WestCoastYankees-The Blog

WestCoastYankees-The Blog

WestCoastYankees-The Blog

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Be Thankful For The Season They Had

Mandatory Credit: CBS Sports

I'm not the type of fan or blogger, that demands a World Series title. I'm not the guy that says it's World Series or the season has been a dismal failure. There are 29 other teams, more than half of whom are capable of winning a world championship. It's the spoiled, ignorant fans of the most recent dynasty that have that mindset. Earlier this summer, I stated that I believed that the Yankees would win the AL East "going away." That wasn't arrogance or a feeling of superiority as a Yankee fan. I looked at the records of both New York and Toronto, looked at their home records, their remaining schedules, and how they had performed up to that point. I was obviously wrong in my statements. It happens, nobody is perfect, including me.

What was more pathetic was the idea that fans of this team actually thought the Yankees had a chance last night. They literally stopped playing solid baseball on August 1st. They dumped a division lead, and if it weren't for the Diamondbacks, they would've choked away their one home playoff game as well. This team was flawed from day one. Second base was an issue all season. Right field was an issue most of the season. Injuries and ineffectiveness were issues all season. The mismanagement of this team by Binder Boy has been an issue since 2008.

I picked this team to win 74 games and miss the playoffs. I was wrong. A postseason berth was good enough for me. I had no delusions of anything beyond a one and done. I'm satisfied with the season. Am I happy? Of course not, but I'm satisfied, and there is a difference. It was nice to see bounce back seasons from McCann and Tex before he was injured for the year. I also said A-Rod would go .270/20/70. Two out of three ain't bad is it? The emergence of Luis Severino and Greg Bird show glimpses into the future of what a solid farm system can produce if allowed to be nurtured.

I won't blame Stephen Drew. He provided power at the bottom of the lineup and very solid defense in his first full season at second base. Does that mean I'd re-sign him? Not on your life. There were too many dead spots on this roster to think the Yankees would make a deep run into October. After struggling, Didi Gregorius was one of the best shortstops in the American League by the time the regular season ended. Attitude or not, I like what I see from Rob Refsnyder. He's got pop in his bat, and he should be starting at second come spring training...if Cashman and Girardi just leave him alone to play.

As much as I enjoy watching a fellow Oregonian in Jacoby Ellsbury don the pinstripes, it's time for him to go. He and Tex both are like porcelain China dolls. The slightest sprain or strain, and their games are in the toilet. That signing was a HUGE mistake. Whatever the Yankees have to do, they have to shed some payroll, and improve their lineup. Unfortunately heading into 2016, there is simply too much bad money on the books to think much will change. I do love the future of the rotation. With Severino, Pineda, Tanaka, and Eovaldi as the front four, that is a scary thought if, and it's a big if, they can all make 30-35 starts a piece. The bad news is, Ivan Nova and C.C. Sabathia are still on this team, and they aren't going anywhere.

What about the guys coming off the roster? Are you really going to shed any tears for the departures of Drew, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, or Chris Capuano? Only Ryan has a club/player option attached, and personally, if Drew were willing to become the utility guy, it's a no-brainer that with his power and glove, he stays and Ryan hits the bricks.

Should the Yankees try and make a splash in free agency? For who? The rotation is set unless Cashman decides he's had enough of guys like Pineda and Nova, and tries to package them for an upgrade somewhere else. Beltran is stuck in right for another year, but with Young departing, it might be time to consider Aaron Judge (who I personally think needs more seasoning at Triple-A) as Beltran's platoon partner, while easing him into big league action. While I really like John Ryan Murphy as McCann's backup, it's time for Gary Sanchez to be on the big league roster. Murphy hit well, but doesn't have nearly the potential that Sanchez does as an impact bat. Deal Murphy for more bullpen help, bench help, or farm depth, just as they did with Francisco Cervelli.

I also hate to say this now, but if the Yankees wanted to get cheaper and younger, now is probably the best time to consider dealing Brett Gardner. For God's sake, the man thinks he's a home run hitter now, and hit a whopping .206 after the All-Star break. Slade Heathcott might be that younger, cheaper option. Who knows what the Yankees could fetch in return for Gardy.

Obviously with both Tex and A-Rod on the roster next season, they would be a straight platoon at DH. Greg Bird would be my starting first baseman from this day forward. He's still learning with the leather, but he's proven he can hit at the big league level. After 2016, a ton of money comes off the books with Sabathia, Tex, and Beltran all being eligible for free agency. By that time, Sanchez could take over full time behind the plate, and McCann could become the DH partner with A-Rod for 2017, and also work in with Bird at first occasionally. In terms of arms, if Ian Clarkin can return healthy, and James Kaprielian continues to develop, the final piece of a powerful rotation could be in the not so distant future. 2016 future? Not quite, but maybe by early-to-mid 2017, one of these young arms would be ready for a Severino-like ascendancy to the Bronx.

What to do what to do with Joe Girardi? Personally, I think he should've managed his last game for the Yankees on Tuesday night. He's been over matched so many times throughout his tenure, living and dying by that stupid black binder of his, with no instinctual feel for the game whatsoever. If the Yankees wanted to stay in-house, why not give longtime utility man and current Yankees minor league skipper Luis Sojo a shot? Could he do much worse than Girardi? I'm about fire and intensity, and I believe Tino Martinez is the right guy to be the hitting coach as well. It's time for new blood. It's time for guys that did nothing but win in the Bronx, to start making an impact as managers and coaches. The uptight, deer in the headlights look on the manager and coaches' faces need to go away.

I am proud of this 2015 Yankees team for making it to the postseason. What I'm not proud of, is how this team looked listless for the last two months of the season, and didn't really seem to care about playing when it mattered the most. You can't expect a title every time out. What you should demand, is a full out effort. When that fails to be the case starting with the manager in the dugout, and rolling right on down the roster sans a handful of guys, it's time to make sweeping changes, and it can start as early as today.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Wild Card, Sabathia, What Does It All Mean?

Sabathia's is done for the rest of the season--albeit possibly only one game.

By now, everyone knows the New York Yankees will be hosting the Houston Astros Tuesday night in the Bronx for the American League Wild Card game. Yankees' ace Masahiro Tanaka will be facing Astros' go-to guy Dallas Keuchel in the win-or-go-home game. Personally, I was rooting for the Yankees to lose out, even before they clinched the Wild Card slot last Thursday.

Simply stated, this team doesn't deserve to be in the postseason. They've limped around since the start of August, blew what was a comfortable lead to the eventual AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays, and have played lifeless baseball for the better part of the last two weeks. No, I was hoping the collapse would be a complete one, and the Yankees management would be forced to address real issues with this team as early as today. Speaking of today, the bombshell was dropped by former ace C.C. Sabathia, that his season is done, regardless of how far the Yankees go, as he enters rehabilitation for alcohol addiction. While it couldn't have come at a worse time for the Yankees, all you can hope for, is that he gets himself right, comes in next season, can be somewhat serviceable, and hits the road at the end of the 2016 season as just another bad contract off the books for the Yankees.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

It's There, But The Yankees Just Don't Want It

Mandatory Credit: abc13.com

So there the Yankees sat on Wednesday night. Tied with Baltimore late, with Toronto on the short end of a brutal beating at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. I know it sounds weird to be rooting for Boston when it comes to anything, but when the first place Blue Jays are the opponents, and the Yankees finding themselves down 1 1/2 in September, you suck it up and root for whomever. One of the concerns the Yankees were facing during the month of August, was how badly Alex Rodriguez looked at the plate. It now appears that problem is solved, as he tied Hank Aaron for the most 30-home run seasons in big league history. 

As a matter of fact, truth be told, the Yankees should have a 2-3 game lead in the AL East right now. The Jays have cooled off somewhat, and have opened the door for the Bombers to overtake them on multiple occasions over the past couple of weeks. Problem is, they haven't. Another truth be told moment, they don't even look like they care sans A-Rod and a few others. Add to that the over-managing of Clueless Joe Girardi, and the loss of Nathan Eovaldi for a couple of weeks, the Yankees are in serious trouble. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

What Are The Odds?

Mandatory Credit: nydailynews.com
What are the odds, that with exactly thirty games left in the 2015 regular season schedule, that the New York Yankees can pull it all together and come out as the AL East champions? Think about it for a moment. In July, the Yankees were on cruise control, holding a six game lead as the calendar changed over into August. And that's when the bottom fell out. After going 17-7 in July, and firing on all cylinders, the offense began to sputter, and the Bombers finished August a measly 14-13.

The problem is two-fold: while Carlos Beltran was practically the only hitter who showed up during the month of August, the big bats who had enjoyed a season-long resurgence sputtered: Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira--who recorded all of ten hits for the entire month. A-Rod hit an anemic .148, and looked every bit his 40-years of age minus PEDs. The bad news for Tex, is that a deep bone bruise has yet to heal, and he may be gone for the season. Ouch!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Suck It Up, And Move On...

Mandatory Credit: cbssports.com
The Yankees opened the month of September with a slim victory over last place Boston. Normally a good sign right? Well, as it turns out, first baseman Mark Teixeira could be gone for the remainder of the season, as a deep bone bruise on his shin is showing no signs of healing whatsoever. So the obvious choice to take over at first base for the foreseeable future is 22-year-old Greg Bird. Again, no big deal right? Not so fast. When a team depends on not one, but two older players in Tex and Alex Rodriguez to carry the brunt of the offensive load, the Yankees had to know that there was a high probability that one, if not both players were going to break down at some point during the season.

It's never easy to lose a switch-hitter from a lineup, especially when that leaves exactly ONE everyday player in A-Rod, who hits from the right side of the plate. What does that mean for the Yankees moving forward? Plan on seeing a crap-ton of lefties from this point forward. The only other righties the Yankees can use, are Chris Young, who is a natural righty, Chase Headley (switch-hitter) and Carlos Beltran, who also swings from both sides of the dish.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Will September Be Kinder To Yankees?

Mark Teixeira is still battling injuries as the calendar turns to September-Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

I want to start this post, by passing along my deepest condolences and prayers to the family and friends of the falling victim of last night's game between the Yankees and Braves. Gregory Murrey was a 23-year Atlanta Braves' season ticket holder, and fell more than 40 feet from the top deck at Turner Field, and later passed away from his injuries. We often forget how precious life can be, and nobody, anywhere, ever wishes for a tragedy such as the one that occurred last night. We all just want to go the ballpark, root for our team, boo the villains and opposing players of the game, and return home to our loved ones. Rest in peace Mr. Murrey.

As the month of August comes to a close, the Yankees are doing exactly what they're supposed to: beat the teams they should, and battle the teams who are in contention. Yes, they lost two of three at home to first place Houston, and lost three of four to a Cleveland team they should've pummeled. I recently wrote about how many fans believe the collapse is on--having blown a seven-game lead at the end of July, and have allowed the white-hot Blue Jays to overtake them in the AL East, things can only get better for the Bronx Bombers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly For The Yankees

Mandatory Credit: nypost.com
It sure got ugly last night in the Bronx, didn't it? One night after Carlos Belran walked-off the Houston Astros with a sac fly, the wheels came completely off for the Yankees on Tuesday night, as Ivan Nova looked more like a high school pitcher than he did a middle-of-the-rotation arm for a division title contender. Nova failed to get out of the fifth inning, giving up seven earned, seven knocks, and walking four. That's just unacceptable, I don't care who you are. The Yankees went down in flames, 15-1. The damage looked as if it was going to be minimal however, as the Angels had the Blue Jays down to their final out in the ninth, before Toronto capped off a comeback, winning the game, and taking over sole possession of first place in the AL East.

It was indeed ugly, and once again, the bats were nowhere to be found, putting up a single run last night, and tallying a whopping five runs over their last three contests. Here we go again with the ice-cold bats. Unlike their previous batting slump, an extended slump heading into September will most likely bury any chance of them winning the AL East--even if the schedule down the stretch plays out in their favor. Make no mistake, the Blue Jays aren't going anywhere, and if the Yankees don't pick up the pace, they'll lost out on the Wild Card shot as well, and be sitting at home for a third straight October.