The 2009 season did not turn out the way the Yankees hoped it would. High-priced free agents C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixiera did not live up to expectations and the team in general underachieved, digging themselves a hole in the first 2 games of the season that is simply too great to overcome. That those losses were against the lowly Baltimore Orioles make it even harder to stomach.
“It happened so quickly,” team captain Derek Jeter said. “It feels like the season just started. I know there’s a lot of games left to play, but it’s rough being considered out of it already. I guess we’ll just have to stay focused and build momentum for next season.”
Newly imported pitcher A.J. Burnett was equally frustrated. “I mean, I never even got to throw a pitch,” the right-hander lamented.
With the 2010 season less than a year away, however, all hope is not lost. “Well, I went 1 for my first 9 this year, so next season I can probably improve upon that,” added an optimistic Mark Teixiera. “I guess I didn’t realize that so much could hang on 9 at-bats. The speed of New York caught up with me.”
So while the Yankees may have waited too long this season to realize their year was on the line, there is hope that in 2010, they’ll understand how critical the first 2 games of the season really are.