It warms the cockles of my heart just read about the fallout in New York (which promises to get worse, with more acrimony, finger-pointing, backstabbing, and all the other fun issues associated with a team in upheaval). A sampling of the blame game is below:

It is no news bulletin that A-Rod wants to be liked, accepted, loved, however
you want to say it, by his teammates, especially Jeter. And the captain hasn't
budged on the matter, to the point where an ex-teammate, who wouldn't use his
name for fear of crossing Jeter, said yesterday it creates a certain tension at
He won't let Alex in, the former Yankee said of Jeter. Everyone in
there knows it, and it bothers Alex and impacts the clubhouse. John Harper:
New York Daily News 10-9-06
Some MVP! Jeter is the divider, not the uniter. Hmmm. Harper goes on to compare how Jeter threw A-Rod under the bus while with Jason st eroid abuser Giambi, he bent over backwards to throw his support to the cheating, shrunken-testicle abuser.

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For the Yankees to have any chance of getting back to the World Series, they
must address their starting pitching, which sabotaged Torre as much as his
hitters against the Tigers. In that regard, their own Philip Hughes has the
stuff to be a dominant starter but has been held back by Yankees minor
league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, who had him on gradually
receding pitch counts all summer, then shut him down at 146 innings.
Scouts who saw Hughes at Trenton this summer agreed he's ready for the
big leagues now and even Yankee officials on the major league level, Gene
Michael for one, were dismayed that Hughes wasn't allowed to finish the
season at Triple-A. Now, as one scout told me: "This kid is a stud, but what
good is he going to do them if he's been programmed to pitch five innings?
They're turning him into Jaret Wright." Bill Madden:
New York Daily News 10-9-

Nice to see that the blame and dysfunction extends all the way down to the minor league pitching coordinator. So now the Yankees are ruining their only pitching prospect? Beautiful!

Amazingly, I feel like the only person in America who remembered that teams do not slug their way to the World Series, they pitch their way there (Marlins in 03; Red Sox in 04; White Sox in 05. None of those teams were what you would call an offensive juggernaut, although the 04 Sox could score runs, they won due to Keith Foulke in the pen, and Curt Schilling anchoring a staff with Pedro and a rejuvenated Derek Lowe.). This Yankees squad won by scoring runs. Torre burnt out his bullpen by August, Mussina and the Big Eunich did their usual fade job, and then in the worst managerial move of the past ten years, Torre threw out Jaret Wright instead of his only good starting pitcher, the Wanger.

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We were worrying about all of that stuff, and we still had a game to play. If
I'm on the other side, and all of a sudden they're putting Rodriguez eighth and
putting me or Jason on the bench, you wonder what's going on. Those guys [the
Tigers] were asking me about it. I think it boosted their morale. It gave them
confidence they didn't have, Sheffield told the USA Today. ESPN 10-9-06
Of course, the player on his way out the door lobbing bombs at his former manager and team. To think, Johnny Damon thought he was going to a calm, collected, less rambunctious situation.

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Dysfunction in the Bronx:

Truly this is the surest sign that the time of Regular Joe leading the Yankees has come to a bitter end. They had a great run in the late nineties, but it is clear that the Dynasty has been dead for a number of years. I think that if Brian Cashman can take control of the team, he will make sure that the organization blows the team up and he can get back to building a team built around pitching, defense, and hitters dedicated to wearing out opposing pitchers. Cashman is smart enough to want a team of over-achievers instead of a collection of superstars. Of course, I doubt he is powerful enough to get his way and the Yankees will continue to meander on, content with 90 win regular seasons and post-season collapses.

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