"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Tim Marchman has a good piece in The New York Sun today about why Yankee fans should be concerned about the coming season:

The lack of depth exposed by Booneís injury has the club seriously considering such third-base options as Tyler Houston and failed prospect Drew Henson. Neither can cover for Derek Jeterís defensive shortcomings with their range and sure-handedness, as Boone was expected to; this is a big problem given the ground-ball tendencies of several of the clubís new pitchers.

All this rightly worries Bronx boosters. Yet even taken together, these problems are little compared to the clubís real, tripartite crisis: huge commitments to declining veterans, a desiccated farm system, and chaos among the best management team the Yankees have had since the 1950s.

Y’uh-oh. But we already know this, right? Marchman concludes:

Whatís to be done? Nothing.The Yankees invested massively in superstar talent, leaving nothing aside for contingencies; that canít be easily fixed, and results from an inflexible organizational approach.This is a team that doesnít have a single adequate reserve on the roster capable of taking over if frontline players go down, and Iíd be shocked if Boone were the only one to go down. Giambi, in particular, is worrisome, as the knee injury that made him incapable of playing in the World Series is the same one that prematurely ended Mark McGwireís career.

If things go well, this team is of course capable of being the best in baseball and winning World Series. But this season could also be the beginning of an ugly and epic collapse.

I think Tim is correct in stating that the Yankees are a high-risk/high-reward proposition. Things could turn sour quickly, or the Yankees could make it to the playoffs, and maybe even the Serious again. One thing is certain: It sure won’t be dull in the BX this summer. But then again, it rarely is.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver