Monday, May 02, 2005

No Solution for Yanks' Pitiful Pen

After another weekend of the Junkees' pen blowing leads (avoiding a sweep only thanks to Womack's hit), you have to wonder if their struggles will end and if they can do something about it. I think they're screwed.

Flush Gordon has picked up where he left off in the ALCS, and at 37, he may be finished. Junkee fans hold their breath each time the guy gets in the game, and he's been so bad the Yanks can hardly ever get to Rivera this year.

Cashman screwed up bigtime in bringing back Mike Stanton. What the hell was the moron thinking? I thought the Yanks would go for Steve Kline, a lefty with something to offer, who ended up signing with Baltimore. You know things are pathetic when even a Yankee-hater gives the Yanks too much credit.

And the rest of the gang? Karsay is looking like one of the worst signings in recent Yankee history. The guy had one good year, and has been in rehab for a ridiculous amount of time. And clearly, Torre has no faith in Quantrill anymore. Yesterday was his first appearance in 9 games, and the guy didn't do much to help the cause. And with 5 walks already (or one fewer than Pavano's given up all year), Felix Rodriguez's only claim to fame will be ridding the Yankees of Kenny Lofton. Buddy Groom is 39 and a lefty specialist. And even before the Grand Tanyon hit the DL, his ERA was 6.10 and wasn't as solid as last year.

So the Yanks need to look elsewhere for help. But who can they trade? This team is lacking in depth and needs all the youth they can get. The way Junkee fans got all excited out of one good start by Wang shows you how much this team needs some youthful energy in it. And no small-market team out of the race by July wants the Yankees' big contracts. Teams like the Brewers and Pirates have no use for Giambi, Brown and others, no matter how much of the contract the Yankees are willing to eat.

And the Sox have bullpen issues of their own, but unlike Cashman, Theo Epstein has proven that he can make the trades in midseason to put together a solid bullpen. In '03, after starting off the year with Bill James' closer-by-committee debacle, the Sox came into the postseason with a lights-out bullpen featuring Williamson and Timlin, which Grady Little was apparently unaware of. When has Cashman gotten a good reliever in midseason when he needed one? Witasick? Wohlers? Benitez? Gabe White? Ha-ha. And even picking up Sturtze last year couldn't stop the biggest choke ever. Aside from David Justice and Luis Sojo in 2000 (thank Bobby V for that one), can you name me another midseason pickup the Yankees have made in the Cashman era that has had an impact in October? Anyone? Unlike Sabean and Ken Williams, who always seem to make the right move at the deadline, Cashman hasn't gotten it done. Looks like Snorre won't be relaxing after the 6th inning this year.

Interesting matchups in the Yanks-Rays series. Game 1 is Mussina-Kazmir, a fading star vs. a future star. Then we get two stinkers in Waechter-Brown. Game 3 is a rematch of last week, Nomo-Johnson, which the Rays won the first time. And Wang goes in game 4 against Hendrickson. Wang can't prove anything in this one; let's see how he does against a decent-hitting team before we get too excited about this kid.

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