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How The Yankees Will Reign in 2013

imagesToday’s Struming is one of those that Yankees haters will quickly delete. So be it. This special Opening Day Struming looks at the Yankees chances of winning Championship #28 in 2013. “Gimme a break”, I hear Strumings readers justifiably saying in unison. “Lonny, are you so blind as to not see the flaws in this Yankees squad? Are the Yankees and Knicks vying for oldest teams ever?  Are you such a ridiculous loyalist to predict a championship when there’s little chance of it happening?” No I am not.

Truth of the matter is I titled this Struming How, not Why the Yankees will Reign as I might have done in other years. Seems like semantics, but it’s not. How will the Yankees win is with an incredible number of “Ifs” falling in line—far too many, I believe. In business I hated basing business decisions on “ifs”. I recall employees laying out scenarios and when they hit the 2nd “if” I would stop them and say. The odds of that happening are now only 1 in 4 and declining from here. Do you really want me to base an important decision on such low odds?

In sports there are no consequences of dreaming,  at least not for fans. For GMs that’s another story.

I do think there are scenarios where the Yankees can achieve several milestones:

1. Make the playoffs—as they have done in 17 of the last 18 seasons. 50% chance

2. Have the best record in the American League (as they had just last year). Less than 25% chance, but unimportant, if they can achieve #1.

3. Win the World Series just as they have done 27 times previously. Less than 10% chance

But there are a lot of ifs— far too many for comfort. Here are my ifs sorted by degree of likelihood:

Strongly likely (80+% likelihood):

1. Mariano Rivera will once again be a dominant reliever

2. Robinson Cano will have a top 10 MVP year

3. Kuroda will win 12+ games and CC will win 15+ games

Likely (60-80% likelihood):

1.. Hughes, Nova and Pettitte will each win 10+ games

2. Robertson will be a lights out 8th inning reliever

3. Granderson will come back by late May and have a strong year and hit more than .230 and strike out at a lesser rate per AB than in 2012

4. Garnder will hit .270+ and steal 30+ bases while being a terrific fielder

Possible (40-60% likelihood):

1.  Jeter will come off the DL quickly and had a solid year and hit .280 or better and have 150+ hits

2.  Youkliss will play 140 games and hit .280 with 20+ homers

3. Teixeira will return by June and still hit 20+ homers with 75+ RBIs

4. Pinera will return by July, become a starter and win 6-8 games in the second half

5. Ichiro will hit .300

Unlikely (less  40% likelihood):

1. Hafner will play an injury-free season

2. A-Rod will return and make meaningful contributions

3. Either Stewart or Cervelli will hit .250

4. Joba will turn into the 2007 phenom Joba

5. Vernon Wells will recapture lost youth

6. Lyle Overbay will hold down the fort well at first in Tex’s absence

7. The Yankees will be injury free for the balance of the year

In the end, there are far too many ifs with this current configuration of talent. And 4 of the key Yankees, from which they expect “career average” years (meaning really good ones), will be 39 or older—Rivera, Pettitte, Jeter, & Ichiro. The reality is that older players’ skills diminish, and while they show typically show flashes of brilliance given their superior talent, they also typically have long DL stints for aches, muscle pulls and other aging player maladies.

However, 2013 will not be 1965 or 1966. The Yankees will not come in last and have a sub .500 record. But 90+ wins seems like a stretch and making the playoffs as a wild card would be the best they could hope for, but that’s OK because after that…hey, you never know.

The New York Yankees have been, are, and will continue to be the premier professional sports franchise, in any sport. Hope (at least mine) runs deep, as does Yankees heritage and success. That’s how they can win it again. But will they? That’s why they play the games. Play ball…..




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2 Comments

  1. Darrell Williams says:

    Mr. Strum (Sir) -

    Congratulations on the piece in the Phila. Business Journal. I enjoyed it. I also like the piece you have here on the “Power of No”. It’s very appropriate that it would be in this edition “Strummings”. It applies directly to the piece on “How The Yankees Will Reign in 2013″….. let’s be real……. NO !

    Keep strumming & stay well,

    DEW

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Darrell,

      You may be right about the Yankees. I saw your Braves in DC last week. They look very tough, so far. They are stocking up on Uptons. Seems like a smart strategy. But never count out the men in pinstripes.

      #28 in 2013.

      Be well.

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