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April 17, 2005

Enough Negativity
by SG

My last two posts have been very negative, and rightfully so. The Yankees have been playing like crap. However, after reading some of the stuff that's coming out in the media today, I've gotten a bit annoyed.

Yankees turning into $200 million failure

First, we get the insight of JT the Brick:

American League team don’t fear New York anymore. They look forward to beating them. Boston proved that a team could not only beat the Yankees, but also embarrass them, evidenced by last year’s when the Yankees became the first team to lose a 3-0 lead in the ALCS.

I don't know what last year has to do with this year, but whatever JT.

Then came the news that Joe Torre held a meeting with the team.

When Torre talks, Bombers listen.

A quote from Torre:

"I'm not happy. We need to play a better brand of baseball," Torre said. "The confidence level is never good -- I don't care how good you are -- until you can go out there and dictate what goes on. We haven't been able to do that, and until it happens, not only am I concerned, but everybody in that room is, too."

And lastly, George Steinbrenner himself chips in with his thoughts.

Steinbrenner irate after another Yankees’ loss

“Enough is enough. I am bitterly disappointed as I’m sure all Yankee fans are by the lack of performance by our team,” Steinbrenner said in a statement issued immediately after the game.

“It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk. They are not playing like true Yankees. They have the talent to win and they are not winning. I expect Joe Torre, his complete coaching staff and the team to turn this around.”

In addition to this, the Yankee haters are out in full force. Full of glee and sarcastic comments, and this is also getting under my skin.

The Yankees are 4-8. That stinks. It doesn't matter. We know about all the problems with many of the decisions they made in building this team, but like it or not, this is the team we will be watching for the rest of the season, with the exception of a few pieces perhaps. Rather than look back at what's been a bad start, I'm going to start looking forward.

I'm going to start rooting for Tony Womack to do well. I hated his signing, but being happy when he fails is being happy that he is hurting the Yankees.

I'm going to hope that Alex Rodriguez stops pressing and just lets his natural talent and ability come through.

I'm going to root for Bernie Williams to go out with a bang, and not be a laughingstock. Sure, his defense won't be good, but there's no reason he can't make up for it on offense, and he's looked better of late.

I can't imagine that Jorge Posada will continue to hit like Rey Sanchez, and once he gets going a big hole in the lineup will be filled.

We know the bottom of the lineup isn't that good, but when Sierra plays, I'll root for him to get a clutch hit. When Tino plays, I'll root for him to make good defensive plays and get some big RBI.

I'll pull for Giambi's continued comeback. I still think he is going to perform well, as he gets more comfortable and gets his timing back.

I don't worry about Jeter, Sheffield, or Matsui. They are all consistent performers for the most part, and we can expect them to do well.

On the pitching side, Randy Johnson's had a rough start, but I feel confident that he will be mowing hitters down for most of the season.

Mike Mussina has not been that good so far, but he's getting results. As long as he's healthy and keeps building arm strength, I see no reason to not expect him to resemble the Moose of the second half last year, the one with 57 Ks in 57.1 innings and a 3.45 ERA.

I've seen more good than bad from Carl Pavano. His raw numbers will look worse due to the move to the American League and the defense he'll be playing in front of, but as a third starter I see no reason not to expect him to be an asset.

I'm going to hope that Kevin Brown can make 25 starts and build on the last four innings of his game today. If he can't, I'm going to be excited to see if young arms like Tiger Wang, Ramon Ramirez, or Jorge Depaula can be parts of the pitching staff for years to come.

I get the impression that Jaret Wright is going to be inconsistent, but will have good games at times. I'll just hope that more often than not he can keep the team in the games he starts.

I am not concerned about the bullpen, only with Torre's handling of it. Rivera is still working his way back, but I have no doubt that he will be fine. Gordon may not be as good as last year, but if that's the case, they can give some of his innings to Felix Rodriguez. I also think Sturtze can be an asset despite his bad outing against Baltimore, and look forward to watching him defy expectations. I don't know what to think about Mike Stanton, but I do think he should not be used strictly against lefties, and that he shouldn't pitch as much as Torre seems to be using him right now. I think longer outings will help him stay sharper. I also hope that Quantrill and Karsay can get the consistent work they need to be assets.

We know the bench isn't good, but hopefully the Yankees will use the few strengths they have on it to the best of their ability.

Joe Torre could be a problem, but he won't be a problem if these players do what they should do.

I won't let all the asses rooting for the Yankees to fall flat on their faces get the satisfaction of watching me panic.

If they are still shitty in a month, then we can start to worry.