• Little Given On The Current Yankees

    Posted by on February 13th, 2013 · Comments (9)

    Good summary on the current state of the Yankees via Joel Sherman -

    The Yankees have played .540-or-better ball (the equivalent of 87.5 wins in a 162-game season) for an unprecedented 20 straight seasons. The previous record was 18 consecutive years by the dynastic 1926-44 Yankees.

    It is an amazing streak that speaks to the depth of talent the Yankees have had, a depth that has meant even if things pretty much went haywire, the Yankees still would figure out how to win 87 games. Heck, in 2008, the only season they failed to make the playoffs since 1993, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui and Chien-Ming Wang got hurt, Andy Pettitte pitched through injury and Darrell Rasner was essentially the No. 3 starter, yet that team still managed 89 wins.

    But the 2013 club does not project to have as much depth (they are still looking for a right-handed DH/outfield bat, as an example). Their farm system is not ready to help. They just might have the oldest average age ever for a team. They are more fragile than they were even last year, when they felt like an egg wobbling on the edge of a table. They do not have the Bronx Bombers power oversaturation that compensates for shortcomings elsewhere. And — as important as anything — the up-and-down strength of the AL East is arguably the best it has ever been.

    Thus, if matters go haywire this year — Derek Jeter and/or Mariano Rivera cannot defy age/injury any longer, Mark Teixeira continues to recede, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes and/or Joba Chamberlain are undermined by walk-year pressures, Kevin Youkilis cannot provide a legitimate stopgap for Alex Rodriguez — the downside is much worse than 87 wins.

    Look, at this time last year, not even the biggest pessimist foresaw 69 wins for the Red Sox. But injuries, lack of depth and disenchantment formed the basis for implosion. The Yankees have some of the same issues right now.

    Now, it should be noted the death of the Yankees — due to concerns such as age, injury and lack of following George Steinbrenner’s shoot-for-the-stars heritage — has been forecast quite a bit the past two years. I have written a few columns wondering if 1965 (the end of a another Yankees dynasty) was knocking. To their credit, the Yankees won 97 and 95 games and two more AL East titles.

    In the second half last season, the Yankees endured injuries to CC Sabathia, Pettitte, A-Rod and Teixeira and still held off the Orioles. Girardi cited character and a group understanding of how to persevere and win despite hurdles.

    Of course, it didn’t hurt to have depth in the now-departed Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez plus the nine homers Martin hit the last two months of the season — as many as Cervelli and Stewart have combined for in their careers.

    Even with the key departures and greater austerity, the Yankees still are blessed with high-end talent and a $200 million payroll. They are not underdogs. But what also is evident is they are no longer overdogs, certain to win big no matter what.

    The weak bench, lack of help in the farm system, and age on the roster would be the responsibility of whom? I believe that’s the purview and bailiwick of one Mr. Brian Cashman, no?

    Comments on Little Given On The Current Yankees

    1. Garcia
      February 13th, 2013 | 9:32 am

      Dude, it’s like a broken record around these parts. This is ALL on Cashman, he’s the architect of the team so how many times does it have to be said that this is his baby?

      At some point you cry wolf enough times then it all just becomes crying, no?

      I’m not defending Cashman, and I agree with a lot of what you say about him, but how many more posts will we have to read in order to get everyone in the Yankee universe to finally see your point, e.g. beat writers, Yankee fans, and the F.O.?

    2. February 13th, 2013 | 9:38 am

      Garcia wrote:

      How many more posts will we have to read in order to get everyone in the Yankee universe to finally see your point, e.g. beat writers, Yankee fans, and the F.O.?

      As many as it takes?:-)

    3. MJ Recanati
      February 13th, 2013 | 11:09 am

      Garcia wrote:

      how many more posts will we have to read in order to get everyone in the Yankee universe to finally see your point, e.g. beat writers, Yankee fans, and the F.O.?

      Saying something over and over doesn’t make it true.

    4. February 13th, 2013 | 11:21 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      You don’t think Brian Cashman is responsible for the state of the yankees?

    5. Evan3457
      February 13th, 2013 | 11:32 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      You don’t think Brian Cashman is responsible for the state of the yankees?

      What is the “state of the Yankees”?

      Right now, like every other team, it’s 0-0.

    6. MJ Recanati
      February 13th, 2013 | 1:07 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      You don’t think Brian Cashman is responsible for the state of the yankees?

      He’s one of the people responsible for the state of the Yankees, yes. Given (1) how successful the team has been and (2) how the season hasn’t even begun, I find all of your arguments to be unconvincing and needlessly dour at best and lacking in appropriate context at worst.

    7. Scout
      February 14th, 2013 | 6:49 am

      “The weak bench, lack of help in the farm system, and age on the roster would be the responsibility of whom? I believe that’s the purview and bailiwick of one Mr. Brian Cashman, no?”

      Well, actually, no, at least for a significant part of the statement. Ownership handed out the idiotic A-Rod deal, not the GM, and that is the biggest albatross around the team’s neck. Ownership gave Jeter a long-term deal when no other team was bidding for his services. (Jeter can still play — or could, before the broken ankle — but the comment doesn’t distinguish between aging players who can still perform.) Ownership, after overspending on a couple of aging players, then imposed its own salary cap, which certainly hampered the GM in negotiating with free agent bench players.

      I do fault the GM for an unproductive farm system, thought it is not a terrible one. As I’ve said here previously, this organization always seems to have lots of talent that is 2-3 years away. As it approaches the majors, it disappoints.

      And, as I have also pointed out, we often do not know who is responsible for decisions such as the choice not to make an offer to Russell Martin.

    8. McMillan
      February 14th, 2013 | 10:38 pm

      Scout wrote:

      Ownership gave Jeter a long-term deal when no other team was bidding for his services.

      Jeter’s contract is not the problem.
      Scout wrote:

      Ownership, after overspending on a couple of aging players, then imposed its own salary cap, which certainly hampered the GM in negotiating with free agent bench players.

      Where would that GM be without all of the overspending that same ownership has authorized over the years? Imposition of its own salary cap? Ownership reasonably sought to have a $223 million payroll that produced nothing more that an unceremonious sweep against Det. in the 2012 A.L.C.S. reduced to “only” $189 million by 2014. Cashman gets credit for putting together a team that wins a division title by two games with $223 mil., the team loses to Detroit because of a case of “Yankees flu,” and ownership is held responsible for “hampering” its GM by asking him to compete with “only” $207,685,000.00 in 2013 and “only” $189,000,000.00 in 2014 with a farm system and a team he has been the Senior V.P. and G.M. of since 1998?
      Scout wrote:

      And, as I have also pointed out, we often do not know who is responsible for decisions such as the choice not to make an offer to Russell Martin.

      Isn’t a GM responsible for personnel decisions concerning the staffing of no less than the position of starting catcher? What does poor Brian Cashman need to do his job, for Christ’s sake? He has been the Senior V.P. and G.M. since 1998, and collecting a $3 mil-per-yr. salary for years, but the team does not have an established starting catcher entering spring training in 2013?

    9. Raf
      February 14th, 2013 | 10:48 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Isn’t a GM responsible for personnel decisions concerning the staffing of no less than the position of starting catcher? What does poor Brian Cashman need to do his job, for Christ’s sake? He has been the Senior V.P. and G.M. since 1998, and collecting a $3 mil-per-yr. salary for years, but the team does not have an established starting catcher entering spring training in 2013?

      http://waswatching.com/2010/12/09/yanks-want-russell-martin-to-be-their-starting-catcher/

      Whelp, so much for that…

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