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Deep Thought: The Yankees’ imminent downfall is going to disappoint a lot of people

Jan 4, 2011, 4:09 PM EDT

Brian Cashman

I was just on a radio show. As has been the case with every radio show I’ve been on in the past couple of months, the Yankees came up. Today’s hosts were way more reasonable about it than most have been, but there has been a pretty common thread to these things: somewhat restrained glee that the Yankees haven’t had a great hot stove season. Yankeesfreude, as I’ve called it before.

I agree that the Yankees haven’t had a great winter, but I think we’re going to reach the point pretty soon where people are going to underrate them pretty severely.  I can’t see how they’re not the wild card favorite at the moment. I think they’d win 90 games right now even if they don’t do anything else. And as we’re so fond of saying in these parts, anything can happen in a short series.

The Red Sox got better. The Rays got worse. The Yankees aren’t going to be a radically different team than they were in 2010, and that was pretty darn good.  I say we should all relax about ’em.

  1. Panda Claus - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    If the Yankees do have that imminent downfall, I can promise I won’t be disappointed.

    It’s beginning to look like Boston and New York are playing even-odd year hopscotch. Last year the Yankees looked to be the front-running darlings entering the season, while this season seems to favor the Sawx pushing ahead as it appears now.

    If anything, the two teams seem to have figured out a way they can both take turns winning the annual off-season slugfest.

    • ridetimelessnj - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      The Yanks will be fine, the Sox pitching is still garbage, 2 new bats won’t help them win any more games than they did last year

      • marshmallowsnake - Jan 4, 2011 at 6:16 PM

        Actually, how is that NY pitching going?

        Boston’s pitching will be fine…and better then NY’s.

      • baseballisboring - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:11 PM

        …Sox pitching is garbage? I’d really love to hear your reasoning behind that. Not that you put any thought into that, or have any reasons for thinking that or anything. Kind of a rhetorical question.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Can’t say I wasn’t disappointed at the end of season, although the blame should be mainly placed at Girardi’s doorstep. Strategy lacking, the bats went DEAD, 3-7 last ten, but bad all September. Will grant Sox 6 more wins this season on general principles, however all that’s really happened in the AL East is substituting the Rays with the Sox, which historically is normalcy.
    Truth be told, I usually expect nothing to happen before the All Star break, and would rather Cashman save his money til the trade deadline than signing and overpaying the free agents remaining.
    So it will be a long spring, then-28!

    • rsnorth - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      Yes, a long spring yankeesfanlen or is that yankeesfallen?
      Then Girardi should switch to uniform #26 since your Spankees have headed in the wrong direction.

  3. uyf1950 - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    People have written of the Yankees before and more often than not the Yankees always come through. Are they going to win the World Series every year? Of course not. But I wouldn’t bet against them making the post season. Once that happens it’s anyone ball game, no pun intended. I wouldn’t be to quick to throw dirt on their casket if I were one of the “so called” experts.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 4, 2011 at 6:42 PM

      +1, we agree for once uyf

    • baseballisboring - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:13 PM

      I’m a Sawx fan and I agree. I don’t think they’re gonna be much worse this year at all…it’s just that the Sox got a good bit better.

      • professorperry - Jan 4, 2011 at 10:41 PM

        The real issue is that after CC Sabathia, the starting pitching is so uncertain. And while A-rod, Teix, and Cano make a fearsome middle of the lineup, the rest of the lineup isn’t particularly better than most other decent AL teams.

        So it’s a good thing!

  4. proudlycanadian - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Fans of the other AL East teams are quite happy that the Yankees look weaker than they were last season. I certainly think that the Jays have a chance to catch them this year.

    • bigharold - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      “AL East teams are quite happy that the Yankees look weaker than they were last season.”

      Looks can be deceiving.

      And, though I think the Jays are a decent team, they should be more concerned that the O’s don’t catch the Jays.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        Yawn! Last season, the so called experts also had Baltimore finishing ahead of Toronto. They were dead wrong. Toronto has the best young rotation in the division.

      • bigharold - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM

        “Last season, the so called experts also had Baltimore finishing ahead of Toronto. They were dead wrong.”

        Last year the O’s didn’t have Showalter. Between, Buck and McPhail the O’s will give the AL East fits at time next year.

        I’m not saying that the O’s are better than the Jays. But they are closer to the Jays than the Jays are to the Yankees.

  5. uyf1950 - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    One additional comment on the subject if I may quote Friedrich Nietzsche: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”.

    Should the unimaginable happen and the Yankees miss the post season (which I don’t think will be the case in 2011) it only strengthens our resolve as Yankee fans.

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      it only strengthens our resolve as Yankee fans.

      Or causes them to scream for Cashman’s head, or Girardi’s… 😛

  6. summerof67 - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    AL East standings on May 15, 2009

    W L PCT GB
    Toronto 21 12 .636
    Boston 19 12 .613 1.0
    Tampa Bay 15 17 .469 5.5
    New York 14 16 .467 5.5
    Baltimore 13 18 .419 7.0

    AL East standings on Oct. 4, 2009
    W L PCT GB
    New York 103 59 .636
    Boston 95 67 .586 8.0
    Tampa Bay 84 78 .519 19.0
    Toronto 75 87 .463 28.0
    Baltimore 64 98 .395 39.0

    Never underestimate the ability of NYY to right their ship.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    • summerof67 - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Sorry about the spacing on those standings. I tried to get the numbers into something that resembled columns and couldn’t.

    • billybeaneismyhero - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:14 PM

      Amen to that. Look no further than 2007 when the Sox were 14.5 up on the Yankees in May or June (can’t remember), and the Yankees closed to within two by mid-September. They’re like Cher’s career. Even when they appear dead, you just know there’s some asinine comeback just lurking a little ways down the road.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    For crying out loud…no the Yankees did not do as much as Boston to improve, nor did they need to. Boston missed the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years, and won 0 playoff games over that period. They had some work to do.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:53 PM

      That’s actually false. They *made* the playoffs 2 out of the last three years, and actually won six playoff games over that period (though all in ’08).

      • Ari Collins - Jan 4, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        Excellent correction. But even speaking as a Boston fan, the point still stands. Take a good starting pitcher away from an aging team and they get worse, but they started at 95 wins, so they’ll still be damn good.

  8. Jonny 5 - Jan 4, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    It’s all just wishful thinking. It worked this time, so I can’t fault people for keeping the faith.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      Thanks, Jonny. We will not let the nattering nabobs of negatism defeat us.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 4, 2011 at 8:53 PM

        LOL!!!! I’m one of the few non Yankee fans that actually loves Yankee fans. This is just the best off season the rest of the baseball world has ever seen, let them have their glory for now. I’m sure the Yankees will add another big name pitcher before the TDL. Cash ain’t going down like that. Nope, not by a long shot.

  9. Richard In Big D - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Rodriguez at the plate, CALLED STRIKE THREE!!! THE RANGERS WIN THE PENNANT! THE RANGERS WIN THE PENNANT! THE RANGERS WIN THE PENNANT! And so began the bottomless demise of the Evil Empire, their rapid demise into mediocrity a joyous inevitablity. At least the Boss wasn’t there to see it. It would’ve killed him…

    • bigharold - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      “… their rapid demise into mediocrity a joyous inevitablity.”

      You are talking about the Cowboys, .. right?


      Congratulations, .. now what? Lee didn’t pick the Rangers either.

  10. paperlions - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Oh no, a Yankee fan base with strengthened resolve. The fact is that the Yankees are an old team and many of their players are in decline and likely will miss more time with injuries. Teams that are old can fall off a cliff, and it isn’t like there is a bunch of talent out there for the Yankees to sign (or call up from the minors) to replace their aging core.
    Not only did the Yankees not improve this offseason, by virtue of their age they are worse going into next year than they were last year. If they have to replace Pettite, that won’t be an insignificant blow to their rotation.

    • bigharold - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:34 PM

      “Not only did the Yankees not improve this offseason, …”

      Clearly, the Yankees required FAR less improvement than their primary rival the RS. The players the RS got were good pick ups but they only replaced offensive production that they didn’t resign. Defensively, the outfield is a little better but the infield is slightly worse. Their starters are a bigger questions than the Yankees, with or without Pettitte. The RS pen is better with Wheeler and Jenks but considering that it absolutely SUCKED in 2010 that’s not saying much. And, neither is a dominant presence.

      The Yankees didn’t get Lee which is a let down. but, for all those that expect the Yankees to tank, aside from he FACT that they’ve presented no logic or reason for that possibility, they are in for a big surprise. The Yankee’s expected demise is based on the RS anticipated improvement that is not only unproven but overstated.

      I, as a life long Yankee fan, can’t wait until the start of the new season.

  11. greggbo - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    If the Yankees can continue to perform individually as they did last year, the team will be OK and absolutely can compete. But the team is old and getting older. Instead of refreshing the team, the focus so far was signing Jeter and Rivera, and the current hope is to get Pettite back. All that will do is, at best, is buy the Yanks maybe another year before these old bodies, and their other old bodies, start to fail. The Sox may or may not be better than the Yankees in 2011, but they have put together a very talented young core that is going to sustain the team at or near the top for five years or more. The only old guy in a key position for the Sox is Ortiz at DH — and if and when time catches up with him, as it will, in 2011, 2012 or 2013, it is easy to move quickly to fill the DH role. Not as easy for the Yanks to fill a closer, SS or starting pitcher role. The Yanks are in trouble longer-term, perhaps more than their money can buy them out of.

  12. uyf1950 - Jan 4, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    According to ESPN here are the teams and their average age ranked oldest to youngest:
    1 Philadelphia 28.6
    2 Atlanta 28.5
    3 LA Dodgers 28.3
    4 Boston 28.2
    5 San Francisco 28.1
    6 Houston 27.8
    7 LA Angels 27.7
    8 Texas 27.6
    9 Chicago Cubs 27.6
    10 St. Louis 27.5
    11 Milwaukee 27.5
    12 NY Yankees 27.5
    13 Toronto 27.4
    14 Arizona 27.4
    15 Chicago Sox 27.4
    16 Oakland 27.3
    17 NY Mets 27.2
    18 Washington 27.2
    19 Detroit 27
    20 San Diego 26.9
    21 Cincinnati 26.8
    22 Baltimore 26.8
    23 Colorado 26.8
    24 Pittsburgh 26.7
    25 Tampa Bay 26.6
    26 Florida 26.5
    27 Minnesota 26.5
    28 Seattle 26.4
    29 Kansas City 26.1
    30 Cleveland 25.6
    So while the Yankees aren’t a young team they are certainly not the oldest. Also, in case you haven’t noticed most of the “younger” teams are also usually the least successful.

    • paperlions - Jan 4, 2011 at 6:20 PM

      I’m pretty sure that is for the 40 man roster. The Yankee starters are Posada (39), Jeter (36), ARod (35), Teixiera (30), Swisher (30), Granderson (29), Cano (28), Gardner (27), and probably Montero (21). That’s a pretty old lineup. Sabathia (30) and Burnett (34) aren’t young either….Hughs is the only decent under 30 starter they have. Teams are locking up their young players through their peak years more and more, buying into declining markets for too many years is going to bite you in the ass sometime. It may not be 2011 for the Yankees, but it is coming. What do you do with Jeter and ARod when they are in their late 30s and struggling with years and tens of millions of dollars on their deals? You can’t trade them to anyone, they just going to cut them? Who will they sign to replace them, who will even be available? It will be a challenging situation.

      • greggbo - Jan 4, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        Paperlions has it exactly right, without even mentioning Rivera, the oldest of the old. The Red Sox might be older in average roster age, but look at the roles their old guys are in: Wakefield, #6 starter, long relief. Tek, back up catcher, mentor. Scutaro, utility infielder (Lowrie should start). Cameron, backup outfielder. Only Ortiz should be in a starting role, and as mentioned DH is the easiest position to fill. The Sox have two 26 year old aces, and of their top five hitters, all are in their 20’s except Youk, who is just 31.

      • Ari Collins - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:06 PM

        Not Montero – Martin. Which brings their starting 9’s average age to 31.33. Boston’s starting 9 averages 28.88, though it goes up if you put Scutaro ahead of Lowrie. Which I don’t think Boston will do. Further, except for Cano, all of the Yankees’ truly excellent hitters are over 30. Boston has 3 5-win players under 30 in Pedroia, Crawford, and Gonzalez. And Youkilis is at 31.

        Pitching wise, as greggbo points out, Boston has two excellent 26-year-old pitchers (though I’d hesitate to call Buchholz an ace until his peripherals catch up to his results), and Matsuzaka, Beckett, and Lackey are 30, 31, and 32 respectively, all younger than Burnett.

        I think the Yankees will reload with some younger FAs, and they have an excellent farm system to get some new youngins in there, and, again, they won 95 frickin’ games, so even an age-related decline’s going to leave them favorites for the WC. But for now, that’s an old old team, and Boston’s gotten younger and better.

        It’s going to be a fun fun season.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 4, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      To Ari – Your point about age is well made. However there is more to a players performance than age. For example you point out the relative youth of Beckett, Dice K and Lackey compared to AJ. But you neglect to mention their inability to stay healthy. Like I mentioned in a previous article Lester is the only starting pitcher to start at least 30 games of the 5 starting pitchers on the Sox in the last 3 years. So what good is there youth if they aren’t out on the field?

      To Paperlions – Your last couple of comments and I quote “What do you do with Jeter and ARod when they are in their late 30s and struggling with years and tens of millions of dollars on their deals? You can’t trade them to anyone, they just going to cut them? Who will they sign to replace them, who will even be available? It will be a challenging situation.”
      Overlooks the obvious. First you are looking at it as if the Yankees are just another team with limited financial resources. That in and of itself is a mistake. If fans haven’t learned that by now they never will the “usual” financial restraints are not an issue for the Yankees. Second Jeter’s new contract effectively only binds him to the Yankees for 3 years ( I doubt seriously the 4th year will be picked up and if it so, so what it’s only $8M that’s chump change to the Yankees). Posada’s gone after this year and Rivera only has 2 years on his new contract. Tex’s contract runs through 2016 at the end he will be 36 years old, a year younger then Beltre will be at the end of the contract he signs a with the Rangers if the info. out now is correct. That really only leaves ARod’s long term contract and service time because of age in the last couple of years as the albatross around the Yankees neck, and that’s one the Yankees can easily absorb towards the end of his career. If Thome can DH at 40+ years old I’m sure ARod can do the same. As for your final comment “who will be available”. There will always be players available as long as there are agents like Scott Boras. I wouldn’t be to concerned about that.

  13. Jonny 5 - Jan 4, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    I’m laughing here…. It seems a few people think that because the RS got better, that equals the Yankees getting worse. Sure the RS have a better chance at the division this season coming up, but as we ALL KNOW they will be pretty darned even record wise as usual and anything can happen during the season. Not to mention Sith Cashman will more than likely find another good pitcher before the TDL anyway. I wonder if they can remove the “LEE” lettering from the jerseys Cashman has hidden in his closet?

    • paperlions - Jan 4, 2011 at 9:22 PM

      What any other team did is irrelevant. The Yankees did get worse. Pettite and Vazquez are gone…I know Vazquez sucks, but he was still better than anyone else the Yankees have to put in the rotation right now. Mainly because of the loss of Pettite, the pitching is worse. The Yankees have done nothing to augment their offense, because so many of their starters are past their peak and clearly in decline, the offense also should be worse. When your team is old, standing pat = “getting worse”.
      The Yankees could choose to trade prospects for pitching/offense, but 1) tey don’t really have that deep a system right now, and 2) they need some young talent themselves. If you keep buying into declining markets (i.e. players over 32, you are going to pay the price eventually). When the Yankee core was younger, they could augment with old players…now, the core is old, and augmenting with old players just makes them….well, old, athletic, slow, and injury prone. I’m not rooting for those things to happen, I don’t really care, but that is what happens when a team gets old. There are many fewer young players coming available as teams are choosing to lock them up through their 20s. Boras doesn’t have that many clients. Like I said, it’ll be interesting to see what happens, and a challenging hole for the Yankees to get out of and compete every year.
      As some teams have found out, just because you have money to spend, doesn’t mean there are players available to spend it on that want to come play for you. The Yankees have money right now…and no one to spend it on.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 4, 2011 at 10:18 PM

        Like I’ve said my friend many owners and many fans and many so called experts have counted the Yankees out over the years and more often than not they have been proven wrong. You keep referring to the Yankees getting old. They are getting older but old that’s relative. If old is hitting the 3rd most HR’s in the AL, Leading all the ML in RBI’s and OBP and 3rd in the ML in SLG% in 2010 then you’re right the Yankees are old. If by old you mean the age of the starting 8 position players during the 2011 season:
        Martin: 28
        Cano: 28
        Jeter: 36+
        ARod: 35+
        Tex: 31
        Swisher: 30
        Gardner: 27+
        Granderson: 30

        With the exception of Jeter and ARod all of the players are still well in their prime. Jeter’s age is an issue I readily admit that. As for ARod forgetting about his salary their are a lot of teams that would love to have his 30+ HR’s and over 100 RBI’s he puts up season after season even now.
        As for the pitching CC is only 30 years old and a work horse and has averaged 19 wins over the last 4 season and consistently has an ERA in the very low 3’s . Hughes is a youngster and only going to get better. AJ can’t help but get better then he was in 2010. Nova and Miter will more then offset Vazquez’s loss ( heck the Yankees could put a blind pitcher out there and he would do better then Vazquez did in 2009. Then there is Pettitte. His loss is a problem, but certainly not anything that can’t be overcome at the trade deadline if not sooner via a trade. Teams are always looking to move talent at the trade deadline.
        I’ll close by saying are the Yankees favored to win the division, NO. Will they will the division? Who knows a lot can happen between April 3 and Oct. 3, 2011. Will they make the post season. I firmly believe so. Who’s going to displace them for the Wild Card if that’s where they qualify? Toronto or Tampa Bay in the East. Detroit, Chicago or the Twins in the Central. Oakland, or the Angels in the West. Only one team from the Central and the West is likely to make the post season. I don’t see any of those teams having the talent of the Yankees, even an “old” Yankee team as you call them.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 4, 2011 at 11:08 PM

        With the staff of guys they now have I don’t see much of a decline on the way on the offensive side. They have pitching problems for sure and to deny they’ll give up more runs early on this season would be silly. But don’t be shocked when the yankees sweep up some other teams Ace before the TDL, maybe even before spring training. Expect it. in hindsight letting Vasquez go was a mistake, and the teams audacity in planning on landing Lee really shows with that move. Cash screwed the pooch on that one. But they are still a bottomless pit of $$ and they’ll pull a rabbit out of the hat imo.

  14. nyyankeefanforever - Jan 4, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    A few points if I may, ladies and gentlemen

    First, regarding all the talk about relative ages of teams and their correlation to injuries, I’d say the Red Sox 2010 team effectively negated the validity of that theory. Younger stupid players who don’t know their own bodies’ limitations and incompetent diagnoses by inferior medical staff allowing the front office to call the shots clearly present as great or greater a risk to the health and well-being of a lineup.

    Second, I’d bet my money on a core of seasoned veteran athletes anticipating and dealing responsibly with predictable signs of aging than half a lineup of young studs all trying to come back at once from serious injuries.

    Third, the same Yankee team without Pettitte means simply there’s a need to replace his 11 wins, and so an ace of Lee’s stature is hardly necessary to repeat a season that came within two games of another Series appearance.

    Fourth, the Yankees can have a reasonable expectation their remaining pitching staff, bullpen and lineup will equal or exceed their 2010 performance, while virtually every other leading contender has lost significant 2010 impact players to free agency and are hoping new additions and returning impact players will perform to expectations in post-contractual and/or post-injury seasons.

    Fifth, the Phillies did for the Yankees with the Lee deal what the Red Sox did in their three-team swapadeedoo that sent Halladay north and Lackey east: that is, removed yet another certified Yankee killer from our universe and made the path to the next ring that much easier.

    I’ll leave you with this sixth and final thought.

    The talent pool for trades is light years deeper and wider than the garage sale of the Hot Stove; the Yankee farm is hip deep in bargaining chips; and Brian Cashman has Lee’s $150 million check burning a hole in his back pocket.

    In summary, anyone betting the Yankees — who have only missed one post-seasonj in 16 years — won’t be returning again in 2011 as good or better than ever, now hear this: Your money is going to be in my pocket.

    Now, let’s play ball!

    • greggbo - Jan 5, 2011 at 7:03 AM

      Although I’m a Sox fan, I hope you are right, as baseball is much more fun when the Yankees are a perennial powerhouse. But I don’t think your arguments hold up.

      To your first and second points: injuries are a secondary issue with aging. Declining performance, independent of injuries, is the main point. And it is simply incontrovertible that, outliers notwithstanding, player performance declines with age. Imagining that the Yankee players are somehow immune is silly.

      Your attempt to minimize the impact of Pettitte by saying that that the Yankees simply have to replace is 11 wins is specious. He was the Yanks second-best pitcher, and best in the post-season. Yes, you can find a lot of 11 win pitchers. But you won’t find many who were 11-3 with an ERA in the low 3’s who can carry the load in the post-season.

      Expecting the remaining team (I assume you mean the younger group) to equal or better their performance may or may not happen. Gardner is unlikely to duplicate his .340 BABIP, for instance. Same with Swisher and his .335 BABIP. Cano can’t do much better than he did. I don’t see a lot of upside in the lineup with the younger guys…

      You are right that the talent pool for trades is potentially huge, but you are wrong that the Yankees system is stocked. I don’t claim to be an expert on minor league systems, but in most of the rankings I’ve seen, the Yankee’s farm talent is about average — nothing special (same for the Sox). The Sox, however, are in a position to reload, as they have collected six picks of the top 80 picks in the upcoming draft, which is considered to be very deep.

      The Yankees may in fact be able to find their way out of their current situation. But I think you sugarcoat their long term problems, which are fundamental.

  15. greggbo - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    All the Yankee money didn’t make the team great until they came up with a large core of young, extremely talented players that coalesced in the mid-90’s. Once they had that core in place, they could augment it with expensive free agents and create a dominant team.

    They may or may not do well in 2011. But their problem is long-term. They may be able to piece together collections of free agents that periodically make them winners over the next five to eight years. But the era of the Yankees being a dominant team year in and year out will be coming to a close, very soon.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:19 AM

      You may be right, you may be wrong as Billy Joel once said. I’ll bet there were an awful lot of “experts” and non Yankee fans that said that same thing in the early 90’s and we all know how that prediction turned out for the last 15 or 20 years. Like I keep saying, never count out the Yankees they always seem to find a way to be in the hunt and that’s a fact not an opinion.

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2011 at 7:08 AM

      Exactly. The problem is a long-term one. They have not addressed their impending age issue and it is difficult to impossible to address such a thing all at once. That is why I said above that they may not drop off the cliff in 2011, but the cliff is fast approaching, and the last two years they haven’t done anything to slow their approach to it.
      Most players start to go down hill their age 33 season, give or take a year. The problem with the hope of trading for young studs is that the price is high in the form of prospects, which they Yankees don’t really have…and those they have…they need.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        My only purpose in this post is to dis-spell your comment about the Yankees having done nothing to get younger and or better in the past couple of years. Let’s look at what the have done since 2008 with the starting 8 position players.
        1st – They replaced an aging Jason Giambi who was 37 with Tex a 29 year old at the time and a much, much better player.
        2nd – They replaced an over the hill Johnny Damon with Brett Gardner a young energetic player with loads of upside in Left Field
        3rd – They replaced the underachiever Melky Cabrera with Curtis Granderson who was 29 at the time.
        4th – They replaced Bobby Abreu who was 35 at the time with Nick Swisher who was 28 at the time.
        5th – This year they are replacing Posada with Martin who is 28 and or Montero a prospect from the Yankee farm system who everyone raves about.
        That’s 5 of 8 starting position players that the Yankees have either replaced to get better or get younger and better.
        The future at 2nd base with Cano looks brighter then ever no need for concern there. As I previously mentioned Jeter’s age and performance after 2010 is a concern. As For ARod, yes his contract takes him out to I believe 42 years old. But forgetting about the dollars involved because that means very little to the Yankee organization, as I said previously there are a whole lot of teams that would love to have a player who even at 35+ years old is an offensive machine hitting consistently 30+HR’s and over 100 RBI’s per season even now. Again as I said earlier if Thome can DH at 40+ I see no reason why ARod can’t in the last 3 or so years of his contract if it comes to that. So really the only age/contract problem for the Yankees is Jeter’s but one that I’m confident will be worked out in 2012 and or 2013 (so that at most is a 2 year problem).
        The real issue for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012 is one quality starting pitcher. If Andy comes back the issue gets pushed back to 2012, if he doesn’t it’s an immediate problem that I’m sure will be solved by the trade deadline if not sooner.
        If one is objective in the last 2 or 3 years the Yankees have actually gotten younger and better at MOST positions, not older.

  16. greggbo - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    UYF 1950, you are correct that they have tried to get younger. But apart from Cano, they don’t have any top-tier talent under 30, at least not yet.

    Starters: Hughes (24, #29 in ERA) vs. Buchholz (26, #2 in ERA) and Lester (26, #9 in ERA)

    Infielders: Cano versus Gonzalez and Pedroia.

    Bullpen: Joba versus Bard (1.93 ERA).

    Outfield is a little closer to even, with Ganderson & Gardner vs. Ellsbury and Crawford.

    But the bottom line is that that Sox have seven all-star or near all-star quality guys under 30, and the Yankees have one or two.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 5, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      Why do posters have a fascination with 30 years old? Why not 28, or 26 or 31? A team consist of more then 30 year olds and under players. The teams success or failure depends on “veterans/stars”, established players and players who can remain relatively injury free as well. I will give you Joba is a joke. I get the feeling if he isn’t traded by the trade deadline and hasn’t improved he’s gone before next season.
      I won’t deny that the Red Sox are younger than the Yankees and I won’t deny at some positions they are are better than the Yankees. But there are positions that the Yankees are better at then the Red Sox regardless of age. For Example: catcher, right field, closer (regardless of age). I believe overall the teams are a lot closer in performance then many are willing to admit. I also believe the Yankees are 1 quality starter away from being better then they were in 2010. Gardner and Hughes will have gained valuable experience, Martin/Montero are a definite upgrade defensively/offensively then Posada. Letting Vazquez go will help as well, Nova and Mitre as a combination will be a slight improvement over Vazquez.
      Again, I’m not disputing that age is an issue with some Yankees. My dispute is with those posters that over simplify the issue with blanket statements such as the Yankees have done nothing to get younger over the past few years, or their isn’t or won’t be any available talent out their in the future for the Yankees to avail themselves of. Those statements are simply inaccurate. Listen we all can write comments to support our own position, but the bottom line is the Yankees have been successful are successful and will be successful in the future and those that think otherwise in my opinion are fooling themselves.

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