Friday, September 23, 2011
The Oddest Year
The Yankees locked down the division a couple games ago, and now have a week of what amounts to imaginary baseball. Though it will appear they are playing baseball, we'll be seeing a lot of names on the roster that we've never heard of, and numbers on jerseys that are closer to a hundred. But thinking back to the beginning of the seasons, the Red Sox were a lock for the division, the Yankees were the underdogs, the Rays were looking at what to do with their 50 first round draft picks, and the Blue Jays were just happy to be rid of Vernon Wells. The Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee so they turned to the next best thing: signing every veteran who ever threw a ball in the major leagues. This approach landed us Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia who haven't been great of late but essentially are why we've won the division. It also got us Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, and Russell Martin who have been contributors, and have really helped stabalize this team. The Red Sox if you remember had just traded for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Carl Crawford. If any team was poised to take the division it was them. But baseball is funny that way, and the Yankees really caught lightning in a bottle this year. They essentially took the money ball approach and signed low cost, high-ceiling players and let it play out. I for one did not think Freddy and Bartolo would both make it this far, but here we are in September, and neither are on the DL. Another great development has been Ivan Nova who was sent down mid-season to make room for Hughes, but is back, and has made a strong case to pitch behind Sabathia in the post season. When all is said and done, this has been a remarkable year. I don't know how we'll fare in the post season as our rotation seems in tathers, but with how odd this year has been I wouldn't be surprised if Colon found his 104 mph heat from his Cleveland days, and Freddy Garcia's splitter lands him 9 strikeouts a game here on out. For now, I'm just happy to have the division locked, and we'll see how the rest of the season goes.