Would the end be official if they don't make the playoffs this year? Is this just a slump or something more ominous? Or will things turn around once Bernie and Nick come back in a month? So far I'm seeing some disturbing signs:
1. No relief pitchers. It's hard to compare this bullpen back in its heyday when Nelson, Stanton, and Mendoza were at their peak. Just adding Urbina won't fix things, they need at least another reliable pitcher besides Hammond and Weaver doesn't cut it. I truly think this is one factor that can keep them out of the playoffs.
2. Underperforming mercs. "Groundzilla." Nuff said. Oh wait, there's Contreras, Giambi (until recently), and probably Clemens after he hits 300 wins and semi-retires mid-season.
3. The Georgie factor. Looks like he's jealous of Torre's respect and he's been trying to undermine him all season. Diverting Contreras to Florida, then booting Weaver from the rotation; making Jeter Captain; and trading for Ruben Sierra. All things to tweak good 'ol Joe. Now after this no-hitter, I'm expecting him to fire the hitting coach. Why does this matter? The Yankees did well because he gave Cashman and Torre lots of slack. Now he's back to meddling like he did before the Torre era. And we all remember what that was like? No? That's because the Yankees sucked.
I know it's all doom and gloom but there's still hope the Yanks can bounce back and maybe resemble what they were in April. But who knows if they can overcom all these deficits. I think the next 4 weeks will be critical.
Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
Persobally, I would be more than happy to see the Yankee dynasty end, but I unfortunately don't think that their latest skid is an omen for it. I mean, think back to the first few weeks of the season, they were RED hot. Im sure it will happen again, although they are defenitely missing Bernie about now. As far as their bullpen goes, Rivera seems to be back in full force so thats a good sign for them.
Look at their lineup in today's game. Rivera, Trammell, Flaherty, Zeile all playing in the same game? Looks more like something the Royals would put together. If they don't get Bernie and Johnson back soon, they could find themselves 5+ games out of the lead come All-Star time.
I think they have the real potential of winding up 3rd in their division this year behind the Red Sox and Jays. My prediction is the division champs in the AL will be the Red Sox, Twins, and Mariners, with the A's taking the wild card and poor Georgie watching from the sidelines. He is about to be served a much deserved piece of humble pie.
I hate the Yankees as much as the next guy, but as long as they wildly spend money they will be top contenders every year. They are just slumping right now but look at the injuries they've had so far - Jeter, Rivera, Johnson, and Bernie. Not to mention Giambi's struggles so far. There is absolutely no way they don't make the playoffs. Georgie will just spendy spendy if any problems arise between now and October.
"And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear." - The Rains of Castamere
The thing is that I have read that their farm system is pretty depleted from constantly trading prospects to get the players they want mid season. If they don't have the prospects there, how will they trade to get players that they want. Prospects will be what teams out of contention want for players the Yankees need for the pennant drive, so unless the teams settle for just a huge cash payout to buy the player from them, they might be screwed.