Verducci to the Yankees: Drop Dead

The SI scribe says the Yanks ain’t gonna win it all in ’07. Why? Talent diffusion across the league, the postseason is a crap-shoot, the best team doesn’t always win, franchises turn around quickly, and youth reigns supreme. So he likes the…Angels! Feh. No soup for you, Verducci!

41 comments… add one
  • I’m sure the feeling is mutual. I used to really like Verducci, but after his ARod piece last year, not so much.
    And, to second YF: the Angels?!

    yankeemonkey March 21, 2007, 2:36 am
  • The Angels may look like a dumbass pick right now, but who really knows?
    The barely above .500 Cards won it last year along with the Tigers coming out of nowhere, nobody saw the White Sox coming before 2005…might as well make an outside-the-box pick. I’d say any team with good pitching stands a decent enough chance, and the Angels have that.

    Steve March 21, 2007, 2:55 am
  • Angels have good pitching on paper. Problem is in some way all of them EXCEPT Lackey have health issues/concerns Escobar, Santana, Weaver and we all know about Colon. I guess if all the stars were to align the Angels could be dangerous, but somehow I don’t see it happening.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 21, 2007, 8:52 am
  • Yankee Fan In Boston March 21, 2007, 10:37 am
  • i agree with Trisk. good on paper, but i just can’t see all of those pitchers being great. and there offense is just ok. although, they always manage to beat the yanks.
    i think the AL winner is coming from the east or the central, and the NL is coming from the east as well (phils or mets). how’s that for some east coast bias?

    m.g. yanks fan March 21, 2007, 10:44 am
  • He loses credibility when he claims says this about the Yankees:
    “This just in: The Yankees probably won’t win this year, either, even if they do have the best team on paper heading into Opening Day. The World Series? It’ll be all SoCal — the Angels over the Dodgers. Why? Because the best team doesn’t win any more; teams with young legs do.”
    and then goes on to say this about the Mets:
    “The Mets, like St. Louis in recent years, are dangerous because they put three or four MVP-quality players in the lineup every day, mitigating the shortcomings on the rest of the roster.”
    So – the Mets are dangerous because they have a handful of MVP candidates, but what happened to the young legs rule? Or does that apply only to the Yankees.
    What a hack. Can’t even stay consistent inside a two page web article.

    bp March 21, 2007, 12:41 pm
  • Latest SI Power Rankings for 07
    SI picks The Angels to win the World Series? Lol…

    JeterFan_YF March 21, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • According to some YFs, every team that looks good on paper (Angels, Sox, etc.) will fail, except for the Yankees.
    So how can you guys get upset because someone else uses the same (il)logic?

    SF March 21, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • > So how can you guys get upset because someone else uses the same (il)logic?
    SF: Very easily, because we know we’re right, and more than that, we’ve got intangibles.

    attackgerbil March 21, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • I’m gonna start calling BS on this idea that the “postseason is a crapshoot.”
    Chew on this: Of the past seven world champions, only one finished in first place with more than 92 regular-season wins — the 2005 White Sox (and they didn’t even make the playoffs the next season). Of the other six world champions, three were second-place teams and the other three posted 83, 87 and 92 regular-season wins.
    Except the second-place Red Sox won 98 games in 2004, and the second-place Angels won 99 games in 2002. The second-place Marlins won 91 games in 2003. Winning 90 games is usually the benchmark of a really good, World Series-caliber team, so I’m not sure why the Diamondbacks of 2001 (92 wins) get the shaft here either.
    In fact, the only team since 1987 to win the World Series with fewer than 90 wins until last season were the 2000 Yankees. In other words, the postseason is not some miracle crapshoot, where a .500 team can baely make the playoffs and ride to victory. This can happen, as it did last season. But it is extremely unlikely to happen. Of the last seven world champions, only two won fewer than 90 games, and three won more than 95.
    Success in the postseason depends a lot on whether your team is hot, on injuries, on luck. But it also depends on being a strong team with a strong pitching staff built to win 11 games as quickly as possible. Which means you’re going to be a force in the regular season as well.
    Now if Verducci wants to argue the best team by regular-season record doesn’t always win, that’s fine. But that doesn’t seem to be what he’s saying, and regular-season record is a poor indicator (the 2004 Sox were favored to beat the Yankees in that ALCS, remember, despite finishing with a worse record).
    It’s time to put the new CW — which at least implies that mediocre or inferior teams can now routinely get to and win the World Series against vastly superior teams — to rest. Of the last six champions, only one — the 2006 Cardinals — fir that mold.

    Paul SF March 21, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • FIT that mold.

    Paul SF March 21, 2007, 2:49 pm
  • Matsuzaka’s line is real good today
    5 2/3

    Brad March 21, 2007, 3:17 pm
  • And he looked great! Hit 95 on the gun (from what I was watching) and had a lot of break on the pitches that were supposed to. He’s made me a believer. I thought he was gonna be pretty good, but nothing monumental. With the pitches I saw today, I believe he could be great.

    Devine March 21, 2007, 3:21 pm
  • oh, and he plunked a guy, which is where the run came from off LaRoche’s hit.

    Brad March 21, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • The postseason IS a crapshoot…among the teams that play them. The best team doesn’t always win, see: 2003 (Yanks were far superior to the Marlins, it’s just a fact. The Yanks crapped out after the ALCS), 2006(Same with Detroit). Fact is the team that gets hot at the right time wins it all. You seriously think Jeff Weaver is that good?

    Andrew March 21, 2007, 4:12 pm
  • I remember a whole lot of people thinking the Cardinals were the “better team” when compared to the Red Sox in 2004, too.

    Steve March 21, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • Steve – you’re right. In all the fellations of the 2004 Red Sox, I just figured the Cardinals were their usual overrated selves. Not so, they were definitely the team to beat. I guess I’ve trained myself to think that my “well, at least the Cardinals will demolish them” response to the 2004 ALCS was just wishful thinking, when really it was pretty resonable. In 2004, the best overall team didn’t win either.

    Andrew March 21, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • andrew, you in for fantasy ball with us?

    Brad March 21, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • Yeah, sure, has the number of teams been upped?

    Andrew March 21, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • Uh, I wasn’t referring to you. I didn’t even read this site in 2004.
    No need to be that defensive. I was talking more about the Steve Phillips/Joe Morgan “pro analysis” guys.

    Steve March 21, 2007, 4:49 pm
  • Brad: email sent

    Andrew March 21, 2007, 5:04 pm
  • I’m surprised nobody’s noticed this yet, but apparently Verducci is a YFSF reader. YFiB’s haiku made yesterday’s Matsuzaka column.
    Also the 04 Cards were a damn good team; even in a crappy league, 105 wins is 105 wins. But Boston had the game’s most prolific offense and managed 98 wins in the AL East; it’s hard to look back now and say how an objective observer should have picked…but Boston scored 50 more runs then the 2nd most prolific 2004 offense, and posted the 3rd best team ERA in the AL. I’m not really sure how one can argue that the Cards were a demonstrably better club, though perhaps prognosticators were assuming an injured Curt…

    desturbd1 March 21, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • What a moron.

    Russell March 21, 2007, 5:28 pm
  • ***Not anyway related to the moron comment*** The Cardinals were not a better team than the 2004 Sox… no chance in hell.
    1 more thing: Clutch hitting wins World Series. Not a bunch of little kids who can run fast.

    Russell March 21, 2007, 5:30 pm
  • Andrew, you should be all set.

    Brad March 21, 2007, 5:30 pm
  • Not like he can help it but I don’t exactly consider the teams D-Mat is facing to be offensive-quality teams… Boston College, Orioles, Pirates… c’mon now.

    Anonymous March 21, 2007, 5:31 pm
  • you’re right, anon. In fact, i bet the teams that he has faced were paid off to not take the bat off their shoulder. It’s garbage I tell ‘ya!

    Brad March 21, 2007, 5:36 pm
  • 1 more thing: Clutch hitting wins World Series. Not a bunch of little kids who can run fast.
    Without a little kid who runs fast, the Red Sox aren’t even in the World Series, Russ. It takes a team to win the series. Not big hitters alone, or good pitchers alone. A team wins it, and usually, fast little kids are as important as anyone else. They all have roles that they must play well.

    Brad March 21, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • The postseason is a crapshoot only so far as one very good team could beat another, slightly better team on any given day. Verducci and a lot of other people have begun making it sound like teams with records barely above .500 can now get hot and rampage through the playoffs.
    COULD it happen? Yes. It did last year. WILL it happen every year? No. And the numbers Verducci uses to back his supposition are flawed and cherry-picked.
    FWIW, the ’04 Sox were not much if at all worse than the Cards (only seven games, before counting the NL/AL split). When a team’s won more than 90 games, they’re likely within 10 games of their opponent in the World Series — not an appreciable difference when you’re at such a high level of play. So many wild card teams from strong divisions have won the Series, I think it’s creating a false impression that “any team” can win it all, or that “lower tier” teams are suddenly stealing the Series from much better competition, and that’s simply not the case. Except last year, of course.

    Paul SF March 21, 2007, 5:54 pm
  • only two spots left in the sfyf fantasy league, so if you want in, better get in soon. Email me for invites.

    Brad March 21, 2007, 6:03 pm
  • Two things:
    One the Cardinals WERE the better team at the time. I remember Dennis Leary (Grrrrr…) doing an introduction to Game #4 or #5 of the ALCS and he said It doesn’t matter who plays the Cards neither team will beat them. Look it up and he’s one of your RSN.
    Secondly, Verducci was on Michael Kay. He said he can’t pick the Yankees because of their average age. He thinks their legs will be tired come October. Another reason he gives is that the Yankees mantra of win or it’s a failure is their downfall. This guy is unreal, listen predicting the Yankees won’t sell any magazines or get any hits on their site, that’s the true reason. I am not upset because people disagree with how good the Yankees will be, but his justification is off. If the Yankees can stay healthy there is zero reason on paper that you wouldn’t predict this team to win. The bullpen is the best it’s been in years, they have 3 front end starters in AP, Moose and Wang (which is what you need in the playoffs), they have a sick lineup. Now barring injuries those are all reasons to think they will be there come October. The one place he is right is the playoffs being a crapshoot. Having a team on paper doesn’t mean they will produce when they have to. The Tigers outplayed the Yankees in every clutch aspect. Performance of a lifetime from Rogers? Clutch hits and so on. The the Cardinals out clutched the Tigers. I was in Vegas, the Tigers were BIG favorites to win. Who would have thought Suppan would be so large? Eckstein? Come on….

    Triskaidekaphobia March 21, 2007, 6:12 pm
  • The Yankees were a deeply flawed team last year that had no front-line pitching beyond their Top 2 (much like the Jays this year). I wouldn’t consider their first-round dismissal at the hands of the Tigers evidence that the playoffs are a crapshoot. The Cardinals are an exception, not the rule.
    In 2004, the perception of the AL/NL divide was not really developed. 105 wins and dominance against the NL was confused with being somewhat equivalent to the same record in the AL, which it clearly wasn’t. Not that the Sox shouldn’t have been underdogs — the Cards were a great team. I just don’t see the Sox victory as something that came out of nowhere or as evidence of a crapshoot.

    Paul SF March 21, 2007, 7:06 pm
  • “The Yankees were a deeply flawed team last year that had no front-line pitching beyond their Top 2 (much like the Jays this year).”
    I will admit there were flaws, but deeply? Yes the SP was a weak, not a secret. But that bullpen last year is still much better then the bullpen the Sox will be putting on the field this season. Does that make them deeply flawed?
    Take the Yankees out of the equation, who were the next best teams in the game last season, the Mets and Tigers, neither won the WS. The Cards won what 83 games last season, they were hot at the right time and really capitalized on that. This is the one area I agree with Verducci, the talent pool is much closer on these teams then ever before. So really no matter how many stats or how hard it is to accept it’s a matter of who gets hot at the right time and who’s pitching is best suited for the playoffs.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 21, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • Paul, I am not saying the Sox were lucky, I agree with you the better team won. Despite that *&^%$# Dennis Leary’s comments.

    Triskaidekaphobia March 21, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • As I recall, Bobby Cox, longtime manager of the Atlanta Braves is the guy that coined the phrase, “the playoffs are a crapshoot”, something he said years ago.
    Considering the Braves won 14 straight Division titles, 14 straight trips to the playoffs, and won the World Series only once, I could see Bobby’s point. Many of those years, the Braves were considered favorites to win it all.
    Nobody is saying that the weakest team in the playoffs wins the World Series often, but rather the team that is favored to win it all quite often get’s knocked off, usually by a team that’s on a roll, and most often, by a team whose pitching is clicking at said time.

    Whatever March 21, 2007, 7:46 pm
  • Paul’s point is valid, though, regardless of the argument over what constitutes a “crapshoot”. The crapshoot typically exists amongst the strongest teams. Last year’s result was a serious anomaly, and should not be represented as anything other than that.

    SF March 21, 2007, 7:49 pm
  • “I just don’t see the Sox victory as something that came out of nowhere”
    Are you kidding me Paul? Considering the Sox were down to the Yanks 3-0 in the ALCS, basically left for dead, were 3 outs away from being swept, with Rivera on the mound, and then managed to come back and rip off 8 straight victories to win it all, if that whole scenario didn’t come out of nowhere, then I don’t know where the hell it came from.

    Whatever March 21, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • Whatever – if you look at a recent posting on, you can see that the 2004 Yankees were just not all that great a team…and compared to the Sox they should have had no chance. The 2001 Yankees, too, were not that great, and the fact that they got to an inch away from winning it all in 2001, well, it’s damn near miraculous.

    Andrew March 21, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • Andrew,
    Well, I’d have to agree that neither the 2001 or 2004 Yankee teams were anything that great, but my point still is, that the Sox came back from oblivion, basically rose from the dead, to come back from being down 3-0, which btw, and I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone of this, no one had ever done before.
    Thus my disagreement with Paul’s assertion that that the Sox victory that year was somehow expected, or not that surprising.
    Uh, they came out of nowhere.

    Whatever March 21, 2007, 8:37 pm
  • WE:
    The victory over the Yankees came out of nowhere, without a doubt. But once the Sox won the pennant I don’t think you can characterize their victory in the WS that same way.

    SF March 21, 2007, 8:38 pm
  • Yeah SF, from the strictly the World Series perspective, I’d agree.

    Whatever March 21, 2007, 8:55 pm

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