The Yankee Mystique Has Left The Building
The Yankees are no longer a team that people fear coming into town. They actually look forward to facing them at this point. Friday morning, after losing three of four to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Yankees sat in the AL East basement. May 6th, the Yankees were in last place. They still have some health issues going on and too much talent to be this bad, but realistically, what are the chances the make it to the postseason or take first place back?
In 2002 through 2005, the Yankees performance after the first 29 games looked like this:
Year Wins Losses
2002 18 11
2003 23 6
2004 16 13
2005 11 18
Here is how the Yankees fared to finish the season in 2002 through 2005:
Year Wins Losses
2002 85 48
2003 78 55
2004 85 47
If you average out each finish, the Yankees averaged 83 wins and 50 losses. If the Yankees can manage to turn this horrible start around and win the rest of the games at a .624 clip, they will finish 94 and 68. No less than 95 games got the wildcard in any of the past three years in the American League, though if the Yankees finished with 94 wins in any of the past three seasons, they would have made the playoffs anyway.
However, is it logical that the Yankees will suddenly turn it on? Can they just win the rest of the season as if they were the successful Yankee teams of 2002 through 2004 who won consistently from end to end? Not really. This team does not have the rotation depth to make that type of turnaround. Steinbrenner is looking at the successes of Jose Contreras and John Leiber and getting ready to fire someone, though he is probably directly to blame. They still have injury concerns with the starters they have and there are still question marks with Carl Pavano who has an BAA of .300+. The Yankees may hit solid stretch of games, maybe even eighty games at a .600 clip, but they will hit a rough stretch again. The Yankees are in serious, serious jeopardy of not making the playoffs in 2005. At this point, they need to be near peferct and do not have room for error. What started off as a slow start that people had expected them to play out of has become a deep hole. The Yankees would have to play .600 ball for the next 35 games just to hit .500 in win % for the season. The Bronx Bombers certainly have their work cut out for them and it is going to be funny to watch, but right now, 90 wins and the playoffs looks like an uphill battle.
I definitely route against Steinbrenner’s horse in the Kentucky Derby. The entire thing is a trickle down effect for me. If George and the Yankees are getting beat and beat badly night after night, his only solace right now is that horse. Steinbrenner is not used to losing, so if his horse can spit the bit too, it can only mean good things for any of us waiting for the demise of the Yankees. If that horse fails, he’ll turn his full attention back to the Yankees and try to save a sinking ship that has too many holes. Specifically, he’ll start looking to waste whatever chips he has left in the minors and throughout the organization to improve this year’s flawed, mega-million dollar team and further dampen their future. Basically, we just sit back and enjoy the show.
Anyone else think Mikey might be locked in? He is just punishing the ball and sent two no doubters over the fence. Wright and Cameron knocked balls over the fence as well and the Mets are on track to hit 189 homeruns this year. In 2000, they set the club record with 198 homers. As of now, Carlos has not even hit is stride and the Mets will make a run at that club record and for 200 homers and possibly get it for the first time in club history. If they do hit 200 homers, I can guarantee that they will be in the playoffs this season. The pitching will come around, and if they can continue to hit, they will be successful.
So when the three-time Cy Young Award winner takes the mound here against the Brewers at Miller Park tonight, it will mark the first time he has ever pitched in the land of beer, brats and Bob Uecker.
The land of beer, brats and Bob Uecker? Milwaukee sounds like a pretty damn good place.
"None of those had a chance," Davis said of the long homers. "I went straight to the umpire and asked for a new ball. That's all you can do."
"It's something new for me," Diaz said. "I've always been a starter. But I'd rather be on the bench in the big leagues than starting in the minors. I know I can learn more being up here."
Diaz said he would take extra pre-game batting practice to keep his swing sharp. He also planned more pre-game outfield work to get accustomed to playing left.
"I want them to be confident putting me in left or right," Diaz said. "I'll get myself as ready as I can be."
Note to Valent. You have become useless and buried deeeeep on the bench. Is a demotion in order to get him some at-bats?
Cliff Floyd 1.096
Victor Diaz .973
David Wright .869
Carlos Beltran .799
Doug Mientkiewicz .717
Jose Reyes .714
Mike Piazza .707