Friday, November 6, 2015
THE GRASS ISN'T ALWAYS GREENER
Now that we have entered the off-season in MLB (congratulations to the Kansas City Royals) rumors have already begun swirling as to who the Yankees will pursue. What over-priced, past his prime, veteran will GM Brian Cashman be swayed to sign to a 3-to-5 year contract by the likes of Jon Heyman and Scott Boras?
Will he bring back Girardi’s favorite son Stephen Drew (the worst hitting regular second baseman in the history of the Yankees)? Will he open up the vault for David Price or Zack Greinke or Johnny Cueto?
Many have suggested that he should grab playoff-hero Daniel Murphy or Yoenis Cespedes.
I think we need a change in our business model.
There’s a saying that goes: “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, meaning that we tend to view things not ours as being better than what we have. That seems to be the case with the Yankees and those suggesting the numerous off-season signings. For instance, take the popular thought that the Bombers should seize the opportunity to sign Daniel Murphy.
Those that make the suggestion will tell you that second base has been a serious area of need for the team over the past two seasons. Only, what they seem to overlook is that once Drew was out of the picture, the team’s forced reliance upon Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder created a productive combo at second. From September 16th (when Drew stopped playing on regular basis) until the end of the season, the two “replacements” for WHSBIYH (Worst Hitting Second Baseman In Yankees History) hit a combined .303 with 4 HR, 11 RBI and 6 runs scored. We suddenly had a productive bottom of the order – not the automatic out that Drew represented. Would Murphy actually be an upgrade?
If so, would it be so much of an improvement to make the club’s investment in Refsnyder irrelevant?
At what point does our GM finally learn from what the Royals represent? The world champions feature a home-grown “core four” of Eric Hosmer (26), Mike Moustakas (27), Salvador Perez (26, and WS MVP), and “old man” Alex Gordon (31). The team has won the ALCS two consecutive years and that group - if kept together – will only continue to see success. They are what the Yankees once were – a team that believes in their prospects and gives them a legitimate chance to succeed.
It’s time for Cashman to stop using our minor league system as nothing more than a hatchery for deals that make our team older, and lower the potential for playing well into October. Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, Greg Bird and Luis Severino all proved they belonged in the Bronx during their limited opportunities in 2015. It should not take injury to open a door for players who showed during Spring Training their immense potential.
Refsnyder hit .385 over the final 2 weeks of the season, Heathcott hit .400, including .421 in the five games Joe Girardi allowed him to play from start to finish, Bird proved to be just as productive as the player he replaced (Mark Teixeira), and Severino was arguably the team’s best starter from the moment he was called up.
The Yankees desperately need to change their philosophy, or we may only continue to see other teams create eras that we once held the patent on. Let’s give the “Baby Bombers” mentioned above – who have already proven themselves, as well as others who reportedly are on the cusp of breaking out (Aaron Judge comes to mind) a REAL chance at becoming the new identity of the New York Yankees. Instead of quickly signing veterans (often past their peaks) this winter, let’s believe in what we have and inject the energy and potential at our fingertips. Sure, some may fail, but you won’t know that without giving it a shot. Often we become mesmerized by what lies on the other side of the fence without realizing the beauty of the ground we already stand on. For once, let’s open our eyes and understand that their grass isn’t always greener.
--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
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