- The absence of The Boss is adversely affecting the Yankees in the short-term:
There's a comfort zone that people who deliberate before reacting are running the team and the one person in the front office who bloviates, Hank Steinbrenner, is all talk, no action and prone to drastic fluctuations in his mood depending on the time of day. This can be a good thing, or it can be a bad thing. Even with all of his capricious, bullying and nonsensical maneuvers, there was always a sense that George wasn't going to allow things to spiral out of control as they have without doing something; that he would have seen the rash of injuries and ineffectiveness that the young starting pitchers have undergone and called pitching coach Dave Eiland in on the carpet and perhaps fired him; that the odd strategic decisions that Joe Girardi has made wouldn't disappear into the wind without the manager being asked what he was thinking about; that the rightful criticism that Johnny Damon is now receiving for his inept play in center field would elicit a rapid change to someone who could actually play the position.
While the departure of the fire-breathing Boss was probably met with some relief in certain quarters, there's something missing from the Yankees that no amount of meetings, thoughtfulness and sound reasoning will be able to replace----a sense of urgency; with Hank's empty threats and the absence of a panic button in the clubhouse, there's really no reason to get uptight about their current predicament, and that's not a good thing.
- Speaking of Johnny Damon; Blue Jays 14-Yankees 3:
It's one thing to keep a player with Damon's little league arm out there if he's doing everything else correctly, but he's a pure liability and the Yankees have three options as far as I can see: A) leave Damon out there and hope that he gets his instincts back and is at least adequate at the position; B) they can recall Melky Cabrera with the excuse that his lackadaisical play warranted a session of "time-out" in the minors and now he's back ready to play again; or C) they can get a defensive minded center fielder from elsewhere; one name that they could get for nothing more than money is Andruw Jones. The Dodgers would give him away----literally----just to get out from under his $18 million salary for next year and he can't hit anymore, but he can still go get the ball in center field. Ordinarily, such a financially imprudent move would be out of the question for most teams, but the Yankees can afford it and they can't afford to keep Damon in center field if he's going to play this kind of defense. Something has to be done.
- In retrospect---Ivan Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth:
- The Mets collection of Reyeses: