So it I started thinking about the 2012 Yankees, and comparing them to the 2009 World Series Champions. And as usual started writing notes down.
So below is my attempt to make sense of my notes that I jotted down last night and this morning.
It is no big secret that Yankees players are required to play with a win-now mentality.
And with good reason as their Bosses pay players big money to field a contender with one goal, winning the World Series.
Since 2000, the Yankees have won two World Series (2000 & 2009), nine AL East Division titles and two wild card berths.
And the only season since 1996 that there was no October baseball in the Bronx was back in 2008, and it wasn’t pretty.
The Yankees are still holding the top spot in the AL East but the gap is closing. As both the Orioles and Rays are not going away, and are 3.5 and 4 games back respectively.
And even though many Yankee fans seem to find comfort in using the injuries as an excuse, I do not.
No doubt this season the Yankees can’t seem to get a break as one player gets healthy, another one gets hurt.
So, what did the 2009 Yankees have that the 2012 lack?
For starters, confidence and consistency.
See the 2009 Yankees walked around with an attitude of superiority, while beaming with an overbearing pride and in a season after they embarrassed themselves.
In 2009, the Yankees looked like they believed they were going to win, which was clear after witnessing all 15-walk off wins during the regular season; the second-most in franchise history.
Also, on August 28, 2009 the WS Champs had a win-loss record of 17-14 in 1-run games; and 6-3 in extra innings.
Compared to the 2012 team who is posting a 15-19 record in 1-run affairs; and are 3-3 when a game goes past the ninth. They have two walk-off wins and five walk-off losses this year.
Another 2012 issue is the team struggles to score with runners in scoring position (RISP).
See in 2009 the Yankees finished with a .272 batting average with RISP and scored 618 RBIs; this season the bats have a batting average with RISP of .253. That isn’t great but it has slowly improved over the season. The issue is the 393 total RBIs with runners on as that number makes your eyes pop.
Here is a table comparing some important stats:
NYY - 2009 vs. 2012 on August 28
Still, while stats look great on paper, and are useful everyone knows it takes a lot more to win than that.
Since the All-Star Break, the Yankees cannot seem to find their stride, posting a 22-21 record and with a September filled with AL East games that is not going to fly much longer.
My guess is that the Yankees are due for a hot streak soon because this team is either hot or cold, so I think they are due.
This 2012 team has been in first place for 94 days straight and I would hate to see them blow it now.
I know the 2012 Yankees have what it takes, as there is still a lot of 2009 spirit there but whether they can find it is another question but the time is now.
As the boss once said:
“Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first; winning next.” – George Steinbrenner