Yankee Stadium

 

To commemorate the final game in Yankee Stadium (and I might be the only person in the world who doesn’t care about the new one) I thought I’d take a second to look back at everything that went wrong with the Yankees this season:

1. Injuries: The yin and the yang, the bad and the bing. When that many guys (A-Rod, Posada, Jeter, Matsui, Damon, Wang, Joba) have meanignful injuries and/or miss significant time on the year, it’s going to be hard to establish a rhythm and win a lot of games, especially in a division as deep as the AL East.

2. No Torre: Joe Girardi is a good baseball guy, but thus far he really looks out of his depth in New York, especially in the face of adversity. Let’s be honest, there’s no tougher job in baseball than managing the Yankees, especially when they’re not in first place. Torre was the master of keeping everyone calm and blocking out the noise, quietly plugging away until October. Remember, they weren’t playing their best baseball last season, but they rallied at the end of the year to win the wild card. That’s whata guy like Joe Torre brings to the table. He’s not an X’s and O’s manager, he just knows how to handle a team and bring out the best in them. Girardi seems to have been totally off balance in the face of a tough year in New York, while Torre has done exactly what the Dodgers needed, blended the mix of young and veteran personalities, and appears to have them headed to the playoffs. If there’s anything Yankees fans can take away from this season, it’s that there is a certain karmic balance to the universe, and the Steinbrenner family is being punished.

3. Hank Steinbrenner Speaking of the Steinbrenners, let’s give baby Huey his due shall we? The guy fancies himself the new Boss, but he knows even less about baseball thanhis old man did, and he wants to be even more meddlesome. Girardi doesn’t have the bank to tell him to butt out the way Torre could have, and because of that, there’s a very good chance Joba’s arm is ruined. Note to Hank, there’s a reason Torre had the “Joba rule” last season, like damn near every pitcher who comes out of college, his arm is fragile because his high school and college coaches pitched him into the ground. He’s the new Mark Prior so to speak, and he just doesn’t have the durability to be a starting pitcher over a 162 game season. That’s why he went out with tendenitis, and hopefully you have the sense to let him go back to being an unhittable reliever. I mean, who needs someone to pitch the 8th inning right? Jose Versa did a bang up job of that.

And I should take this time to point out, again, that it was reportedly Hank who wouldn’t let Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Melky Cabrera be sent to Minnesota for Johan Santana. How’s that looking now?

But don’t worry Yanks fans, the offseason looks to be very promising for the Bombers. Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu have expiring contracts, and the latter will probably be elsewhere next year while the former is brought back for substantially less money. This frees up a spot for another bat to play first base, left field, or DH, and I suspect Brian Cashman will be given a fair amount of latitude to try to bring in either Mark Teixiera or Manny Ramirez, while not landing a major starting pitcher (C.C. Sabathia) is going to be viewed as a firing offense. I’d go out on a limb now and predict the Yankees will win the division next season.

Now if only we could figure out how to avoid the new digs…