“The Sox are tight, they know what they’re doing, they’re better than them at every spot- front office, on the mound, manager, everywhere, Youkilis. Yankees don’t have a Youkilis. That wasn’t 3 games, that was 3 years. They’re smarter, they have a better plan, Yankees don’t know what to do. Did it hurt? It hurt a lot!”
“This is why they are a better organization. They have kids coming out of the minors that the Yankees cannot touch.”“Yankees don’t know what they are doing. Ruining Joba’s career. Sox have a long-term plan, big hard throwers.”
“They don’t have Bruney, they don’t have anybody! They brought guys in from the minor leagues last night! They have no bullpen. All they’ve done is ruin Joba, he can’t hit 95 on the gun anymore. The Yankees have not developed anything and since 2004 the Red Sox have eaten the Yankees lunch if you look at it. They’re flat better than the Yankees.”
“Where’s Masterson for the Yankees? Where’s their Lester that they’ve developed? All they’ve done is bring up Joba and ruin him.”
“The Red Sox bring up Jones, he gets everybody out. Bowden is going back to PAWTUCKET today – HE got everybody out.”
“All the Yankees have done is throw money at it . That was on display last night.”“They were LAUGHING at the Yankees last night.”
Whether or not you’re a Red Sox or Yankee fan, you have to admit that he’s laying it on pretty thick. The next portion of this article is not Red Sox bashing — it’s a rebuttal to the tyrant that calls himself a Yankee fan. Mike, what does it even mean to not have “A Kevin Youkilis”? Most would prefer ARod or Teixeira. Justin Masterson got blown up in back to back starts earlier this month. The Sox are currently platooning Nick Green and Julio Lugo at shortstop. At some point, that will be an issue. David Ortiz has no power and I don’t really see any reason to believe it’s coming back. JD Drew doesn’t care about anything other than banking his $14 million yearly salary — the guy has stats worse than Xavier Nady in the past two years. Josh Beckett isn’t really elite anymore (he sports a 6.42 ERA in 7 starts to go with his 4.03 ERA in 2008). And oh yeah, Joba Chamberlain has an ERA a full two runs lower than Jon Lester (3.89 vs. 6.31).
Talk all the trash you want about the pen (though calling it a career for Mariano might be a bit pre-mature), Francesa, but the rest of the team has a lot of time to improve. Boli or not, the Yankees were missing one of the best hitters in baseball for the first 5 weeks of the season. ARod is still an elite hitter at only 80-90% power and it’s probable that he’ll get stronger as the season goes on.
Much of Francesa’s misplaced ire has been aimed at the newest pinstripe recruits. As GM of the Yankees, Brian Cashman is tasked with signing the best players NOT finding the best bargains. The fact that the signings were so big has only amplified the criticism. However, it’s far too early to write off the Yankees’ Big Three of 2009. I was never a huge AJ Burnett fan (mainly due to injury concerns) but the guy is a gamer. You have to respect any starting pitcher that rocks a dip during the game. He’s also determined to make a difference. I’ve watched his interviews and I appreciate his attitude — and it’s one that these three guys all share. He might be overpaid but he’s a great secondary option behind CC. Speaking of the biggest of the big three, CC hasn’t been bad at all. He’s actually been pretty unlucky. It’s clear that he’s becoming more comfortable (only 2 BB in his last 3 starts) and I suspect he will turn it on as the summer heats up. For Teixeira, I have no doubt that he will provide a huge boost for the Yankees. Whenever it comes, his poor April numbers will be an afterthought. Nearly all of his power has come from the left side of the plate and he’s actually batting over .300 as a righty. So it really shouldn’t be long until he’s performing at his normal level.
With a team like the Yankees or Sox, it’s obviously important to play well early. But both of these teams are constructed to win championships. For that reason, it’s equally important to carefully refine the roster as the season goes along. The Yankees have a lot of issues, but they could easily be addressed with a couple of personnel moves. It’s likely that the Yankees will seek relief help in the near future (somebody like Matt Capps?), but the rest of the pieces should fall into place naturally. You may say “But Chris, there’s way too much optimism in this article — the Yankees won’t reach a level to challenge for the AL East title.” And you could be right. Even so, the Yankees will still be in a spot to contend for the wild card if only half of it goes right. As long as the Yankees are playing their best baseball in September and October, the first month of the season will mean very little. All is not lost, Mike. But you should still get the shirt.