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26 Reasons the Yankees WON'T Win

By Todd M. Civin

My son thinks "I'm sweet for Jeter."

My wife bought me a new suit...Pinstripes?

My daughter asked if I have any new Yankee "BFF's"?

My dog is even thinking of changing his name from Fenway to "The New Yankee Stadium."

In short, after a week of befriending Yankee fans on Bleacher Report, who complimented two of my recent articles, it's time to set the family straight: I HATE THE YANKEES.

With that being understood—and a "wee bit" of Red Sox homer-ism mixed-in—it should come as no surprise that my opinion of the Yankees' offseason spending spree may be a little jaded. I see the world through rose-colored lenses...forgive me.

To add to my renewed disdain of the Boys from Da Hood, I was forced to spend the better part of three hours at Friday night's Celts-Cavs game dodging saliva from Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dummer, and Tweedle Dumbest, all dressed in NYY ball caps.

Throughout the game, these three stooges waxed poetic about why their Yanks would win World Championship No. 27.

So in honor of my newest Yankee friends, here are 26 reasons (one for each championship) why the Yankees won't be be sipping anything but Bosco come next October.

1) CC Sabathia was 6-8 with an ERA just south of 4.00 in the AL last year before pitching for a contract in the weaker-hitting National League.

2) Sabathia has pitched almost 494 innings over the past two seasons, or almost three complete games worth of innings more than Roy Halladay's 472, who was second. Last year's 252 innings between the Indians and the Brewers was six innings more than Halladay. He threw an additional 30 innings in the 2007 playoffs, for a total of 52 innings more than Halladay over the two year span.

3) In addition to amassing this hoard of innings, Sabathia threw more pitches per game than any other pitcher. In all but two games last year, CC threw more than 100 pitches, with two games over 120 and two games over 130 tosses. A 2002 study by Keith Woolner showed a distinct correlation between a high-pitch count and a loss of effectiveness or increased injury risk.

4) CC had concerns about pitching in the Big Apple before signing his mega-deal. His close friend and confidant, Ellis Burks, had asked CC if he was sure he wanted to play in NY prior to the signing. CC told Burks, "I think so." Burks questioned him a second time. Sabathia said, "Then I know so."

That and the buyout clause after three years doesn't make it look like Sabathia enters his initial year with the Yanks with both guns blazing. In the wake of the A-Rod steroid scandal, one has to think that the spotlight is burning even hotter.

5) Sabathia weighs in at 295 pounds. This makes him the heaviest pitcher and the second heaviest player to ever play in the BIGS.

6) Fernando Valenzuela, the portly lefty who pitched for the Dodgers in the '80s, began his career with nearly the same record as CC. He proceeded to go 60-71 over the final seven years of his career.

7) A.J. Burnett was signed shortly after Sabathia to be the No. 2 or 3 starter in the rotation (Chien-Ming Wang is considered to be the unofficial No. 2). Burnett had a nice year in 2008, to the tune of 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA.

Prior to last year, he was only 69-66 lifetime with an ERA of just under 4.00. Carl Pavano was 18-8 in the year before he signed with the Yankees and was a game under .500 prior to the signing. Pavano went 9-8 in only 26 starts over three years with the Yankees. Burnett has spent ample time on the disabled list throughout his career.

8) Chien-Ming Wang is coming off a season where he appeared in only 15 games due to a season-ending injury to his right foot. Though he appears fully recovered, the Yankees have to hope his foot carries him throughout the campaign. Starting pitching depth is not the Yankees' strong suit.

9) Andy Pettitte will be 37 on June 15 and is coming off a 14-14 campaign with an ERA of 4.54. Pettitte dabbled with the thought of retiring before signing a one-year $5.5 million contract.
His ERA was the highest of his career since he had a 4.70 ERA a decade ago. He could also be forced to testify against former teammate Roger Clemens regarding charges that Clemens lied to Congress.

10) Though starter Joba Chamberlain appears to be the real deal, he has still only started 12 career games and failed to record an out in his last spring training start. Manager Joe Girardi said following the start: "If this continues, then we will have some real concerns."

11) Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy appear to be the depth in the Yankees rotation as the reinforcements should any of the starting five go down. Both have been inconsistent as they dip their toes into the Major League surf.

12) The rotation lost Mike Mussina's 20-9 and 3.37 to retirement/non-signing. Even if Sabathia matches that, the Yankees will still be missing Moose. They still need to make up eight games to catch the Rays, and matching Mussina's 20-9 record won't do it.

13) Following a tumultuous few weeks in which it was leaked that A-Rod had tested positive for steroids, it was decided today that Rodriguez will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his injured hip labrum and will miss nearly two months to start the '09 campaign. That leaves the door open for 33-year old Cody Ransom, who has a total of 183 career AB since his MLB debut in 2001.

14) When A-Rod returns, he is still faced with the shadows of being found out as a cheater. The chants of A-Roid and many other fitting epitaths are sure to fill the summer skies around America.

15) Though the signing of Mark Teixeira is clearly an upgrade over Jason Giambi, Giambi's 32 homers and 96 RBI will still be missed. Teixeira hit .60 higher than Giambi with one more homer and 25 more RBI. This is definitely an upgrade, but Giambi carried the Yankees for stretches in 2008.

16) The loss of Bobby Abreu has really not been addressed. Abreu signed with the Angels this offseason after hitting .296 with 20 HR and 100 RBI last year with New York.

It would seem that the right field spot will be split between Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher. Nady played left field after he was acquired at the trade deadline from the Pirates. He is capable of matching Abreu's numbers, but who will replace Nady's?

17) Center field will be patrolled by Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Cabrera hit a disappointing .249 last year with 8 HR and 37 RBI. Gardner can run like the wind, but only hit .228 in 142 AB last year.

18) The combination of Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, and Jorge Posada (44% of the Yankees starting nine) averages 36 years old.

19) Posada is coming off an injury-plagued campaign. Already this spring he had to play DH as his surgically repaired right shoulder is bothering him.

20) After an entire career of injury-free baseball, Matsui has missed large chunks of the past two campaigns with major injuries.

Even upon his return last year, he was not the feared hitter he had been at the start of his Yankee career. Injuries have also forced him out of left field and into the DH role, giving the Yankees very little flexibility.

21) Robinson Cano had a rather disappointing 2008. After hitting .342 in 06 and .297 in 07, Cano dipped to a career-low .271 last season. He had an extremely slow first part to the season and never regained his previous form.

22) Mariano Rivera is as dominant as there is to close out games, but he is now 40 years old. One has to wonder how long Rivera's flame will burn.

23) Steinbrenner and Cashman have long believed that spending the most equates to a championship. The last team not named the Yankees with the highest payroll that won a World Series was the 1993 Blue Jays. Last year's championship Phillies and runner-up Tampa Bay combined for a payroll of $141 million. The Yank's weigh in this year with fat which totals over $100 million more than that. The eight teams that made the playoff's last year ranked 4,6,7,8, 13, 15 and 31.

24) Playing in the New House comes with its share of pressure. Additionally the lagging economy has left season ticket sales far behind expectations. Feeling the pressure, Pinstripers?

25) Haven't won this century (I love the sound of that). With each year that passes between championships, the pressure mounts. 2004 saw the collapse coupled with a Red Sox World Series Championship. 2007 brought another Sox championship. Last year saw a new horse in the race in the Rays, but a third-place finish and no playoffs for the Yanks.

26) To shut up those three clowns who ruined my night with my son at the Celtics game. my son, wife, daughter and Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dummer and Tweedle Dumbest...Even to my new Yankee BFF's...Make no mistake..I HATE THE YANKEE's


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