No one knows the answer to what may come in 2011, but one things for sure, the Yankees had a heck of a 2010 season. They battled for the AL East only to lose it to Tampa Bay; they battled in the ALCS against the Rangers only to pack up and go home yet again, but some memorable events occurred which makes 2010 one of the most memorable Yankee season to date.
6. A-Rod’s 600th Home Run: This was talked about for a long time. It had taken A-Rod a couple of games to finally muster his 600th home run, but as soon as he did fans were cheering, his team mates were going bonkers and he himself realized what he had accomplished, number 600 in the bag. This was one of the most talked about events in 2010 and it may still continue buzzing into 2011.
5. The Rise and Fall of A.J Burnett: In the beginning of 2010, A.J Burnett was consistent, able to locate his pitches, striking out batters in order and was living on the top as one of the most beloved go to guys in the league. Then trouble came when Ex-Pitching Coach Dave Eiland left for a personal matter for a couple of weeks, and around that time was when A.J started to struggle. A.J wasn’t making his pitches, he was struggling and was leaving games early because he either couldn’t maintain the lead or he had let too many runs score for the opposing team. But A.J was soon showing everyone that he was getting ready to rise to the occasion when the Yankees needed his help in the ALCS. Burnett was pitching fine, but the Yankees were unable to continue their quest to number 28, leaving A.J’s hopes dashed. But A.J Burnett proved that he was able to bounce back, and is planning a full time comeback by practicing early for the 2011 Spring Training.
4. Brett “The Jet” Gardner Speeds To The Top: When we think of the Yankees we usually think of Derek Jeter for his services to them for the last 15 years, or Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada. But when we look through the lineup card a little bit longer we realize that someone on that lineup card stands out, and that is none other than Brett Gardner. Starting in his first season as the starting left fielder Brett Gardner changed the game with his speed and confidence. With his legs alone he was able to swipe 47 bases, 5 of those bases coming from a Yankees/Red Sox double header and led the Yankees in on base percentage with .390. While he shot out to the races in the first half of 2010, his numbers slowly diminished after he was hit by a pitch in June, with him getting the surgery that he needed in December. With the Yankees having a new weapon in their arsenal, they are hoping Gardner can steal bases just as consistent in 2011.
3. George Steinbrenner & Bob Sheppard Gone But Not Forgotten: When a child went to a Yankees game prior to 2010, the voice that you heard in the Yankees P.A Announce box was none other than Bob Sheppard. He had worked for the Yankees for many years, announcing the games. With his voice so iconic, Derek Jeter requested that they had recorded it and playback every time he goes to bat for as long he is a Yankee. But when you thought about who owned the Yankees, or how they become today, there is only one name that you can think of, George Steinbrenner. He had led the Yankees to World Series plenty of times before, his last one in 2009 where the Yankees had taken on and beat the Philadelphia Phillies. Steinbrenner died in July, the morning of the All Star Game, the same one Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano were to play in. Sheppard died 2 days before. Both of them were honored by the Yankees after the All-Star Game wearing patches on their uniforms to commemorate and pay signs of respect. Steinbrenner’s monument is now featured in Monument Park along with Sheppards plaque and with past Yankee legends.
2. Derek Jeter’s Contract Dispute: This had made headlines for majority of November and December as Derek Jeter was discussing his contract with Brian Cashman. Cashman had gave Jeter the run around, with both of their asking prices to be totally different. In the end they were able to settle for approximately $55 Million dollars for 4 years but Jeter expressed his feelings about the whole entire dispute. He argued how he was ‘mad’ about the entire ordeal and wished that his contract was never made public. Now Cashman has to learn one thing. In order to get prize possession of people in the free agent market, he has to treat one of his veterans the way he would want to be treated.
1. Cliff Lee Goes To: Philadelphia?: The prize during the off season was none other than Cliff Lee. After the way he had shut out the Yankees while he was on the Rangers, the way he was in control with his fastball, the way that he had made every team want him. But he was special to the Yankees, in the main sense that they wanted Lee to join their organization no matter what his asking price. The same had applied to Boston who had recently capped Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to be apart of their team. The Yankees were willing to give Cliff Lee 7 years, the Rangers 6 years, and the asking prices were a major difference. But this story ended with a twist. Apparently Lee and his agent spoke with the Philadelphia Phillies, asking if they were still interested in him. It turned out that they were, and with that they were able to sign Cliff Lee to a 5 year deal, leaving Yankee fans, players and managers flabbergasted with the results. It had turned out that at the end of the tunnel, Philadelphia swept in like Spiderman and saved Lee from joining the Yankee Organization. With Cashman unaware of what to do until Spring Training starts, he suggested that now his new plans are patience, hoping that will be key into signing some key players.
The Yankees had an unbelievable 2010 season, only for it to end in disappointment, but one thing is for sure, the Yankees are hoping for when the ball strikes in Times Square on New Years Day their luck will change as well, and they will come out victorious in 2011.