Despite the notoriously villainous creatures of Boston being crowned the champions of the 2007 baseball season, Yankee Town still managed to steal the spotlight with a plethora of headlines that continue to intrigue fans of every team of the baseball world this year. The Yankees’ off-season started with the worst… and hasn’t gotten much better since:
-(As if the Red Sox win to the World Series wasn’t enough…) The Yanks’ most prized possession of the 2007 season has decided to trade in his "beloved" pinstripes for free agency and the chance to earn ungodly money for how ever many years his new contract will bring him with the next team he plays for next year. The mere fact that Rodriguez made his decision before the World Series (that last all of four games) ceased, highly suggests that the man Yankee fans bowed down to throughout the season had no intention of returning, especially with the Yanks’ well publicized statement of refusal to go after the superstar should he opt out of his contract. However, although the Yanks took an ugly blow with the lost of a huge bat and what has turned out to be a high caliber third baseman, some Yankee fans are not crying goodbye but yelling good riddance to this future hall-of-famer… and now "untrue" Yankee.
-Though A-Rod’s bat will likely not have a chance to return as a force in the Yankee lineup next year, the Yankee off-season started with an uglier reality. With the Boss’s threat to fire the beyond talented Yankee skipper still swimming around the minds of fans and reporters after the Yankee elimination became complete, the word was spread out: Joe Torre will no longer be the Yankee manager. Though it turned out that Torre did not receive the hook from the high and mighty, he stated that he might as well have. Torre took it upon himself to relieve himself of his managerial title after receiving an "insult" of an offer by the Yankee organization, which is now being controlled by the younger generation of Steinbrenners, one of which whom has already established himself as more outspoken than that of the Boss himself (if that’s possible).
-Though A-Rod is and will be the big story when it comes to the free agent market this off-season, the big story for the Yanks will be whether or not they can hold on to their highly regarded multiple backbones of what this team represents. It is unimaginable to think of what the Yankee team would look like without Jorge "Silent Assassin" Posada behind the plate or Mariano "Mo" Rivera lurching in the dugout ready to come out to the tune of Enter Sandman in the bottom of the 9th. The Yanks can ill afford to lose either of these immeasurably valuable players and icons of New York.
The Good: (Yes, there’s some.)
-Okay, so what good has come of this disaster ridden off-season so far? For one, despite seeing the father of the Yanks, Joe Torre, doff his cap one last time, the Yanks made a great choice for his successor. With Girardi and Mattingly the two likely candidates for replacement, (and in all respect to the well loved Don Mattingly) Girardi already had experience and success (though not overwhelming) as a manager and had the upper hand as a former catcher, for catchers tend to make good managers because of their view and knowledge of the game. Though Mattingly is a great hitter (who could probably still play first if he wanted to) and coach, many doubted he was ready to step up to the managerial level. However, with Girardi named as manager, Mattingly will not return as a coach next year, forcing Yankee fans to see another beloved Yankee say goodbye.
-Lastly, although this doesn’t serve as any guarantee, it is now known that Pettitte will be wearing a pinstripe uniform or none at all come next season. Though he has not officially made his decision, he is allowed the same amount of time Rodriguez had, but didn’t use, to make up his mind. Yankee fans all around would no doubt be disappointed to see Pettitte leave again, should he choose to, but are happy as of yet that his loyalties are still with them and this franchise, unlike the media boy A-Rod.
All in all, the off-season for the Yanks hasn’t been a pretty sight and… has a chance to get worse, which is scary thought (not just Halloween scary). Then again, the Cashman does tend to have a way of accomplishing the impossible with blockbuster trades that have millions of people eager beyond belief just for the start of spring training.
P.S. Best of luck to El Padre should he become the new manager of the Dodgers. Best of the worst luck to Pay-Rod should he sign with the Mets or Red Sox… or Angels, who went up on the Yankee hate list this year. If not, then best of… decent luck.