• It’s Not Happening

    Posted by on June 28th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    I have to confess that there’s some “Yankees Fanboy” within me that still feels/hopes/expects the Yankees to go something like 56-20 after the All-Star break and stage one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history (to win the A.L. East). After all, as a “diehard” Yankees fan, I’m supposed to always have this program running in the back of my head.

    However, the realist in me also is looking at the following:

    It’s just about the end of June and the Yankees are double-digits back of first place and near double-digits back in the Wildcard chase.

    This is a Yankees team who went 9-14 in April thanks to the stupidity of it’s G.M. – who banked on Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa to hold down 40% of the team’s starting rotation. The failures of Pavano and Igawa, coupled with injuries to Mike Mussina and Worm Killer Wang, brought cause for the Yankees to run a rookie to the mound way too often at the start of the season.

    This is a Yankees team who went 13-15 in May – but, they also went 8-14 against all teams not named the “Texas Rangers” over the course of the month.

    This is a Yankees team who has looked better, on the whole, in terms of winning games in June – however, like the gift from the Rangers in May, New York’s record this month has benefited from going 6-1 (in June) against the White Sox and Pirates (who are two teams with issues, so far, this season).

    Trying to ignore my heart and looking at this Yankees team with only my eyes and my head, I see a starting rotation that has three pitchers (Igawa, Mussina and Clemens) who would be lucky to give you more than six innings each turn. I also see a bullpen with many more guys that you can’t trust (Myers, Villone, Farnsworth, Bruney, Vizcaíno, and Proctor) in terms of limiting base runners than guys who you can trust (Rivera). And, I see a starting line-up full of guys having sub-par seasons albeit due to injury, age, or something else (Giambi, Cano, Matsui, Damon and Abreu). Lastly, I see a bench full of guys who probably shouldn’t be in Triple-A, much less be on a big league ballclub – like Chris Basak, Kevin Thompson, Andy Phillips and Wil Nieves.

    Let’s review: The Yankees have played poorly against any team with a pulse (so far this year). Most of their starting pitchers are five-and-fly guys. They have a bullpen full of arsonists. More than half of their offense is under-performing. And, the team has no players of quality on their bench.

    I have to keep reminding myself of this summary every time I start to think that New York will go 56-20 after the All-Star break.

    The 2007 Yankees are probably the worst team to play baseball in the Bronx in the past 15 years.

    Sure, there’s a chance that guys like Igawa, Abreu, Farnsworth, Cano, Villone, and Damon can all play like All-Stars in the second half of the season. And, there’s a chance that Mussina and/or Clemens can go 10-2 after the All-Star break. But, would you be willing to bet on some of that happening? Would you be willing to bet on any of that happening?

    I’m not. It’s not happening. Not this year. I wish this were not true. But, it’s not happening.

    Comments on It’s Not Happening

    1. rbj
      June 29th, 2007 | 8:03 am

      Just heard Gammons on ESPN radio this am. Yanks next 29 games are against .500 or worse teams. IMO, they need a 20-9 record to have any legitimate chance. Plus turn last night’s game into a W.

    2. June 29th, 2007 | 8:34 am

      But, for the next 29 games, the teams that play the Yankees will also be playing a team that’s under .500.

    3. TK_NYY
      June 29th, 2007 | 8:44 am

      It’s not happening? How do you know that Steve? Oh, thats right, you DON’T.

      Sometimes you’re ridiculous man, have a little faith and stop being so fair weather. You’re sounding like every other spoiled Yankee fan that wants to commit suicide when we don’t have a guaranteed playoff spot the entire season.

      I don’t know why I read this f-ning blog.

    4. June 29th, 2007 | 8:50 am

      ~~~How do you know that Steve? ~~~

      By watching this team for the last three months.

    5. dereksTeam
      June 29th, 2007 | 9:05 am

      You’re not a realist, Steve. You’re doom and gloom.

      You’re also a cynic.

      A realist would tell you that the hardest job in baseball is to be a defensive replacement or a pinch hitter, to come in and get your one at bat every couple of days. When Andy Phillips PLAYED last year he put in a very good month and was hitting over .300 at one point. When he went cold for a month, the experiment was over. The Yanks are a very unforgiving team to try to break into the lineup on.

      Melky started off the year in the same quandary, but since coming on as a regular has been hitting over .300 since the end of May. Cano, has had his .211 months since breaking into the bigs.

      So you’re a “realist” for saying that Andy Phillips doesn’t even belong on a triple a team? I don’t think so. I’d rather take my chances with Andy then Shea Hillenbrand. Bitch, moan. Bitch, moan. Bitch, moan. That’s hardly the voice of realism.

    6. RICH
      June 29th, 2007 | 9:16 am

      Blame Cashman for any reason you want but why blame him for April’s record? You predicted the Yankees to finish 1st this season just before the season started.

      Were you taking into account you knew it was foolish then about Igawa and Pavano and they would be able to overcome the “stupidity” or something else?

      I thought the Yanks would finish 1st this year and that’s taking into account I didn’t think Pavano would contribute anything. It looks as if I’ll be wrong about it but I don’t blame Cashman for April’s record.

    7. wally26
      June 29th, 2007 | 9:26 am

      Everyone needs to stay calm. Can they still make the playoffs? Yes. Will they? I think for the first time in years, we don’t know. The offensive production has dropped, the mental errors have risen. This is not the team of the late 90s, that much everyone has to come to grips with. The rest of MLB has caught up, and the Yanks have not raised their game to the next level. If they can, given what has happened this year with injuries, etc it would be a great story..

    8. June 29th, 2007 | 9:44 am

      ~~~Blame Cashman for any reason you want but why blame him for April’s record? You predicted the Yankees to finish 1st this season just before the season started.~~~

      I thought the Yankees would hit better this year – hence, my pick.

      Why blame Cashman for April? Pavano and Igawa. If you two useful starters, in the rotation to start the year, in place of them, the Yankees would have been at least a .500 team in April, IMHO.

    9. Pete
      June 29th, 2007 | 10:55 am

      >> But, for the next 29 games, the teams that play the Yankees will also be playing a team that’s under .500. >>

      For all 29 games? Are you implying they’ll still be a sub-500 team in August?

    10. RICH
      June 29th, 2007 | 10:57 am

      They WERE a sub-500 team in April as you intimate you thought they would be yet you still thought they would overcome it by season’s end.

      If it came as no surprise to you (I don’t know if it surprised Cashman) but was still tolerable based on your prediction it reads to me as hindsight on your part.

    11. June 29th, 2007 | 11:03 am

      ~~~For all 29 games? Are you implying they’ll still be a sub-500 team in August?~~~

      At this point, it would not shock me.

    12. June 29th, 2007 | 11:05 am

      ~~~They WERE a sub-500 team in April as you intimate you thought they would be yet you still thought they would overcome it by season’s end.

      If it came as no surprise to you (I don’t know if it surprised Cashman) but was still tolerable based on your prediction it reads to me as hindsight on your part.~~~

      I’ve read this a few times – and can’t follow you. What are you trying to say here?

    13. rbj
      June 29th, 2007 | 12:43 pm

      ~But, for the next 29 games, the teams that play the Yankees will also be playing a team that’s under .500.~
      Correct. The question is, “Are the Yankees really a sub .500 team?” If they don’t do well during this next stretch, then the answer is yes. Or they are a mediocre (say, .510) team at best.

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