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Volume IV Issue 2
Editor's Note:
   I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for being so patient in waiting for the second issue this year. The lack of Reports was due to the fact that I have been working very hard on designing a webpage, and I am very pleased to announce that The Baseball Report Homepage is now up and operational so check it out at: Click here: The Baseball Report Homepage

I encourage you to look around the site, bookmark it, and submit your comments whenever you like, for whatever reason. Check out some of the special features on the site and let me know what you think, I'd love to get some reader feedback.

Finally, before I move on to the actual issue, if you are interested in becoming a columnist for The Baseball Report, or have an interesting article or website idea, email me back. If you want to be a columnist, let me know some of your past experience and qualifications. Writing a guest article is also permitted by any reader of The Report, so write away and get posted on the site and in the newsletter.

That's all for now,
Michael Frankel

The Yankees' Mistake by Michael Frankel

For the first time in recent history, the New York Yankees failed to make any significant offseason moves. The theory in New York- the team won two World Series championships in a row, what can be improved upon?

The Yankees traded Hideki Irabu and Chad Curtis, and allowed Luis Sojo and Joe Girardi to walk away. The new faces on the roster are utility man Rafael Bournigal, and a backup catcher to be named. The other slots will be filled from guys who were in the mix last season, such as Ed Yarnall and Shane Spencer.

Well as the Yankees shoot for their third straight ring, four in the last five years, one cannot help but question such a strategy.

When the Yankees won it all in 1996, then GM Bob Watson sought out Gord Ash, GM of the last repeat champions (1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays) and asked him for advice. Ash's response was simple. Bring in veterans who have yet to win - keep the hunger going. Dave Winfield was the DH in 1992, Paul Molitor in 1993. Both were veterans who had not won a World Series.

After 1998, the Yankees changed, in essence one significant roster slot, trading David Wells and others for Roger Clemens early in Spring Training. Clemens, with more personal records than I have space to write, was missing just one thing, a World Series victory.

Even with the fire for the big one Clemens brought to the clubhouse, the Yankees still let their guard down. As first baseman Tino Martinez alluded to late in the year, the Yankees did let up in the regular season. They did not, as he put it, have the same desire or push to win each and every game like they did in 1998. As a result, they won 16 games less that 1998, and won the division by just four games. In the postseason they went 11-1, improving on 1998's 11-2 mark.

The point is, the Yankees realized in 1999, after their miraculous 1998, that they did not need to play as hard every day. They let up and because of that, they almost blew the division. The fact is though, as evident from the postseason, the team was just as good as their 1998 predecessors.

The point is simple. Every team needs the fire in them. Ask the braves whose pitchers seemingly toy with everyone during the regular season, or the Indians whose rust from not playing an important game costs them every postseason.

Every significant player on the roster has a ring; most players have multiple ones. Now, there may not be a need to make a move. The Yankees talent is matched only by their payroll. After all, we've seen what this team can do (see 1998). The problem is, two years later, we're still looking at the same team, who, after 234 wins, two perfect games, two cases of cancer, one heart murmur, and one drug problem, cannot be expected to carry the same intensity onto the field day in day out. The time to make a move is now. Take the risk of trading Ramiro Mendoza, take the risk of not have a swing man, and at the same time, remove of the risk of not having the hunger, remove the risk of not having the killer instinct that makes great teams championship teams.

That's all for this issue. Like I said, most time went to designing the website.
Thanks to Jeremy Weisser ( for designing The Baseball Report's logo.
Remember, check out the website:
Till next time,

Michael Frankel

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