First it's Xavier Nady not knowing his job was up for grabs, and then A-Rod admitted to doing steroids in '03 (I will defend him a bit—that never should have been known). Then A-Rod again, out for a while with a hip issue. What's next? Who's the next "big Yankee" to have issues?
I see A.J. Burnett being the first visitor to the DL (common sense—he's not going to make it the whole year). I won't include CC Sabathia. I think he'll have a great year, until the playoffs...then he'll fall on his face (naw, his belly might stop him) just like he always has.
I see a major logjam at DH this year, with Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada (not going to do more than 60 games catching), Nick Swisher/Nady (platooning OF and DH), Johnny Damon (I see a bit of DH outta him), and probably a couple other guys here and there.
As long as there are no "2008 Wang freak things," I think the pitching will work out.
DEREK JETER...This is the time with A-Rod going down for a bit for him to be a "team guy/captain," as in do what's best for the team and move to third. I'll give him all the credit for what he does every game, but year after year he's been losing range at SS to the point that he shouldn't have gotten a Gold Glove or All-Star vote for the past couple years.
Jeter should take a lesson from a Hall of Fame SS (Cal Ripken Jr.)—there is no shame in changing positions, and it might even prolong your career a few years.
All in all, the Nady/Swisher thing is going to cause issues, A-Rod's steroids/injury issues are going to be a factor, and Jeter is WAY too arrogant to bow down and say, "Maybe I really can't play SS as well as someone else on the team."
Plus Joe Girardi totally SUCKS as a manager—maybe not on all clubs, but NY needs a Joe Torre/Lou Piniella/Tony La Russa type manager as long as the Steinbrenner boys let them do their job and stay out of the "on the field" things.
These are just a few more reasons the Yankees will not make the playoffs.