The big story for the Yankees this season has been the injuries to their pitching staff, the overuse of their bullpen as a result, and the standings in the American League East which has them eight games behind the Boston Red Sox, and in second place. One other factor in their steady decline which has only recently started to get attention is the lack of hitting coming from key players.
In article by Kat O'Brien in the Tuesday, May 5, 2007 edition of Newsday, the reporter explores the hitting slumps experienced by Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano. Both Abreu and Cano never got off the ground this season. This is especially troubling for Cano as he was in contention for the batting title in 2006.
But, it is not just poor pitching and a lack of hitting plaguing this Yankees team. There looks to be, from a fan’s perspective, a lack of desire on their part. Yankees fans have much to worry about with this team. If they to make up any games against Boston during the rest of May, they need Boston to completely de-rail and go in a major slump, while the Yankees would need to win nearly every series they play. That's a tall order for a team this un-inspired and flat.
This lack of fizz is unfitting for a team which claims they want to go to the World Series. A baseball buddy of mine recently stated: "Why don't we call this team what they really are. They're a bunch of high-paid mercenaries who care only about themselves and don't know how to play as part of a team."
Across town, the Mets are playing terrific baseball, the team is unified, and their shaving their heads and having fun to show it. What do the Yankees need to do to be inspired? There's no one this writer can point to who might be willing to shave his head. Perhaps George Steinbrenner can bend his rules a bit and let Johnny Damon grow his beard and long hair back.