Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Myth of the Bronx Bombers

In 2008 the Yankees faltered on many levels, from offense, to defense, to pitching, pitching, and pitching. As a result, the beginning of the hot stove season has been focused on pitching, pitching, pitching. With offers made to Sabathia and Burnett with Lowe and Pettitte next in line, its obvious that the majority of the $80+ million coming off the books this season will be spent on pitching. Although I agree with the focus on pitching (though I'm not sold on Burnett), this focus draws all attention away from what was an anemic offense last season.

The Yankees scored 789 runs, their fewest since 1995 when Buck Showalter was the manager. The Yankees lost 10 games last season where their opponents scored 3 or fewer runs. Hitting in the clutch was non-existant, and the Yankees rarely had big late game rallies. If the Yankees were losing after the 5th, they were probably going to lose the game.

My concern is that by signing all these pitchers, do we really expect the offense to start performing? The mentality seems to be that with so many Yankees slumping last season, there's a whole lot of Yankees set to have rebounds next year. This may be the case but lets be real, this team is going to be one year older, Matsui is coming off another knee surgery, Posada is coming off a shoulder surgery, Giambi and Abreu are gone. Where exactly is this offense going to come from? Damon and Nady are playing for contracts so they will likely do well, and A-Rod, Swisher and Cano can be expected to do better, but none of that is a given, and if any of those players are injured than where does that leave us? The Yankees need another bat, preferably a big one.

This leads me to Manny Ramirez. The former Red Sox left fielder whose character and personality are listed among his faults. Among his virtues are a power bat that hit .396 with 17 homeruns and 53 RBI's in just 187 at bats for LA. He will be 37 next season, but for a hitter like Manny, is this really an issue? Now his deficincies will lead many Yankee fans to say that he's not a true Yankee and should never disgrace the Yankee uniform. My response is that neither was Reggie Jackson, yet when he hit 3 homeruns in a single game to put the Yankees ahead in the post season, all those feelings about Reggie dissapeared. For two maybe three years of Manny Ramirez, I honestly think its worth it. The Yankees can pay the money now, and then have his hefty contract off the books in a few years. Do we really pass up on a bat like this in the hopes that half our lineup will reverse the trend they followed last season? Our chances of winning in 2009 are greatly increased with Manny in the lineup.

Some may say we needed Teixeira, but that's behind us now. Swisher will be our first baseman, and as much as I like Teixeira, his contract would be just as immovable as Manny's only 5 years longer.

The Bronx Bombers could suffer another power outage next season if they do not bring in a big bat. I know Manny is a risk in both personality and character, but if they make sure to write a hair cut into his contract the Yankees will be fine. Girardi wanted to manage the Yankees, he can now figure out how to manage a guy like Manny. Torre somehow did, as did Francona for several years. Time for Mr. Girardi to step up.

13 comments:

Fred Trigger said...

I'm telling you, they could probably get Adam Dunn for relatively cheap. Lots of GM's will undervalue him becuase of his low batting average, but like Swisher, he gets on base and hits moonshots. I bet you he could hit 50 homers in that ballpark. Only problem is that shakey defense.

Roberto Alejandro said...

Not to mention, his name is Adam Dunn. Whoever saddled him with that name, probably some beloved family member, should be taken out back and made to think about what they did.

TribeGirl said...

Really, you are definitely focusing on his "character" too much. The Boston franchise is notorious for being one big locker room cancer long before Manny, during Manny, and after Manny. Plus, there are three sides to every story. Regarding character, Manny did fine in Cleveland and he did fine in LA. He's a pleasant laid back person who works hard and focuses on his hitting more than any player in the game, and the results show it. The only weakness he has in my book is the weakness he's had his entire career which is defense. He'll be a good teammate with nothing to worry about in that area. Boston creates drama and crap for its players. I'm not saying Manny reacted appropriately, I'm just saying that's Boston. He's been on two other teams, one for just as long, and the team dynamics were completely different. Players weren't treated like crap.

Fred Trigger said...

manny does fine until his paycheck is secured. He was fine in Cleveland because he still hadnt gotten his big paycheck, yet. He was fine in LA, because he was playing for another one. Look, I love manny. I love what he did for Boston. But, the guy wanted out of town a long time ago. I mean, remember when they put him on irrevocable waivers? They wouldnt have gotten anything back, thats how bad they wanted rid of him and his contract. Thank god nobody could afford it, because at the time, it was a pretty crazy contract. Again, I like manny, but, he is a very, very, very, very, very, very, weird man.

Oh yeah, I mean this attitude wise, not performance wise. Because, no matter how unhappy he is, he still hits the ball like a mofo.*

*Ironically enough, if he had stayed with boston, and hit the way he did in LA, he probably would have won his first MVP.

Roberto Alejandro said...

I stole a BWAA ballot and had Manny as my first choice for MVP. Cards suck! Anyone ever notice that if you rearrange the letters in albert pujols' name you get ralbet supjol? Think about it.

Fred Trigger said...

you son of a bitch! You solved the code! To what, I dont know.

Bucky7588 said...

Moose, why hath thou forsaken us?

Roberto Alejandro said...

losing Moose is tough, though I can't blame him for going out with 20. He should at least be asked to come by spring training as a pitching coach.

TribeGirl said...

I'm happy for Moose and actually glad he retired. It's best to go out on top and he went out in style!

Bucky7588 said...

that's fact, but come on, that arm would be nice to have back too...but I'm glad that he's going out on top.

raven said...

You want some bats?
Here's
onefor you.

raven said...

Anybody thinks maybe LeBron can convert to baseball?

Fernando Alejandro said...

Thanks for the link Raven. I'm not sure what I think about Cameron just yet, but I do like his speed, and his 25 homerun power.