…. The end

After a season of discontent, injury, recovery, and redemption, the NY Yankees are finished. All the talk about goats and failure are mere window dressing for a $200 million-dollar team so poorly constructed.

The Yankees had terrible pitching all season long, pretty much no one but Mariano Rivera, Randy Johnson for his last 8 starts, and Tom Gordon had much of a season on the mound for the Bombers; but the second-best offense in the league was enough for them to win the AL East.

Once in the playoffs, all of their weaknesses were exposed. Giambi is a poor defensive first-baseman, A-Rod is a better shortstop than Jeter, Jeter would be a better centerfielder than anyone they have, Robinson Cano seems to be a bit thoughtless and casual at times at second, and their outfield, whoever they put out there, is slow and lacks a power arm, which translates into more doubles, more men on base, and more pressure on the pitchers….

The Yankees need to get younger, faster, and better. They are a beer-league softball team, and have been for quite a while now.

Giambi needs to go, regardless of his bat, he is the wrong guy at first for this team. I’ve suggested the Giants could take him off Brian Cashman’s hands, if the Yanks would pay about 75% of his remaining salary. The Giants need his offense real bad, and his defensive flaws could be hidden by keeping Snow around as a late inning defensive replacement.

If they are going to leave A-Rod and Jeter where they are, they’ve got to get a young, fast, centerfielder with a gun for an arm (you know, like, say, Carlos Beltran).

As for the pitchers…. Mussina was a bum this year, and a bum last year. You don’t make $15 million a year for a 4.50 ERA, and that’s what he’s posted the last two seasons. Johnson? Who knows. He looked like himself there for a while, but he bombed miserably in Game 3. Chacon looked terrific, Wang looks like a middle reliever to me, and Small’s success (10-0) needs to be understood in context; his ERA was pretty much the same as Mussina’s.

The Yankees had no reliable middle relief all season. Gordon did a terrific (albeit overworked) job all season handling the 8th inning, but innings 6 and 7 killed the team. Actually, in a lot of ways (except for Mariano), the Yankees relievers were a lot like the Giants; inconsistent. And what is the real cause of inconsistency? Lack of real talent. The Yankees relievers, other than Mariano, don’t strike guys out, (just like the entire Giants pitching staff). An inability to strike people out is the first, and most important indicator of a pitchers possibillity for success.

Just look at the relievers Mike Scoscia kept trotting out there, one guy after another with better than a strikeout per inning. You can’t strike guys out, you can’t be a middle reliever, (unless you have some freaky groundball deal like Scott Munter), you aren’t going to have consistent success game after game, season after season.

Anyway, the Angels were better, they go to Chicago, where the White Sox are looking to end a curse of their own. The Yankees go fishing.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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