We all know that the Yankees have another solid team heading into the 2011 baseball season. However, there is a reason why they are not the favorites this season and it is much bigger than failing to get Cliff Lee and barely attempting to get now new Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford.
The Yankees still have a powerful lineup especially when clicking all at once. They have a much improved bullpen as they signed Pedro Feliciano and Rafael Soriano. They are finally heading into a spring training where they will give Jesus Montero and Austin Romine a big chance to make the Major League squad. Of course as we all know only one can make it.
They have Damaso Marte coming back from injury to give them a viable second left handed reliever to bring out of the bullpen along with Feliciano. Though they did lose Andy Pettitte to retirement, they have two front line starters in C.C Sabathia and Phil Hughes along A.J Burnett who believe it or not will rebound in 2011 to have his usual 14 or 15 win season.
Now, of course Burnett will have games where he makes you want to throw and break something. But, on the positive side, he will also have those spectacular outings that will make you wonder, why with a curveball like he possesses is he not one of the greatest pitchers in the game?
That's the good side of the Yankees as a whole. The bad side—well we all know what it is. They have mediocre pitching at the 4th and 5th starting rotation spots. Their bench is okay at best and some might say that Derek Jeter's defense is another issue. But frankly that is ridiculous. When Jeter is hitting well the media says he is playing great defense and when he is batting .260 like he was last season his defense is a "liability".
It is to be expected that this team will not look the same when we get into the dog days of August and September because of the two glaring holes on the bench and in the starting rotation. That is the beauty of of having rich bosses who will undoubtedly invest money in a starter and some bench help by the July 31st trade deadline.
With that said, the biggest concern with this Yankee team is Joe Girardi. The truth is that though they are not the favorite to win it all this season the Yankees have a really good shot. It is up to Girardi to not mess it up and to help this team overcome all the flaws that they have this season. That is what good managers do.
Thankfully this writer is willing to help.
Now, it is well known that managing from your living room couch when you are not in the public eye, and criticizing from the outside looking in is much easier than being one of only 30 major league managers. Not to mention that a Yankee manager works for an organization that has no patience for not winning it all.
But eh! I decided to do it anyway.
Here is how the 2011 Yankees should be managed from starting pitching, to the lineup, the bullpen, the bench and defense.