To say that this was a bad sports weekend was an understatement. The Yankees got swept by the hated BoSox while the Rangers moved from the precipice of a stunning voictory to the doorstep of a devestating defeat. I just wanted to put my thoughts about the Yankees out there while they were still roiling inside me. Being that I am just typing as they come to me, it might get a bit disjointed.
- Before I get to the games, I want to address the reaction. Francesa, you really need to stop talking. This is not indicative of larger organizational issues or fatal flaws. It is one series in APRIL!! The Yankees have played poorly for much of the year, gotten little from a rotation that was soupposed to be amazing, have not had their best player available…and are 9-9. Had they won the first game, the one where they handed a lead to the best closer in history, no one would be yapping. Get some perspective.
- Talking about perspective, I think Yankees fans have really deteriorated as a group in terms of confidence and the ability to properly weigh one loss. Every game is the apocalypse now, as fans rant about the team and its inadequacies from inning to inning depending on how the game goes. Visiting Lohud during games in pure torture, and unfortunately, RAB is starting to get a similar feel (I’m looking at you, Axl). It is perfectly fine to get upset, or to be critical. But to make broad statements about the season being over or a failure are silly.
- One last broad point: the AL looks like it has a ton of solid teams this year, but few great ones. I see three really good teams with minimal flaws, and all reside in the AL East. So try to relax and focus upon the fact that of the legitimate contenders, Tampa has been the worst thus far.
- Now to the games. The Yankees went 7-42 (.167) with RISP in the series. That is atrocious, but it is also an unsustainable number. They will get better in that area, and they will score even more runs then they have thus far. It is hard to be anything but encouraged by how the club is hitting, last night not withstanding, without Alex Rodriguez.
- That being said, Brian Cashman’s inability to build a bench has really created strategic issues for Joe Girardi. With Catalanatto, Jenkins, Edmonds, Durham, and Grudzilanek still out there, there are certainly options for the club to correct this issue. For some reason, Cash seems to be inclined to make believe like the Xavier Nady injury never happened.
- How good is Robinson Cano? Derek Jeter is pretty impressive himself.
- How bad are the Yankees options at 3rd and in CF? The Yankees can survive at 3rd base for another two weeks until A-Rod returns, but CF is starting to look like a real issue. Again, Jim Edmonds is available, and Mike Cameron may eventually be an option. I have a feeling that we may see Austin jackson much earlier than we expected or the Yankees hoped.
- AJ Burnett needs to hold that 6-0 lead, but the people ripping on him are forgetting how good he was for his first three starts, playing the stopper in two of them. It was an awful start, but he seemed appropriately upset about it, and I still think that he is going to have an excellent year.
- The bullpen has been bad, but I think one important point needs to be made. If your starters are consistently needing to be bailed out for 3-5 innings, your bullpen will get exposed. If you need to string together a bunch of one inning pitchers, eventually you will hit on one or two who just do not have it that night. I guarantee that this bullpen will look a lot better once the starters get strasightened out.
- On that note, anyone who does not think that the starter will figure things out is being short-sighted. These are all guys with track records of success, and I have full faith that this will be an excellent rotation. I am being 100% honest when I say the rotation does not worry me at all. Do you think Boston is really worried about Beckett, Lester, and Dice-K? I doubt it.
- Jose Veras, Damaso Marte, and Edwar Ramirez need to start throwing more strikes. Losing Bruney is a problem.
- Why is Steven Jackson on the team if he is never going to pitch?
- David Robertson is going to be a very good reliever. He has a great fastball-curve combo with solid control and command, and struck out 36 in 30 MLB innings last season. However, his problem remains the fact that when he does miss, he tends to do so up and over the plate. He needs to work on keeping the ball down a bit more.
- How exciting was it to see Mark Melancon pitch with the big club, and throw two shutout innings against Boston? He breezed through his first inning, and then loaded the bases with no one out in the second. He then went force out, strikeout, groundout and escaped with no runs allowed. It was the one really good thing to come out of this weekend.
- Angel Berroa should be glued to the bench if he can’t deal with routine grounders. Let Ramiro Pena play and at least we will not be losing runs on defense from the black hole at third base.
- Pettitte needs to be cognizant of the speedy guy at third when pitching from the full windup. Just an embarrasing play.
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