There may be more worthwhile topics in sports today – college basketball’s March Madness, the upcoming NBA playoffs, NFL free agency, the resurgence of Tiger Woods – but the one that intrigues me is the plight of the New York Yankees.
Injuries are a part of athletics and teams must adjust. What’s different about this is it’s happening to the Yankees, baseball’s long-time biggest spenders until they pulled back the dollars this spring and were bypassed by the Dodgers.
And it’s fascinating to wonder what they’re going to do now.
The Yankees face stiff competition in their division. In fact, some forecasters say the Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who often vie for first place, may battle to escape last place in 2013. Remarkably, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Toronto seem better.
And the Yankees are having a misrable spring training.
In the first inning of the first exhibition game outfielder Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch and suffered a fractured forearm that will keep him out for 10 weeks. He hit 43 home runs last season.
Catcher Russell Martin had already departed, signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates, shortstop Derek Jeter is coming back from an injury, third baseman AAex Rodriguez isn’t likely to play for awhile and Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera announced he will retire after the season.
In addition, first baseman Mark Teixiera suffered a broken wrist that will keep him out until May.
The Yankees have lost 143 home runs from last season, possibly more.
Second baseman Robinson Cano is now one of the Yankees’ biggest assets but he’s getting close to free agent status.
Baseball insiders who I know say there’s no way the Yankees can let him go.
Now comes the intriguing part. Will the Yankees resume their big spending to salvage what is shaping up as a lost season?
Here are some names to consider.
The Yankees are dropping hints they’re interested in Chipper Jones, who has retired from the Atlanta Braves after 18 seasons, if he decides to keep on playing.
They’re making inquires about first baseman Derek Lee and third baseman Scott Rolen, who’ve had considerable success in the past. I emphasize that’s in the past, not the last few years.
This has all happened after Miami unloaded several of its best players to Toronto in a clear case of dumping salaries The Blue Jays have become the pre-season favorite to win the division.
Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager who has the responsibility of rebuilding the roster, has joined the unfortunate list of sudden injuries.
Cashman , who was trying to create publicity for the Wounded Warrior Project, jumped out of an airplane in Florida and suffered a broken ankle.
This really happened. I’m not making it up, although it seems this entire column is an early April fool’s joke.
It isn’t. If you’re a Yankees fan, it’s very serious.