Saturday, July 12, 2008

No easy fix for Yanks lineup

Another night, another lost game for the Yankees offense, which has quickly emerged as the crippling Achilles' heel that no one saw coming this season.

Seriously, take a look at what the Yankees have had to overcome so far this season. Their bullpen is patchwork leading up to Rivera, with low-level stopgaps Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth being depending upon in every close game. Meanwhile, Wang's injury devastated a starting rotation that's trying to squeeze by with journeymen and fat alcoholics. To the credit of all involved, the Yankees have thus far survived in both departments.

All of which makes the subpar production of the offense all the more maddening. This was suppose to be the compartment of the team that carried New York through thick and thin. Instead, it has emerged as the greatest weak spot with no easy answers to be had. Sure, Matsui and Damon are out, but you still have Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi, Posada, Cano and Abreu playing every day. How can this group look so limp? They didn't even have a chance last night against Roy Halladay (the game's top pitcher wasting away in Toronto by the way), getting shutout out for the second time in a week. They've now scored two runs or less in eight of their last 12 games. Are you kidding me?

Richie Sexson is not the answer. Good God no. If I wanted another over-the-hill one-dimensional first baseman, I'd give Steve Balboni a call. At least Bones would make a good sub in the clubhouse, Girardi's health codes be damned. This issue is bigger than one player ... it's the one part of the team that Cashman can't worry about trying to fix in the middle of a season.

The bullpen is one trade away from being potentially stabilized. The same can be said for the starting rotation. The same cannot be said for the offense, however. One trade won't elevate the group the way Abreu did when he came to the Yanks in 2006. This is a top-to-bottom call to action to players coasting on reputation right now. If the offense does indeed turn out to be as a poor as they've played up until this point, Yankees brass should know where to start when they blow things up in the offseason. Say goodbye to chugging vets like Abreu, Giambi, Damon and Matsui and get upgrades at center field and behind the plate.

In the words of a wise man named Bono, if things continue on this course it may be time to go away and dream it all up again.

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