After one of the quietest springs in recent memory, the Yankees begin their defense of the World Championship against their most bitter rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Yes, the Yankees made a few personnel moves in the off-season, but no, I don’t think they altered the chemistry of the team or how they will ultimately finish in the AL East. Their division remains a two-team race with the “loser” sometimes getting a consolation prize Wild Card berth. It’s no surprise that that the Yankees and Red Sox are being predicted to finish 1-2.
What happens after the AL East is decided is where the Yankees moves could have the greatest effect. With Curtis Granderson in the outfield, New York has a bit more youth and Joe Girardi won’t have to worry quite as much about platooning around bum knees (like Hideki Matsui’s) and aging players who get beat up over the course of a 162-game schedule.
Also, with a strong bullpen in place, the arms that will precede Mariano Rivera’s should make it easier on Mo, and will require him fewer two-inning appearances than last year.
Finally, with Javier Vazquez in the rotation, the Yankees have another quality starter to rely on through the dog days of summer.
The Yankees and Red Sox kick off 2010 in Fenway. Marco Scutaro, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Cameron round out Boston’s big additions. Opening night features CC Sabathia and Josh Beckett. It doesn’t get more competitive.
New York obviously wants to come out of the gate strong, but if for some reason the Bombers bomb the way they did last April, it shouldn’t be cause for panic in the 10451. It’s a long season, and as Yankees fans saw last year, while it’s nice to be in first place in April, you really only need to be in first place in September.
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Written by Stephanie Geosits