$203 million doesn’t go as far as it used to

I may have figured out the Yankees’ problem. It begins, of course, with George Steinbrenner. But I think the crux of the issue is that George gets his ideas from the wrong newspaper.

Note this 2003 article (apologies to the original site, which had trouble loading when I searched for this story today). I think George saw that and, instead of laughing, thought, “What a great idea!”

Trading for Alex Rodriguez may have worked for my buddy who won our fantasy league this year, but it hasn’t done anything for the Yankees in two seasons. That’s not totally fair, despite what the drunk Yankee fans were saying on the news last night, because this year’s team still lacked solid pitching come the postseason. Granted, the Yankees’ vaunted lineup couldn’t hit much in the past five games — but neither could the best lineup in the game, and those Red Sox were swept.

If Bernie Williams leaves for another team in the off-season, there goes another player who owns a World Series ring. Unless I’m forgetting someone, that will leave Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera as the only regulars on the roster who were there in 2000 — nevermind 1996, when this run truly began (otherwise known as the Joe Torre Era). I guess Tino Martinez would deserve conditional recognition, having left and returned, but I doubt he’d be a regular next year anyway.

Since I love pointing out coincidences that don’t really mean anything but are otherwise fun to note, the last time the Yankees beat a one-time New York team (that is, the last time they beat the Dodgers or Giants in the World Series, even after those two National League franchises had moved to California), they didn’t win the Series again for 18 years. Yet, with the way the Yankees spend, I don’t expect them to go until 2018 before their next title. Somewhere around 2009 would be about right, seeing as how they haven’t won the Series while a Republican is president since 1958.

* * *

Angels in five.
White Sox in five.
Cardinals in four.
Astros in four.

Those were my predictions for the four Division Series matchups. I was 4-for-4 on winners, had two series pegged perfectly and another off by one game. For the LCS, I went with the Angels in six and the Cardinals in seven, but I’m a little worried about that ALCS choice. While in some cases, I’d wonder if the layoff will take Chicago off its game, but considering the Angels’ New York-to-Anaheim-to-Chicago travel from Sunday through this morning, the fact that they lost Bartolo Colon in the second and that they had to go with two relievers on top of long man Ervin Santana — I have to hope they can salvage one of these two games on the road to have a decent shot at this series. As for the Astros and Cardinals, I’m expecting a series just as exciting as last year’s and Sunday’s Game 4 win over the Braves. It will be intense.

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