Mike Lupica goes after select members of the Yankees:
Abreu, until he does pick things up, is the worst contract the Yankees have this side of Giambi’s. Once Abreu was a 30-home run and 100-RBI guy in Philadelphia. Now he is a big Yankee who goes to the plate looking for a walk. Now he has gone from a 30-home run guy to one who has a grand total of four right now in New York. At $16 million a year.
Matsui? He has not looked like the same hitter since he came back from his wrist injury. The guy known as Godzilla when the Yankees got him from Japan has eight home runs in 60 games and 11 home runs in his last 79 since coming off the disabled list last September.
Damon is a center fielder for whom the Yankees paid $52 million to get away from the Red Sox. Now he is more brittle than a swizzle stick and plays at half speed half the time and isn’t even the center fielder anymore and looks older than Clemens.
Mussina is 3-5 and has Randy Johnson’s old Yankee earned run average, which means five a game. Cano is still a kid. It is still fair to say that we may have been a little premature clearing space for him in Cooperstown, or Monument Park, especially now that he is hitting 68 points less than he did last year.
You can put Kyle Farnsworth, wildly expensive setup man, nearly $6 million a year, on this list, too. If Farnsworth is still the eighth inning after the trade deadline, it means Brian Cashman couldn’t get Eric Gagne out of Texas.
Matsui, due to past performance and his personality, gets a pass from most Yankees fans. Actually, if you check the stats, via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia (min 10 PA), you’ll see that Matsui (in RCAA) has been a league average batter so far this year:
The Yankees offensive issues, on the whole, have been Abreu, Cano, Damon, and Melky this season – more so than Abreu, Cano, Damon, and Matsui – along with Mientkiewicz and Phelps.
Still, Lupica does have a point in that Matsui seems to be about 80% of the batter now that he used to be – before he got hurt.
So, if you look at Matsui, Damon, Melky, and Abreu – in terms of the “Yankees OF Unit” and Giambi, Cairo, Mientkiewicz and Phelps as the “Yankees 1B/DH Unit,” you can see that the Yankees are getting little offense from the three areas (1B, DH, OF) where most teams have their big boppers. Throw in a slumping Cano and the picture gets worse.
Basically, the Yankees offense has been just Jeter, A-Rod and Posada this year. If teams are smart, they give these three nothing to hit – until the other guys start to show that you need to fear them too.