Thursday, October 21, 2004

Baseball: Yankees Post-Mortem

Batting Coach -- I'd like to personally thank Batting Coach Donnie "Shitcan" Mattingly for single-handedly ensuring that the entire Yankees lineup finished the season below .300. I'd like to nominate him to being the new "Curse for the Yankees" since they never won a playoff series while he was a player...and he is now taking his toll as a coach. I love to hate that guy.

Kharma Overdose -- Bucky F. Dent throwing out the first pitch. Hey, "Fuck You, Bucky!"... Mickey Mantle's birthday? "Have another one on me, Mick!"... Offering the Red Sox owners the "Babe Ruth box" to watch the games. No thanks, George.

Derek Jeter's career ALCS average is .268, not what one might expect, eh? That's not to say anything negative about Jeter, I just found that number surprisingly low, he must have saved the hits for big spots.

Brian Cashman -- How good is Cashman, really? Over the last four seasons: 2001 Lose Series to Arizona, 2002 Lose playoffs to Angels, 2003 Lose Series to Miami, 2004 Lose playoffs to Red Sox.

The start of the decline? You bet. And this team has not gotten younger in any sense of the word. Vasquez and A-Rod are the only guys on the right side of thirty (and they'll be 29 and 30 next season).

Now, obviously the Yanks won the Division each of those years, and were widely regarded as the Best Team in Baseball every one of those years, so some credit is due...but does it go to Cashman?

The original home-grown core of the team was already in place for him. Attracting free agents to a team with unlimited financial resources and four Championships isn't really a challenge, nor does it require any creativity. He simply opened the checkbook for the prominent free agent or mercenary player of the year.

The final results of the last four years I noted above make it likely he'll be available (because Steinbrenner's standards have become maniacal), but I'm not so sure Cashman's all he's cracked up to be.

Steinbrenner will make Beltran his new GM's number one target. I hope Beltran looks at this declining Yankee "dynasty" and says, "No thanks, Houston's been a blast, I'm staying here."

Housecleaning? -- Steinbrenner's likely to go ballistic. I don't know the contract status of anybody, but this team will look different next year. Will Torre be back? If not, Stottlemyre will go with him. The pitching staff (bullpen and starters) is ancient. The bench is worse. Nobody in the minors... Who do they bring in? Overpaying for Pedro? Beltran? A second baseman?

This team could turn into the 2004 Mariners, or better, the late '80s-early '90s overpaid, underachieving Steve Howe/Tartabull-era Yankees. That, I would love to see...

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