5 Reasons Why The Yankees Will Reign in 2012.


…and 5 reasons why they could fall short.

This special season opening Struming looks at one of my favorite topics, the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees, and provides my own intelligent (but admittedly biased) analysis why the Yankees will again prevail as  World Champions. I realize that when I write about my beloved Yankees that Strumings readers who don’t share my passion naturally push the delete button quickly. Possibly the logo alone triggered your action. However for the wise Yankee lovers among you, read on….

I went to my first Yankees game with my dad in 1960 at age 7. We sat in the upper deck and I still recall the sensation of walking through the tunnel and looking out on the field. Yankee Stadium was awe-inspiring and the impact on a 7-year old of the enormity of the stadium and its traditions made me an instant fan. I remember being crushed by their loss in game 7 of the World Series to an inferior Pirates team. The 1960 Yankees were virtually identical to the 1961 version, a team viewed as one of the best of all time.

Since 1960, I have been fortunate to have seen the Yankees play in 16 World Series, winning 9 of them. However, I have also lived through periods of bad Yankees baseball, the CBS era (1965-1972), and the manic George playoff drought from 1982-1994. So I have the perspective that every year is not a great one, yet there are many more good Yankees teams than not. In fact given the Yankees passion to win and willingness to spend to do so, each season I believe they have a good chance to win it all.

Certainly 2012 is one of those years. Here are 5 reasons why the Yankees will win #28:

1. Grandy & Cano

Curtis Granderson & Robby Cano are both in the prime of their careers and had great years in 2011. They will be hitting back-to-back in the order in 2012 (2, 3 respectively) and I expect continued brilliance and perhaps even more brilliance from this duo in 2012.

2. CC

CC is probably the next (and maybe one of the last) 300 game winners in the majors. He is 31 and already has 176 career wins. He is reliable, pitches 200+ innings every year, and does not rattle. In today’s game winning 59 games in his 3 Yankees years is nothing short of phenomenal.

3. A Rod

Yes, A Rod. He is a few years removed from being the game’s best player. He may be injured too often now (see below), and last year broke his string of 13 consecutive 30 Homer/100 RBI seasons but I am betting he drinks from the fountain of youth, stays on the field, and has a monster year.

4. Mo

Best ever. Hands down. He gives the Yankees a great chance to win every year. His next bad season will be his first. Please don’t ever retire , Mo.

5. Starting pitching

Too much starting pitching, you say? Never a problem. Life and injuries usually “solve” this problem. But the Yankees added Kuroda, Pineda (once he comes off DL) and soon Andy Pettitte, yet again. Who’s gone?–AJ (no loss there) and Bartolo Colon, who did a terrific job for the first 4 months. Overall: Major upgrade.

In fairness there are reasons for concern which hopefully will not come to pass. Here are 5 reasons for concern:

1. A Rod

Huh? Didn’t I just say he is going to have a monster year? Yes, I did. But it’s getting harder for him to stay on the field. 99 games and 16 HRs in 2011. Please, please, please do not repeat a year like 2011, or otherwise I’ll be pulling my hair out for 6 more years.

2. Jeter

It’s tough to play shortstop when you are young, and even harder when you are 37, going on 38. His bat got livelier in the second half. It was a Jeterian performance. Can it continue…or will he fade?

3. Rays

I worry about the Rays more than the Red Sox. Young arms are a plus. Winning the division is now VERY important. Who wants to be a Wild Card facing a one-game playoff ? The Yankees could lose to Astros in a one game playoff. So winning the AL East is paramount & the Rays are in the way.

4. Starting pitching

Wasn’t this a strength? Yes, it is. But the 6 starters other than CC all have some question marks. Then again, applying the law of averages, if 3 had good years, we’re still golden.

5. Injuries

Always a concern but with an older team—Pettitte, Jeter, A Rod, Rivera, Ibanez, Jones, Chavez, Kuroda are all 35+—the chances of injury are even greater.

My passion for the Yankees is endless and my confidence in their brilliance is unwavering. Will they reign again? I think so. Am I sure? That’s why they play the games. Play Ball.

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