In the Saturday, July 18 issue of the NY Times, they ask a number of persons
the question: "How Good Are These Yankees?" Interesting mix of interviewees
-- Marvin Miller, Terry Cashman, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Frank Robinson, among
others. I'd be interested in the newsgroup's opinion on Robinson's comments,
which I will excerpt below.
"... They are an outstanding ball club, but they are playing at a time when the
competition is weak. Expansion is one reason. Economics is another.
Nowadays everybody has to watch the budget; most clubs, anyway. This has
stretched the talent really thin and weakened rosters on many teams."
(And this has never happened before in baseball history?)
"The Yankees have holes. They have a hole at catcher, and another in
(Anyone check out where Posada ranks in RC/25?)
"They lack power at third base -- throughout their lineup, in fact. [Then he
refers to the '27 Yankees, the '70's Reds and A's, and Robinson's Oriole
teams.] Those teams all had an abundance of power, and that is the most
important ingredient the Yankees are missing."
(Last I saw, the Yankees are scoring as many runs per game as anyone, even
after missing Bernie Williams for a month. True, they aren't among the home
run leaders, but they easily lead in on-base percentage. Anyone know where
they stand in slugging average?)
And didn't Frank's Reds ever play the Mets or the Astros? Didn't his Orioles
ever play the Pilots/Mariners or the Royals? On the other hand, three of the
four best 162-game records have been posted in expansion years or shortly
thereafter -- 1961 Yankees, 1969-70 Orioles. Is it possible the great teams
really beat up on the weak ones?)
Robinson makes some interesting points, and he seems like an intelligent guy,
but is this another case of an old-time ballplayer bashing the current crop,
despite evidence that players get better all the time?