Sayanora, Godzilla

December 16, 2009 – 2:58 pm

After the incredible season the Yankees had this year, my (admittedly naive) hope was that Cashman and Company would  keep the 2009 Yankees intact as much as possible for next year.  The idea being that for the first time since 2000, the strategy is no longer getting to the top but rather staying on top.  It seems to me that when you aren’t winning the division or even making the playoffs you are in a position of needing to make fairly significant changes.  However, as World Champions, the strategy becomes one of tweaking the team in order to just repeat what you did the previous year.  Yeah, I suspect that’s pretty much nuance as the pols would say — but still, it seems to me that there’s a distinct difference in how you go about making trades, re-signing players, etc.  I’m a big believer in “team chemistry”, and I also believe that was a very big part of this year’s success.  And so, once you start making trades and changing the roster, you run the risk of changing that chemistry for the worse.  But that’s just baseball these days, I guess.

Regardless, the Yankees made their first significant roster change yesterday with the trade of Hideki Matsui to the LA Angels.  Given his physical limitation of not being able to play the field and thus a one-dimensional role as DH, the writing was on the wall once the season ended.  And of course when the Yankees landed Curtis Granderson that pretty much sealed Matsui’s fate in pinstripes.  But dare I say that Hideki is going to be sorely missed on many an occasion, and now that he’s in an Angel uniform he will come back to haunt us at some point in the future.  Overall it’s probably the right move to make, but I can easily foresee a Matsui blast costing us a game or two against the Angels in 2010.  Let’s just hope it’s not in a critical playoff game, hey?

So here’s to you Hideki — thanks for seven great years as a Yankee and above all for the incredible 2009 World Series performance that brought the championship back to New York!

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