Yankees Returning to Unsuccessful Ways of Decade?

Is it just me, or are the 2010 Yankees beginning to look a lot like the Yankees who didn’t win a World Series from 2001-2008?

Nick Johnson was a likable guy but he had trouble staying healthy and Javier Vazquez didn’t pitch up to par — especially for a guy with high expectations. I wasn’t following the Yankees as closely back before 2005, but I’m pretty sure the general consensus on the two players was one of discontent.

Oh I know, the Yankees have added huge stars in CC Sabathia Mark Teixeira and now Curtis Granderson, but they’ve also lost winners like Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and now Melky Cabrera.

Not to mention, they’re following the Red Sox’ footsteps by letting go of their icons. I’m thinking of Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and, going back further, Babe Ruth!

All of the moves the Yankees make sense to me individually. (Maybe not the Vazquez deal. I think an FA signing would’ve made more sense.) The core players are still intact, it’s just the secondary that is changing. If you believe in team chemistry or “a winning combination,” you may be feeling a little hesitant about all the deals.

I know baseball is a business. Once again, I like all of the moves individually, but having them all together after winning a championship isn’t setting right with me. Just sayin’.

This article is also featured on lenNY’s Yankees.

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12 Responses to Yankees Returning to Unsuccessful Ways of Decade?

  1. I really disagree with this post.

    As long as they are not bringing in guys that destroy clubhouses, this really isn't an issue. I really doubt the loss of Damon, etc. has any impact "chemistry-wise."

    The simple fact is that Matsui is old and does not have any knees. Damon is asking for too much and does not have a position.

    Granderson is young and considered a great clubhouse guy. Johnson is fine. He had injury issues but I suspect DHing him will help greatly.

    And I agree with Rob's comment: "What does labeling them winners even mean?" Being a winner in baseball is something made up. They are players that happened to be on a good team. Is Luis Sojo a winner?

  2. KVC says:

    Damon and Melky can in no way be called Yankee icons! Even though Matsui was here for years I think the language barrier limited his broad appeal. The Yankee Icons are still here, Jeter, Posada and Rivera.

    As for Vazquez, he was injured and thrown away by Steinbrenner's need to get the Big Unit.

  3. These are not the types of deals that were being made when the Steinbrenner grabbed control of the team after the 2001 lost World Series. That offseason, Cashman and Torre wanted the Yankees to sign Johnny Damon and keep Tino for one year until Nick Johnson was ready. Instead they signed Rondell White and Jason Giambi.

    Don’t forget the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series after dealing their icons, and JD, HM, and Melky are not the icons that Pedro and Damon were. They were decent ball players, but what does labeling them winners even mean?

    Personally I thought you would like this deal more. You were upset when the Yankees didn’t add a starter during the regular season. If they don’t trust Sheets as an injury concern then Vazquez is probably one of the better options out there.

    Dealing Vizcaino isn’t that big a deal to me. Obviously he was a top prospect, but he was still 19 and had never actually played a full season in the minors. There is so much that can happen in the next couple of years that could derail him.

  4. Brandon says:

    I completely disagree with the post and completely agree for the first time ever with Mike Francesca. He stated today "To keep a team winning you must add motivated parts, especially players that have not won the World Series recently, or ever, so that the team does not settle for anything less than a ring." I know that the team would obviously never just give up, but adding players like Granderson who would do anything to make it back to the World Series and win it, really helps. As far as I'm concerned, Melky is a 3rd-4th outfielder not a yankee icon. Johnny Damon was a free agent signing that, while popular, was not an icon. Matsui is the closest to one, but the language barrier is a likely problem, as Rob stated.

    By the way, Rob if you see this you can take down The Pinstriper from your blogroll. I was hired by Pinstripe Alley to write for them, so The Pinstriper is no more! Thanks!

  5. Rob Abruzzese says:

    Hey, Luis Sojo is the man.

  6. Simon De Brabander says:

    First time poster from the UK…. I disagree with the post as i believe the addition of Johnson and Vasquez are clever, one year deals whilst improving the team, certainly the rotation whilst not commiting to anything long term with an eye on next years free agency.
    Its sad to see some of the team that won the world series deaparting but none of them are key or irreplacable. Saying that, Damon could still be coming back as well… so i think we have be happy and trust the decision makers.

  7. Brian Burkhart says:

    Labeling players as “winners” or “losers” is rather difficult.

    If Tony Clark’s ground rule double stays in the park in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS and the Yankees win, would Javier Vazquez be a winner?

    Did 2009 make Melky Cabrera a “winner”? Does that make a league average centerfielder better than a top of the rotation starter?

    It’s hard in any sport to stand-pat after a good season and keep winning. This was even true for the late-90s Yankees: remember when they traded David Wells for Roger Clemens?

  8. KJC says:

    Thank you KVC and Brandon. I am so glad that finally, in this politically correct age, some stouthearted Yankee fans are mentioning the language barrier with regard to Hideki Matsui. Godzilla was with the team from 2003, and I never once heard him speak a word of English, nor give any indication that he understood any English that was being spoken to him. IMHO, you cannot qualify as a Yankee icon when you refuse even minimal assimilation and insist on remaining a member of the Yomiuri Giants.

  9. sean west palm says:

    Lenny,have you had a few drinks,clearly the situation is different this time.Javier is being brought in as a #4 guy as opposed an ace.Nick Johnson is a nice guy with a 426 obp. If he d.h.'s lot less chance of getting hurt.They both have 1 year deals.that's why it makes sense.
    Next years free agent market class has names like cliff Lee,Josh beckett,Matt Cain,Joe Mauer,
    and Jayson werth,These are the best choices for this year.and not tying up money next year

  10. Lenny Neslin says:

    Hey everyone! Please, point out the sentence to me where I say I was against the Javier Vazquez deal. And what part of “once again, I like all of the moves individually,” doesn’t make sense to you?

    And I know it made sense to get rid of Damon and Matsui (I never argued in this post they should have kept them! Please, show me if I did!). This post was purely meant to show it’s JUST STRANGE the way the Yankees are changing their team around so much after winning a World Series. THATS ALL. This was not an argumentative post like everyone seems to be making it out to be.

    I know I rambled a little bit in this post and should have made my points more clear, but as commenters, please point out the exact sentences you disagree with me.

    The only two sentences where I included my opinion: “All of the moves the Yankees make sense to me individually. (Maybe not the Vazquez deal. I think an FA signing would’ve made more sense.)” Nobody has countered the latter.

    Sorry to come off a little harsh, but I care a lot about everyone’s comments and get frustrated when they accuse me of writing something I did not.

  11. Brandon says:

    Just pointing this out but you contradicted yourself in the comment.

    “Please, point out the sentence to me where I say I was against the Javier Vazquez deal.”

    “All of the moves the Yankees make sense to me individually. (Maybe not the Vazquez deal. I think an FA signing would’ve made more sense.)”

    I would like to know your actual opinion, howver.

  12. I like the Vazquez deal. They got a good pitcher on a one-year contract essentially in exchange for Melky Cabrera. Vizcaino is a strong prospect, but he's 19 and very far away from the majors. There is a pretty good chance that he does not turn out to be the pitcher people are expecting him to be.