What Went Wrong and What's Next For The Yanks

It's been two weeks since the Yankees were eliminated at the hands of the Houston Astros in the Wild Card Playoff game and it still hurts.


This Yankee team that no one gave a shot at winning before the season started far exceeded expectations. By the end of July it looked like the Yanks would coast into October, except three things happened that derailed the entire season. Mark Teixeria went down with a season ending injury hurting the offense. Nathan Eovaldi ultimately went down for the remainder of the season hurting the starting rotation and the bullpen. The Yankees got old very quickly.


Teixeria was on his way to a 40 home run 115 RBI season when he fouled a ball off his shin and fractured his shin. Eovaldi was 14-2 and on his way to 200 innings when he went down with a forearm strain and he threw the balance of the pitching off its rocker. It put trusted pitcher Adam Warren back into the rotation, which was ok because he excelled during his stint in the rotation earlier in the year BUT it left a gapping hole in the bullpen. The 2-3 innings Warren would solidify in case a game was close or within reach now went to young inexperienced kids and boy did the Yankees pay for having to go that route. The Yanks lost countless games down the stretch because their starters just couldn't give them enough length. When they did, the offense was non-existent causing there to be more pressure on the lineup to produce. This formula was the demise of the 2015 Yankees.


So much could be said of how manager Joe Girardi handled the bullpen down the stretch in the final month and a half of the season but the REAL cause for concern is the lineup. The lineup that produced 20 runs in Atlanta, two potential Comeback Players of the Year in Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez, the future first baseman in Greg Bird, and a 7 game lead in the A.L. East on July 29th could only muster up 3 hits against the Astros. They went 1-7 in the final 8 games of the overall season. Pitiful, pathetic and embarrassing.


I'm not sure where the Yankees go from here but the answer to me is crystal clear. Get younger, get hungry, get rid of the old. Look around the MLB LCS's going on. All young teams going around. Out are the days of the high priced payrolls, In are the young and hungry want to make a name of themselves kinda players. This is what the Yankees should be aiming for. The new core is ready to be unleashed, Bird, Luis Severino, Rob Refsynder, Aaron Judge, Dellin Betances are just some of the homegrown talent waiting to make this THEIR team. I'd say make this happen sooner rather than later.




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QUITE FRANKLY: Yankees Best Bet Is Hope

The Yankees are in! Postseason baseball returns to the Bronx for the first time since 2012. It's been a hell of a roller coaster since then, as the Yanks said goodbye to some iconic players. Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Derek Jeter in 2014. They almost said goodbye to Alex Rodriguez for good both years but in 2015 he found the fountain of youth and became a clutch everyday 30 home run hitter. Now with a new group of players, the Bombers find their way to Tuesday night's Wild Card game at Yankee Stadium.

This team by NOOO means is going into the Postseason with any momentum or anything that makes you believe they will get far this October. They finished 3 games behind where I thought they would.  But I did predict the Yanks would get into October by making the Wild Card. I wasn't too off with my other predictions on how our main players would finish.

THIS Yankee team that takes the field on Tuesday will have more question marks going into that ONE game than it did going into the season. How does Masahiro Tanaka pitch with the season on the line? Who starts at second base? Who's Joe Girardi bringing into the game from the bullpen? How can Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury get out of their second half funk? How much more does Alex Rodriguez have left in the tank? There's more but you get the point. I'm really worried about this team and I'm afraid I know what fate awaits us on Tuesday night.

The Yanks will play the Houston Astros to determine who goes on to play the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals in the ALDS. It was the one team I didn't want them to face because of their ace Dallas Keuchel. He's shut the Yankees down everytime he's face them and he neutralizes the lefty bats in the lineup, especially at Yankee Stadium, something we don't need in this sudden death situation. Any lefty getting thrown at the Yankees will be successful. Girardi has admitted such this past week.

To be honest, ANYONE taking the mound would've been successful against the Yanks this past week. A week that saw them go 1-6 needing to win only TWO games to clinch the Wild Card and Home Field Advantage in that sudden death game. A week that saw Girardi make some of the most baffling moves of his tenure here in the Bronx. That is what scares me as a fan.

Now to the positive. Last year saw BOTH Wild Card winners catch fire and go to the World Series. There's not reason to think the Yankees can't do the same. The One Game Playoff has proven to be the momentum swing that every team looks for come this time of the year. Tanaka gets the ball and I believe he can be the $175 million ace. I believe the bats of A-Rod, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran still have a little magic left in them. I believe that Girardi can bring in Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in the late innings and secure a victory. I've seen it so many times this year. Why not again Tuesday night to an Astros team that is young, inexperienced in a big stage and is worn down. It can happen.

The 2000 Yankees stumbled into the Postseason losing 15 of their last 18 games and they went on to win the World Series for the 3rd year in a row. Not saying we're winning the World Series.....yet, but I am saying anything can happen to change the misfortunes of the present and turn them into a steamrolling truck all the way to the end. I'm just happy we have Postseason baseball back in the Bronx. It belongs here.

Prediction: Yankees lose due lack of urgency in the lineup and they're not able to get the "big hit" when they need it. It'll be close, but after 2-3 missed opportunities, it's time to pack up and head home.




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