Look, I'm not one to completely beat a team down and chuckle while they're floundering or failing - I know how quickly the other shoe can drop - but I cannot help but smile a bit when I see all these articles about the Yankees' current struggles. [I'm not including Jeter. I don't root for the guy, but I respect the heck out of him.] It has taken them two weeks of poor playoff performances to surpass the stink of an entire Red Sox season. Who cares that we went 69-93? Season over. Forgotten. Moving forward. But, for the Yanks nothing is moving forward.
The Yanks are about to get swept out of the playoffs and they're getting battered on all sides. Their mystique has been shattered, their character dissected, and their desire questioned. They made the Championship Series and are somehow coming out worse than teams that missed the playoffs. Only in NY, you say? Well, I've lived in NY for the past decade (orig. a New England boy and soon to move back) and I have NEVER seen Yankees fans more distraught and/or apathetic (even the year they missed the playoffs). They all wish it would just end. They all wish they could cut themselves loose from a majority of their players. Remember how almost everyone here just wanted to see Bobby go? Everyone was just waiting for it... then it happened, and optimism and positivity returned. On top of that, Ben found some way to dump $200+ million in salaries. Well, there isn't much optimism on the horizon for Yanks fans. It'd be pointless to fire Girardi. There's no dumping $200+ million in salaries. It's going to be a struggle to patch together a pitching staff (while competing with a Sox team loaded with money). Their over-priced lineup is in tatters. They're currently benching their $30 million 3rd baseman who is signed through 2017. Jeter is approaching retirement (one would suspect) and many baseball fans seem to have forgotten that prior to Jeter's arrival in 1996, the Yanks hadn't been to a World Series since 1981 (and hadn't won one since 1978).
Every sportswriter in America seems to have just realized that the Yanks are old and have over-paid for aging players over the past decade. And, when sportswriters realize something as a collective, boy do they pound it into the ground and beat it to death. Even their affordable aging players can't keep carrying the team. Ibanez is 40. Pettitte is 40. Jeter is 38, and coming off a major injury. Ichiro is 38, and may sign elsewhere. Kuroda is 37, and may sign elsewhere. Rivera is 42, and may never return.
We Sox fans may have had a rough few months, but at least Ben came through by dumping $200+ million salaries on the poor, playoff-less Dodgers. We'll have a new manager next season, one whom I fully expect the fans to support out of the gate. We seemingly have a bright future, even if it's a few years off. The Yankees? Right now, it's looking pretty bleak, and with their bloated salary it will be tough moving forward. I'm sure they'll eat the cost and dump A-Roid or Tex on some ridiculously dumb, middling team looking to sell tickets/jerseys, but they have a lot of dead weight to cut loose. I'm sure they'll buy another great player at some point, but who can replace Jeter? Apparently not Cano. They'll still be the Yankees, but maybe we can start referring to them more often as the yankees.
In the meantime, whether it's mature or not, I'm enjoying their recent struggles, as well as the Sox's optimistic future.
Now, if only the Celtics could vanquish both the Heat and Fakers on their way to Banner 18, I'd be in heaven.