If someone tells you the success of the 2009 Yankees hinges on A-Rod's ability to produce in the clutch, or Jorge Posada's shoulder healing correctly, or the robot ligaments taking in Hideki Matsui's knee - immediately punch them in their eye. Hit them with the butt of a hunting rifle. Encourage your dog - if you don't own a dog, a hungry drifter will suffice - to maul them. Why? Because they have shit-for-brains, and since people with shit-for-brains have no business discussing baseball or sports ever again, they are worthless to the human race and must be disposed* of.
*Sorry Steve from accounting, but you defended Chase Wright as a legitimate major league starter two years ago. Now, you die.
Anyway...These "people" have zero ability to read or process baseball statistics. They'd rather get their information from some jerk-off at work who has premium season tickets, but couldn't tell you what "WHIP" means even if you threatened to release pictures to his wife of his secretary giving him a hummer in the coat closet after the holiday party last December. It's a vicious cycle - this misinformation spreading circle-jerk - because it's almost impossible to pull anyone away from this sort of brainwashed thinking.
Well, I'm here to set the record straight. Are you ready? The secret is...
...A consistent rotation.
That's it. Not a dominate one, not one that will break every record ever set - a consistent rotation will push the Yankees over the hump. Since 2003 - their last World Series appearance - the Yankees have annually failed to produce a rotation that will stay healthy and fall into rhythm.
Here's a year-by-year breakdown of how many pitchers made starts in each respective season, followed by some of the rubes who made said starts:
2004: 12 - Alex Graman (2 GS, 19.80 ERA), Donovan Osbourne (2 GS, 7.13 ERA) Esteban Loiza (6 GS, 8.50 ERA)
2005: 14 - Sean Henn (3 GS, 11.12 ERA), Darrell May (1 GS 16.71 ERA) Tim Redding (1 GS 54.00 ERA) Have fun with him, Mets fans
2006: 12 - Sidney Ponson (3 GS, 10.47 ERA), Aaron Small (3 GS, 8.46 ERA), Kris Wilson (1 GS, 8.64 ERA)
2007: 14 - Jeff Karstens (3 GS, 11.05 ERA), Matt DeSalvo (6 GS, 6.18 ERA) Tyler Clippard (6 GS, 6.33 ERA)
2008: 13 - Kei Igawa (1 GS, 13.50 ERA), Ian Kennedy (9 GS, 8.17 ERA), Phil Hughes (8 GS, 6.62 ERA)
Some people may wave their hands dismissively at these stats, partly because they know dick about baseball, but partly because they've been convinced by moronic sportscasters that one uber-gay third baseman's shortcomings are the only thing keeping past Yankee teams from reaching the Fall Classic. And I'm not here to defend Purple-Lips McHighlights, but the blame should not fall solely on his frosted crown. Even if A-Rod ripped an extra-base-hit every single time he came to the plate, the Yankees still wouldn't be able to win multiple games with guys like Darrel Rasner and Sidney Ponson making multiple starts over multiple years.
For the past five seasons, the Yankees pitcher's mound has featured more nervous, sweaty losers than a Q&A conference with Leonard Nimoy at Comicon. Obviously, Brian Cashman tried to address the issue this offseason by tossing the GDI of Uzbekistan at CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett (even though Burnett's target date for the DL is May 3rd). If these guys can do what they're being paid handsomely to do, and a healed Wang, a
...but seriously, would it kill that cougar-banging, jordache wearing weirdo to step it up every once in a while?