Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Most Valuable Possession

The Yankees lost today. We all know that. It's frustrating, as any loss is, especially when had just a couple things here or there gone differently, the Yankees could have easily won. It's more frustrating when Derek Jeter's hurt, and Jorge Posada might end up on the DL.

Even so, even given the sloppy afternoon of play, even we get swept, there's something we can make claim to that a lot of other teams, simply, can't.

Know what it is?

I'll give you a hint: Click here.

I know you're probably not familiar with most of the names, but I'll go over the ones you might want to note:

Jesus Montero, catcher.
Austin Romine, catcher.
Dellin Betances, pitcher.

These guys, whose names you'll know soon enough, are on the low A team. Not high A, low A.

You're probably more familiar with the names Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata. In fact, you may have even heard that one of the two might make a splash in the Bronx come September. Do you know, right now, these two are playing in Trenton? AA?

The point, ladies and gentlemen, is this: the Yankees have a future. A real one.

Go back to the nightmare that was 2004.

Kevin Brown, Jose Contreras, Jon Leiber, Javier Vasquez, Mike Mussina. That was our starting rotation. Four years later, there's one guy still on the team, and he's more-or-less our number five guy, who so many people think is washed up and done (he's not).

How we got to the playoffs with that rotation (no knock on Mussina) is a mystery. How we got to within one game of the World Series? I shudder. How Yankee fans survived that winter? I'm not sure I want to know.

See, this year, even if the Yankees hit a bunch of bumps and rough spots, which we likely will, all you, as a fan, have to do is flip to the Trenton roster. Or the Charleston roster. Or the Tampa roster.

Think back to 2004. If you took a look at any of those rosters then, would you have recognized any of the names on the roster?

Consider now the Trenton and Tampa and Charleston names you recognize. There's a reason you recognize them: because they're good. They're the future of the team. Heck, some of the names you recognize, some of the pitchers, would be the top pitching prospects on other teams, but on the Yankees, they project as relievers.

So the Yankees might struggle this year, maybe more than we think, even though most of us think it's a reasonable expectation that they will make the playoffs, but you are not going to see any serious Yankee fan who doesn't write for a tabloid go apoplectic.

The Yankees have one thing too many other teams don't have: A discernible future.


  1. Even more important than those low level players (I don't consider anyone a legitimate prospect until they've played a season at AA), are the arms waiting at AAA. Horne, Marquez, Britton, Johnny A., even Scott Patterson and Jose Veras, are poised to provide the Yankees with a surplus of the most valuable commodity in sports- pitching. I add Humberto Sanchez to this list because he'd reached AAA as a starter with the Tigers, although he figures to be a reliever with the Yanks. He's got a Joba like slider and a high 90s fastball (a tick or two below Joba).

  2. It's definitely reassuring to know that there is something good on the horizon coming up. Watching your team mortgage away its future for an overpriced, over-the-hill veteran can take its toll on a fan.

    I love being able to follow the minor leaguers and young talent coming up through the farm system and feeling somewhat confident that they'll be in the show before long. It even gives me the urge to head over to a minor league park to watch tomorrow's stars today.

    On a related note, if Posada goes on the DL with his sore shoulder, we may be seeing some of the young talent sooner than we'd like.

  3. Jeter is a washed up SS I say let A-Rod stay at short permanently.

    Also I knew re-signing the aging Posada would be a bad move. Molina is much better defensively and is an underrated hitter. I would have been fine with him as the starter. Yankee fans need to realize that not every player needs to be a star name. We already have a solid enough lineup without him.

  4. rackem: You forget Posada hit .330 last year. I love Molina, but Posada is in another universe..

  5. Posada had a great year last season without a doubt. However, before last year he he was a career .270 hitter. I think the 2007 season was an anomaly for him. I expect his production to decline to around that mark this year. Molina is a cheap option behind the plate but he also does not handicap our team in any way. Players are much more likely to run on Posada than Molina, especially now with his dead arm. It's nothing personal against Posada, but even after all he has done in pinstripes I can't justify a 4 year, 52 million dollar contract. The production you can get from Molina at 2 million a year is more than enough.