Quick, check your calender. OK it's still 2011. Yes, that was the theme of this offseason for your usual big spending, aggressive New York Yankees. I'm not sure if Hank and Hal Steinbrenner know what year it is, because they sure as hell don't know how to construct a team. If I didn't know any better I would of thought Tommy Boy was running this organization.
Acquisitions such as, Bartolo Colon, Mark Prior (still pitches apparently,) Eric Chavez, Rafael Soriano, Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, and David Cone (OK, kidding) would headline the key signings of this year's offseason class for a team that is generally noted for signing the best free agents that become available.
Against Brian Cashman's wishes, Hal Steinbrenner signed Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million contract, while surrendering the teams first-round pick in this June's amateur draft. Mixed feelings on this because even though the Yankees signed one of the best closers in the game, and presumably will be the heir apparent to the great Mariano Rivera, he's going to be their set-up man for at least the next two years.
First-round pick vs set-up man? I'm not so sure I'm sold on this. The Yanks will undoubtedly have the best bullpen in the league. I also like the move in the form of weakening your divisional opponent that has an abundance of youth and talent, to go along with successful seasons the last few years including a World Series trip in 2008.
It's hard not to think that a couple of 22-year-old basement dwellers playing MLB "The Show" 2011, couldn't do a better job then Hank and Hal putting together a team. I'm not sure if it's good for baseball having a couple of knuckleheads in charge of arguably the most popular organization in all of sports.
In fact George Steinbrenner choose his son-in-law to run the organization over Hank and Hal. I can't help but picture Hank and Hal being thrust into the role of Commodus in the movie Gladiator when George told them the news about how they will not be taking over as owners of the New York Yankees:
George: Hank and Hal,are you ready for your duty of the Yankees?
Hank/Hal: Yes, father.
George: You will not be owners of the New York Yankees.
Hank/Hal: Who will take our place?
George: Stephen Swindal (Son-in-law)
Hank/Hal: You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: wisdom, justice, fortitude and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none of them.
I'm not ruling out some kind of botched divorce case between Hank and Hal's sister Jennifer and Stephen Swindal, so they could take over the reigns! In all seriousness though, what state are the Yankees in moving forward with this duo at the helm?
I'd like to think the Yankees will be in the thick of things come the trade deadline and nab a pitcher another team is willing to dump for prospects, but I have a feeling that that pitcher will be in the mold of a Kevin Millwood type. Point is this, don't rule out anything.
The Yankees will be in the wild card race due to their offensive prowess, but unless they can trade for a legit pitcher come the trade deadline their ceiling isn't that high. The loss of Andy Pettitte will sting as well. Best case scenario is Pettitte comes back later in the season, and the Yanks trade for a legit number two starting pitcher.
Yankee fans, get ready for an interesting year. Hank and Hal haven't had to push the panic button yet and it may be scary when they are pushed into the situation. Somewhere George is turning in his grave.