Other than winning the World Series, the question on the mind of many Yankee fans are will some of these guys not be back in pinstripes next year?
Maybe he is your hero. And looking at your jersey that might don an #18 or #55 on the back, wondering if this player did well enough for the Yanks to keep him?
Quotes like, “passed his prime” or “not the player he once was” is the common theme when these veteran players are in contract years.
But how many players has this been said about in which I am the first to say I was wrong or underestimated someone. For example, Jeter, Abreau, Mussina are a few that come to mind.
It is fact that how far the Yanks take this season; meaning if they go to the post-season (not assuming anything till it happens) is as significant for jobs to be continued. It’s the Yanks and heads will role if the team bombs.
Let’s explore three current Yankees who are playing for more than just the World Series this season.
A Boston Red Sox, who had just come off winning the World Series, breaking the curse of 1918 was going to be a Yankee?
In 2005 Johnny Damon became a Yankee. He was on the top of his game and was going to his rival team where I guess the only thing took away from him was his long hair.
Described as a positive guy who treats everyone from the bat boy to the valet parking his car with complete kindness. Damon was embraced by the Yank fans immediately. His teammates liked him; regardless of the shameless Torre stories that claim differently.
The honest truth is that Damon’s best years might be behind this champ. Damon is still a darn good player and offers a lot.
Plain and simple Damon has a bad arm but that is not new news. It got overlooked because he made dynamic plays in the outfield. It was pure talent and athleticism displayed in everyday but age and injuries inevitably have taken some toll on him.
Clearly Damon can hit and is still one of the best, no doubt. He is good in the post season; just watch game seven of the 2004 World Series to see him at his best.
Damon can rob bases with the best and he is having a good year. I think he will still be good for two more seasons and the Yanks should offer him two years for less money.
If Damon gets another year it gives out young prospect Austin Jackson another season in the minors. Which can help his growth and ease him up to the Majors.
Damon wants to stay a Yankee and I want him in pinstripes again.
2) “It‘s A Thilla For Godzilla” – #55
Hideki Matsui will not comment on what will happen about next year, till this season is over.
He has made it clear he is comfortable in New York. And the Yankee players’ have clearly spoken on the respect they have for his continued professionalism.
This athlete respects baseball, his teammates and works hard. Yes, Matsui has bad knees but they are improving.
Regardless, Matsui can hit ridiculously well and consistently can be relied on to do so.
Other then Jeter, he is the only other hitter on the Yankees, that is confident in the clutch and with a game’s result on his bat.
Stupid for the Yanks to let him face them next season.
Give him one more year for much less money is the option if the season is considered a successful one.
3) Andy Pettitte – #46
This will be short and sweet.
Andy Pettitte will be a Yankee nest year. It will be his choice because this pitcher can still throw and Cashman knows it.
Andy says he has never felt better.