Monday, August 13, 2007

The Empire strikes back

Well guys:
I might be time for you Yankee haters to get a little worried.
Left for dead months ago, now you Yankee haters face the real prospect of seeing those pinstripes in the playoffs again this season.
I'm just as guilty as most, predicting a long summer for my beloved Bombers, but my oh my have times changed.
Now I'm not ready to purchase those playoff tickets just yet because the Yankees have a lot of work to do, but -- and answer this honestly -- is there any team that you'd be more nervous about playing right now than the Yankees.
They are playing championship ball, and while they shouldn't be ready to take any bows yet, there are two people I'd like to single out -- general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Torre.
Nobody outside of Torre had taken more heat for the Yankee woes early in the season than Cash. With the Yankees playing putrid baseball in April and May, those "experts" in the media I've spoken about, called for Cashman's head.
And when the Yankees decided against overpaying for those marquee players at the trade deadline (Eric Gagne and Mark Texiera at the top of the list), once again those experts wondered aloud what Cashman was thinking about.
One ESPN guy said by obtaining Gagne, the Red Sox had locked up the AL pennant. I know there's a lot of season left, but my question to Red Sox nation is "How's that trade worked out so far?"
And to you Yankee fans the question is, "How much do you love seeing Melky Cabrera play every day and how much do you love seeing Joba Chamberlain coming out of the pen in the 7th and 8th innings?" I ask that because it would have cost one of -- or possibly both -- of those players to get Gagne.
Cashman could have panicked and given away 1/2 his blue-chip prospects the Yankees have stockpiled over the past couple of years for Gagne and the rest for Texiera. But he stuck with his game-plan and it's been so far, so good.
As far as Torre, I don't think there are too many managers who could have ridden out the early-season storm like Torre, and in turn, his team has responded. I don't know about the rest of you Yankee fans, but I certainly like him leading this ballclub as it pushes toward the playoffs.
Both guys deserve to brought back next year, but that's for another time.
For now, the past few weeks have made this a much-more enjoyable season for all us Yankee fans and a lot more uncomfortable for those who root against the "Evil Empire."
Until next time, take care and God bless.

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