May 11, 2007


Year is young, Yankees aren't: Bad old days are here for suddenly aging outfield (BILL MADDEN, 5/11/07, NY DAILY NEWS)

[T]hese Yankees, particularly high-priced outfielders Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, look old and tired.

After yesterday's collective 1-for-12, that trio is now hitting .252 with five home runs, or one-third as many as Alex Rodriguez. Yes, it is still only May with well over two-thirds of the season still to play, but that sort of tepid production from an outfield making a combined $41 million ought to be a source of at least some concern. They are each 33 and, right now anyway, looking much older.

Certainly, Matsui (who was the DH yesterday) is no longer the iron man he was when he came here from Japan, as he missed much of last year with a broken wrist and three weeks of this season with a pulled hamstring. And while Damon has managed to maintain his streak of never having spent a day on the disabled list, the aching back and calves he has endured this season clearly are taking their toll on him. Once things got completely out of hand yesterday, Joe Torre mercifully removed him to rest those calves and the manager conceded he is questionable for starting tonight in Seattle.

As for Abreu, well, maybe Pat Gillick is going to get a measure of satisfaction anyway. The Phillies GM was vilified last summer after dumping Abreu on the Yankees and getting no prospects of any consequence in return. But while Abreu looked like such a perfect fit in that Yankee lineup last year, surrounded by all that proven firepower, this year he has taken on the appearance of a $15 million albatross, lost at the plate and challenged in the outfield.

In addition to another soft 0-for-4 at the plate, Abreu badly misplayed Gerald Laird's leadoff triple off the right field wall in the fifth and also missed (by my count, anyway) three cutoff throws. Even Torre conceded that Abreu seems lost right now.

You can get by with an aged offense when it goes so deep, but adding awful defense to bad pitching is a recipe for disaster. A guy who's only coming back to win a ring and make the money will either force a trade or fake an injury when there's no prospect of the playoffs. The checks don't stop when your hammy tightens.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2007 6:12 AM

What do they do in the off-season that, after 6 weeks of play, would cause their bodies to break down so easily?

Posted by: Bartman at May 11, 2007 10:09 AM


Posted by: oj at May 11, 2007 10:55 AM

Age? They're 33.

Posted by: Bartman at May 11, 2007 2:13 PM

Do you really believe any of what you just wrote oj?

Just for kicks a few weeks ago I went and compared the ages of the starting everyday players, the rotation, and the bullpens of the Yanks and Sawx as they started the season. While the Yanks were exactly 1 year older in the field and dh -- avg age 33 iirc to the Sawx 32 (scarcely aged btw) -- their pitchers were substantially younger, and that was w/o throwing Hughes into the mix (or Clemens who would now cancel out Hughes' 20 yrs).

As for fielding, right now the Yanks are 4th in the AL behind the Real Sawx, the Sawx, and the A's in defensive efficiency. 3 days ago they were 3rd, fielding at a .730 rate for balls in play, to the Sawx's .731

Again, you keep asserting things that have no basis in reality. You'd think that last year's debacle, where you made the same absurd claims, would've taught you a lesson.

Last year all y'all thought the Sawx had a great fielding team and the Yanks stunk, when in actually it was precisely the opposite, with the Yanks finishing 2nd in the league in def eff, and the Sawx 12th.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 11, 2007 4:03 PM

What percentage of atheletes are any good after 33?

Posted by: oj at May 11, 2007 4:26 PM

The difference being that Sox who matter over the next five years are young: Beckett, Matsusaka, Lester, Papelbon, Buchholz. Hughes is the only guy who'll be on the Yankee staff five years from now and only if they fire Torre post-haste.

I know you keep digging up arcane fielding stats to try and convince yourself that Jeter doesn't suck, but it's futile:

Mientkiewicz is a nice fielder and Arod used to be, every other starter is sub-par.

Posted by: oj at May 11, 2007 4:32 PM
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