Monday, April 18, 2005

Yankee Doodling

Two ways to look at this, I guess. 1) The jury's still out for me, but at the moment I'm leaning to the fact that something might be fundamentally wrong with the team DNA. 2) On the other hand, this kind of start may be exactly the kind of wake-up call they need. Still, something's missing and it doesn't have anything to do with talent.

Only two teams in history have fielded an opening day line-up with 10 all-stars (including the DH): The 1977 Yankees and the 2005 Yankees. That's not even counting guys who don't start, like Rivera, Flash, Tino, etc. The 1977 Yankees won it all in dominant fashion. The 2005 Yankees are much better than 1977, and SHOULD win it all without ever having to even look over their shoulder. They still might, but the losses since Oct 20 seem to be revealing some kinks in the armor.

For the past 9 years the Yankees have established a blueprint of staying within reach the whole game, then squeezing the life out of you in the 8th and 9th innings. Their wins always seem inevitable. They've lost that magic right now and it's going to be tough to get back. It could be Jeter and Mariano aren't hungry enough any more. It could be that the guys who haven't won rings but are the core studs of the team - i.e., Giambi, A-Rod, Sheffield, Matsui, even Mussina - are great All-Stars, but aren't really ring-worthy. The things A-Rod and Sheffield have done on the field in big moments aren't things that champions do.

I wouldn't worry about the hitting. It'll come. At the moment, I think a bigger problem than the hitting is the emergence of a consistent 2 and 3 starter. That's what they'll need in October.


Blogger this_is_mine said...

I stummbled across your blog using the next blog button a little while ago, and read up on it once in a while.

It just seems to be a trend of late for the city of new york. A couple seasons ago the Rangers had the highest payroll in hockey and I don't think they even made the playoffs. It just seems to be a constant in NY.


11:06 PM  
Blogger The Rivals said...

I totally agree with you. I actually had a blog entry drafted that discussed the similarity between the NY Rangers and the NY Yankees (e.g. No more farm system, too many free agents, OLD OLD OLD, highest payroll) but it didn't seem right, seeing as hockey no longer exists. Sad. So very, very sad.

Thanks for posting.


4:34 PM  

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