Hank Steinbrenner: Blame the Injuries

Ben ErnstCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2008

Injuries happen, folks.

As the Yankees sit behind the rival Red Sox and the once-pitiful Rays, Hank Steinbrenner feels a need to continue to point fingers.

"I think it's very simple, we've been devastated by injuries. No team I've ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team," Steinbrenner said. "Imagine the Red Sox without Josh Beckett and John Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can't lose two guys like that."

The problem is Hank, every time you point a finger, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself. It's called foresight.

In the offseason, you don't build a team with five starting pitchers. You build a team with at least seven starters, so that you can better handle the injury bug.

One example being the Angels, who traded shortstop Orlando Cabrera to the White Sox for starter John Garland in the offseason. This gave the Angels six very strong starting pitchers. Turns out they needed them, after Kelvim Escobar was dealt possibly a career-ending injury, and ace John Lackey was out for the first month of the season.

After Wang was injured running the bases in an interleague game, the Yanks had vacancy at the top of their rotation, and decided to move Joba Chamberlain to the rotation, basically throwing the "Joba rules" out the window. Turns out those rules were put in place for good reason, as Joba recently went down with shoulder tendonitis.

As for stating that he hasn't seen any team in baseball being this decimated by injuries, my first reaction is to fall over laughing. Besides the aforementioned Angels, the A's, the Cardinals, and probably more teams have been just as devastated or more so by injuries this year.

Suck it up, Hank. The Yankees have done pretty well avoiding the injury bug until this season, so feel fortunate. Injuries are a part of baseball.

Maybe Brian Cashman will remember that this offseason.