Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yankee Weekend

The Yankees just finished a miserable weekend in Anaheim, getting swept by the far superior Angels. The Angels are everything the Yankees are not -- young, aggressive, solid defensively, and capable of hitting in the clutch. They move runners over, they drive in men on 3rd with less than two outs, and unless something drastic happens over the next two months, they are the clear favorites to win it all.

The Yankee season has been one of frustration and injury -- Wang, Joba, Hughes, Posada, Matsui, Damon, Bruney, etc. have all spent time on the DL, and given Jeter's struggles, I suspect we will find out after the season that he has been dealing with a nagging condition as well. Kennedy, Cabrera, and Cano have struggled and been wildly inconsistent, and Giambi and Abreu just inconsistent. Looking back, for the Yankees to even be in the race this late in the season is surprising.

That said, the Yankee front office should be completely focused on 2009 at this point. This offseason has been one Yankee fans have been looking forward to for a number of years due to the "bloated" contracts coming off the books -- Giambi, Abreu, Pettitte, Mussina, and Pavano, and the potential 2009 draft picks for the newly acquired Pudge and Damaso Marte. With the new stadium looming and the inevitable roster upheaval, it is definitely a transition year in New York, the most critical hot stove season of the last decade.

I wish I had more faith in Brian Cashman to do the job that needs doing. Unfortunately, Cashman seems more concerned with proving he's smarter than all other GMs more than with putting the best Yankee team on the field. What he seems to fail to realize is that with the highest payroll in baseball, you don't have to be the smartest GM -- you just have to "not make a muck of it" as Aidan O'Brien once said. Cashman's history has repeatedly shown that he favors the "no downside" moves -- ones in which another team has given up on a player, and by picking him up, he thinks he looks like a genius if that player actually performs. But if the player doesn't perform, no big deal. That thinking just won't get it done this offseason.

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