If I were New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, I’d be very happy if everybody got sucked into following the tawdry tabloid saga of Alex Rodriguez this winter. The more “A-Rod is the devil” stories come out, the less time anyone will have to pay attention to the multitude of problems Cashman needs to solve this winter to get the Yankees into the playoffs in 2015.
Right now, the Yankees’ starting rotation depth chart is Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Shane Greene and David Phelps (I guess), with Ivan Nova a possibility sometime later in the season. Cashman has indicated that he’d like to re-sign free agent Brandon McCarthy, who would slot in behind Tanaka and Pineda.
The good news is that this problem should be relatively easy to fix. While their aren’t many quality free agent hitters available this winter, starting pitching is a strength with Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields all on the market.
The Mets offense had to take advantage of some shoddy Chicago White Sox defense to score their runs, and the Mets’ defense made Marcum look better than he really was, but the important thing is that the Mets actually impressed for most of the night. For a while, I had completely stopped looking for that to happen. Yay, progress.
Meanwhile, things seem to be falling apart over in the Bronx.
Yeah, the Yankees shouldn’t matter to me. And mostly, they don’t — but after watching them be the more popular and more successful team for over a decade, I am enjoying watching Cashman find ways to manufacture problems when he already has more than enough unavoidable ones.
It’s about 24 hours after Cliff Lee surprised us by signing with the Phillies instead of staying in Texas or taking the Yankees’ money.
It’s still pretty tough to digest. True, the Mets were unlikely to compete in 2011 – Lee’s only real impact next year will be felt in the three or four games he pitches against New York. And Lee will turn 34 during the 2012 season – who knows how long he will be an ace-level pitcher.
Still, to see your hated division foe respond to the loss of their best right-handed bat by signing the best pitcher on the market while your team’s big acquisition to date is a backup catcher who will miss the first week of the season to finish serving a PED suspension… well, that’s frustrating.