Tuesday, September 4, 2007

So Long, Andy; So Long, Season?

The bleacher fans in section 39 (and especially me) offer our condolences to Ady Phillips, who is indeed the rookie that could a la Shane Spencer, right down to the little black cloud that follows him around. Andy did a great job last season and so did Melky. But the geniuses in the front office had Melky riding the bench this season and played FOUR other guys at first base before finally giving Andy the playing time he earned last season. Both of them have shined. (Melky much more, though he's having growing pains or just butting heads with Matsui and Abreu.) Andy's been a terrific glove and a much better bat than expected, with a .292 average and that magical "clutch" hitting that can't be codified in stats but exists nonetheless in the eyes of fans who watch teams play every day. And now Andy's wrist is broken and he's out for four to six weeks and probably for good. I had no confidence the Yankees would have planned to keep Andy at first base next season. Now it seems inconceivable since he won't have a chance to shine in the homestretch and possibly the post-season.

Is it silly of me to see the season going down the drain along with this journeyman first baseman? Symbolically, no. When Giambi is in the lineup, it's a much stupider, swing for the fences attitude that takes over. Andy personifies small ball. (He can't play swing for the fences, after all.) I hate seeing Giambi even DHing; I think the chemistry and attitude of the team is much better without him. Hopefuly Betemit and others will spell Giambi at first, who really is a roadblock when he gets on base.

And sure we swept the Red Sox. But when we SUCKED the series before that and lose two out of three to Tampa Bay, you are not looking at a team getting hot just in time for the post-season. Sure, we can still get there, but with two reliable starters (Wang and Pettitte), how good will we do once we get there?


joe said...

Such doom and gloom! Sure the summer is over but there is still reason for optimism.

I feel bad for Phillips because he was enjoying something of a breakout season, but if the season goes down the tubes because of his absence then it would have ended badly anyway. That being said, I'm confident that some combination of Giambi, Betemit, Mientiadciaosz, and Duncan can fill the void.

Of course the real determinant in all of this will be the health of Clemens' elbow, Moose's psyche, and whether or not Hughes and/or Kennedy can step up and be a reliable starter every fifth day.

This team isn't exactly a world beater, but I think their combo of youth and experience is fun to watch and I'm looking forward to the stretch run.

And if they lose? Well...can't win it every year. No reason to get down because 28 other teams will be in the same boat.

dasnootz said...

Fortunately... or unfortunately, we're the Yankees. We're not to be lumped in with the other 28 teams that don't win it all on any given season.