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Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Yankees, Unobstructed August 1

I apologize for the tardiness of this entry. I could Insert Perfunctory Excuse Here, but I respect the BNN readership too much for that. Instead I'll just say that it made more sense to wait until after Trade Hysteria '09 had officially ended, before considering the state of the Yanks.

That was totally not a perfunctory excuse. Anyway, the column...

Hooray! The Yankees Didn't Do Anything Brash!

The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Yankees made but the smallest of splashes. While other traditional spenders, like the Phillies and Red Sox, were off buying big, the Yankees added the comparatively minor mid-season acquisitions of Eric Hinske and Jerry Hairston Jr. And I couldn't be prouder!

What restraint!

There they were, legitimate big time starting pitchers on the market. Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee (and Brian Bannister, I guess). The Yankees could have had one of them, for just the small price of....everyone on whom the Yankees' future will depend. And for the first time in a decade, the Yankees did not bite.

Right now the Yankees have a deep well of young talent, both in the majors and in the minors. But it was just a few years ago that their farm system featured a dearth of prospects. They had spent like they were 21 year-olds at the blackjack table, drunk on free drinks and yelling "hit me" on every sixteen that came their way. Those days, apparently, are gone.

By comparison, the Red Sox sold their livestock like it had hoof-and-mouth. Desperate to find a bat that could replace David Ortiz and complement the mighty Jason Bay, Boston found catcher Victor Martinez, by far the best hitter on the market. Now, don't get me wrong here, Martinez is a great addition, and he fits into their lineup perfectly. He also relieves the Red Sox of the strain of having to start Old Man Varitek at catcher everyday, but he came at a steep price. As the Mets found out this year, you can only make so many deals before you find yourself without anyone to trade.

And how about that Boston pitching. I think the rotation is set like this - Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, NoOne WorthNoting.

That was unnecessary, but very fun.


The Yankees finally get a break on Monday, and if you've watched the last few games, then you know they need it. The whole bunch (minus Red-Bull-in-his-veins Swisher) looks fatigued. If they can take one of these final two games against the White Sox this weekend, everyone should be content.

NOTE: Make sure to check back every Wednesday for Pinstripe Politics, your source for that gray area where the Yankees and society converge. Also, check in with the BNN on Fridays for The Yankees, Unobstructed, our weekly Yankee opinion column.

For more of Graham Kates' sports writing, check out his True/Slant blog "Coaches in the Crosshairs" (www.trueslant.com/grahamkates).


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