Sadly, it’s finally over…
The Yankees’ drive for the 2015 postseason took a brief interlude this week with the departure of Yankees Legend Yogi Berra. Perhaps the greatest living Yankee, Berra’s passing touched so many people as his charm and persona transcended baseball. The Yogi-isms are part of our every day lives and will endure. But there was only one Yogi.
For all those years he stayed away from Yankee Stadium after his dismissal as manager, the team was unable to win. The winning tradition didn’t return until George Steinbrenner finally apologized and Berra returned to the Bronx. I am so grateful the reconciliation occurred before we lost the two men.
Writers were quick to anoint Whitey Ford as the latest greatest living Yankee. While I do not disagree that the Chairman of the Board is deserving of the honor, I feel that Mariano Rivera is in the same conversation, along with others such as Don Mattingly or Derek Jeter.
Yogi Berra lived a long life that had such a huge impact on so many people. I am sure that life was not the same for him after the passing of his wife, Carmen, last year. Not many of us will make it to 90 years of age. He should proud that he had a life that he was able to live his way. He will forever be immortalized at Yankee Stadium, long after all of us are gone. It’s sad that #8 will no longer make an appearance at the Stadium, but it’s a number that will stay dear to our hearts for years to come.
So long, Yogi. Thanks for the memories.
Fading AL East Hopes…
Due to their inability to beat the Toronto Blue Jays this season, the Yankees will most likely participate in the Wild Card one game play-off. If they could have just played .500 competition with the Blue Jays, the Yankees would actually be the AL East Leaders. It’s amazing how things can come down to such few games over the course of a 162 game schedule. I still wonder what this season would have been like if the Yankees had paid the money to sign Max Scherzer. Perhaps it would have prevented the emergence of Luis Severino. We’ll never really know, but it’s easy to second guess the decision now. With the trouble the Yankees have had in the rotation (primarily due to health), they could have used a frontline ace. It may have been the difference maker with the Blue Jays who seemed to catapult into World Series contender status with the July arrival of ace David Price.
If the season ended right now, the Yankees would be playing the one game playoff with the Houston Astros in New York. But there’s still a chance for the Los Angeles Angels to catch the Astros so it should be an interesting final week. The Yankees have never matched up well against the Angels, but the Astros have grown into a solid contender and have the pitchers to shut down the Yankees’ offense. Anything can happen in one game and time will tell if that’s good or bad for us.
At the beginning of the year, I didn’t feel the Yankees had the players to thrive in October. Admittedly, I still do not as the offense struggles to generate runs at times. The volume is turned up on good pitching in the playoffs and the old saying is good pitching beats good hitting. So if that’s the case, good pitching destroys marginal hitting.
I would love nothing more than for the Yankees to advance past the Wild Card game. But the team will have to prove me wrong as I do not like their chances. On the bright side, the playoffs will not include the Detroit Tigers, a team the Yankees can never beat in October.
Angels GM Frontrunner…
With Billy Eppler’s name constantly linked to the Los Angeles Angels for their vacant GM post, I can’t help but wonder why the Yankees do not make a move to keep him in the organization. I’ve never been a big fan of President Randy Levine. Why not promote GM Brian Cashman to the position that Theo Epstein and Dave Dombrowski both hold with their respective clubs, President of Baseball Operations. Then promote Eppler to General Manager. I know that technically Eppler is outranked as an assistant general manager by Jean Afterman, but I feel that Eppler will be a great GM.
I recognize that Eppler is a Southern California guy so perhaps it’s his home roots that are pulling him back to the West Coast. If he leaves, it will be a huge loss for the Yankees.
As a GM, it would be nice to have Mike Trout to build around…