Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yankee Opportunity

With all the talk about the Yankees not being able to beat the Red Sox, there are just a couple of things that people fail to mention.  This is a quick post; we aren't trying to mention everything that is germane to this conversation... just a few points that should derail the mindless chatter about how the Red Sox own the Yankees...


2. The AL Central and AL West do not look like they have a Wild Card contender.

3. The Yankee team will look very different in four months, after midseason acquisitions and the potential move to the bullpen of Joba Chamberlain.  I'm  not arguing that he shouldn't be a starter, and he should be converted to relief right now.  He can be a starter his entire career if he keeps producing as he has been - preferably if HR's allowed improve.  Still, he should probably be a post-season reliever.  He's more qualified to go to the bullpen than Wang, and the Yankee playoff rotation should probably be Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte, with Wang as a long reliever and Hughes and Joba in the 7th and 8th.

Anyway, again, it doesn't matter.  Most of this is media fabricated drama.  I think the Yankees need to cherish their opportunity this evening to damage the Red Sox title hopes by way more than just the swing in the standings with a win.


No, I'm not suggesting they go all Jeff Gillooly on Jason Bay or Kevin Youkilis.  No, they have a unique opportunity to severely damage the trade value of Red Sox starting pitcher, Brad Penny.

As we mentioned in a post here a few days ago, it seems that the Red Sox cannot trade Brad Penny fast enough.  They cannot trade him until June 15th without his permission, so the results of tonight's start are critical to other teams' opinions of him.

Penny has been linked to rumors involving the Phillies' Jason Donald, Braves' Jeff Francoeur, and others.  Yankee fans, wouldn't you love to see the Red Sox get the worst possible deal?  They're compelled to trade him because they have John Smoltz coming back next week, while Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden wasting away in Pawtucket.

Let's see if the Yankees can be patient with Penny, make him up his pitch count, and capitalize on any mistakes he makes up in the zone.  Penny has been far from flawless this season (5.85 ERA, 1.60 WHIP), but this is a big game for him and his perceived value.

So, really Yankee fans, it doesn't matter if the Yanks win tonight.  I would just root for them to knock Penny out of the game before the 5th inning.  Of course, that's conducive to winning, but if someone Phil Coke,  Greg Robinson, or (gasp) Mariano Rivera blows the game late, try to keep everything in perspective.  New York City doesn't need to feel a Yankee panic, when they're still a strong bet to qualify for the tournament.

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