Game of inches

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2005-6 Yankee Season Over - Postmortem:
While I'm pleased by the grit the Yanks showed in their pursuit of postseason and the AL East title. Especially, considering the 11-19 (9.5 games behind the O's) start. Nonetheless, NY sports and expectations are quite different than say Atlanta, DC, Chicago, and Detroit (just to name a few). Our teams and fans expect to win championships. Our teams are equipped to compete at a very high level. Obviously, I'm not very pleased by an early ALDS exit. The Halos defeated us 5-3 in a contest which was full of various subplots. I'm still suffering from sleep deprivation and the ridiculous TV schedule.

Hmmm. There is much to critique and second guess. Let's start with the positives.
I described the necessity of infusing youth into Yankee squad. We have a number of veterans that have earned their pinstripes (ie Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter). I don't list Tino Martinez because he didn't come from our farm system, but he still contributed greatly to several championships. These guys were the core of our dynasty 1996-2001. For whatever reason, management began to opt for quick fixes via free agency to address certain needs. The loss of Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemons, and David Wells to free agency, really set the club back. However, the positive is that we've discovered farm hands Ching-Meng Wang, Aaron(Biggie) Small, and Robinson Cano. All of these guys played a very large role in the playoff push, that was practically a miracle. The Yankee organization usually does not rely on rookies to produce, and it is very rare that any of them receive any significant playing time. This year was different, as our high priced free agent acquisitions, either produced below expectations or simply ineffective. Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright were huge disappointments, as they were supposed to replace the holes vacated by Pettitte et al. When it became apparent that our pitching was not going to improve, management was forced to make choices. Some good and some not-so-good. We showcased a Texas cattle rancher turned starting pitcher in one laugher at Fenway. At certain points of the season it appeared that our sacred pinstripes could be worn by anyone. Very despicable.

Randy Johnson (aka Big Unit) looked his age during stretches of this season. I suppose the most damaging outing of his 2005 resume, was his first Yankee postseason start (Game 3 ALDS). He got hammered and left after 3 1/3 innings. Certainly, not vintage Randy. He redeemed himself somewhat last night. FWIW, I believe our pitching did well enough for a victory last night. Our defense and clutch hitting let us down.

The most notable play that resulted in two arguably unearned runs, was the collision between rookie center fielder, Bubba Crosby and veteran left-fielder Gary Sheffield. If I were to 2nd guess Yankee skipper, Joe Torre. Why not have Bernie Williams play center in decisive game 5? Yes, I know that Bernie has lost a step, but why not show confidence in his ability to manage traffic in a considerably noisy outfield. I don't believe that the collision would have occured if Bernie was in the outfield. Some would even say that Crosby should have deferred to the veteran to avoid the collision. The Halo's margin of victory was 2-runs. It was awful.

Lastly, where the hell was the clutch hitting? Matsui, A-Rod and Sheffield were not very productive the entire series. Like Denzell said in Training Day, "Man the fuck up." Our lineup is stacked with big sticks from 1-6. A true murderous row, Giambino, A-Rod, Matsui, and Sheffield. Only Jeter, Giambi and Sheffield hit the ball hard against Halo pitching last night.

A-Rod was especially disappointing, as he was brought to NY for these situations. If he wins the AL MVP, it should be a hollow victory to say the least.

In the final analysis.. We need middle relief pitching, and we need utility players with pop off the bench. An aging Ruben Sierra won't cut it. Basically, we've desperately got to get younger and fast. Our core is much older and really doesn't have very many years left.

If Dantrell Willis wants to wear pinstripes, I so go out and get him. He's a young talented pitcher and seems to be unflappable in the clutch. More later..

  • Oh how the mighty have fallen
  • Tale of Two Joes
  • They're Baaack..
  • Lackluster Effort
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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on October 11, 2005 1:30 PM.

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