Sunday, November 4, 2012

With Mo's return, we must direct ourselves at the most critical threat to the Yankees: Old Age

Yesterday, we obtained a 43-year-old closer. No, not Darren Oliver - although the way things are going, he could be next. No, we pulled in the greatest relief pitcher in history. Mariano will return. Why are we not celebrating?

Well, maybe you are popping the corks. Maybe he's got another year in him. If anyone does, it's Mariano. But at 43, we'd be crazy not to think that every outing could be his last. And if he's not effective - ooops, there goes the season. Nobody to replace him. You can't take him out. He pitches until something goes on his body. Then it's whomever is hot: Paging Clay Rapada.

And therein lies the problem. You've heard of America's team? We're becoming Alzheimer's team.

Supposedly, we plan to resign Ichiro and Kuroda, adding another 76 years. Maybe the team will establish residence at the Hebrew Home at Riverside. I've heard it's like a college campus. Maybe The Scooter Store will replace WB Mason. What will they serve in the clubhouse buffet? Creamed corn? Add another year to Jeet, A-Rod and Andy Pettitte, does anyone think they'll make it through the season? They didn't last year. (Though Jeet missed by three games.) How will we beat young, strong teams in their 20s? At times last year, our triple A farm team lineup was older than the Rays.  And Tex, Grandy and Cano all look like they're entering a career twilight. We are nearing a dangerous age breakdown. With a few bad breaks - no pun intended - we might not just be bad next year. We might be the worst team in baseball. We could be back in 1990, the highest payroll and drafting first. (And of course, taking the next Brien Taylor, the man of the 40-year sentence.)

One hope beckons: The Asian market. Several young pitchers have announced intentions to come to America. Right now, the Yankees are tapped out on the amount of money they can throw at these guys. Fortunately, so is every other team that would be competing for this talent. They all hit their limits. It's time for Cashman to put a moratorium on old age. We need young talent. Otherwise, 2013 is going to be an oldies tour. rosby, Stills and Mo.  CC Top. The Grandy Funk Railroad. Blue Oyster Cano. The Arod Hot Chili Peppers. I can go on. You get the picture. Fourth place. I hate to say this. But we need a New Direction.


Anonymous said...

Nah we ok... Gulp

Tom from GA said...

The sky is falling. We must tell the king.

Oh, he already knows? Won't pay to fix it? No new tools available on the farm?

The sky is falling. We must wear hardhats.

Rod Sterling said...

The Hebrew Home at Riverwalk is your one stop shop for senior living and rehabilitation. Let me tell you something I've been to Riverwalk. It's on the banks of the Hudson River. It's like a northeast college campus and the rooms are something out of a four star hotel. You don't need to be jewish to live at the Hebrew Home. I'm telling you. You'll love the senior lifestyle. Call 800-Senior today or visit them online at HebrewHome.o r g

John M said...

I just finished reading Halberstam's 'October 1964'. It's very strange how the Yankees of today resemble the Yankees of 1964-5: aging stars well past their prime, a decimated farm system, guys with flashes of brilliance who never reach their potential. We're missing a Mel Stottlemyre...a late season call-up who is completely calm, cool and already a great pitcher.

You know what happened to the Yanks in the ensuing years...1966, 67, 68, 69, 70. The highlight of my fandom in those days is when they got Danny Cater and he hit .300 one year. Because I didn't start following the Yanks until 66, I never realized that a Yankee could actually hit .300. I thought it was just a distant myth or legend told of glory days past.

One point from the book: the Yankees used to be able to sign some of the best young kids for low bonuses because of the prestige of the team and the almost certain World Series checks. That went away very fast, as is the attractiveness of the Yankees for free agent stars.

It's eerie.

el duque said...

I've been having that premonition for some time now. Last year, the Pineda trade debacle - followed by the collapse of Betances and Banuelos - set me off.

When you look at what Tampa, Baltimore and Toronto have coming through their systems, our only hope is to buy free agents - but we have no room under the self-imposed cap and no place to put them. It not only looks like 1965. It looks like 1984.

I remember Danny Cater. "See you later." Good grief, I remember when Steve Whitaker was batting cleanup, and we were touting Andy Kosco as the big RBI man. Yankee fans don't seem to think it can happen again. They can't seem to imagine how a team can spend so much and be so bad. But it's there in the books. And it can be a long drought.

Tom from GA said...

hey, now! Andy Kosco was red-hot for three or four weeks that first season. And Lindy McDaniel was an absolute inspiration -- closer, long relief and spot start all in one week. And Danny Cater produced Sparky Lyle so he's not all that bad. So let's not be poor-mouthing my formative years as a fan, when I learned how to suffer. I am well prepared for the future.

John M said...

If we let Rocky Colavito pitch and one of the wily vets in the bullpen develops a Folly Floater, we may have a shot at 75 wins.

I think Horace Clarke is still available.

el duque said...

I think the Hoss twice led the American League in at-bats!