July 13, 2007
OF COURSE, ONE OF THE HoFers SHOULD BE GIVING HIS SPEECH THIS YEAR...:
Bronx Bumblers: How can a team with four Hall of Famers fall so far? (Allen Barra, July 10th, 2007, Village Voice)
The idea that the Yankees don't have enough talent to make a run at the Red Sox," wrote Mike Lupica in the July 3 Daily News, "is ridiculous." Is it? Few who have watched Joe Torre's teams over the last six seasons doubt that they are chronic underachievers and that their manager has contributed to that syndrome. But what about the Yankees' talent level? Is it really on a par with the Red Sox and other American League pennant contenders? Are the team's main problems physical, or, as Yogi might put it, is half their game 90 percent mental?
Despite winning back-to-back series against the Twins and the Angels to close out the first half , the 2007 Yankees look to be the worst team the franchise has seen since Buck Showalter was fired at the end of the 1995 season, the first squad since then to be under .500 at the break. But the 1995 team, though it was just 33-39 at the midway point (of a season shortened to 144 games because of the lockout), finished 46-26 in the second half to win the wild-card playoff berth. The 2007 Yankees, with five wild-card contenders ahead of them, are going to have a much tougher path to the playoffs, even if they do finish 20 or so games over .500 between now and the end of the season.
But what are their chances of playing that well from here on in? A quick survey of the available resources would indicate two probabilities: slim to none. This year's Yanks may well become the first team in baseball history to have four Hall of Famers on the roster and still lose more games than they won.
The Yankees could withstand a losing year, but there's little reason to believe they'll improve much in the next few years, given a barren farm system and the dearth of young talent on the major league roster. Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2007 12:00 AM