Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Yankees Connection to the World Series

The 2015 World Series is underway now with the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals fighting for the ultimate crown. Neither team has won a World Series in nearly 30 years, the last victory for the Royals coming in 1985 and the last victory for the Mets coming in 1986, but would either team be in the position to finally reward their players, fans and organization if it weren’t for the Yankees? Maybe not.

I may be putting on just a bit but it’s true, there are plenty of connections to the New York Yankees in this World Series. From players to coaches former members of the Bronx Bombers are everywhere and it may seem like the Mets and Royals are getting the last laughs on New York.

Currently on the Mets roster the team boasts hitting coach Kevin Long (Yankees hitting coach from 2004-2014 including the minor leagues and Major Leagues), right fielder Curtis Granderson (Yankees center fielder from 2010-2013) and relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (Yankees farm hand and pitcher from 2003-2007). Currently on the Royals roster the team boasts pitching Dave Eiland (Yankees pitching coach from 2000-2010 including the minor leagues where he coached Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain among others).

Now the fun part, to play Devil’s Advocate. Would the Yankees be in the World Series if they had this cast of characters on their roster in 2015? Well we know what the offense did with Kevin Long when they have a suitable cast of characters but you have to think the team couldn’t have been much better with Long, the team had the second most potent offense in the league behind the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees offense would have been better with a healthy Mark Teixeira, not a new hitting coach. Down the stretch the pitching became the problem but I’m not sure the pitching coach, Larry Rothschild or Dave Eiland, could have fixed it. The team was wore down and the sample size was humongous, that’s what happens when you’re starting rotation only goes five innings a night.

Would Curtis Granderson help the Yankees offensive woes? Probably would, sure, but it would make the Yankees even more dependent on the home run or nothing. Carlos Beltran, presumably who Granderson would replace, would simply make the Yankees even more dependent on the long ball and even more left-handed. He may have added a few RBI and home runs along the way but New York is still likely shut out in the Wild Card Game. You can’t win a game when you don’t score any runs so having Clippard on the team would likely be a moot point as well, the problem was the offense.

It’s a great story to follow, former Yankees winning it all elsewhere, but it’s nothing to lose sleep over and it’s nothing to make you wonder if they are getting the last laugh on the team. Some decisions work out, some don’t and some only work out elsewhere. That’s life and that’s baseball. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)