As the off-season draws to a close, the hype surrounding the 2009 New York Yankees grows larger with each passing day. Whether it is A-rod and his drug scandal, or Edwar Ramirez's possible tendinitis (hopefully he is okay), the Yankees are surrounded by negative PR; in fact the only positive news about the Yankees is their "amazing" off season signings. I have heard people all over New York City talk about the Yankees winning the world series. As a Yankee fan, there is nothing I would love more than to see the Bombers' drought end, but are CC and A.J. giving us too much hope?
Unfortunately the answer is yes.
Because Burnett has not had much practice pitching in big games during his career with the Blue Jays, how can we expect him to hold up under all of the pressure of wearing pinstripes? We all know that he has consistent numbers, but that means nothing in New York. A prime example of this is A-Rod. When he came over from the Texas Rangers in 2004, he was flying high. He had just come off of a record breaking year, and it looked as though nothing could stop him. Although in 2004 he had over 100 RBIs, he was hitting well under his career average (.286 vs. .304), and maybe even costing the Yankees in their ALCS nightmare. Will A.J. come in and pull an A-rod? How will he handle the media who will scrutinize his every move? Unfortunately, he might take it onto the mound, causing him to have a shaky start to the 2009 season.
Next we have the 161 million dollar man. After signing the biggest contract for a pitcher in MLB history, will CC prove that he is worth the $5,714.28 PER PITCH? How can a man live up to those standards especially in a big city like New York? It is my belief that CC will have a great year next year, maybe even a Cy Young year, but this year is a different story. I believe that CC will go 17-12 with a 4.00 ERA. Some of you are probably laughing at those numbers You might be thinking "no way will he have those numbers, look at what he did with the Brew Crew". I say moving from the NL to the AL is much harder than the other way around. This not only means does a pitcher actually have to face 9 hitters, but also the hitting is just all around better in the AL than it is in the NL. Sure CC had to face hitters like Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard, but now he has to face hitters like David Ortiz, Evan Longoria, Vlad Guerrero, Grady Sizemore, and many other great power hitters multiple times.
So what does all of this mean? It means that the Yankees have a spot in the playoffs for sure, but I do not believe that the Yankees will advance past the ALCS. Other AL teams are also very strong right now, and the Yankees cannot just rely on CC, A.J., and Teixeira to lead them to a World Series ring this year. They will need a full team effort, and they will need for A-rod not to be suspended.
Despite my depressing predictions, I really do hope for the best this year and will see you all from my seat in the bleachers.
LETS GO YANKEES