Now that the barrage of Facebook comments about the Yankees and the Yankees’ fans have subdued a little (by far, the worst I’ve ever seen on Facebook, I had to silent my phone after the 3rd Inning, so I could actually watch a baseball game), I’m going to chime in about my team. Not anybody else’s team. About my team’s season. I wrote most of this while lying in bed, after watching Game 4 play out, but wanted to wait until the dust from the storm had settled (well, it’s almost settled) to post this.
1. I, and many other rational baseball fans, on the record, (yes, you have to have stuff on the record nowadays i.e. Texts, Facebook Messenger, Email, etc. because nobody a) believes anybody’s word anymore unless you can physically prove it, b) people are always blaming other people for something they did or did not do, or they deny saying something even though they did say it, and c) you have to have proof that you said/didn’t say or did/didn’t do something because even though you did/didn’t do or say/didn’t say something, people will still try to say you did/said the opposite) have said for about 4 months now that the two best teams in baseball are 1. Houston and 2. Boston. New York was not as complete as either one of these teams, and by a long shot.
2. On the record, I, and many other rational baseball fans, believe the Yankees struck out (no pun intended with the number of strikeouts their lineup, and the MLB as a whole, accrued this year) last off season, and at the trade deadline this year, by not picking up that second elite starting pitcher. We needed, and need, that second elite arm to add to the rotation. I know at the deadline it would have cost us some young talent who are on the current big league roster right now, as well as in the farm system, so I understand our patience there, and trying to go the cheaper route with Happ (Happ held his own this year, but he’s not that elite arm you need, and that was exposed in Game 1). But this past off season, there was no excuse. It needs to happen this year, or the same results will happen next year. Cashman tried to offset that mistake by making our strongest point even stronger, by trading for Britton. That move did nothing. We need (still) that second elite starting arm. PS – I think it’s hilarious now that all these analysts and sports personalities suddenly agree that they need this arm now, where all season, they agreed with the moves they did and did not make. That’s just me though.
3. To add on to point #2, we must choose wisely who we subtract from this year’s roster. This team gets along very well, is approaching their prime, and has plenty of good years ahead. If I hear one person say, or agree, that we should sign a Bryce Harper or anyone like that, I am going to lose my mind. We have a full outfield, and all those outfielders are dangerous offensively. There’s no room for him or anybody else like that. We need the elite starting arm. That should be the sole focus, to go along with keeping our current roster together as much as possible. I know financially this is not 100% possible, which is why I’m saying we need to choose wisely.
4. I am happy this young team went through a difficult season this year (yes, even with 100 wins, it was a difficult year). There were a lot of obstacles that needed to be hurdled this year, and I believe it makes them stronger next year. I believe they did well with the cards they were dealt over the last six and a half months. They never made excuses and continued to play hard. I also felt they handled the media very well throughout the year, too, which shows a lot about their character. I feel going through this difficult year they also became mentally stronger, which for every championship team, takes years to happen, before they ultimately break through.
5. Boone Haters – You need to (i’m leaving this adjective out) relax. Yes, he handled his pitching wrong in Game 4. CC should have been gone after the second inning when Boston threatened to score for the second inning in a row. I Facebook Messaged a fellow Yankee fan privately (did not blow up with a Facebook rant, or 10, like several fans do sometimes), and said this just doesn’t feel right. With CC in there the Sox will have runners on every inning, and we all know how well they have been hitting with runners in scoring position. The rest is history. From there on out, he handled the pitching right. Britton gave up the one HR, but everyone else did their job. Game 3 was NOT Boone’s fault. Sevy was the right decision for Game 3, as he was the right decision for the Wild Card game. He has the best record at home over anyone on the staff. Players need to execute, and NOBODY did (bullpen included). So, I don’t want to hear that he should have come out earlier. He came out damn early as it was, and the bullpen continued to not execute. He’s managed one year, through a difficult season, and still got this team to a 100-win season. Have I agreed with every move he’s made? No. But he’s made more right decisions than wrong, in the most difficult manager’s job in baseball, maybe sports, and that I can handle. So, lay off, Boone Haters. Give it some time.
6. The approach at the plate needs to change. Do I enjoy all the HR records? Absolutely. But we enjoy winning more, and come playoff time, the HR swing does not work. Most of these guys can put the ball out of any park with the center field to right center field mentality at ease anyways, so why don’t we have this mentality? For a young team, naturally, I believe mentally everyone thinks they need to get that big HR on the big stage, but it doesn’t work. So many times, we had runners in scoring position and instead of trying to piece hits together, we tried to hit the big one. So many times, I saw guys swinging out of their shoes, sometimes falling out of the batter’s box, and missing. The striking out for this team, and the MLB, needs to go down big time. The stats are there to prove that, and in my opinion, those were the reasons why we lost the series.
I could go on and on with this list. Anyone who watches a team as much as I do with this team, would and could do the same thing. These were my major thoughts about this team. They are almost there. The future is bright for these guys, but this year, they were not one of the best teams, and that was proven. I loved watching them this year through all the ups and downs. They certainly created some memories. I’m looking forward to seeing the off season play out, well I hope, and already can’t wait for when pitchers and catchers report (hopefully with that added elite arm).
On that note, the Final Four is going to be fun. You’ve got the best team and defending world champion (Houston), a high-powered offensive team with great starting pitching (Boston), the hottest team (Milwaukee), and then the loud and obnoxious team making a lot of noise (Hollywood). The Yankees not being there, will not keep me from watching the rest of this postseason. It’s going to be great. As I said, I’m a Yankees fan, yes, but I’m also a rational baseball fan. What baseball fan wouldn’t want to see this play out?