There are lots of reasons one could come up with to explain why the Yankees are not in the World Series. Blame it on Torre. Blame it on the players who underachieved early to the Yanks in a 14 1/2 game hole (thus costing a chance at home field advantage). Blame it on Wang’s poor postseason. Blame A-Rod (everyone does anyways).
Those reasons would all be incorrect.
The real reason? Carl Pavano. Because the Yankees got Carl Pavano and the Red Sox got Josh Beckett. Or so Harvey Araton tells us.
What does the image of Josh Beckett towering over the baseball postseason mean these days to the dizzy and disgruntled Yankees fan?
That the Red Sox are still playing? That we wish it could be our team batting against Beckett instead?
Is he the strapping reminder of the last window to a World Series title slamming down on pinstriped fingers?
Not really. Yeah the Yankees should have won that World Series in 2003. But they’ve had other “windows.” Actually even this year. Did you know the Yankees went to the postseason this year? Yeah they had the best record the second half of the season and finished with one of the best records in baseball.
Or is Beckett more reminiscent of the Yankees’ purchase of damaged goods at a Florida distress sale just a year after he ushered in the beginning of the end of the Joe Torre era one October night at Yankee Stadium in 2003?
Woah. Purchase from the Florida distress sale? Yeah Florida had to unload Beckett because of salary. The only player we grabbed from the Marlins due to salary concerns was Ron Villone. I know that you’re going to bring up Pavano. He wasn’t “sold.” He was a free agent. And the beginning of the end of the Joe Torre era? Why was that the beginning of the end? Couldn’t it also be the 2004 ALCS? Or the Detroit series? Or this year’s Cleveland series? How many “eras” are we creating for the Yankees now?
Rudy Giuliani may have to gag on a bite of his new favorite cuisine, the Fenway Frank,
Oh right. Rudy is a Red Sox fan these days… now this article is particularly timely and relevant.
if the summary difference between the Red Sox run to another World Series and the Yankees’ third consecutive first-round demise was stated as follows:
Red Sox: Beckett. Yankees: Carl Pavano.
Um, what? Yeah I guess if you traded Pavano for Beckett, the Yankees would have been more likely to play in the World Series. Though the same could be said for trading lots of lesser players for greater ones.
Oversimplification, you say?
Then give us a better explanation as to why the Red Sox pummeled the Rockies, 13-1, in Game 1 of the World Series last night while the Yankees’ action yesterday was limited to the Tampa-based administrative offices of Legends Field.
Phew. Weeeellllll…. The Yankees ace, Chien-Ming Wang, had a poor first round. Joba Chamberlain was attacked by bugs. The Indians hit like .500 with RISP and 2-outs. And as for the Red Sox? They just pummeled the Rockies because they are a better team. They crushed Francis. And before that they outlasted the Indians because Sabathia and Carmona fell apart. And before that the Angels were a walking infirmary. I could go on. But all of these have more to do with it than Carl Pavano.
Picking up where he left off in 2003, Beckett’s postseason numbers are becoming rather historic, downright Koufaxian. He has won all four postseason starts this month with an earned run average of little more than a run per game, 35 strikeouts against 2 walks.
Pavano? Recovering from another operation, still under contract, technically a Yankee, lingering like a bad stomachache.
You know who else has been bad? Matt Clement. Remember him?
Beckett and Pavano were Marlins teammates in the 2003 championship season and lastly in 2004, members of a staff of strong young arms that might have tamed the National League East for the better part of a decade had South Florida taxpayers been faster with their subsidization of a new baseball stadium.
“Beckett, Pavano, Brad Penny, they all pitched well for me, they were all good kids,” Jack McKeon, the former Marlins manager, said in a telephone interview. “But Beckett, he was special, great ability, absolutely fearless, big-game pitcher.”
For the 2005 season, Pavano signed a four-year, $39.95 million deal with the Yankees, who outwooed the Red Sox, who responded by making their own recruiting misstep in the free agent Matt Clement. That left the Red Sox’ rotation old at the top Curt Schilling and mediocre in the middle.
Right. So you’ve basically admitted that the Yankees and Red Sox both made similar mistakes that off season, signing injury prone mediocre talent. But both were able to overcome these bad signings because they have lots of resources.
By November 2005, the Marlins were in full budgetary meltdown and it was no secret that Beckett, their crown jewel, a potential heist for a lucky patron, was available. The right price included two bright lights of the Red Sox’ farm system — the shortstop Hanley Ramírez and the pitcher Aníbal Sánchez. The Red Sox had to take the veteran third baseman Mike Lowell and the $18 million he was guaranteed. (Hide your eyes, Mets fans: a little-remembered detail is that Guillermo Mota also went to Boston).
Right again! The Yankees couldn’t take a third baseman. They have one. He’s good.
And Mets fans care because? Didn’t he pitch for the Mets after that? So they didn’t lose him to Boston.
Beckett, 27, may still be anchoring the Red Sox’ rotation when the 45-year-old Roger Clemens is pitching for the Houston chapter of AARP.
Let’s see… you have to be 50 to join AARP… Clemens is 45… So Becket may still be anchoring the staff when he’s 32! Remarkable!
“There was some skepticism when it was announced regarding the prospects we gave up,” Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox’ president and chief executive, said yesterday. “But we had the unique opportunity to get a young ace, accent on both words.”
Memo to the ace-starved Yankees from Lucchino: eat your hearts out. […]
Ace-starved? I thought the Yankees had the pitcher with the most wins in baseball the past 2 years? Not to mention a plethora of young arms with ace potential?
Wang didn’t pitch like an ace in his 2 starts (one on short rest). Beckett did. But that’s a small sample size. What if Wang had come through and Beckett didn’t? Would this article be about how the Red Sox failed to sign Wang out of Taiwan a few years ago (and instead signed Failed Red Sox Prospect X)? So what this arcticle probably should be about, is how having your ace pitch well at the right time dictates a great deal in the playoffs.