BRONX, NY – Imagine building a new house, going all out filling it with luxuries and such, and then having a really large housewarming party.
Of course you are going to go all out on celebration, but imagine your embarrassment when you realized halfway through it, you realized you forgot to buy the beer.
That’s what the Yankees realized today.
After spending $1.5 billion dollars on a new home and $200 million to fill the roster with stars, imagine their shock when they realized they forgot to stock the bullpen with relievers who can actually hold serve during the sixth and seventh inning. Today, we saw Jose Veras and Damaso Marte get shelled for nine runs, giving 48,271 paid something they didn’t want to see – an Opening Day loss.
“We have to get everyone going in our bullpen,” manager Joe Girardi said afterwards. “We have to get [all] the guys going because you just can’t rely upon some guys in the bullpen. We have to get Domaso going and Jose going. It’s been up and down and you have to get consistency.”
Sure it’s early in the season and some guys like Brian Bruney and Edwar Ramirez have been good, but as we saw last season in Queens, when you use guys too much too early, they burn themselves out towards the end of the season when you need them the most.
That means the less confidence Girardi has in Marte or Veras gives more and more chances to the other pitchers. Also the manager only seems to use Bruney with the lead, which make the ‘pen thinner in tight games or when coming back.
Today was supposed to be the Yankees coming out party. The last time they opened a new location, Babe Ruth hit a home run and the place became known as “The House That Ruth Built” during its 86 year lifetime. Now this Yankee Stadium needs an identity. Unfortunately for the Bombers, this will take time, because it sure didn’t get it name today.
As constituted right now, the Yankees have a very nice starting staff – which goes about six innings a piece – a great closer, mediocre setup and middle relief, and a good but not spectacular lineup, especially without Alex Rodriguez.
That means, the building will have to be a draw, and at the price the Yankees paid, it also means a winning product needs to be on the field for the team to justify their costs. A half empty stadium may cause trouble for the Yankees when the bonds come due, eventually fans will stay away if the team doesn’t start winning.
It all starts in the bullpen holding leads. Wins today mean less pressure in September and it also means a better chance of making the playoffs. Even though this new stadium is only one day old, Girardi is already on notice, because the Steinbrenners will give him the hook after a poor start.
If that happens, the Bronx Zoo would officially reopen. Only this time with a new address, one block north of the old joint.