The Yankees looked like what they are last night, a badly depleted team with too many incomplete players, too many exploitable weaknesses. The turning point of the game was the collision between Bubba Crosby and Gary Sheffield on long but a catchable fly ball, allowing two runs to score, made especially embarassing by the fact that Crosby was supposed to be a defensive replacment compensating for the weak fielding of Bernie Williams. Whether Bernie's weakened arm and legs would have caused other problems is impossible to say, but with Bernie's experience on the field that collision doesn't happen. And let's face it: Bubba is not the name of a New York Yankee. He did go 2 for 3 three though, so maybe I should cut him a break.
Robinson... now that's a Yankee name if ever there was one!.. Cano made a mental error as well, running inside the base line on a dropped third strike. Now, that's a call you never see made, and Cano's argument that he was on the line, not inside it, is defensible... so I hope that Steinbrenner doesn't hold it against Cano, who has huge potential for the future... but there's just no good excuse for it, or for that matter for the team being in a position where taking advantage of a break like a dropped third strike would be a make-or-break play. A-Rod played brilliantly on the field (apart from the one error in game 2) and he was robbed of a great play when the umpire ruled safe at first after he came up with a great diving stab and held the runner at third, and he had a .400 on-base percentage due to six walks and two hit-by-pitches in the series, but with just two hits and no RBIs in 15 at bats he simply didn't deliver what was needed when it was needed, and neither did Hideki Matsui, who also played the field brilliatnly but went 4 for 20 with one RBI in the series. If either of them had come through big, the Yankees would be going to Chicago.
1. Curt Stone10/12/2005 09:00:55 AM
All good points but what the Yankees and Red Sox lacked this year were two big horses they could count on in their starting rotation to shut down a playoff team. The Yankees spent too much money for starting pitching with little return. Congrats to the organization for the moves they made and for players like Chacon, Small, Wong, Cano and Bubba did a great job. I think if Bubba had more time in Center field this year, he would have caught that ball.
Yankees have plenty of bats. Give me two dominant starting pitchers and they're in the show next year.
2. Richard Schwartz10/12/2005 09:33:59 AM
I agree. Of course, they have four pitchers who could/should qualify as dominant starters in Johnson, Mussina, Brown and Pavano, but it didn't work out that way this year. I've always preferred the home-grown approach rather than buying high-priced starters on the free-agent market, but that doesn't seem to be the conventional wisdom, at least not with Steinbrenner and/or Cashman.