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    The Greg Maddux Watch: Stunning at 355

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    Baseball Told the Right Way
    In-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!

      Gloom and Doom.
    Here's a little taste, for those of you who have never had the privilege and/or misfortune of living in a big-market sports city, home of sports radio insanity and a whole lot of super-aggressive, over-cynical sportswriters. While I usually avoid places like the NY Daily News (I never learn anything new, and just get mad) this article shows a little bit of what it means to be a sports fan in New York, or any other large city for that matter.

    Once you step away from it all, which I have, you quickly realize how people really fail to keep things in perspective.

    It's an article about the Yankees. The first place Yankees. The best-record-in-baseball Yankees. If you had somehow forgot that the Yankees were, indeed, a damn good team, you'd think after reading this article that they were struggling to get out of the basement. For crying out loud, the team is on pace for 103 wins, it can't always be 1998. The Yankees aren't perfect, but I can think of 29 other teams that would love to have their "problems".

    Now the Yankees have no pitching. That’s the major point in the article. They ought to go trade for Freddy Garcia. Okay, but what are you going to trade to get him? No answer, sportswriters don't answer the questions, they ask 'em. "We must have Freddy Garcia, we have run out of bad things to say about John Lieber."

    So the Yankees are in trouble. I've heard this one before. I mean this team doesn't have three #1 starters in Brown, Mussina, and Vazquez. If you take this article at face value, they have pinned any hopes of a pennant on the ass of Jose Contreras, John Lieber, and (get ready for this) Orlando Hernandez. The Yankees clearly need another #1. Because without the best pitching staff in baseball in addition to the best offense in baseball, the Yankees have no chance.

    Seriously, no more east-coast sarcasm. The "plight" of the Yankees is pretty much exactly what rational people everywhere thought might happen to this team. An old team with multiple injury concerns runs this risk. On top of injuries to Brown, Sheffield, and Giambi, the Yankees have had serious declines from Bernie Williams and Mussina. That’s about what we might have expected going into the season. Even with the two-month slump of Jeter, the Yankees are still in first place by 4 ½ games.

    Anybody expecting much out of Contreras or Lieber was deluding themselves. What's wrong with Lieber? Asking what's wrong with a 34-year-old soft tosser trying to come back from Tommy John surgery is a little like asking what's wrong with taking your newborn baby to meet your neighbor's rottweiler. Do you really need to ask?

    Let's do something fun for now. Lets look at the other teams in first place right now. Minnesota, Texas, Florida, St. Louis, San Francisco. Their #4 and #5 guys? Kyle Lohse, Seth Greisinger, Chan Ho Park, Joaqin Benoit, Dontrelle Willis, Darren Oliver, Jason Marquis, Chris Carpenter, Dustin Hermanson, Brett Tomko. Not a whole lot of talent outside of Willis and Marquis.

    Does a team really need their 4th & 5th starters to be anything more than innings eaters? Hell, they're not even going to sniff the mound in the playoffs. So what does it matter? Since this guy's wet dream Yankee rotation, the World Series champ has featured Dontrelle Willis and Mark Redman; Aaron Sele and Kevin Appier; Brian Anderson and Albie Lopez; David (the 6.91 ERA version) Cone and Denny Neagle. With the exception of Florida in 2003, not a whole lot of talent.

    Something tells me the Yankees will be fine. Something also tells me the Yankees won't be standing pat between now and the July 31st trading deadline.