Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Roundup 7/1/07 - Write 'Em Off

For weeks, we've heard rumblings like "it's only April," "it's only May," "it's gonna be 1978 all over again." After yesterday's embarrassing loss, the Yanks are almost halfway done with the season, and a long ways from the division and the wild card.

Very good piece by Larry Brooks in the Post, about how the Yanks aren't in a rough patch; this is just the way the whole season has gone. He points out what Despiser mentioned a few weeks ago, that aside from A-Rod, the Yankees have no power bats. This team could use Gary Sheffield.

Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant also discusses the Yankee troubles, and mentions that the lefties (Matsui, Abreu, and Cano), who usually hit well against lefties, have not hit them well in '07.

Classic Joe Torre
: Igawa gives up 4 runs in 6+ innings, but he's headed in the right direction. What's he gonna say next, that Clemens is a Cy Young candidate?

Mike Lupica echoes a piece I wrote in May. His piece, entitled "Who's Watching The Store?" is basically the same as my "Who's Running The Show"? But Lupica doesn't even address George's health issues. Bad job there.

Great piece by Bill Madden, who says things will only get worse for the Yanks in '08, '09 and beyond. Here's an excerpt:

"Take a good, hard honest look at this underachieving, uninspired, aging Yankee team and then weep if you will. The entire outfield of Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu is clearly past its prime and in need of being replaced. There is no first baseman. The catcher, Jorge Posada, is 36 and a free agent at the end of the season. The DH, Jason Giambi, is a broken-down, old 36 and probably done, certainly as a big-time middle-of-the-order run producer. And lest we forget (easy to do since we've seen him so infrequently this season), Mariano Rivera is going to be 38 in November when he, too, will be a free agent.

Nobody wants to talk about the fact that Derek Jeter will be 35 when the Yankees are in the new ballpark in '09 - and the silence has been deafening regarding that opt-out clause in Alex Rodriguez's contract. Whereas a couple of months ago the Yankees could smugly say they would not allow themselves to be held hostage by A-Rod, now it may not even be their choice."

The only area that Madden doesn't address is that the Yanks will likely pick up some big-name free agents over the next few years. They'll make huge offers to Johan Santana, Jake Peavy, Andruw Jones, and others. But as we've seen over the past few years, that won't help them all that much. Plus, with revenue sharing, maybe teams like the Twins and Padres will be able to keep their young stars.

Torre was not a big fan
of Farnsworth's antics on Friday, but the guy isn't going anywhere. He's gonna get $7 million next year, and no team will take him unless the Yankees eat that up. It's one of the worst signings in the Cashman era.

Manny Ramirez is playing harder than ever this year, says Tony Massarotti.

ANTI-PICK OF THE WEEK: With the Yankees having their worst season since 1992, what could be more juicy than an interview with George Steinbrenner/Harold Rubinstein? Instead, the folks at the Daily News serve up bigger softballs than the ones Andy Pettitte gave to the A's this afternoon. Very disappointing. Terrible job by the News.

Then again, maybe I can't kill the News here. The interview was probably rigged by George's handlers. They don't want him to cause any controversy. There are a lot of layers there, and I'm pretty sure they didn't let the News ask the questions the fans wanted to hear answered.

PICK OF THE WEEK: One of my guilty pleasures? Checking out when the Yanks are playing lousy baseball. Check out this piece: "DAMON HOLDS YANKEES HOSTAGE: DAY 82 + COUNTING."

- Yanks lose again, with Pettitte putting out his worst effort of the season. Everybody was impressed with his hot start to the season, but I figured he'd lose a step or two as the season went on. He had a 4.77 ERA in June, and he'll have to do really well to bring that figure down on July. The guy isn't getting any younger, and was pitching above his level, better than he did against the weak NL Central the past couple of years. I'd be surprised if he ended up with a sub-4.00 ERA.

- Two of my favorite teams, Minny and the Angels, take on the Yankees for the next seven days. Looking forward to this one.

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