August 22, 2007
Are The Yankees A "Contender Tease"?
Back on July 28th, I wrote:
I think it's time to face it, and admit it, that this Yankees' team is a "C.T." - as in "Contender Tease." They excel at scratching at the door, making it look like they want to come in - but, when it's time to come in the house, they shy away like a cat sensing water and flee back into the yard.
Maybe I was just being harsh at the time? Or, was I? Check this out:
From June 5th to June 17th of this season, the Yankees went on a nice run. In that time, they improved from their 24-31 record to be 35-32. What did they do next? They lost 7 of 8 to the Rockies, Giants and O's to fall back to 36-39.
Then, from July 2nd to July 25th, New York went on another nice run. In that time, they improved from their 39-41 record to be 55-46. What did they do next? They lost 3 in a row to the Royals and O's to fall back to 55-49.
Next, from August 1st to August 13th, New York went on yet another nice run. In that time, they improved from their 58-49 record to be 67-51. What did they do next? They lost 3 in a row to the O's and Tigers to fall back to 67-54. (After this, the Yankees took three games from the Tigers - before getting waxed in their last two games by the Angels.)
This is now the last three months, in a row, where the Yankees have gone into mini-slumps just when it appears that they're about to start really rolling.
If that's not a "Contender Tease," then what is it?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 22, 2007 12:52 PM
A baseball team?
Look, if the Yankees go on mini slumps...but respond with good stretches that are twice as long, isn't that a good thing? You want your good stretches to be longer than you're bad stretches, and then you're a winning team.
Look at the progression of the records:
24-31 to 35-32
39-41 to 55-46
58-49 to 67-51
At the start of each of these 'slumps', they were, in order:
7 games under .500
1 game under .500
9 games over .500
Sounds like progression to me.
So what if this is another cycle of 'slump/excel'? It just means that they'll go on another good stretch soon. It's maddening, but it's a 'one step back, two steps forward' kind of thing, where they just keep moving forward. Hopefully, they'll have a good stretch just in time to thrust themselves into the playoffs.
~~~Sounds like progression to me.~~~
You make some valid points. But, look at the opponents who are causing the mini-slumps. Can we really say the team is progressing when they allow teams like the Royals and Giants to set them back?
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 22, 2007 02:25 PM
I dunno Steve, look at some of the teams that they've gone on a good stretch against. Right before the All-Star break, and right after the awful Colorado/San Francisco series, they took 3 of 4 from then-contending Minnesota, and 2 of 3 against the Angels.
Just this month, they dropped two to Baltimore, but then they swept Cleveland and took 3 of 4 from Detroit.
I guess I'd just say 'that's baseball'.
When did the Royals set them back? Or even the Giants? Wasn't it the Rockies and not the Giants that set the Yankees back, and the Giant series came after being swept by the Rockies.
I don't think Andrew "makes some valid points", I think he is absolutely right with all his points.
It's 2 games, albeit against the f'ing Angels, but they were a Cano not hitting into a double play on Monday from breaking that game open but they ended up losing in EI.
Yesterday was all Mussina's fault.
I think you are making too much of these two games. We need more losses in order to call them teasers, which is not something any Yankee fan wants unless you are NoMaas.
Keep in mind that there is no shame in losing two straight to LAA. This is a very good team that matches up well against the Yankees and is run by a better manager. They continually stretch our defense, have a solid bullpen, and can whip up on weak pitching like they saw last night. Seems like the O's and, to a lesser extent the Rays, have figured out this pattern and use it against us. Someone needs to get these LAA batters off the plate a little. Figgins et al seem far to comfortable. I said a while back, we need to crush the BJ's (so far, so good) and the O's (so far, so bad) and the rest will balance out (ie., 50-50 against the good teams and 70-30 against the weak). In terms of the playoffs, there are no great teams in baseball right now, so the playoffs will come down to who has 2 or 3 healthy, effective pitchers lined up, bullpens, and luck, with an edge to whichever AL team makes the WS. Given those criteria, I still think it's likely we make the post season, but Boston and LAA will be tough for this Yankee team to beat. Just not enough studs in our rotation. How about moving Joba to the rotation and one of the minor league youngsters to the pen? Torre won't do that to Moose, but he should give it a whirl. Joba looks like the hot hand right now and that means a lot. Wouldn't have been possible for him to do worse than Moose last night. As bad as Moose was last night, Villone squandered any chance of a comeback.
How about moving Joba to the rotation and one of the minor league youngsters to the pen?
Joba's close to his innings limit to the season; the Yanks won't move him to the rotation until next year.