The Detroit Tigers swept the Oakland Athletics last night, winning their seventh game in a row; including three in a row in the ALDS against the Yankees. Detroit’s pitching looked superior against the A’s, just like it did against "Murderer’s Row and Cano." If they go on to destory the NL Champion in the World Series, say in 4 or 5 games, how bad would the Yankees look having lost to the in a best-of-five series? Of course, they are the Yankees and with a $200 Million roster this season, expectations are what they are. What most fans don’t understand about baseball is that a group of All-Stars doesn’t win championships. It is the collective effort over a 162 game schedule of players that work well together and can overcome each others weaknesses when the other has a bad day…and for 162 days, there will definitely be bad days. Once you get to the playoffs, it really comes down to solid pitching that keeps you ahead or close enough to rally at the end. It’s being able to engineer runs methodically by being patient at the plate to get the right pitch to hit or get a walk…anything to get on base, in order to steal second or bunt the runner over to second or third (ie, scoring position). Detroit has done all those things right and are poised to win it all with only one or two losses. An incredible run for an incredible team. Sure, the Yankees could have done a few more things right and had a chance to have made it to the ALCS, but they didn’t and Tigers did. The New York Yankees biggest weakness, pitching (minus their closer Mariano Rivera), has been exposed and it will interesting to see if General Manager Brian Cashman will FINALLY address that Achille’s Heel with a vengeance in the off season. If he doesn’t plug this gaping whole in the dike with at least two solid starters and at least three solid middle relievers that can get the lead to Rivera in the ninth inning, they will have little chance of winning the World Series. Get the spotlight off Joe Torre and put it on the GM, who uses the bosses money and makes the trades. NASCAR drivers are only as good as their car and pit crew. All of them know how to race and the consistent winners know what to do, when it counts; but if their car isn’t ready or their pit crew doesn’t perform to standard, they can lose a race before they even leave the starting line. Joe Torre has made decisions that have produced an envious standard since his first season in 1996. During the past eleven seasons, who has done a better job?
I am waiting for the so-called "experts" to come forward and express concern over Brian Cashman’s failure to build a strong pitching rotation like they had in the late 90s. That is the obvious difference between then and now, but everyone seems to be mum about it. If there is a logical explaination, I am listening. If I had a chance to talk to George Steinbrenner, I would advise him to pull out all the stops to get the best pitching possible. If the Red Sox can pick up Beckett, Wakefield and other successful pitchers, why can’t the Yankees? Hitters sell more tickets during the season, but if you want championships, they will rarely make that dream a reality. It’s reality time.