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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Silver Lining for the Pinstripes

    If only one phrase could describe the 2008 Yankees, it would probably be “unbelievably frustrating”. They win two, they lose two. They win five out of six, they lose three out of four. They split with the Angels but finish the series strong, and then they get swept a week later. They will most likely miss the playoffs for the first time in 15 years not including strike-shortened 1994. It’s been depressing to realize that the current Yankee Stadium will not get one last magical October, where anything could happen and no team would want to play.

    But the facts are the facts. Seemingly everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Chien-Ming Wang has been one of the winningest pitchers in baseball over the last three years and he was lost for the season. The Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy experiments were disastrous. Matsui missed a huge chunk of the season, Posada is out for the season, and Damon and A-Rod missed time. And for the first time ever, the artists formerly known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are?good?

    So what’s the bright side you ask? All of these things could go wrong again next year, right? Well the Yankees have $81 million free this offseason. Carl Pavano will finally stop his extortion of the Yankees and Giambi and his escalating contract will not be paid anywhere near his $20+ million salary. The Yankees might be in the market for a number one pitcher, and no one will be able to outbid them. If only a pitcher existed who has experience carrying a pitching staff. A pitcher in his prime, say 28 years old, who is 8-0 since July 8th with a 1.59 era. This magical Koufax/Big Unit hybrid would fit perfectly on the 2009 Yankees. And he’s real. His name is C.C. Sabathia and as of press time they’re looking for a XXL and a half Yankee jersey for him.

    The Yankees knew this season would be tough. Hank Steinbrenner called it a rebuilding year before the season even started and only injuries made that prognostication come true. The Yankees will be moving to a state of the art stadium and he will definitely be motivated to field a championship contender. If this season brought some true failures to fruition, it also provided a couple success stories. Joba Chamberlain became the Yankees younger version of Josh Beckett. He beat Beckett and the Red Sox 1-0 and showed the fire that we haven’t had from a pitcher not named Clemens in years. Mike Mussina was told to start pitching inside or he would be taken out of the rotation. He responded big time and he is 16-7 with a 3.45 era and in line for his first 20 win season ever. Next year he will be a year older but no one is asking him to throw 91 mph ever again. He can throw 87 mph like he has this year and be successful. And he will only be asked to be a third starter or fourth starter type next season.

    All in all the Yankees have underperformed mightily, this much is painfully obvious. But it wasn’t so long ago that the same thing happened to a similar baseball powerhouse. The 2006 Red Sox came in third place, the same place in the standings the Yankees look to finish in. But no one remembers that. It’s probably because the bumbling 2006 Red Sox became the world champion 2007 Red Sox. April can’t come fast enough.

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