Which brings me to Brian Roberts. Don’t get me wrong: I hope I’m completely missing something here. But Roberts is a classic reincarnation of Vernon Wells, except that he plays 2B instead of RF. He’ll do well in April and part of May. We’ll be congratulating ourselves – or at least the YES courtiers will be congratulating Brian Cashman – for his work in picking Roberts off the scrap metal heap. Around June, the floor will sag. It won’t be Roberts' fault. It will be some nickel and dime injury, something that hitches his swing. He’ll soldier through it, because that’s what tough guys do – and he did it in the past, when he was young. But now, it won’t work. He’ll bat .180 for six weeks, and then we’ll go through the angst of telling a classy veteran he is done. And by then, we might just have faded from the Division race – although that wonderful one-game playoff will remain in sight. It always remains in sight. That’s why it’s there.
Vernon Wells was just the latest Yankee incarnation of Andruw Jones, the Pronks, the Tony Clarks, the -- – good grief, I don’t want to list them anymore. Will the Yankees ever wake up to the notion that a young guy hitting .240 without power is actually better than an old guy doing the same? Because the young guy might improve. The old guys... they just end.
Which brings me to Zolio Almonte, who is likely to play another season at Scranton. Almonte can run, field, he switch hits, and who knows: He might bat .270 with 15 HR, if given the opportunity. Will Ichiro do that? On any other team in baseball, the GM would know exactly what to do. Will the Yankees ever learn?