New York Yankees manager Joe Girard’s press conference yesterday included a look forward to 2016 as well as a glance backward at ” what happened”. Most telling were his largely defensive comments explaining how he tried to give his aging lineup enough rest so they could limp to the finish line. Left unsaid, probably because he’s a true professional, is the question he must have been asking himself all season……..”Why do I even have to deal with this?”
The New York Yankees are old. Even Brett Gardner (left) who is considered “young” by team standards will be 33 next August. Along with Jacob Ellsbury, (below) he appeared to lose his legs down the stretch and both weighed heavily in the Yankee’s decline and inability to catch the Blue Jays. More telling, Ellsbury was sat by Girardi against Houston in favor of Chris Young. He may regret that decision now but it is indicative of the decisions Girardi had to cope with all year.
Even more baffling was Girardi’s insistence that the Yankees are good to go for next year. Again, he is not the type to put any of his players in harm’s way. But he could have deferred the question to Brian Cashman who will be weighing in soon and it is likely that he will have a entirely different take on next year’s roster. More importantly, ownership is likely to take notice of the continuing decline of TV ratings on YES. Even fans like myself found my way to SNY and the youthful and energetic Mets more often than not. We’ve seen this cast before and watching Alex Rodriguez go 1-4 with three strikeouts and a home run is getting downright boring. And I sense that a good portion of the fan base agrees.
Some tough decisions need to be made quickly. CC Sabathia is one of them. As difficult as it would be (in light of his personal problems now), he needs to be cut loose and his salary eaten. Same with Teixeria who is a injury waiting to happen all year, every year. The kids the Yankees have need to be in the forefront of the lineup and in full view of the fans and media. Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Michael (above) Pineda (if he can stay healthy and grow up – pine tar?) and Rob Refsnyder are budding stars. Don’t let them wait for a spot to clear in the lineup when a aging “regular” goes down with injury. And for God sakes, do not sign David Price or any other veteran over the age of 26.
In truth, the Yankees are no longer fun to watch. That needs to change………and while I’m thinking about it…….maybe a change at the helm needs to be made too. $$$ is always the big factor though and a year of Girardi’s contract would need to be eaten. We know what George would have done regardless of the cost. His son Hal moves to center stage now………it’s been six long years since the Yankees posted a Championship in 2009. The Boss would never have stood for that…..no way….no how.
Posted in 2015 Playoffs, Alex Rodriguez, Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball owners, baseball's young talent, Brian Cashman, business of baseball, c.c sabathia, David Price, down the stretch, farm system, George Steinbrenner, Greg Bird, Hal Steinbrenner, homegrown talent, joe girardi, Mark texieria, New York Mets, New York Yankees, press conference, Rob Refsnyder, Season Epitaph, The Boss, Toronto blue jays
Tagged 2015 Playoffs, 2016 Season, aging team, Alex Rodriguez, baseball, Baseball Blogs, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, George Steinbrenner, Greg Bird, Hal Steinbrenner, injuries, Joe girardi, mark Teixeria, Michael Pineda, New York Mets, New York Yankees, press conference, Rob Refsnyder, season epitaph
As in life there are times in baseball when everything just seems to fall into place. A hitter goes on a stretch where the ball coming to the plate looks as big as a beachball. Likewise, a pitcher goes through a series of starts where home plate seems 30ft away. Teams also have runs where twenty five players and the coaching staff come together to form a juggernaut that seems destined always find a way to win.
The New York Yankees are giving every indication that they are that kind of a team this year. Under the laid back (but focused) leadership of Brian Cashman (left) and Joe Girardi (right) we are watching – not a great team by any means- but certainly a solid and steady team that is avoiding the predictable highs and lows of a long and arduous baseball season.
No, this is not the team of the five year run. This year’s edition of the Yankees is not even comparable to the 2009 team. Except for Mark Teixeria, there’s not even a true All Star on the team.
What the team does have are a bunch of role players who complement and support each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Brian McCann (upper right) for example is proving clutch at the plate while handling a relatively young staff seamlessly. Mashahiro Tanaka (upper left) seeks perfection every time out there. To hear him talk about his start that day, you’d think he gave up ten runs if you hadn’t watched the game.
It goes even deeper than that with contributors like Jacoby Ellsbury (right) who if not the best leadoff hitter in the game today, must surely be in the discussion. A natural center fielder who runs like a deer, clutch is fast becoming his middle name too.
Flying under the radar too is Chase Headley (left). A star by no means….your everyday ball player who shows up for work every day and gets his one hit a night when it means the most. So too with Brett Gardner who Cashman refused offers for a year ago when the season was already lost. Now, he’s having a career year as a graduate of the Yankees much underrated farm system.
This is a good team that certainly can win its imploding division. And when they get to the crapshoot playoffs, look out because they just might find their way to an unexpected but well earned title.
Posted in Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball photos, Brian Cashman, division races, joe girardi, Mark texieria, New York Yankees
Tagged Brett Gardner, Brian Cashman, Brian McCann, division front runners, Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Girard, New York Yankees, Tanaka, world series title
As I was walking from the parking garage to Yankee Stadium last Sunday, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sprawling and magnificent city park that now sits where the old stadium was situated.
Countless ballfields, countless numbers of inner city kids off the streets and playing on green grass in the open air………..
It caused me to reflect on the bonus owed to A-Rod by the Yankees. A sticky situation no doubt with each side trying to tip toe around a sudden thaw in the relationship………especially eased by A-ROD’s resurgence this year. And after all, $6 million is a chunk of change.
But what if the two sides could get together and reach a common ground? And what if that common ground was to donate the entire sum to charity and earmark the money to the kids who use this city park.
How many balls, bats and gloves could be bought with $6 million? How many off duty cops could be hired to ensure the safety of the kids using the park. How many players could be paid their expenses to conduct a clinic when school is out for the summer………and so much more. The interest alone each year would pay for most of these costs.
And as a real bonus (for them), it would all be accomplished in the names of Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.
Alex…….the first move should be yours. The Yankees can’t say no……go for it!
Posted in A-Rod, Baseball, Baseball Blogs, baseball stats, Brian Cashman, New York Yankees
Tagged A-Rod, A-Rod bonus, Alex Rodriguez, Brian Cashman, charity, New York Yankees