From the desk of: BLAME CARLOS MAY
First stop ... Roosevelt Avenue, Queens
Next stop ... River Avenue, Bronx
New York Yankees
New York Mets
Series tied 1-1
I - NYY 6; NYM 5*
II - NYM 7 ; NYY 1
Game Three @ BRONX
Game Four @ BRONX
A famous New York football coach once said, "You are what your record says you are."
The New York Yankees entered this year's Subway Series with a par 52-52 record.
Meanwhile, after posting a 15-7 record in April, the Mets have played below .500 baseball since. There's hope, though. After Sunday's victory over the Colorado Rockies, the Mets finished 13-13 for the month of July, and entered Monday's Subway Series opener with a 54-50 season record.
The teams, however, couldn't be headed in more opposite directions. The Mets are struggling, but are nonetheless attempting to defend their National League title, while the Yankees have officially entered rebuilding mode.
Monday's numerous non-waiver trade deadline transactions confirmed that.
If you ask me, Hal Steinbrenner played this one correctly. I began the season thinking Brian Cashman needed to be fired, and the only thing saving his employment was Hal's perceived lack of baseball experience on my part.
I still do not think Hal is prepared to move forward without Cashman, but having them operating on the same page of music trumps all ... to include Randy Levine.
* * * The PHANTOM MENACE * * *
The law of diminished returns caught up with the Yankees. It happens. But one must first recognize the situation for what it is.
It was indeed becoming painfully evident Randy Levine and Brian Cashman were on divergent paths with regards to the present state of the Yankees, and the club's future. Now Cashman gets to be general manager, and do general manager stuff. For a change, the Yankees will cultivate their own farm system instead of relying on 28 other team's developmental efforts.
He gets to rebuild a team a la Gene Michael, instead of just writing checks for other team's all-stars and jacking up YES ratings.
In fact, Brian Cashman has already done well to quietly reinvigorate a long dormant system. The Yankees AAA affiliate (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders) presently owns the best record in the International League. Their AA affiliate (Trenton Thunder) owns a 68-40 record, and their New York-Penn League affiliate (Staten Island Yankees) are just 1.5 games out of first place with a 24-19 record.
Then consider Cashman's transactions:
- Top relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller were traded to the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, respectively, for a clutch of highly touted prospects.
- Carlos Beltran was traded to the Texas Rangers for likewise highly touted Dillon Tate, among others.
- Ivan Nova was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for ... it doesn't matter (two players to be named later is a steal).
Alex Rodriguez' contract will finally expire after the 2017 season, but I have a strong belief the Yankees just may eat that money too.
That leaves Jacoby Ellsbury's pact as the lone remaining albatross to resolve.
There's certainly something to be said for winning. Brian Cashman doled out nearly a half billion dollars to purchase the 2009 World Series. Well worth it for the Core Four - without a doubt.
The Yankees have been paying an onerous price ever since.
But there's good news. Better days are not that far away.
Head-Butting Mr. Met is next...