Monday, August 11, 2008

A weekend lost

I woke up and saw that the Yanks are 8.5 games back in the AL East and three games behind the Twins (4.5 behind the Sawx) for the Wild Card. We just got swept in LA. As Tyler Kempner puts it, "It’s Getting Late Early for the 2008 Yankees" and he's right on.

The Yanks rotation consists of a rejuvenated Moose, an eminently hittable Pettitte, a profoundly frustrating Ponson and then a hodgepodge of guys including Dan Giese, Darrell Rasner, a recently sent-down Kennedy (foot-in-mouth disease). Generation Trey, as some had called them, imploded rather than "was here to stay". Kennedy and Hughes have yet to win a game. The vets are not happy with Kennedy's comments. Joba's on the DL after what had seemed to be a seamless transition into a top tier starter. Heck, we might even see American Idle Pavano back before Joba. Wang will be ready just as the regular season will come to a close.

With the bats, ARod's still slumping (despite a HR yesterday). Jeter's looking lost. Abreu and Damon are still hitting [I am totally on board with keeping Abreu another two years, for whatever my vote's worth]. Melky has been passed. Cano remains an enigma, with the bat and the glove. Matsui's been out for ages. Nady has been great, though.

What can I say? The best part of my baseball weekend was that I missed the end of every game. Too tired Friday. Hanging with the kids Saturday. Dinner with the extended family Sunday. Missed a lot of the games. Not upset in the least.

More importantly for me was that my older son's catching the ball better. We had a good long catch on Sunday morning and he's catching better. And my younger one (age 5) now knows how to throw from a full windup. Not sure where the ball is going to go, but he'll call out "two seamer" or "four seamer", go into a windup and hurl the ball in my general direction. Yes, he tries to put his little fingers across four seams. And that's why I had a good weekend even though my team didn't.


themarksmith said...

Welcome to the "Our Season Is Done" club. It's a sad group, but we can help each other make it to next season.

As for your weekend, it sounds like it was pretty good. I played catch with a little cousin at the beginning of the summer, and he had no idea how to throw it straight. It was still cool to see him try.

Jason said...


I've said, from the beginning, that I'm OK with the Yanks missing the playoffs on a philosophical level. I hate it from ACTUAL level, but so long as the team was doing things to ensure the longer term health of the club, I'm ok with a pause. The Sox missed the playoffs between WS titles and that didn't mean much.

The team needs to retrench. We need to re-look at every position. ARod will be fine. Cano, too, likely. After that, how sure are you of any other position? Jeter, sure, will be OK, but this is probably his new baseline.

What do you do with the OF next year? Matsui and Damon are under contract. Melky has regressed and probably damaged his trade value. Is Nady under contract for 2009? Abreu is a FA but I think we should consider a 2 year deal. He's quiet, he isn't a superstar but one who knows his role. I like those guys. A lot.

1B is a huge question mark. Do they bring Giambi back for one more year? Do they push for Teix?

The biggest question will be if they can be successful in landing a major pitching talent. Can they land Sabathia, Sheets, etc.? Will Moose want to return for a 2 year contract? What about Pettitte? Will he retire like he's hinted at more times than Brett Favre? Will Hughes return soon and give us hope for 2009? What about Joba? Will Kennedy be traded with/without Melky? Will any of the other youngsters emerge?

We need to pull the reigns back on our sentimentality and focus on putting the best players out there, not the best names. That's what the Sox do/did so well.

And yes, playing catch with the kids is awesome. Played catch at the pool with a bunch of kids. The parents called me the Pied Piper since once me and my boys started playing catch, half a dozen other kids joined us. Seems I've become that dad who is always playing catch with everyone. I'm cool with that.

themarksmith said...

I actually plan to write on all the teams in October as for what they need to do, what they have, etc., so this is good practice. Nady actually has another year of arbitration, so he'll be back. The thing with him is that he can play first base (and has in the past), so the Yanks won't need to pursuit Tex (Boras loses his advantage). Then, they could have Matsui in left, Cabrera in center (he's only 23, so he should start to improve), and then re-sign Abreu for right field with Damon at DH.

Then, the Yankees use their large cache of cash to buy Sabathia to team with Wang and Joba to be the most dominant 1-2-3 punch in the world. Hughes could fit in as the 5 as I think if he can stay healthy, he'll be fine (I'm not sold on Kennedy and wasn't last year; he should probably follow Karstens to the NL). Then try to sign either Moose (preferably) or Pettite for the 4.

As for Jeter, there doesn't appear to be any prospects in the minors to help out. Maybe the Yankees could sign Furcal or Cabrera. But then what to do with Jeter? He would then have to be the DH, but you would have Damon there. Can Damon still play center, and then the Yankees could trade Cabrera opening up the DH spot? Jeter isn't good defensively, but I have faith in his stick returning.