Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Surprising Patient Fans

I've been impressed with the amount of patience many Yankees fans have shown this offseason.

"It hasn't been easy, but we can do it."

When it comes to what needed to be done to best prepare the team for 2016, I believe getting a starting pitcher was priority #1 this offseason. And when I say "starter", I don't mean just anyone.

The Yankees don't need a middle to bottom of the rotation starter. Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia... the Yankees can use those four to fill 80% of the rotation. However, the Yankees won't use all four of those starters in the rotation because they also have Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino. That's six options four five rotation spots.

Wait.... Do the Yankees even need a starter?

Speaking of Severino and Tanaka, the Yankees don't necessarily need an "ace" either. That's not to say neither of those guys have questions marks surrounding them. In fact, both of them have questions marks... Masahiro is somewhat of a health risk, and Severino only has 11 MLB starts under his belt. But if you assume they can stay healthy then a team could do a heck of a lot worse with those two at the top of the rotation.

Again... Do the Yankees even need a starter?


While it would have been nice, the Yankees don't need a "David Price" or "Zack Greinke". The Yankees simply need somebody that they can lean on to throw 200+ innings, which means giving them 6+ innings over 30-32 starts. Someone along the lines of an Andy Pettitte or Hiroki Kuroda.

That guy may be Wei-Yin Chen, although he has yet to reach the 200 inning mark in any of this 4 MLB seasons, despite starting 31 or 32 times in three of those four years.

Johnny Cueto could fill that role fairly well. A 2.81 ERA over the past three years, and has thrown 455.2 innings over the past two? Sure!

Yovani Gallardo has started 30 or more times in each of the last seven seasons, and had an ERA below 4.00 in all but one of those years.

So what's the problem?

Well... money. Hal Steinbrenner will not let his general manager spend on free agents, so Cashman has to use trades to make any and all improvements to the team. But when you have pitchers like the aforementioned three available as free agents, teams willing to trade away their own pitchers are reluctant to do so.

Look at it this way...

If you're the general manager of a team, and you have a good/young pitcher you're willing to part with in a trade, would you deal away that player now when "buying" teams have more options, or would you wait until those "buying" teams have no other choice but to ask for your guy?

If you're smart, you'd wait until people are desperate for your guy, so you can charge them more. It's simple economics... supply and demand.

"What in the World is 'supply and demand'?"

The fact of the matter is the Yankees are unlikely to get their new "Andy Pettitte" or "Hiroki Kuroda" until those other pitching options are no longer available. And that requires patience... something that Brian Cashman has, but few Yankees fans (me included) do.

Which is why I'm so impressed with... *sigh*... Yankee Universe (I don't like that name). If you had told me the situation the Yankees would be in on December 13th, after the GM Meetings, and after two other trades were made, I would have predicted that Yankees fans would be up in arms that nothing has been done to improve the rotation.

But here we are... and the majority of Yankees fans I've spoken to are not worried. It's not as big a surprise, but a number of fans are not worried about the team replacing Adam Warren and/or Justin Wilson, either.

Of course, there will always be that fan who will call Brian Cashman an idiot. There will always be that fan that goes nuts over the Yankees passing up a "David Price" or "Zack Greinke". But for the first time in what seems like forever, Yankees fans in general are being patient and allowing Cashman to rebuild.

Does that mean we'll see another Core Four (or Five) soon? Unlikely. I wouldn't count on ever seeing a core like that develop again. But the Yankees finally appear to see the big picture, meaning that the future is no longer something they will take care of later. And I like that. Because as nice as it would be if the Yanks were true 2016 World Series contenders, it'll be so much better when they are World Series contenders year after year in the near future.

"I got this, folks."


  1. Damn good article Bryan, not only insightful but very well written. You and Daniel have the touch when it comes to writing and outlining both sides of an issue. Talent will show every time in baseball or anything else.
    The last paragraph hits the nail on the head and you will find many besides myself that agree.

    1. I also agree with the sentiment of this article, specifically the last paragraph. I'm willing to, for lack of a better word, tank this season if it means we become perennial World Series contenders once again

    2. I didn't realize until I was done writing that I was on my other site...sorry!
      Anyhow, as you and I said Daniel, the last paragraph is the key. I want a five-year run at the Golden Ring like I saw (or heard on radio) or better yet a 6 of 7-year run. The string before that was four in a row started one year before I was alive.
      The chances of a five or even a three-year run is very unlikely nowadays with all the playoff games, but it would be a nice thing for you younger Fans to see. From 1921 to 1964 it was expected the Yankees would be in the World Series...just think, 28 times playing in the WS in 43 years and winning 20, then a blank wall until 1976. They played in 11 WS and won 7 in the last 51 years.

      1964 to 1976 and 1982 to 1995 was something I never want to see again!

      Like I keep saying, the Fans of today are spoiled the team doesn't make the playoffs in three years and they want the head of Cashman, try going 12 and then 13 years in a row without being is enough to make a man take up drinking, almost!

    3. Ken, I think there's where I learned my patience when it comes to management. Then again, it also has to do with some people always thinking the grass is always greener on the other side (it's not).

    4. I too learned patience from those years and many other ways.
      And those that believe the grass is greener on the other side...haven't been to the other side or, they are dreamers.

    5. I don't have that patience. I was born in 85 and I started watching baseball religiously in 1994. I want my playoffs dammit!

    6. We all want them back Daniel, and even though I may never see it...things are going in the right direction. I know I have been writing about the way they are doing things and like it very much.
      The bad thing is once before back around the 1960s, about 5 of the main Yankees lineup turned over. Mickey 1968, Whitey 1967, Richardson 1966, Kubek 1965 and Elston Howard 1968 were their last years.
      When most of your players are of the same age (+/-), one has to replace too many good players to quickly!


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