Sunday, February 10, 2008

The 2008 New York Yankees. Better than last years team.

Ah... I can see it now. Fat guy sitting three feet in front of me, impeding my view, and sickening me with his foul odor. Kate Smith, the lady who keeps score at EVERY game, in those ancient looking score cards. Curly haired Latino security guard, Bleacher Creatures... and of course, Freddy!


Damnit... Still two months away... It seems so soon though. In fact, Spring Training beckons, and things are beginning taking shape for the Yankees. SURE, they made no changes, no additions. But maybe, just MAYBE, they didn't have to. Since when does a team that goes 51-25 after the All-Star break need an upgrade? The Yankees won 5 more games than any other team in baseball in the second half!

My point? The 2007 Yankees were a great team. The 2008 Yankees can be EVEN better. Here's why:

Phil Hughes will be better
By no means did Hughes perform poorly last season. In fact he was precisely AVERAGE. His ERA+ was 100, which scores as average. He had some control and velocity issues, but since those were coming off a freak leg injury, expect a bounce back. The super prospect Phil Hughes will show his dominance this year, possibly outperforming everyone in the rotation. Being reunited with mentor and pitching coach Dave Eiland could do wonders for a player like Hughes, who needs that special attention before he takes the next step.

The Yankees lineup will be better
Don't laugh... They will be. The Yankees got below average production from both 1B and DH. That wont happen this season. Betemit will surprise some people, although you old school stats numbers wont appreciate him. Shelly Duncan or Morgan Ensberg could be the RH hitter in the platoon, and those guys have shown at times, that they can Mash. Derek Jeter's final numbers may have looked nice from last year, but if his legs are there, he will outperform last years numbers by a bunch. Worried about a natural decline from Jorge and A Rod? Don't be. Both of them will still be excellent, and for their slight dropoff, Cano, Melky and Abreu will all show improvements. My prediction?? They score 1000 runs this season

Having a manager who is awake will be better
Don't get me wrong. I actually appreciate what Torre did for the Yankees. But a younger Yankees team needed someone to wake them up. The Yankees lineup looked sluggish early in the season, and during the playoffs. Joe Girardi will definitely connect to these players better, and will be willing to give some young guys a chance. Some young pitchers never had a chance to show what they could do under Joe Torre. Joe Girardi will not let that happen.

The bullpen will be better
Ok... I don't actually believe this one, but hear me out...

Ok. Listening???

Still listening?

Shit, I was hoping I didn't have to elaborate. Well this is my thinking... They CANT be worse. Mo had an off year, as did several closers, and no one helped bridge the gap to Mariano. Do I think Hawkins or Farnsworth will step up? Nope, not at all. But they will at least do what the people in their roles did last year. How could they not? But my real reason for optimism? The kids named Edwar Ramirez, Alan Horne, Scott Patterson, and Jeff Marquez. If a couple of those guys step up and force themselves into the Major League picture the Yankees bullpen could become a force... At very worst? They'll be about what they were last season. Just around average.

Ross and I not having season tickets will be better
Won't be better for us though for us though. I guarantee this is the year. This is the year the Yankees become the Yankees again. Why? Because Ross and I won't have access to playoffs tickets, nor will we have any games throughout the season. It's gonna happen. They're gonna be dominant and we'll be sitting on our couch, eating chips and drinking beer watching games on our expensive HDTV's, while 56,000 rich assholes will get to watch the best team in baseball. I'd bet on it. But really, even if all that happened, I couldn't complain... At least the Yankees will be winning.

If I'm wrong... In 8 months I guess I'll be thinking New York Giants. I doubt it though. I'm gonna be right. I'll eat crow if I'm not.
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