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May 02, 2005

Head Counting

On one side we have players such as: Jose Contreras, Jason Giambi, Chris Hammond, Rondell White, Kenny Lofton, Jeff Weaver, Steve Karsay, Tom Gordon, Javier Vazquez, Aaron Boone, Paul Quantrill, Raul Mondesi and Kevin Brown.

On the other side, we have players like: Jon Lieber, Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield.

Sitting on the fence, presently in between these two camps, reside guys like Mike Mussina and Alex Rodriguez.

These are all players who have joined the Yankees since their last World Championship in 2000.

In some ways, I think that winning three rings in a row is part of the problem that the Yankees are living with now. After that happened, I believe that many of the "stars" that joined the team thought it was some sort of birthright that you would win the World Series once you were on the Yankees. And, "just showing up" was all they had to do. Yet, most of these players that have come here have flopped entirely or failed in a big spot where they could have helped towards getting a ring.

Well, not all of them - from my perspective, Lieber, Matsui, and Sheffield have given the Yankees about as much as you could expect from them. And, the final ledger on A-Rod and Mussina has yet to be tallied. But, even if you assume that A-Rod will star for NY for years and that Moose will get back on track, that's still just 5 players - compared to that first list that has almost three times as many names.

Until the Yankees start stocking their team with players who realize you have to work for a ring, and it's not an automatic given because of your payroll size or the names on your roster, we may just continue to see what we've been seeing since 2002 (and that World Series in 2001 might just be the closest we've come to seeing a champion for a long time to come).

Then, again, I've taken a ton of hay fever medication today and this all could just be some drugged state of mind induced lashing out on my part - - and, once the pollen drops, and the Yankees start winning some games, I'll go back to being another innocuous member of the Yankee fan global group hug.........time will tell.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 2, 2005 02:47 PM