Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Official 3,079 Miles... 2006 Yankee Preview

New York Yankees
2005 Record: 95-67
Position: 1st

Major Off Season Moves:

In: Johnny Damon CF, Octavio Dotel RP, Mike Myers RP, Ron Villone RP, Kyle Farnsworth RP
Out: Kevin Brown SP, Tom Gordon RP, Ruben Sierra OF

So here we are again, another six months of late nights, another six months of arguments with Neil H on whether A-Rod is A-Fraud and/or a punk, another six months of Torre soothing egos, another six months of questions surrounding steroids, another six months of the Sandman doing what he does best, another six months of fun n frolics, gonna be good isn't it?

Last year the Yankees won the East due to the fancy 10-9 record against the Red Sox. Last year the Yankees had some huge questions mark going into the year, this year the questions are different but they are just as big. A-Rod and Giambi both proved they are back, Womack is gone and I doubt there is much worrying Yankee fans about Cano and the addition of Damon at the top of the lineup moves Jeter back to the position where he hit during the World Championship run.

However, then we go to the rotation, which is both old and injury prone. Randy Johnson is going to the Hall but is getting on a bit. If healthy he'll be fantastic, if not then I worry. I think Mussina has awesome stuff but I worry about his mental make up more than his elbow as he has good enough stuff to not need to paint the corners. When Moose is on it just works, when he isn't he over thinks and that is when he has trouble. Wang is slated as the #3 and I like his stuff and with Pavano and Small on the DL, Chacon and Wright will complete the rotation. That isn't enough to strike fear into the opposition.

In the 'pen the Yankees have upgraded but can anyone show me a Yankee fan who is convinced by Kyle Farnsworth? He has the stuff but his make up isn't one that fills me with confidence. Flash was always good in the regular season although his October #'s weren't exactly good, weren't exactly decent either. Dotel is a great addition when he comes back from his Tommy John hopefully in May, and Villone and Myers can both do a job. The guy at the back end of the 'pen is still the same, the great Mariano Rivera, I have absolutely zero worries on that front.

The Yankees top to bottom have a potent lineup that could score 1000 runs, Damon, Jeter, Giambi, A-Rod, Sheffield, Matsui is as good as anyone around the league. Posada is still above average for a catcher although he is dropping off. As for the DH spot, I have a funny feeling Bernie may do better now he doesn't have to worry about or play the field anymore. Our #9 hitter is Robinson Cano, can't argue with that.

This Yankees team will go as far as their starters will take them.

2006 Projection: 97-65
Position: 1st
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