By Bryan Jeon
After an 11-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday, the New York Yankees (8-13) lost their seventh straight game. There are only two teams in the entire league worse than the Yankees right now. Not better, worse (the 7-16 Kansas City Royals and the 8-15 Washington Nationals). The Yankees are 0-4 against their longtime division rival this season-an extreme rarity-and the recurring story lately has been Alex Rodriguez‘s hot start of 27 runs, 14 homeruns, 34 RBI and a .365 BA all going to waste with every loss.
They have given up at least six runs in each of their last eight games, and that’s something that even one of the best offenses in the league can’t overcome. You can place the excuses on the injury-plagued rotation, but explain to me why a supposedly healthy Mariano Rivera has given up nine earned runs in his last 2 2/3 innings pitched. The Yankees are the only team who have not recorded a single save this season; all other teams have at least three saves.
Yes, it’s still April, but the Yankees should have something to worry about. They sit last in the AL East, and they’re fully aware that the other teams have been doing a lot of revamping the last couple of years to be competitors in the division again. And who’s the easiest one to point the finger at? You guessed it. Manager Joe Torre.
Forget that he’s the longest-tenured manager under owner George Steinbrenner, taking over the managing role since 1995. Forget that he’s led them to the playoffs every single year. Forget that he’s led them to four championships. Forget all that. This is Torre’s last year on his contract, and you’ve got to believe Torre is in hot water to even finish out the year with the fickle fans of New York. With a major league-leading $195 million payroll (the Red Sox are second with $142 million), Steinbrenner has reason to be low on patience. What’s on his mind is that he hasn’t won the damn thing since the year 2000.
A quick recap of the activities in the past two years in the AL East is cause for concern. Teams are no longer afraid of throwing out the cash and realize it’s a necessity to grab the big players needed to compete:
- The Boston Red Sox (15-7) have been spending the most money to attempt to keep up with the team with seemingly infinite money, winning the biggest bid of the offseason, dishing out $103 million for six years on Daisuke Matsuzaka in addition to five-years, $70 million on J.D. Drew.
- The Toronto Blue Jays (11-11) two years ago acquired Troy Glaus to four-years, $45 million, A.J. Burnett to five-years, $55 million and Lyle Overbay to four-years, $24 million and Frank Thomas this year to two-years, $18 million.
- The Baltimore Orioles (11-12) spent $42 million on their bullpen alone this offseason, granting three-year deals to former closer Danyz Baez, Jamie Walker and submariner Chad Bradford. Two years ago, they snagged Kris Benson for 3-years, $22 million and this year, Jaret Wright for 3-years, $21 million.
|Top AL Bullpens Record ERA Sv
Red Sox 2-0 2.28 8
Blue Jays 2-4 2.86 7
Orioles (7) 4-3 3.66 6
Yankees (9) 4-6 4.13 0
Maybe this is the difference in the standings right now:
It’s evidential that the more the bullpen has needed to pitch, the more decisions they were going to record and the higher their ERA would be. To solve that though, is much easier said than done and Torre’s really going to have to pull one out of his ass this time to save his career in New York.
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