Tuesday, September 9, 2008

RIP 2008 Yankees

When showing the AL East and Wild Card race, ESPN can now take the NY Yankees off the graphic. It's safe to say the Yankees' 2008 season is officially over. If losing 2 of 3 over the weekend against the lowly Mariners wasn't the final kick in the crotch, last night's 12-1 stinker was the raising of the white flag.

For die hard Yankees' fans, you really have to believe in Yankees magic and the fact that just less than a year ago the Colorado Rockies went on an improbable streak.

The Yankees have 18 games left, 10 against the Angels, White Sox and Red Sox. After tonight, those will be the 3 division leaders in the AL.

New York stands at 76-68. 10 games out of first, 9.5 back of the Wild Card. You would figure the Yankees would have to win at least 92 games to have any shot at the post season. So they need to finish the season 16-2!

Let's face it, that's not going to happen. Not with New York's starting pitching.

The injuries combined with the tough schedule the final two months finally kept the Yankees from playing October baseball for the first time since 1995.

The final 54 games of the season, the Yankees had 28 games against Boston, Tampa, Chicago, Anaheim and Minnesota-teams with legitimate postseason opportunities.

You can't blame Joe Girardi, he did a great job.

The injuries were far severe. In June, ace Chien-Ming Wang was lost for the season, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were hurt and failed to live up to their expectations. All this forced the Yankees to quickly move Joba Chamberlain to the starting rotation, which really wasn't a horrible idea. The Yankees just hit the panic button and rushed Joba into the rotation.

Joba went down. The Yankees had to find starting pitching from the likes of Sidney Ponson and Carl Pavano.

Maybe the biggest blow to the Yankees was Jorge Posada going down. The catcher may be the most important position in baseball. They see the game better than anyone else on the field. Without Posada behind the plate calling games, the pitching staff had no chance.

A-Rod, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon all spent a considerable amount of time on the DL.

If I were to blame anyone, it would be GM Brian Cashman. Since the end of 2001, Cashman has created a team full of washed up, overpriced ball players with absolutely no team chemistry. I could go down the line each year, but let's just do this season.

Since the acquisition of Jason Giambi, the Yankees have not had a decent fielding first baseman. Recently Cashman has gone after the likes of Wilson Betemit and this year Richie Sexson. Richie freakin Sexson! The guy may be the number one reason why the Seattle Mariners had such a dismal season. I don't think he lasted more than a month in pinstripes and never saw his average rise above .225.

What was wrong with Mark Teixeira! They guy only hits .300, has won a gold glove, is
in the prime of his career and the typical player you would want to lock up long term.
New York badly needed another catcher so of course Cashman trades Kyle Farnsworth for Pudge Rodriquez, another high paid, at the end of his career player. Cashman could have easily gone after Benjie Molina in San Francisco and reunited him with his brother Jose. With Joba out of the bullpen, the Yankees really could not afford to lose anyone else from the pen.

Bringing in Xavier Nady may have been Cashman's best move of the year, but even that trade was skeptical. Nady had always been a NL guy and now it's quite obvious that Jason Bay would have been the better choice. Theo Epstein gets another over BC.

Starting pitching was questionable for the Yankees coming into the season. The Yankees failed to pull the trigger on the Johan Santana deal, and now, that looks like the biggest off season move that didn't happen for the Yankees. The Yanks were to give up Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes. Cabrera finished the season in Triple A, Cano got off to his patented horrific start and Hughes was gone by May.

Even so, Cashman didn't make a move for C.C. Sabathia or Jarrod Washburn. Instead he relied on another one of his bombs, Carl Pavano. Epstein 2, Cashman 0. (Remember Boston got Josh Beckett and New York Pavano.

Now even deusche bag Curt Schilling feels he needs to voice his opinion on the Yankees and New Yorkers in general.

"The euphoria in New York is palpable," Schilling said. "The Yankees suck this year and they are bitter and mad and making excuses over that. Now they got Tom going down so New York's excited. It's unfortunate, but when you crawl to the top of the pile you will have people trying to knock you down."

Give it up Schilling! The New York Giants beat Brady and the Patriots. And if you haven't noticed, the NY Mets are leading their division. Not all New Yorkers are Yankees's fans.

Schilling hasn't shut up about New York since the 2001 World Series when asked about the mystique and aura of Yankee Stadium and Schilling replied, "Mystique and Aura? Aren't those strippers?" We all know what ensued in Games 3, 4, and 5.

Now Yankees' fans will root for the Tampa Rays to win the division and Boston to falter. Of course the reality is vice versa.

The only thing Yankees fans have to look forward to now: Derek Jeter breaking the all time hit mark at Yankee Stadium, Mike Mussina gunning for 20 wins for the first time of his career, the Yankees finishing off the rest of the season strong and not finishing in fourth place of the division.

And the final game ever at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, September 21 on ESPN.

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