Prediction: By the time the first pitch crosses the plate in the 2009 baseball season the Yankees’ roster will have gone through more changes than Joan Rivers’ face.
It’s a bold prediction, we know, but many are anticipating a severe metamorphosis for New York following the disappointing 2008 campaign. In the meantime, the anxiety of guessing who’s on their way out (we’ll miss the ‘stache), who’s going to get one last chance (step it up, Robbie), what new faces we’ll see (can I get you a soda, CC?) and overall how things will have evolved when the new Yankee Stadium opens its doors are all questions as that will have a definitive answer on Opening Day.
To help encompass some of the scenarios revolving around the Yankees, we decided to make the soundtrack, NOW That’s What I Call Yankees: Offseason Edition. Below is an eclectic collection of songs from various artists that span different eras which can help us break down some mysteries and issues Yankees fans will encounter leading up to the first game of the season on April 6th.
Album: The Best of Player
This one goes out to Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada, who were sidelined with injuries for the bulk of last season.
Fellas, we know you’re listening, and we just want you to come back healthy. That’s all we ask. Whatever you need, we’ll give you. (Well, actually, we can only offer loud cheers and chants when you step onto the field.) You want a different song to represent your return? Not an issue. Just let us know and consider it done.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and it’s crystal clear the Yankees lacked pitching last season (perhaps they should have pulled the trigger on the Johan Santana deal). The Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman saw it and have been vocal about who they want to bring to New York to help improve the situation.
Acquiring established veterans and grooming the gifted youngsters already on the roster has, so far, anyway, seemed to be a top priority. In focusing on the home-grown stars, we think it’s safe to say the Bombers’ future’s so bright we have to wear shades
Album: Strange Days
People have certainly become strange when it comes Yankees news this offseason. Some “insiders” pretend to know the top-secret info and then go share it on their blogs without verifying sources. Even worse are the dummies who call into New York radio talk shows claiming to have the inside scoop. We actually heard somebody call WFAN’s Steve Somers last night saying that he heard from a guy who heard from a “source” that the Yanks were shopping Joba to the Mets for Carlos Beltran. Even if the Bombers got both Beltrans, that trade would be a joke. Heck, even the normally-disillusioned Somers knew that was dumb.
However, ending the lunacy is easily avoidable. The remedy is to watch Mike Francesa on YES, or catch his clips on YESNetwork.com. In terms of sports-news, the guy’s more connected than Tony Soprano.
The Yankees have come clean involving missteps of the recent past, and they’re not looking back in anger
Acquiring Nick Swisher was questionable to some, but after it was confirmed that CC Sabathia was offered enough money for him to substitute dollar bills for toilet paper, and knowing that offers for pitchers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe are pending, it seems as though pitching will be a key component to a successful 2009 season.
With concern for Phil Hughes’ development, Joba Chamberlain’s role and Brett Gardner’s production at the plate, there’s plenty of questions about the “kids” on the team. (Can you actually refer to someone with a hefty six-figure salary as a kid?) Their early production will determine if the Yankees’ brass will be walking on sunshine, or if they’ll find their continued faith in youngsters is simply a hard habit to break.
Unlike the former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, we Yankees fans like the Moose, and following a 20-win season, many of those fans hope Mike Mussina’s ride in the concrete jungle hasn’t stopped just yet. But it appears as though it has. Our only hope is that Mussina reads this entry and decides to pull a Brett Favre before the season starts. Our fingers are crossed.
Andy Pettitte, we know you’re probably feeling left out right now, but don’t. We’d write our own song for you, but nothing rhymes with Pettitte.
So where do the Yankees go from here? That’s been on everyone’s mind since last September.
With a cache of possibilities on the horizon, along with acquisition of Swisher, a rearranged coach staff, and a renewed zest from the Steinbrenner clan, it’s obvious that things will be different this year — and if they’re not, expect heads to roll early. The answer, then, would be “up.” The only place to go for the Yankees is to rise up through the division and charge into October.
Regardless of what moves are or aren’t made, the show must go on. Even if every plan the Yankees had in mind falls through, expect Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter to extract the very best from the squad in 2009. Love ’em hate ’em, these two are hard-nosed competitors who give it 100 percent every time.
Why should we trust Joe and Derek this time around? The reason behind that is simple: as hard as it was for us fans to sit through October and watch other teams compete, it was 10 times as hard for the boys in pinstripes.
Album: Speaking in Tongues
The atmosphere of the new Yankee Stadium will be filled with energy — OK, and lots of people with hot dog breath.
But the energy will be much more prominent. After talking to some of the guys at YES, it looks like the history of the old stadium is prevalent, and you know the new memories are destined for the history books. This certainly is the place!
Album: Appetite for Destruction
Think Yankees fans were rowdy at the old stadium? Just wait until the Bleacher Creatures settle into their seats at the new stadium. It’s common knowledge that they don’t necessarily approve of box seats (or the Red Sox)… imagine what they will have to say about the new, even-more-expensive boxes. We’re scared.
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