A skeptic’s guide to the 2013 MLB season

Nick+Swisher

So, if I’ve got this straight, the Bombers will be starting the season sans Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson. Call me a pessimist, but shelving 100 homeruns and 341 total runs from a team which lives on the long ball and which finished 18th in Defensive Efficiency Ratio will be disastrous.

Perhaps you believe in addition by subtraction and that our defense can only improve with Granderson and Jeter out.  Perhaps you believe Brett Gardner (a career .266/.355/.368) will “carry” the team because he is “fast” or that Francisco Cervelli will grow an arm this year.  One commenter noted circumstances similar to 1995 and hoped that a new 2013 version of the “Core Four” might rise from the ashes like a phoenix and usher the Yankees into a new era.

I agree that we are headed for a new era…like the drought that began in 1965, when the Yankees finished sixth after losing the 1964 World Series, and wouldn’t win another American League pennant until 1976.  I hope that I’m wrong, but just in case I’m not (and rest assured, I’m not), here are the top 5 headlines that I’ll be looking for in the 2013 season:

5) “Cliff Lee Fails to Win his First World Series Championship Ring”: Cliff Lee admits to a reporter that he was surprised to learn that there were rude fans in Philadelphia and not just in New York.  Lee’s impressive 2.04 ERA was no match for Philadelphia’s 684 total runs, and measly 3.6 runs per game when he pitched.  “If only I could’ve pitched for a team that, say, finished second in team scoring and first in home runs ….”

4) “Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, and Josh Johnson Repeat Miami Marlin Success in Toronto”: Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos expressed bewilderment in an interview with reporters at the end of the 2013 season.  “it turns out,” he stated, “that forking out ba-jillions for guys who couldn’t get it done in Miami turned out to be a bad idea.” Anthopoulos had to leave the interview early because he was in the midst of tearing up the floors in his rented apartment in order to replace his plumbing.

3) “Yankees Front Office Continues to Insist that they ARE NOT DESPERATE!”: In an unrelated story, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman announced that they were in the process of signing Vernon Wells to a one-year contract extension.

2) “Nick Swisher Disappears in ALDS”:  After batting .350/.540/.676 and 35 homeruns in the regular season, Nick Swisher smiles pretty for each of his 16 strikeouts at the hands of Tampa Bay pitchers.  Alex Cobb wondered “what the hell ‘Swish’ was swinging at” when Cobb attempted to intentionally walk Swisher in the first inning to get the force at third.

1) “Yankees sweep season series with Boston, finish third in AL East with 87 Wins – still four wins better than AL Central Champ and AL West Champ.”

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12 Responses to A skeptic’s guide to the 2013 MLB season

  1. olie says:

    If they can upgrade their catching they will still make the play-offs.

  2. I don't agree that this Yankees team has a similar potential to the 1965 team (the pitching staff alone makes this a much better team and the farm system is poised to contribute a number of players in upcoming years). Great article though. Welcome back.

    • Al Birchall says:

      Bob I agree but for whatever reason the Yanks have a problem bringing up minor leaguers if they would only take a page from the Tampa Bay's and Texas's n let the younger players grow n show them support instead of giving them a produce right away n dump them for a "Proven Veteran" see ARod

  3. Keena says:

    The pitching staff will not be nearly as good without Martin behind the plate. Especially w/o a competent guy to take his place.

  4. Mark Panuthos says:

    Thanks Rob. I agree, we're not 1965 – bad, but I agree with Keen a. The situation behind the plate may negate some of our pitching strength

  5. This situation behind the plate isn't so bad. Martin was a strong defender, but he wasn't one of the elite catchers in the game. His best attribute was pitch framing and Chris Stewart does that well. It really depends on how much Cervelli has improved and he's been getting rave reviews (admittedly by the same people still calling this team championship caliber). The big knock on Cervelli was his attitude though and a year in the minors seems to have turned that around.

    If Cervelli has improved though and he and Stewart basically split time back there, which I expect will more or less happen, then, at least defensively, it's not going to be a huge drop off from Martin.

    • olie says:

      Rob, I have to disagree with you.I think the drop off behind the plate will be quite significant. Martin has been a starting catcher in the majors for several years. You don't accomplish that unless you are a "good" catcher. His offence did drop off last year but he still hit 20 something Hrs. and drove in 70 or 80 RBI's. These 2 guy's aren't going to do that. Stewart is a career back-up and Cervelli spent last year in AAA. Being a huge Yankee fan I hope I am wrong but I just don't like what I see.

  6. Holly Golightly says:

    the drop off behind the plate might not be that bad, but why spend the money now on Wells when we could have secured another year out of Martin back in December?

    • Magilla Gorilla says:

      Back in December, they still had Granderson, and Teixeira planned for April.

      Who knows, maybe they actually thought that Derek Jeter could start the season at SS, after coming right out of a walking cast.

      The simple fix was AJ Pierzynski for a year.

  7. Mike Baker says:

    are the yankees really thinking about exstending wells

  8. Magilla Gorilla says:

    If they are bad, and I expect them to be bad, the team will be unrecognizable by the trade deadline. The Bronx will look like Scranton. Scranton will look like Trenton. Trenton and Tampa will be filled with the minor league pieces that are collected from the trades of Youkilis, Stewart, Overbay, Granderson, Suzuki, Wells, Hughes and Chamberlain.

    2014 will feel like the Mets while the minor leaguers and rookies further develop. More minor leaguers will break through in Spring Training 2015. A few free agents and Whammo, they are back on top.

    • I highly doubt the Yankees will have a big fire sale where they trade off veterans no matter what their record is. I expect Youk, Granderson, Ichiro, Wells, Hughes, and Joba will all finish the season with the team. That's just not how the Yankees operate.