Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

WHY DO I LIKE THE YANKEES THIS YEAR? (Other than all the other reasons?) Two words: bench strength. I'm watching the Yanks-Braves spring training game right now. The Yanks brought three of their regular starters to Orlando: Sheffield, Matsui, and Enrique Wilson. The rest of the lineup was spare parts: Tony Clark, Darren Bragg, Miguel Castro, Mike Lamb, and John Flaherty. The Yankees nevertheless put up four runs on six hits (all singles) in the first off of Mike Hampton. This suggests to me that the bench players can hit, which is a very good thing for the team. They're also (with the exception of Mike Lamb, who's not going to make the roster anyway) good defensively. This kind of bench strength bodes very well: it mitigates the damage from injuries to starters, it allows you to pinch-run and put in defensive replacements late in the game more confidently. It's been a while since I've felt this good about the Yankees bench. Combine that with an all all-star starting lineup and a pretty-damn-fine pitching staff, and we're in good shape.