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The Bleacher Bums: May 2, 2005 Archive

The Fall of the Evil Empire

Posted at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2005 by David Zingler (3 Comments)

Even with their gold plated, diamond studded walkers, the upscale retirement community known as the New York Yankees have been slow out of the gate this season. With their loss to Toronto on Sunday, George�s Geriatrics stand at 10-15 � worse than the Tigers, Brewers, and Reds. For some reason I strongly doubt that Mr. Steinbrenner takes much solace in the fact that his $200 million team is still two games ahead of Tampa Bay in the standings.

While conventional logic says that it is only a matter of time before the Yanks get hot and begin their annual steam rolling of the AL East, I am here today to tell you that it won�t happen. Sure, the Evil Empire will not play .400 baseball all season and will finish with a winning record, but when the playoffs begin in October, the Yankees won�t be participating.

The Yankee dynasty began a decade ago with a core of homegrown players like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. The organization complemented that group with veterans Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, and eventually Chuck Knoblauch � all acquired through trades. Sure, there were important free agent signings like David Cone, Scott Brosius and David Wells � all solid, professional players, but not superstars with big price tags.

Jeter, Williams, Posada and Rivera are still around, but are all on the wrong side of 30, while the rest of the team is comprised of mostly over-the-hill, overpaid mercenaries. Meanwhile, their badly neglected farm system is completely dried up. This is a team that badly needs an infusion of youth, but King George doesn't have the patience or vision to allow that to happen.

Since losing to Arizona in the 2001 Fall Classic, the Bronx Bombers have been bounced by the Angels in a four game ALDS, out-hustled by the Marlins in a six-game World Series defeat (including a shutout loss in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium) and, of course, blown a 3-0 lead to the Red Sox in the ALCS. Instead of learning from their mistakes and looking back at the model they used to win four championships in five years, the organization continues to pillage its' farm system to feed George�s big name fetish. It is because of that philosophy of greed and vanity that the New York Yankees will be making tee times this October.

Corky Miller Update

While I have my crystal ball out, I must also sadly announce that it looks like the Corky Miller era of Twins baseball will be coming to a close very soon. In today�s Star Tribune, manager Ron Gardenhire openly campaigned for the return of Terry Tiffee to the major league roster. That coupled with Joe Mauer�s healthy knee, means time is not on the side of the Cork man.

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Twins pitcher suspended for violating baseball's drug policy

Posted at 12:35 PM on May 2, 2005 by Ben Tesch (2 Comments)

Minnesota Twins pitcher Juan Rincon was suspended for 10 days Monday, making him the fifth player disciplined under Major League Baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Here's the story.

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Interior monologues.

Posted at 12:40 PM on May 2, 2005 by Josh Lee

The Star Tribune closes its article on the end of Johan Santana's 17-game undefeated streak with a brief quote by Brad Radke. This is what he said:

It's too bad to see him lose in a game like this... We had a chance to score a run in the eighth and when Stew hit the homer, we could have gotten him a no-decision. But it was an impressive run.

This is what he was thinking:

Yeah, we all feel bad for Johan. Yeah, it's a bummer that the guys wasted a fine pitching performance by hitting into yet another inning-ending double play. We all know how little fun it is to sit in the dugout, watching helplessly as your hitters bop weak grounders all over the infield as if they were helping out at little league practice, then offer up a meaningless apology of a homer late in the game.

He'll get used to it, though. Ten years I've been getting bupkis for run support, and I can tell you, after a while, you just get used to the fact that a pitcher's defining stat is the one that's ultimately out of his control. One of these days, maybe they'll start judging pitchers based on stats that really reflect their abilities, like Earned Run Average (After the 1st Inning) or Opposing On-Base Percentage (After the 1st Inning) or Facial Hair Maintenance.

Bartolo Colon may have won last night's duel, but Santana can at least take solace in the fact that he's much prettier than Colon. Then again, blue-green algae is prettier than Colon.

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