From today's PTI:Michael Wilbon: Let's start with the obvious place: Bobby Abreu going from the Phillies to the Yankees. Does this make George Steinbrenner and his boys the favorite (sic) in the American League?
Richard Justice: Well, I think yes ... they've got enough to win this year. You know what, they've shown this year, with all these guys -- Matsui, Sheffield -- out, they have a winning culture. You cannot (emphasis his) give Joe Torre enough credit for what he's created there ... Mike, if you look at the box scores in Yankee games in the last couple of weeks, you go whoa! These are the New York Yankees? And yet they're right there. They probably would be the favorite simply because they (nervous laugh) are winners. They, they, they (nervous stammer) believe they are gonna win every day.
Richard Justice, dear Lord. First off, let me reproduce in part an email I received from my friend Ken Tremendous earlier today:
I am the 2006 New York Yankees! Here is my line-up:
CF Johnny Damon. $13 million.
SS Derek Jeter. $19 million.
1B Jason Giambi. $18 million.
DH Gary Sheffield. $13 million.
RF Bobby Abreu. $13 million.
3B Alex Rodriguez. $25 million.
LF Hideki Matsui. $13 million.
C Jorge Posada. $9 million
2B Robinson Cano. $381 thousand.
(Total for starting nine position players: $123 million. More than the Red
Sox' 25 man-roster.)
How is this relevant? Well, when you have a lineup of players worth $123 million, and you lose $26 million worth of player, you still have a pretty fucking good lineup
. The crazy patchwork lineups the Yankees have been trotting out there, full of (I'm not the good) M. Cabreras, A. Guiels, (the wrong) B. Crosbys, and A. Phillipses, are still anchored by the very expensive Misters Jeter, Rodriguez and Giambi, to say nothing of the fairly expensive Senors Damon and Posada. Spare me the what-a-goddamn-hero-Joe-Torre-is routine. The lineup at the beginning of the year was lethal -- a mockery of the game of baseball, in fact. No "winning culture" accounted for its ability to withstand the loss of two of its better hitters -- and not, I might add, its two best.
You want to know why the Yankees are hanging tough in the AL East and perhaps should be considered the favorites in the AL with the addition of Abreu? I mean, you want a better reason than "they believe they are gonna win every day"? It's the better-than-expected performances they've gotten out of Mussina and Wang (ERAs of 3.40 and 3.77, respectively) and the ho-hum dominance of Rivera (WHIP of 0.96). And the $123 million lineup that surprise! survived the loss of two guys to injury.
The Yankees have the largest payroll in baseball. The Yankees have the best talent in baseball. This is a recording.
P.S. Richard Justice pronounces "Abreu" "Abre-who," which I find funny.
Labels: michael wilbon, pti, richard justice, yankees