Keidel: Bronx Bombed

By Jason Keidel
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The slice of the Big Apple that bleeds blue and orange is smiling, along with the world west of the Hudson.

You were silly to expect the 2011 Yankees to win the World Series, but to win one series is rather reasonable. Brian Cashman is given a $200 million yearly allowance to build or buy the best ball club in baseball, yet he can’t find more than one stud for his starting staff. And when that Ace, CC Sabathia, pitches to a 6.23 ERA, you expect what you got last night. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain were supposed to be the nouveau aces and faces of Yankee Pride. So, naturally, Cashman jettisoned Ian Kennedy, who only went 21-4 this year with a sublime 2.88 ERA.

When Jorge Posada, 40 going on 50, the streaks of gray growing by the day inside his comically wide ears, and the man who stained his sterling legacy by begging his way out of a game against the Red Sox, is your best hitter, then you expect what you got last night.

Forget Jeter whiffing twice with ducks on the pond in Game 3, or A-Rod (who hit .111 for the series) and Swisher (who hit .211) predictably gagging with the bases loaded last night. Forget that only the aging catcher and Cano hit over .300. Everyone from a general manager to a second grader knows that pitching owns postseason baseball. The Yankees have spent the bulk of the past decade learning that a dearth of dominant pitching pinches you in the rear this time of year. Yet, 2009 aside, nothing changes.

Cashman tweaked his titanic budget by signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia – two graybeards with unexpected gravitas in May – whose arms wilted with the fall foliage The playoffs are a pitching crucible where big bats are chopped and used to erect the next rung on the ladder to the World Series. We’re waiting for Brian to get the memo.

Joe Girardi masterfully stitched the sizeable chasm in his rotation. Ivan Nova, the rookie who pitched eons beyond his age this season, came up lame with tightness in his throwing arm, leaving his manager to trot to the mound seven times, using nearly every arm in his arsenal to keep the potent Tigers to just three runs.

You’re likely to lambaste the Yankees’ lineup – and it surely came up short – but you shouldn’t be surprised. Large lumber is often muted by masterful pitching. Why do you think the Phillies are the chalk to walk to the title this year? It’s not because of Jimmy Rollins.

The dynastic Yankees of the 1990s, whose names we’ve burned to eternal, loving memory, from Paul to Tino to Bernie, were built and burnished by a legion of elastic arms. Indeed, it was Key and Pettitte and Cone and Wells and El Duque and, of course, the immortal Mariano who won four Fall Classics in five years. The residue of that dominance fueled the team to two more World Series (2001 and 2003), but the run was over because the pitching perished, finalized by David Wells removing himself from a crucial game against the Marlins.

Of course, the Yankees didn’t just lose this ALDS; the Detroit Tigers beat them. And we give kudos to Jim Leyland, the avuncular baseball lifer who’s been caught on camera slithering into the tunnel to tug on a Marlboro between innings. Leyland makes every team he touches better, and is the last man to mold the moribund Pittsburgh Pirates into a winner.

Over in the other, losing locker, the Yankees will churn forward, pouring billions to look more pretty than gritty, charging you $2,500 for courtside seats. Yesterday, I was on a train to Penn Station, swarmed by a swath of college kids, clutching tickets daddy gave them while pounding their iPhones to find a way to – the new, and decidedly corporate –Yankee Stadium. I wanted to interrupt them and explain all the trains that would usher them to 161st Street, but I was too spellbound by the incongruity of it all. None of them could name five Yankees, and I suspect they’ve only heard of the Bronx because the Bombers play there. The tickets between their young fingers were more stamps of status than a portal to a sizzling baseball fight on a cool autumn night. “Bathroom, then beer, then the subway,” one gal said, with an eager octave applied to ale.

Yankee Stadium – that embellished martini bar built with limestone on the outside and lathered with expense accounts on the inside ($5 for water. Seriously?) – is too much hotel and not enough motel. I bet you that at least 50 percent of the poseurs perched on those padded blue seats haven’t heard of Charlie Hayes. “Is he running for President?” would be as logical a response as any.

As a Yankees fan I’m less bitter about losing a series than losing an identity, like the one I fell in love with in 1977 and once again in 1996. Like most of you, I too stuck around for that loathsome, 18-year buffer between titles. (I would never think to ask those painfully trendy, cologne and perfume-pungent adolescents to tell me about Butch Wynegar, Dale Berra or Bobby Meacham.) Great teams have a blueprint and then a fingerprint, a persona, a battle cry demanding big deeds under brown leaves Since then, the Yankees have been little more than an amalgam of All-Stars who can smack the seams off the ball, but few who can throw it.

All season I sardonically branded the Yanks, “CC and the Three Variables.” I was way off. There was only CC and an electric bullpen. Sabathia was worked harder than Juan Valdez’s donkey. None of this falls on him. Someone needs to have CC’s broad back. Until then, the Yankees needn’t print too many postseason tickets in advance.

As if to prove and punctuate the century-old maxim, Alex Rodriguez, whose numbers almost always shrink like the shortening hours of October daylight, meekly missed a pitch thrown right down the middle – ending the game, the series, and the notion that the Yankees are feared anymore, by anyone.

Aura, Mystique, and Destiny are indeed dancing at your local nightclub, soon to be joined, yet again, by the New York Yankees.

Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com

www.twitter.com/JasonKeidel

What’s your biggest criticism of the 2011 Yankees? Let Keidel know in the comments below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Kurt Spitzner says:

    YOU PAYS YOUR MONEY AND TAKES YOUR CHANCES AND THEY SPENT A TON AND TOOK A TON BUT ALMOST NOTHING FOR IT SO MAYBE MONEYBALL IS THE WAY TO GO!AT LEAST THEY DI BETTER THAN THE BUMS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN!

    1. JK says:

      Only problem, Kurt, is that for all the bouquets thrown Billy Bean’s way, he has yet to win a World Series – or even reach one! Heh.

      1. Kurt Spitzner says:

        2-300 million dollar payrolls are not winning or reaching the WS either!

    1. JK says:

      Nothing like using my column to promote yours, Don. Doesn’t work, but we’ll all pretend that we read it.😉

      Nothing replaces talent, practice, and persistence. If you have any of each you have a chance.

  2. Elli says:

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Great News!!! Humble the arrogant yankees and fans!!! Thank you Jesus!!! This team probably PAYS their way to victories…..NOT THIS TIME!

    LOL!

    1. JK says:

      Not sure I saw any arrogance in my column, Elli. In fact I was frank and factual. This was a 30 + year Yankees fan whose demeanor was far more sharp than shill. I could not have been more honest or earnest in my disappointment with and dissection of the team.

  3. JK says:

    Not sure I heard any whining, but thanks for chiming in.

  4. stopyerwhining_Jzankees says:

    bring back Randy Johnson, Andy Petitte, Godzihrah, the Babe, Munson and billy Martin.
    Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Stankeeeees Lose. TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAA Jankees lose.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa

  5. Chrisie says:

    This is the best. What a great morning. Woke up to find out that the obnoxious, overpaid, overrated, Yankee’s lost. Nice knowing that there won’t be 200,000 screaming fools under my office window this year. LOSERS = NO TICKER TAPE PARADE! YAY!!!

    1. JK says:

      Heh. Tell us how you really feel, Chrisie!

    2. Chris says:

      The sun has set in the Bronx but it is shining brightly over the rest of the world. Any Yankee loss is a victory for true democratic principles. Every trophy they have ever won is tarnished, made of tin foil. The Yankees think that you can buy glory, but that is not the case; you have to EARN it. OCCUPY The BRONX!!

      1. JK says:

        So the 1927 Yankees won a tarnished trophy? The 1949 Yankees? The 1961 Yankees? I’m not sure I follow the logic. There was baseball before George Steinbrenner.

    3. Elli says:

      LOL! I agree with you Chrisie 100%!!!

  6. Ray Russell says:

    I’m not a Yankees fan, but a long time observer. My opinion is that Alex Rodriguez is one of the biggest busts ever to put on a ML uniform considering what he is being paid. And to think that the Yankees are stuck with hiim for another 5 years or so such an exhorbitant salary is a travesty. If I was the owner, for that alone I would fire Brian Cashman. Also, I will fire Girardi for batting him cleanup. Realistically he should have been sitting on the bench. The bottom line is that the Yankees need to clean house upstairs if they ever want to return to their glory days.

    1. JK says:

      I agree with much of your assessment, Ray. But calling A-Rod one of the biggest busts is a bit of a reach to me considering he will hit over 700 homers (some of that chemically enhanced, no doubt). Perhaps what bothers you (and the rest of us) the most is his porous playoff performances. Indeed, his bat chills with the weather.

      Cashman irks me more than Girardi, simply because he couldn’t find two playoff pitchers in his titanic payroll. That alone warrants a one-way ticket to Palookaville (to paraphrase Brando).

      I’m good with firing Girardi. My only question to you: Who would you hire in his place?

      1. Ray Russell says:

        JK. Thanks for your response. AROD has failed miserably with the YANKS. . 700 homers are great, but not nearly that many with the Yanks. Players that command huge salaries are expected and should perform in the clutch. I can come up with many examples of many starts that have failed miserably in the playoffs including Ted Williams. However, AROD has failed miserably many times. My pick for the Yanks manager would be Terry Francona; he’s knows how to deal with a team full of egos. That would be a real shock, but a great decision. I’d be curiouos to know if he would be interested. To me the biggest cancer is Cashman; way overrated. He’s like a spoiled kid with lots of meny & has never been taught how to spend wisely.

        1. JK says:

          What do you think of Jonas’s suggestion (in this thread) that the Yanks hire Tony LaRussa? I don’t think he would do it, but it’s a thought. Bring Dave Duncan to work on Burnett. Not sure Freud would work on A.J.

  7. SL says:

    I surely won’t defend the pitchers, for if they were better, it would surely help. My only point is that the yankees had pitchers mess things up in post season games even back in their late 90’s glory days. Clutch hitting always seemed to get them out of those jams. The Martinez’s, Brosius’s, Leyritz’, Curtis’s, Spencer’s late inning heroics neutralized the so-so pitching more often than not. The yankees of recent years have no such heros, thus they don’t go too far anymore in the post season.

    1. JK says:

      Agreed, SL. There’s no comparing the clutch bats back in the day to today’s soporific sluggers – led by A-Rod and Swisher. But we can’t overlook (or overstate) how equally and supremely clutch the pitching was.

      Think about it – Cone, Pettitte, El Duque, Wells, etc. And that bullpen? Mendoza and Nelson and Stanton leading up to an impeccable Mariano. Even that big Australian dude (whose name escapes me at the moment) was a beast for a year or two. Lloyd was his last name, I think.

      1. SL says:

        Only if Pettite hung around another year. No doubt he would have been impressive in the post season as he usually was. The current yankees are proving what the yankees of the 80’s did. Spending big money on players can get you good players and build you a fairly good team, but surely won’t buy you a champion. Playing in a 3 division league like they currently are and losing in the first round of playoffs makes them NO better than the team of the 80’s who kept falling short of the playoffs in my opinion

        1. JK says:

          I didn’t think of that, but it’s an excellent comparison. This team is an iteration of the Rickey Henderson, Jack Clark, Dennis Rasmussen Yankees. You’re spot-on with that. Nothing but luxurious lumber and a slumbering starting staff. I can’t even piece together a staff from the ’80s – using the entire decade as source matter!

  8. SL says:

    The yankees surely don’t have the greatest starting pitching staff, but their relievers are pretty darned good. Other teams may have some better starters, but their bullpens are probably a lot weaker. I don’t think ANY team has really great pitching. True quality pitchers are pretty rare these days, I think we all realize this. The yankee pitchers holding the tigers to 3 runs last night should have been enough for the yankees to win. Their bats were the major problem and not the pitching in this series. From here on in I will forever be calling A-Rod Mr. March. It seems like spring training is about the only time he could be depended on to come thru when the team desperately needs him to. LOL

    1. Jonas A-K says:

      Good point about the Yankees pitching only giving up three runs last night. You’re right – that should’ve been enough. But it wasn’t.

      Having a strong bullpen is one thing, but they really only had a strong eighth and ninth inning one-two punch. Soriano was, for lack of a better term, awful, and no one else was really too reliable; Wade and Ayala posted good numbers but neither shone in pressure-cooker situations. And no matter how good your bullpen is, if they have to pitch too many innings every game, they won’t stay effective forever.

    2. JK says:

      I agree that the lineup was lame, SL. But if pitching isn’t a problem then why are they consistently outclassed on the mound? Why did they need CC to pitch thrice? Why did they need Burnett to bail them in Game 4 and pitch a rookie in Game 5?

      I can’t even pretend to defend A-Rod, but we know what he is. With proper pitching, they can overcome his gagging ways. I assume you call him Mr. March because Mr. May is taken (Winfield). Heh.

  9. JK says:

    Indeed, Alex, that was precisely the point I was making. Perhaps I’m naive to think that $200 million can’t buy two studs for the playoffs. Just two!

    A-Rod and Swish were disastrous. At least Tex took a walk with the bases juiced. And while there’s no doubt the lineup was a collective failure, the Yanks are consistently outclassed on the mound. With a wallet as wide as theirs, there’s no excuse.

    1. Alex P. says:

      Agreed. I’m tired of hearing the term “short rest”. For the past couple of years, that’s all you hear during broadcasts when the Yankee rotation is mentioned. Jim Leyland confidently and assertively maintained that his ace Verlander would not pitch on short rest, yet with the Yankees, talk of short resting CC is routine and expected. Short rest is the mark of desperation, not strength. Doesn’t Cash and Hal know this!?

      1. JK says:

        Yes, sir. Leyland had the horses, and he knew it. I have no idea why everyone was so sure that the Yanks would win that game. I never felt that way. People talked about the Tigers like they’re the Toledo Mud Hens. Frankly, the better team won because they had superior pitching. I promise to send Cash and Hal another memo if you do.

  10. Jonas A-K says:

    Let’s face it: it’s going to take a blockbuster trade of sorts to bring a great starting pitcher into the Bronx in 2012. Who’s even available? The Yankees have had a history of offense-heavy payrolls and the proof has been in the pudding: 1 World Series in the last ten years to go along with five division series losses and one year of not even making the postseason.

    1. Jonas A-K says:

      I do blame Girardi a little bit, just like I blamed Francona a little bit for the you-know-what-show that happened in Boston. Girardi and Rothschild, it seemed, could not get a good formula going all year when the pitcher wasn’t named CC, Robertson or Rivera (Nova was fine too, I guess). If the Yankees want to try to make a difference between this season and next season without bringing in any significant pitching help, and if they want to get their team and fan base alike excited for the future, this is what they need to do (and don’t laugh in my face, please):

      Bring in Tony La Russa. You can try grabbing Dave Duncan with him.

      Is it far-fetched? Maybe, but not as much as you’d think. There’ve been many rumors over the past few years that La Russa’s on his way out of St. Louis, and perhaps an offer to wear the navy pinstripes would be the tipping point. La Russa’s a hardened, proven manager who no doubt would be fine working in the Bronx, and his pitching guru Duncan is seemingly a miracle worker. Who knows if anyone can fix A.J. Burnett, but if I had to pick someone, it’d be Dave Duncan.

      Then there’s the Albert Effect: you bring in La Russa and perhaps it’ll lure Prince Albert to the Bronx as well. The Yanks can put him at first, move Tex to third (he’s played there before and is a slick enough fielder that I’m sure he’ll be fine) and stick ol’ Balky-Knees Rodriguez at DH. You’d get the most production out of A-Rod that way anyway, and Pujols will be in a Miami Heat-type situation with that kinda lineup.

      Just sayin’. Think about it.

    2. Jonas A-K says:

      I do blame Girardi a little bit, just like I blamed Francona a little bit for the you-know-what-show that happened in Boston. Girardi and Rothschild, it seemed, could not get a good formula going all year when the pitcher wasn’t named CC, Robertson or Rivera (Nova was fine too, I guess). If the Yankees want to try to make a difference between this season and next season without bringing in any significant pitching help, and if they want to get their team and fan base alike excited for the future, this is what they need to do (and don’t laugh in my face, please):

      Bring in Tony La Russa. You can try grabbing Dave Duncan with him.

      1. Jonas A-K says:

        Is it far-fetched? Maybe, but not as much as you’d think. There’ve been many rumors over the past few years that La Russa’s on his way out of St. Louis, and perhaps an offer to wear the navy pinstripes would be the tipping point. La Russa’s a tough, proven manager who no doubt would be fine working in the Bronx, and his pitching guru Duncan is seemingly a miracle worker. Who knows if anyone can fix A.J. Burnett, but if I had to pick someone, it’d be Dave Duncan.

        1. Jonas A-K says:

          Then there’s the Albert Effect: you bring in La Russa and perhaps it’ll lure Prince Albert to the Bronx as well. The Yanks can put him at first, move Teixeira to third (he’s played there before and is a good enough fielder that I’m sure he’ll be fine) and put old man Rodriguez at DH. You’d get the most production out of A-Rod’s knees that way anyway, and Pujols will be in a Miami Heat-type situation with that lineup.

          Just saying.

        2. Jonas A-K says:

          Then you can lure Pujols in too, so he can stay with his manager. Put Pujols at first (prince treatment), A-Rod at DH (more rest = more production from bad knees) and Teixeira at third (he’s a great fielder and has played there before).

        3. Jonas A-K says:

          Then Pujols. He like La Russa. Tex play third. A-Rod DH. Best for everyone. Censors bad.

          1. JK says:

            Friend good; fire and censor bad.

        4. JK says:

          But what does Tony have to gain by coming to New York? He’s surely got all the money he can spend. He’s worshipped by a friendly fan base. I’ve never met the man, but the word is that he doesn’t take too well to second-guessing (which will be rampant if he bites the Big Apple).

          As you said privately, the Yanks can try to make a monetary offer he can’t refuse, but it’s hard to buy a guy who’s got everything. And how old is he? He may find that staying in place in peace is the way to go in his golden years.

          Of course, it doesn’t hurt to try. So I say go for it.

      2. JK says:

        Of course, Jonas, when a team tanks like the Yanks just did, you can lather the blame all around. And I’m the last man to be branded a Girardi apologist, but what did he have to work with?

        The Braves had “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.” What did the Yankees have? CC, a Subway sandwich, and hope for a blizzard? (Does anyone really believe that Sabathia eats low-fat, whole wheat heroes and drinks Pepsi Max?)

        If you’d like to fire Joe, I’ve got no problem with that – as long as you eject Cashman with him. Get a fresh scent in that rancid front office.

    3. JK says:

      The latest rumor is Wilson from Texas. I must parse the particulars before I can make an assessment on that one.

  11. Steve says:

    I largely agree with the author of this article – though he also owes Curtis Granderson a little more love, than what was written.

    I said several months ago that pitching would come back to haunt us. I’d chided Cashman’s stupid moves – sending Aceves to Boston, sending Kennedy away, yet overpaying some of our (beloved, aging) all stars so that he could “ring the cash register” on 3,000 hits, etc. Maybe the $$$ from the latter had paid off (I don’t know), but those amazing teams of the 1990s had won, because the Yankess were more focused on the farm team (Jeter, Rivera, Mendoza, Pettite, Posada, Bernie W, others) . . .so please don’t make the same mistakes with Ivan Nova – keep him, build more (within) and stop overpaying for aging stars!

    1. JK says:

      I love Granderson, Steve. If you followed my columns over the summer you’d see that I pined for him the moment I saw him with, ironically, Detroit. I omitted him in this piece because pitching was my main narrative. And thank you for reminding me about Aceves. Another brilliant Brian move.

      I agree with everything you say. Thanks for the remarks.

      1. Steve says:

        Hello JK.
        Fair enough, and thanks for responding.
        I very largely agree with your article – and I also believe that it was extremely well-written.
        Regards.

  12. Ron says:

    Joe’s lack of managing was underwhelming to say the least. He managed the pitching, but he “rested on offense” (as they say in basketball). A tight, low-scoring game like that called for sacrifice bunts to move runners up, steals (Gardner only ran once, when Jeter flew out to end an inning), and pinch-hitting. There was none of it, however. It was a listless offensive output managed by a listless manager. Martin was really struggling, and they needed to pinch-hit for him instead of letting him flail away his last two at-bats. They needed to pinch-hit for Swisher (Mr. July), whose career postseason RISP sank to 1 for 30. Andrew Jones never batted once during the series. Jesus Montero was available to pinch-hit. They needed a boost from the bench, but Joe apparently didn’t think he needed his bench to provide a spark. I certainly disagree with his decisions to keep batting people who were struggling.

    And 2 postseason wins with home-field advantage for the winningest, highest-paid team in the AL is unacceptable. In my mind, this cements Girardi’s mediocrity as a manager. I do not believe the Yanks will ever win a World Series again as long as Joe G. is the manager, though I hope I’m wrong.

    Detroit played well, Leyland managed well, and they deserved to win. But the Yanks were a big flop and should have won the series.

    The only hitters who came through on a consistent basis were Posada and Gardner. Everyone else under-performed. The Yanks were struggling to score runs because they sat back waiting for the extra base hits that never came. They needed to play small ball and manufacture runs in that kind of a game. Two of Detroit’s starters had ERAs of just under 5.00 for the season, and they handled the Yanks pretty well for the most part.

    This underachieving team makes me appreciate the teams with the character and pride guys – Scott Brosius, Roy White, Thurman Munson, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, et al — all the more.

    Signed,

    Extremely Disillusioned with Joe

    1. JK says:

      Thanks for the response, Ron. Trust me, I’m hardly a Girardi apologist, but I do think he’s good at handling pitchers, particularly his bullpen. Your small ball argument is salient, for sure, but the Yankees are constantly outclassed on the mound, and I put that on Cashman. As I said, I wanted Pena to take the team when Torre left.

      So I ask you: If Joe goes, who would you like to replace him? Would you give Pena a shot? He got the Royals to 80-plus wns. To me, that’s quite an achievement.

  13. SabathiaandJobaarefat says:

    Well written article, but why wasn’t there a Jeffrey Maher reference when speaking of the weak fly ball Jeter hit to the warning track in that little league field they call Yankee Stadium? Don’t worry, Yankee fans. They’ll buy CJ Wilson, Fielder, Pujols, and Reyes in the offseason. They’ll probably trade a bag of balls for King Felix too. You’ll get your way like the little spoiled brats you are. DIAGF

    1. flea says:

      Don’t you wish you were a yankee fan?

    2. Steve says:

      Wow, as with many who frequent CBS News’ blogs, you seem to be obnoxious. . . though I’d be a liar if I said that you didn’t have any good points!

    3. JK says:

      Assuming everything you say is accurate, the Yanks still won’t win the World Series. I think the last decade demonstrated that cash (or Cashman) alone cannot buy happiness – or championships. Call it karma, if you like. But you’ll recall the ’90s dynasty grew from the farm, not their widening wallet.

  14. Alex P. says:

    On the hitting: I noticed that a lot of the Yankees that were getting hits this series, or at least making contact, were guys that were willing to take the ball the other way. (Jeter, Posada, and Gardner). To me it looks like Swisher, A-Rod, and Tex are getting up there and always looking to hit it out when a simple slap into the gap will do. Why can’t the yankees get to a small ball mentality in situations that require it?

    On the pitching: is there another team in the MLB that has such an uncertain outlook in terms of its starting pitching from year to year? JK, I think this is the point you are making. Uncertainty in pitching = more pressure on the bats.

    1. JK says:

      Agreed, Alex. My response to your comments is up top.

    2. Jonas A-K says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Alex – the Yankees’ hitters looked under pressure all series, and rightfully so. It was clear from the get-go that nothing was certain, and when CC started giving up runs, there wasn’t much hope. Ironic that A.J. was the only Yankees pitcher that could’ve made due with just two runs of support.

      The Yankees have historically had no more than one or two consistent pitchers in the past decade. Mussina was great and Pettitte was great. Clemens was spotty, but overall okay, and Johnson was Johnson. Dare I mention Vazquez?

  15. Jimmy says:

    Maybe there should be an Occupy Yankee Stadium protest. Hey, they get a ticker tape parade when then win, so why not.

    1. JK says:

      Heh. And why did they need a new place in the first place? They drew 4 million fans in the old, authentic joint.

  16. Jonas A-K says:

    Let’s face it: it’s going to take a blockbuster trade of sorts to bring a great starting pitcher into the Bronx in 2012. Who’s even available? The Yankees have had a history of offense-heavy payrolls and the proof has been in the pudding: 1 World Series in the last ten years to go along with five division series losses and one year of not even making the postseason.

    I do blame Girardi a little bit, just like I blamed Francona a little bit for the you-know-what-show that happened in Boston. Girardi and Rothschild, it seemed, could not get a good formula going all year when the pitcher wasn’t named CC, Robertson or Rivera (Nova was fine too, I guess). If the Yankees want to try to make a difference between this season and next season without bringing in any significant pitching help, and if they want to get their team and fan base alike excited for the future, this is what they need to do (and don’t laugh in my face, please):

    Bring in Tony La Russa. You can try grabbing Dave Duncan with him.

    Is it far-fetched? Maybe, but not as much as you’d think. There’ve been many rumors over the past few years that La Russa’s on his way out of St. Louis, and perhaps an offer to wear the navy pinstripes would be the tipping point. La Russa’s a hardened, proven manager who no doubt would be fine working in the Bronx, and his pitching guru Duncan is seemingly a miracle worker. Who knows if anyone can fix A.J. Burnett, but if I had to pick someone, it’d be Dave Duncan.

    Then there’s the Albert Effect: you bring in La Russa and perhaps it’ll lure Prince Albert to the Bronx as well. The Yanks can put him at first, move Tex to third (he’s played there before and is a slick enough fielder that I’m sure he’ll be fine) and stick ol’ Balky-Knees Rodriguez at DH. You’d get the most production out of A-Rod that way anyway, and Pujols will be in a Miami Heat-type situation with that kinda lineup.

    Just sayin’. Think about it.

  17. JOBASTILLISAFATPIG says:

    I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, I’m a Yankee Doodle DI. HA- HA- HA LIKE MCDONALDS I’M LOVING IT

    1. JK says:

      That’s a long first name you have there, sir. But to your point, Sabathia is pretty portly, yet he can toss 250 innings per season. I think we thank Cashman for Joba’s career.

  18. ihatesterlingsvoice says:

    no more…
    Swishalicious
    Grandy Man Can
    A-bomb from Arod
    El Capitano
    Text Message from Texiera
    Don’t you know Robbie Cano

    aint life wunderbar!

    1. JK says:

      Fair enough. When the Yanks bomb like that, you can’t argue.

    2. Russell Oswa says:

      thank you God

  19. Kevin says:

    Highest Salaried Team dose not buy a Winning Team.
    Gerardi and Cashman gotta go.
    Al they did was to get a bunch of overpaid individuals together.

    And, there will be trouble in the Bronz next year when tickets are not selling.

    1. JK says:

      I understand your contempt toward Cashman, Kevin. But why Girardi? What pitching did he have? To hold the Tigers to 3 runs using 7 pitchers last night was pretty impressive. In all fairness, I wanted Pena to get the job when Torre left. Heh.

  20. JK says:

    Well done, dabooch. At least Tex got a walk with the bases juiced. A-Rod was, well, A-Rod. And I saw Swisher trembling in the batter’s box before the first pitch. Agreed that cleaning is in order, but I’ve got to put pitching at the top of the list.

  21. dabooch says:

    A closes out every season with a K. Next season lets see some housecleaning. Goodbye Jorge you will be given every consideration like Damon and Matsui, now there are two proven studs the Yanks could of picked up on the waiver wire., Russ Martin caughed up a hair ball last night .230 back up to Montero, Swisher rejected the 10 million dollar 3X Post Season Loser. Were stuck with the roid for 6 MORE LONG YEARS, Tex a gag-er always comes up short when it counts.

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