Tuesday, August 5, 2008


BASEBALL FANS, myself included, are prone to overreaction. It’s a long season, but some defeats are tougher than others.

Some pundits are describing the New York Yankees’ 9-5 reverse to the Texas Rangers last night as “The Day The Season Died.”

Not just because the Yanks lost a game they should have won but because they also lost their talisman, Joba Chamberlain, with a shoulder injury.

Just how serious the problem is should be revealed by hospital tests later today. The best-case scenario is that the heartbeat of the pitching rotation misses only one start.

The worst: that the injury is more severe and the Yanks are forced to shut Joba down for the season.

One thing is for sure: they can’t afford to take any chances, even though their play-off hopes are fading.

The man with the golden arm represents the future of the organization. The Yanks are banking on him being their pitching ace for years to come. That’s why they won’t put short-term gain at the risk of long-term loss.

With both the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox losing last night, this was a great opportunity for the Yanks to narrow the gap at the top of the American League East. Once again, they failed to take it.

Defeat snaps 10-game winning streak in Arlington

The Yankees have “owned” the Rangers in recent years, winning 10 successive games in Arlington. Now they’ve lost three out of four to a team that hits well but can’t pitch. Now that sounds familiar!

One of the reasons why the Yanks are where they are now is that they’ve failed to dominate the so-called inferior teams, the last-placed Baltimore Orioles (5-7) being a prime example. 

That means they’re now playing catch-up against teams with winning records…and last night’s defeat was a dreadful way to start a 10-game road trip.

I said before the start of the season that this could be the year the Yanks finally fail to make it to October. And I have to agree that if Joba is ruled out for any length of time, it will be mission impossible.

How many injuries to your pitching staff can you survive? Chien-Ming Wang is probably done for the year and by the time Phil Hughes is ready to return, the season could be over.

I’m not even entertaining the thought of Carl Pavano – the man now known as American Idol – making a contribution. After two rehab starts, he must be due another breakdown.

Manager Joe Girardi has already confirmed Dan Giese will start in place of Darrell Rasner in Los Angeles on Friday. Now it seems likely he will have to recall the out-of-favor Ian Kennedy too.

As I stated in yesterday’s blog, you write the New York Yankees off at your peril, But, right now, those who maintain they will still make the play-offs are basing that belief on history and blind faith.

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