Sep
26

Thoughts following the official elimination

By
Looks like a dugout that just learned their season was over. (Maddie Meyer/Getty)

Looks like a dugout that just learned their season was over. (Maddie Meyer/Getty)

This was a question of when, not if. The Yankees were going to be eliminated from postseason contention at some point and that some point just so happened to be last night. As I said in the recap, it’s pretty amazing they were still in the race after 157 games. They should have been dead in the water weeks ago. Let’s start the eulogy:

1. I have absolutely no idea what to expect this offseason. Usually, after the season ends, we have a pretty good idea of what the Yankees will do over the winter, at least a general direction of some sort. This year? No idea. I could see them making serious changes — front office level changes — just as easily as I could see them tinkering and making little moves but nothing major. I could see them continue to target veterans or finally decide to go young. I really have no idea and that’s actually kinda exciting. Exciting and nerve-wracking. This is going to be the team’s most fascinating offseason in a long, long time. Maybe of my lifetime.

2. Just eyeballing the 40-man roster, the Yankees will have five open spots after the season. Twelve players are due to become free agents but six have to come off the 60-day DL, plus Frankie Cervelli has to come off the restricted list. Matt Daley, David Huff, and Mike Zagurski are under team control as arbitration-eligible players but are prime release/non-tender candidates, so it could be eight open 40-man spots. The Yankees have seven interesting at worst, very good at best prospects eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason — the list is in last week’s mailbag — so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the roster crunch this winter. Unless they go in-house to plug every hole (lol), they’ll need to make 40-man space for like two starting pitchers, half a bullpen, the left side of the infield, at least one outfield spot, and the bench.

3. I wonder if the Phillies would have any interest in Ichiro Suzuki this winter. They were reportedly one of the teams that offered him a two-year contract this past offseason — the Giants were the other — so maybe they’ll still want him for 2014. Obviously Ichiro has no trade value, but if the Yankees could flip him for like $2M in savings and a Grade-C prospect, they should jump all over it. Replacing a no-hit, all-glove fourth outfielder isn’t exactly difficult, so the move would be all about saving a few extra bucks under that all-important $189M luxury tax threshold. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. can’t help himself when it comes to big-name players. Maybe the Yankees will get lucky.

4. This season was cool for like three weeks and it started to suck after that, but it’s still going to be sad when the season ends on Sunday. Baseball is all about routine and come Monday that routine will be broken. Yeah, the playoffs are always fun, even when the Yankees aren’t involved, but it’s not the same. Regular season baseball has this everyday monotony that can be described as both beautiful and awful. Playing every single day is both the best and worst thing about baseball. As frustrating as the 2013 Yankees were for most of the summer, I’m really going to miss them. I’m not ready for the offseason yet.

Categories : Musings

93 Comments»

  1. David says:

    I have to admit I feel better today that I have the last few weeks. Like Red says, “Hope is a dangerous thing.” Now I can watch games without agonizing over things that don’t go well, and try to simply enjoy the last of Andy and Mo (please let him play CF!!).

  2. I'm One says:

    This season was cool for like three weeks and it started to suck after that

    I definitely disagree with your opinion here. Until the sweep by the Red Sox earlier this month, I found this season much more exciting than previous years where the team was pulling away from the pack in September. More nerve-wracking for sure, but better than just waiting around for the playoffs to begin and hoping the team doesn’t go flat.

    • The Lime says:

      I agree. The past month or so has been quite exciting. Though it’s disappointing to see the Yankees not make it, it’s a lot easier to deal with when you don’t expect them to even have a chance, which I didn’t going into the season.

    • Darren says:

      June and July were some of the worst months of baseball I’ve ever watched. Even in the Stump Merril years we at least had the false hope of the Baby Bombers riding to the rescue, and the excitement Of George getting banned. The Reid Brignac/David Adams Yankees will live on in infamy. Vernon Wells went like, 4 months between home runs. Ugh,that was just awful.

  3. mt says:

    As for your fourth point, playoffs are sad without Yankees but now that Yanks are eliminated I revert to my my own personal Yankee-centric flavor regarding the other teams in the playoffs.

    1) Root for Pittsburgh to lose so they have to play wild card game and possibly lose there (I don’t want to see Burnett and Martin play any longer than they have to. I have more against Burnett than Martin but still it is not something I want to see.) If Pirates win WC game, then root against Pittsburgh in future rounds.

    2) Although I have no great love for Texas and their manager Cokie Washington, I still root for them to push the Indians out (pretty unlikely given that Indians play horrible Twins and Texas plays a hot Angels team. Indians are pulverizing bad teams on their schedule unlike a certain team we know and love.)

    3) Since Indians will probably make it, hope Tampa hosts the wild card game – Indians seem to have walk-off magic at home.

    4) I don’t want to see Swisher in playoffs at all but if Indians make it and then do win wild card game against Tampa, at that point I will be cheering for the discarded Francona and embedded Yankee Swisher to take Red Sox down. That would make a loss in this round even more bitter for Red Sox fans. Red Sox will be favorites but a guy can hope.

    5) I of course want Red Sox to lose every game they play in playoffs but given their team I understand they may win some playoff series and even get to World Series – I don’t like it but it will be OK as long as they do NOT win World Series. Unfortunately looks like they win have home field in both AL rounds.

    • LK says:

      Why would you root for Pittsburgh to lose? They’ve been awful for 2 solid decades, Martin was a solid player for the Yanks (who wanted to return, they just didn’t want him back), and AJ was a major contributor to the most recent WS team and always seemed like a good guy even if his performance was bad in his final 2 years. I’ll be rooting for Pittsburgh to go all the way, including over Donnie’s Dodgers.

  4. kenthadley says:

    No need to have both Stewart and Cervelli on the roster with Romine and Murphy…one can be let go to open another slot.

    • I'm One says:

      I agree. My guess is that Cervelli is not brought back. And I hope Stewart isn’t either. Find a real starting catcher and use Romine or Murphy (if Romine isn’t healthy enough or get’s injured again) as the backup.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Agree. I’m also open to losing both the former on that one.

  5. yankonymous says:

    Donnie Baseball time

      • Wolfgang's Fault says:

        You mean Donnie B. in the Bronx next year? I’d be surprised if the Dodgers let him go even if their post-season ends early.

        If Girardi decides to move on, would be happy seeing Tony Pena become the new Skipper in ’14. Of course, I’d love to see Donny Baseball managing the Yankees at some point, but I just don’t see it happening right away.

        Will anarchy and/or mediocrity reign in 2014, or do the Yankees have an idea of what they’re going to do to rebuild this club? Should be real interesting.

  6. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I guess that, if I were to gather my feelings the day after being eliminated from the playoffs, I’m pretty at peace with it all. My gut is that I’ll actually look back at this 2013 team more fondly than even some recent playoff teams. Perhaps it’s that, in the end, many of us fans really will root for a bunch of perceived “lunchpail” guys that tried hard and overachieved, and that stories like Lyle Overbay playing the entire season at first after a two-day Spring Training tryout will stick in my mind over what kind of year any player had in 2010 versus 2011 versus 2005 or 2006.

    Everyone wanted to kill this team off in May. They weren’t killed off until September 25th. No matter how bad a two, or three, or four-game stretch looked (and this last one looks pretty bad), the big picture is of a team that kept on coming back. mick taylor thinks the team had no heart? mick taylor’s got no heart.

    They were who I thought they were. A team that was going to be for the fight of its life this season. Whether they survived or not was the question.

    The players did their part. It’s hard for me to be so black and white as to the front office as others were. I think the perceived 189 blueprint sucks from the perspective of the team being handicapped by what isn’t a minor number by the contracts they gave out when playing by a different set of rules. That just doesn’t seem fair to us fans. However, the team that was supposed to be on this field all season wasn’t the one that wound up playing, and I can’t fault the front office for injuries. I can fault ownership for tying Cashman’s hands during the last off-season, but how many of the “rumored” or “desired” guys, and not the pipe dreams like Stanton, etc., really wound up performing that well for other teams? Was Nate Schierholz really going to be that knight in shining armor? Russell Martin? SCOTT HAIRSTON?! They didn’t do enough. I’m just not sure the market offered enough to do, in the end, had they truly tried. If anything, this off-season offers the opportunity to get it right this time, if this market is any better. I agree 100% with Mike in that I have no idea what the off-season will bring. Every option put out there by you guys seems plausible to me, which is why I roll my eyes when someone is convinced they’ve got the offseason figured out.

    They are who I thought they were going to be several years ago when I did the math – a team searching for a new identity when the players who defined them for so many years got old, and a team that would struggle to find that new identity. No matter what has broken right or wrong with trades, the farm, etc., I feel as if the franchise HAS to go through this period of figuring out who the Yankees are going to be next and that there was little way of getting around it. I always thought it’d happen in the middle part of this decade. Here we are. There are places where it hasn’t started well but, if a mid-80 win season is as bad as it gets, I’ll take that. I’ve lived through worse with this team, and I never thought we were going to be exempt from struggle moving forward.

    I feel bad for the not-so-younger fans (really, you guys aren’t young – you’re in your mid-20′s. There a teenager out there who already thinks you’re an old fuck) for whom this is their first taste of adversity, but that’s just a function of timing. At only ten years younger than those fans, the first WS champion I can remember happened when I was 18. Y’all just showed up a pretty good time. :)

    In conclusion, I’m not happy as to how the 2013 season ended but, yes, I’m proud of my 2013 New York Yankees, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change my mind on that.

    *cue funeral music*

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “Ten years OLDER than those fans.”

      Honestly, I have no desire to be a teenager. They’re always broke and listen to Skrillex.

    • thenamestsam says:

      Well said. I’ll remember this as a team I thought was dead in the water 10 or 15 times and just wouldn’t go away. In the end it just really wasn’t their year and they didn’t have quite enough, but I’m at peace with it. Start the countdown to pitchers and catchers. There’s always next year.

    • Darren says:

      Agree with RT, especially about the lack of great options this past off-season. It wasn’t like there were a host of great outfielders to choose from. I couldn’t get that worked up about losing Martin, or Swisher for that matter. There was just a bad confluence of events that lead to a struggling team.

      I also disagree with Mike that we only had 3 good weeks of baseball. I thought we had a fun April and May (back when Lyle, Vernon and Travis were pretty decent) and a pretty fun few weeks after we got Soriano and ARod back. The end of the season fizzled just like it did in ’93.

      On a random side note, I’m not that enamored with Brendan Ryan. Yeah he’s got range like a bastard, but he’s kind of butterfingery. He’s had like, 8 or 10 bad plays in just a few weeks.

    • YES says:

      No actually you said this team was going to be just fine and mocked fans that worried about it being successful. Nice spin job though, idiot.

    • dkidd says:

      you stole my eugoogoolie!

  7. Shittyshittybangbang says:

    Well….., that’s that. Where do we “approximately” pick in the amateur draft ?

  8. af says:

    I’m a lifelong Yankees fan, but I have to admit that I am pleased with this result. Ownership’s arrogance (or incompetence) last offseason led to a team with no real chance to be a winner. I would not want to see that arrogance rewarded with a share of the postseason purse.

    • The Other Sam says:

      I always hate to see the team lose, but I have to agree with you completely. I suspect we can look forward to the ‘arrogance (or incompetence)’ continuing this season and beyond.

    • LazzariScooter says:

      Forgot about the historic amount of injuries, A-rod’s career implosion and Sabbathia’s sudden complete ineffectiveness?

      Keep hating on the false, yet popular, narrative but don’t place false blame on management for other grievousness.

  9. The Lime says:

    I hope the Mo and Andy finish off the season with excellent play (perhaps in CF)

    While I hope the team goes 0-4 for the remainder of the season to get a higher spot in the draft, I hope the soon to be FAs absolutely kill it in these last four games.

    Next year, I’m not even sure if the team can contend if they want to stay under 189mm. Yeah, they’re getting some big contracts off of the books, but the FA talent and the lack of bullets for trades might simply be too much of a barrier. This might even be the case unless they’re willing to completely dominate this FA class with absolutely no regard for a budget, which seems like more of a stretch to me.

    …so if they’re not going to be competitive in 2014, why not just deal their remaining pieces this offseason? While I really doubt this happens, imagine the waves that they’d create throughout the game. Were this the case, I bet the following CBA would be really interesting.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I hope they go 4-0 with four straight perfect games.

      • Darren says:

        yes! And I want Andy to get his perfect game on 27 pitches – all ground outs to the pitcher. And Cano hits for the homerun cycle (granny, 3 run, 2 run, solo shot), Ichiro steals home, Nunez turns an unassisted triple play, Well goes 6-6,and Zoilo Almonte stays at third and doesn’t get tagged out.

    • Dan says:

      I agree, they should go into all out rebuilding mode next year, and plan on being good again in 2016. Ideally Tex and CC would both come back strong and then you move them (and eat a lot of salary) at the deadline.

      It’s going to be two or three shitty years that could set the franchise up for the next decade.

  10. pat says:

    Cano asked for $300 million? Wish we traded him in the offseason.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/w.....om-yankees

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I know a guy who could do better than that.

      Love,
      The guy who wrote the article you just cited

    • CashmanNinja says:

      The $300 mil is just a ploy to get the highest contract possible. Of course he gives a high number early on; then the Yanks match with another til they agree on something. The problem is that I see that number and then the highest number I’m truly comfortable with is half of what he’s asking. If he wants more than that then he can be shown the door. He’s a great player, but I’m tired of overpaying players for past performance — which is what would happen if we lock him up to a huge contract and then have to deal with his decline years…like with A-Rod.

      I really, really, really hope they let Mo play center field tonight. Imagine how great it’d be if Mo played CF and then got to come in and pitch the last inning. His career is just about over, we’re officially out of the playoffs, we have nothing to lose. Do this for Mo and the fans!

  11. Coolerking101 says:

    This has to have been the most frustrating Yankee season I’ve witnessed since the early 90′s. We knew going into this year this was the last gasp for the old crew. Nevertheless, the team cheaped out during free-agency, leading to, at a minimum, an absolute debacle at the catcher and RF positions. The lack of production from those positions is, IMO, the difference between making the playoffs and not.

    Then at the trade deadline, when the season is all but over, rather than retool/rebuild by offloading Hughes for a B level prospect and Cano for king’s ransom, the Yanks went “all in” (5 months late) and traded a young, live arm for Soriano. Yes, Sori helped make 3 weeks of baseball more interesting, but ultimately, the move hurts the team. If the Yanks were serious about 189 and remaining in contention in 2014, getting major league ready prospects for Cano (and resigning him in the Winter) was the only option.

    Now where are we? Hal and Co are going to reduce payroll to 2004 levels (and I’m sure ticket prices will go down to 2004 levels as well, right?). The core players under contract, Jeter, CC, ARod and Tex are unlikely to produce at an All-Star level ever again. The team won’t be able to replace the production of Rivera, Kuroda or Pettitte through FA b/c the FA market is weak. And b/c the 189 limit was decided on with little planning, the minor league system is not in position to contribute much of anything other than #5 type starters and relievers.

    I don’t think the Yankee future has looked this bleak since I was kid and the Yankee brass talked about about “Pride & Power” while they trotted out losers like Claudel Washington, Ken Phelps & Jesse Barfield.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Barfield was on the decline, but I don’t think his numbers as a Yankee those first two seasons make him a “loser.”

      Washington played all of 33 games for the Yankees in 1990 and was a respectable performer for them in ’87 and ’88.

      Ken Phelps can go fuck himself.

      There were plenty of losers on those teams. I’m not sure those first two were two of them.

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth says:

      +1

      The most frustrating part of the upcoming rebuilding process is that the front office’s lack of vision, strategy or planning has put the team in a position where the rebuilding will be much more ugly and difficult.

  12. steves says:

    For a start the Yanks need to walk away or jettison all of the following (quite frankly I don’t care who they replace them with but I’d hate to go into next season with any of these guys on the roster):

    Stewart; Grandy; Wells; Overbay; Reynolds.

    No tears either if Kuroda and Arod are gone for good.

    Assuming we’ve seen the last of Hafner, Nix, Youkilis, Joba, Hughes.

    Should be lots of room on the roster once the trimming begins.

    If we need to live through a rebuild let it be with younger, healthier, hungrier players who, even if they end up being rejects, won’t be as likely to phone in it like the bunch of old broken down rejects or no-talents we suffered through this year.

    • mitch says:

      I agree with your premise, but I wouldn’t say the squad of broken down rejects phoned in it. They easily could have bent over and taken it hard like the Red Sox last year, but these guys actually fought until the end. They just weren’t good enough.

      • steves says:

        Mitch, since the Orioles series they phoned it in against the Red Sox, Jays and Rays (totally non-competitive) and that loss on Sunday against the Giants was pathetic. Wells and Grandy has some of the worst at-bats I’ve ever seen. I agree that the players the Yanks trotted out there the last few weeks were clearly not good enough but there’s a difference with not being good enough and not playing hard (with Ryan being an example of a guy who is not good enough but was playing extremely hard and with passion).

    • CashmanNinja says:

      If Kuroda is willing to come back for 1 year you pray he comes back. He fizzled out at the end, but that’s because he got tired. There was a time when he was in the Cy Young discussion and was #2 in the AL in ERA. He threw up some duds, but we had to ride him pretty hard because the ‘pen was struggling a bit and CC absolutely sucked. He was basically doing the work of 2 pitchers, and that isn’t even including guys like Phelps/Nova getting hurt and Hughes being Hughes. So if Kuroda comes back for a year there will be tears of joy. The rest can be replaced. Hell, I don’t even want them to make Granderson a qualifying offer in case he accepts. Yeah, 1 year at like $16 mil or whatever wouldn’t be the end of the world, but he disappeared at the end and was on the DL a lot this year (albeit he was hit by pitches). He’s still older and his defense absolutely sucks with his noodle arm.

      We have a lot of guys to get rid of. One guy I really want them to bring back is Brendan Ryan. I know his offense is very limited, but that defense…I love it. Considering Jeter’s injury and age, he’s better insurance than Nunez.

      • I’d like to see Ryan back too. Would come cheap and has a sick glove at a premium position.

      • steves says:

        I undertand Kuroda was great for the first part of the season but the guy threw batting practice for the last 2 months. If you are rebuilding why spend $15M+ on a guy with perhaps something left but who is clearly losing his legs?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Obviously, I’d want Cano (I’m just flat-out ignoring the report that’s starting to float around), Grandy (2-3 year deal), and Kuroda (fine with the Andy year-by-year plan) back.

        I’m interested in them targeting Garza and Tanaka. Concerned about price getting out of hand with Garza, so let’s see what the market dictates there, but I’d love him as an Andy replacement.

        I’d look at McCann, but I’d be fine with rolling with one youngster and one solid backup. Is our man Jose Molina an FA?

        Obviously, I’m thumbing my nose at 189 here, but it’s my plan and I can do whatever I want with it.

        I have no clue who plays third. Zip.

  13. John C says:

    I want to see the Indians host that wild card game with the Rays as the Rays are very hard to beat at home. Don’t want to see the Rays in the playoffs. Also becuase I would love to see Francona get a shot to stick it to the Red Sox and beat them in the 1st round. WOuld that be a great scene; watching Francona celebrate on the Fenway field while the Re Sox players and fans watch stunned and dejectedly from the dugout and stands?

    • Somehow this hadn’t crossed my mind until now. Yes though, I’m into it. Tito was one of the few Sawx I always kinda liked. It would be pretty cool to see him stick it to ‘em. Hope the the Big G gets a huge hit or something on the way.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’d want to see them in the playoffs more for Swish than Francona, but that’d be fun.

      I don’t dislike the Rays, at all, though. I’m fine with them getting in as well.

      As long as either take care of the rugged metrosexual mountain men of Boston, it’s fine by me.

      • I’m surprised at your lack of dislike for the Rays.

        I thought you were a fan all this time. You had me fooled.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I……don’t hate the Rays? I really don’t. I like how they just press a button and a 22 year-old really good pitcher just pops up. I like the glasses.

          • Ah I’m kidding with ya. They’re def on my hate list though. Top 5 for sure. Mainly because a) they’re in our division, b) the Mets fans that seem to love them, c) their “ballpark”, d) their “fanbase”, e) the players like Sam Fuld, James Loney, Dan Johnson, Casey Kotchman, etc. that somehow someway contribute to their success, and f)Joe Maddon.

            But.. I do dig the glasses.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              I just bought a nice pair of black titanium glasses. Suddenly I’m doing all sorts of “unconventional things.”

              I hate the stadium, but I think that’s a universal.

              I hate the post-2003 Marlins. I hate the post-2004 Red Sox. I don’t think I hate anyone else in baseball.

    • Pasqua says:

      I actually like watching the Rays, but I cannot handle watching the Rays in Tropicana Field. That hellhole deserves no attention.

  14. Leg-End says:

    At minimum they should cut loose the deadwood. Wells, Ichiro and Stewart have no business being on this team anymore, Hughes and Joba on the pitching side too.

    2014 should be a holding pattern re-build year if they are serious about 189, you never know they might find a blend of talent to even contend in 2014 but realistically they should build for 2015 right now.

    Promote aggressively out of Spring training rather than trading for someone else’s unwanted veterans, hope we get rebound injury free years from Tex and Jeter and CC finds his way again. I could live with another down year if I felt like the team was building for the future rather than trying to cling onto success.

  15. ialien says:

    given it is the steinbrenners that are responsible for the state of this team, i see no reason to have confidence in the future of this organization.

    Its nice that the stadium is pretty & the biggest statue in the building is george. That pretty much says it all about what ails this franchise: its all about the steinbrenners.

    until the yankees are purged from the sickening reign of the steinbrenners, look for infinite sadness on the horizon.

  16. Anyone else see MLB Trade Rumors’ story saying Cano is seeking $305MM over 10 years. Granted it’s a rumor and all speculative, but that’s crazy.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....305mm.html

    • Yah, just saw this pop up on my phone and cracked up.

      He’s not getting that, but might as well ask for the world.

      • yeah, I have no problem with players asking for any amount they want…but to me, asking for $310 means they might settle for say $280…and that’s still light years more than I’d give him.

        • Eh, depends on what he gets offered. If no one wants to give him 280 than he won’t get that either and with the Dodgers supposed lack on interest, it’s hard to see a team going that crazy.

          As we’ve seen in recent years though, FA can be pretty unpredictable. Only takes two teams to create a bidding war or one team to lose their minds.

    • Joel Sherman reporting that Cano and his reps asked for 10yrs/$310MM…Yanks balked (thank god) and the 2 sides haven’t spoken for months.

      https://twitter.com/Joelsherman1/status/383237319467085824

    • mt says:

      If Sherman is right and Yanks have already gone to 7 years at $23-$24 that is just about the absolute max I would pay and true negotiations haven’t even started yet. So seems that two options are: Yanks get absolutely hosed or Cano walks. The option of him signing a big, but nor outrageous, contract with Yanks may not happen.

      Also he may pull one of those where he tries to get an absolute high contract from Yanks but then after bad blood develops from his demands, he goes and signs somewhere else for less than what Yanks were willing to give him originally (sort of like one of the Damon negotiations between Boras and Cashman). Then Cano/JayZ/CAA can focus their spin on “I always wanted to play for Cubs or Nats or Mets or Tigers” and “I feel I can mentor the great young up and coming talent of (fill in the blank with team name here) that attracted me here.”

      Bigger question: who leaked all this stuff on the day Yanks were eliminated – Cano’s camp or Yankees? I assume Yankees because most fans will think a 10 year contract at $30.5 million or $31 million AAV ludicrous given his age (he is not Trout or Kershaw) and Arod/Pujols experience.

      • mt says:

        Biggest point is just because he demands $250 million or $300 million form Yanks and Yanks offer him say $180 he can eventually sign with another team for less than $180 million and spin it.

        Given state of Yanks team with the retirements, injuries, Arod suspension, and barren upper farm system, he may feel Yanks should pay more since they need him the most.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          No one is giving him that. He might as well have asked for $500 million.

          • WhittakerWalt says:

            Seriously. I can’t believe how incensed people are getting. It’s just a bargaining tactic. He could have asked for 100 BILLION DOLLARS, and it wouldn’t change the fact that he’s going to get whatever the Yankees think is fair or go somewheres else.

  17. HateMclouth (formerly I'mVernon) says:

    I get the feeling that there won’t be such a sense of urgency this winter like there was after ’08, simply because the FO will chalk 2013 up to injuries. Cash and Co. will fill the holes, obviously, but I feel as if the FO will fall into the trap of thinking we’re still a championship-caliber team when everyone is healthy.

  18. Ken says:

    Only Gardner and Cano hit better than Ichiro.

  19. CashmanNinja says:

    I’m thinking that right now my “postseason team” would be the Pirates. They’ve finally gotten out of the basement and they’ve got my favorite non-Yankee player, Andrew McCutchen. That is one exciting and humble player. The fan base is also very loyal (I’ve got a friend who has always been a Pirates fan) and it’s one of those teams that I feel would truly appreciate winning it all, kind of like the anti-Dodgers. I wouldn’t mind the Indians winning either because they do have some good players and I never hated Francona (only his team…which wound up screwing him). This is going to be a weird postseason, but as long as Boston doesn’t win then I’ll be ok.

    • YankeeFan says:

      There’s a lot of likable figures in the postseason this year:

      Detroit – Leyland & you have to respect Miguel Cabrera. He was going through a dark time in his life a few years ago and got himself straightened out. The way he’s going out there and still performing when you know he is hurting badly is amazing.

      Oakland – Bob Melvin and just a bunch of young guys who love to play ball.

      Atlanta – always a great product with some tough guys in Freeman & McCann to go along with Kimbrel and J. Upton.

      Cleveland – Giambi & Swisher

      Pittsburgh – McCutchen as you said and a ton of former Yanks including the two most notable in Martin and AJ. I know everyone has a bitter taste with AJ but he never made excuses here and always took the ball which was something of a surprise considering his injury history. He stepped up in the biggest game of his career in ’09 and kept the Yanks alive in ’11.

      Dodgers – Don Mattingly

      Cardinals – always just respect this franchise and their players. They might have the best organization in baseball right now.

    • Lukaszek says:

      Detroit – Not a single likeable person.

      Boston – Daniel Nava and maybe Pedroia, and only because I’m short so I’m biased towards shorter players.

      Los Angeles – Don Mattingly. However there’s too much Red Sox influence for me to like them.

      Cincinnati – No likeable players and I dislike the city for personal reasons.

      St. Louis – Actually a lot of their players are likeable shockingly. Huh.

      Cleveland – Giambi, Swisher, and Francona.

      Oakland – Many likeable players. Probably will be rooting for them.

      Pittsburgh – Same as above.

  20. YankeeFan says:

    I think Yankees finally have a chance to mix in youth with veterans. They have young guys ready to take important roles in the bullpen with Cabral and Dellin (would’ve been nice to see more of him than just 2.1 innings to this point), and you have a chance for a catching competition between Murphy and Romine. Again, I’ll be all for if the Yankees decide to open the wallet for a guy like McCann but if that is unsuccessful, you need to make Romine & Murphy become the potential successor.

    For the rotation, there’s a lot of praying that Pineda can actually be both healthy & effective at the same time but as fans that want to see this team succeed, even if it requires bumps in the road, seeing 3 under 30 pitchers in the rotation will go a long way towards next year and the future.

    That right there would be a good streamline of young guys to start and then the rest is in the farm system taking the hopeful next step to the big leagues with the OF trio, Sanchez, and so on.

    Now is the time for this organization have a gut check and let these guys fail and succeed.

  21. Vern Sneaker says:

    Just dreaming: I’m wondering if we shouldn’t explore a creative big trade involving Sabathia and Gardner. Try to get back a #3-type starting pitcher with a consistent track record, an OBP-type outfielder, and three high-quality prospects including a major league-ready outfielder and two starting pitchers. Re-sign Cano and Granderson and get McCann and Garza (Sabathia’s and A-Rod’s $$ gone). Ryan for SS, Jeter for DH and some SS (since nobobdy seems to think he can or would play 3B). A remaining hole in the starting lineup would be 3B and, as always, more pitching. But it’s a rebuilding start and, I think, within budget.

  22. Betty Lizard says:

    I’m on the 60-day DL with concussion-like symptoms as a result of this season.

    But while I convalesce I’ll be rooting for Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

  23. mt says:

    I have a problem with Swisher if he does well in playoffs after all these historically bad years in playoffs for us.

    But if Indians beat TB, I become a Swisher/Francona fan.

  24. JVC says:

    Interesting & entertaining commentary, glad I reviewed.

    Tough year indeed, made more frustrating by a horrible off-season, the self-imposed future salary cap, a minor league system which may only have bullpen arms available to help the big club next season and the Sox spanking the Yanks “at will” down the stretch, embarrassing. Also ecstatic Cashman talked George into letting him take complete control of our minor league system and “fix” structure, talent selection, development and overall strategy.

    For my own clarity (more like sanity): Is it ownerships’ (Hal) stated position that the $189M salary is a one year event to reduce luxury tax % penalty?

    AND once achieved, will Yanks again behave ( albeit, a bit more moderately than George) as a wildly profitable organization in the largest U.S. market?

    True, or ownership/ front office posturing?

    Thx for the help.

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