Yankees Need To Catch Up Quickly
October 17, 2008
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Over the past few weeks it has been hard to be a New York Yankees fan. Yankees fans have seen the end of an era with the last game of the old Yankee Stadium. They have also seen the Yankees not reach the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Most shockingly of all, they have witnessed both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox reach the American League Championship Series.
It is pretty simple to figure out that if the Yankees want to even make the playoffs next year they have to make changes and make them quickly.
The Yankees can no longer turn to old veterans to help turn the team around. If you look at how the Rays were successful this year, it was all done with young talent. Even the Red Sox have young talent that has made them successful over the years. Yes they have some veterans mixed in, but it seems to be a perfect combination.
You can look at the Yankees and say they have veterans mixed in with young talent, but how good is that young talent? Both Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy did not pick up a win in 2008. These were the guys who were supposed to be future aces for the team, but they looked nothing like that in 2008. There is still time for these guys to pan out, but as a Yankees fan you have to be questioning how good they are going to turn out to be. Melky Cabrera was sent down toward the end of the season because of lack of performance and Robinson Cano had a big drop in performance this year.
Then there are the veterans. You have the guys who you know are going to be back next year like Jeter, Rodriguez, Damon, Posada and Rivera. The rest of the guys like Giambi, Abreu and even Pettitte and Mussina are question marks on if they will return next year. Giambi and Abreu look to be out of the picture when the off-season officially starts. There is a question about what to do with Hideki Matsui as well. Of course all of this will be addressed, but the question is how.
There is talk that first baseman Mark Teixeira will be brought in to replace Giambi. Abreu looks like he will be let go and Xavier Nady will probably move over to right to replace him while Damon and Matsui share time in left.
But all of this does not solve the most important problem for the Yankees and that is pitching. The Yankees have not been as successful over the last few years because of pitching. There are guys like Chien-Ming Wang who have been very good over the years, but when it comes to playoff time there is no one go-to guy to give the ball to in a big spot. The big name on the market this off-season will be C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia has been dominant throughout the years and could be a guy that helps the Yankees back into the post-season next year. However Sabathia has had his issues in the post season including this year.
Time will tell what the Yanks will do in the off-season but as far as the A.L. East stands right now the Yankees are the third best team in the division and will be for a while if they do not make any drastic changes.