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Sunday, March 17, 2013

NY Times:  Sandomir: The End of the World as the Yankees Knew It

The greatest decline-and-fall stories involve the mightiest empires. Ancient Greece. Rome. The borscht belt.

In the mid-1960s, it was the Yankees’ turn to collapse while the rest of baseball delighted in their misfortune. The Yankees not only lost the pennant, to echo the Douglass Wallop novel that was adapted into “Damn Yankees,” they fell down and died.

They had just played in five consecutive World Series and won two of them, in 1961 and 1962. But in 1965, they suddenly finished sixth, with just 77 victories. The next season, when few thought it could get worse, it did, with the Yankees tumbling into last place beneath teams like the Kansas City Athletics, whom the Yankees often strip-mined for talent as if they owned them….

If this is the year the Yankees really, truly stumble for the first time in a very long time, the YES Network, where a sub-.500 Yankees campaign has never been televised, let alone imagined, might lose its moorings. On radio, John Sterling might have to tone down his contrived home run calls….

As the newly hired Russian doorman at a Park Avenue apartment building said in 1920, “I never thought it could happen to me.”

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, yankees

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   1. bobm Posted: March 17, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4389962)
But in 1965, they suddenly finished sixth, with just 77 victories.

Yanks Have No Problems, Says New Manager Keane
Reading Eagle (UPI)- Mar 26, 1965 [...]
At the most there are only three positions open on the 1965 team and they are not in starting roles.


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=qQ0rAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kpoFAAAAIBAJ&dq=march 1965 yankees&pg=2584,5581168
   2. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4389981)
Been under a rock--how come the Yankees aren't spending?
   3. ajnrules Posted: March 17, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4389984)
Been under a rock--how come the Yankees aren't spending?

They're trying to get their payroll below the luxury tax minimum by 2014 to reset the tax rate.
   4. Swedish Chef Posted: March 17, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4389985)
Been under a rock--how come the Yankees aren't spending?

They can save fifty million or more if they have a payroll under the tax threshold next year (they become eligible for revenue sharing refunds and the tax rate is reset to the one for first-time offenders).
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4389987)
the news keeps getting worse


from the link:
The injury that will keep New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira out of the lineup until May at the earliest is not a wrist strain, as originally reported, but a partially torn tendon sheath that could potentially require season-ending surgery.

As of now, the Yankees are still expecting Teixeira to heal without needing an operation and to rejoin the club after about 8-10 weeks of healing time.

But Teixeira, who arrived at spring camp Sunday morning with his right wrist in a cast-like splint and will rehab there for the rest of the spring, raised the possibility that his absence could be longer than that.

   6. frannyzoo Posted: March 17, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4389988)
Personally, I won't be happy until the scene around the NYS resembles the Tower Card from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Still, news of Teixeira's wrist tendon sheath and other jolly information has definitely put a bounce in my schadenfreudish step.

Edit: Shasta on sale for Pasta beating me on the sheath news.
   7. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4389996)
3 & 4: Thanks. Seems to mean that this ugly roster is likely a one-time event. Is that right?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4390004)
3 & 4: Thanks. Seems to mean that this ugly roster is likely a one-time event. Is that right?

No it promises to be even uglier next year. 2015 is when they'll start big-time spending again.
   9. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4390010)
Oh, right, after 2014. Thanks Walt.
   10. Dan Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4390012)
No, it means they'll be cutting even more corners next year to squeeze under the luxury tax line.

If Teixeira really has a torn sheath, I'm surprised he isn't just getting surgery. Even Ortiz took several seasons to get his power and bat speed back after skipping surgery for a similar injury. I can't recall a player with this kind of injury doing well with just rehab. Isn't this the injury that resulted in Bautista getting surgery at the end of last season?

A torn sheath does better explain Cashman's attempts to sign guys like Lee and Chipper though. They're going to have to make some kind of trade to shore up first base now though; Dan Johnson and Juan Rivera can't possibly last the season as the solution at 1B. I guess theoretically they could bridge the gap until Rodriguez returns and pushes Youkilis across the diamond, but even expecting one of Tex or ARod to make it back for most of the season seems foolish at this point.
   11. Dan Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4390013)
Looks like Walt made my first point while I was writing my longer reply.
   12. Repoz Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4390014)
"lesser performers like...Horace Clarke." (sigh) #### Bobby Richardson and the halo he rode out on.
   13. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4390015)
Rebuilding year! When should they start trading off the likes of Kuroda, Pettitte and Mariano Rivera? The All-Star break?
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4390020)
I want to dance on the Yankees' grave as much as any right-thinking human, but the last several years have taught me to wait until around September 1 before deciding to lace up the dancing shoes.
   15. Delorians Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4390021)
and I feel fine.
   16. catomi01 Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4390024)
let sabathia DH and put hafner at first...whats the worst that could happen?
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4390027)
Wait, I thought we were all supposed to say that the Yankees will always win 85-90 games, just because "they're the Yankees". But then that Russian nobleman in 1916 couldn't have imagined that just a few years later he'd be opening apartment doors or driving a New York cab for a living. #### happens and it can happen to anyone.

   18. Dan Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4390031)
Hafner doesn't even own a glove. He won't be playing any first base in any scenario.
   19. cmd600 Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4390032)
Wait, I thought we were all supposed to say that the Yankees will always win 85-90 games, just because "they're the Yankees". But then that Russian nobleman in 1916 couldn't have imagined that just a few years later he'd be opening apartment doors or driving a New York cab for a living. #### happens and it can happen to anyone.


When it comes to the Yankees, I wont believe it until I actually see it, and they actually tally loss #82. Which still wouldnt necessarily mark a bad season.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4390041)
When it comes to the Yankees, I wont believe it until I actually see it, and they actually tally loss #82. Which still wouldnt necessarily mark a bad season.

I've seen it happen before, and it's not in the Constitution that it can't happen again, even though there should be a law against it. But you can't just put pinstripes on a claiming horse and expect him to show in the Kentucky Derby.
   21. bunyon Posted: March 17, 2013 at 05:05 PM (#4390046)
But you can't just put pinstripes on a claiming horse and expect him to show in the Kentucky Derby.

Right. The Yankees gain their dominance via money. So, if they aren't spending, they aren't the Yankees.


It's the Cardinal uniform that turns claiming horses into Derby winners.
   22. 'Spos stares out the window, waits for spring Posted: March 17, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4390048)
"Poor Grendel's had an accident ... So may you all."
   23. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 17, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4390114)
But in 1965, they suddenly finished sixth, with just 77 victories. The next season, when few thought it could get worse, it did, with the Yankees tumbling into last place

And yet, the '66 Yankees weren't a bad team at all; they were a .500 team (outscored 612-611) with horrible luck (-9 Pyth, 15-38 in one-run games). They had no obvious holes and the pitching staff wasn't bad, 5th in runs allowed. With a few young guys like Roy White and Steve Whitaker and Mel Stottlemeyer, that should've been something to build on.

Then in 1967, everybody got old and/or forgot how to play baseball. They brought in guys like Jake Gibbs and Ruben Amaro. That was a bad team, folks: 72-90 (which was actually 4 games ahead of their Pythagorean!). They returned to respectability in '68, and actually won 93 games in 1970 -- which would've made them contenders if the Orioles weren't blowing out the league with 108 wins. Not til the mid-70s would the Yankees return to the top of the heap.

You know all this talk about how it's good for the WBC that the USA isn't winning it? Maybe it would be better for baseball if the Yankees were out of the chase for awhile. Have them play mediocre baseball until 2020 or so, then they can re-load with the next generation of stars.
   24. OsunaSakata Posted: March 17, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4390125)
I want to dance on the Yankees' grave as much as any right-thinking human, but the last several years have taught me to wait until around September 1 before deciding to lace up the dancing shoes.


This dancing on the Yankees grave has been stuck in my head. I wish I had artistic talent to draw the rest of the AL East mascots doing just that, but that would only work if the Yankees finish in last. Despite their troubles, I think the Red Sox and Orioles are more likely to finish last than the Yankees.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: March 17, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4390150)
Sabathia
Kuroda
Pettite

Rivera
Robertson

Cano
Gardner
Youk (Hey it's baseball, he could bounce back.)
Ichiro (see above)

I think there are a lot of teams who would like to have these problems.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4390156)
Sabathia (32, coming off surgery)
Kuroda (38)
Pettite (41)

Rivera (43, coming off surgery)
Robertson (28)

Cano (30)
Gardner (29, coming off an injury that took nearly a whole season to shake)
Youk (Hey it's baseball, he could bounce back.) (34)
Ichiro (see above) (39)

I think there are a lot of teams who would like to have these problems.


The average age of that little list is 35, with 4 of the 9 between 38 and 43. Nothing could ever go wrong there.

IMO the Yanks' main hope is that somehow Hughes, Nova, Phelps, Joba and Pineda all pitch up to their full capabilities, and pray that they don't need to pitch shutouts every third day in order to win. At least those five aren't about to join the AARP.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4390331)
Looks like Walt made my first point while I was writing my longer reply.

The odds on that were about a billion to one.
   28. villageidiom Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4390378)
Youk (Hey it's baseball, he could bounce back.) (34)
Youk will hit well, if healthy. But he won't be healthy.
   29. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4390430)
Oneofus...oneofus...oneofus...oneofus...

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