Sunday, March 10, 2013
PEAK INTO THE YANKEES FUTURE
The starting line-up on Opening Day in 1989 for the Yankees was
Rickey Henderson - LF (who would be traded later in the season for Luis Palonia)
Steve Sax - 2B
Tom Brookens - DH
Steve Balboni - 1B (filling in for injured Don Mattingly)
Gary Ward - LF
Mike Pagliarulo - 3B
Don Slaught - C
Alvaro Espinoza - SS (hard not to see Jeter's name not penciled in at short)
Roberto Kelly - CF
And the starting pitcher was Tommy John.
The reason I bring this 1989 team up is because the Yankees can start to look like this through it's rebuilding process. The Yankees appear to be sticking to their guns and not spending money to replace the injured. The only player they have went out and grabbed is Kevin Youkalis. He is not the Youkalis of years past but he still is a solid ballplayer.
The Yankees are injured and old but management is not opening up the checkbook. They are going the route of, "let's see what we got." The Yankees have done this a number of times and with success, to name a few, Derek Jeter (who took over for Tony Fernandez in spring training because of an injury), Bernie Williams, Andy Petitte, Mariano Rivera and the latest one is Robinson Cano.
After some great years as a team you have to rebuild. The Yankees have done this twice in my lifetime. The Yankees of the 1970s, retooled with homegrown talent, Ron Guidry, Roy White, Thurman Munson, smart trades for Chris Chambliss, Graig Nettles and the all-time steal Willie Randolph. They then filled in the gaps with some good free agents, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson and Goose Gossage. After that run, the Yankees fell on hard times because of poor management of baseball operations and they ended up with a starting line-up that looked like the one above.
The Yankees then worked from within and brought up Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Petitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. They made some good trades that brought over Paul O'Neal, Tino Martinez, Jeff Nelson and Scott Brosius. They brought in free agents, David Cone, David Wells and Roger Clemons.
The Yankees are in that position again and they need to look within to see what they have. They need to see what they can get with some smart trades and then they need to fill in the blanks with free agents. If Cashman and his crew can not use this baseball model then the Yankees need to get a new crew who can follow this plan.