SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER: ROGER
How humiliating !!! Well Friar, looks like Rogers and Bonderman did a better job of impersonating Koufax and Paige than our boys did of impersonating “Murderer’s Row plus Cano”.Even with an “All-Star” at every position, I was never comfortable with this team. Usually, the winning team has an unsung hero – on this team who would that be ??
One of the more analytical things that Jeter has uttered the last few Octobers is that the “current” group of players has not been through this. Forget the looooooooooooong Yankee tradition (you don’t win simply because the previous generation won !!), if you go back to the recent past, as in the last 10 years – it was the O’Neills, Brosius’, Tinos, Pettittes, Williams’ etc etc that started their own tradition from the bottom. They learned how to win and how to overcome adversity together as part of the team they were playing on then. The teams we have been putting out there the last few years, project a feeling of entitlement – THEY ARE THE YANKEES…THEY WON BEFORE…SO, THEY SHOULD WIN AGAIN. Jeter and Posada are about the only guys that seem to recognize that this is not true and that you have to go out and do things to win each and every day.I don’t have any pat answers to correct this mentality but I have my own biases:
1. Joe Torre – I see that people are already calling for his head. I used to be extremely impressed when his post-season moves turned golden. But doubts crept in from the day he brought in Weaver against Florida. And since then, those doubts have only gotten louder. A question that occurs to me (as probably to many of you) is why mess with a line-up that was responsible for sweeping and finally quieting the Sox for the season, a lineup that provided a 10-11 game cushion for several weeks ? Thank you Mr. Torre for all you have done but your magical decision-making process seems to have vanished. I for one, would not be too upset if Torre is let go. But why Pinella ? Why rehash an ex-manager ? Yes, Lou is fiery and hot-tempered but he can also humiliate a player in full view of a National audience. Maybe they should have hung on to the guy cross-town. He seems to have done a good job My preference would be Girardi. He was respected by his teammates and most importantly, by the pitchers.
2. Sheffield, Giambi, and Rodriguez – I know they represent billions of HRs and RBIs during the season, but it is time to get rid of them if at all possible. Gary has a vicious swing but he is also extremely selfish. I never endorsed getting the one-dimensional Giambi. I would have been happy with Nick all the same. Giambi is at the center of too much discussion come playoff time – should he DH, should he play the field ? It is time to let him go. Rodriguez, he is simply never going to be able to play on the same field as Jeter. Enough Said !!!
3. The Giambi Paradox– There is the “Cub Factor” and was the “Curse of the Bambino”. Great ball player maybe but Oakland did not win with him and neither have the Yankees. I would like to include Mussina here also because, even though his Oriole teams were not that good, he has not proven himself to be big game pitcher. He as much admitted it severely years ago when he just accepted that he would lose the first game and Andy would come in to win the second game of a series.
4. Who goes … now what ?? – from my comments above, the answer to the first part is clear. The second part is tougher: pitching - If possible get young starting arms for Rodriguez and bullpen arms for Giambi. Bring up the Hughes. Position players – find a way to make Melky a full-time player, possibly by letting Matsui be the full-time DH. Let Phillips play first and get a second tier 3rd baseman who can play good defense. Lets add some more youte (as Cousin Vinny might say) instead of all-stars.Well, I have ranted enough. Some of it comes from being incredibly frustrated and some from wishful-thinking. Some might agree and some (maybe most) will not, but it is MY rant.
It will definitely be a loooooong Winter AGAIN !!!!