Monday, August 11, 2008
White Flag has been raised: Congrats to the D-rays and Twins: Oh and a theory as to why the Yankees offense is sucking
That's right. The Redsox are not going to make the playoffs. The Manny trade will ultimately cost them a playoff birth. If this sounds like a Yankee fan gloating, it is not. Rather, it is congratulating the 2008 Al Wild card Champion Minnesota Twins. The Sox are not good enough to make the playoffs, the Yanks are not good enough to even contend the rest of the way. As a die hard Yankees fan, I am thoroughly disgusted and appalled by my favorite team's play over the weekend. Yesterday, they had, in 4 different innings, a runner on third and less than 2 outs and not one of those times did they successfully advance the runner home. Pettite gave his club everything he had including one of the greatest defensive plays by a pitcher I have ever seen. However, the Pen, which has been a great strength all season, is turning into the club's greatest vulnerability at the most inopportune time. Marte has been misused by Girardi (he should be a 1 inning guy or a lefty specialist), Pudge has no idea what to call for his new pitchers, and Edwar
Edwar Ramierz has hit a big time wall after dominating all season long.
However, the greatest problem with this team seems to be situational hitting not intangibles. I am not one to overly stress intangibles and "guts" or "heart" in a sport that is fairly non-violent/non-agressive and individualistic by nature; however I am also not one to say that the Yanks are just hitting into "bad luck" with runners in scoring position; which is the position that is advanced by nerdy sabormetricians like Max Kellerman. Rather, I think certain players have a skill or knack for situational type of hitting. The Yankees are bereft of these kind of players. By assembling a team of former and current superstar sluggers like A-rod (present) and Giambi, Abreu (past), you have a team that has tremendous trouble hitting a a ground ball with the infield playing back or hitting a fly ball when the infield is playing in. So I don't think it is so much that the Yankees are horribly un-clutch nor do I think the Yankees are unlucky; rather I think most of their players with the exception of Johnny Damon and Xaiver Nady, just are not skilled at the art of giving themselves up to make sure a run scores. None of them have ever been asked to do this in their superstar careers. This would be fine if they were still at their peaks of greatness but most of these guys like Abreu, Giambi and Jeter, are no longer in their greatest years and need to be able to do more in the way of situational hitting; only they can't because they never have had to. This, my fellow Yankee fans has been the greatest flaw in this year's Yankee team.
I raise the white flag not because I don't like a lot of the young bullpen arms, I think they have a great pen going forward, and not because I don't think Cano and Melky will bounce back with better seasons next year; rather, I raise the white flag because I simply don't think this offense will magically learn how to situational hit. This would be okay if we had a healthy rotation of Wang, Joba, Muss, Pettite and Ponson. However, with a rotation that features Dan Giese and Ian Kennedy getting crucial starts the rest of the way, this lack of situational hitting will ultimately cost the Yanks too many games. This, coupled with a 4 game deficit to Boston and 3 to Minnesota makes it nearly impossible to end up overcoming this wild card deficit in the end. That said, enjoy an American League playoffs of Tampa Bay, Minneapolis, Orange County, and Chicago A.L Fox and TBS. Those ratings should easily beat out Sunday night football games on NBC like games featuring the Superbowl 42 champion New York Giants, The F A R V E FARVE FARVE FARVES, the 18-1 Pats and the national teams like Pittsburgh and Dallas.