season?

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ ESPN

      True dat muthafucka

  • bonestock94

    Back to a 7 with Colon and Hughes’ rehabs going well.

  • Adam B

    9, would be 10 if we had 1 more real pitcher on our roster.

  • Reggie C.

    7.

    An AJ Burnett melt down would’ve really put a downed on the week but he avoided it. Glad to see Aj limit the damage. CC is on the march to another 20 win season and Nova looks to have found consistency in the dictionary.

    The team does need Colon back ASAP. This Brian Gordon experiment just shouldn’t go on too much longer.

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

      Meh, I don’t think Brian Gordon will make another start for the Yankees, but if he does make one, two or even three more starts, it’s far from the end of the world. We’ll probably win a few of those three even in spite of Gordon’s mediocrity.

      No big deal.

  • David, Jr.

    First, my definitions.

    Time period:

    This year. Longer term, I am a 9.5, but this is for this year only.

    Meaning of ratings:

    10 – Overwhelming favorite to win World Series. Absolutely awesome team, even by historic Yankee standards.

    9.5 – Very close to that, but with a small flaw and/or very dangerous competition.

    9 – Quality of a slam dunk to make the playoffs, but with some definite flaws that keeps the rating from the above two.

    8.5 – Looks like a sure playoff team, just needs a few questions answered.

    8 – Playoff contender.

    7 – Looking very good by next year.

    Below that – Not even pertinent for the Yankees.

    Rating – Now up to a 9, from my prior 8.5.

    Reasons – Positives all over the place, namely a great lineup that has plenty of upside to get even better, as can be seen right now by the turnarounds of Swisher and Posada (I was wrong. Posada is not done); a tremendous outfield defense, particularly Gardner, arguably the best defensive player in baseball; excellent infield defense by Tex and ARod; decent depth; and a pitching staff that is holding together just fine now and has the potential to get much better with the return of Colon and/or Hughes. Beyond that, huge resources in dollars and excess prospects to get even better.

  • CS Yankee

    I’ve never been below a 7 and was a 10 during the start of 2010 as I thought the starters heading into the season were great (Javy as #4, Hughes at #5).

    Started this season a 8 because of the lack of SP and historical average of needing 6-7 (or more) because of injuries. As this has unwind, they have met every challenge (except home v. Sox) while having more than their share on the DL.

    Therfore, I’m raising it to a 9…from ss ball (Mason), to the AA B’s, to what Colon, Garcia, and Nova have done is quite above what anyone projected. Yes, we have a few bummers…Jete is now average and injured, Arod has turned into “Todd Helton” like (high average, less bombs), Joba gone for the year, Soriano infinate DL/suckiness, Cano has lost focus with the glove and the count, etc. However, this team is quite solid and could take it all come postseason with the talent on the team today.

    • David, Jr.

      I like your 9 (same as mine!), but my minuses are different. In particular, I believe that ARod and Cano are both positives, not negatives, two MVP caliber players who have been B+, but with huge upsides for the rest of the year, assuming good health for ARod.

      Jeter – The organization love for him (contract, # of at bats, leading off, etc.) is understandable from a business/image standpoint but not from a baseball standpoint. They act as if he is a .330 hitter with positive fielding numbers. This would be like Bernie Williams hitting 3rd and playing CF every day the year he “retired”.

      Starting Pitching Matchups in Playoffs and Series – I am a Bartolo Colon fan, but against Cliff Lee? AJ against Cole Hamels?

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      A-Rod is a bummer this year? 3.1 bWAR, 3.7 fWAR (he was worth 3.2 and 3.8 bWAR and fWAR, respectively, all of last year, btw) A-Rod? Also, Cano’s hackiness annoys me, but we only really look at him as a bummer because of 2011. He’s hardly a weakness on this team.

  • JFH

    Been a 5 all year. I see no reason to change. Same team, playoff contender, but not championship caliber. I am 1/2 way between very confident and no confidence.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      No confidence? Like, really?

      I’m not gonna haggle over voting a 5, though I’m glad others noticed that A-Rod’s Wingman/Jimmy McNulty/whatever he’s calling himself now takes every little bit of news and spins it as upcoming catastrophe, and uses pretty selective info to dump on the team. I just don’t get why, if you think they’re playoff caliber, you’d have no confidence in them winning the WS – not to mention the future.

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

        I just don’t get why, if you think they’re playoff caliber, you’d have no confidence in them winning the WS.

        Because in the playoffs, the best teams always win and the worst teams always lose.

        Sincerely,
        Irony

      • first time lawng time

        Timeout. Arod’s Wingman and JImmy McNulty are the same person?!

        My mind is blown.

      • first time lawng time

        Well, in his defense, there are scrub teams that make the playoffs and they’re the favorite to get eliminated in the first round (you know, the teams that shouldn’t even be in the playoffs, but are becaus of the division thing)

        I’m not saying the Yankees are a “scrub team,” just that that migh be what he means by a team able to make the playoffs but won’t win the WS.

        • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

          I’d see what you mean if these “scrub teams” didn’t frequently do pretty well for themselves. Sometimes it’s 2009 and everyone thinks the Twins will lose to the Yankees… but sometimes it’s 2006 and everyone thinks the Tigers will lose to the Yankees.

          At any rate, at this point it doesn’t look like the Yankees are gonna be that scrub team in the AL. I have no issue with people who think the Red Sox are better, but the AL West and AL Central seem pretty awful this year. That’s not to say it’s impossible that the Yankees lose to the eventual winner of that division because a. it’s baseball and random shit happens all the time, especially in the playoffs; b. we’re not even done with the season and maybe a team from one of those divisions becomes a real juggernaut. But if right now, you think the Yankees are a weak team, especially compared to the rest of baseball/the AL, I’m not sure what to say to you.

          • first time lawng time

            Yeah, it’s definitely too early, IMO, to determine whether or not a team will win the WS and who is the favorite.

      • first time lawng time

        Well, in his defense, there are scrub teams that make the playoffs but will probably be eliminated the first round. Not saying the Yankees are a scrub team, just that that might be what he means by a team likely to make the playoffs but won’t win the WS.

        • first time lawng time

          My bad. Ignore this post, please. I wrote the original one, but it wasn’t terr when the page loaded so I wrote it again. Sorry.

      • JFH

        I gues it is hard to pin down what the numbers mean for everyone. Each person voting has a different interpretation.

        All year I have been a 5 because I am neither completely pessimistic about them, but I do not see them as a championship caliber club, as currently constructed. The “future” beyond the season, I really do not consider into my voting.

        TSJC, I do not think the best club always wins the WS. But, the Yanks have won 27 simply by being the luckiest team or team that go the hottest at the right time.

        I have seen them win 7 in my lifetime. Usually they seemed to be a great team, rather than a lucky team. Although I think in 2000 they were not all that great.

        Thanks for taking time to reply. I often enjoy hearing what you and Bexy have to say.

        • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

          I get what you’re saying. I heavily weight this season when I vote in the confidence poll, but I also keep in mind the future. If, say, Cashman leaves and Randy Levine takes over as GM, that would really be the only thing that would cause my confidence in the future to plummet. At least for me, I can’t see myself voting lower than, say, six because I think this team will pretty much always compete. But hey, that’s me.

          I do think sometimes the clear best team in baseball wins the WS, of course. 2009 and 1998 are examples of that. But the 2000 Yankees were a pretty dang weak team. The 1996 Yankees should’ve been just happy to be in the World Series. Etc. Also, it’s easy to say they seemed good rather than lucky after the fact. I’ve “only” seen the dynasty years and 2009, and I’m not gonna try to analyze the goodness vs. luckiness of the dynasty years because I was so young and that’s probably pointless anyway.

          Bah, sorry for babbling on forever, hope this made sense. And thanks. :)

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

          Thanks for your input.

        • JFH

          I am sure you already figured it out, but it shoud say “But, the Yanks have not won”. Sorry for the mistake.

  • CMP

    7 for this year, 8 for the future.

    Colon and Hughes should be back pretty soon which should offset the almost inevitable regression of Garcia and any potential meltdown of Burnett in the 2nd half.

    Hopefully Soriano will be back soon and be able to at least hold down the 7th inning. Nunez has been showing he can an adequate fill in at SS. Posada and Swisher have been hitting lately and Gardner, Cano, Tex and A-Rod are rolling.

    The only weak link in the offense lately has been Martin and if he continues to play good defense and chip in with the occassional hit, catcher should be OK too.

    A real LOOGY in the pen would be nice though Logan has been better his last couple of outings.

    All in all, my confidence is at a season high.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      I hate commenting just to be like “durrr this” but yeah, all of this. I don’t think Logan has really turned it around and I would like a real LOOGY, but I dunno who’s available. It might just be something we have to kind of grin and bear. (It helps that D-Rob is extremely good against LHP this year, though. And hey, with Florida in a tailspin, maybe we CAN get Choate?)

  • MannyGeee

    I am staying at an 8. with all the injuries this team is enduring and still at a 4-2 record last week? I can handle that.

    a little disappointed that Becantes and Banuelos are not lighting the world on fire like they did in 2010 (I know, selfish Yankee fan), and that call ups to the big club this season have been relatively meh (non-Noesi Division)…

    However the moves Cashman has made in Gordon and Wade helps. and, don’t forget… plus Hughes and Colon should be back soon.

    Jesus is coming.