I'm crazy amped for the upcoming Yankee 2009 campaign. The club addressed several needs during the Winter meetings. Looking at these off-season moves, I am impressed that Cashman et al were committed to upgrading the club. The irony is that we still have holes that need to be resolved. The outfield still lacks speed, and much needed pop. However, the loss of Abreu seems to be much less of an issue.
Let's run down the newest acquisitions
- Nick Swisher 1B/OF
- CC Sabathia LHP
- A.J Burnett RHP
- Mark Texiera 1B
The Swisher pick-up will bolster our bench and immediately provide alternatives to playing Damon in the outfield each day. Damon is also in his mid-thirties, it is unlikely that we can expect huge offensive numbers from Damon next season. As stated earlier, we still do not have speed in any of the outfield positions. Watching Abreu field balls against the right field wall was pretty painful; nonetheless, he routinely reached 100RBIs each season. I don't see any immediate help for outfield coming from our farm system. Time will tell.
I suppose with all of the hype behind off-season signings, people have forgotten about our homegrown youth movement. Pitchers Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are still considered the future. Hughes is much closer than Kennedy, but he'll need to prove himself to get another crack at the now loaded lineup. Big Joba Chamberlain is also going to be a treat to watch next year. I fully expect to see him continue to improve our chances of returning to another World Series.
Lastly, I want to address the nonsense I have been hearing from these small market clubs. The question I keep hearing is "Are the Yankees Good For Baseball?" My response is an emphatic YES. Whether you love them are loathe them, postseason baseball always means Yankee Pinstripes. If you know anything about baseball you've at least heard of the Bx Bombers. To be clear, dollars cannot buy a championship. In a 162 game season, anything can happen. For instance, look at the toothless Tigers 2008 campaign. They spent big last year and finished dead last in their division. They brought in players that had limited success in other uniforms, their pitching bottomed out and they were unable to finish above the .500 mark.
I will never understand why people think a salary cap in baseball would bring parity to baseball. People use weak rationale and then point to the NFL and NBA as shining examples of how parity works. Total bullshit. Salary caps are not going to keep dominant teams with dominant culture/pedigree from dispatching weaker foes.
The salary cap is not a panacea. I don't care what anyone says. With all the salary caps in place, the NFL still crowned the Pats champions 4 of the last 7 years.
If small market teams wish to compete, they ought to find investment instruments to help create other income streams.
The Yankees have the YES Network, partnership with Dallas Cowboys and a newly built Stadium. It truly is a very diverse business entity. Not many baseball programs are as creative. Not to mention they have 27 World Championships to their credit. It is no wonder why free agents _want_ to play baseball in the Bronx.
Can't wait till April gets here..