It’s May 14th. We’re about 1/4 of the way through the 2013 season, and there are a few things we can already say about this season.
#1 – The Yankees are still the Yankees. While I certainly didn’t predict them to do this well without many of their all-stars, I wasn’t jumping on the “Yankees are going to be in last place” bandwagon that many were advocating before the season started. There are certain teams in almost every sport that seem to find a way to win no matter how dire the circumstances may seem. And, much to the chagrin of many baseball fans, the Yankees are that team. No Jeter, no A-Rod, no Teixeira, no Pineda, no Youkilis, no Granderson, no Nova . . . no problem! They’re still tied for the best record in the AL.
#2 – Big Spending ≠ Big Winning. In spite of the model the Yankees have managed to uphold over the last 10-15 years (which has actually only netted them 1 championship in 12 seasons), too many teams have fallen for the big name free agents, and have paid the price. Take a look at who spent the big bucks this past offseason. Who made the biggest splashes? I think we would agree that the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Braves and Angels signed the biggest names, and made the most waves. Now, if you look back, the Braves’ moves were far less “splashy” than the other three, at the time. BJ Upton was overshadowed by other free agent outfielders (including Michael Bourn, who didn’t sign a deal until February), and there weren’t a ton of suitors for the Justin Upton trade with Arizona. But, of the 4 big splash teams, the Braves made the fewest ripples, and have come away with the most success. As for the other three – a combined 43-70 (.381 win pct.)! Did no one learn from the mistakes of the 2012 Marlins? What’s worse is that the Angels didn’t even learn from their own overspending from just one year ago. So, after spending big money on aging veterans like Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson – when that didn’t pan out, they decided that the best course of action would be . . . go spend more money on another aging veteran with a big name – Josh Hamilton. Brilliant.
#3 – Matt Harvey is for real. I don’t, personally, care for his braggadocios demeanor, but he’s certainly backing it up right now. He has allowed 1 run or less in 6 of 8 starts; he leads the league in ERA, WHIP, H/9, Opp. Avg., Opp. OPS, and is second only to A.J. Burnett in K’s. Shelby Miller may end up with more W’s, but if my understanding of ROY qualifications is correct, Harvey should have no trouble winning this award, if he keeps up anything close to this torrid pace.