May 17, 2007


Too Late for Yanks To Turn It Around? (STEVEN GOLDMAN, May 17, 2007, NY Sun)

In his novel "Mother Night," the late Kurt Vonnegut laid out this maxim: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." The Yankees have been pretending to be a losing team for nearly a quarter of the season, and it's worth asking whether they are now what they appear to be. [...]

In truth, the team's problems were foreseeable, if not to their fullest extent. Most who hedged on the Yankees focused on the team's lack of an ace starter, but Brian Cashman had arranged good pitching depth, something that has only been augmented by the Clemens signing. The real problem was on offense, where it was assumed that good performances by the stars would offset a pathetic bench and the inevitable injuries. But if Mickey Mantle can have an off year, then Bobby Abreu can, too.

History has shown these problems don't get fixed. The Yankees can do it, but their window for doing so narrows by the game and will soon close.

Bad defense and an aging core combined with a pitching staff where the two best arms are on a 45-year old and a 20-year old, who won't make forty appearances between them, is not just forseeably bad but inevitably bad.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 17, 2007 4:50 PM

Aging core -- Manny, Tek, Papi, Lowell, Schilling, Wake: check.

Bad defense? Once again, it is to laugh. As of this morning, the Yanks turn a higher percentage of balls in play into outs than almost any other team in the AL: at .725 they're 2nd in the AL behind Chicago, and 5th in all baseball.

But keep repeating that mantra.

It's May, sheesh, when will Sawx fans ever learn?

Ozzie said it best today: the Yanks always play poorly in April and May, but when you look up in August (when, btw, Schilling, Wake, Manny, Becks, Nancy and Papi will all likely have spent/be spending time on the dl) the Yanks are in 1st.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 17, 2007 6:17 PM

Papi's only 31, Lowell 33. Wake will be able to pitch longer than Clemens if he wants.

Yankee position starters: Abreu, Damon, Matsui, Giambi, Jeter, Mientkiewicz, and Posada are all 32 or over, and ARod is 31. Starters: Mussina, Pavano, Pettite, and Clemens are all over 30. Relievers: Farnsworth, Myers, Procter, Rivera, and Villone, are all over 30. It would have been quicker to list who's not old.

Posted by: pj at May 17, 2007 7:03 PM

Manny definitely looks old, but the core of the team is Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Buchholz, Papelbon. They're a pitching team, not a hitting one.

The Yankees problem is that they only have two players whose best year is in the future, not the past: Hughes and Melky.

Posted by: oj at May 17, 2007 10:02 PM

When the Tribe goes to the Series, I'll be thinking of all of you.

Posted by: Bob at May 18, 2007 10:56 AM