Olympian gold-medalist Bob Richards once said:
“It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks.”
And I think most sports fans would agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly.
As in any sport, to call yourself a champion is a title you have to earn first; but regarding baseball the longevity of the 162-game season makes multiple obstacles inevitable; and is that is why MLB has an allotted trading period for teams withstand Father Time a little better.
At this point in the 2012 season, I think it safe to say that the New York Yankees qualify, as a team who has endured some big blows, work to overcome them, and only to get hit harder again.
As just less than a week ago the Yankees had no need to be buyers at the trade deadline, not even really potential ones.
Well, how quickly things changed, as the Bombers two best pitchers got injured this past week in a matter of 24 hours.
First ace CC Sabathia went down; but the Yankees relaxed in the fact that they had lefty Andy Pettitte still and until about five innings later; and then the veteran Southpaw broke his leg after being hit by a line drive in his left shin.
To say that Yankee fans were in shock would be an understatement especially when the team was playing so well. The fright of having already gotten away with MO has to make fans worry. And these two recent injuries still have the power to reverse the season’s momentum in the blink of an eye. This is TBD.
WHERE THE YANKEES STAND NOW:
After splitting a four game set against the White Sox over the weekend, the Yankees have a six-game lead in the AL East but the Orioles and Red Sox are staying close; and any knowledgeable baseball fan knows that can change in an instant.
The Yankees have two inter-divisional series vs. the Rays followed by the Red Sox before the All-Star Break.
The series outcomes will be a big reason, along with whether Sabathia actually returns post All-Star Break, about what happens next.
THE UGLY TRUTH:
Following the injuries, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told the NY Times, “I am not looking to make a trade. I might make a waiver claim or pick up some non-roster guy, but that’s it. We feel we have the solution right here.”
So, the Yankees plan is to solve the losses of CC and Andy internally, which so far hasn’t gone so well as the White Sox gave CC’s sub, prospect Adam Warren a 14-7 thrashing.
And tonight’s remedy is Freddy Garcia in for Pettitte vs. the Rays, at the dumpy Trop no less. FYI….Garcia cannot be the long-term plan if the Yankees plan to be around come October.
So, unavoidably everything hangs on Sabathia’s return, which entails him missing just one more start according to Cashman and skipper Joe Girardi but don’t kid yourselves.
The Yankees have a history of omitting the truth about the severity of players’ injuries, worse than any other team I have seen. So yes, I recommend holding your breath until Sabathia is on the mound again.
Why the secrecy?
With the possibility of Cashman, having no other choice, but to trade for a mediocre rent-a-pitcher before the July 31 deadline is still very much a reality. And if other GM’s know Sabathia’s injury requires more time on the DL you can bet all price tags will inflate.
So, this my friends, would be the worst-case scenario.
And just the idea alone of depleting the Yankees already thinning farm system for a so-so pitcher makes me want to puke.
Also, please keep in mind that the Bombers are known for having the ability to turn an above talented player into ineffectual and wasted trade like no other team can.