I know the last thing on any avid sports fan around this time of year is probably baseball. However, to avoid repeating every conversation you’ve had with every Jets fan this week so far (ah man I think we’ll give the Pats a helluva game! Wouldn’t that be something to be Manning AND Brady to go win the Super Bowl?), I have written a small article to be different from the mass herds and talk about the upcoming baseball season so far. Wait! Die hard football fans, before you leave me to go find a football article, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up for the new Sterling Shakers mailing list. This way when we update, you don’t need to participate in my blast facebooking campaigns to know we have done so.
Okay, so like I said, baseball. A complete aside, I got in the mood reading a book by Michael Lewis called Moneyball. I have said I was going to read it for years, and it was recently mentioned to me again by my cousin at his wedding in Mexico, and I just got a cool new smart phone with a kindle app (yes I hate book apps but it’s easier than carrying a book on the crowded subway sometimes) – so I made it my first read. I am not here to talk about the book, other than an average fan or better will enjoy it - so go read it (or wait for the movie with Brad Pitt – not joking). Actually waiting 7 years after its release to read it has almost put more of it into a cooler perspective. Anyways, I just keep thinking on what the hell the Yankees are doing this offseason? Russell Martin, an ex all star to fall from the top 5 catcher discussion the past two seasons or so, and 34 y/o lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano signing away from the Mets seem to be all I have to talk about.
Ok so really quick, you will see an opening day lineup of (and minus the bench which will be taken care of much later - we're solid):
1) Jeter, SS, 2) Swisher, RF, 3) Teixeira, 1B, 4) Rodriguez, 3B, 5) Cano, 2B, 6) Posada, DH, 7) Granderson, CF, 8) Martin, C, 9) Gardner, LF
Bench: Your pick of Pena, Nunez, Curtis, Golson, Russo, and any other kid called up last year I missed or someone who makes it out of camp.
AND you will have a rotation of something like:
1) Sabathia, 2) Hughes, 3) Burnett, 4) Nova, 5) Grau Geist – er, I mean Mitre.
With a bullpen like:
Robertson, Logan, Chamberlain, Feliciano, Rivera & another reliever to be named later – perhaps named Prior or Brackman.
Okay so two things here: Why are we talking about trading prospects for relievers in NY papers? And secondly, why are we all of a sudden “in danger of making the playoffs” among baseball circles? I would like to point out the Yankees bullpen is interchangeable with the exception of Rivera. This is a strength. No one blows your mind, but there is no real gaping hole in it. Adding someone for the price of a closer like Soriano would simply be retarded before the season starts. For once, I am satisfied with the pen going into the season.
Now for the next sentence which will lead into answering number two: WE NEED A STARTING PITCHER – this isn’t a secret. But, we don’t need it just yet. I applaud Cashman for taking his sweet time in figuring this out. Lets compare to the 2008 Yankees that missed the playoffs. Those Yankees had a staff ace that went 20-9 in Mike Mussina, and a second best in Andy Pettite that went 14-14. They started 34 and 33 games respectively. Darrell Rasner, finished 5-10, started the third most on the team with 20 games. Ian Kennedy started 9 and went 0 and 4. Joba was a mess trying to make the transition and would be great one start and awful another. Wang was 8 and 2 in 15 starts and then hurt himself running home. And Finally, our savior Sidney Ponson was 4 and 4 in 15 starts. There were a few other guys who started and made no positive impact, but do you see the quality we were dealing with? And we still won 89 games playing a great number of games against the stacked AL East.
The East isn’t what it was in 2008 anymore. The Rays are a shadow of their team from ‘08, the Sox you can make an argument are back on track, but the O’s and J’s lack any kind of talent to compete still. This Yankee team making the postseason will be very possible with 1 ace, a solid 2/3 guy in the 2 spot, and a wildcard in Burnett. It isn’t like Nova and Mitre are Rasner either. If Burnett turns out to be a 5+ ERA guy again or someone gets hurt, we can be in trouble. However, until the season plays out, don’t give up the future of an aging team to plug holes that will be much cheaper to plug in a few months.
Now go sign up for my mailing list, or at least tell me how much you disagree with this entire premise of not needed a starter yet… I’d love to hear your regurgitated responses.