We all know the Giants brought New York its first championship since the Yankees did so in 2000. Wait… New York’s first championship since 2000? It seems there are always New York teams in the playoffs. That’s because they are.
In 2006, The Yankees and Mets both had the best records in baseball, the Giants and Jets both made it to the playoffs, and even the New York Rangers did (sorry, Knicks). Did New York win ANYTHING that year? No, but the Giants did manage to beat the “perfect” 18-1 Patriots in the Super Bowl this year. I heard recently that the Patriots are clothing all the homeless children in Africa with 19-0 T-shirts. That’s very thoughtful of them.
But New York is a city that demands championships every year, even if they just won one. So can the greatest team in baseball history (I know I’m biased), the New York Yankees, can bring one back to NY? The answer is yes — no different from every other year. The Yankees didn’t acquire Johan Santana or Erik Bedard this offseason, but they’re looking to be in pretty good shape come the 2008 season.
First of all, even though the Mets acquired Santana, that is pretty good news for Yankee fans. The Red Sox were in contention to get him and if they managed that, it would have spelled trouble for the Yankees. Now they won’t even have to worry about playing against Santana since he switched over to the National League. And ex-Orioles pitcher Bedard is no longer among the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League East division, having been traded over to Seattle Mariners in the AL West.
So how does the Yankees pitching look? No Roger Clemens, that’s for sure. Sorry Roger, but you’re getting old and you’re taking a lot of heat from the Mitchell Report. The Yankees have their trifecta of young pitchers all ready to pitch this year: fan favorite Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy. (It seems Joba will start the year in the pen, though.) These are the guys Yankees GM Brian Cashman was so unwilling to trade away this offseason. They all show promise, so let’s just hope they live up to the hype. Hopefully Phil Hughes hamstring injury doesn’t occur again.
The Yankees also signed Andy Pettitte to another year, Mike Mussina seems to be healthy, and the Yankees locked in Mariano Rivera for three years. It must be noted that the oft-injured Carl Pavano is expected to be able to pitch but no one is holding their breath on that since he hasn’t pitched even 1/2 a season since signing with the Yankees. And what about the Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang? He is coming off back-to-back seasons with 19 wins each, so let’s just try and forget his postseason performance (19.06 ERA with 12 earned runs in 5-2/3 innings).
Of course though, last year the Yankees looked to have some pretty solid pitching but almost the entire starting rotation landed on the DL at the start of the season. Mussina, Pettitte, and Rivera are getting old. Mussina needs to bring some of his consistency back! Pettite, like Clemens, has been going through a lot of heat with the Mitchell Report and admitting he used HGH. Hopefully that won’t distract him from pitching, but we all know the media is going to stay all over him like they are now. And the pitchers not caught in the Mitchell Report controversy need to say away from injury. I think with the boost of the young pitchers, the Yankees will hold it together and be more of a threat than last year.
After 12 years in pinstripes, Joe Torre will no longer be the Yankees’ manager, having signed with the Dodgers. Instead, the Yankees have brought in a young manager, Joe Girardi. This is a very good move, I believe he brings in a new, fresh attitude that will push the team to succeed.
They also managed to keep their infield around for a while. The Yankees signed the biggest contract in baseball history this offseason with third baseman Alex Rodriguez, which pretty much guarantees he will be breaking all those records and retiring in pinstripes. Something like that is good when the Yankees move to their new stadium. The Yankees also re-signed catcher Jorge Posada to a four-year deal as well as young second baseman Robinson Cano.
Well, I sure can’t wait to head down to Tampa to watch the Yankees play in Spring Training next month. 2008 is gonna be a great year.Powered by Sidelines