First off, Why Cleveland why? You had Boston within striking distance and you let them comeback to win the ALCS.
Eh, life goes on. I hope Colorado shows that there's no rust and they're ready to show they're up for the fight. I pick Colorado in 5.
Now, for the business at hand.
This post is to serve as the last rites of the "Yankee Dynasty". Gone is Torre from managing, gone is George from daily baseball operations(Hank and Hal at the helm) and soon they may be gone with A-Rod, Posada and Rivera. As a Rays fan, I can't say I'm sad to see one of our strongest competitors to be a shell of their former selves and gone from relative supremacy.
However, I gotta say "It's about damn time"
How much of the Yankees success can be attributed to Torre's calming of baseball's biggest egos? Georgie's napoleon complex(if I can't win a world series ring with my own players anymore, I'll buy one)? How about having a field general like Posada behind the plate of the Yankees best pitchers? How about having a lights-out, "Game Over" closer like 'Mo'? How about having the future HR king of baseball?
If in the small likliehood that it they lose all those players, they (on paper) will be not far much better than the Rays and will have a larger concentration of angry fans spewing vile at ownership. Again, I can't say I'll be sad at hearing that either.
Sure, they could buy themselves a new pitcher(Santana) or another assortment of hitters(Rowand, Eric Chavez, etc.), but how really would that help them. I know that Santana is a great, but how great will he be with the pressure of being a Yankee and not having a good catcher behind the plate (whether it be Posada or Mauer)? What would they have to give up in those respective trades to get those players on the Yankees? If you continually shoot yourself in the foot, you'll soon realize that you no longer have toes or even a leg to stand on.
What if they hire Girardi? What happens when they find out that he's a Dusty Baker clone and gives his young pitchers extremely long leashes? I know that Kranitz had his share of the blame for Joshua Johnson and Anibal Sanchez going to the operating tables, but you gotta wonder how much damage Girardi did to his pitchers. Dontrelle Willis and Scott Olsen seem to have lost some luster from 2006 to 2007.
In last night's BP chat(will edit this post with a link later) with Joe Sheehan, Joe believes the Yankees will not make the playoffs in 2008 and should only hope for an 85 win season even with A-Rod. If they lose A-Rod, he doesn't think that they'll even reach 85.
Striking distance, guys. We're in striking distance. While many of us disagree with how they're doing it, we've got a foundation to stand on and we can only improve from last year.