Not that we’re trying to turn this into Fire Joe Morgan, which does a fine job on its own. But the off day must have really driven those New York columnists crazy. YF did the honors for a Sox-related column, now allow me to note Wally Matthews — winner in my eyes of the unofficial "worst columnist in America" award — in today’s Newsday:
During the previous three seasons, the Yankees’ third baseman has averaged 40 home runs and 119 RBIs and batted just about .300. Two seasons back, he won the AL MVP, and this season he has a great chance to put up the best numbers of a career that already is a first-ballot ticket to Cooperstown.
And with him, the Yankees have won precisely nothing.
It will be worth remembering this at the end of the year when general manager Brian Cashman is faced with the agonizing choice of burning more cash on Alex Rodriguez or bidding him a fond farewell.
The crux of Matthews’ column: With subpar production out of third base in the late 1990s, the Yankees won a lot of World Series. Since A-Rod came aboard, they’ve won nothing. Therefore, A-Rod=Loser. Or something like that.
To be fair, Matthews says the Yankees could better spend A-Rod’s $25 million (apparently the Newsday headline writers don’t know that the Yankees aren’t actually paying all that money) on "dozens of Mike Stantons and Jeff Nelsons and David Weatherses" because relief pitching was the reason the Yankees won all those championships. Relief pitching.
What’s most amazing is this comes in the midst of a season that would be definitvely over for the Yankees if it weren’t for A-Rod — no matter how many great relievers they had in his place.
Not only that, but it follows a column, already tackled by FJM, in which Matthews says Jason Giambi is the reason the Yankees have won nothing since 2000, and credits Giambi’s absence for making everyone in the lineup hit better — even when they haven’t actually been hitting better.
So without two of the most potent offensive presences in baseball over the last five years, the Yankees would have won a lot more World Series. Gotcha.