Relax, New York Yankees fans.
Yes, it’s been an eventful few days. Yes, on its face it seems much of the news hasn’t been good. Yes, things will be different around the Bronx next summer. Yes, the Red Sox just won another World Series.
But, no, the sky hasn’t fallen on this team. Even without A-Rod (and you can throw Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada in here, too, if you want) this team hasn’t exactly turned into Tampa Bay overnight.
The Yankees will still be good. There is still a good talent base, and with the vast Yankee resources and four months remaining until spring training there is no telling who might end up in pinstripes next season.
Besides that, there is still a talented group of youngsters heading to the Bronx.
Peter Abraham puts it this way in his fantastic LoHud Yankees blog:
At this time last year, Joba Chamberlain was playing winter ball in Hawaii. Most Yankee fans knew him only as a name on a list of drafted players. He wasn’t even invited to spring training.
The same was true of Ian Kennedy. Shelley Duncan? Big kid, big swing, no chance. That was the book on him.
The point is that things change quickly. The Yankees have invested a ton of money in amateur players in recent seasons. They drafted a big switch-hitting third baseman of Texas last June named Brad Suttle and gave him $1.3 million to sign. He’s in Hawaii now learning the pro game.
The Yankees aren’t going to blow things up because their egocentric third baseman opted out. They still have Jeter, Abreu, Cano, Cabrera, Damon, Matsui and four good young starters in Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy.
One door closes, another one opens.
You’ll be seeing the start of a new era in the Bronx in 2008. The Yankees will be led by Joe Girardi, an aggressive, talented young manager who has been sought after by many teams. They will have an impressive cache of young pitchers (Chamberlain, Kennedy, Phil Hughes, Russ Ohlendorf and several others coming soon). There are young players on the horizon like Suttle, Jose Tabata and Brett Gardner.
Will the Yankees win their 27th World Series in 2008? In fact, will they even make the playoffs? Who knows.
Hank Steinbrenner was probably right the other day when he referred to this as a ‘transition’ period for the Yankees.
That, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. The recent past for the Yankees was glorious. The future still looks bright.
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