Found February 21, 2013 on
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter will turn 39 this season.
The sarcastic answer is, no, the Yankees are already ‘old.’ As their roster is constructed now, they rank as the third oldest team in the league with an average age of 28.3, and have the oldest player in Baseball—congratulations Mariano. But is this the year age finally affects the team enough to bounce them from the playoffs? We have been hearing it for two-plus years now; that this is the year the Yankees’ age will catch up to them. That a younger and more athletic team will outlast the veteran Yankees over a 162 game season. That Derek Jeter can’t possibly last an entire year at shortstop and Mariano Rivera will finally have a bad year at age 40, 41, 42, and now 43. Everyone knows Teixeira is on the backside of his career and is overpaid, and Alex Rodriguez is—well, I won’t touch on that one.
But is this the year it finally happens? The Blue Jays are much improved and actually picked by some to win the AL East. The Orioles made a run at the Yankees last season and should be better this year. (Actually, the Orioles are poised to finish closer to last place than first. In 2012, the O’s were 29-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra-inning games. Those are both statistical anomalies, and will be closer to .500 this season which will put them in the middle of the pack.) Jeter is one year older and coming off an ankle injury and Mariano hasn’t pitched in a year. Teixeira always gets off to bad starts and one of these years he won’t rebound, right? The Yankees lost Swisher and replaced him with a 39-year old who relies on his legs. A-Rod is—nope, still not going there…
The easy answer to this question is time will tell; but I don’t think this is the year the Yankees fall apart because of age, and here’s why:
The Yankees have overcome age, injury, and poor performance time and time again over the past couple of seasons. Derek Jeter had a down year—by his standards—in 2010, followed by a terrible start and a calf injury in 2011 before rebounding after 3,000. Mariano Rivera pitched in only 9 games last season and the team still managed to tally 51 saves. Mark Teixeira has looked, well old, at times over the past three years but has still averaged 101 RBIs over that time. Alex Rodriguez—okay, I’ll touch on it this time since it supports my argument—missed a month to start the ’09 season and the Yankees went on to win the World Series that year.
What does all of this mean for the Yankees in 2013? It means the Yankees will have to continue to count on roster and minor-league depth to overcome age, injuries, and poor performance by cornerstone guys. If this year is like every other season for every other team in Major League Baseball, the Yankees will encounter a mix of those issues. And when they do, players like Brett Gardner—no stranger to injuries himself—will have to step up. Phil Hughes, already sidelined this Spring with a back injury, will have to be closer to his 18 win 2010 season than his baffling 2011 season. Newcomers like Kevin Youkilis will have to fill A-Rod’s absence and the bench will need a timely boost from guys like Travis Hafner and Eduardo Nunez as it did from guys like Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. And, probably most importantly, Robinson Cano will need to be the Yankees’ best everyday player from the start of the season through October.
I have enough confidence in the Yankees and enough skepticism in the rest of the division to firmly say that this will not be the year age catches up with the Yankees.
What do you say, Yankees fans?
BEST OF MAXIM
At age 38 New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter time in the major leagues is coming to an end soon. While many had begun to write him off before this previous season, Jeter responded with batting .316 over the course of the season. A number many had assumed Jeter could never reach again.
But father time has never lost a battle and Jeter will eventually need to hang up the cleats...
The New York Yankees had a strong regular season in 2012 as they won 95 games and the AL East pennant by 2 games over Baltimore. Joe Girardi’s team snuck past the Orioles in the ALDS in a full 5-game series. All of those warm, fuzzy feelings were quickly evaporated though as they scored just 6 runs in a 4-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers.
New York had a +136 run differential...
TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees closer Mariano Rivera did more than throw on Friday. He also called balls and strikes.
The 43-year old Rivera threw 25 pitches in his first batting practice session since knee surgery last year and said he was happy with the results.
“It feels great to be on the mound,” said Rivera, who expects to throw BP one or two more times. “Basically, just wanted...
According to Andy McCullough of The Star Ledger via twitter, Phil Hughes will be shutdown for almost a week due to a bulging disc.
Hughes experienced stiffness in his upper back toward his shoulder blade, and underwent an MRI. Today at media day at the Yankees’ Spring Training complex, Hughes revealed the diagnosis.
He originally aggrivated his back during infield drills while...
New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes will join Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson on the disabled list for the start of the season.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced the decision Wednesday after watching Hughes pitch in his second minor league exhibition game since returning from a bulging disk in his upper back.
Hughes is expected to miss his...
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has thrown 18 pitches in his first simulated game since knee surgery last year.
The 43-year old Rivera pitched one inning against Yankees' minor-league players on Thursday. He also fielded bunts and covered first base.
Rivera pitched in nine games last year, his season ending when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while tracking...
Brett Gardner was sorely missed in 2012.
The Bronx Bombers. A name that has always been appropriate when talking about the New York Yankees and their propensity for hitting the long ball. However, 2013 might be more Bronx Bunters than Bronx Bombers.
Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch, but do not expect this team to resemble teams of years past. The Yankees have finished 1st...
Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America
I was doing a mock draft with a buddy last night, and he had the fourth overall pick. This is probably the most interesting pick in the entire draft assuming Trout, Braun, and Miggy go one-two-three in some order. The fourth pick can go any number of ways. There are several excellent outfielders who offer a power/speed combo like Andrew McCuthcen...
An Open Letter to Yankee owners Hal and Hank Steinbrenner:Dear Billionaires,Recently, in some Byzantine clown court, the New York Yankees secured the legal trademark rights to the marketing name "Evil Empire." Meanwhile, General Manager Brian Cashman was said to be trolling through the Yankee facilities, eying the hair on players' chins the way Lindsay Lohan scans for...
It’s a good thing his new teammates have a good sense of humor.
Kevin Youkilis, who recently told the media that he’ll “always be a Red Sox,” entered camp earlier this month with his new Yankee teammates. While there was some ribbing going on, Youk told the YES Network that he and his fellow Yanks were able to laugh off his comments and any other “non-stories” that came...
I guess New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hasn’t said this enough, Kyle Lohse will not be pitching for the Bombers in 2013. With Phil Hughes recent shoulder injury though he was asked the question and forced to answer it once again.
This is why the Yankees are fishing around for a veteran to put at Triple-A (they plan to watch Chien-Ming Wang in the World Baseball...
Look we wish Kevin Youkilis all the best. After all he was a rock for the Boston Red Sox for a long time.
And while some will harbor resentment for his signing with the Red Sox's most hated rival, the New York Yankees, I personally hope he does well, just not against the Sox.
But still, there's so much wrong with this picture.
First off, it's Youk in...
These are the guys who get the power hitter to swing through the last pitch of the World Series. They go toe-to-toe with Derek Jeter in the 8th. Challenge Roberto Clemente with high heat in the 9th. Get called in to face Jim Rice with the bases juiced and the game on the line. When their teams are in a jam, they never decline the ball.The Closer.Some are anonymous. Some are infamous...