Nothing more than this weekend makes me miss the Yankees of a decade ago. The Yanks of 98-99-00 played around 19 games against Baltimore and around 19 games against Tampa, and in those 38 games the Yanks were good for, say, 25-13, easy.
That left 124 games remaining. Go 70-54 in those games, and, bingo: 95 wins, and the playoffs.
As for yesterday's game, there is nothing to say except: Wow, in retrospect, it was all over when Damon made that baserunning blunder in the first, overunning first base like a Little Leaguer. Jeter follows with a triple, dies on third . . . and that's your ballgame, folks.
Totals coming up.
What is there to say? Anyone? SunDevil Joe recommends promoting Shelly Duncan, who apparenting is knocking down fences in Scranton. Duncan would go to first. That would keep Damon in left and Matsui DHing. Ensberg can float as the fifth infielder, and Jason (.413 in March!) Giambi can sit waaay down the end of the bench until he finds his stroke. Or a new supplier.
(There appears, finally, to be some recognition on Girardi's part that there is a problem with Giambi. Posada at first, anyone?)
Robbie-Boy asks: Do I agree that Joba has to stay in the bullpen? Yes. I'm not keyed in the New York talk radio, and I haven't been following the message boards, but let me go way out on a limb and guess there is a groundswell of support for Joba to move to the rotation. Which, of course, makes no sense: you don't want to mess up one of the few things on your team that is working. The one thing this Yankee team has, for at least now, is straight from the glory days of 1996: the ability to hold a lead late.
The way the team has been hitting, that's an edge to valuable to lose.
As for the rest, one can say: Wait until everyone heals, until Posada gets back behind the plate, etc., etc. That would matter more if Molina and Moeller weren't doing perfectly serviceable jobs back there.
What matters is the pitching. Moose is getting creamed out there. Hughes seems rattled, missing his spots so badly on Friday that Moeller had to lunge for his pitches. (There is one thought: Gary Carter was famous in baseball circles for almost never setting up with rookie pitchers, never moving his mitt around. Carter would stick his glove right behind the center of the plate, his message plain: Just throw strikes, kid. And under his guidance, Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, Bobby Ojeda, Sid Fernandez and David Cone all became stars until drugs, arrogance, groupies and a certain hedge trimmer destroyed what should have been the Mets dynasty. Worth considering, no?) Kennedy is one forward, two back.
Brian Cashman is going to be reminded nine thousand times this season that Hughes and Kennedy are the reasons our rotation doesn't go Santana, Wang, Pettitte at the top; why instead it's Wong and Pettitte and then forget it.
Time for the kids to show us something.