Is this the worst Yankee team in 20 years?

Losing Mariano River may turn out to be the defining moment of the Yankee season.

In 1992, the New York Yankees finished with a 76-86 record, 20 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays and tied for fourth place in the AL East. It was Buck Showalter’s first year at the helm

That year, the Yankees missed the playoffs for the 11th year in a row. Since 1992, they’ve missed the playoffs just twice.

That was 20 years ago. That was then and this is now, But a quarter of the way through the 2012 season, we may be looking at the worst Yankee team since 1992.

Here’s 10 reasons why:

1. No Mo — For 15 years, the Yankees have had the biggest security blanket in the history of baseball. Then Mariano Rivera injured his knee shagging fly balls in Kansas City. No more. No Mo.

2. RISP means RIP — Yankees routinely get into scoring position, then die at second and/or third base. Worst in the majors this month in hitting with runners in scoring position.

3. Warning track power — They’re not playing A-Rod $30 million a year to be a singles hitter. The ball doesn’t explode off his bat they way it did a few years ago. The days of 35 homers, 120 RBIs are history.

4. CC and pray — Reloaded in the off-season, the Yankee rotation was supposed to be a plus. But outside of CC Sabathia there are a lot of inconsistencies, older arms and question marks.

5. HR or bust — Only once all year have the Yankees won a game in which they didn’t hit a home run. Only twice this year have they won a game in which they scored less than five runs.  Which leads to….

6. Slow stripes — Without Brett Gardner, the Yankees are plodding along, showing their age. It’s pretty much station to station. There’s very little little ball in the Bronx.

7. Tex mess — Mark Teixeira is a wreck. He’s battling a bronchial illness, his average has gone down each year he’s been a Yankee, and he absolutely refuses to hit against a shift.

8. Home groan pitching — Been an issue for many years. Hughes, Nova, Joba, the Killer Bs…and they let the best one, Ian Kennedy, get away. The Yankees haven’t developed a Cy Young winner since Ron Guidry in 1978.

9. Joe must go — In the Steinbrenner-Martin salad days, George would have already fired and re-hired Billy. If the Yankees don’t make the playoffs with the highest payroll in baseball, Girardi will be on the hot seat in New York.

10. Injuries — Not an excuse, but the Yankees have been hit hard by injuries. Mariano, David Robertson, Michael Pinieda, Gardner, Joba, that’s a fifth of the roster right there.

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