In no particular order, here is a list of thoughts and observations going into the hot stove season, and wrapping up what has been a tremendous year for the Yankees.
-If you watched any of the playoffs, you may have noticed that the Yankees used 3 pitchers to win number 27. It was a smart move considering the alternative, but it also brings up the issue of our rotation. Joba was simply not good this year, and we really can't go into next season with Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Alfredo Aceves battling for the 5th starter spot. If Pettitte decides to retire, we're literally looking at a rotation of Sabathia and Burnett. Joba should be given every chance to start, and we'll see if he improves. The Yankees would be wise to bring in another starter however, and if I have a vote, it'd be to wrestle Scott Kazmir away from the Angels.
-We had several role players on the team this year, all of whom did their part to help us get to and win the World Series. Among these players are Brett Gardner, Freddy Guzman, Eric Hinske, Jose Molina, Ramiro Pena, and Francisco Cervelli. Gardner, Pena and Cervelli are sticking around, but I doubt the Yankees will be signing Molina, and even if Guzman is resigned, he probably won't be spending that much time on the big league roster. That being said, I really hope Hinske is back next season. He is the bat off the bench we hoped Wilson Betemit would be, and with the ability to play the corner outfield and corner infield spots, albeit at an average level, he proves to be a serviceable bench player worth keeping around. Plus, Hinkse is a winner. He won with the Red Sox in 2007, made it to the World Series with the Rays last season, and has won with us this year. That's someone worth keeping around.
-Damon and Hinske have now won championships with both the Red Sox and Yankees. That's pretty crazy.
-Winning this world series brought up one sad point for me, and that was that we were winning it without Mike Mussina. He's like this generations Don Mattingly, only not homegrown or nearly as popular. Even still, it would have been nice to see him in that celebration after game 6 and the parade on Friday, not to mention in our rotation during the post season.