The boo-boo tally: Boston vs the Bronx

September 24th, 2008 → 12:58 pm @

Well, folks, it’s official – for the first time since 1994, the Yankees won’t be playing October baseball. Whatever you think about New York, it was an impressive run.

The Sox, meanwhile, will be going to the playoffs for the fifth time in seven years since the Henry-Werner-Lucchino gang took over, a stretch that includes the most exciting baseball playoff series in history and two world championships. (Read all about it in Feeding the Monster, the only all-access to the team’s current management and the ’04-’05 seasons. It’s available at Amazon for only $10.20 – cheap! And, as always, personalized, inscribed copies are still available.)

Plenty will be written about all of the above, of course. What I want to do is take a quick look at accumulated boo boos of the 2008 campaign. Everyone from Hank Steinbrenner to the sad-sack fans I work with have been whining about all the injuries those fragile souls in the Bronx have had to endure, and, to be sure, there’s a long list. But has it been all that much worse than what the Sox have faced?

Let’s go to the numbers.

The Yankees DL list includes, most prominently, Posada, Wang, and Joba, with Posada and Wang missing most of the season. They’ve also had A-Rod, Matsui, Damon, Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy on the 15-day list and Brian Bruney out for 60 days. And, of course, there’s Carl Pavano. (Hughes’ and Kennedy’s problems weren’t due to injuries as much as to ineffectiveness.)

The Sox, meanwhile, have had five of their six pre-season projected starters on the DL: Schilling was lost for the year before the season started, Colon was on the 60-day, Daisuke and Buccholz both did 15-day stints, and Beckett has been out of commission twice. (As far as pitching goes, Timlin also did two turns on the DL, but that might have helped the team more than anything else.) Offensively, Lowell has been sidelined twice, Lugo was lost for the season, and Ortiz and Drew both did their time. (Casey – twice – and Cora also got banged up enough to move off the active roster for stretches.) Oh yeah: they also had Manny mope his way out of town.

Is that worse than the Yankees? You could make a case either way; what’s certain is that the Yankees’ haven’t been snake-bitten to an unprecedented, or even all that unusual, degree. Ortiz has been considerably more hindered than A-Rod, and the Lowell-Drew injuries have been more lingering than anything the rest of New York’s offense had to deal with. Wang and Posada are obviously enormous losses, but the Sox’s rotation has had to deal with more injury-related interruptions than the Yankees. And Tek…well, yeah.

So why were the Sox wearing their champagne goggles last night while Girardi had the distinction of being the first Joe not to lead the Yanks to the playoffs in well over a decade? In a word (or three), home grown talent. But that’s a subject for another day.

Post Categories: 2008 Playoffs & 2008 Season & Hank Steinbrenner & Injuries & Red Sox & Yankees

Meet the new boss, redux: I say yes, I say no

December 16th, 2007 → 12:54 pm @

“This is not a bluff; it’s just reality.”
— Hank Steinbrenner, December 2, 2007, when asked about his “firm deadline” of midnight, December 3, for the Yankees and Twins to complete a deal for Johan Santana.

“No. It’s over. When it’s over, it’s over.”

— Hank Steinbrenner, December 4, 2007, when asked if the Yankees were willing to continue negotiations if the Twins became willing to accept the Yankees final offer.

“We’re still thinking about it. We haven’t ruled it out completely. We’re still considering it. I haven’t closed the door completely on Santana.”
— Hank Steinbrenner, December 14, 2007

Post Categories: George Steinbrenner & Hank Steinbrenner & Johan Santana & Oblique References to Beatles Lyrics

Meet the new Boss; same as the old Boss

October 29th, 2007 → 3:17 pm @

If you haven’t heard yet, you will soon: Joe Girardi has been named the new manager of the Yankees. That’s all sorts of interesting; for one, I’m curious to see how a guy who occasionally acted like a drill commander while with the Marlins is going to do with the Yankees.

Actually, I’m not that curious – for the next while, I’m just going to revel in the Sox’s total domination. That’s what the rest of the baseball world should be doing too…except that Hank “Mini Me” Steinbrenner is determined to prove that he can be just as much as an egocentric prick as his dad. Seemingly thrown into a frenzied panic when the country’s attention was focused on New York’s rivals—their better, classier, and better run rivals, it’s worth pointing out—Steinbrenner is proving he’s genetically incapable of being gracious and letting a team besides his own dominate the headlines for a couple of days.

Not that this is necessarily bad news. In the last month, Hank has, among other things, ripped into Joe Torre to the tune of, “Where was Joe’s career in ’95 when my dad hired him?” At least we know life in Yankeeland isn’t going to boring just because ol’ George is sailing off into the twilight…

Post Categories: George Steinbrenner & Hank Steinbrenner & Joe Torre & Yankees