Monday, November 18, 2013

Yankeetorial: Boston may do what the 2010 Yankees didn't: Keep their foot on the accelerator

In the early 2000s, the Yankees never sat still.  After enduring a 14-year barf, in which the Yankees never once made a post-season, George Steinbrenner decided he would never take a pennant for granted. Thus, after the Yankees won - and despite the ire of the other owners - George still signed the best free agents available: Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, Jose Contreras. He never let up. 

Hal and Hank - the Sons of Monarchy - have been different. In 2010, after they won the World Series, they cozied up to Bud Selig and his leveraged small market owner buddies, the contrite way that newcomers to a gentleman's club act in the presence of elders. They had won their championship, so they respectfully sat back and waited until everybody else was finished at the buffet line.  They simply were not hungry.

At the time,  I and others begged the Yankees to sign John Lackey. They had the money, and they didn't face the fiscal restraints of the current players agreement. Nope. The boys just didn't want to anger the brethren. They wanted to be accepted... liked.

Well, today Boston sits in the catbird seat, while the Yankees have fallen in the shower and can't easily get up - but I suspect Hal and Hank get Christmas cards from everybody. There is no trio of free agents out there like Sabathia, Teixiera and AJ Burnett, which could resurrect this team. In fact, the Yankees are sending subtle signals that Robbie Cano - the only superstar - might fly the coop. The Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, is no slam dunk either.

If we keep Robbie, we're just an older version of last year's old also-rans. And Tanaka, like many imports, might take a year to adjust to America. After that, maybe add Carlos Beltran? Are you kidding me? Frankly, I'm already dreading 2014.

Without youth, no team can offer its fans hope. And that is our sad reality. We are going to be one year older than last year's team - which was already way way wayyyyy too old.

Boston, on the other hand, can do what George once did. If they lose Stephen Drew, they let the young shortstop, Bogartes, take over. If they land Carlos Beltran or Shin-Soo Choo, or Brian McCann, holy crap - they could better next year. And this winter, they are giving just those kinds of signals: They are a smart and hungry organization, not ready to sit on its success.

John Henry didn't have a team handed to him. And he might be ready to put his foot down on the gas pedal.

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