"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Some players go on and on forever while others fall off the table without ceremony, thwap. Ichiro belongs in the first group though there were times last year when it looked like he was all but finished. And then he had a late surge and it reminded us of the great player he’s been.

The Yanks are bringing him back for two years and he could be more like the player in Seattle last season than the one he was in September and October for the Yanks. Still, I liked this from Marc Carig’s article in Newsday:

“I believe the Yankees organization appreciates that there is a difference between a 39-year-old who has played relying only on talent, and a 39-year-old who has prepared, practiced and thought thoroughly through many experiences for their craft,” Ichiro said. “I am very thankful, and I will do my best to deliver on their expectations.”

[Photo Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP]


1 Boatzilla   ~  Dec 20, 2012 8:47 am


2 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 20, 2012 10:10 am

If every day is gonna be Old Timer's Day for the Yanks the next couple of years, I'd at least like for them to keep that firmly in mind when they sign additional players. At least we could still be one step ahead of the game in that...

3 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 20, 2012 10:45 am

Maybe Rah Wallace is free this summer.

4 monkeypants   ~  Dec 20, 2012 12:31 pm

I have a real feeling tis season is going to be a disaster, when the wheels fall of the wagon. An entire lineup built on declining players with an occasional "youngster" like the 29 y.o. Brett Gardner.

When 39 y.o. Ichiro is your budget busting corner OF free agent signing, things are potentially very grim.

5 Chris   ~  Dec 20, 2012 1:48 pm

A foundation of declining players ... and is Chris Stewart really going to be the starting catcher? Holy cow.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 20, 2012 2:32 pm

5) It's not even Christmas. Do you really think Chris Stewart will be the opening day starter?

7 monkeypants   ~  Dec 20, 2012 3:17 pm

[6] I don't, but who else is out there AND will fit within the budget constraints? This isn't like Bubba Crosby will our CF, when the Yankees then swung a trade that added lots of payroll. So if not Stewart, then who?

But even if they find a catcher, probably of the league average variety, so what? The starting lineup looks like a mess.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 20, 2012 3:25 pm

7) You're being very un-Dude. They'll figure something out. LOL

And you guys may be right. This could be the year that the Yanks finally fall apart. I wouldn't be shocked if that happened. None of us would. But we've said the same thing every year--it's 1965 all over again!!--each year since I started this site. So, there's that, too.

9 Chris   ~  Dec 20, 2012 4:02 pm

This is the first year I've been on the We're Doomed team. I'm still bitter about the team that looked so lifeless against Detroit. We have a lot of those same guys -- with some notable exceptions. But we didn't get better. Just older. And that's true no matter what scrub ends up starting at catcher and DH. At least as far as I can tell. Please feel free to talk me off the ledge.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 20, 2012 4:09 pm

Welp, the Yanks could have been the Tigers and looked equally as lifeless against the Giants. Yanks still had a really good season.

11 monkeypants   ~  Dec 20, 2012 5:07 pm

[8][9] It's my first year on the 1965 express too, mainly because this is the first year that I can remember when the Yankees seem to have a strict budget and little financial flexibility.

Part of my un-dudeness is the image of Jeter with his leg bent sideways still burned in my memory. He was a big reason they had such a fine year last season, and for the first time I am very not confident that he will be able to perform at a high level next year.

12 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm

I think 2014 is 1965.
Ichiro hits 15+ HRs. Bank on it.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 20, 2012 7:46 pm

[10] B, I think you are ignoring several negative factors that don't necessarily exist from the years before. Like MP says, Jeter is not 100% and there's no guarantee that he will be so when the season begins despite what he says. Plus this is the first season in many years that we have big question marks about Mo, not to mention we are also looking at at least half and possibly a full season of No A-Rod.

And as glad as some of the Banter may be to see Mr. September (Swish) leave for greener pastures, the loss of production from him and A-Rod has only been addressed so far with the re-signing of a 39-y.o. Ichiro,; a nice two-month audition doesn't change that he is on the far side of a productive career that has been in decline for a few years now and his lost productivity will more likely be exposed in an aging lineup with falling stats and nobodies. And unlike previous years where we could count on Cashman having an ace up his sleeve in negotiating a big free agent signing or trade, big signings are all but over and the Yanks have given up too much leverage over the years in trades that have not benefited them long-term, so they're practically over a barrel with any potential trade partners. And they all know it.

True, Cash has produced magic before, but with their intentions known world-wide, it might be time to expect if not 1965, an extended rerun of 2008. I can't blame anybody for feeling pessimistic at this point, though I don't feel like heralding a fallback either. Truth is, the Yanks have given us more reason to not like what's coming next than to be hopeful that they can continue contending at their usual pace. I give it a couple of years before they gain strength and start being Boss again, provided that they don't decimate the farm and replace them with wash-outs and has-beens like they've done the last few years.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 20, 2012 8:55 pm

Of course the 1965 analogy means that they won't just be bad for a year or two or even three but for a decade. I don't see that happening.

15 Boatzilla   ~  Dec 21, 2012 12:40 am

[12] I was thinking that, too, about Ichiro. About 10 to 15, as he's figured out the "porch" (I hate that moniker).

My big concern, still, is catcher. We lost a lot of power production at the bottom of the order from Russel, despite the low average.

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