Tagged: Core Four

Who Gives A [Curse]?

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #27 – 5/5/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

I’ve had enough of hearing about this so-called “Sports Illustrated Cover Curse”. It’s ridiculous, silly, and far from the truth. Wake up, people. Curses are what teams like the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs use as excuse for failure. We’re the New York Yankees. Nothing can curse us.
It all started when Sports Illustrated featured our Core Four on the front cover.
Yankees fans everywhere began to worry. They claimed that the magazine has cursed teams such as the 2009 New York Mets in the past by featuring them on the cover, and they’re sure to curse the Yankees. This worrying soon became panic, as Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera experienced stiffness and strain, and were therefore unavailable to play.
People didn’t completely go crazy, however, until this game, when Andy Pettitte was removed relatively early. He was pitching a gem, yet he left the game and Mitre came in. No one knew why at first, and we were all confused. The bullpen was a little messy, but managed to hold on to the lead, and secure the win for Andy, who is now 4-0.
Soon after, we found out that Pettitte is suffering from elbow inflammation in his left arm. 
Cue: Yankee Fans Insanity.
I understand the worries regarding Andy Pettitte. I’m a little worried, too. It’s nothing to lose our heads over, though. It’s nothing that will ruin our season. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax.
Three of our Core Four are currently injured. They’re relatively minor injuries, but still injuries nonetheless. Are the editors of Sports Illustrated to blame for this, since they featured them on the cover? Don’t be silly. Unless the editors went into the weight room and changed the weights used by our players during workouts, they’re not to blame. 
Is it a pure coincidence that three of our Core Four are injured? No, not exactly. While the synchronization of these injuries is coincidental, the fact that they’re injured is not.
Welcome to the lives of baseball players over the age of 35.
Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada are all in their late thirties, and have played well into October in every year of their careers, except for one. Well, to be more precise, Andy Pettitte didn’t play in the postseason in three of his years – he missed two postseasons with the Astros. 
Playing well into October, year after year, takes its toll on a player’s body when he reaches his upper thirties. It happens. Whether we like it or not, the members of our Core Four are getting old. That doesn’t mean they’re any less amazing than they were, it just means that they’re going to start getting injured more often.
Again, everyone needs to relax. We have nothing to worry about.
Jorge Posada’s injury, while sad to see, will not slow us down. We have a fine temporary replacement in Francisco Cervelli. Even without an injury to Posada, we’re going to be seeing a lot of Cervelli this year, when Jorge needs a day off. Frankie is a great replacement. He’s wonderful in defense, and his offense is also very good. He lacks Posada’s power, offensively, but he makes up for it with his batting average and base-running. Cervelli would be the regular starting catcher on most teams, so I’m more than happy with him being our temporary catcher until Posada comes back.
Mariano Rivera’s side-stiffness doesn’t worry me too much. He’s had it before, and got over it. Granted, it’s a little early in the season to have it, but it’s nothing to go crazy over. He just needed a few days off to rest, and he’s probably ready for the series at Fenway. If he isn’t, we have Joba Chamberlain as our backup closer until God’s return. Joba has proven to be a great arm in the bullpen, and we’ve seen his velocity go back up to the high 90s. So, until Rivera returns, Chamberlain will rake the saves.
Andy Pettitte’s injury is slightly more worrying. The inflammation is in his throwing arm, and that’s never a good thing. However, it’s only May, and if this injury was bound to happen, I’m glad it happened now, instead of August. He can recover from it, and continue dominating on the mound. 
While Pettitte’s gone, we’ll have to make do with what we have. We most certainly have three starting pitches who are solid. CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Phil Hughes are all in top form this year. Javier Vazquez is struggling, but will hopefully turn it around. We also have Sergio Mitre as a temporary starting pitcher, and he’s shown very good pitching so far this season. So, with three solid starters, a risky fourth starter, and a fill-in fifth starter who manages to get the job done, we’ll be fine. We only had three dependable starters last year, and that turned out well for us. This year, it’s only temporary. Let’s not panic, people, our season is still hot.
The only injury to a Core Four member I’d really worry about would be an injury to Derek Jeter, God forbid. I wouldn’t like to see Ramiro Pena as his replacement on a regular basis. I refuse to discuss this any further. 
In conclusion: Calm down. We have nothing to worry about right now. We’re still in the beginning of May, none of the injuries are season-ending, and everyone will be healthy and back in the lineup/rotation/bullpen in no time.
Until then, relax. We have good replacements for them, and we’ll continue winning games.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com.