By George, They’ve Done It!

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Congratulations to the 2007 New York Yankees, playoff bound following one of the great redemption stories in baseball history. Left for dead in May, the Bombers have lived on to play in October. The Boss was on hand for the Wild Card clincher tonight. Special props to Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter for carrying this team all year. Pop the corks. More tomorrow….

105 comments… add one

  • 13 YEARS BABY!!

    doug YF September 26, 2007, 11:52 pm
  • I wrote this to my Dad in an email, but it’s pretty succint and informative, IMO.
    “Right now it looks like the Yankees will open the ALDS, on October third, in Cleveland. Historically they don’t seem to have too much trouble at ‘the Jake’, or with Cleveland. They swept them 6-0 this year, although we saw how that turned out with Detroit last year. Wang has only started one game at Jacobs’ Field, and was pretty bad, but definitely expect him in Game 1, especially if Cleveland chooses the ‘longer’ ALDS schedule (where there’s a day of rest after the first game, instead of starting on October 4th they start on the 3rd and don’t play again until the 5th). This means that Wang and Pettitte can pitch 4 of the 5 games, with Wang pitching Game 1 at Jacob’s field and Game 4 at the stadium, Pettitte pitching games 2 and 5 at Jacob’s field (this is good, Pettitte has been excellent on the road), and Clemens (or Mussina, depending on Clemens’ health) in Game 3 at the stadium.”
    So, yeah. Cleveland ends up with best record, and faces the Yankees. Doesn’t matter that Wang starts Game 1 on the road, he starts Game 4 at Yankee stadium. Cleveland either pitches Jake Westbrook or Paul Byrd in Game 3, so it’s a pretty good bet the Yankees get at least as far as Game 4. And with Pettitte set to go in Game 5, on the road, I don’t think you could really ask for a better ALDS matchup. Color me excited.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 12:46 am
  • Congrats, guys and gals!

    Devine September 27, 2007, 1:21 am
  • The Yankee’s season; strikes and gutters, ups and downs. I guess tonite the Yanks… ate the bar. ;)

    bloodyank78 September 27, 2007, 1:55 am
  • Oh man I would not have wanted to be near Shelley Duncan during the postgame celebration… getting forearm smashed to death is not my idea of a good way to go out. ^_^

    doug YF September 27, 2007, 2:04 am
  • Congrats to the Yanks on a GREAT second half and playoff appearance.
    But really, the only ones who “left them for dead” were a good number of their own fans.

    SF September 27, 2007, 6:40 am
  • following one of the great redemption stories in baseball history
    Please, do articulate. I want to hear this one…

    SF September 27, 2007, 7:37 am
  • “But really, the only ones who “left them for dead” were a good number of their own fans.”
    Not really. The entire rest of baseball had left them for dead. Yankee fans were being pretty pessimistic, but who can blame them? Most Yankees fans probably left their team for dead in 1978. Same with most Boston fans after game 3 of the 2004 ALCS.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 7:56 am
  • “But really, the only ones who “left them for dead” were a good number of their own fans.”
    Steve Phillips is a Yankee fan?

    Seth September 27, 2007, 8:28 am
  • “following one of the great redemption stories in baseball history”
    C’mon, SF- tone down the snark!
    (Curious how you don’t give YF an iota of slack here, but you let the 105 wins projection stand without comment…. like I said, really out of character :)

    Andrews September 27, 2007, 8:36 am
  • Congrats guys, it’s on. I really wanted the Yankees to miss the playoffs this year, but so be it.
    Moving on….
    “following one of the great redemption stories in baseball history.”
    Slightly over dramatic, don’t you think?

    LocklandSF September 27, 2007, 8:37 am
  • “Please, do articulate. I want to hear this one…”
    Posted the wrong quote, sorry

    Andrews September 27, 2007, 8:38 am
  • “”following one of the great redemption stories in baseball history.”
    Slightly over dramatic, don’t you think?”
    can it possible that this has surpassed the drama of the “11-19! 11-19!” rallying cries!?

    Ric September 27, 2007, 9:25 am
  • My bigger question is do the Yankees rest everyone now, or do they go for the division?

    LocklandSF September 27, 2007, 9:32 am
  • Rest!
    Geeze, we just had how many games go extras in the last week? Give the guys some time to sleep.

    Mike-YF September 27, 2007, 9:35 am
  • Ive got my first ever Green Monster seats this Friday (first row)so Im hoping itll be the division clincher.. no coasting until then guys.

    Ric September 27, 2007, 9:41 am
  • “Please, do articulate. I want to hear this one…”
    With all due respect, anyone who can honestly question the redemptive nature of ’07 for the Yankees is either being disingenuous (knowing full well that if it was their team that had accomplished what the Yankees did this year, they woudl be saying the exact same thing) or is so blinded by dislike for the Yankees that they are not capable of acknowledging anything redemptive about the team’s performance under any circumstances.
    There are at least 3 levels of redemption:
    1) Individually for players:
    A. A-Rod after hearing from everyone (not only Yankees fans) that he is not clutch, performs as well in the clutch as any player this year – not just in individual clutch situation games, but in a year in which those clutch situations were essential for the team to stay in the running. Comes back from being maligned to have an MVP season – and I would argue the best of hit three MVP seasons.
    B. Posada being inevitably questioned about his age having the best year any catcher close to his age has ever had offensively and having an exceptional year defensively – setting a record for catching the most first-time wins for new pitchers and managing the greatest pitching merry-go-round in baseball history (most starters used in first 2 months and most in-game pitching changes made by any team ever in a season).
    C. Abreu having the worst first half of a season he ever had and then having a torrid second half.
    D. Mientkiewicz going down with concussion and serious neck injury and coming back to bat over .400 in September while playing game-saving defense to secure his position back.
    E. Mike Mussina having the worst period of pitching in his career endangering his chances of starting in the post-season, and then pitching three of the best games of the season to re-establish himself and secure the playoff clinch for NY.
    F. Mariano for the umpteenth time being questions and told that he must clearly be losing it after blowing a couple saves in April coming back to have yet another exceptional year.
    2) Collectively as a team for 2007:
    A. Playing sub-.500 baseball for the first half of the season and being able to turn that into .650+ ball for the second half after being writen off by MANY more than just some Yankees fans (I have to think the questioning of this assertion was made half in jest – beyond Steve Phillips, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, and any number of “unnamed scouts” from other teams quoted in May/June/July said the same thing witht he former two acknowledging such this week after the turnaround).
    B. Overcoming an astonishing array of injuries (every starting pitcher in their rotation had to miss games in April and May)
    3) Finally, as an organization beyond the ’07 year:
    A. This is the organization that “had no farm system” had no “home grown talent” and that was too “old and tired” by the estimation of many people. Brian Cashman wrested control from the Tampa contingent of management before this season and asked to have sole control (bringing with it sole responsibility for possible failure). He did not have the luxury of a re-building year when the Yankees would miss the playoffs (a la Boston 2006). He had to rejuvenate while keeping the team competitive at the highest level or lose his job. The results: he passed up trades and moves that other GMs under tremendous pressureswould likely have made in order to take a gamble on several unproven rookies who are now a tremendous reason the team is in the playoffs (Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, Melky, Cano).
    B. the excitment of YFs goes far beyond this ’07 team because for the first time since 2000, this team appears poised to be great for years to come, not just for an ’07 push with aged veterans. Olney’s book “The Last Night of the Yankees Destiny” is an excellent book – for the first time since 2001, his assertions no longer hold for the Yankees – not just because of what the ’07 Yankees have done, but because of how management handled the team for the future.
    Redemption: n. the act of extricating from something detrimental; getting or winning back; changing for the better.
    It’s a no-brainer for anyone who doesn’t hat the Yankees to much to acknowledge it.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 9:41 am
  • Lockland: It was clear from post-game interviews that the division is off the minds and that the priority is resting up – several talked about resting key players who have had to play playoff-presure baseball for almost 2 months, especially the position players of A-Rod, Jeter, and Posada.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 9:45 am
  • Awesome post IH!!! You are right on all accounts…let the haters hate. Let the ignorant rail against the Empire because at the end of the day, we made it and anything can happen in the post-season…(as long as we get solid starting pitching of course!)

    krueg September 27, 2007, 9:51 am
  • good post IH- ill say one thing, i hope the Yanks have a winning record next April/May because I dont think i can bear the whole triumphant comeback thing another season…

    Ric September 27, 2007, 9:59 am
  • Here, here, IH. Nicely, nicely said (written).
    Congrats to the Bombers. Now let’s bomb whoever we play.

    rz-yf September 27, 2007, 9:59 am
  • Let’s hope you just bomb.
    I don’t think anyone is questioning the redemptive qualities of the season, it’s just this part that I think is a little over dramatic…
    “in baseball history”

    LocklandSF September 27, 2007, 10:05 am
  • Lockland: Well they have tied the second largest deficit ever overcome to make the playoffs so yeah, I would say “in baseball history” too.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 10:07 am
  • In defense of yf’s, a lot of baseball writers wrote them off in late May. They all said, basically, “The only way for the Yankees to qualify is for them to play .650 baseball the rest of the way, and they won’t do that.” Well, they did.
    Congrats… but I don’t think you’ll be able to avoid C.C. Sabathia in the ALDS

    academic-SF September 27, 2007, 10:19 am
  • IHYF: EPIC WIN
    Where are you now, Steve Phillips? What’s that? The Yankees would finish 3rd in the wild card race? The Mariners’ pitching would give them the wild card? Where are you now, all you ESPN analysts who jumped on the bandwagon?

    doug YF September 27, 2007, 10:24 am
  • Are the Yankees the new A’s now? First half struggles, people writing them off, incredible second halves. That was the formula in Oakland for four or five years there, and now the Yankees have done it two of the past three. Not a perfect analogy, and two times isn’t a pattern, but it’s still remarkable, considering the expectations put on the team.

    FenSheaParkway September 27, 2007, 10:48 am
  • Ironhorse: I think the objections over the ‘redemption’ line stem from the fact that:
    1. If you have the highest payroll by far, you also have the highest expectations. Did they have to come back from a huge hole? yes? Did they put themselves there? Yes.
    2. For a team that basically didn’t lose a starting position player for any amount of time (we can quibble about Mientkiewicz if you want, but he was pretty much planned to be Giambi’s defensive replacement, right?), it’s difficult to paint you as underdogs. Where would you be if A-Rod missed 21 days?
    3. Tossing out more than the entire salary of the Devil Rays to pick up a mid-season pitcher because of the poor planning of Cashman (Pavano being reliable? Kei Igawa?) also does not engender a sense of redemption. It comes off more as entitlement, because you were able to offer more money than anyone else. The way the system is set up there’s nothing wrong with that, but it does temper the ‘scrappy puppy’ viewpoint.
    4. The ‘Youth Movement’ theory. Chamberlain has been awesome, no argument there. Hughes? For all the hype and talk about how lights out he was going to be, he’s kind of looked like a back-end mediocre pitcher so far. Kennedy doesn’t have enough starts to be truly judged yet, considering two of his three appearances were against the D-Rays and the Royals. I might be wrong about Melky, but I don’t think either he or Cano can be considered rookies as you infer. So aside from Chamberlain and well, I suppose Hughes, who else? The revolving door of would-bes? Shelly Duncan, who has done nothing lately? The Youth Movement is an exaggeration, because without A-Rod – not a kid from the farm – you’re battling the Blue Jays at .500 right now.
    Look, I’m not trying to start a fight and I think (hope) I presented my arguments in a reasonable manner. Is the comeback impressive? Absolutely. But stop acting like the 2007 Yankees were the Little Engine That Could. Look at that lineup, the number of All-stars, etc.
    Okay. Light me up.

    ponch (sf) September 27, 2007, 12:02 pm
  • Ponch: No offense taken and no fight – I get your points and they are respectfully and well stated. My response:
    1. Having all 5 starters hurt (one of them for the season) so that they had to start more pitchers than any team ever had in the first 2 months of the season is both a legitimate example of an injury-plagued team and a significant contributor to the “hole” you mentioned which can not be described as something they put themselves in. Did they put themselves in deeper with poor hitting, bad defense in April, and shaky bullpen play? Yes. At the same time, “putting yourself in a hole” and “being put in a hole” are not as clearly distinct things as you make out. You can always argue tha a team deep in a hole “put themselves” there because at some point they drafted players that are underperforming or they lost games they could have won.
    2. On the money, with the exception of the Clemens pick-up, the Yankees did not buy their way out of their problems this year. On the contrary, they avoided taking on huge ticket items that others got (Gagne) because the price (in money and/or players) was too high. Moreover, on Clemens, Sox fans can not have it both ways: first arguing that Clemens is a huge disappointment and a laughable waste of money, and then turning around and arguing that they bought their way out this year by citing his acquisition. Since you haven’t made the former case here, I won’t accuse you of doing this, but I will ask that you acknowledge that a team that places a $50million bid just to negotiate with a pitching ace in Japan and then makes a mid-season pick-up of a Gagne-caliber reliever when, at the time, it seemed like it might have not even been all that necessary given how well their bullpen was performing, is not in a strong position to point fingers on this matter. If anything, the ’07 Yankees will be known for the moves they didn’t make (Gagne, Teixera, Wickman, etc.) in order to hold on to youth, some of which was unproven (Melky, Joba, Hughes, Kennedy)than for the ones they did.
    And Cashman can not be blamed for Igawa by the way – that decision came from above and everyone knows it – a kneejerk reaction to the Dice-K deal that is exactly the kind of thing Cashman has been refusing when the power is fully his to do so. Yes, Pavano is all his.
    3. On youth, fair enough that melky and cano are not rookies, so let me restate: “rookies and young talent” that is largely responsible for the Yankees making the post-season. Cabrera only emerged as full-time CF starter this year and had to step up when Damon got hurt and floundered. Hughes and Kennedy have pitched well and kept the Yankees in every game in which they have appeared. And the real point here is that neither was supposed to come up this year at all. At the ages of 21/22 they’ve both pitched extremely well and have been hugely important to the Yankees’ second-half success. More generally, and with all due respect, you simply can’t argue that the “youth movement” has not been determinative for this team. Every player and member of management acknowledges them immediately as having been critical – and maybe THE critical element of the year. You can’t attribute all thigns to A-Rod – remember, they had an MVP-performing A-Rod in April-July and were sub-.500. It was after Melky took over CF, Cano turned around his season, Joba stablized the bullpen, and Hughes and Kennedy stabilized the rotation that they played .650+ baseball. Even Edwar Ramirez (aka Urkel) filled a key role for several games.
    Nothing in your post negates the fact that they had to play exceptionally great baseball to make the playoffs, that they knew this come July 1, and that they did it.
    If you prefer calling them “the big engine that did” instead of “the little engine that could”, that’s fine with me. But I’ll put the emphasis on the fact that they accomplished a turnaround of (yes, Lockland) historic proportions.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • Is anyone else tired of Sox fans bringing up payroll???
    Per USA Today:(Top 5)
    New York Yankees
    $189,639,045
    Boston Red Sox
    $143,026,214
    New York Mets
    $115,231,663
    Los Angeles Angels
    $109,251,333
    Chicago White Sox
    $108,671,833
    The Sox are SECOND in payroll so give it a rest. To every team but the Yankees, you are the Yankees…

    krueg September 27, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • Second-largest deficit ever to reach the postseason?
    Yankees were 8.5 games out of the wild card in May. I would guess that’s outside the top 10, and like Ponch says, how redemptive can you be with the No. 1 payroll? Besides, I thought it was the Red Sox just “pissing away” a lead anyway…
    That said, congrats, Yankees. May you go three games deep in the playoffs.

    Paul SF September 27, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • “For a team that basically didn’t lose a starting position player for any amount of time”
    What, do we have to lose position players now to be considered ‘eligible’ for a comeback? I guess the 2006 Yankees were a nice comeback team too, after losing Matsui AND Sheffield for most of the year. Damn, these Yankees are the comeback kings.
    Btw, Matsui was out with a hamstring injury for most of April. I think that qualifies for 21 days, if you’re trying to somehow bring up Manny.
    The Yankees lost their entire pitching staff at one point. No one, but no one, (and no, Boy Genius would not have done better) would be able to weather that.
    The point is, the Yankees were, in combination, absolutely devastated by injuries to their starting staff (which led to the overworked bullpen imploding), combined with horrifically awful production from the likes of Damon, Cano, Matsui, Melky, and Abreu. They were absolutely dead in the water in May and June. The story of this Yankee team is invariably about the ability to overcome horrible, horrible, almost comedic amounts of injuries, at the same time, to almost every pitcher. You can bleat all you want about the “high payroll, so they should do that anyway”, but as you well know from last year, even ridiculously high-payrolled teams don’t always succeed when adversity strikes. When every single starting pitcher misses a significant amount of time in the first half, it doesn’t matter what kind of payroll you have.
    You can belittle the Yankees all you want, but the fact is they succeeded. Plus, don’t throw stones in glass houses. The 2006 Red Sox remain one of the most highly-payed failures of all time.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • When I made my initial post on this I wrote:
    “anyone who can honestly question the redemptive nature of ’07 for the Yankees is either being disingenuous (knowing full well that if it was their team that had accomplished what the Yankees did this year, they would be saying the exact same thing) or is so blinded by dislike for the Yankees that they are not capable of acknowledging anything redemptive about the team’s performance under any circumstances.”
    The part of the Ponch and Paul argument that amounts to “how redemptive can you be with the No. 1 payroll?” places you squarely in the second camp noted in that intro-paragraph. By this line of argument, if the Yankees were 0-50 and ended 112-50, it would still be unimpressive because of payroll.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • For the record, I wouldn’t consider a similar Red Sox rally to be one of the “great redemption stories in baseball history” either. When you’ve got a payroll the size these teams have, you’re supposed to win. Winning at a .650 clip for the final four of a six-month period is impresive, but impressive is not what YF described.

    Paul SF September 27, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • Paul, at what point would it be? If the Red Sox went 0-50 and then 112-0, would that be redemptive? yes I am making and absurd hypothetical, but it is intended to make a point. Is nothing the Yankees and Red Sox do possible of being described as redemption simply because they both have fat payrolls? I find it veryhard to believe that any Sox fan in the ’07 Yanks fan’s shoes would not say the same exact thing about their team.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Paul – what if the Yankees win the World Series? I think, with all the great stories from this year, and considering how dead the Yankees were in May/June you’d have to put it down as one of the better years in Yankee history, which, by extension, becomes one of the better years of baseball history. No arrogance there, just fact. ’61, ’78, ’98, some of the best years in Yankee history, which are also some of the best years in baseball history. If the Yanks go all the way, can we add 2007 to the list? Or is this season somehow deficient in some way?

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • I’m not saying it can’t be redemptive, or that the season isn’t redemptive to some measure, but I’m highly skeptical of YF’s hyperbolic historical designation.
    Even if the Yankees win the World Series, Andrew, is the season one of the top 10 or even 20 of all time? I wouldn’t think so.

    Paul SF September 27, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • Ironhorse: Nah, I’d still be pretty impressed with 112 wins.
    I still don’t think that all-star players actually playing to their level and the infusion of possibly the greatest pitcher ever (albeit in his twilight) makes it historically redemptive, nor do I believe that I am blinded by my MGY hatred in this case. But we’re allowed to disagree. It’s in the Constitution and everything.

    ponch (sf) September 27, 2007, 1:25 pm
  • IH – I don’t think anyone questions that the Yankees performance in the second half has been impressive. What’s in question is whether it’s “redemptive”. To SFs, it’s not, because we know they shouldn’t have sucked so badly in April and May, and after that they just played the way they should have been playing all along given the talent on the team… and what’s redemptive about that? Congratulations, you stopped sucking?
    I can see where you’re coming from, but at the same time I’m thinking: “uh, good for not pissing away the ENTIRE season in the first two months…” I suppose it’s just a matter of perspective, and it makes complete sense that fans of the team see it as redemptive. But it should not surprise you that fans of the rival team see it differently.

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • I don’t know Paul, I think when it comes to baseball history I’ve got authority on my side. There’s no need for an absolute ranking of all-rime redemption stories. “Not even in the top 10!” That’s simply petty and trivializing, and it lacks an appreciation for the humanity that makes baseball such a wonderful sport. We don’t root automatons programmed to achieve a stat line. The fact that the team has a high payroll or “should have” done better/well to begin with is relevant only to the extent that the idea of redemption is predicated on restoration.

    YF September 27, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • Re: The Yankees. I’m not sure if you can redeem yourself from being responsible for cancer, AIDS, worldwide hunger, and Britney Spears.
    I just don’t think there’s any redemption possible there. Kudos, however, on putting together a very impressive run to make the playoffs

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 1:38 pm
  • Quo, don’t forget the extended life of the YMCA song, and Cottoneye Joe. I agree, there’s no coming back from that.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • Andrew, I was desperately TRYING to forget both of those things.
    However, impossible anyway. Good points, both.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • The Yankees made a great comeback. They have a pretty fantastic team. They suffered terrible injuries early, and when finally healthy made a tremendous run with the help of both youth and experience.
    I find it quite predictable that a YF, in this case YF himself, has to turn this into some sort of historic, seemingly implausible achievement. It speaks more to the somewhat justified but also cliched stereotype of Yankee fans as having a sense of their franchise’s a priori superiority magnified far beyond the rational. What is an excellent comeback from an excellent team is now an historic, all-time accomplishment.
    Just yesterday I was taken to task for conditionally praising a Sox division win, so I find it quite amazing that YF would hyperbolize and be surprised by resistance to such hyperbole. I expect Trisk, based on his comments yesterday, feels the same way.

    SF September 27, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • “Even if the Yankees win the World Series, Andrew, is the season one of the top 10 or even 20 of all time? I wouldn’t think so.”
    Not when A-Rod has one of the top offensive seasons by a player of all time (he has smashed the single-season performance record of any third baseman)? Or when Posada has the best season by a catcher over the age of 35? Or Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers of all time, retiring in a blaze of glory? And I would think winning the World Series would mean domination by one Joba Chamberlain, a guy in his first professional season, a probable all-star for years to come. I think it has the makings, at least in hindsight.
    It’s kind of silly to talk about before a playoff game is even played, but I guess I’m talking about it now in case we don’t get to talk about it later.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 1:49 pm
  • On a more serious note, I think it’s hard to define something as eminently historical as it is happening. The Marlins might come back from a 25 game deficit next season to win the NL East, NL Central, AND the Pacific Coast League. Similarly, I think it’s difficult to come out and say something like this is not going to go down in the history books as significant.
    An example: When we’re all dead, history may “remember” Mike Piazza as one of the greatest catchers of all time, rather than his correct title, one of the greatest-hitting catchers of all time.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 1:49 pm
  • Actually, I hold white people responsible for the extended life of the YMCA song. It’s your song! Just see whenever that song comes on and look at how many white people will start doing the Y-M-C-A motions.
    It’s not a bad thing, though. I like to see you guys have a good time. I’m happy to see white folks being happy.

    doug YF September 27, 2007, 1:53 pm
  • It will be interesting when Trisk puts his two cents in…
    Trisk? Buddy, where you at?

    LocklandSF September 27, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • SF is pulling this stuff about a priori superiority out of thin air, because it’s not in the post. (Which was made in the celebratory moments following a clinch.) And the comeback was “seemingly implausible”; ie, not implausible. When most of us thought it pretty damn unlikely. As much as SFs are loath to admit it, much about this Yankee campaign was, in point of fact, historic, and it was absolutely redemptive.
    YFs: sit back and enjoy the day with me, and nevermind the naysayers. Let them wander the desert of their minds!

    YF September 27, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • Ah, yes, the “naysayers”. What are you, a disrespected NFC player heading to a Super Bowl?!

    SF September 27, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • Or Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers of all time, retiring in a blaze of glory?
    You can’t be serious.
    Not when A-Rod has one of the top offensive seasons by a player of all time (he has smashed the single-season performance record of any third baseman)? Or when Posada has the best season by a catcher over the age of 35?
    You’re conflating individual achievements with team achievements – THEY had historic seasons (if qualified, in Posada’s case) but that doesn’t mean the TEAM had a historic season. And honestly, in light of these achievements, the team’s travails early on in the season seem even more, um, pathetic.

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Im just getting here today but I dont understand the need of SFs to crap on our day of enjoyment in clinching a playoff spot in a very trying year. The way I see it, as fans we are entitled to feel good about our regular season come back and use whatever hyperbole we want to describe it. SFs feel free to do the same about your own team.
    Things like how big the payroll is and what our expectations were for this team are basically irrelevant. Its simple, the team was down for a variety of reasons and pulled it together and played great to win. This makes us very happy. If your team did this you would be happy too and say much of the same stuff we have been. If and when the sox win the AL east, they will have done exactly that. There will be many ways that YFs could try to crap on that but I hope we resist. SFs will be entitled to enjoy that day without us pointing out that their record could have been better etc…

    Sam-YF September 27, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Goodness, SF. Let’s not get started on the embarassment that is the NFC.
    Also, Sam, I’d be willing to bet with you on whether or not some YFs will attempt to “qualify” the accomplishment of winning the division, if and when it does happen.

    Anonymous September 27, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • Last anon was me, QuoSF.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • The Yankees lost their entire pitching staff at one point.
    The Sox front four made 114 starts, with only Daisuke avoiding the DL. The Yanks front four made 106 starts, and that’s only because Roger’s white horse didn’t show up til June and Mussina pitched his way out of the rotation for a couple of weeks.

    Tyrel SF September 27, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • Sam – I see your point, but this is after all a site devoted to back and forth between the fans of both teams. Hyperbole on either side is going to get smacked down by someone no matter what.

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • Tyrel, I’m not sure that ‘rational fact’ hasn’t lost its place in this argument.
    Assuming it was there to begin with anyway.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • I am not crapping on the Yankees or their accomplishment, which I praise strongly above.
    I am crapping on YF. ;-)

    SF September 27, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • Ya Quo, but I thought I’d try to discuss something other than “feelings.”

    Tyrel SF September 27, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • And you make a good point. I think there’s a disconnect. Yeah, the Yankees “lost” (if you can call it that) two members of their opening day starting rotation (Pavano, Igawa). If some YFs are counting that as a “loss” then I hope those same YFs see both of those gentlemen starting 30 apiece in pinstripes next season.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Any illusions that the Yankees in their current form were ever capable of making the playoffs let alone win the division are vanishing like Vicodin from my friend’s medicine cabinet, which he really should keep locked if he had any sense of responsibility.
    -attackgerbil at 02:29 PM May 29th 2007
    I don’t think I’m invited to the party.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • “‘Or Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers of all time, retiring in a blaze of glory?’
    You can’t be serious.”
    I’d define winning a world series in your last year as retiring in a blaze of glory. I mean, I guess for you, a blaze of glory can only be if a guy pitches a perfect game in game seven where your team wins 1-0, but for the rest of baseball fans, simply helping your team win a world series and then retiring qualifies just fine.
    “You’re conflating individual achievements with team achievements – THEY had historic seasons (if qualified, in Posada’s case) but that doesn’t mean the TEAM had a historic season.”
    Are you…actually serious? The team is made of players. Players play the games and put up numbers to help the team win. Historic seasons by players that lead to a team winning, then, can’t be described as a team win? The ’27 Yankees were DEFINED by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Name even one pitcher on that team without cheating. I know I can’t. The ’61 Yankees were defined by the M&M brothers, do you ever hear anyone talk about Whitey Ford when bringing that year up? I think you’re being a little ridiculous with your stringent qualifications of team success. It can’t be considered a team success, even if the team succeeds, unless every player succeeds equally. Riiight.
    “And honestly, in light of these achievements, the team’s travails early on in the season seem even more, um, pathetic.”
    So, let’s go through it here. The only way a team’s season can be remembered as ‘great’ is if the team never struggled over a long stretch once during the regular season, despite great contributions from one or two players. Guess that leaves 2004 out, huh? Well, that’s fine. There’s still 1998.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Tyrel-
    How do you define the front four? Seems to Pavano and Igawa were in the rotation at the start of the season. Wang spent 3 weeks on the DL. We had guys like Wright and Clippard starting. This is all in April, when the yanks were losing. If you cant remember this happening get your memory checked!
    Quo-
    Im not saying no YFs will do that. My post in fact said they shouldn’t.

    Sam-YF September 27, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • ag, you’re always invited to the party. I mean. You’re not allowed to have a drink or anything.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Sam, I’m guessing he’s counting Clemens, Mussina, Wang, and Pettitte. And if that’s not what you consider your front 4 right now, I’m not sure WTH is going on. Either way, I think Tyrel did a good job pointing out that the Yankees can’t even be misconstrued as losing their entire pitching staff at any point.

    QuoSF September 27, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • “The Yanks front four made 106 starts…”
    That’s why I said “at one point”. Actually, I think that only helps the ‘redemptive quality’ of this season.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • ill repeat, however you want to describe it, the yankees had major injuries to their pitching staff during the first 2 months of this season. It may have not been “the entire staff” but the rotation was banged up.

    Sam-YF September 27, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • How do you define the front four?
    Why, in hindsight, obviously.
    I guess my point was that most rotations have these issues with pitching health (thus the Sox comparison), the Yanks’ were only magnified because they all happened right at the beginning of the season.
    And sure, until Hughes and Kennedy showed up to stabilize, the Yanks collective 5th starter (Pavano/Igawa/Karstens/Clippard/Desalvo/Wright) was a joke, but that was more an issue of poor FO decesion-making (“I think we oughta give Carl another shot – he’s go heart…”) and poor depth than injuries, no?

    Tyrel SF September 27, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • “Or Roger Clemens, one of the best pitchers of all time, retiring in a blaze of glory”
    did you mean blades of surgery?

    Anonymous September 27, 2007, 2:39 pm
  • However, Andy Pettitte was there the whole time. It’s just that the other guys, Wang, Mussina and Pavano, weren’t. I still can’t remember a worse batch of injuries to a starting rotation at the same time.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 2:39 pm
  • > You’re not allowed to have a drink or anything
    Great. Now I have to find some new way to delude myself that I’m witty and intelligent and not an asshat with a computer.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • Clemens wasnt in the picture then either. So it was really the number 4 and 5 starter. This all silly though. Like I said before, the Yankees were down for whatever reason and now they are in. Thats it. I feel good about this team and like our chances this post season. We have played all 3 AL teams in the post season well this year. How it plays out remains to be seen.

    Sam-YF September 27, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • “And sure, until Hughes and Kennedy showed up to stabilize, the Yanks collective 5th starter (Pavano/Igawa/Karstens/Clippard/Desalvo/Wright) was a joke”
    Which teams fifth starters aren’t jokes, more or less? The issue was that the fifth starter then became the second starter due to the first, third and fourth starters all getting injured at the same time.
    The Yankee pitching depth, at the beginning of the year, was pretty standard for most teams. What were the Sox’s 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th options, I wonder? And would it have been poor planning by Theo if Beckett got a debilitating blister, and Schilling and Wakefield got ‘old-aged’, all at the same time? I think people are conveniently forgetting how ridiculous, unprecedented and unexpected the injury situation really was. I know I can never forget.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • I’d define winning a world series in your last year as retiring in a blaze of glory. I mean, I guess for you, a blaze of glory can only be if a guy pitches a perfect game in game seven where your team wins 1-0, but for the rest of baseball fans, simply helping your team win a world series and then retiring qualifies just fine.
    I wouldn’t go that far, no. I just feel like a 4+ ERA/1.3+ WHIP, injury- and ego-shortened season can’t be considered “a blaze of glory” for a pitcher with Roger’s resume. If he does spin a gem in the WS, it’ll be a nice touch, and I’m sure the FOX booth will require serious cleanup from the hyperbole-gasms that will result. And then there’s the fact that he’s already rode his horse off into a glorious sunset four or five times now, anyway… how can we be sure a WS this year would cap off his career? There’s at least a 30% chance that he’ll be pitching for you guys in July of 2008.
    Players play the games and put up numbers to help the team win. Historic seasons by players that lead to a team winning, then, can’t be described as a team win? The ’27 Yankees were DEFINED by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Name even one pitcher on that team without cheating.
    I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think the 1927 Yankees are in any way comparable to the 2007 edition. I’m not stupid enough to say that the team’s achievements didn’t rest mainly on Gehrig and Ruth, but they didn’t score 975 runs by themselves. Someone had to be on base in front of them.
    It’s also worth pointing out that the team had a collective 120 ERA+, with 3/5 starting pitchers with ERA+ of 128 or higher. Obviously I didn’t know this without looking it up, but just because you don’t remember these guys names doesn’t mean they had no effect on the team.
    It can’t be considered a team success, even if the team succeeds, unless every player succeeds equally. Riiight.
    Oh come on. I never said any such thing. All I said was that just because two players were having historically awesome years didn’t mean it was a historical year for the team. How is that not completely obvious?
    The only way a team’s season can be remembered as ‘great’ is if the team never struggled over a long stretch once during the regular season, despite great contributions from one or two players. Guess that leaves 2004 out, huh?
    Again, I never said any such thing. There are many different ways for a season to be great – winning the first WS in a long long time is one way. And I think the Yankees 2007 season was “great”, just not “top 10-20 all time”.

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • “There are many different ways for a season to be great – winning the first WS in a long long time is one way. And I think the Yankees 2007 season was “great”, just not “top 10-20 all time”.”
    Does this mean that if the Sox were to win the world series this year it would just be a great season?
    Isnt defining a top season as winning for the first time in a long long time a bit self-serving as an SF?
    This is the first time Ive heard this argument. The Yankees amazing history of winning now becomes relevant to the current season and bites them in the ass to dilute their accomplishments. Interesting…

    Sam-YF September 27, 2007, 2:56 pm
  • Sorry, maybe that wasn’t clear – I wouldn’t qualify the Sox’s general performance (statistically, that is) in 2004 as being historically great – it was an awesome season for me as a Sox fan, but objectively I would not rank it among the top 10 *seasons* of all time. However, I think that the 2004 posteason is historically noteworthy for the fact of “breaking the curse” (as was the White Sox’s in 2005, and as will be the Cubs’ in 2014). Not to mention the never-before-seen-in-baseball achievement in the ALCS.

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • Fair enough. Id begrudgingly agree that the 2004 season was historic for better or worse.
    Id also argue that the yanks season was historic in one way or another too. NOT at the same level as 2004 though…

    Sam-YF September 27, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • Sam, if the Sox win the World Series, it will not historically be one of the great seasons of all time. This will in no way detract from my enjoyment of that season. I’m not sure why being “historically redemptive” is so important.

    Paul SF September 27, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • Sam: at least not yet…

    krueg September 27, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • The Yankees used 10 different starting pitchers this year before the middle of May. The Red Sox used 14 in total last year.

    Seth September 27, 2007, 3:27 pm
  • > “historically redemptive” is so important
    I agree Paul, I’m not sure it’s all that important either, and “great season” can mean so many different things. Certainly Boston 2004 qualifies as a great season, in every sense. Seattle had one of the greatest seasons ever in 2001 and then tanked in the playoffs to the Yankees, who had a “great season” in the sense that baseball provided continuity through a tragedy of epic proportions. In 1970, Baltimore was truly _phenomenal_ and nobody was watching them; still a great year. 1960 Pittsburgh for doing what everyone thought to be impossible, or at least highly improbable. A team doesn’t need to beat some deep or strange statistic like the Boston Beaneaters’ long-standing run record for a season to rate as “great.”

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 3:31 pm
  • Seth: I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make – the Yankees had to use more starting pitchers because of injury, yes, but also because ones they kept calling up were deficient (Wright, Clippard, DeSalvo, etc). What are you trying to say?

    ponch (sf) September 27, 2007, 3:39 pm
  • Wow – stepped away for 1.5 hours and the party starts.
    Jackie, I know it’s old but on your “they shouldn’t have sucked so badly in April and May, and after that they just played the way they should have been playing all along given the talent on the team… and what’s redemptive about that”, there is no team at any time in history, with the possible exception of the ’27 Yankees, that could have been EXPECTED to play as well as the Yankees did in the last 3 months of this season. Yes, the Yankees were expected to do better than below-.500, but to dismiss a winning percentage over the course of the entire second half of the season that is equivalent to winning EVERY series in which you play (just under .666 – hope someone has more time to ID the correct figure as I have to run again!) as “you stopped sucking” is kind of silly. They did more than play to the expectations of them as a good team.
    They REDEEMED themselves. So much so that Bruce Springsteen is writing a ballad about them and Steven Spielberg is developing a film script on them.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Didn’t you guys ever hear the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? My God, lighten up…

    Andrews September 27, 2007, 4:11 pm
  • I sincerely congratulate you YFs on the turnaround in your season. Great year, though as I keep saying, I was waiting for this (and in truth…for their overtaking the division lead…not impossible yet, BTW).
    Now, some SFs have sh*t on y’all and mostly, I don’t really know why. Y’all should be allowed to celebrate this day as much as you want. However, I do think you can expect a little of the same to come from YFs to SFs if/when the Sox clinch the division.
    Hey, anyone know if the Yanks are gonna rest everybody starting immediately? Like, do Jeter, Posada, and A-Rod sit today? I’d just like to know if the chances for Tampa Bay winning today have improved a bit.

    Devine September 27, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • There is no team at any time in history, with the possible exception of the ’27 Yankees, that could have been EXPECTED to play as well as the Yankees did in the last 3 months of this season
    Aw, IH, I knew you were going to call me on that. Yeah, the Yankees have been playing out of their minds for a sustained period of time. And that is indeed amazing. But being the sourpuss Sox fan that I am, I have to also point out that it’s equally amazing, in a different way, that they could play .666 ball for three months and STILL finish with 95 wins at best. ;)

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • Ok Lockland and SF, I am here…
    Is the Yankees turnaround historic? Maybe, but I am not a historian, I am a coach. As a coach, I would say the issue is that they wouldn’t have needed to put up a .600+ win percentage if they had played up to par over the first few months. I am sure their win % over the last few months and the ground the gained in the standings is a rare achievement in baseball histort, so I am sure that’s what YF is referring to and he very well might be right. I am glad they played better baseball in the 2nd half, that’s really all I asked for back in June. I mean they were playing awful baseball, Joe was making awful decisions and this team was going nowhere. They did show a lot of heart and fight, that’s something to be proud of. But I will leave the history to the historians.
    As Yankee fans we have to get it through our heads that nobody is ever going to look at us as a “Feel Good Story.” The Brewers, the Diamondbacks, those are teams America will embrace and say wow look what they have done. Regardless of what the Yankees ever do, it will always come back to payroll. They have 26 WS, they have won 4 WS in the last 12 seasons and made the playoffs 13 consecutive years (only 3 as the Wild Card) and still it will always come down to you should have, look at your payroll. But as long as we appreciate what they have done and understand how impressive it is, that’s really all that matters.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 27, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • Devine, according to all reports the only guy definitely getting the day off is Abreu. But I am sure that list will expand. Kim Jones asked DJ last night that same question and he said “I don’t know, you will have to ask Mr. T.”

    John - YF (Trisk) September 27, 2007, 4:37 pm
  • The Yankees starting pitching woes (or debacle, depending on how/when you look at it) and subsequent turnaround was something that I thought was rather remarkable, but it’s not as uncommon as I originally imagined. I did some digging on BR and quickly had my myth dispelled; the Yankees have gotten 118 starts out of their top five starters in terms of games started (actually, there are two guys with 12 starts each for fifth most; I counted one of them). They have used 13 starters total. The Phillies have also used 13 starters, and have gotten 119 starts out of their top five. So it’s not all that unique.
    For reference, the Sox have 136 games started from their five most prolific; they have utilized 9 different starters. What does it all mean, Basil? Not sure, but probably not as much as I thought to begin with.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 4:40 pm
  • Fair enough, Trisk, but count me as one who doesn’t really care about payroll, though I see your point.
    For me the person who can claim the most “redemption”, if that’s even the right word (and obviously some think it is, some not), is Torre. He was vilified here and elsewhere, both in the offseason and during, and still came through with a playoff appearance. I find it harder to see “redemption” in the greatest player of my generation gaining another MVP, or in a tremendous catcher having a tremendous season, or in a perennially good rightfielder playing up to his ability. If the qualification of “redemption” had been for Torre and not the entire team, I wouldn’t have made a peep. Not a chance.

    SF September 27, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • > claim the most “redemption” … is Torre
    That’s a really good point, SF. Torre has been under a barrage of criticism and scrutiny for some time. Seeing him get choked up last night actually brought a tear to my eye as well.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • SF, do you think Cashman can claim redemption?
    I have to look this up but the truly remarkable think about the Yanks’ 2nd half was the team’s offensive explosion. The pitching was spotty throughout. It might have not been the crapfest that it was in the first half but it still wasn’t particularly good. But the offense was firing on all cylinders. If there is anything historic going on, I think it has to with the offense.

    Nick-YF September 27, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • WRT Cash, perhaps. Sure. But in reality the “youth movement”, however exciting, has had perhaps less of an impact than one would think based on the hype. Chamberlain has been huge, and Melky’s certainly been more than adequate, but the truth is that the established players for the Yankees are the ones to thank: Jeter. Posada. A-Rod. Abreu. Wang. Pettitte. Even Viz. So sure, Cash deserves kudos for not making trades, phasing guys in, acquiring Luis, etc. Call it redemption, sure – he was on a hotseat. Still, for me, it best applies to Torre.

    SF September 27, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • Yankees only need to average 13 runs a game to reach 1000 runs on the season. Given the competition, they could do it. A couple more 30-run outings by Baltimore pitching should do the trick.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 6:10 pm
  • Wang and Cano, both in their third major league years, don’t count as young anymore? 25’s the new 30.

    AndrewYF September 27, 2007, 6:13 pm
  • No, of course they are young, Andrew. I was thinking of “rookie impact” vs. “experience”. I see them, at least, as experienced (though young!).

    SF September 27, 2007, 6:19 pm
  • Melky has definitely had a trial by fire. Most YF’s must remember his flubbing the fly to right at Fenway in his debut. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to be scarred from the debacle.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 6:25 pm
  • Does it count as winning the division when your competition is starting:
    Damon CF
    Betemit 3B
    Matsui LF
    Giambi DH
    Duncan 1B
    Cano 2B
    Molina C
    Sardinha RF
    Gonzalez SS
    with the division still up in the air?
    (How’s that for hating on an “accomplishment, SF?)

    Pete September 27, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • Pete, I’m thick-headed. Explain what you are going at regarding your last comment.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 6:38 pm
  • From Boston.com
    “The very well-connected Gordon Edes is informing me, via his sources in St. Petersburg, Fla., that the Yankees, who face the Devil Rays and Scott Kazmir tonight are lagging a little bit after clinching a posteason berth last night. Some observers down there were astonished at how hard the team celebrated, especially compared to the muted toast the Sox made in the same ballpark when they clinched. It seems the Yanks are pretty convinced it’s the only celebration they will get to have before October gets underway. And today they are taking their time getting to the ballpark. The last bus from the team hotel left at an unusually late 5:30 p.m., and the team is not taking batting practice. Their starting lineup still wasn’t posted as of a short time ago. Are the Yanks conceding the AL East?”

    Tyrel SF September 27, 2007, 6:53 pm
  • Good to see te Bombers getting back to their drunken roots. :)

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 6:59 pm
  • Absolutely nothing, Mr. Gerbil. SF just seems to think I hate on every Sox “accomplishment”. See yesterday’s longest non-gamer thread. And for the record, the division is noteworthy but let’s not get carried away.

    Pete September 27, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • Hey now, my father was mr. gerbil, at least until my mom ate him.
    Besides that, I think I see your point.

    attackgerbil September 27, 2007, 7:02 pm
  • I honestly don’t know how people get so worked up about the things in this thread. The Sox had a great start to the year and the Yankees didn’t. That led a lot of folks to say the Yankees were done. Yankees had a great comeback on the year where the Sox slowly came back to Earth. But me, I’m going to have a hard time saying the Sox “won” the division – it just feels like 2005 all over again with the opposite result. At least then, the result was in doubt up to the final few games. The drama of this season went out last week.
    Great. The Sox stopped the Yankees division streak at 9. Wooo-hoo!

    Peet September 27, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • Mets losing, Phillies winning. I have officially turned off NY-Boston until the playoffs. This is much more fun to follow now the all is pretty well set for the AL post-season.

    IronHorse (yf) September 27, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • Jeez, Pete, could you prove my point any more? Now, if the Sox win the division, it’s all because the Yankees handed it to them, based on tonight? What about those other 90-something wins?
    I am highly critical of the Red Sox, so I don’t begrudge anyone taking the team to task for their failures or shortcomings. But really, do you actually like the Sox?

    SF September 27, 2007, 8:41 pm

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