28 Aug 2008
You have probably read the quote ("they sucked") but Newsday has a video of Hank giving his evaluation of the Yankees last night. You can’t say he is wrong, this train is going off the rails fast and while there is still hope mathematically, that’s about all there is.
Consider that with last night’s loss the Yankees fell seven games behind Boston in the wild card with 30 to play (they are also 4-1/2 behind the Twins). If Boston plays .500 ball the rest of the way, the Yankees need to go 22-8 to tie them. That’s possible, just highly unlikely. So, the Yankees need to think about 2009 and there are a lot of big, big questions that need to be answered.
First and foremost is who will be part of the rotation in ’09? I will assume Joba and Wang are back and healthy, but Pettitte and Mussina are free agents. It’s time to bring Kennedy and Hughes back to the majors and let them have some on the job training. The games are essentially meaningless and the Yankees need to know if they can count on either of these guys for next year.
Next on the list is who will play center in 09? It’s time for a daily dose of Gardener, he should play every game the rest of the way and we should see if he can handle the position.
How about the bullpen? Let’s take the kids and put them in tight situations and see what happens. Maybe they will blow up like last night, but we need to maximize their opportunities.
Biggest on the to do list has to be waivers. Some of the Yankees’ big contract players might have value for a team still in the pennant race. Passing a guy like Giambi through waivers and seeing if you can trade him for something of value makes sense at this point. If you can’t hold onto him and take the draft picks, but at least find out.
This will be a weird September for some, anyone who was born after 1988 or so probably never remembers an October without the Yankees. Those of us a little longer in the tooth remember plenty. Speaking from experience, it isn’t fun. The teams of the 1980’s prolonged their postseason drought by never planning for the future, this team can avoid that mistake.