Two members of the Yankees’ Geritol Generation certainly looked pretty fiesty last night.
Mike Mussina and Johnny Damon must not have appreciated being on my ‘dislike’ list the other day.
Mussina pitched 7 crisp innings, allowing just two solo home runs. As Hank Steinbrenner would say, he had his Jamie Moyer on. He was featuring a tantalizingly low 60s changeup, a variety of breaking balls and throwing his fastball where he wanted to. As awesome as he was, it remains to be seen how often he can repeat that.
As for Damon, he is 8-for-21 over his last three games. More importantly, he is showing more power than he has in a long time with two home runs, a double and 7 RBI in that stretch. …
LaTroy Hawkins did not look so impressive, though. Summoned to pitch the 8th inning, he gave up two runs and got just one out. His ERA through 9 appearances is 11.17, and you have to wonder how long the Yankees can afford to keep him around. The Yankees have a slew of relievers at AAA Scranton who are pitching well and deserve to be on a big league roster, including Jonathan Albaladejo (1.29 ERA, Edwar Ramirez (0.00 ERA, 2 hits allowed in 9 innings, 13 strikeouts, 1 walk), Chris Britton (2.45) and Jose Veras (2.00). Oh, and if Joe Girardi wants a long man Darrell Rasner is 3-0, 0.72 in four starts. So, with all those choices there is no reason to keep watching Hawkins get torched. …
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News asked yesterday in his fine ‘Blogging The Bombers‘ site whether Yankee fans could handle missing the playoffs this season is it means winning it all next year.
OK, I’ll bite.
The answer is, I think most fans will be OK if the Yankees miss the playoffs — provided we see enough good things from the youngsters to make the growing pains tolerable. BUT … the talk radio show buffoons (yes, Mike & The Mad Dog) and many in the blogosphere will be on fire. We will listen to a winter of calls for Girardi’s head, Brian Cashman’s head, whining about passing on the Johan Santana trade, and calls for the signing of just about every free agent available.
Most fans understand you can’t win every year. The problem, though, is that a very loud segment of fans gained a sense of entitlement during the Yankees’ championship years, and have bought the George Steinbrenner ‘every year is a waste if you don’t win a title’ attitude hook, line and sinker.
If the Yankees don’t win their 27th title this season, those fans will be up in arms no matter what.