New York Yankees
2009 Record: 103-59; First Place, American League East
Defeated Minnesota Twins in ALDS 3 games to 0
Defeated Los Angeles Angels in ALCS 4 games to 2
Defeated Philadelphia Phillies in World Series 4 games to 2
After spending over $400 million in the winter of 2008-2009 to fill their holes with Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, the Yankees rode a devastating lineup and deep pitching staff to their first World Series win since 2000.
Despite repeated strategic missteps by manager Joe Girardi; a short back end of the starting rotation and the still lingering question of what to do with Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees were able to overcome a slow start to overtake the Red Sox and win the AL East.
In the playoffs, they capitalized on the mistakes of the upstart Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels to win the pennant; and dethroned the defending World Series champion Phillies in six games.
2010 ADDITIONS: OF Curtis Granderson was acquired from the Detroit Tigers.
RHP Javier Vazquez was acquired from the Atlanta Braves.
LHP Boone Logan was acquired from the Atlanta Braves.
DH/1B Nick Johnson signed a 1-year contract with mutual club option.
OF Randy Winn signed a 1-year contract.
RHP Chan Ho Park signed a 1-year contract.
OF Marcus Thames signed a minor league contract.
OF Greg Golson was acquired from the Texas Rangers.
RHP Zack Segovia signed a minor league contract.
OF Jamie Hoffman was acquired from the Washington Nationals.
OF Reid Gorecki signed a minor league contract.
C Mike Rivera signed a minor league contract.
2010 SUBTRACTIONS: DH Hideki Matsui was not re-signed.
OF Johnny Damon was not re-signed.
OF Melky Cabrera was traded to the Atlanta Braves.
RHP Brian Bruney was traded to the Washington Nationals.
C Jose Molina was not re-signed.
RHP Chien-Ming Wang was non-tendered.
RHP Ian Kennedy was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
OF/3B/1B Eric Hinske was not re-signed.
INF Cody Ransom was released.
1B Shelly Duncan was released.
OF Xavier Nady was not re-signed.
INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. was not re-signed.
LHP Phil Coke was traded to the Detroit Tigers.
OF Austin Jackson was traded to the Detroit Tigers.
2010 PROJECTED LINEUP: C-Jorge Posada; 1B-Mark Teixeira; 2B-Robinson Cano; 3B-Alex Rodriguez; SS-Derek Jeter; LF-Curtis Granderson; CF-Brett Gardner; RF-Nick Swisher; DH-Nick Johnson
2010 PROJECTED STARTING ROTATION: C.C. Sabathia; Andy Pettitte; A.J. Burnett; Javier Vazquez; Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain
2010 PROJECTED BULLPEN: Mariano Rivera; Phil Hughes; Joba Chamberlain; David Robertson; Damaso Marte; Alfredo Aceves; Chan Ho Park; Boone Logan; Chad Gaudin; Sergio Mitre
2010 BENCH: OF-Randy Winn; OF-Jamie Hoffman; C-Francisco Cervelli; INF-Ramiro Pena; OF-Marcus Thames; OF-Greg Golson
2010 EXTRA PITCHERS/PROSPECTS: Edwar Ramirez; Jonathan Albaladejo; Andrew Brackman; Wilkin De La Rosa; Christian Garcia; Mark Melancon; Hector Noesi; Ivan Nova; Romulo Sanchez; Zachary McAllister; Jeremy Bleich; Dellin Betances
2010 EVERYDAY PROSPECTS: Jerry Corona; Jesus Montero; Eduardo Nunez; Brandon Laird
Hank Steinbrenner has been moved to the background and his bloviating is somewhat missed. No longer are there the similar explosions from Hank as younger brother Hal has taken over as the main and sane voice in overseeing the work of GM Brian Cashman.
Hal is more cold and businesslike in his approach and while that leads to a more stable organization, it’s nowhere near as much fun.
Cashman has taken control of the entire baseball operation. The ruthless decision to stay within a budget and not overspend to keep Johnny Damon; the adherence to a philosophy in the face of criticism and questioning is turning the Yankees into less of a circus and more of a business based on legitimate principles.
Rather than make the flashy signings to shore up the bullpen and bench with the likes of Mike Gonzalez and Mark DeRosa, Cashman chose instead to trade for Javier Vazquez, thereby leaving the fifth slot in the rotation as a competition between Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain with the loser becoming the set-up man for Mariano Rivera.
In years past, George Steinbrenner would’ve accepted nothing less than to keep the entire championship team together; and if that meant signing Hideki Matsui for more money than he was worth based on his blazing hot post-season and World Series MVP? Then fine.
If that meant giving in to Scott Boras’s unreasonably high demands for Damon because of a solid year and that classic at bat in game 4 of the World Series? Then that’s what would’ve happened. Money and draft picks would’ve been exchanged for flashy names to make the club even more of a favorite to defend their title. No plan would’ve been formulated nor adhered to and the club might’ve been worse off in the long run.
Cashman has taken the value of on base percentage and stat zombie principles to heart and they’re backed up by Yankee money. Is the signing of Nick Johnson a risk given his injury history? Is it a mistake to bring Javier Vazquez back to the scene of his career low as he got rocked in the fateful game seven of the 2004 ALCS to complete the Red Sox historic comeback from down 3 games to 0?
But Cashman made his decision and he’ll live with it. It also helps that the intention of going with Brett Gardner as a semi-regular is buttressed by the Yankees ability to make a trade at mid-season for another outfield bat if necessary.
After the World Series was over, all of manager Joe Girardi’s baseball-related sins were conveniently forgotten.
No longer was he the callow and occasionally clueless field boss who nearly singlehandedly cost his team the ALCS with inexplicable strategic decisions; he was the toast of the town. He’d brought a 27th World Series win to the Bronx and therefore, in many circles, could do no wrong. At the Canyon of Heroes celebration (I can hear the Venga Boys now as I type, even though I have no desire to hear the Venga Boys), Girardi floridly switched his uniform number from 27 to 28 to signify the goal of 2010a 28th championship.
In a silly example of useless publicity seeking, Girardi was invited to Jets camp by coach Rex Ryan to “teach” kamikaze quarterback Mark Sanchez how to slide to avoid getting injured. He did all the talk shows; he accepted all the credit.
But was it deserved?
Did Girardi actually do anything to warrant credit for the Yankees World Series win?
Joe Girardi does as he’s told by upper management and when he’s left to his own devices, he makes moves that defy logic. The biggest screw-up was the decision to yank David Robertson from game 3 of the ALCS against the Angels in favor of Alfredo Aceves. Apparently there was a reason for the decision in Girardi’s book of stats, but his book of stats failed to realize that Robertson was blowing away the Angels without problem. The Yankees were one run and three outs (to be recorded by Mariano Rivera) away from taking a 3-0 series lead; but Girardi’s decision to use