• Here’s Your Ring & There’s The Door

    Posted by on December 23rd, 2009 · Comments (5)

    When it comes to the roster of the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees, so far this off-season, we know the following:

    Gone For Sure:
    Brian Bruney
    Hideki Matsui
    Melky Cabrera
    Phil Coke

    More Than Likely Not Coming Back:
    Chien-Ming Wang
    Johnny Damon

    Pretty Sure Not Coming Back:
    Eric Hinske
    Jerry Hairston
    Jose Molina

    (I know that Shelley Duncan, Xavier Nady, Michael Dunn and Ian Kennedy could be on these lists too – but, they barely played for the Yankees this season.)

    Now, I know that the Yankees will still have, at least as of today, the following on their roster next season: A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, Alfredo Aceves, Andy Pettitte, Brett Gardner, C.C. Sabathia, Damaso Marte, David Robertson, Derek Jeter, Joba Chamberlain, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Philip Hughes and Robinson Cano.

    And, they have added: Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Javy Vazquez, and, it appears, Mark DeRosa.

    But, you have to wonder about how much Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon will be missed – as they seemed to have that special “play maker” ability. Also, Phil Coke and Jose Molina, while not stars, filled special roles on the team. And, lastly, Eric Hinske, Jerry Hairston and Chien-Ming Wang seemed as if they were liked by their teammates – much the same as Godzilla, Leche and Damon.

    Now, this is not to say that Granderson, Johnson, Vazquez, and, DeRosa are bad guys in the field or the clubhouse. And, I really want to stress that point.

    It’s just more a matter of how much Matsui, Cabrera, Damon, Coke, Molina, and the others will be missed in terms of what they brought to the total team picture.

    To be honest, I have no idea. It’s just that it is a question, in my mind, that we should not lose sight of…in Yankeeland…as we head into next season.

    Comments on Here’s Your Ring & There’s The Door

    1. MJ
      December 23rd, 2009 | 12:11 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      It’s just more a matter of how much Matsui, Cabrera, Damon, Coke, Molina, and the others will be missed in terms of what they brought to the total team picture.

      From a performance standpoint, I think Matsui and Damon will be missed and that’s it. Matsui was obviously not as productive in his second contract as he was in his first but we all saw how valuable he was when he played a relatively full slate of games as the team’s DH in 2009: .274/.367/.509 with 28 HR in 142 games.

      Damon’s four years in New York provided a .285/.363/.458 batting line with 77 HR and 93 SB (21 CS) in 576 games. He played CF and LF and although his defensive shortcomings are well known, he more than justified his existence as a good leadoff and #2 hitter for the team.

      In short, those kinds of good hitters don’t grow on trees and don’t get replaced out of thin air.

      For the rest of them:

      -Cabrera was a 4th OF type, valuable for his versatility but not good enough that he wasn’t a replaceable part. After all, he was demoted in 2008 for poor performance and lost his starting job to start the year in 2009 as well. Gardner is pretty much the same guy with a slightly different, but equally flawed, skill-set;
      -Coke was a bullpen lefty that may or may not have had a role on the team in 2010. Marte pitched so well in October to the point that Coke became invisible the playoffs (2.2 IP in 15 playoff games);
      -Molina was a backup catcher. Good with the glove, terrible with the stick and that’s about it. Cervelli should be about as bad at the plate and about as good with the glove to make it a pretty moot point.

      It’s impossible to know how much those guys will be missed in the clubhouse (if at all) because things like “chemistry” are unquantifiable and, further, it’s debatable if “chemistry” even matters.

      The Yanks are no worse on paper in 2010 than they were in 2009. Where I think the Yanks have lost a little bit is in the depth department.

    2. jaydestro
      December 23rd, 2009 | 12:40 pm

      You know what makes your team mates like you? Fucking winning. Terrible insight. You prove why bloggers are not considered serious by the mainstream media with this emotional drivel.

    3. Corey
      December 23rd, 2009 | 12:46 pm

      I think they are better in 2010 then in 2009. I also wouldn’t close the book on Wang, if the reports are indeed true that the Yanks would match anything.

    4. MJ
      December 23rd, 2009 | 1:11 pm

      Corey wrote:

      I think they are better in 2010 then in 2009.

      Pitching, definitely.

      Offensively, I don’t see how. Granderson/Johnson aren’t Damon/Matsui. Not on paper, at least.

    5. martini6196
      December 23rd, 2009 | 6:50 pm

      “And, they have added: Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Javy Vazquez, and, it appears, Mark DeRosa.”

      Where did you hear the Yankees are going to add Mark DeRosa? The San Francisco Giants offered him 2 years @ $6 million per year and I can’t see the Yankees matching that. Other than that I’ve heard of no offers.

      Plus DeRosa is not an everyday player. He’s a utility man that somehow has beocme a guy people think can play everyday. I don’t get it.

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