Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Yankees Need Bruce Bowen
My theory about the Yankees is that they are exactly like Team USA Basketball. Too many superstars, not enough balance. Too many personalities, not enough team. USA Basketball almost got it right this year, bringing in players such as Shane Battier and Bruce Bowen, but then they cut Bowen and couldn't bring themselves to play Battier over guys like LeBron- and who could blame them? How could you sit Matsui in favor of Cabrera?
It's kind of a strange thought- the best players may not make the best team. It works in fantasy sports, but not in real life sports. Ron Jaworski drafted Keyshawn, T.O., and Randy Moss (I believe) as his fantasy wide receivers. Before the season started, it looked like a good core of receivers, but the other ESPN guys joked that his locker room would be a mess. The same concept applies in any sport, too many egos and too many personalities means there can be too many superstars. Last year's Team USA included Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury.
The most difficult thing to imagine for General Managers is that they could get a better skilled player, but they should get a better "fit" player. So it could be argued that the spending done by the Yankees has been exactly what has contributed to their recent demise. Looking back at their championship teams, the 1998 team won 114 games, lost only two playoff games, and had very few superstars on it. I mean, regular starters on that team included Chad Curtis, Scott Brosius, Chuck Knoblauch, and Darryl Strawberry (way past his prime). Their pitchers had a 3.82 season ERA though, and looking at the lineup, Bernie, Tino and Jeter were probably the biggest names.
This year's Yankee postseason lineup consisted of Matsui, Giambi, Sheffield, and Abreu; who are all zillion dollar players that give you the same exact thing- a big power threat and no defense. It was as if there weren't enough places to hide these guys in the field. And as my buddy Jeff pointed out, Jeter and Posada were the only ones who had great numbers in the ALDS this year.
What actually happens with this All-Star team remains to be seen. My suggestion would be to keep Cano, Jeter, Posada, Cabrera, and Wang. Everyone else on the roster should have a price, and they may want to start finding out what those prices are.
Keep Jeter, Posada, Damon, Matsui, Cabrera, Cano, and Abreu
Bring up Eric Duncan to play 1st base.
Shop around Giambi, Johnson, and A-Rod (FOR PITCHING)
Sign Barry Zito
Allow Bernie to stay if he wants
Make sure Mariano is getting plenty of ass at all times because he deserves it
Have your backup catcher be your Catcher of the Future... Like Posada was in '96. Posada will be a great mentor.
But doesn't it feel like they don't trade any big names away for value? Most of the big market teams are stuck in this spot. When is the last time anyone with a payroll over $100 mil pulled off something like the Sanchez-Ramirez for Beckett-Lowell trade?
- I doubt anoyone will take Giambi. over 16mil for a DH with an f'd up wrist? Highly unlikely...