Sad but realistic…
Well, the Yankees lost a series that they could have and should have won. I can’t say that I am as disappointed as I’ve been in past years during play-off failures as I recognized the team had its fatal weaknesses that would be exposed the deeper it got in the play-offs. Clearly, starting pitching has been a problem. CC Sabathia has been great, but he hasn’t been Justin Verlander- or Roy Halladay-great. He is still the ace and legitimately so, but the weaknesses in the rotation behind him put more pressure on CC to be perfect. That’s a tough for anyone. Even if the Yankees had gotten past the Detroit Tigers, I am not so sure that they would have fared well against the Texas Rangers.
When the season began, I felt that on paper the Boston Red Sox had a superior team. My picks for the World Series were the Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. I was wrong on both counts, but I felt that the Yankees weak rotation would put too much pressure on the hitters. When the big bats go cold, there just haven’t been the consistent key hits off the bench. There have been a few here and there, but nothing like the critical and timely hits that Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui used to deliver. I was concerned that this would be the final fatal blow for the Yankees chances in 2011, and that’s exactly what happened.
At the trading deadline, I had hoped the team would at least make an attempt to acquire a clutch hitter if they weren’t able to find any pitching depth. They stood pat and did nothing. I agree that it was the right decision if the moves would have cost talent like Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances or Jesus Montero, but other teams found ways to spend a little to acquire a lot like the Tigers with their pickup of pitcher Doug Fister.
The priority move – sign Cash…
Although the 2011 season was a “failure” as per owner Hal Steinbrenner, I clearly hope the team decides to bring back GM Brian Cashman. No one understands the Yankees or the city of New York better than Cash, and he’s still the right man for the job. With so much to do in the off-season, the Yankees need to move quickly to sign Cash. With CC likely to opt out of his contract, the Yankees will need to be equally as quick to renegotiate a replacement contract so that they can turn to ways to improve the team as opposed to sustaining the current depth of talent. I would hate to see the Yankees lose other opportunities because they are too focused with the Cashman and Sabathia negotiations. Last off-season, it appeared that the team was only capable of dealing with one issue at a time. When they were chasing Cliff Lee, it seemed as though that’s all they did. They let other matters sit, including the topic of Andy Pettitte, until Lee surprised everyone and returned to Philadelphia. I am not quite sure why the organization is incapable of multi-tasking, but they do need to ‘divide and conquer’ if they intend to be the dominant force in 2012.
Looking forward to Jorge Posada Day…
Jorge Posada played very well in September and October, and he’s been a fantastic Yankee, but the time has come for him to go. I hope that he decides to put the bat down and simply walks away. I’d really hate to see him try to play again in 2012, which most likely would be with a different team. His legacy is secured in Yankees history, and he’ll always be treated as royalty by the organization. He was the greatest catcher since Thurman Munson, and he’ll certainly be remembered in the same room with Munson, Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, and Elston Howard.
The “Opt-Out” I wish would happen…
How great would it be if Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract? Sadly, that’s not going to happen and the Yankees are stuck with the guy who is trying to be the next Jose Veras rather than the next Mariano Rivera…
Bay Area Losses…
Northern California has certainly suffered great losses this week with the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and now legendary Raiders owner Al Davis. Davis is one of the guys that you just thought would live forever. I am not a Raiders fan, but he revolutionized the game and was one of its most colorful characters. I admired his strength and resolve, and it’s unfortunate that his final Raider seasons were filled with losses. The game certainly won’t be the same without Davis…
After losing 2 of 3 to the Boston Red Sox and
ensuring the mail delivery of a Red Sox cap to my home (ugh!), the Yankees went
to Toronto with a chance to clinch a play-off spot. What happened? A.J. Burnett started, so the rest is
self-explanatory. Instead of smelling
blood and delivering a season high performance, A.J. did what he often does
this season, he stuck his head in the sand.
The situation was a perfect set-up. Going back into his former home stadium to
face his former teammates with a golden opportunity to right the earlier wrong’s
of the season and propel his current mates into baseball’s promised land. Instead, A.J. was long gone by the end of the
third inning as he put the team in a hole they could not climb out of. The pitching line was horrific…2 ½ innings, 7
hits and 7 runs. For $82.5 million, we
got this and a 5.33 ERA in 2010.
Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox won so the RSN
continues its belief that the Red Sox can win all their remaining games, while
the Yankees get swept in Toronto and Boston.
Burnett could have ended all of that tonight…
It sucks that at this stage of the season, I have
to root for the Chicago White Sox. The
Yankees need to re-group, think about what Tony Dungy said the other day, and
come out to play like a play-off contender on Tuesday night. Win to get in, don’t back in…
I was saddened to hear the passing of former
Oakland Raiders great George Blanda. I
remember first becoming aware of him as an aging kicker for the Raiders when I
was a kid. I also remember being shocked
when I learned that he had been a quarterback earlier in his career. His 26-year career contained several careers
within a career. Anyone who grew up in
the 70’s will always remember #16 trotting onto the field to line up for a
game-winning kick regardless of whether or not you were a Raiders fan (I wasn’t
but I certainly had great respect for Blanda).
On the bright side, the Minnesota Vikings did
finally win on Sunday…
Do you want to beat the New York Yankees?…
Just call up a pitcher to make his major league
debut and he is assured of getting his first major league victory against the
Yanks. Put Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett,
Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke and others on the mound, and the Yankees have a great
chance at winning. Put Cleveland’s Josh
Tomlin on the mound, and it’s lights out Yankees. I don’t get why the team has always struggled
so much against the unknown pitchers.
Surely, the Scouting Department has a portfolio on minor league
pitchers. For whatever reason, no info
is getting conveyed to the Yankee hitters.
The 25-year-old Tomlin simply pitched much better
than 13-game winner CC Sabathia, as the
Indians rolled over the Yankees, 4-1. He
went 7 innings and only gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run; he struck out 2. CC, on the other hand, gave up 9 hits in 7
innings, and allowed 4 runs abeit 2 earned.
He also walked 3 while striking out 5.
Alex Rodriguez put another goose egg on the scoreboard
(0-for-4) in his attempt to reach 600 home runs. He could have been a hero in the 9th
inning. A home run with two outs would
have tied the game, but unfortunately, he hit into a fielder’s choice to end
the game. Today was A-Rod’s 35th
birthday, but I am sure that the post-game celebration will be subdued.
It was a disappointing loss, which was definitely a
team effort. I guess the flight from New
York City to Cleveland was too much.
Hopefully, the players will come out on Tuesday ready to play.
A sore left knee scratched Jorge Posada from the
lineup tonight. I’d really like to see
Jorge take the necessary time to fully recover before he attempts to play
again. The Yankees don’t need to go into
September with a questionable Posada.
The Yankees lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL
East has dropped to just two games as the Rays defeated the Detroit Tigers
again tonight (following yesterday’s no-hitter by Matt Garza, the first in Rays
Jason Behnken/The Tampa Tribune
It doesn’t seem like the Yankees are getting
anywhere on trade rumors. Their latest
speculated target, Royals closer Joakim Soria, apparently has the Yankees on
his no-trade list. I am not expecting a
blockbuster deal, because there just aren’t any players of that magnitude
available. But the Yankees do need to
try and address the shortcomings of the team.
Right now, the bullpen is very leaky so that certainly deserves attention
as does a bat who can come off the bench to spell A-Rod.
This is off-topic, but I am sorry to hear the news
that former Oakland Raider Jack Tatum has passed away at age 61. Growing up, the “Assassin” was a force for
the Raiders. It is unfortunate that he
will always be remembered as the guy whose hit paralyzed the New England
Patriots’ Darryl Stingley. Sadly, both
Stingley (who died in 2007) and Tatum left us way too soon…