That's it, then.
The end of Yankees baseball 2008.
Right now seems a far cry from when the season started, from those days in February and March when we were all psyched for what looked like the start of an unforgettable season.
The Yankees were supposed to be an offensive powerhouse supplemented by a core of young pitchers, with some veteran guidance and a firm resolve not to get off to the same, slow start as nearly derailed the team in 2007.
Alas, the thing about sports--nothing ever plays according to the script.
Players get hurt. Sometimes they miss a couple games, sometimes the entire season. Sometime they're borderline major leaguers, sometimes they're the stars of your team.
Players under perform. Sometimes coaches can discover the reasons why; sometimes they can't.
Other teams improve. Sometimes they're in the other league; sometimes they're in your own division.
Some teams recover, some don't, but if there's one thing baseball tells us, it's that time can be measured in eternity, or in thousandths of a second.
The memories of Yankee Stadium will last forever. The fleeting moment where one mistake pitch is the difference between a win and a loss is never gotten back.
No matter what we might think, going forward, we won't forget 2008.
Whether it's because it's the first time since 1994 we won't see baseball in October or because it's the year we paid tribute to Yankee Stadium, that's up to you. I, being my delusional, optimistic self will choose the latter--but I don't blame you if you choose the former.
Of course, the end of 2008 also means looking forward to 2009, and so we shall.
We will look forward to what will likely be one of the most eventful, if not entertaining, off-seasons in recent Yankees history. Among the issues that need addressing:
a) Will Brian Cashman come back?
a1) If not, who replaces him?
a2) If so, for how long? With any conditions?
b) Do we go after CC Sabathia?
b1) What are we willing to spend to get him--not just in terms of cash, but in terms of time?
b2) If CC is uninterested, do we look at AJ Burnett? Ben Sheets?
C) Who plays first base?
c1) What do we offer Teixiera?
c2) Do we re-sign Giambi or Abreu as a DH?
c3) What if Posada doesn't heal well and can't catch?
The list goes on. The fact is, the Yankees in 2009 might look very different than 2008.
With a new Stadium, a new team might seem fitting, but no Yankee team can forget the past.
Joba Chamberlain will be there in 2009, and so will Derek Jeter.
Phil Hughes will (likely) be there in 2009, and so will Mariano Rivera.
I will be there, and, I hope, so will you.
The Quest for 27 in 2009 starts now.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
That's it, then.