It’s Over for the YankeesPosted: September 6, 2008
The season got off to a bad start when the Yankee Stadium opener was rained out.
The off-season has already begun for the New York Yankees.
Oh sure, they still have 20 some odd games to play, and they’re not mathematically eliminated….yet.
But the numbers don’t lie, When it’s over, it’s over. When you dodge the ultimate futility of having a pitcher nearly throw a no-hitter against you in his first major league start, it’s over
Yeah, and you know it’s over when A-Rod goes on a tear. Now that the pressure is off, he’s gonna have a blockbuster September.
Where did it all go wrong? When did the Yankees begin the death spiral towards the team’s worst finish in more than 15 years?
Start with the pitching. Somewhere along the line, the Yankee brain misplaced the knack for finding good pitchers.
So instead of bringing in guys like Jimmy Key, David Cone, David Wells, El Duque, Mike Mussina and yes, even Roger Clemens, Yankee fans were subjected to the likes of Jeff Weaver, Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa. And now they have Darrell Rasner, Sidney Ponson and Carl Pavano in their rotation.
A familiar sight: Joe Girardi makes another pitching change.
The Yankees had the opportunity to right some of those wrongs this past off-season, the chance to get Johan Santana, one of the premier pitchers in the game. They didn’t want to give up Melky Cabrera, who lost his center-field job and was banished to the minors, or two young pitchers, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, who have combined to win zero games for the Yankees this year.
They passed on Santana. With him, they might still be alive in the American League chase. Instead, he’s cross-town trying to lead the Mets to the World Series.
Of course, pitching isn’t the only reason the Yankees are fast-fading out of the playoff picture. The starting lineup, supposedly the strength of the team, has been inconsistent at best, and pathetically inept with runners in scoring position.
Showing Their Age
The Yankees began to show their age in certain spots, and the younger players did not develop as expected. Injuries have hurt, particularly the losses of Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada for most of the year.
And then, the Yankees are facing the odds — nobody makes the playoffs every year. Heck, there are college kids today who weren’t old enough to remember the last time that happened.
“It’s certainly something that is hard to watch,” said general manage Brian Cashman, the team’s chief architect. “We’re losing right now and we’re better than this. At some point, you are what your record is until you prove otherwise.”
The Cash-man, with unlimited resources at his disposal, may take the fall for these underachieving 2008 Yankees.
Whoever is in charge will face the task of rebuilding this team quickly. Next year, the Yankees move into the new Yankee Stadium, and Hank Steinbrenner, above, and company will be hell-bent to bring a winner to the Bronx. The pitching needs to be improved, the team needs to become more athletic.
The off-season has already begun for the Yankees, and it promises to be a busy one.