Jump to content


2001-2004 Yankees


FutureGM
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been noticing a trend over the past several years in baseball, as it pertains to the Yankees. Here we go:

 

2001: The Yankees reach the World Series as the defending champs after sweeping the NY Mets the year before in a Subway-Series championship. They enter this World Series as the favorites over a team three years removed from its first season, the Arizona Diamondbacks. I think the key to this World Series was how the Yankees clearly underestimated how resilient the D-Backs were, even with all of those B.H. Kim homeruns. So, in a major upset, Luis Gonzalez helps the D-Backs capture their first franchise title, three years after the team's foundation, MLB's new record.

 

2002: This year's team had been struggling against the Angels during the regular season, so some people might have seen this coming. The Yankees ran right into the Angels in the Division Series, confident that they could take on a team that had no players with any playoff experience. However, they were clearly wrong. This team essentially fell flat on its face, unable to get out of the opening round of the playoffs for the first time in several years.

 

2003: Following Aaron Boone's huge Game 7 walkoff homerun in Yankee Stadium against the Bo Sox, most of the Yankee faithful expected that the inexperienced Marlins would be unable to withstand the powerful pitching staff that the Bronx Bombers had assembled. The Marlins won the opening game in Yankee stadium, but then lost the next two games, one in the Bronx, the other in Miami. Unable to touch Pettitte or Mussina, the Fish hoped for a miracle, and received one in the extra innings of Game 4, courtesy of Alex Gonzalez. This homerun totally changed the momentum of the series, and the Marlins bashed Jose Contreras (who replaced David Wells) in Game 5, before finishing off the Yankees in Game 6, right in the heart of the Bronx. Once again, an underdog team had taken on the Yankees and defeated them.

 

2004: Over the offseason, the Yankees lost Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Aaron Boone, Nick Johnson, and others. However, they traded for both Kevin Brown and Javier Vasquez, as well as Alex Rodriguez. They signed Gary Sheffield as a free agent, just about finishing the most expensive team in baseball history. This team looked invincible on the outside, but it suffered from injuries to its starting pitching the whole year, and was badly hurt by the loss of a powerful lefty like Andy Pettitte. However, things were looking up for the Yankees, after they took down the Twins to land themselves in a rematch with the rival Red Sox in the ALCS. The Yankees quickly dominated the series, going up 3-0, leading just about everyone to believe that the series was all but over. Then, the unthinkable happened. The Yankees, seemingly assured of another trip to the World Series, might as well have told their middle of the lineup to take a vacation. Their biggest hitters, Sheffield, A-Rod, Matsui, and Jeter, only managed to amass a measly .167 AVG, 1 HR, and 6 RBI's in the remaining 4 games of the series. The Red Sox bullpen almost completely shut down the Yankees' offense, allowing the Red Sox to make arguebly the greatest comeback in sports history, winning the next four games in a row. The finale was a 10-3 victory in Yankee Stadium on the back of Johnny Damon, who hit 2 home runs (inc. a grand slam) to end the series.

 

What I see in the past four postseasons is the inability of Joe Torre and his coaching staff to buckle down and win key ballgames. I also believe that the Yankees players themselves are to blame for these failures, as all of them came against teams that were underdogs in their respective series. I seriously doubt that George Steinbrenner will fire Torre this season, but it might be necessary if the Yanks are going to avoid another catastrophic ending. I can be sure that most of the pitching staff will be gone, along with coach Mel Stottlemyre. Steinbrenner immediately came out after the series to announce that General Manager Brian Cashman will not be fired. As far as I'm concerned, Cashman did everything he could to give Joe Torre the players that he needed. He added a bunch of new All-Stars to an already bloated payroll, and the same result happened as it has the last four seasons, failure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torre is a different type of manager than say Tony LaRussa or Bobby Valentine. Torre is about handling people. That's his strong point whereas La Russa is good at situational managing. In essence, Torre lets his players do the talking. You can only blame Torre if he starts someone over another guy, subs someone in the middle of the game, yanks a pitcher or stays with him, etc. The fault of Yankees '04 meltdown lies with the players inability to finish the job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2001: The Yankees reach the World Series as the defending champs after sweeping the NY Mets the year before in a Subway-Series championship. They enter this World Series as the favorites over a team three years removed from its first season, the Arizona Diamondbacks. I think the key to this World Series was how the Yankees clearly underestimated how resilient the D-Backs were, even with all of those B.H. Kim homeruns. So, in a major upset, Luis Gonzalez helps the D-Backs capture their first franchise title, three years after the team's foundation, MLB's new record.

598485[/snapback]

ive always thought that after winning those 3 unbelievable games in New York the yankees were just too drained emotionally too finish off arizona

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torre is a different type of manager than say Tony LaRussa or Bobby Valentine. Torre is about handling people. That's his strong point whereas La Russa is good at situational managing. In essence, Torre lets his players do the talking. You can only blame Torre if he starts someone over another guy, subs someone in the middle of the game, yanks a pitcher or stays with him, etc. The fault of Yankees '04 meltdown lies with the players inability to finish the job.

598525[/snapback]

 

Exactly... thats what I keep telling everybody who gets on my case about this year's loss... you can't blame Torre for the 1-4 hitters' lack of productiveness in games 4-7... He put in MO for the 8th and 9th in both the 4th and 5th games. That would be where the blame comes in... or perhaps starting Kevin Brown instead of Loaiza or El Duque.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think a bigger problem than the managing was the roster moves. the yankees 1996-2000 core was aging, and they never really addressed these needs properly. they signed overpriced, past-their-prime big-name guys like kevin brown and mike mussina. the 2004 yankees only looked unbeatable until you looked at their rotation - no surprise they only had the 6th best ERA in the AL. where are the fresh kids coming up from the minors? who's the last great yankee rookie?

 

as for managerial strategy, i've read reports that Zim's departure really affected them, that he was the most aggressive of the Yanks' coaching staff, and his absence really changed the character of the team in 2004. make of that what you will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think a bigger problem than the managing was the roster moves. the yankees 1996-2000 core was aging, and they never really addressed these needs properly. they signed overpriced, past-their-prime big-name guys like kevin brown and mike mussina. the 2004 yankees only looked unbeatable until you looked at their rotation - no surprise they only had the 6th best ERA in the AL. where are the fresh kids coming up from the minors? who's the last great yankee rookie?

 

as for managerial strategy, i've read reports that Zim's departure really affected them, that he was the most aggressive of the Yanks' coaching staff, and his absence really changed the character of the team in 2004. make of that what you will.

599357[/snapback]

 

When they signed Mussina, he wasn't past his prime, nor was Giambi. Hell, you could make the case that they traded for Brown after his (arguably) best statistical season.

 

If you're going to blame the Yankees about anything it's the use of Rivera. Last year in Game 4 of the World Series Torre had the choice of Rivera (the greatest reliever in post season history) or Jeff Weaver...he chose Weaver, Marlins win dramatically, win the next two games.

 

This year, Torre was trigger happy and gun shy with Rivera. He didn't bring him in to start the 8th in game 5 with Ortiz leading off. Even if Rivera can't pitch 2 innings, you have to (IMO) bring him in to face the opposing teams best players, even if it's in the 8th...Gordon could have pitched the 9th against the 7,8,9 hitters.

 

It comes down to poor bullpen management for the past two years. Even if you have Rivera, it's not fair to bring him into a one run game with nobody out and runners on the corners in the 8th...let him start the inning, or don't expect him to bail you out of those kind of situations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think a bigger problem than the managing was the roster moves. the yankees 1996-2000 core was aging, and they never really addressed these needs properly. they signed overpriced, past-their-prime big-name guys like kevin brown and mike mussina. the 2004 yankees only looked unbeatable until you looked at their rotation - no surprise they only had the 6th best ERA in the AL. where are the fresh kids coming up from the minors? who's the last great yankee rookie?

 

as for managerial strategy, i've read reports that Zim's departure really affected them, that he was the most aggressive of the Yanks' coaching staff, and his absence really changed the character of the team in 2004. make of that what you will.

599357[/snapback]

 

When they signed Mussina, he wasn't past his prime, nor was Giambi. Hell, you could make the case that they traded for Brown after his (arguably) best statistical season.

 

If you're going to blame the Yankees about anything it's the use of Rivera. Last year in Game 4 of the World Series Torre had the choice of Rivera (the greatest reliever in post season history) or Jeff Weaver...he chose Weaver, Marlins win dramatically, win the next two games.

 

This year, Torre was trigger happy and gun shy with Rivera. He didn't bring him in to start the 8th in game 5 with Ortiz leading off. Even if Rivera can't pitch 2 innings, you have to (IMO) bring him in to face the opposing teams best players, even if it's in the 8th...Gordon could have pitched the 9th against the 7,8,9 hitters.

 

It comes down to poor bullpen management for the past two years. Even if you have Rivera, it's not fair to bring him into a one run game with nobody out and runners on the corners in the 8th...let him start the inning, or don't expect him to bail you out of those kind of situations.

599365[/snapback]

 

1. KB

True, he had a great season in 2003 (although I think you have to conceded that 1996 was his best stat-wise). but he was pushing 40, injury prone, so it was clear his prime would not go on much longer. the yanks were definitely playing fire by signing a guy so clearly at the end of his career.

 

2. Mussina

He had a great 2001 season, his 1st with the Yanks, so indeed he was not past his prime when they signed him. But like Brown, he seems to have been at the end of his prime. In the 3 years since then, he's had 2 4+ ERA years, while his IP, CG and Ks go down. So the Yankees have gotten, as with Brown, a great pitcher in decline.

 

And true, they did sign Javier Vazquez, a young pitcher but, in 2004, he was a young pitcher that sucked. And other recent Yankees pitchers have been on the downsides of their career as well. They signed Clemens coming off one of his worst statistical seasons (1999), and his stint with NY was up-and-down. When they got David Wells the 2nd time around, he was coming off a mediocre 2001 season and gave them a couple of solid but not great 4 ERA-ish seasons.

 

3. Giambi

Agreed, though he hasn't panned out with NY he was not past his prime as a player. But the over-the-hill aspect has been particularly glaring with regard to pitching. Meanwhile, the young talent just doesn't seem to be coming up as the older stars decline.

 

Bonus fun fact:

# of Yankees who hit over .300 in 2004: 0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...