When you think of dynasties, the Yankees are always toward the top of the list. With 27 World Series Championships and 40 American League pennants, the Yankees have always been a prominent dynasty in Major League Baseball. New York is synonomous with Yankee baseball and legends like Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and so many others who have worn the famous pin stripes.
But this year the Yankees have been plagued by injury and age. Derek Jeter, a 13-time all-star and five-time Golden Glove Award winner, didn’t play more than 20 games this season and didn’t even make his season start until after the all-star break in July. He struggled with leg injuries throughout the latter part of the season and never did get hot at the plate. Jeter, had he been healthy, would have changed the outcome of a few games, and might have been a factor that kept the Yankees in the playoffs. But he struggled to stay healthy and this hurt the Yankees batting lineup significantly.
Another major ripple that changed the tide of the Yankees’ season and caused more drama for the team was the suspension of Alex Rodriguez. He was suspended for 211 games, which will keep him out of baseball through the 2014 season, for his relationship with Biogenesis of America and his use of performance enhancing drugs.
This is not the Yankees we’ve come to expect. The Yankees used to be the kings of October. They dominated all aspects of the game. Their aces would govern the pitching mound and the batting lineup was full of all-stars. Now, they’ve fallen short of this, and will miss the playoffs.
The Yankees lack a farm team that develops stars consistently. This is due, largely in part, to the fact that the Yankees usually just buy out the players they want. After all, they always have been the “best team money can buy.” They even started with the highest player payroll in baseball at $230 million. But lately, it seems as if the Yankees have not gained beneficial returns on their financial investments.
To their disadvantage, the Yankees have had 28 stints on the disabled list from 21 different players, according to ESPN.com, and have missed more than four years worth of games.
This is just the second time in 19 years that New York has fallen short of the playoffs. It’s staggering to think that this is the organization that won a World Series just four years ago. Needless to say, the Yankees will have a very lengthy off-season where they will have plenty of time to think, and do something, about their lack of depth, experience and injuries.