Tuesday, July 03, 2007

NY Nuggets

In a season during which things seem to fall apart for the Yankees just when they seem like they might turn the corner, or at least get some sort of season highlight, it has happened again. On the night that Clemens gets his 350th career win, the Bombers' best offensive player injures himself and is likely headed to the disabled list.

For those out there that don't think Alex Rodriguez has been the best player at the plate for the Yanks this year, you're either blind or stupid. For the next two weeks, the Yankees are likely to be without the guy who has produced 80 of the team's 315 RBI's from the (current regular) starting nine. That's 25.4 percent of the team's RBI's. They lose the guy who hit 28 home runs of the starting nine's 68 homers, 41.18 percent. He has hit more than three times the number of home runs than the next most on the team (Posada, 9), and of the current line-up, to even come close to matching his home run production, it would take Posada, Matsui (8), Jeter (5), and Abreu (5) - in essence, half the line-up.

Call it a hunch, but this is going to be a long two weeks for the Yanks if A-Rod's hamstring is bad enough to be put on the DL. Add that to the fact that a hamstring injury makes A-Rod a less tradeable commodity if the Yanks wanted to try to replenish the farm system. Hamstrings are notoriously tricky and can have an adverse affect on a player's power numbers.

Yankees fans take note...
Yankees ownership feels that you are less important than the players. At least that is what the message seems to be when they allow Cynthia Rodriguez, A-Rod's wife, to wear a shirt that tells the fan base what it can do with itself.

Any fan would have been escorted to the gate, or at the very least, asked to cover the rude and inappropriate message on the shirt.

This is not going to help A-Rod endear himself to the New York fans.

Farnsworth on way out the door?
According to reports, after the blow-up between Joe Torre and pitcher Kyle Farnsworth, Farnsworth has been unavailable for the last two games due to what Torre told reporters was a sore or stiff back. When approached by reporters, Farnsworth said his back was fine and that he would have been able to pitch in either of the last two games if needed.

This sounds like someone who has seriously fallen out of favor with his manager, and might be suited to a change of scenery.

The hard truth...
The hard truth for Yankees fans is that their team through 79 games has won only 38. Sure, they're only about 8.5 games back in the wild card race, but the wild car leading Tigers are on pace to win 95 games. Seattle, Minnesota, Oakland, and Toronto are all between the Yankees and the Tigers and all are playing better baseball than the Yankees.

For the Yankees to get to that magic number of 95, the Yankees will have to go 57-26 for the remainder of the season.

It's time for New York to write off this season, trade some veterans for whatever they can get (and let's face it, Abreu isn't worth much, A-Rod is injured, decreasing their return on him, Giambi isn't worth anything to anyone, and a broken down Damon isn't going to draw much interest). But if they can get even three prospects that are even close to major league ready, that would be quite an accomplishment.

Let's look at one last hard truth. Brian Cashman isn't that great a general manager. He was not the architect of the World Series winners in the 1990's. Gene Michael and Bob Watson were. Watson and Michael built the farm system that produced Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, were smart enough to not trade away Jorge Posada, and generally had more power than what Cashman has been granted through the years.

Cashman has pretty much just had more that he could spend on the top free-agents than anyone else. This year he tried to put together a team on something of a budget and failed miserably.


Dave said...

Interesting note; a NY reporter wore the same shirt C-Rod wore. Sure enough, she was asked to leave the stadium. Nice double standard.

And how hurt do you think A-Rod actually is? Or is this trip on the DL a way to quiet down all the insanity, especially since it's not like it'll hurt their chances this season.

Nice call on Cashman. He rode the success of Michael and Watson the same way Gruden benefited from Dungy's work in Tampa Bay.

Kevin Smith said...

Honestly, it's always hard to tell with a hammy - easy to fake, but if it is a problem, it can really linger. My one problem with the play on which it happened, was that A-Rod physically pushed Morneau off the bag with his left hand. It was borderline interference (I hesitate to call it outright only because it was hard to tell whether or not he would have been out without the push).

As for Cashman, he may yet turn into a decent GM, but the reality right now is that when he tried to be fiscally responsible, he put together a .500 team. I would be curious to see what would happen were he managing Oakland.