I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain…I hope.
-The Shawshank Redemption
No, not because the NCAA tournament ends today, because today the world returns to normal. During the baseball offseason, I always feel as though there is a hole in the world.
There’s a void where something sunny and warm belongs. So, despite the fact that it’s about 40 degrees, cloudy and snowy in Chicago today, I finally feel as though everything is back in place.
The 2009 season figures to be an interesting one for Yankee fans. The team spent aggressively and secured not one, but both of the hottest free agents in Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia. They also added A.J. Burnett, a pitcher with filthy stuff but a history of injury. If CC and Tex live up to the expectations, this season will definitely be interesting. If Burnett stays healthy he should be the most dominant number three starter in the game.
There are interesting storylines related to some of the Yankees old guard as well. The best player on the team, Alex Rodriguez, is out for a month with hip trouble. Derek Jeter is baseball old, and looks it. Jorge Posada is coming off shoulder surgery, as is Mariano Rivera.
Robinson Cano who has all the promise in the world, turned in an atrocious season in 2008 and needs to rebound to inject some life into the Yankees offense. The outfield is suspect. 35 year old Johnny Damon starts in left, Xavier Nady and his career .335 OBP start in right, with light hitting rookie speed demon Brett Gardner patrolling center. Forgive me if I’m not giddy about that trio.
The bullpen looks to be as deep and cost controlled as any Yankee pen since the early decade glory days.
I have high hopes for the team this year, if a few things break right I can see the Yankees going deep into the post season. If injuries pile up, especially to the most well paid Yankees, it could be a long summer. But it will be summer, and it will be baseball, and all will be right with the world.